The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has voted, in its churchwide assembly, to accept noncelibate clergy members and lay leaders who are in "lifelong" and "monogamous" same-sex relationships.

One of the individuals quoted in the article was Alan Wold of the Northern Illinois Synod, who said:

"If according to some I am going to be in [error] for supporting this... Let me err on the side of mercy, grace, justice, and love of neighbor. Let me err on the side of gospel, which makes all things new."

Yes.  Yes.  A thousand times...Yes.

Back in college, before the turn of the millennium, I came across a novelette by the acclaimed author Kim Stanley Robinson that hit me like a punch to the gut.  

Today I rediscovered it, and read it again, and it had the exact same effect...which is good, because I think it's one of the most profound pieces of writing I've ever encountered, and something that everyone should read.  

(Follow the fake-cut to the story itself on Infinity Plus.)

I believe that man is good. I believe we stand at the dawn of a century that will be more peaceful and prosperous than any in history.
flyingrat: (young wizards)
(From Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet".)

...But let me make this request right away: Read as little as possible of literary criticism - such things are either partisan opinions, which have become petrified and meaningless, hardened and empty of life, or else they are just clever word-games, in which one view wins today, and tomorrow the opposite view. Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them. - Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentations, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

Whee!  *fwomp*

Sure, why not.  Ask me for any top 5 fannish things.  I define "fannish" loosely: there's Watchmen, to be sure (which is the only fandom I've really gotten into in depth), but I'm also a fan of sci-fi, mythology, history (and historical reenactment), dead Renaissance composers (and music in general), poetry, and small furry animals.  Um, yeah.

(Will probably reply in this post, because it's easier and I am a bit lazy.)
...Taoist wisdom randomness, actually.  And I'm not Zorak, but oh well.

On many occasions, under the influence of wine, Liu Ling would be completely free and unrestrained, sometimes even removing his clothes and sitting stark naked in the middle of the room.  Some people once saw him in this state and chided him for it.

Ling retorted, "I take heaven and earth for my pillars and roof, and my house with its rooms as my pants and jacket.  What are you gentlemen doing in my pants?"

- from A New Account of Tales of the World by Liu Yiqing (403-444)

...I feel like I need an avatar of this now.  O.o
Title: Movie Night
Rating: G/PG
Characters: Rorschach, Dan, Adrian
Warnings: CRACK. Humor, art history, and GEORGE CLOONEY'S NIPPLE SUIT OH GOD MY BRAIN.
Notes: Written to fill this prompt, in which Dan and Rorschach endure Batman and Robin and Adrian presents his own perspective on the infamous costuming. (I am so sorry.)
Disclaimer: I don't own them, which is probably a good thing as they would never do anything except sit around, drink beer and talk about nothing.

As the credits rolled, the three off-duty superheroes settled back onto Dan Dreiberg's sofa, exhaling in unison.

"Well, that was excruciating. Sorry, guys, I guess I picked a dud this time."
"Indeed, Daniel. Cinematic abortion. Batman is a noble avenger, not a bumbling lovestruck fool." Rorschach's inkblots swirled faster. "Not to mention, overt homosexual overtones. Embodies all that is wrong with filthy liberal influence in Hollywood. Hnnk. Should round up and destroy all copies."
"...You know, for once I'm not sure I disagree with you on that last part, Ror, but it might be difficult, even with your level of focus. DVDs are really cheap to mass-produce, after all." Dan closed his eyes and pressed the cold beer bottle to his forehead. "But...yeah. That suit. The nipples. God. What were they thinking?"
"Actually, I thought that was a brilliant move on the part of the costuming team." A third, speculative voice spoke up from the far end of the couch.
Both Nite Owl and Rorschach pivoted, slow motion, to peer at Ozymandias.
"Heh, good one... ...Wait. Adrian, you're serious? Come on."
"It makes valid psychological sense," Adrian protested, rolling his own beer bottle between his hands. "The idealization of the human form is one of the oldest and most pervasive elements in art, after all: you've only to look at the Venus of Hohle Fels for proof. But that's the female equivalent; to stay closer to the topic at hand, consider the resemblance between Batman's suit and an Archaic Greek kouros, or the way a Classical sculptor would have depicted a deity, or hero, or Olympian athlete. Physical perfection not only hints at reproductive fitness, in an instinctual sense, but has long been equated with godliness: the superior being descended to earth. And that same perfect human form, as idealized by the ancients, still figures centrally in our collective unconscious today - any Calvin Klein ad can tell you as much." His eyebrows quirked.
Behind Dan's back, Rorschach was making some remarkably strangled noises, but Dan was too hypnotized by the ongoing trainwreck to look away. Adrian, warming to his subject, set his drink down on the end table (making sure to grab a coaster, which a corner of Dan's distracted brain noted with appreciation) and leaned forward, gesturing with both hands.
"...And in our culture, what are superheroes but our modern-day Olympians, or demigods? Saviors, come down from heaven - or the planet Krypton, as the case may be - or arisen from among us. Heroes who seek to perfect themselves, in order to perfect society as a whole. It's true that they occasionally fail, often because of certain flaws...that's the tragic mythos at work, which is just as powerful and pervasive a force, but I digress." He waved a hand. "Anyway, given the resonance, the adaptation of the nude male torso in this situation simply makes overt the homage that our superhero archetype owes to its ancient antecedents. A brilliant piece of work, even if it was an unconscious choice on the filmmakers' part. That said, I do agree that certain...aspects of Clooney's suit approximate the Hellenistic ideal, as it were, more than the Classical, and not in the positive sense. Regrettable, but amusing nonetheless."  He smiled, in cat-that-ate-the-canary fashion.

Dan realized that his mouth was hanging open, and closed it abruptly.

"Sex sells, as they say." Adrian shrugged, then settled back and picked up his beer.
"...Good God." Dan rubbed the back of his neck. "As disturbed as I am to admit it, that actually makes one hell of a lot of sense."
"Ehnnnnk." The sound was even more drawn-out and harsh than usual. Uh-oh; Dan whipped his head around. "Veidt." It came out like a curse. "No words. Cannot think. Need sugar. And caffeine." Rorschach pushed himself to his feet, and stalked towards the kitchen, back rigid in outrage, to get himself another Coca-Cola (the green-bottled version, of course).
"Rorschach?" Adrian's tone was bright. "As long as you're up, could you fetch me another beer, please?"

Dan sighed, and buried his head in his hands.

As promised, this is a soundtrack to accompany an ongoing "sword and sorcery" fill for a Watchmen AU prompt.  The original story, which you should definitely read, is located here.  (Thank you, Anonymous, for titillating my inner geek so effectively.)

I dug deep into my very, very eclectic music library and tried to locate stuff to accompany the story as it is unfolding sequentially; expect updates to the playlist as future chapters are posted.  I tried to pick the pieces mostly by "feel", as background music to the events and settings, but a couple of them have appropriate lyrics, too.

Explanations and listing under the Grooveshark widget.  

What is this I don't even )
14. The Garden of Zephirus 
- Dead Can Dance (Aion)

15. Princess Mononoke Theme Song (Instrumental) - Jo Hisaishi (soundtrack, Princess Mononoke)
(Edited to add a couple songs for Chapters 14 and 15.)

Never have the words "I'll be in my bunk" felt so appropriate.
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
Sonnet: 20th July, 1969

They made it, we all made it, just a bit.
Like Vikings leaving runes and little more,
Taking the lesser light where God had placed it,
To show ourselves just what a heaven's for.
They loped like diving, suited kangaroos,
Over that sterile world of one-night stands
Driving golf balls and moon-buggies to amuse
The children, while the stars slipped through our hands.
They're gone now, to their shrinks and shrunken space,
The praises theirs; 'tis ours to wonder why
The world's still flat, and dreams are out of grace.
So I, believing less each summer, pry
Open that lost, last year to see the bright
Earth-jewel, smooth and blue, in velvet night.

(author unknown, published in Analog, July 1979)
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
I'm a bit late with this one, but it's been a relatively slow couple of days for those of us on took quite a while for Apollo 11 to travel from the earth to the moon, after all!

At this stage in the mission, Columbia (the Apollo 11 Command Module) and Eagle (the Lunar Module) are orbiting the moon, and the astronauts are checking out all of Eagle's systems, receiving good wishes from Earth, and just generally preparing themselves for the tasks ahead: the landing will be the trickiest part of the entire mission, and they only get one shot...

Cut for poetry )


Jul. 16th, 2009 10:06 pm
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
At this point in the Apollo 11 mission, launch has gone off without a hitch. The Apollo Command Module and Lunar Module are in orbit, and Mission Control and the astronauts are planning for the Trans-Lunar Injection burn which will kick them out of Earth's orbit and send them arrowing towards the moon.

Watch the launch here, and hear about it in the astronauts' own words. )

(Not really apologetic about spamming the flist with these Apollo 11 posts, because this is something that is too important not to remember.)
flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
Launch is in less than 8 hours, and a lot of people are anxious about the outcome...not least of whom are the astronauts' families.

Here's a poem by Pat Collins, the wife of astronaut Mike Collins, the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 11.

From an Astronaut's Spouse

I could have sought by wit or wile
Your bright dream to dim. And yet
If I'd swayed you with a smile
My reward would be regret.

So, for once, you shall not hear
Of the tears, unbidden, welling;
Or the nighttime stabs of fear.
These, this time, are not for telling.

Take my silence, though intended;
Fill it with the joy you feel.
Take my courage, now pretended--
You, my love, will make it real.

© written by Pat Collins to her husband, Mike, prior to his launch toward the moon on Apollo 11, from Carrying the Fire

flyingrat: (earth from apollo)
Since we're coming up on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, I felt the urge to post some moon poems over the next few days. (Hope the flist doesn't mind.)

For today, here are some classical Japanese waka (5-7-5-7-7), composed on the subject of the moon.

While I gaze upon it
I feel a certain distance:
The moon light
Makes its way to dwellings
Everywhere, I feel.

- Ki no Tsurayuki (Kokinshu XVII: 880)

On summer nights
It's just past sundown, and
Already dawn is breaking,
But, where amongst the clouds
Does the moon find lodging?

- Fukayabu (Kokinshu III: 166)

When on an autumn night,
The moonlight
Through even mountains of Darkness
Can I make my way.

- Ariwara no Motokata (Kokinshu IV: 195)

Without a trace of cloud,
For a thousand years upon the limpid
Water’s surface
The lodging moon
Light brings peace.

- Murasaki Shikibu (Shinkokinshu VII: 722)

At the mountain's edge
A darling boy:
The field of heaven
He wades across, his light
A pleasant sight.

- Lady Otomo no Sakanoue (Man'yoshu VI: 983; "darling boy" was a poetic nickname for the moon)

flyingrat: (dan)
So, um...this is my attempt at a soundtrack to one of the best Adrian/Dan stories out there, Solidarity by [ profile] anactoria. This story has captured my heart and imagination in all kinds of wonderful ways...and this mental soundtrack has been in the works for quite some time, so I thought that perhaps some of you might enjoy it as well.  (Disclaimer: these songs are all my choices, except for "Heroes", so don't take any of this as the author's perspective.)

I'm labeling this "Part I" since the story is not yet complete; I expect a "Part II" later on, or a reworking of this to fit the story as a whole.

A million thanks to [ profile] anactoria for graciously allowing me to do this. (Many thanks also to [ profile] eugenetapdance for helping me break out of my rut artist-wise, and making some really good suggestions.)
Cut for playlist and lyrics. )


Jun. 28th, 2009 09:58 pm
(Missing my little critters, especially Ne-taro the deer mouse who was born under our stove and wiggled his way into our hearts.  So here's some classical Korean poetry, .)

On Letting a Rat Go Free
Yi Kyu-bo (1168-1241)

People steal everything under Heaven;
you steal what people stole.
Stratagems solely for mouth and belly:
why single you out for blame?

(translated by Kevin O'Rourke)

Of Being
(Denise Levertov)
I know this happiness
is provisional:
              the looming presences—
              great suffering, great fear—
              withdraw only
              into peripheral vision:
but ineluctable this shimmering
of wind in the blue leaves:
this flood of stillness
widening the lake of sky:
this need to dance,
this need to kneel:
                            this mystery:
flyingrat: (manhattan)
So [ profile] eugenetapdance had this rather interesting meme, and was kind enough to provide some words for me to respond to.

(Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.)

Poetry, Neruda, Adrian, Pratchett, Asia )

flyingrat: (ozy lol)

So, my brain told me to make random Egyptian-themed Watchmen fanart. And I did.

Cut for shameless abuse of hieroglyphs, and link to deviantArt )
Cross-posted from my blogspot page. Because it's that good.

"Get over yourself!
Get over your goodness and your righteousness, if they threaten to keep you from full participation in humanity. Get over your faults, your inadequacy, if they hold you back. Get over whatever it is that makes you self-obsessed, whatever makes you reject God’s wooing of you, whatever makes you feel that you would rather not go into the party, whatever makes you feel like you belong to some separate and superior race of beings, whatever makes you feel like an eternal victim, whatever keeps you from living a real human life, whatever makes you imagine that there's something in this world more important and more fundamental than love."

- L. William Countryman, Forgiven and Forgiving
flyingrat: (lol)
Idea stolen from [ profile] sanguinaryakiko, because I have the heart of a twelve-year-old boy (and not in a jar on my desk).

1. Put your music player on "random." Skip songs with not-very interesting titles (such as "Concerto #4 in E minor")
2. List the titles of the first 35 songs to come up.
3. Put "in my pants" after each title.
4. Bold the ones that actually made you laugh.

1.  Bastard King of England in my pants.
2.  Daffodil lament in my pants.
3.  Dive into me in my pants.
4.  The cries of London  in my pants.  (BWAHAHA.)
5.  Gonna be some changes made in my pants.
6.  30000 pounds of bananas in my pants.
7.  Playing along in my pants.
8.  Everything reminds me of my therapist in my pants.
9.  The lighthouse in my pants.  (Bow chicka wow-wow.)
10.  Growing up  in my pants.
11.  Lunar ascent in my pants.
12.  Endless palm in my pants.
13.  Adventures in the Scandinavian skin trade in my pants.
14.  Sky tunnel in my pants.
15.  Just can't get enough in my pants.
16.  O Lord most high in my pants.
17.  Rejoice in my pants.
18.  Another time, another place in my pants.
19.  The living sea in my pants.
20.  Violet hill in my pants.
21.  With or without you in my pants.  (Is Bono trying to tell me something?)
22.  Lead a normal life in my pants.
23.  Pan-American Irish girl in my pants.
24.  Waterfront in my pants.
25.  Words of fire, deeds of blood in my pants.  (Intense.)
26.  The fly in my pants.  (Bono, GO AWAY.)
27.  Sanctify yourself in my pants.
28.  Internet porn in my pants.
29.  Rain in Tibet in my pants.
30.  In your eyes in my pants.
31.  Running to stand still in my pants.  (Sigh...)
32.  Go back to your woods in my pants.
33.  Run away in my pants.
34.  The wanderer in my pants.
35.  Iron lion Zion in my pants.
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 01:39 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios