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Showing posts from 2010

Swiped from a Facebook Comment

Sad, but true.

I linked to a fun article on Facebook, "Am I the Last Person in America Who Still Adores President Obama?" from A friend of mine out in IL said that she does, too, but can't talk about him around her Catholic colleagues (she works for the local diocese), because he's pro-choice.

Now, keep in mind, this issue of the single-issue has been simmering for me since about 1986 when I first watched the marches on Washington on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. So it's a Well, maybe you'll decide for yourself what it is.

You see, I get troubled by this because, as Roman Catholics, we don't have blinders like this on a single other issue where federal or state laws conflict with canon: no one demands that IVF be banned, no one's calling for divorce to be outlawed (as it was in Ireland for YEARS because of the Catholic Church's influence), no one's calling for meat to be banned on Fridays from February to April. Presiden…


So, the British Prime Minister apologized for Bloody Sunday.

Thank you, God.

For 841 years, these two peoples have been involved in a deadly tug-of-war that has robbed them of justice, has robbed them of hope, has robbed them of basic human decency.

The survivors and the victims' families are elated, and everybody else seems to be taking the news and the apology well. Less well-taken is talk of pursuing charges against the culpable soldiers. I commented on Facebook about the healing power of a basic apology. A friend of mine commented that he prefers prosecutions.

It's that kind of thinking that has mired first the English, and then the British, and the Irish into eight hundred years of conflict.

Think about that. This all started when Diarmait Mac Murchada, the new former-king of Leinster was rather put out at having been, well, put out. It turns out it makes the High King (then Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair)pretty damn cranky when you abduct the wife of one of your brother kings. We…

Community Theatre is Not for the Weak

And Stage Management is only for those with tough hides and ice water for nerves.

But more about that later.

Actually, no theater is for the weak. Even the "easiest" roles--what I like to refer to as breathing scenery, roles such as Third Lord from the Left, Interested Onlooker #5--require that you put yourself in the public eye for apprisal and judgement. And don't get me started on supporting actors. Bless them. Bless them a million times. The leads carry the main story line, but the supporters are burdened with making the whole damn thing work.

It's an adrenaline pumping, heart wrenching, nerve wracking experience.

Working tech, on the other hand, isn't even that relaxing.

At best, no one knows you're there. At worst, boy howdy do they ever notice you. They notice that you have completely and totally screwed up your job. And the conductor of this elephant tightrope act is the Stage Manager. Soothing the actors' egos back to the point of being able to f…

The Curriculum (May G-d Have Mercy on Our Souls)

A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me what percentage of teachers, in my opinion, actually liked the literature that they were teaching--Shakespeare, poetry, etc.

I said--and I continue to say--that the percentage of English teachers who actually work with or enjoy Shakespeare or poetry on their own time is very low. The kicker is--at least at the high school and community college level--is that it's very difficult to fit in what one does enjoy and is interested in because of The Curriculum. (Although I must admit that I'm very up front with my 102 students about my distaste for Romantic poets and the fact that I'm teaching Blake under protest. And don't get me started on Thomas Mallory. That hack.)

I'm lucky. I'm a medieval nerd, with a sub-dork in Chaucer. But if you really love, say Hemingway, it can be tough to fit Poppa into your lesson plans because you've got so much else to get through. And if you're into Auden or Ezra Pound, you may be sun…