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Jumper Protests Human Folly

20 Jun

The New York Times reports:

Racing regulators kept hearing the reports: trainers were giving their horses a powerful performance-enhancing potion drawn from the backs of a type of South American frog.

When asked for a comment, Jumper the Frog responded,”This is an outrage to frogs and horses everywhere. Have these humans no shame?”
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Jumper further stated that the Amphibian Protection Association is investigating rumors that members of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia have been licking frog backs in late night sessions in the gardens at Monticello. “If these rumors prove true,” Jumper remarked, “the consequences will be most grave. Humans must not be allowed to continue acting like narcissistic damn fools. Frankly, they’re stinking up the planet. They need to stop it. Right now.”

A Story About Truth, Tradition, Dialog, and Groovology

17 Jun

The following is a presentation of the Truth and Traditions Theatre of Polymorphic Politics, Jumper the Frog and Kong the Gorilla, proprietors. Since the adults are not getting the message, it’s in language suitable for five-year olds.

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* * * * * Continue reading

Dance to a Different Drummer: Groovology and Politics

14 May

Groovology, about the groove, the human groove, the dancing and music-making at the heart of human community and togetherness. A line of thinkers going back through Darwin and Rousseau argued that it’s music that made clever apes into human beings – and, wouldn’t you know? that connects to the apes, the rabbits, fish, bees, flowers and the earth as well. Because we sing and dance we are human. Groovology is lightness and joy, but also sorrow and healing. It binds us together in common action and feeling, in community.

What has that to do with politics?

Politics too is about community, about negotiating among that various needs and desires of people living in a group. When the group is small, the negotiations are face-to-face, as is grooving. When the group is small, groovology and politics are commensurate, their connection is obvious.

It is when the group gets large, very large, that the connection is obscured. The USofA is very large, our political leaders distant from the local places where we politic and negotiate. And yet there are obvious connections, still.

Politics is not all backrooms and stolen votes. Politics is also ceremony, and ceremony has music: Hail to the Chief, The Star Spangled Banner, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Washington Post March, Taps, and much else. Continue reading

Wolfgang Oehme, Free-Form Landscape Architect, Dies at 81 – NYTimes.com

27 Dec

For 30 years, Mr. Oehme teamed up with James van Sweden to develop self-sustaining gardens, free of pesticides, that could remain beautiful even as the seasons changed. They planted flowers and bushes not by threes and fives, but by the thousands. Details, like how the wind would move the leaves of different plant species, were studied meticulously. Water, whether trickling or in reflecting pools, became a hallmark.

via Wolfgang Oehme, Free-Form Landscape Architect, Dies at 81 – NYTimes.com.

The Evolved Self-management System | Conversation | Edge

7 Dec

And then what about the messages we pick up from the natural world? I’ve become particularly interested in how nature itself may provide placebo information, by seeming to suggest that we’re in the presence of a great designer, a creator, God. Wherever we look, there’s no question the natural world shouts “intelligent design”, shouts of a great artist in the sky. And, admit it or not, I’m sure this can provide a powerful subconscious prime. It can make us believe that we’re in the presence of a loving father, or perhaps a loving partner, someone whom we should look up to and want to get closer to—but who gives us permission to be such selves as we wouldn’t be otherwise. If overt religious messages can act as placebos, then so too can the beauties of nature, so too can the sun and the moon and the stars.

via The Evolved Self-management System | Conversation | Edge.

Religion in America, Going Forward

28 Oct

What role will churches play in moving America to a more equitable and sustainable society?

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The other day I made a post about a church service I’d recently attended, remarking both on the power of the pastor’s preaching, its effect on his congregation, and on his responsibility to them. It was clear to me that he was energizing them to go out a face the world in a constructive frame of mind.

A friend of mine, a man I’ve known for almost 40 years, replied by indicating that he’d been lurking on a list of Unitarian ministers that was currently discussing Black Preaching: The Recovery Of A Powerful Tool by Henry H. Mitchell. This paragraph seems to have been particularly provocative:

As has been noted, worship among Whites and Blacks was similar during the Great Awakenings. It might now be asked why audible response or dialogue disappeared from mainline Protestant patterns of worship. One guess is that the preaching material soared beyond the intellectual reach of the congregation. This occurred, perhaps, because Protestant seminaries had engaged in a contest of one-upmanship with the graduate divisions of the liberal arts colleges, creating scholars instead of professionals skilled in reaching people. With such standard conditioning in the theological schools, the preacher might well be expected to be intellectual in concerns rather than interested in the day-to-day issues of ordinary people. It follows that in such a school-conditioned, abstract atmosphere, answering back would soon be considered by the preaching scholar as impolite and disruptive. This attitude would increase the inhibitions of an audience eager to please. Modern-day experiments in the middle-class church, in which dialogue takes place during and after the sermon, seem clearly to support this hypothesis. In the planning of the talk-back after the service, great care is taken to pitch the dialogue within the intellectual reach of the laity involved. It is encouraging to speculate that the middle-class model may now be drifting away from the graduate classroom and back to the pattern once shared by Blacks and Whites in the preaching event.

My friend then went to say: Continue reading

Sunrise

2 Oct

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Cycle of Life

30 May

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Iris

10 May

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Urban Diversity

3 May

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