Manchester, United

I’ve written ad nauseam in the past about the mass killings that occur with alarming (and alarmingly increasing) frequency in the world. I’ve been struggling to say anything about #Manchester for a few reasons, mostly that others have already said it and I’m tired of words without actions.

But I finally have this to say: don’t use it as an excuse to smear more hatred on an entire people, or an entire religion. This vicious act has no more to do with Islam than Westboro Baptist or Timothy McVeigh have to do with Christianity.

The overwhelming majority of practitioners of Islam are devoted, loving, thoughtful, caring, delightful — and most of all, they’re human beings.

The people who carried this out are Muslim in name only; they do not live the tenets of their own faith. They act on a spectacularly narrow and cruel version of it, just as extremists/fundamentalists of all “faiths” do. They have allowed fear, anger, lust for power, a desire to subjugate creation in their own image to overtake their humanity.

Do not hate Islam. Do not even hate religion. Act to stop those who would terrorize creation in its name.

Love one another.

Day One

Today’s post is mostly images, as I process what I felt and witnessed today during what is turning out to be the largest protest in U.S. history. I’m talking about the Women’s March, and all of the sister marches both here and around the world. Continue reading

Day Zero

Oh, where do I begin?

Other, better minds than mine will do the job of analyzing the inaugural speech of Donald Trump. I read an annotated transcript and saw so many red flags I hardly knew where to start. Like the world-shattering demagogues in whose footsteps he follows, he resorts to nationalistic speech, broad strokes of bleakness that conveniently forget the fact that he is one of those who has enriched himself ruthlessly at the expense of pretty much everyone with whom he’s come in contact. He talks of unifying the country, completely omitting the fact that he has just appointed some of the most divisive, hateful, and self-serving nightmare creatures imaginable to his new cabinet.

I suspect that his (and his cabinet’s) vision of “unity” has less to do with coming together across social divides and more to do with silencing dissent and difference. That’s not unity; that’s oppression. He wants a country peopled with compliant women and brutal men — a nation of Stepford Wives and their owners.

This, then, is where I will begin. Continue reading

The problem with leaderboards

We live in a culture that fosters toxic competition in everything we do, and it is in large part why we as a people are on the verge of social collapse — and I include the current political climate in that, when you trace the roots to both the supremacy of profit, the whole “my god is better than your god” model, and the deep-seated xenophobic nationalism that has overtaken us. Continue reading