17 January 2012
Arizona, banned books, politics, Tuscon
So… apparently, according to these stores, officials from Tuscon, AZ, marched into schools last week to remove banned books. Among the books removed was The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, because it deals with themes related to “race, ethnicity, and oppression.”
It occurs to me, of course, that The Tempest is about the legitimate ruler of a place, cast out and cast down, using magic to restore his rightful place in the world and achieve justice. (Gabrielle Giffords is recovering but she may never sit in Congress again).
Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution declares:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.
I genuinely have to wonder… at what point does the Government of Arizona become a non-Republican form of government? Because there is a definition of fascism, and the current government of Arizona is doing a great job of signing off on the items of that definition like they were a checklist.
17 January 2012
archive search, archives, connecting back
And I wrote about it, the day after, on August 29, 2008.
One of the nice things about having a blog that goes back to 2002 is discovering all sorts of things that you’d thought you’d forgotten, but then re-learn from going back through older entries. I noticed over the weekend that the General/Early category is so large, and contains so many entries, that it’s practically useless; so I started fixing them… and found all sorts of treasures:
All of this is uncategorized, though, except as General/Early. Which is useless. I need to figure out a way of categorizing this stuff more rapidly, so that people can FIND it.
17 January 2012
broken prayer beads, mala, meditation, prayer
I received a mala or string of Buddhist prayer beads at Christmastime. Being that I’m not really a buddhist, I wasn’t exactly sure how to use them. There is a prayer that I recite for each day of the week, though, so I built my practice around that. I used the mala for the last week of December and the first few weeks of January. Yesterday it broke. As it did so, it scattered beads around. I asked a friend what that meant.
She said, “It means you’ve broken through; you’re getting somewhere. Or it means that your prayers have been released to the universe, and sent to the appropriate destinations.” (It’s kind of like spam e-mail in that regard, I guess, or an explosive-charge battery — all the power released at once).
Once upon a time, I was a praying man. Then I stopped. Now I’ve started again. Now I don’t know whether to stop or start. I do know that I feel charged up. Was it the mala breaking, or was it simply the reconnection with the idea of prayer that matters? Either way, there’s a sense that I’ve started a new cycle somehow. The Buddha famously said,
“There are two mistakes on the path to enlightenment: The second is stopping; the first is not starting.”