songquake: (Default)
Hi, folks. So you've found my livejournal page, or perhaps you've added me as a friend and are wondering what I'm all about, and why this journal is locked down when you've already read a fair bit of my writing (*cough* fanfiction *cough*) with my name on it elsewhere.

This is my personal journal. It is where I keep in touch with far-flung friends (close-flung friends, too). I also use it to post stupid memes, whine a lot, process (usually to filtered groups), rant about political and social injustices, whinge about how slow my writing process is, and post information about upcoming concerts I or my siblings are in. I sometimes write about my jobs.

If you are looking for the fanfic-y goodness, feel free to pop on over to [livejournal.com profile] songquake_fic, which is pretty much all-public.

If you are looking for what I was thinking about theology in 2006 and 2007, you can add [livejournal.com profile] songquakebuilds to your friends list, and PM me to let me know to add you to that journal (it's almost entirely f-locked, as it was the support journal for my Masters' thesis, and I wasn't sure whether I'd ever want to publish any of it).

But if you're interested in reading pure, unadulterated, neurotic as hell me, then [livejournal.com profile] songquake is the place for you.

NOTE: I will not add you back unless I know who you are. So comment or PM me and introduce yourself if you don't think I know you by your LJ username, or we haven't had a conversation in somebody/somecommunity's comments. And really, since this journal is now Friends-Only, there's really no point in friending [livejournal.com profile] songquake without introducing yourself.

Also, I request that readers of this journal refrain from using the feature LiveJournal has allowing your comments to be cross-posted to services such as FaceBook and Twitter. Consider this a room in which what is said here, stays here.

NOTE TO RANDOM STOPPERS-BY:
After getting a series of spam comments, I am now not only logging IP addresses
but employing CAPTCHA technology for anonymous commenters.

I dislike doing this, and hope that people will continue to participate in
discussions here. But random ads that are in languages I don't read aren't cool.
In fact, advertisements aren't cool at all; that's why I spent the big bucks
to get a permanent account.

IP address logging and CAPTCHA only apply to anonymous commenters.
If you're willing to own your words, then I won't hassle you
or invade your privacy.

Love, [livejournal.com profile] songquake
songquake: (Default)
Well, my last post did fail. It failed when I attempted to enter an LJ name (that of [personal profile] starduchess, whom I don't even know if she has a DW account) and the code broke the entry and didn't display anything I wrote after. Alas.

Listen, [personal profile] starduchess and I had a smashing time watching her kids (and their cousins) play in a park that had both a water play area and a regular climbing-type playground. Yay! 

The conference was good, but it was also a month ago.

I'm writing tonight because I'm on my way to New York Yearly Meeting tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it, really. I've been asked to "give a message at vespers on Monday," which is an invitation to preach for about 10 minutes or so on the topic of my choosing. Except the person who invited me to speak is on my Committee on Recording (that is, recording my spiritual gift of "spiritual accompaniment" as something the Yearly Meeting endorses and will support/oversee), and he strongly suggested I tie it into my work somehow,

I find it somewhat odd that I've been asked to give a message while in the recording process, especially since my Monthly Meeting has not recognized a gift of vocal ministry in me ("vocal ministry" is what Friends call preaching).

In any event, I'm mostly packed for the trip up to Lake George  and am finally writing this message. I'm more than halfway through, I think. I mean, I've known the basic substance for a couple of weeks (I'm using my work on the psychiatric unit and the story of the good Samaritan as a way to look at respecting the wisdom/compassion of those society stigmatizes, trying to nuance it so we don't end up having poverty tourism to the psych ward).

But it seems like the words are coming really easily, that they are flowing--even the transitions, which are sometimes tricky for me. And it helps, I think, that I am starting to write it in a quasi-poetic form (I often break sentences into lines in order to slow my reading of prepared text; here, I'm not even bothering to write as prose first). And it's like I am in an alternate zone, a creative place. Like my brain is functioning differently and I am not sure whether it's a credit to the spiritual work I've done with this text and topic or if it's because I'm using a poetic form. Hm.

 Anyway, I'm hoping to sometimes write here, but I honestly think it's going to be about once/month. I kind of wish it were more, but I...don't usually want to engage with folks very much by the end of my day. I sometimes read LJ from my phone on the way to/from work, but hate trying to comment from my phone, so I lurk, lurk, lurk. Le sigh.

I'm usually more responsive to emails/phone calls. Except, you know, for the next week when I'll be out of touch entirely due to being at Yearly Meeting (and often away from cell service).

Oh! And last night I participated in [community profile] firewhiskeyfic , which was epic as usual. I...drank a lot. And wrote something. And I'll have to try to find my way to some wireless service after Tuesday so I can read/vote! I was pretty silly. But I remembered to keep drinking water, even when I thought adding even water to my system was a Bad Idea. I went to sleep before midnight, woke up at 4:30 to pee and drink more water, and was fine when I finally woke up for real at 9.

Which is the latest I'll be sleeping in until I've been home from Silver Bay for a week. Woe. (I know, world's smallest violin. But I actually like to sleep in at least one day/week, meaning past 10am. Because my life exhausts me.)
songquake: (Default)
Well. I have just modified my flight to Houston on Wednesday to fill it with accommodations. Who knew that there was a standard for accommodating peanut allergies? I didn't, until I decided to take a Friend's advice and book myself a wheelchair.

The wheelchair. It's...strategic? I mean, I need my cane for uneven terrain, but I mostly can walk around for the long distances airports require (though it might tire me out, which is why the Friend in question suggested it). But. I can't take off my shoes easily. My balance is okay, but not so good as to make it workable to take my shoes off to go through a metal detector (which would, you know, go off because of the metal in my ankle now). They mostly don't have benches for removal of shoes at airports despite having benches for re-shodding. And I am still having enough pain/swelling that I need to wear my high tops when leaving my house, so.

The reason I'm going to Houston is for the annual conference of the Association for Professional Chaplains. Looking ahead, I'm wondering why I thought the first flight to Houston on Wednesday was a good idea (it probably had to do with peanuts). I don't have any workshops to attend until Thursday morning and there's not much going on Wednesday. I need to call the hotel tomorrow and see about whether I can get an early check-in. Or if they can at least hold onto my suitcase while I hang out somewhere?

(I don't stay in hotels much.)

I just looked at the events. It looks like I'll have all of Wednesday free. Which I suppose means I'll have time to go for a swim, maybe get a massage, maybe write some...and go to mid-week Meeting for Worship at Live Oak Friends Meeting. It looks like they've got worship-sharing at 7 and open worship at 8.

I just...am feeling really insecure. Like I booked this conference without really understanding the logistics of what was going to happen. And...it is a good idea to get there the day before the conference begins because there's no way I could have managed the stress otherwise. Or made the first professional intensive I wanted to attend (which starts at 8:20 on Thursday, on Meditation as a Chaplaincy Intervention). But a whole day of nothing much to do? I hope the folks at the registration table can help me meet folks! Because there's something about being at a conference that makes me feel anxious both about being with new people and about being alone.
songquake: (Default)
Hey, friends. Take care of yourselves tonight and this weekend and for the next four years, okay?

I'm starting by making some posters with my mom tonight after dinner--some for her to carry to the Women's March on Washington (she'll be leaving at 4:15 in the morning! Yikes!) and some for me to carry to New York's Sister March. I'm a little sad that I can't go down to Washington, but I need to be able to make a quick exit and trip home if my ankle starts barking at me.

Then I'll head over to [community profile] firewhiskeyfic.

In the meantime, I have a couple of internet things to share with you. The first is a YT video by a band called Cheese on Bread. Cheese on Bread has a member I'm friendly with, and all of them are tight with my siblings. They made a video called "All Your Sisters" for today, and my sister's fiance did the audio mixing. It made me tear up a little.





Also, this website has been helping me lately: Holy Fuck the Fucking Election.

Stay safe, dear ones.
songquake: (Default)
My field trip made me cranky

Since I remember I can do it, why not post twice in a day?

At my last visit, my surgeon suggested I get some high-top sneakers for the purpose of "weaning off the orthosis." So I went on zappos.com and bought a pair of high-tops. They were cute and provided good ankle support. But they weren't wide enough, not by a long shot. They were okay to wear for an hour of PT, but the 3-4 hours/day my physical therapist suggested I wear them (at work, because flat linoleum surfaces) left my feet feeling really squished and achy. Not good--especially since diabetes means it can cause more damage than it would most people.

I decided that to fix this problem, I would make a field trip to Manhattan to Eneslow. Mind, I've been making weekly trips to Manhattan whenever choir meets. But I decided that, since I had been on the subway at off-peak times twice this week, I'd try taking the subway.

Well. I missed a subway at about 2:45 because I was slow (and waiting for elevators and the like). But whatever. The F train had lots of seats, and I took it to Broadway-Lafayette to change for the 6.

The 6 train was, of course, crowded. Some jerk knocked my arm off the pole as he got on and then had the temerity to claim he hadn't touched me when I told him he'd been rude, especially since I'm using a cane.

Nobody on the 6 offered me a seat. At all. Everyone avoided looking at me.

The 33rd St station has neither elevators nor escalators, but I was expecting that. And at least nobody showed exasperation at my slowness on the stairs.

After I'd bought new sneakers (the most expensive shoes I've ever owned, I think), I decided to hail a cab home. It takes a minute, but a cab sees me and turns on its "available" light. Except there's a woman in it. But she gets out. Other cabs pass, but I've made the fabled "eye contract" with this one. So eventually I get in, tell the cabbie where I'm going.

"Oh miss, I'm at the end of my shift, I can't go to Brooklyn."

"You have to if you've let me in the cab; you can't refuse to take me to Brooklyn." This is actually a law in NYC.

"My shift is over at 4, and i have to get the car back by 4:30--there's no way I can get to Brooklyn and back in time."

It was 4:11pm. His shift had already ended, but he'd put on the "Available" light.

"If you can't take a person where they need to go, you shouldn't let them in your car."

"Well, but--"

"No. Fuck off. I missed other cars because you had your light on." I got out of the car. I should have gotten his hack license number, but was too flustered to think of it.

The next cab that picked me up took me to Brooklyn, but both needed directions and didn't want to listen to my directions. It blows my mind.

At least my new sneakers are cute.

my new kicks

(They're an H-width, and high-tops are not as popular as they once were, so there was only one model in my size--three color choices--all $358 after taxes.)
songquake: (mm... coffee)
An executive order signed by Obama while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State allows trans* folks to get US passports with their correct (consonant) gender, without having had to undergo surgical interventions (and possibly medical interventions? I'm not personally clear on that).

There's a Twitter storify about how to get this done. It's here: https://mobile.twitter.com/charl_carles/status/798538038724825088

The important thing to take note of is that since the ease of change was effected by executive order, it's vulnerable to be overturned by another executive order--which might could happen after Jan. 20. (Trump's threatened to rescind all Obama's executive orders).

A passport is a universally accepted form of state identification. As I'm not a driver, I use mine for everything from boarding airplanes to buying beer. It is valid in all 50 states and internationally. It will usually suffice in place of a birth certificate (as proof of citizenship).

Getting a new passport or changing one's passport costs money ($135). If you need to change yours and you can't afford to, I'd be willing to help. There are also resources in the thread on Twitter; I just thought I'd take some of the financial burden off those who are making the offer, since right now I have the means to help a few people directly.

I'm posting this publicly, so if you want to direct friends/loved ones to this information (or to me), go ahead.
songquake: (mm... coffee)
My Banging Birthday gift at Daily Deviant posted today, I just read it, and UNGH. People. I prompted with a Tom Chapin children's song and I got a stunningly gorgeous ode to sapiosexuality.

I reckon it's also down to my own tastes that I got turned on by the title of the first section: "Epistemology." As I commented, there's nothing hotter than a new episteme.

Title: Sesquipedalia
Author:
A Masterful Member
Characters/Pairings: Hermione Granger/Minerva McGonagall, Parvati Patil, Ron Weasley, OCs
Rating: NC-17
Kinks/Themes Included: sapiosexuality
Other Warnings/Content: cross-gen and um, sushi?
Word Count: ~7000
Summary/Description: The story of Hermione Granger's relationship with Minerva McGonagall is polysyllabic



(at some point I might have a Real Update, but yeah, I have no social energy beyond work and Quaker this week, and I've also got a guerilla choir performance on Friday, so...)
songquake: (mm... coffee)
My chorus is doing a concert at Merkin Hall (near Lincoln Center) the evening of Tuesday, March 10. We are performing contemporary settings of Irish folk songs and texts, including some that were arranged/set just for us by members of our chorus.

We are also performing two pieces by Mohammed Fairouz, a young composer we've worked with before. One is his cantata Anything Can Happen, which is a setting of poems by Seamus Heaney. The other is a brand new piece. He actually approached us to be the group to perform this before he started writing it in earnest. It seems to be a setting of WB Yeats's "Second Coming," though he'd actually approached us initially about doing another setting of Heaney's work.

Anyway, tickets are on sale at the Merkin Hall website:
Lightning Illuminates.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
8pm
Merkin Hall/The Kaufman Center
New York City


For those who like choral music but are sick of religious music and going to concerts in churches, this is an opportunity to hear my professional-level volunteer chorus perform secular music in a secular setting :)

I say that, but Anything Can Happen is modern apocalyptic, and uses texts from the Arabic Injeel (the equivalent of the New Testament). But it's not as unrelentingly Christian as our December concert is--Heaney's apocalyptic vision is non-religious (melting glaciers, toppling towers) and descriptive rather than explanatory. The first movement, "In Iowa," can be heard on YouTube here.

Also featured are settings of "Danny Boy," "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?" and "A Pub With No Beer." The last of these I think may be YNYC's new signature song.
songquake: (mm... coffee)
[livejournal.com profile] chibitoaster is in danger of losing her home, and is seeking help to keep it. I don't know her well, but have admired her work in the HP fandom for years. Her story isn't one of poor budgeting, but of her family home having been in probate after her mother's death and the bank demanding the balance of the mortgage as a lump sum.

The donation page is here: http://www.gofundme.com/ranas_house

There's also an auction for her at [livejournal.com profile] fans4fans: http://fans4fans.livejournal.com/501.html Several of my flisties have put items/services up for auction.

This is an issue that's been getting so much space on my flist this week that I thought perhaps I'd just be adding to the noise. But I also know that there are folks on my list that are not in the HP fandom (or the same parts of it). And a signal boost never hurts :)
songquake: (mm... coffee)
Hi, everyone!

Do you live on the eastern seaboard and love beautifully-sung choral music? Have you been saying for years that you'd love to hear me sing, but wish you lived closer, AND you live in the Philly or DC area?

Wait no more! The Young New Yorkers' Chorus is singing in both those cities! Philly on March 6th and DC on March 7th!

The Philadelphia concert is PAY WHAT YOU WISH. The DC concert is a choral festival with a couple of other groups (including the highly-regarded 18th Street Singers) and costs $15.

The deets!

The Young New Yorkers' Chorus ON TOUR

In Philadelphia, PA
Friday, March 7, 2014; 8pm
Church of the Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square
1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Admission: Pay what you wish!

In Washington, DC
Saturday, March 8, 2014; 8pm
Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes
1215 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
Admission: $15
(I assume one can pay in advance, but I haven't got the website for that yet)


Our repertoire this time around includes settings of Seven Shaker Songs, Straheli's "How Can I Keep from Singing?", some William Byrd, and two Christmas-y pieces by past winners of our Competition for Young Composers. Oh, and "Shenandoah." Because we're cheesy traditional like that. :-P There's also a stunning piece by Eriks Esenvalds called "Stars," which breaks most of the singers' hearts open. *nods* And maybe some other stuff. That's what I remember off the top of my head.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

So yes, if you're in either area, please consider coming! It's always funner to sing when I know some folks in the audience, and anyway, we've done a crap job publicizing so far (partly because one of the venue contracts wasn't signed until last week). So I'd LOVE TO HAVE AN AUDIENCE.

And we really do sing very prettily. Even with so many more men than women!

(The men are pretty, too, if you're into that sort of thing. But most of them are gay. And the women are pretty. But most of them are straight. So... Unavailable eye-candy! And me!)

Ambition!

Jan. 4th, 2014 09:25 pm
songquake: (Default)
I think I'm going to aim at NOT festing this year (or, at least, not festing unless I can prove to myself that I can actually Get Shit Done In A Timely Manner), but that said...too many friends were posting their Trope Bingo cards, and I got envious.

Doing some of these, maybe even doing a standard one-row bingo, should be possible, given the extraordinarily generous timeframe over at [community profile] trope_bingo.

friends to lovers / friends with benefitspoor communication skillstrapped in a dreamdeathficfork in the road
locked inhandcuffed / bound togethercharacter in distresssnowed inrites of passage / coming of age
au: college / highschoolfutureficFREE

SPACE
sharing a bedamnesia
role reversalbodyswapin vino veritas / drunkficindecent proposalau: fusion
au: royalty / aristocracy / feudalfood pornau: alternate gender normsimmortality / reincarnationchosen family
songquake: (Default)
This is a public post, which I rarely make, so that people can link to it as desired.

So. My mom got home from another 12-hour shift (she works in emergency management) during the NBC telethon, and said, "Why are all these New Yorkers raising money for the Red Cross when the Red Cross isn't anywhere in the city?"

Apparently the Red Cross is stretched too thin to address the entirety of the Hurricane-affected areas, and has not deployed at all within the five boroughs. (They are doing good work in NJ and Long Island, though.) This includes fire-ravaged Breezy Point (on the Rockaways, and other burnt-down areas around there) and washed away Staten Island and Coney Island.

If you're in the area, there are many grassroots efforts to deliver food and warmth to people whose homes have been rendered unsafe (or just plain power-less). If you're in the area, that's probably the best way to help.

If you're out of NYC but want to help, you can donate to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. From the nyc.gov website:

Donations will support immediate aid needs – including water, food, and hygiene supplies – as well as long-term relief and restoration efforts. One hundred percent of donations are being dispersed to relief organizations and their efforts.


The people who were crying on the TV last night because neither FEMA nor the Red Cross had gotten to the Rockaways or Staten Island? Well, FEMA has finally arrived to Staten Island, but the residents who need them most are the last ones to hear because--no power, no internet, no cell service.

It's bad, folks. My neighborhood was virtually unscathed (though one neighborhood over had 2 people killed by falling tree limbs), but the worst-hit areas are reporting that not only is there a lack of electricity, heat, and power, but that institutional response has been near-nonexistent and that looting has broken out.
songquake: (hp themes ModQuake basic)
If you are looking to get the word out about fantastic holiday-themed fanworks, please clicky on the banner below:



(I've been dreadfully off my game for the past month, and haven't posted a new theme since November, so here's hoping lots of recs come flooding in!)
songquake: (Default)
This post is not intended to substitute for instructions by local governmental officials, nor is it any sort of professional advice. Please use common sense.


11:29pm I started working on this a couple of hours ago, as my mom and I were talking about evacuation plans in NYC and what I needed to be responsible for making sure we had together in the house while she's at work. There's a lot of information, and some of it is contradictory, some of it is confusing. I've tried to assemble and assess the best of what's out there, and put together a handy-dandy guide in case anyone I love is running around trying to get information from the hundreds of sites that are trying to give information to us. My mom doesn't know I'm writing this; don't hold her liable. And of course, everyone should use their own judgment and pay attention to the specific warnings and instructions given for their areas. I'm giving a bit more NYC-specific info because, well, I live here and I'm compulsive about projects once I start them.


8:40pm Okay, so all of Cape May County in NJ has been evacuated (that's 750k residents), and 5 hospitals in NYC are beginning evacuation with a deadline to be cleared of patients by 8pm tomorrow. In NC, Hyde County has been evacuated already.

I'm imagining that folks in the Carolinas (Hurricane Irene is hitting there first, right?) have their information, but generally speaking you can find information about preparing for a hurricane here. I suggest looking at local news sites to learn more about whether evacuations are happening in your area. cnn.com has Open Story: Hurricane Irene, which may be a good place to look if you have no idea where else to start.

If you are in NYC, Mayor Mike has issued this statement about preparations in the area.

Also important in the city is the map of evacuation zones and evacuation centers. Mayor Mike says the evac order decision will be made by 8am Saturday.

La Mamacita is going to be at the Office of Emergency Management command center all weekend—she expects to be leaving for work in the morning and not coming home until the end of the storm (though technically they'll be on 12-hour shifts, she doesn't think she'll be able to get between the command center and our home safely).

If you live in Zone A, find somewhere to go that's not an evac center, just in case. Please. Those places will NOT be conducive to anyone's mental health. Tell your neighbors. If you can get further inland, please do. I think all of you are well-enough connected to find places to stay in the city, but if not, email or text me. Same for LI; I'm not sure where all of you live out there, but please, please PLEASE stay safe.

NYC Evac centers open at 4pm tomorrow, though NYC's coastal homes won't be in "danger" until Saturday evening, it looks like.

If you might need to evacuate, make sure your Go Bag is packed now, before you need to get out. )

Don't wait until the last minute to evacuate. Don't think you're going to be safe driving over a bridge, or through a tunnel, if there is a hurricane.

And this is what you should keep at home, even if you're not evacuating )

As for cell phones: during regional emergencies it's a bitch and a half to get through to anyone. If you need to check in with loved ones and all of you have cell phones, for heaven's sake, text them instead. This will be less frustrating, take less time, and (most importantly) keep the waves free for emergency calls to get through to 911.

Use 911 only if there's an emergency in which life or limb is endangered. Call 311 about the downed tree on your street unless it's collapsed on a human.

If you're in a high-rise, you might need to evacuate even if you're outside the flood zones. NYC officials are recommending that folks pay attention to evacuation orders for their buildings. It may be that folks housed above the 10th floor will need to be evacuated to lower floors of their buildings. Pay attention to local announcements.

On Twitter, NYC information can be followed by following these:
@NotifyNYC (NYC OEM)
@MikeBloomberg
@NYCMayorsOffice
@MTAInsider
@NYC_DOT


This post will not be F-Locked (as soon as I've got it posted), so be careful what you say in the comments, okay friends? Keep it on-topic. I'm leaving it open so I can refer friends on Twitter here.

And everybody, stay safe. I'm almost certainly being overly dramatic about this, but hey, it's how I am sometimes.
songquake: (Default)
Hi, everyone!

I was born in one of the first years of the AIDS crisis—back when it was known as GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), and nobody knew it would become a worldwide, horrific epidemic.

My childhood spanned the 1980's, and I spent it in New York City. My parents lost friends. I helped my mom make quilts for babies with AIDS. My family walked out of church when a priest called AIDS "God's cure for homosexuality."

I participated in my first AIDS Walk in 1991. That was the fifth year of the walk (this year therefore being the 25th), and it was an incredible experience. I was not-quite-thirteen at the time, and walked with my mom and a couple of kids from my Catholic middle school and their parents (the team had been organized by our English teacher, Ms Young).

Since 1991, I have seen AIDS become manageable relative to how it was in the 1980's, but people are still dying, both around the world and here in New York. I'm currently working as a chaplain on the unit set up for treating HIV+ patients at Roosevelt Hospital (it involves comprehensive care with specialized social workers as well as a greater proportion of patients who have contact precautions or are in isolation due to being immunocompromised). I have friends who have contracted HIV, and friends who have died. The crisis isn't over.

I walk most years, and enjoy it. I was pretty much convinced until yesterday that AWNY would take too many spoons and leave me unable to work next week. But I took a long-ish walk yesterday, and think I can at least get to the first subway station at the park exit. So now, a mere three and a half days before the event, I've signed up.

I know many of my friends have little or no money to spare, but those of you who can, I'd greatly appreciate a contribution of any size. The site suggests a donation starting at $25.00USD, but you can fill in any amount.

http://aidswalknewyork2011.kintera.org/bethrkelly


Thanks to everyone who decides to contribute!
songquake: (labyrinth)
Charles M. Blow wrote in the NYTimes yesterday about how huge percentages of Republican Americans believe demonstrably untrue things about President Obama. Following is a graphic of some of the recent polling:

Cut because of size of image )

Never mind that John McCain (President Obama's opponent in the last election) was born in Panama. Being born on an American military installation renders him a "Natural-born Citizen of the United States," and really, though there was a question about how this would be viewed legally, nobody on the other side made a huge deal of this once the Federal Election Commission ruled that he was eligible to run for President.

But what really confuses me is how the president's religious beliefs remain up for question. Hell, not just his religious beliefs, but his fundamental faith alignment. Astonishingly (to me), very few Americans remember that his faith was controversial in the 2008 election—not because of a question of his being a Christian, but because of the kind of Christian he is. Nobody seems to remember how our electorate required Obama to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright and to leave Trinity UCC, where he had been a member since the late 1980s.

While he distanced himself from Rev. Wright and quit Trinity, the fact that he was a member there for nearly 20 years indicates that he agrees (or at least agreed) in the congregation's basic philosophical/theological/political stance: that God is on the side of the poor and oppressed; that God does not desire the suffering of any human, but stands with and gives strength to those who are oppressed; and that it is important, as an African-American megachurch, for Trinity UCC to remain "Unashamedly Black, Unapologetically Christian."

It's a church built on Liberation Theology. It's built on a Christianity in which Christ redeems the slave by showing the possibility of resurrection. Jesus, having been poor, itinerant, revolutionary, and subject to torture, has more in common with Harriet Tubman than with Abraham Lincoln. (This comparison has probably been used before, but I can't cite by whom; it seems like an apt one, though.) This Jesus calls for the oppressed to continue to struggle against injustice, and for those who oppress to give up our sinful ways and become like the lilies of the field who are satisfied with the blessings God's already given us. Those who are well-off have a responsibility to stand with the poor.

I should acknowledge here that Liberation Theology (by way of feminist theology but quickly expanded to Black Liberation, Mujerista, Womanist, Queer, and Disability Theologies) is the reason I have become able to call myself a Christian, and the root of my activism and ministry. I've met Rev. Wright a couple of times, briefly, and have heard him preach. And while I found myself convicted by his words, while his rhetoric can be very "inflammatory" for those who do not believe in God's primary identity as liberator, I have never found his words to be untrue. Unpopular, yes, but not untrue (with its history of oppression, the archetype of America does deserve damnation rather than blessing, though Wright's cry of "God DAMN America" was particularly ill-timed). And hell, Jesus was never really popular, either, especially among the privileged and ruling classes.

America is known as the "land of opportunity," but it has never been, is still not, a land of opportunity for many descendants of slaves as well as for modern-day slaves (victims of labor and sex trafficking), for many women, for many queers (particularly queers of color), for many with disabilities. What Liberation Theology does is promise that this lack of opportunity is not divinely-ordained and give those who subscribe to it strength to struggle against racism, sexism, ablism, ageism, homophobia/heterocentrism and so on.

Okay, that was a nice little digression into Liberation Theology, but I think it's important to describe it because of how far outside of popular Christianity it is. It's controversial stuff, this claim that God is on the side of the poor rather than the rich, that it's Christ the tortured rather than Christ the King who is a model for humans.

A lot of Americsns were pissed off by the media descriptions of Liberation Theology back in 2008. Pundits called it a "heresy."

What I'm saying is that the actual beliefs about God that President Obama likely holds are controversial enough, even though they are Christian. In fact, it's likely that if Obama acted more on the tenets of Liberationism, the percentage of people offended by his religious affiliation would be higher than the percentage who think he is Muslim right now.


...It's been a long time since I have subjected my F-list to a theologically-based discourse. Since I have so many new readers since I finished my Master's Degree in 2007 (friend [livejournal.com profile] songquakebuilds if you want to read my Master's Thesis), I expect there will be some dissent. I encourage conversation, though I think I have exhausted my brain for the moment. Am actually a trifle nervous about posting this, but hell, if this is what I believe...

If I hide my light under a bushel basket, I'm likely to burn the house down.
songquake: (Default)
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0



Though...While I think this is pretty cool to watch, I have to say that I'd participate in his next virtual choir just to say I'd done it. The idea of singing a choral work alone in my room, of not singing it in a room with the rest of a choir... I dunno. It seems wrong to me.

Then again, I haven't listened to Whitacre's TED Talk yet. My guess is he addresses concerns like that. You know, rather than just talking about the idea and the technology involved.

Or at least I hope so. I can't imagine a choral composer (and yes, I know he composes instrumental/chamber works, too; I do follow his Twitter feed) not understanding the lovely organism that is a choir. The Virtual Choir seems somewhat like a Frankenstein being to me.

Eep!

Apr. 8th, 2011 12:41 am
songquake: (Default)
Well, my mom cracked the whip today and I finally finished revising my applications for residency. I'm hoping that I haven't missed the boat on all counts. But just in case, I decided to apply to every CPE residency program in NYC (including one on Staten Island) and one in New Jersey. The programs are:

-New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn (my first choice).
-New York-Presbyterian Hospital System in NYC (though there are also placements outside the city, I don't want to commute to Westchester).
-Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn.
-Eger Health Care and Rehabilitation Center on Staten Island (a very cool program, but on SI).
-VA New York Harbor Healthcare System in Manhattan (though it's unclear as to whether they offer residency at this time).
-Robert Wood Johnson University Center in New Brunswick, NJ (again, a cool program, but fuck, that's a long commute!).

We'll see, we'll see...

And now back to my regularly scheduled panic about fic-fests.
songquake: (Default)
Hi, peeps. I created a new dreamwidth account very early this morning because I was annoyed by the frequent DDoS attacks at LiveJournal. I'll probably be continuing to post at DW but participating in communities at LJ. Right now it seems like the least frustrating way to remain connected.

Feel free to friend me over at DW (or, er, here at DW); I'll likely reciprocate. I'm leaving access open at DW for the time being, at least until the spambots discover it the way they discovered my LJ account.
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 10:06 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios