The Vatican has had it with the nuns. You know those sisters, so radical. They've been spending their time working on behalf of the poor and fighting economic injustice! An outrage. Well, now they've been reprimanded. They were told they've not been sufficiently outspoken against contraception, abortion and gay marriage.
Just when the Catholic Bishops and the Vatican seem like they've done themselves in, they do something even worse than I would've imagined.
They seem to think now is a good idea to come down on the nuns, just when the cases against the priests about sex abuse is ramping up again, and there are more and more outrageous examples of the higher ups covering up, not reporting the abuse to the proper authorities, and generally behaving heinously. This is the time they've chosen to go after the nuns.
And... Oh yeah. Plus the contraception matter! They're refusing to comply with the health care mandate that requires employers to provide contraception coverage to their employees. They're saying it's a "religious freedom." Yes, freedom. They want the freedom to force their dogma on people who don't want it.
Do they ever wonder why their married, child-bearing-age employees don't have a baby every single year?
I mean, it's actually kind of funny. It's like a guy who tripped, and then fell on his leg and broke it off, and while in pain and trying to recover, decides to distract people from watching him, so arranges for an anvil to drop on his head. The Catholic Church as... Bugs Bunny!
Personally, I think they've made a serious miscalculation.
My friends Annie Laurie and Dan at the Freedom From Religion Foundation asked me to do a little ad for them about the contraceptive coverage issue, and I did it on Monday. When it's put together I'll post it here on my blog.
But enough about that for now. I'm just about to take off on a two week trip - a week in Spokane, and then a week in Los Angeles, so this is gonna be short....
Let's get onto books and movies for the month of May 2012
I read three books last month.
1.) The Swerve: How The World Became Modern, written by Stephen Goldblatt
2.) State of Wonder, written by Ann Patchett
3.) In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, written by Erik Larson
I loved all three, especially Swerve, which made me want to write a monologue based on the book so I could perform it. It's all about a poem by Lucretius, who was a follower of Epicurus, and how a medieval antique book hunter came upon it in an out-of-the-way monastery in the 1400s and basically saved it for all humanity. It really underscores the haphazardness of what was saved and what was not, at the same time that it shows us how much art and wisdom there was and how important it is for us now to hear the voices of the ancients who, while they did not have our scientific information, had great insights into the true nature of life and how it could best be lived.
Bottom line seems to be: let go of superstition...
State of Wonder was a wonder, and I even got to go to a lecture by Ann PAtchett, put on by my local library. She was articulate, funny, smart, and her talk gave me even more insight into her novel, which manages to be pulpy and high literature all at the same time.
In the Garden was good too - god, I love Erik Larson. And the story took me to the heart of things when Hitler was just gathering the forces that would come to full frightening fruition in his dictatorship.
Here are the movies I watched last month:
1.) Tiny Furniture, 2010, directed by Lena Dunham
2.) In the Land of Blood and Honey, 2011, directed by Angelina Jolie
3.) Love Letters, 1945, directed by William Dieterie
4.) Kind Hearts & Coronets, 1949, directed by Robert Hamer
5.) Humpday, 2009, directed by Lynn Shelton
6.) The Wizard of Oz, 1939, directed by Victor Fleming
7.) My Effortless Brilliance, 2008, directed by Lynn Shelton
8.) Portrait of Jennie, 1948, directed by William Dieterie
9.) Come and Get It, 1936, directed by Howard Hawks and William Wyler
10.) Ministry of Fear, 1944, directed by Fritz Lang
11.) Lake Tahoe, 2008, directed by Fernando Eimbcke
Wow. A pretty good month for movies.
Most memorable prize goes to "Come and Get It." I'd seen it in college, but it was just as good if not better than I remember it. "Tiny Furniture" caused me to have a more complicated relationship with Lena Dunham's show "Girls" on HBO. I didn't like it as much and it was weird, like "Tiny Furniture" let me see how the sausage is probably made on "Girls." Which made me not like "Girls" as much. I have very mixed feelings about it all. I mostly love the show. But I kinda wished I hadn't seen "Tiny Furniture." Odd. I'm still not sure why I feel this way.
Mulan watched "The Wizard of Oz" with me on Mother's Day. We had a really fun afternoon watching it.
Angelina Jolie's movie also stayed with me a long time - it's grim, very very grim. She's ambitious as a director and I appreciate that. The actors are very good.
Oh Lord, I've got to go. A cab is coming in an hour and I have to pack. Well, I suppose the summer has really really started now. Until next month...