December 23rd, 2008

Zach on a swing!!

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote!!

I love this story by Truman Capote.  

A Christmas Memory

by Truman Capote





Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.

A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln's, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. "Oh my," she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, "it's fruitcake weather!"

The person to whom she is speaking is myself. I am seven; she is sixty-something, We are cousins, very distant ones, and we have lived together—well, as long as I can remember. Other people inhabit the house, relatives; and though they have power over us, and frequently make us cry, we are not, on the whole, too much aware of them. We are each other's best friend. She calls me Buddy, in memory of a boy who was formerly her best friend. The other Buddy died in the 1880's, when she was still a child. She is still a child.


Collapse )
space - pillars of creation

Jon Carroll -

Here is an excellent column by Jon Carroll on the subject of marriage.  I do find it more than disappointing that Obama chose this issue to show he wants to be inclusive in this country. 

Jon Carroll:

Here's a lovely quote you may wish to put in your scrapbook:

"For 5,000 years, every culture and every religion - not just Christianity - has defined marriage as a contract between men and women. There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called 'gay marriage.' Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC, oppose watering down the definition of marriage. ... Of course, my longtime opposition is well known. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue. ... This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to vote yes on Proposition 8 - to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don't forget to vote!"

There's so much wrong with that quote, I don't know where to start. Islam, a reasonably well-known religion, has defined marriage as a contract between one man and as many as four women. I note that the speaker skillfully slides over that well-known custom; would he, one wonders, support a law allowing for polygamous marriages, since it is sanctioned by a popular monotheistic religion? No, he's just cherry-picking.

Homosexuality was and is permitted in many cultures around the world. Even where it is not sanctioned, it is common and tolerated. Sometimes it is forced underground, turning gay people into criminals and making them more susceptible to both blackmail and disease. Does the speaker believe that criminalizing that private and nonviolent behavior constitutes an action of Christian charity?

The Bible also allows for slavery and the stoning of adulterous wives. Would the speaker support those holy injunctions? God has clearly spoken about them, if you believe the Bible to be the word of God. But apparently God has a kind of variable infallibility index. The speaker is cherry-picking again.


Collapse )</div>