Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lest We Forget

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." And he asked them, "Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?"

Within the now-famous address is what historian Philip S. Foner has called "probably the most moving passage in all of Douglass' speeches."

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Timothy, On The Sofa To Damascus

Saturday Morning 6:59am

The rustle of feathers,"I am the Lord thy God!." the bearded man sat across from Timothy in the lounge chair in his living room.
"Well you certainly look the part." Timothy replied, "A lot more convincing than the guy yesterday."
"Yesterday?" Christ furrowed his brow.
"Yeah, yesterday a guy in robes and ...hey, don't you know all about my yesterday? You're like God, and all, right?"
"I am the Lord thy God, yep, sure am." Jesus scanned the room,"Sorta dark in here."
"It's barely seven am on a Saturday," Timothy offered,"I usually sleep in. Uh, pardon my asking but you don't seem all that God-like, all-knowing and all..."
"I am the Lord-" He began.
"...yeah , thy God, I got that, "Timothy replied." Maybe you should get that printed on a T-shirt or embroidered on a pillow you could point to, less repetition that way."
Christ gestured and a small card-table appeared between them. "Let's arm wrestle." Jesus began rolling up the sleeve of his robe.
"How could that be fair?" Timothy pressed."Allmighty God, etc., etc..."
"Would you just humor me?"
"Jesus needs humoring? Is this a typical Saturday for you or are you feeling a little off?"
"Just put up or shut up!"Christ planted his right elbow on the table.
"Whatever."Timothy grasped his hand and slammed Jesus' hand on the table.
"Best two outta three?"Jesus asked.
"I need coffee."Timothy went to the kitchen.
"No seriously, I wasn't ready."
Timothy re-entered the room. "I've got to tell you that this isn't how I pictured you, uh...behaving, Lord. I guess I thought, I don't know, more flash and thunder clapping."
"I'm trying a new approach," Christ absently stroked his beard,"More 'down to Earth.' No pun intended."
"You're not doing yourself any favors."Timothy ducked back into the kitchen.
"D'you need any help with the coffee?" Jesus asked.
"No thanks, I've got it."

Part II - Timothy, On The Sofa To Damascus, Again

The sputter of the coffee maker came from the kitchen.
"So how do you take your coffee?" Timothy asked from the kitchen.
"None for me, thanks" Christ replied.
Timothy leaned in from the kitchen, "I have an assortment of teas. Some are de-caf if you're avoiding caffeine?"
"It's not the caffeine. It's just, well I'm not entirely corporeal right now?" Jesus explained.
Timothy frowned, "I don't understand..."
"Corporeal is just another word for Physical, made of flesh -"
Timothy interrupted," I know what the word means. I'm just confused that you're not 'entirely corporeal' - we just arm-wrestled. I felt your hand."
"Why do you think you won so easily?"Jesus asked.
"You don't get to the Gym very often..."
"Very cute. I'll forgive you for that one." Jesus smiled.
"Thanks, I mean sincerely, thanks Lord."
An awkward silence was broken by Jesus," I'm just partly physical right now. I'm not supposed to manifest myself fully until my Second Coming. 'Til then. I can make these semi-corporeal appearances. See, I'm just physical on the outside guts for coffee or musculature for arm-wrestling."
"So why did you challenge me to arm-wrestling? You even wanted to go two out of three?" Timothy pressed.
"I was hoping to psych you out. I'm Jesus, some people are more overwhelmed than you."
Timothy reentered, coffee mug in hand. "I guess I have a high 'awe threshold' or something. Plus there was the guy yesterday, with the same 'I am the Lord thy God' routine. Come to think of it, he had a lightning and thunder show that was pretty impressive."
"What made you think He wasn't Me?" Jesus asked.
"He had curly red hair and he wasn't wearing robes and sandals. He was wearing a black skin-tight body suit, knee-high boots. More MATRIX than First Century Galilee."
"I have a lot of imitators." Christ shook his head.
"I guess I never gave that much thought," Timothy sipped at his still hot coffee.
"So what have you got planned for the day?" Jesus asked.
"Usual Saturday stuff - TV, grocery store, write on my blog...nothing exciting. Why?"
"I just thought I'd hang out with you for the day. Should I change out of these robes?"
Timothy thought," Naw, I buy my groceries at a co-op, very hippie-dippy, earth-shoe, granola crowd. You'll fit right in."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Take A Trip In The Epistle WAY-BACK MACHINE!

It's back in the time stream 2 years. Phil Spector's wig, Kate Bush, Gary Numan, The Curses of Verses Parts I through ? Stigmata, Pathos, Humor, Horror & Homos lots of Homos.