Monday, July 30, 2007

Jesus, the Guantanamo Years

What if Jesus showed up today, a bearded Middle-Easterner willing to die as a religious martyr, having walked across the Atlantic to deliver Dad's message? He might be interrogated as a suspected terrorist and sent to Guantanamo.

That's the premise for Irish comic Abie Philbin Bowman's one-man show: "Jesus, the Guantanamo Years" ---a surprise hit in Edinburgh, and now an off-Broadway show in Somerville, MA.

Philbin Bowman's main target is Guantanamo prison, something that is "deeply un-Christian," Bowman says. Bowman uses humor to confront US policies of interrogation at the prison.
Bowman says many Christians have seen the show, and almost no one has objected to it as blasphemy.

"I think telling jokes is not quite as blashpemous as torture, for example," he says.

"So much of what Jesus says is applicable to this situation," Bowman says. "' Turn the other cheek.'---it's not about being a wimp....That to me is about understanding that if you fight back with violence, you just create a cycle of violence."

Bowman is interested in engaging American Christians in thinking about what he sees as the profound hypocrisy of fighting terrorism with torture.

"If you really believe in Jesus, how can you live with this?" he asks.

Visit Abie Philbin Bowman at his My Space site:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Danish Page

Crowd O' Danish

Axis of Evil

Raining Danish

Mary Kate & Ashley


Cheese Danish in Shadow


Where No Man Has Gone Before

Enough To Keep You Up Nights

The Democratic senators held an all-night debate on the Iraq war this past Tuesday. The Republicans called it political theater. But maybe it's time for a little theatrics--maybe it's time to lose some sleep over the war. I propose a nation-wide all-nighter---keep the coffee shops open--hold a regular caffeine-fest and war protest all in one. Is anyone with me?

Recently, while reading a Mark Twain story, I was struck by a passage that has a disturbing resonance with events of the present day, even though the story was written over a hundred years ago. In the story, a so-called angel describes what he has observed about the human race and our proclivity towards war.

From, "The Mysterious Stranger", by Mark Twain :

"There has never been a just one--never an honorable one --on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great big dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will out-shout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of these conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. "

- Simone


I am ready to let a new plant come into my life.

I embrace the diversity of my mismatched place settings.

I am eating in a way that supports my health and secret fears.

I take only the green and blue pills.

I am happy and relaxed about my growing stack of unpaid bills.

My material surroundings are serene and organized by color and weight.

I am resorting to fisticuffs only when efforts to reason have failed.

I bring joy to the office as well as danish.

I am having a good day at work and am ignoring that old demon rum that calls my name.

Image is “Circles”, an art quilt at

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Push Reel Mower Superiority Rant

An Eco-Rant for the Clean Air Crowd

All you gas fume-spewing turbo freaks
You make me sick
You make me sick
Stinkin’ up the subdivision
With your GAS and NOISE
Whilst I trim my lawn
In sweet silence
It’s a civil silence that you will never know
You with your motorized beasts
Crunching everything in sight
I choke on your air

I choke on your air
You fling rocks from the blade
While I sweetly snip the heads of daisies
Mine is an act of meditation
Yours is a roar
An ego-driven, roar of depravity
A machine of immolation
Yours is the aggressive strong arm of war
The testosterone-crazed hawkish delight
You charge through a quiet summer day
Holding us all captive
With your GAS and your NOISE
Flexing your muscle
Showing off your horsepower
Striking fear in the hearts of small bunnies
Assaulting that which you seek to tame
Stinkin’ up the subdivision
An act of savagery
It ain’t neighborly

The Rainy Season

It was the rainy season. Our outside activities ceased and we were driven indoors. We could do little but brew coffee and eat warm danish. It was a taxing time. We circled the warm danish like animals. We’d occasionally leave the fluorescent light of the danish room and go up to look out the windows at the rain. It made us hungry for more danish. We kept busy brewing coffee when the pot got low. We watched the pot, watched the level. The coffee pot grew loud as it perked, drowning out the rain, but only for a moment. For a moment we thought the rain had stopped, and that we were a bunch of idiots surrounded by stryofoam cups and 300 danish. But then we heard the rain again, and went back to what we were doing. We counted the danish periodically, and lined them up in neat rows. We organized a search for more creamer. We wondered what it would be like to have blueberry danish, since we only had cherry. No one spoke of it, but you could see it in their eyes.

Breaking Free on the Fourth

It was July 4th. In the evening. During that vague, undefined hour after the cookout but before the fireworks. Our hamster sensed the lull and co-opted the holiday for her own personal gain.

“Let freedom ring!”, she squeaked. And busted out of her play pen.


The easy-fold metal panels were 9 inches high. The play pen - painted in “fun multi-colors” — was designated for small animals that do not hop or jump. We’d assumed that meant Teddy Rosabell. We were wrong. Turning our backs for only minutes, we found her wire corral closed tight, but no hamster. She must have leapt over the side! Or sprouted wings. Or summoned ministering hamster angels to assist.

We stared in disbelief, no sign of her anywhere. No sound. She was quieter than the mouse who sublets a hole in the kitchen. Her cage and bedding looked unkempt and desolate without her tiny brown form giving it coherence and meaning. We waited, but she was a vanished, vaporous thing. Flash! Gone. A memory. Just like that –she had leapt over the side. Cleared 9 inches. Who knew we had the Evil Knieval of rodents? We pricked our ears for rooting, scratching noises. She was as absent and soundless as fluff.

We mourned her disappearance on the way to the fireworks. Set up our lawn chairs in true American fashion, though our hearts were hamster-laden. In every explosion we saw little hamsters flying. When we got back hours later, we opened the front door, hopeful, expectant. Scanned the hardwood floor. Rosie’s wheel sat motionless, suspended, the ride shut down. Still no sign of her.

The children wept. I tucked them in, singing a cheery lullaby of the hamster’s return. Slept on the couch, dreamt uneasy dreams of small, furry beasts catapulting across a multi-colored, easy-fold sky…until I heard it –the tiny mouth pulling on her water bottle. Quick snapped on the light and caught her red-handed. Picked her up and patted her. Our eyes met for the first time. Man and furry rodent. She stared at me, unblinking as I stroked her fur.

A new understanding between us. She had tasted liberty, adventure, tested her mettle. She had known freedom. But I had the goodies. She snatched my tiny offering of cantaloupe with lightening speed, and greedily stuck it into her cheek.