Friday, September 28, 2007

Barack Back in Town

Obama was back in New York City last night. This time I didn't have to travel to Brooklyn to see him; he came to me. More than 24,000 people packed into Washington Square Park, surrounded on all sides by the NYU campus, to hear him speak.

While in class, we could faintly hear his voice and then explosions of applause and cheers. As soon as class let out, I hurried to the park to join in. The last time I was part of a crowd this excited and energized was a U2 concert!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

When Christians Attack

Comedian Kathy Griffin is the latest to feel the scalding wrath of Christianity's elite Jesus Protection Program.

During an acceptance speech at the recent Creative Emmy Awards, Griffin said, "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. This award is my God now!"

Sure, Griffin's words were ridiculous at best and to some, certainly offense at worst. But the response from members of Tennessee's Miracle Theater is the most disgusting of all. The Christian theater troupe posted an ad in USA Today condemning Griffin's speech, saying the group’s members were offended by jokes about Jesus, and such vulgarity cannot be tolerated.

Really!? I mean, really!? As far as I'm concerned Miracle Theater, the only vulgarity here is the fact that you spent $90,000 of, what I'm sure you consider the Lord's money, on something as preposterous and self-righteous as a newspaper ad. Can you imagine what a $90,000 gift could have meant to a local homeless shelter, missionary organization, AIDS clinic, inner-city church, etc...

Who has done more damage to the cause and work of Christ here? A second-rate comedian looking for a cheap laugh or a hypocritical group of pompous religious windbags who wouldn’t recognize the priorities of Christ even if He wrote them down for them. Oh, wait…

Veggie Tales

I am quickly falling in love with the American farmer’s market.

Whether it be in New York City’s Union Square, or Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle—the two cities in which I divide my time—I find a stroll through a farmer’s market to be a surprisingly moving and deeply satisfying experience.

Maybe it has something to do with the sheer variety and creativity of the produce—why do we call the big box stores “super”markets when there is nothing super about their selections in comparison to these outdoor stalls?

Maybe it has something to do with the organic nature of the offerings—fruits, vegetables and meats free of the pesticides and preservatives that have become a nearly inseparable part of our food consumption.

Maybe it is the undeniable beauty of the offerings—brightly lit produce in shapes and sizes and colors that I find simply gorgeous to behold.

Maybe it is because I gain some sort of liberal satisfaction from dropping my cash into the very same hands of the farmers who pulled or plucked the bounty from the earth.

Or maybe it is because choosing the food from such places speaks to me on a far more primal level. Such markets both enthrall and pain me because I recognize those deficiencies in my daily habits that an urban lifestyle rarely accommodates. It reminds me how far from the earth I live and how much on which I miss out. The closest I come to growing my own food is a basil plant in the windowsill.

As a child, my grandparent’s vegetable garden seemed such an anachronistic throwback, unnecessary and redundant. Now it is an enviable earthy shrine. To nurture, tend, cultivate, harvest and ingest something I planted with my own two hands is a dream…a simple dream…I have.
Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus