Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lovely Day

On Wednesday I went to the Students for Justice in Palestine weekly meeting at UC Berkeley. It was a great group of people. We all went around and introduced ourselves and said why we were there, and what superpower we want. One guy before me nabbed mine-the ability to freeze time and get everything done that you need to do. I think most of the time that would mean taking a long nap.

We also played Palestine Jeopardy, which officially made it the best activist meeting I've ever been to. What artist recently cancelled his performance at the Friends of the IDF Fundraiser in LA? Stevie Wonder!

Anyways, it was great to soak up that energy, and volunteer some future time to their tabling, flyering, event-attending...they're showing 5 Broken Cameras next week, and having a discussion with people who've been to the demonstrations against the wall in the West Bank. That would be really interesting to go to, I could find a lot of mutual friends there.

Here's a trailer for the documentary about the Berkeley SJP passing their divestment resolution. I haven't seen it yet but it looks fascinating.

"This not only student politics. What you are doing is taking place in the real world...."

"Pressure Points" trailer from Metier Productions on Vimeo.

Conversations of people walking by me at UC Berkeley:

"I just put some tofu and vegetables and sautee some brown rice..."

"And then you your mace..."
"Nah I have a taser"
"Good job! I'm not even gonna, wow..."

"And they were all eating crab, I guess that's like, a big thing..."

After the meeting I walked around campus a little bit. Around the main square there was an a capella group singing to passersby. That was really cool to see, and it made me miss my old grup in college. They were singing this song:

I didn't even know there was a version after Bill Withers, and how I could've possibly missed this 90's gem....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wadi Fouqin

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with the Save Wadi Fouqin group in Alameda, across the Bay. Save Wadi Fouqin is a mission of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, and they have a great group of people, led by Pastor Michael Yoshii, advocating for the little village that sits in the path of Israel's separation wall. I didn't know that the village has an alliance with an Israeli town just across the line. The wall threatens to cut that connection.

It was great to talk about advocacy and social media and play off each other's energy, and now I'd like to promote their Lenten campaign!

40 Days of Love.

I love Wadi Fouqin because.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pastor Shawn on Mardi Gras

I had to post this because Pastor Shawn (from my old congregation First Grace) is shouting out my home city.

It's weird to see people posting pictures from Mardi Gras on Facebook, and not being there. I only celebrated one Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but I still feel like I own it.

But this is well-said. Everyone owns Mardi Gras.

“Your Cadillac ain’t no hipper than my bus stop.”
The gospel according to native son,
Mac Rebennack (Dr. John)
Fat Tuesday People,

And so the story goes (and it may just be that...)
You may not know the name, Paul Allen, but surely you know his business Partner Bill Gates.  The two of them founded one of those little tech companies—Microsoft.  In a chance conversation this week, I was told the story like this…Mr. Allen, who now owns the Seattle Seahawks and just about anything he wants to own, brought himself and 300 of his closest friends to New Orleans the first weekend of 2013 Carnival to celebrate his birthday.  All stayed at a posh downtown, St. Charles Ave Hotel.  So good so far…Somewhere on the first Friday night of parading, Mr. Allen called for limo service for himself and friends.  How do you convince someone from Seattle with a million dollars in his back pocket that no personal treasure can stop a Mardi Gras Parade, but rather that Mardi Gras Parades, and sometimes just one brass band in the street can stop a whole fleet of Cadillacs.  Mardi Gras reality affects us all differently, but at some magical moment we all realize we are just another reveler looking for a pottie.  It’s not that Mr. Allen does not own Mardi Gras—he does.  But, he owns Mardi Gras like a kid with a ladder owns Mardi Gras.  We all own Mardi Gras. 

There is so much more to say, but for now…it is 11:58 PM.  Tomorrow on Fat Tuesday, my nine year old daughter will be dressed up like a “butterfly bird” in a handmade costume (thank you Adrienne Rathert), my 6 year old son will be a “reading egg”, my 29 year old wife is still working on three different costumes trying to decide which will weather the weather best, and I will be “the man in purple.”  Tomorrow we will wiggle our way through a city in which nearly all forms of commerce have been suspended, and static, worldly relational boundaries that no law can change will be gleefully grayed.  Revelers will pose for pictures, children will feel like queens and kings and joy will be the language.   It’s not heaven, but it is Mardi Gras.

Be good to yourself and happy Mardi Gras,
Pastor Shawn

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'll Cover You

I watched the second half of RENT on the elliptical today, starting with this scene. This is the one that always gets me verklempt.

My dad took me to see the show when I was a senior in high school and I became obsessed with it and memorized the soundtrack. When I got to college there were a few girls on my dorm floor who'd done the same, and we had Take Me or Leave Me and La Vie Boheme singing sprees.

I don't remember when the movie came out, but my dad and I went to see it, and at the end of I'll Cover You, where Collins and Angel kiss, the row of boys behind us erupted with "ahhhhh gross, ohhhhh man, that's so nasty, duuuuuude."

My face went red. I wanted to smack them. Why did they even want to watch this movie?

How about love, measure in love....