Tuesday, August 26, 2003

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this?
And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.''

- Einstein, 1937

...there is no cat

Monday, August 25, 2003

well. so much for the British Royal Family. you'd think that Prince William would have had more sense and compassion than to kill a dik-dik. I've seen this little critters, when we went to Kenya 2 1/2 years ago. they are SO CUTE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

oh. it did post the first time! oh well, an interesting comparison of rewriting something from memory...
nah, can't let it go. this is what I'd like to write to him:

Dear A: it seems to me that your problem is not so much with me as with different representations and manifestations of faith. If Sara wants to promote the concept of "WTFWJD" on her blog, I'd see it as her way of raising that constant question of Christianity of how best to follow Jesus. She is an actual person who really is considering joining the clergy, so I think she'd be shocked at your reading that she has an ''addiction to making fun of Christianity."

I notice that you sponsor a Christian radio station. Perhaps this is why you took exception to my introduction. The fact is that overtly promotional music, writing etc of any kind is rarely listened to by outsiders; what makes Sara different is her sense of perspective and humour and this makes it more likely she'll "connect" with non-Christians, in my opinion. It also makes the blog a good read, which is the main reason I wrote about it.

As to the question of the value of the space: editorial space is not for sale. Threats to do with advertising have never been influential with decent newspaper editors, and I hope they never will be.

I notice that your business is engaged in a kind of tithing, for which I admire you. I also notice that we have both recently donated to the same cause; just something to think about.

I'm concerned that you chose Islam as your example of another religion you say I wouldn't target; I do hope you're not suggesting that Muslim people are somehow more deserving of attack. At any rate, if a similarly amusing and well-written and thoughtful blog from a Muslim person came to my attention, I certainly would cover it; in the past I have written columns on religious blogs covering Islam, Christianity, Buddhism etc.

Finally, on a personal level, I am upset to see that you have copied your email to several people unconnected with the editing of the article, including people at companies I deal with professionally, while not sending the email to me. I believe this is unwarranted, and given that you accuse me of cowardice and religious prejudice, also defamatory. I hope that after a careful rereading of my article and Sara's blog you can see your way clear to writing to those people, with whom your opinion may carry some weight, with a different view, rather than letting the unfounded attack on my character stand.
nah. can't let it go. this is what I'd like to say to him:

Dear A: it seems to me that your problem is not with me, but with different representations and manifestations of faith. if Sara wants to promote the question "wtfwjd", that's how she wants to get the message of Jesus' example across to a world that sometimes has trouble listening. You may not like it, but I found it different and original enough to be worthy of note. I also made a point of describing her obviously very real moments of enlightenment.

I'm concerned that you picked Islam as your counter-example. AFAIK, the Muslims have had quite enough fun poked at them recently; but if a genuine and amusing Islamic blog written by one of that faith came my way, I'd cover it.

I notice that you sponsor a Christian radio station. maybe that's why you took offence at my opening line. I also know that such stations are generally "preaching to the converted", which is what most Christian blogs do, and what makes Sara's different; she writes well and in a way that is likely to draw in non-Christians to at least think about the path she's travelling. I also notice that in recent months you've done some charity work, that your business carriedsout a kind of tithing, for which I admire you, and that you've recently donated to at least one cause that I have also donated to. Just something to think about.

As to the question of advertising and the value of the space: a) our editorial space is not for sale, and b) threats and actions to do with withdrawing ads have never affected decent editors. So don't bother.

Finally, on a personal level, I am upset that you have chosen to CC: your email, in which you accuse me of cowardice and religious prejudice, to several people unconnected with the editing of the article, especially those at firms with which I work regularly in my professional capacity, while not sending it to me personally. I believe that this action was unwarranted and defamatory of me. I hope you can see your way clear, after a careful re-reading of my article and of Sara's blog, to writing again to these people with a retraction, rather than letting your attack on my reputation, which may carry some weight with those individuals, stand uncorrected.

and I wonder how Sara would feel about being described as addicted to making fun of Christianity?
oh never mind. let it go...
The original article: BLOGON


Blogging for Jesus

Christian blogs are often the textual equivalent of Christian rock, but Going Jesus is one of the notable exceptions.

After all, how many Christian rock songs feature the f-word, as this blog entry does:

"I am just tired. Really f---g tired and fried."

The blog is set in a renamed parish named St Ned's, after The Simpson's pious Ned Flanders. It is written by a blogger named Sara who is on the "ordination track'' - working towards formal admission to the clergy.

In the meantime, she is working as a church secretary getting a hands-on feel for the ministry and struggling with her Bible studies schedule.

Sara pokes fun at the attempts of other sites to update the Bible as a kind of funky advice magazine for confused teens and shops for her cross-shaped jewellery at a website called Kiss My Ring.

She notes that the requirements for acceptance to the ministry include "imagination and openness to new ideas, emotional maturity, stability and self-discipline, potential for leadership, ability to get along with others and (a good) attitude towards authority''.

She writes: "I knew I shouldn't have been running around with scissors in my teeth, screaming Get Away From Me!!!!! at everyone who came into the office last week. I knew that would come back to bite me in the butt. Oh, wait, that didn't actually happen, that was just a fantasy sequence while I was working on the newsletter."

Sara describes her moments of being called by God as "those 'Jesus throws a sandal at the back of my head' moments'' and comes out with poignant descriptions of how it feels to walk with her God: "I realised that, physically, I feel like there's a great deal more space inside my chest. Like my chest is on hinges and could fly open at any moment (this may explain why it's so hard for me to find a bra that really fits), releasing ... I don't know what. Something good, anyway.''

Another time, Sara writes: "I'm just so glad I'm not alone in this life (my inner nasty atheist sneers, 'yes, you have your little imaginary friend Jesus' and then I whack her on the head) and that God works in my life through other people."

If the mix of genuine belief and overworked irony looks familiar, you may have seen an earlier blog - Going Bridal - in which Sara was a candidate for another kind of lifelong commitment. The wedding fell through in the end.

But you can still support Sara's mission - whatever that is - at her online store, which has added T-shirts asking "WTFWJD?" to its range of Bridezilla merchandise. A clue: part of the question is "What ... Would Jesus Do?"


The blog in question: goingjesus

The letter, copied to two editors at my paper, plus a number of people who work at companies I deal with regularly, such as IBM, Telstra etc, which among other things accuses me of religious bias and calls me a coward:

"Subject: Jenny Sinclair's "Blogon" Article.

Dear Editors,

I was appalled to read Jenny Sinclair's article "Blogon" in the Livewire
section of the Green Guide. I fail to see why so much space was devoted to a
piece describing someone's addiction to making fun of Christianity. Lately
I contemplated advertising in the Greenguide and received costings. From a
rough estimate she used more than $1000 worth of space to write this junk.
As the editors, how could you let this happen? What was the motive?
Isn't it funny how she focuses on Christianity? Let's see her write about
people who make fun of Islam and point out where to buy t-shirts that make
fun of Allah. Coward.
Why don't you people use your talents to write articles to challenge and
inspire, rather than degrade?

P.S. I will no longer advertise in the Green Guide."

waddaya think? should I sue? I have left the man's name off this, but it really worries me when the messenger is shot, and the original message is clearly tongue-in-cheek, if genuinely felt. or am I wrong? have I misrepresented the blog and undermined Christianity as a foundation of Western civilisation, thereby abusing my position in the Fourth Estate?
why am I not blogging? well, this morning at 6:45 am, the alarm went off. as I moved to turn it off, I triggered a KILLER cramp in my left leg (pregnancy side effect). it took five minutes to unfreeze my calf. at 7:00 the bobcat driver turned up to get his machine, and I had to ask him to remove one last giant chunk of concrete and engage in general concrete-removal chitchat. somewhere in there had a shower and breakfast, and get dressed for work, all the while keeping an eye on the front door for expected arrival of electrician. at 8:00 after two prior calls got through to vet re: dog's eye, which has been acting strangely. they said bring him in now and they'd have a quick look. left house at 8.08, got dog looked at and further vet advice, returned at 8.23. no electrician. locked up house, put dog in bedroom (low light is good for the eye), left our street at 8.31. arrived at market at 8.48. fed meter. Andrew rang at 8.52 while I was trying to take money out of the bank for the shopping. he told me the electrician had turned up at 8.15 and left within 5 minutes after failing to raise him on the phone, and not bothering to ring me. I got distracted during all this, used wrong card, machine ate my Visa card. got off phone. bought donut and decaf coffee, bread, cheese, couple of vegies. got back to car at 9.28. Drove 1k to workplace, but it took about 20 minutes because there was a tram broken down across the intersection, complete with idiot drivers behind me trying to force me to go through a red light after circumventing tram. got into work car park (the one work benefit of being pregnant, and compensation for no longer being able to ride my bike in), changed my shoes, arrived in office at 9:50. fired computer up, called bank's main number while checking email and deleting spam. bank can't help with the card. have to ring a branch. branch informs me that no, I can't have my Visa card back. I have to cancel it. ring to cancel it, am informed that a new account will be created and all my direct debits will die, necessitating that I a) work out who's taking $$ from the account and b) notify them of the change in writing. this is because the bank uses contractors, not staff ,to empty the machines; they will just throw my card away. hang up phone, complain to colleague. phone rings. it's someone I need to interview. I can't face it, beg off for five minutes to visit loo/buy fresh water, call back. spend 40 minutes on the phone (you can't hurry artists). start writing up interview. remember I need to email builder re: electrician and the need for him to call, and why did he turn up after 8 anyway, did he think we'd be there all morning? now trying to arrange photo of artist while worrying about how long it will take Andrew, who was rear-ended in my MX5 at the weekend (not his fault) to arrange to get it fixed.

oh, and the plumber putting the toilet in the pub has let me down. and tomorrow morning I have five tradies turning up, six urgent calls to make, and need to get paint samples. that's my "day off". hah! and you expect me to take time to BLOG?

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

have won FIVE tickets to the Blues Train at the Queenscliff Music festival.

well great. normally I'd love to. but it has to be taken when I'm either 36 or 37 weeks pregnant. and it's on a train that runs till 11.30 at night. and no doubt there will be drinking and carrying on.

what to do? wonder if I can find someone who has a place at Queenscliff who'd let me use a room in exchange for tickets?

Thursday, August 14, 2003

well hel-lo? so finally we have a court saying that indefinite detention of asylum seekers is illegal.

how about immoral? especially when some of them are children.

oh, and btw? I hereby declare this blog "fair and balanced"

Thursday, August 07, 2003

stupid westpac. just spent 1/2 an hour working out bsbs etc to make regular payments to my comm. a/cs and at the end I realise they're going to slug me $2.50 for EACH ONE EACH TIME!!
so instead I'll go on and hand-process them every fortnight or month. which will be just as much if not more strain on their computer systems. $2.50 for a computer to flick a switch? I don't think so.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

erk. blogger seems to spit out the new interface at random.

today's thought: the only thing worse than a sealed airconditioned office when you have a cold is a sealed office where they've turned the a/c off. I don't think I'm going to last the day. one needs air, you know.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

due to the complete incompetence of NameZero, whom I won't dignify with a link, the url of .com is now a poster shop. I won't link to that either, in the hope that one day they might give up using it, but they will probably get enough hits to make it worthwhile. I don't care that much, really, but it's annoying: I tried three times to pay the bastards to renew it, and they just ignored me, and I guess I wasn't organised enough - yes I have been busy - to get it transferred.
I have a couple of other URLS that I was using for vaguely uni-related projects, one of which expires soon. luckily I managed to move them to dotster, who seem to be able to read emails sent to them. I was meaning to transfer the one, but it ain't happening now. maybe I'll just get the .net version. at least it's not a porn site. yet.

today has been a sick day. on top of the pelvis, I picked up the husband's cold. normally I'd struggle into work the first day or two, then collapse; this time I just took today off, did a little Web-based work, etc and hopefully I'll be OK tomorrow.