Friday, April 22, 2011


People believe what they feel makes them belong in their skin.  Belief is personal.

Religion is the practice of applying/imposing one's own belief to/upon the lives of others.  Religion is social.

Belief is non-threatening, non-engaging socially.  It's one's own coping mechanism, and operates quietly within the most intimate confines of one's inner life.

Religion is culture, and is woven into and through a society.  Religion brings tension close behind, like a dutiful sister-in-tow:  It seeks conflict by its very nature, and speaks of its own interest.  And conflict always comes.  Sides are formed over lines in the proverbial sand...

Ozzy Osbourne, in his song "Rock N' Roll", sings, "Rock n' Roll is my religion and my law".  This bold, jagged line flies in the face of our organized, denominational, sectarian monotheistic society with its forward sentiment and matter-of-fact, challenging delivery.  Rock n' roll is and always has been about rebellion, and the throwing off of artificial mores and behaviors of the prevailing popular culture.  This is especially true as relates to the ordering of such social straitening established by the religious authorities-at-large with threats of eternal separation from God, in their constant and vigorous attempts to homogenize society and discourage the cultivation of personal identity, free thought, social interaction and innovation.  People are easier to herd about, after all, when they are made to behave like a "flock" of simple creatures with a common idea.  In "Rock N' Roll" Mr. Osbourne declares his conflict with, and throws a stone in the path of what he sees as an oppressive prevailing popular culture, by means of his own diametrically-opposed, perhaps desperation-driven counter-culture.  Leave it to the Brits to put a humorous spin on the bitter pill of torment-borne cynicism.

Religion is social...

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I always refer to the coming of springtime as the "onset" of spring, as opposed to the "advent".  This is because it tends to be a long, slow, anti-climactic curve into warm weather, replete with all the environmental disruptions that naturally accompany such long, slow changes in the natural world.

The prevailing temperature segues from really really freezing to "temperate"- 50s or so into April, bringing warmer air temperatures, rain, and bouts of gray, lowering, cool dampness... the kind of air-borne "wet"  that cuts through your clothing and sucks away your naturally generated body heat, making the +/- 50-degree air temperature feel more like high 30s, unless the sun happens to be out that day.  In the early morning the prevailing temperature may be as low as high 20s or low-30s.  All-in-all, springtime brings with it not only the promise of sunny, warm days to come, but also the kind of weather we New Englanders call Raw.  One endures the onset of spring.

The piles of "snirt" (snow/dirt) that lie along your habitrails and tower over Target and Home Depot parking lots remain for weeks, piled up by the town or city snow-plows in front of your house and down the road, lining and straitening the way to school and work.  If, like us, you only have street parking, then over the tormentive weeks of spring-time change from winter to warmth you get to experience the slow-but-pretty-sure "joy" of inching closer to where the sidewalk actually exists in front of your abode, allowing you to periodically nudge your vehicle a little further off the middle of the street and toward the sidewalk.  You eventually find yourself experiencing the particular,  pleasurable relief that can only come from the soles of your shoes actually making contact with the surface of the steps that lead to your front door, newly (perhaps only mostly) unencumbered from the cold months of built-up frozen slush... now as likely to be un-frozen, puddly, grimy slush you take new pains to not track into your living room.  Still, it's nice to be able to see the ground.

So, yes.  Spring.  Ah, the pleasure, the new lightness of being, the awakening to new life and a brand-new start for all...  Meanwhile I'm still wearing my long underwear and not leaving the house without a hat.  We'll talk to you in another four weeks.