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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Love will find a way!

While reading the January issue of BBC History Magazine, I ran across this great item. As I cannot find it on the web, I will type it in from the magazine:

"A monkey hugs its way into a sailor's possession"

On a quiet Wednesday in 1818, the genteel surroundings of the lord mayor's Mansion House were suddenly rocked by appearance of a sailor, a showman and a monkey.

The sailor had recently visited an exhibition of wild beasts at Saint Bartholomew's Fair, "a school of vice which has initiated many youth into the habits of villainy". It was a place the Newgate Calendar would call the "assemblage of idle people... waiting to plunder the honest part of the people". 

For the sailor, just such a misfortune had occurred, as the monkey in question was taken from him and placed into the showman's menagerie, who now claimed ownership of the poor primate. All three parties in question had arrived to settle the dispute. The lord mayor decided that the only way to resolve the case was to let the monkey choose for himself, and, as a curious crowd grew outside, the monkey made it clear he was much more attached to the sailor than the showman, by clinging to his neck with great affection.

From the Bury and Norwich Post / 16 September 1818

News story sourced from britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk and rediscovered by Fern Riddell. Fern regularly appears on Radio 3's Night Waves.

Monday, December 29, 2014

There can be no us, without them

This is a concept that seems to be cropping up in my reading lately. I had finished Howard Jacobson's Booker-nominated book J recently. A dystopian novel in the British future after some unnamable and unremembered catastrophe people are renamed, social media is destroyed, and memory is outlawed. (People are only allowed one or two historical items in their homes.) Apparently, this is to stop "what happened, if it happened" from happening again.

Yet, violence still occurs. People are not happy. The Orwellian organization Ofnow decides that maybe people need a "them".

And, now, I am reading the National Book Award longlisted for nonfiction book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Stewart and it has come up again!

In Chapter 2, he explains how the American people, the colonists, are interested in a spiritual cure for "material anxieties". The first was a belief in belief. But, it's the second reason that really struck me.

"The other assumption, usually left unstated, was the one that human beings invariably make about the groups to which they so anxiously wish to belong: that it is only worth being a member of a group if someone else isn't included."

There it is again! Is this a facet of the human condition? Do people NEED to do this? I mean, I have left churches because of this very thing. As it tells us in Galatians:

If this is true, why do so many churches discriminate?

And, as Thomas Jefferson tells us:

Yet, pregnant women have fewer protections from their employers than employees who have been convicted of a DUI (http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/young-v-united-parcel-service/). And armed white men can walk openly with their guns in Fred Meyer and Starbucks, yet a black man carrying a toy gun can be shot down in a Wal-Mart.

I want to believe that we don't need a "them". I also want to believe that I'm personally better than this. Do you read my blog? Please comment below or on my Facebook page.