Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am become ScienceGirl, Destroyer of Liturgies, Part the First

Ah, liturgical abuse.

I have become well acquainted with it. But can I truly complain, in all fairness?


For all the messed up stuff I've seen priests do over the years, I know that I have Destroyed the Liturgy uncountable times myself.

1. I Have Committed Liturgical Dance

Yes. Oh, but yes.

During Christmas Eve Mass, no less.

And it was spontaneous liturgical dance, at that!

I remember how beautiful the candles were, flickering all over the altar and near the side altar. The changing lights made me think of the angels someone was droning on about, and I had to dance. And sing.

The joy and uplifting beauty of this Mass moved me quite literally.

I lurched about. I waved my arms. I chanted words understood only by myself and the Lord.

It was 1984.

George Orwell got it just slightly wrong.

Big Brother was not watching me, but the priest and most of the congregation were.

Congregational Reverence: TERMINATED!

And thus began, at the age of two years, my path of Liturgical Destruction.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Throwing Cliches Under the Bus

The yahoo headlines have angered me yet again.

Mitt Romney is quoted as allegedly saying that Obama has thrown Israel under the bus.

I sincerely hope he said "Obama has betrayed Israel" or "Obama has really let Israel down" or "Obama has hurt US-Israel relations in a shocking yet also somehow entirely predictable way," and that the reporter just got clever.

Because, you see, Obama can't possibly have thrown Israel under the bus.

I say this not just because an entire country can't really be thrown, like a person, under a bus. I get that the metaphor could be extended, though tortuously, to a nation. I guess.


I say this because the bus has had so many people "thrown under" it in the last few years that it can no longer run.

It is piled on a pile of thrown corpses.

Its gears are jammed with blood and guts.

Now, when anyone tries to throw anyone under the bus, they can only throw the person in front of the bus, and since the bus is no longer moving, what with being on all the other people, the thrown person just gets up and walks away unscathed.

If Anna Karenina wandered by all sad and wanted to end her life, she would find the bus no decent substitute for the Russian railway.

Even if the bus -- driven, let us suppose by an undead Ms Frizzle bent on vengeance -- even if this bus had the magical ability to expand itself to enormous size or to rear up to crush its victims like an angry steed, it still would only end up propped on the prone bodies of so many -- from Jeremiah Wright to the middle school girl whose sister refused to lend her favorite sweater -- that it would have no power left to cover Israel.

So when Obama, using his mighty arms, gathered into one the nation of Israel and tossed them/it toward the reddened tires of the DeathBus, he just threw out his back for nothing.

Mitt, Mitt, Mitt.

Be true to yourself.

"Betray" is a good, old word. It is powerful. It is serious. You are a bland, serious man. Middle English suits you. Trying to talk like you are hip and urbane will fool no one.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Celebrity Dream: True Story

About two years ago, I had an amazing dream that I was dating a celebrity.

I had never had a dream involving a celebrity before, and this could have been a pretty fun dream. It was more weird and nightmarish than anything else.

I dreamed that Seth Rogen was my boyfriend and that I convinced him to go to Easter Vigil with me because it was so important to me. I did not at the time, nor do I now, feel a conscious attraction toward Seth Rogen.

Easter Vigil is normally about 2.5 hours because of all the readings. In my dream, it was much longer. I was feeling very guilty because my nice Jewish boyfriend Seth had finally agreed to come to Mass with me and here it was taking forever. The readings kept going on and on, and there were numerous songs between each, complete with tambourines, trumpets and drums. We sang all the verses, all the time.

Seth Rogen shifted uncomfortably on the hard pew. "Sorry," I whispered, "it's not usually like this." I was certain he would never come to Mass with me again, and I was kind of scared that he would take this chance to be witty and rude. But he was perfectly polite, in stark contrast to the oafish characters he usually plays.

I fell asleep on Seth Rogen's shoulder, and only woke up when the sunlight hit me on the face. I mean I woke up in the dream thanks to dream sunlight. The dream/nightmare Mass was still going on. "They haven't even got to the liturgy of the Eucharist," I thought miserably. "This is taking forever!" Seth Rogen had gamely stayed awake the entire night, listening to what must have been the entire Old Testament and every verse of every song ever written by Haugen, Hass, and company for Easter. Maybe they'd even run out and had to bring in the Ordinary Time stuff. I don't know because I had dreamed that I was asleep. Seth Rogen looked at me with tolerance and love.

Then I either woke up or my subconscious moved on to less memorable fare.

Why did I dream I was dating Seth Rogen, whose movies I barely like?
Why did I dream I was stressed and bored by Easter Vigil, my favorite night of the year?

Was an enemy hacking into my brain to cause an inception?

What on earth did they accomplish?

Is Seth Rogen the symbol of Jesus? Was I like the disciples falling asleep in the garden? What would that mean?

Some questions will never be answered.