Blame and Mercy
Linkfest - March 13, 2007

Linkfest - March 12, 2007

I finally got back to blog reading this weekend, and here are some recent favorite posts:

The Dirty Little Secret of Spring Garden Magazines at This Garden is Illegal

...The gardening magazines this time of year are no help. Much like fashion magazines prey on the self-image of young women, gardening magazines are created to do nothing but ravage the psyche of gardeners.

Here we are in early March and those darn magazines are screaming at me from the grocery checkout lane.

  • Picture Perfect Perennials in Less Than 30 Days!
  • How to Make Your Man Smile in Your Vegetable Bed
  • How to Grow a Perfect Garden with No Work
  • Why You Suck as A Gardener (and How We Can Help Fix That)

Wave upon wave of stories (with graphic photos) about wealthy women and gay couples who dedicated the entire last decade to creating a perfect garden. And I, like the sorry dope that I am, pile these magazines into my cart and gleefully head home with them like a crack whore with a rock...

Fourteen Marthas, not one Mary:  a retreat report and a long meditation on girls, pressure, parents, and people-pleasing at Hugo Schwyzer's blog.  A very thoughtful look at, and response to, the experiences of teenage girls:

...The superwomen complex is alive and well in girls so young that some were born after Bill Clinton became president! That breaks my heart.

As we wrapped up our first session Friday night, I pulled out the Bible.  I read two sections.  From Matthew, I read my beloved 10:37:

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Honestly, it’s often twice as hard to get young women, raised since birth to please and to perform, to grasp this than young men. We are so much more tolerant of male rebellion; we are more tolerant of young men who “take time to find themselves” or who “are going through a slacker phase.” And to put it more simply, more young men seem to have an easier time daring to disappoint their parents. (Of course, there are plenty of boys near collapse from trying to meet other’s expectations. But their numbers are fewer.)

What I wanted the girls to grasp from this passage is that a real relationship with Christ is one that comes unmediated by parents or peers...

I loved the photo on this post at Ten Minute Freefall because of the colors and the contrast between focus and un-focus.  If you look at the photo close-up, you realize that you've got a very unusual view down the bird's throat!

The Elusive "It" is, I think, one of the best essays I've seen on Inside Higher Ed:

...But there has always been something missing in my personality, in my presence, in my Weltanschauung, which has kept me in my place. When I look at my life and my habits, I think I can sense where I might have gone wrong.

I don’t exude star power. I don’t command the attention of the room. I’m not very self-promoting. The blue collar types on the Miller High Life commercials — (flowers in a beer bottle, spit-shined janitor shoes) remind me of me. Sort of. Such a man (or woman) knows the job at hand and gets it done. Like recently wealthy industrialists in a W.D. Howells’ novel, I am not comfortable with my station. I don’t dress well. I can’t talk about wine. I can’t imagine spending good money on bizarre flavors at Starbucks. I have an uncanny ability to sniff out fraud, elitism, and artifice.

I respect those who appear truly educated, who trust their own “genius,” who create rather than facilitate. I believe a good teacher doesn’t need a textbook. I perk up when I hear a linguist discuss allophonic variations — I try to walk away from speeches about market penetration. I am interested in developing the writing skills of my students rather than liberating their political views or promoting some hidden agenda I personally relish. Control over syntax, in my estimation, is power...

A musical version of the Grapes of Wrath?  - discussed at Romancing the Tome in Joads with Jazz Hands?


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