This Fresh Air (NPR) segment with T.M. Luhmann (author of When God Talks Back) could have been an interesting conversation . . . if Terry Gross had let someone else conduct the interview.
As I've noted before, I don't believe in God or a god or gods. That is how I am.
If you do, I don't insult you for that.
I'm also find with a conversation on spirituality or religion.
The topic is the only reason I listened to the dreadful Terry Gross.
I was interested in Luhmann's story. Some members of her family are religious, some are deeply religious, some aren't at all. In her book, she explores what Terry insisted was 'new' -- people believing they have a close, personal relationship with God.
I'm sorry, that's not new. I have a very good friend who believes that. I love her and I have no problem with her belief. She honestly believes that God is watching her (and everyone else) at all times and that she can speak with God throughout the day repeatedly. She will ask for advice, for forgiveness, for anything throughout the day. She considers God to be a friend.
She has been that way for over four decades. So it was something to hear Terry Gross expressing amazement over people like that.
I wanted to hear about why they believed what they did. (I should point out that I'm one-third of the way through the book, I picked it up last week.) I wanted to hear about them.
Terry Gross frequently laughed, used inflection to mock them and more.
It was very offensive.
Repeating, I do not believe. But I do not disrespect those who do. I'm always eager to find out what they believe and why they believe. (I'm also fully aware -- as my brother has long told me -- that some argue if I didn't doubt my position of non-belief, I wouldn't be so eager to hear all about it. That may be true. It may be false. I don't know.)
"TV: The Charge of the Niche Brigade" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
Sexism? The only time TV Babies pretend to give a damn about the way women are portrayed is when they're trashing one of those rare shows that stars a woman. Suddenly, they want to pose as feminists then, writers who care about the way women are portrayed. They did nothing to decry the use of women as wallpaper in one male dominated show after another but when their (sexist) sensibilities are offended they will pose as a feminist to attack, for example, the sitcom Whitney.
Or Maya Rudolph's performance as Ava on Up All Night. They're insta-feminists when they rush to assure you that Maya's awful and over-the-top and blah, blah, blah. A clue for the TV Babies of the Water Cooler Set, when you only pose as feminists when you're trying to take down women, no one takes you seriously as a feminist. As for Maya, she's hilarious. She's not playing a secretary on Mad Men (which probably really irritates them), she's playing Ava -- a one-name brand, a daytime TV megastar whose every move is studied and copied. That's who she is playing and she's playing the part beautifully.
Meanwhile, a new development. A stay-at-home parent's life has been taken up by the TV Babies who want a job and more scenes for the parent. It's so different than anything they've wanted before from TV's stay-at-home Moms. Of course, this time the stay-at-home Mom is played by Will Arnett and that explains their sudden concern.
They're concerned for Awake as well. A dreadful show that's bombed in the ratings is spit polished in press releases passed off as press each week while the same group of TV Babies work overtime to trash Ashley Judd and her new series Missing.
Missing is a solid show with twists and turns and spills and chases. If it starred any failed movie actor, the TV Babies would be panting in joy as they furiously darted their hands below the waist. But it stars a woman so they work overtime to destroy it. Here's a bit of reality you may have missed last week if you follow the TV Babies: Missing is ABC's first new Thursday night hit in years.
What happens when Ava and C.I. are done online? I'm not joking. They're both ready to pack it in. So what happens when they finally do. A year from now? Two years?
I hope what happens is that some women are inspired (and/or men) and they pick up the torch and take on the sexism. Ava and C.I. really have been the strongest feminists covering TV. They have taken on sexism onscreen and sexism in the press. They've not flinched or hesitated.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):