December 23, 2004

Orlan: Part II


So, there is this fabulous lady from France whose values are not faith based, but make American values as demonstrated in “reality TV” look like the devil’s own. I can’t help but ask myself if most Americans take the time to look in the mirror, and if they do, what do they see in the reflection? I know that Orlan sees an image that is reflective of her inner thoughts, that portrays the real Orlan. I know that when I look in the mirror, I see the foil man I’ve played for decades, a creature that is just as reflective as the mirror. He does not exist, but at the same time, he reflects the values of the culture in which we live; shiny glitz, and all surface. So, in a way I am the opposite of Orlan, a Lacanian vacuum, demonstrating the emptiness of the culture in which I live. And, that emptiness includes the false morality of the evangelical Christians, for theirs is all surface too, a tricky Rube Goldberg contraption made up of shiny mirrors reflecting their own fears, hate, and prejudice. It says nothing about the life of Christ, and his deep-seated hope that we should all learn to love one another.

But, more of mirrors, faith, fear, and hate another day.

I’ve decided to head south for Christmas.

I’m calling Ruth today to tell her I won’t be coming to dinner on Christmas Day. She will throw a fit. Too bad!

My hernia is healing well. I am completely ambulatory, and I want to be some place warm for Christmas. I’m leaving tomorrow morning, dear Journal, so I won’t be writing until I get back. However, I am going to try to get to one of those computer cafe’s so I can get at least one entry up while I’m away.

Wish me luck! Merry Christmas! Reminds me - have you listened to all this hogwash about how Democrats and Republicans wish one another a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holiday.” Damn! I hope all these pundits and idiots can get over it soon.

If you are Christian, you wish one another “Merry Christmas” I don’t care if you are Republican, Democrat, Catholic, evangelical, or liberal Christian. If you are talking to a person of another faith, you wish them a “Happy Holiday.” It’s a matter of etiquette, not politics.


Any way, have a Merry One, everybody!

* “,” Stanford University Web Site, “Object not Found, Sat Dec 18 07:59:46 2004
Apache. From Jeremy Drummond,, Saturday, December 18, 2004, 11:04 AM EST.

* Animation Factory, royalty free graphics to members,, Thursday, December 23, 2004, 6:12 AM EST

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December 21, 2004



She is the courageous French artist, the ultimate reality makeover. Actually, she is the first makeover from which all the others derive. However, Orlan’s purpose has to do with negating all the misplaced values around which the reality makeover TV shows are built. Orlan is her own canvas, and her work is about actual feminine values of self worth, including historical reference to art works that portray the highest of values to which a woman might subscribe. Orlan speaks to us of misplaced moral values that are in truth prejudice disguised as value, false realities, and destructive relationships between self image, the soul, and the actual physical presence that contains the first two, the body. Additionally, Orlan’s work is about communication between the artist’s production concerning the experience of his / her body, and the viewer’s experience of his / her own body. She is creating perhaps the most complex body (pun intended) of work of the Postmodern era.

So, Who is Orlan?

Orlan has purposefully obfuscated her own history, a possible comment about the contemporary cultural belief that truth is discovered through detailed knowledge about the personal lives of individuals. We do know, however that she is 57 years old, and that she was born in St. Etienne, France.

She moved to Paris, France in 1980. Presently, she is Professor of of Fine Arts at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon... ...Influenced by Duchamp, she considers her body a “readymade” and refers to her own work as “Carnal Art.”*

Orlan states that she is feminist, that her “Carnal Art” is against pain, religion - she states specifically, the Christian religion - and convention, but for public debate, atheism, and freedom. Thus, her art is for physical presence, and fortunately, in our time of increasing fundamentalist control of society and state in all cultures, a voice that insists on reason based in physical presence as opposed to faith based oppositions.

Do I worry that her physical posturing makes any threat to my Liberal Christian positions. No, dear journal, I do not, because my faith is open to the physical presence of Christ’s body in the world. He lived, was a man, and I believe was heir to all that that entails. Do Orlan’s notions pose a threat to fundamentalist dogma? Yes, because dogma is based in human misconceptions and positions made hard as stone by people who are unable or refuse to open their minds in order to think through the conundrums that culture, politics, religion, and science place before them.

We will continue this topic in the near future, Dear Journal.

* “,” Stanford University Web Site, “Object not Found, Sat Dec 18 07:59:46 2004
Apache. From Jeremy Drummond,, Saturday, December 18, 2004, 11:04 AM EST.

* Jeremy Drummond, Digitized Bodies on Line Project, appears to be part of or related to a project at Stanford University that included a conference, a course or courses titled “BodyWorks,” and student projects, February, 2001, viewed Sunday, December 20, 2004.

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December 18, 2004

Five Weeks Since Hernia Surgery

It almost doesn’t hurt at all. I know its there when I stretch to reach for something without thinking. I’m on schedule with my exercise program. As a matter of fact, I went to the health club yesterday. I did some slow stair climbing for 20 minutes, lifted my 8-pound weights, and walked back and forth in the pool for 10 minutes.

I feel like I have a length of chain link fence wrapped around my abdomen, and my belly button does this weird zigzag thing with fat pulled up around it. The fat hangs in folds on both sides like the swags and jabots Ruth made for my bedroom windows. My tummy wasn’t pretty to look at before the surgery, but now. Ah, well, what can I say? I am 85. Perhaps when I come back next time, I’ll be a giant red wood tree, live two thousand years, and have no sagging parts anywhere.


* “A Bierstadt's Redwood Trees of California-Verts.3,” Nevada Recreation, Entertainment Catalogs, Ghost Towns, Gold Books, & Western Art,, viewed Monday, December 13, 2004, 6:37 AM EST.

December 14, 2004

The Beatitudes are Jesus’ gift to all Mankind: Part II

I comment on the Eighth Beatitude at this time, dear Journal, because, as we read it, Jesus Christ is offering the kingdom of heaven to any/all of us who are persecuted unjustly. Well, Dear Journal, according to evangelicals, we are reading incorrectly. Instead, It is evangelicals who are saved because we, the rest of us ridicule them. As we see the injustice of evangelicals acting upon the Neo-con ideology that it is the USA’s prerogative as the inheritor of the Christian Roman Empire to invade other nations as necessary, killing thousands of men, women, and children in the process, we are the evil ones who will go to hell because we are persecuting the poor evangelical Christians for believing that a Twenty-first century crusade in the Mid-east is necessary. Any time we see the injustice of an evangelical believing that it is necessary to protect women from the right to have an abortion, we will go to hell, and the evangelical will be saved for enslaving women to his / her beliefs. As we see the injustice of an evangelical believing that it is necessary to protect heterosexual men and women and the institutions of marriage and family from lesbians and gays by writing amendments to state constitutions, and a 28th amendment to the constitution of the United States of America, it is we who will go to hell and the evangelical who will be given the kingdom of heaven.

Additionally, it is the evangelical’s belief that should such intolerance and hate cause Armageddon, so be it, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and the rest of mankind, all 5 billion of us are predestined to go to hell.


Instead, the evangelical Christian is wrong. There are those of us Liberal Christians who believe that Jesus Christ speaks to every man, woman, and child on the Earth. We believe that he speaks to the poor and the down trodden. We believe that Jesus speaks to the young woman who has been raped whether by her father, husband, boyfriend, or the unknown assailant. We believe that Jesus is speaking to the Lesbian mother, or the gay father as he would to any mother or father with love and great tenderness, for their work in raising their children holds the promise of the future of God’s good Earth. We believe that Jesus says to us all, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” We believe that Jesus is speaking to Jew, Arab, gentile (Greek) and Roman alike when he tells us all, “rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” We believe that Jesus Christ wished to save all mankind, not a few men and women who would elevate themselves at the expense of God’s entire creation here on Earth.

I will always read The Beatitudes as Jesus Christ’s personal gift to me, and to each and every one of us.

* “The Beatitudes,” Pinks Archive,, © Providence Baptist Ministries, Cranbury, Texas, Revised November 12, 2004, visited November 29, 2004; 10:58 AM EST.

* “Le Mettre Face a l’ Est,” Page Vibratoire de Jesus le Christ, “,” viewed Tuesday, December 14, 2004, 6:23 AM EST.

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December 09, 2004

The Beatitudes are Jesus’ gift to all Mankind


Today’s Evangelical Christian values are not those Jesus espoused. I don’t understand how it has happened, but our Postmodern evangelicals base their faith on an Old Testament God who is vengeful and who will punish them and others as he sees fit. The New Testament of Jesus Christ according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John has become secondary to Elijah’s angry God, ready to raise hell with those evil worshipers of Baal, and prove the whining Elijah correct. Even the Beatitudes from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount are interpreted through and supported by scripture from the old testament that transforms their message of humility before God, strength through weakness, and right through love and peace into a series of rules for those who are saved to achieve the “privileges, immunities, and rewards” of the kingdom of heaven both here on Earth, and after the second coming. Evangelicals turn to the second coming upon hearing the beatitudes. They do not hear Jesus Christ’s original voice instructing the world in God’s way.*

And, the second coming is crucial, for they believe it to be close at hand. That is why George W. Bush can be reckless in worldly decisions with foreign powers, for if the great atomic war of fire should happen and annihilate the entire planet, it does not matter, it is already ordained and it is no man’s fault. Thus he can invade foreign countries with impunity, killing thousands of our own troops, and thousands of Arab men, women and children as well. Foreigners don’t matter, because they cannot possibly be saved, for theirs is not the kingdom of heaven. Only those who are reborn in Jesus will achieve the kingdom of heaven.

Dear Journal, let’s you and I read “The Beatitudes,” Matthew 5:3 - 12 together, and ask, is Jesus Christ speaking to me?

”Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that morn; for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

To be continued, Dear Journal.

* “Mosaic tile supply - jesus christ mosaic tile,” Mosaic Tile Supply,, viewed Friday, December 10, 2004, 8:49 AM EST.

* “The Beatitudes,” Pinks Archive,, © Providence Baptist Ministries, Cranbury, Texas, Revised November 12, 2004, visited November 29, 2004;10:58 AM EST.

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December 05, 2004

My Long Time Companion

Tillie Herr, my next-door neighbor has been sweet on Dan Thomas for two years. His apartment is at the end of our wing of PRICKLY NEEDLE MANOR, which means he has double corner windows in his living room that look out over the cornfields. Tillie learned to play bridge because “Danny Boy,” my nickname for him, went to Bridge Club 2 times every week. She baked low fat, no sugar added cookies for him every week, and she drove him to his heart and eye specialist’s appointments. She made herself practically indispensable. Finally, about 3 months ago,they became an item.

Tillie kept her apartment because she didn’t want her evangelical family to think she was living in sin, but she moved in with Dan. Dan seemed to be happy, and he should have been. Tilly mucked out his apartment, and I do mean mucked it out. There were eighteen "Pizza House" Pizza boxes stacked in the hall outside Dan’s door along with 4 bundles of Lancaster New Era newspapers, and 4 forty gallon bags of miscellaneous trash the day after Tillie moved in. Millie Dinkle said that Tillie scrubbed the floors two times to get all the dirt off. Of course, Millie has been known to exaggerate a bit. However, I know from talking to Dan that Tillie took damn good care of him those last 3 months. They were planning to have a party to celebrate their first quarter year together next week. Instead, we will all be going to Dan’s funeral. It seems that Dan had his last heart attack last night while he and Tillie were making love. Tillie said that he died happy, and that the undertaker won’t have to break any bones to fix his facial expression because he’s smiling. I wonder though, will he lookhappy, or just silly?


If this report seems a bit callous, I must apologize,but at my age, death is my consort. I talk to him daily, almost as often as I talk to God, and sometimes, when I speak with God, I’m actually talking about my long time companion, Death.

*“The Talk. Origins Archive,” Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy,, Last updated June 6,1996, visited December 4, 2004, 10:32 AM EST.

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