Wow. Thinking back on it, the last month has just been a rollercoaster. I got the flu last week, which was Spring Break, friends are getting ordained all over the place (next one is Matthew in Miami on April 1st – I’m so going to be there, but really I’m going to be in Florida for only, like, 22 hours) I’m trying to squish in years worth of loving this area and these people into the 49 days before I graduate and leave, everyone is coming to visit, so many forms are overdue, papers are coming due, the bank account is looking rather low…
Life is busy. But then again, who wants to be bored?
To that end – has anyone seen Newsweek’s nifty article in their April 3, 2006 edition on the Living Web? It ended up being a perfect summary for me of some of the changes that have happened in the Internet since the last batch of peer-reviewed articles on the subject. I’m using it for the paper (which is half written! Yay!) I mentioned earlier.
And I’m reconnecting with old friends of all sorts. It’s kind of cool and just slightly daunting. It’s that feeling of, “this person knew me intimately x years ago, warts and all (and how is it that the warts seem much larger in retrospect?) and now I wonder if they’ll be able to see the massive changes that have been wrought? I wonder how they could manage to miss them, come to think of it.” And this as I’m preparing so many good-byes.
It seems rather bittersweet at the moment… but perhaps it doesn’t have to be. The people I want to keep up with, I can. (What a radical thought. Still, I’m working on being less absolutely sucky concerning communication with the people I care about.) Still, my best friend will no longer be across the hall, she’ll be in the hinterlands of Northern Michigan. Hell, I’ll no longer be across the hall – I’ll be on the other side of the wrong Great Lake.
…At this point rakaiagirl is reading out the communique from the Unitarian Jihad. It’s from the San Francisco Chronicle, April 8, 2005, Jon Carroll.
The following is the first communique from a group calling itself Unitarian Jihad. It was sent to me at The Chronicle via an anonymous spam remailer. I have no idea whether other news organizations have received this communique, and, if so, why they have not chosen to print it. Perhaps they fear starting a panic. I feel strongly that the truth, no matter how alarming, trivial or disgusting, must always be told. I am pleased to report that the words below are at least not disgusting:
Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.
Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism — 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!
People of the United States, why is everyone yelling at you??? Whatever happened to … you know, everything? Why is the news dominated by nutballs saying that the Ten Commandments have to be tattooed inside the eyelids of every American, or that Allah has told them to kill Americans in order to rid the world of Satan, or that Yahweh has instructed them to go live wherever they feel like, or that Shiva thinks bombing mosques is a great idea? Sister Immaculate Dagger of Peace notes for the record that we mean no disrespect to Jews, Muslims, Christians or Hindus. Referred back to the committee of the whole for further discussion.
We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good person, and Unexalted Leader Garrote of Forgiveness stipulates that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and this is to be reflected in the minutes.
Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. We will not try for “balance” by hiring fruitcakes; we will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully thought through the issues.
We are Unitarian Jihad. We will appear in public places and require people to shake hands with each other. (Sister Hand Grenade of Love suggested that we institute a terror regime of mandatory hugging, but her motion was not formally introduced because of lack of a quorum.) We will require all lobbyists, spokesmen and campaign managers to dress like trout in public. Televangelists will be forced to take jobs as Xerox repair specialists. Demagogues of all stripes will be required to read Proust out loud in prisons.
We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: “Sincerity is not enough.” We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it’s true doesn’t make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn’t mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.
Brother Gatling Gun of Patience notes that he’s pretty sure the world is out to get him because everyone laughs when he says he is a Unitarian. There were murmurs of assent around the room, and someone suggested that we buy some Congress members and really stick it to the Baptists. But this was deemed against Revolutionary Principles, and Brother Gatling Gun of Patience was remanded to the Sunday Flowers and Banners committee.
People of the United States! We are Unitarian Jihad! We can strike without warning. Pockets of reasonableness and harmony will appear as if from nowhere! Nice people will run the government again! There will be coffee and cookies in the Gandhi Room after the revolution.
And so it’s time for the rest of the paper to be written so I can do other things today. After all, there are books that need to be read, other papers that need to be written, friends that need to be supported and races that need to be run. Wish me luck.