Archive for July, 2008

Population Control

I’m listening to Diane Rehm Show; the present segment features Paul Ehrlich.  It’s a fascinating discussion about population control – fascinating not just because Ehrlich’s opinions, but also because of the statements and questions posed by listeners. Ehrlich jests that cars are best suited to host teenagers making love and not at all appropriate for daily commutes.  He also directly correlates population control with the rights of women (not just abortion, but equality in the work place too), holding up Europe as a positive example.

Here’s the link to the program…listening to it directly will be more edifying than me trying to offer you a decent summary.

Anyway, if I could call in, there are two seemingly opposite things I think I’d want to say…

On one end of the social spectrum, I have this special plan, a brilliant plan (or at least I think it is, and many of my friends have suffered through my explanation of why it’s so brilliant) to control population, and more importantly protect children from being trapped in unhealthy and dangerous environments.

Some form of birth control should be placed in the water.  Women would consume the water and be infertile until they decide they are ready to have children.  Upon making that decision, the woman and man she intends to conceive with will undergo a series of interviews and tests.  Then, once they are deemed capable, safe and loving, the women will be given the antidote and the be able to conceive.

Yes, that is a little bit mad scientist meets Stalin, but it is a plausible idea.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, I wonder what this conversation says about our collective understanding of God’s identity and nature.  Is the power of God (whatever your perception of God may be) greater than any broad sweeping governmental plan, any revolutionary medical procedure and any looming population disaster?

If we fail to consider the identity and nature of God in the scope of this conversation, aren’t we in essence saying that perhaps God’s not real, or at the very least God can’t do much?

I don’t think acknowledging the power and love of God illegitimates the urgent needs connected to the worldwide population boom.  We are running out of space, fresh air and food.  That’s a fact.

But what about God?  Is God a fact?  Or a fairy tale?

A fairytale God has no influence on the situation.  That God’s hands are tied.  That God is as relevant to the situation as Super Man.

But if we’re willing to acknowledge that God is a fact (even if we can’t all agree on who or what God exactly is), the rhetoric will change.  We’ll trust that there’s something bigger going on than we could ever really know.  We’ll trust that the something bigger gives and takes away – both freely and lovingly.

My far-fetched birth control in the water idea may be practical, but it is not powerful.  It stands upon a foundation made of facts and figures, not upon faith.

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They take out softball and baseball and replace them with what?

Yoga.  Yeah, yoga.  Competitive yoga.

I agree with one of the guys in this PRI piece – the only way yoga will ever be competitive is if it’s combat yoga.

Although, I will readily admit that most people who can do yoga really well could probably kick my ass around the block and back a few times.  But doesn’t ass-kicking go against everything yoga stands for?  That’s, as Robin WIlliams said recently, like Ghandi with bling.

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One of the most frustrating things of my real pisser of a semester is that reading and writing became very difficult, if not impossible tasks.  Of course that’s a pain when you’re a grad student; they kind of expect you to do a lot of both.  But reading and writing have always been a major release for me.  They are a couple of my most important coping mechanisms and always have been.  Only running and music carry the same ability to calm and inspire me.

Two weeks ago, I realized I could read again.  Then I had enough guts to start writing again.  It feels so amazing.  And never in my life have I looked at a book and thought, “wow, I just read this.  this feels so good.”  Nope.  I’ve always taken it all for granted.  Not anymore.

So in honor of all that reading and writing mean to me, I’ve decided to share my reading list with folks.  As if people really give a rip what I’m reading, but whatever.  I’m totally amazed with the ability to read more than a paragraph that I want to shout it from the rooftops.  Here goes…

Currently Reading:

On Deck:

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New Hair

Got a haircut yesterday for the first time since January.  My hair was down to the middle of my back, and although I loved it long and super curly, it was just getting to be too much.  That and going 6 months between haircuts is just a little over the top for me.  The gal chopped off 10 inches of hair and it felt strangely good to see it go.

Thought I’d post some pics of the new do b/c a) I am a little bit conceited and b) both my mom and sister will be on my case if I don’t.  I’m only posting the very few good ones.  In all the other pictures, I either looked like a skanky ho or like Grace in the episode where she tells Karen “I’m going to …. KICK … YOUR … ASS.”

I love the cut, but I was a bit concerned about running.  I had asked her to keep it long enough to put it in a tiny ponytail, but she wasn’t on the same page as me when it came to defining ponytail.  I had my hair cut this short in high school once.  We have pictures of me from the state track meet my senior year.  While I ran, my crazy short hair just puffed right up and I totally look like a troll.  I think I will be sporting a lot of bandanas and hats to tame the frock.


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