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This place matters

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Post Con Glow

As it turns out, the only people who love acronyms and intialisms more than computer programmers are Unitarian Universalists. To wit, I spent this weekend at an event for the OMDUUYAN - Ohio Meadville District Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network. I've been a member of the OMDUUYAN for coming up on two years if I math correctly and I still never say it right on the first try. Oh, that's right, I just verbed math. Because that's how I roll.
Unitarian Universalists get a lot of words thrown in their direction. Elitist. Sanctimonious. Smug, snide, disdainful. But I spent this weekend with some of the most ardent and active young UUs I know, and hardly any of us (myself excepted of course) are elitist, pompous, sanctimonious, smug, and stuff. We were freaks and geeks and gay rights activists and nurses and parents. Despite the fact that UUs are all supposed to be affluent, we've got folks representing every level of income. People with PhDs and people who didn't finish, or barely finished high school. We're supposed to disdain other faiths, but we're as pagan as we are Buddhist as we are agnostic as we are Christian as we are confused as we are open-minded.
Plus the weekend was super hero themed, and we all know super heroes make everything just that more awesome. Lots of excellent fodder for my sermon next week at the UUCGC (Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Canton). You should stop on by if you're in town. I am good for some laughs, if nothing else. As usual, if you are a bum and would rather sleep or go to your own stupid church (see? Unitarians do disdain other religions!), I'll probably post my notes sometime Sunday afternoon.
We had an open mic last night. Even that wasn't elitist and sanctimonious. Mike read Neil Gaiman's The Price, and if you haven't read the story, it is absolutely worth picking up a copy of Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors if you think you can handle all the awesome. The Price is a story about a cat who is far more than a cat, and I don't know that I've ever read or heard it without crying. And not just because I'm a crazy cat lady.
I read Kerouac's Silly Goofball Poems, which begins:

The Moose is a noble dolt.
The Elk is a fool.
The Rhinoceros is the biggest bore of them all.
The Hippopatamus is a Giant River Pig.
The Hyena is a striped dog who thought he was a laughing Horse.
The Lion is a Queer Cat who by the power of his Queerness became a great Jowled Cat.
The Tiger is a pure cat
The Panther hates cats.
The Cheetah is a dog who thought he was a Fast Cat.
And only gets more awesome from there.
Then Tim kind of blew my mind by reading Allen Ginsberg's Howl. In high school and college, I loved the poetry puzzle, interpreting the rhythm, rhyme, and alliterations of them. But Howl was always well beyond my powers of comprehension. I went to some beat poetry reading at a museum back in high school, and they read Howl. I remember it being about the most boring seventeen hours of my life, because I was pretty sure it was nothing but a long string of unrelated words, the emperor's new clothes. And then Tim read it. It made me wonder if there's a point to sitting in English classrooms solving puzzles and riddles, missing the things we would see if we stopped figuring and started listening.
This cat is also far more than a cat.
He's also pretty much pure evil.


Anonymous said...

I think Omduuyan is the new name of my antagonist. So, thanks!

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

Yes, but is he smug and condescending? He needs to at least be smarmy. And probably a vegetarian.