Spring in Worcester, and other items

posted by Mike on April 19th, 2006

Spring in Worcester, by Claire Schaeffer-DuffyAh, another Spring day in Worcester. The kids are out of school this week. Yesterday morning a bunch of men and little kids were playing baseball in Austin Street, pausing the game when a car approached.

Last week was the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Worcester native Abbie Hoffman.

Anecdote:

When he appeared before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities — after his red, white and blue American flag shirt had been ripped from his back — Hoffman remarked: “I regret I have but one shirt to give for my country.”

WFMU: Abbie Hoffman Makes Gefilte Fish.

This weekend I got a letter from one of my elected officials with an interesting bit of information that I was asked to keep confidential. A similar thing happened last month, when someone I don’t know wrote an e-mail about an interesting project that I was asked to keep secret.

I love to be in the loop. I love to know secrets. But I think it’s best to check with the person first, to call or e-mail and say, “If I tell you something, could you keep it secret?” Otherwise, you’re coercing the other person.

Pray-as-you-go: The great Jesuit podcast project is being extended a little longer. I hope it’ll continue indefinitely.

Best blog entry title of the week: 35,000 Pounds Untreated Fecal Material Deposited Daily on Downtown Sidewalks (LA Catholic Worker).

May Day: Worcester is getting ready for some pro-immigrant public events May 1.

Many photos of vegan cupcakes: by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Related on P&C: vegan Gamera cake, vegan cookie decorated with dead deer.

Gnostics, by Adam VillaniSpeaking of secrets, I spent a lot of Holy Week ranting about gnosticism and hermeticism to anyone who would listen, even little kids. Adam gives a fair example of my rant.

Rather than prioritizing love, faith, and hope, the gnostic philosophy hints that salvation is found through being really smart and having good reference materials. This is in opposition to the teachings of Christianity, every other world religion, humanism, Americanism, and, I would argue, the Enlightenment.

If you’re a smart person who likes to read and think, it can be tempting. So long as you don’t think about the bigger picture.

Somehow I led Adam to believe that my main problem with the Gospel of Thomas was that it is elitist. No, my main problem is that it is stupid:

112. Jesus said, “Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. Damn the soul that depends on the flesh.”

Oh, and this classic:

114. Simon Peter said to them, “Make Mary leave us, for females don’t deserve life.”

Jesus said, “Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

Father Cantalamessa quotes Father Brown:

Some years ago, Raymond Brown, the greatest biblical scholar of the Passion, wrote: “It is an embarrassing insight into human nature that the more fantastic the scenario, the more sensational is the promotion it receives and the more intense the faddish interest it attracts. People who would never bother reading a responsible analysis of the traditions about how Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and rose from the dead are fascinated by the report of some ‘new insight’ to the effect that he was not crucified or did not die, especially if the subsequent career involved running off with Mary Magdalene to India….”

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