McCain and Obama Joke Around

Posted by Bushel Basket in , , ,

As you already know it's less than one month until the Presidential election. Given how polarized the country is, it does my heart good to see Senators Obama and McCain appear on the same stage and joke around in the interest of contributing to a good cause. Once again, showing that humor and compassion can bridge great divides. And, I have to admit, McCain delivers a joke better than Obama. So he's got that going for him.

If you have a few free minutes, watch this video:

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Proposition 8 - California - Vote NO!

Posted by Bushel Basket in , , ,

In California, ballot Proposition 8 is to vote whether to ban same sex marriage. Vote No and protect the rights of all individuals to be with who they love.

I'm very tempted to try to outline the reasons why I feel this way, and refute from a religious perspective how the Bible is being selectively read to justify this issue, while ignoring much greater transgressions in the Bible that affect the "family." Instead, I want to appeal to those Christians who have gotten married, or who are thinking about it. Think about how you felt on your marriage day. Think about what brought you to that day. Hopefully, if you were lucky, it was love that brought you there. Think about your vows and the scripture that was read on your joyous day. Just take a minute and remember how wonderful it felt to be in love. Now, watch this video, and then think about what it would be like to have someone deny your ability to be with the one you love.

If you live in California, vote no on Proposition 8. Whether or not you live in California, donate to help support the struggle against Prop. 8.

big thanks to BL for telling me about the video, and for reminding me to be an ally.

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To my fellow commuters at 8:05 am on the Redline

Posted by Bushel Basket in ,

There are a number of people who are a regular part of my life that I don’t know at all.

In life, there are strangers, and there are friends; there are acquaintances and people I could do without; there are co-workers and even some rare few enemies. However, I’m not talking about any of those people, but a different category of people, people I know and I know nothing about them. These are the people I spend a part of my daily life with, yet I don’t talk to. These are the people with whom I ride the bus and train.

I see at least some of you most every day. Sometimes one of you goes missing for a while, and sometimes they reappear and sometimes they never come back. I know very few concrete things about my fellow travelers outside of how they look, what they wear, and where and when they get on and off of mass transit. I have names for some of you: Goldilocks, Snow White, Grimace, Indiana Jones Jr., Anna Paquin, quasi-Casey. For a couple of you, I’ve learned your given names, gaining an almost magical sense of knowing something real about you.

For a boy-man raised in a small town, the silence that exists between us is baffling. Growing up, we’d greet everyone on the street, even the barber’s dog and the man who had chased us off his lawn last week. But in the city, silence is a commodity to be treasured for its rarity. In a rail car full of people, quiet is a wonderful thing. It can give us personal space amidst the crush. As we get on the train with our various levels of wakefulness, it is good to gather our thoughts and selves before the work day begins. Our music, puzzles, and books help preserve our space, yet they also hint at who we really are. I’ve picked up some great books by looking at what all of you read, and for that I thank you. A special thanks to all the Harry Potter readers riding the L; sharing a common book reminds me of our commonalities, whether we are wearing a suit or a skirt, tatters or a tie.

What brings a smile to my face are the few times we do talk. A change to the bus schedule or a rerouting of a bus line and we leave our silence. We check in with one another for collective wisdom and solidarity. One day, a man fell on the train tracks and died, and in the chaos of shuffled schedules and redirected trains, we went from strangers to a strange tribe of lost souls. Through our collective wisdom and ears we eventually found ourselves through a travel detour and through a sad moment, returning to our paths home, again sinking into our comforting silences. Yet, I’ll remember that day for the adventure, the change in pace, and for realizing that Goldilocks has bright blue eyes.

Much has been said about the companions we have on our journeys. Think of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote, Samwise and Frodo, Virgil and Dante, and Silent Bob and Jay. Often it is the companions that make the journey possible, and together they suffer, celebrate, search and find. However, while dramatic, those questing times in our lives do not affect us nearly as much as our day to day lives do. We are revealed in who we are by the rhythms of the everyday march of our lives and how we make our way through our times of travel. In the liminal seats of the CTA we have a twice daily rite of passage, between our work lives and our personal lives. For these daily rituals, I’m armed with my transit card, my shoulder bag, and all of you. Daily acts of politeness and kindness in the morning set the tone of my day and at night balm the strains from work.

So, my anonymous companions, it’s nice to see you again. As one of the many goatee sporting shirts on the train, ponder my half awake stumbling and know that friendliness is nice, though I don’t want to intrude.

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