In honor of my brother-in-law with whom we just spent Thanksgiving, who once drove a bright orange version of this ’73 beauty, we feature today’s two-door Matador, which he lovingly remembers as “a piece of junk.” Of course, he only paid 300 bucks for it, but it is true that AMC/Rambler made some dreadful cars in the 1970s. This one looks like it will do for taking us rambling, however, so climb in and let’s go!
Along the way, just because we can, and to conclude the Church Year 2014-2015 with a bit of levity, we feature a fond look at nuns having fun as we ramble.
Bishop Steven Croft of Sheffield responded with a piece in the Washington Post offering reasons why the theatre companies might have been right to do so. First, he outlines the facts:
The Church of England has produced a 60-second commercial. The only words are the words of the Lord’s Prayer, said by children, the bereaved, people at work and so on. The ad is to promote a new Web site, JustPray.uk. The plan was (and is) to show the film before Christmas at screenings of the new “Star Wars” film to help everyone think about prayer and to pray. What could be more simple?
The distributors have declared the Lord’s Prayer unsuitable for screening. They believe it carries the risk of upsetting or offending audiences.
He then gives seven reasons (one for each line of the prayer) why this prayer speaks powerfully against “the point of view of global corporations and consumer culture, . . . [and] the perspective of the gods and spirits of the age.” He concludes:
There are only 63 words in the Lord’s Prayer. It takes less than a minute to say them.
Yet these words shape our identity, give purpose to our lives, check our greed, remind us of our imperfections, offer a way of reconciliation, build resilience in our spirits and call us to live to the glory of our creator.
No wonder they have been banned in the boardrooms of consumer culture.
In an article at RNS questioning whether humans are hard-wired for violence, Marcia Pally writes:
It turns out, however, that we’re evolutionarily wired not for violence but for cooperation. ‘The vast majority of the people on the planet,’ writes Douglas Fry, ‘awake on a typical morning and live through a violence-free day — and this experience generally continues day after day after day.’
The real story should be the 13,748 gazillion times human beings default to cooperation and kindness!
Noting that this should motivate us to do more research on the real causes of violent behavior, she notes that many blame religion. However, she analyzes and then rejects that notion, concluding that “blaming religion for human aggression is like blaming adultery on the marriage vows.”
Furthermore, she notes that evolutionary biology and anthropology do not support the notion that violence leads to evolutionary advantage, but that “hyper-cooperation” brings the most benefits. Why then don’t we cooperate more? Pally puts her finger specifically on two perversions in our cultural relationships: (1) fear, and (2) the absence of self-transcendent meaning.”
In September, the company that makes and sells Nutella started a marketing campaign that allows fans of the hazelnut spread to personalise a 750 gramme or one kilogramme jar. But one five-year old girl in Shellharbour, New South Wales, Australia.
You see, her mom named her Isis, after the Egyptian goddess Isis, revered as a matriarch and friend of the disadvantaged. She also named her 8-year-old son Odhinn after a god in Nordic mythology. Odhinn gets the Nutella, Isis is out of luck.
Heather Taylor, the little girl’s mother, was quite upset, but as Michael Koziol writes in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Unforeseeable though it may have been, the Taylor family are now dealing with the consequences of the unfortunate name choice. Ms Taylor has to shield her daughter from news reports, and regularly receives looks of disbelief in public places.
“I am starting to get to the point where I don’t want to call her name out,” she said. “Because she’s going to start noticing people looking.”
Ms Taylor also feels particularly aggrieved by a Woman’s Day article published earlier this month, which ranked “Isis” as No.1 on a list of 12 baby names that should be criminalised.
Hey, guess what No. 2 on the list is?
You can’t make this stuff up.
A group of 100 African-American pastors and religious leaders is scheduled to meet at Trump Towers in Manhattan at 1 p.m. on Monday. I can’t believe I am actually writing this, but the group is expected to endorse The Donald for president.
Alan Rappeport of the New York Times reports that Trump appears to have overcome some of the problems dealing with race that his campaign has had, at least with this group of black ministers, and they are ready to put their stamp of approval on him. Rappeport writes:
Darrell Scott, the pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio, helped organize the coalition of religious leaders and said that after meeting Mr. Trump in person he was convinced that Mr. Trump was the candidate best suited to be president. He also said that the public portrayals of Mr. Trump as a racist and demagogue seemed unfounded after they spoke.
“I was looking for some subtle hints of racism,” Mr. Scott said. “I didn’t see it at all.”
Mr. Scott, who said he was a registered Democrat who had voted for President Obama, said that he had been impressed by Mr. Trump as a leader and that he liked his ideas for improving the economy. He said that when he closed his eyes and listened to all the candidates, he found Mr. Trump to be the most appealing.
Yeah, and if I close my eyes and listen, the only thing I hear is circus music.
I was not aware of this. Amazon has apparently converted the U.K. through the gospel of Black Friday. Even though they do not (of course) celebrate our U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, we still were able to infect them with the shopping bug.
Helaine Olen at Slate reports:
The e-commerce juggernaut first introduced Black Friday to Britain in 2010. The concept proved popular. As a result, other U.K. retailers began to offer Black Friday discounts, both online and in stores.
But it wasn’t until 2013 that the day achieved something near the legendary status in Britain that it enjoys in the States. That’s when Asda, a U.K.-based superstore owned by, yes, Walmart, began to run Black Friday promotions in its physical stores promising “earth-shattering deals” with “unbeatable” prices. The chain’s chief merchandising officer specifically cited Walmart’s Black Friday sales as an inspiration. Guess what happened next?
British consumers, who for years had thrill-watched American Black Friday shoppers on YouTube, knew exactly what to do. They mobbed the front doors of Asdas across the British isles hours before the 2013 Black Friday sales began, and then, as if on cue, began to fight over the goods when allowed inside. There were reports of a “stampede over cut-price televisions” at a Belfast, Northern Ireland, Asda, and a “scuffle” over the same product at one located near Bristol, England.
The article goes on to describe other “scenes that shamed Britain.” Ha, ha, the U.S. wins again! And it’s not even really worth it for the stores. According to Olen’s report:
Now, it seems, the British are stuck with Black Friday much as American retailers are—their shoppers now expect it. Some retail analysts predict customers will spend more than 1 billion pounds on combined online and in-store shopping this Friday.
Nonetheless, it’s not even clear Black Friday is a win for British or American retailers, never mind shoppers. LCP Consulting reported only a third of retail executives they surveyed in the United States and Britain claimed the shopping holiday was profitable, with another 28 percent saying it was not only a money loser, but “unsustainable.”
For our musical selection today, we present Adele’s remarkable performance of “When We Were Young” from SNL last week. Her new album, “25,” was just released.