Friday, July 26, 2013

The Varginha Dialogues - Words That Really Matter Avoid Body Parts

I was told by a woman sometime after the death of my wife in 1998, that one sure cure for my blues was buying a ticket to see the Vagina Monologues: ' Eve Ensler is a genius.'

I'm not all that bright. I failed to see the connection between a play that celebrates a woman's gear and my sense of loss, grief, anger, confusion and loneliness.  Maybe, I should have taken her advise, because I self-medicated by gambling like and idiot out of Tolstoy for too long.  Well, I am a male. I find it odd that the very people who gab about female castration are the first to condemn Israel and demand abortion 24/7 on my dime. Me, I don't chat body parts.

Notice above that I refused to use the V aside from it place in the Ensler text.  I am no prude, but I refuse to go all second wave feminist.  Words have meaning, context and most certainly place. Am I uncomfortable talking about a woman's gizmo?  Certainly not.  I do not refer to my own coital apparatii by the latinate and stick to the language of the sixth grade male awakening ( Glory Be to God!).

The Old Avenger has no place in public.

Due to my proclivity for ignoring articles, plays, poems, or chit-chat featuring the Female Johnson, I very nearly missed a delightful AP report on Pope Francis' visit to Rio Slums  -Despite heavy security and a cold rain, Francis waded into the cheering crowds and hugged and kissed residents young and old before blessing the altar at the shoebox of a church that serves the community. He prayed before a replica of Brazil's patron saint, the Virgin of Aparecida, and met with a family in their squat yellow home.
"He gave each of us a rosary, he took photos with everyone and embraced each one," said Diego Rodrigues, a 26-year-old friend of the da Penha family who received the papal visit. "I think everyone but the pope was speechless!"
Francis brought a message of hope, following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II who visited two such favelas during a 1980 trip to Brazil and Mother Teresa who visited Varginha itself in 1972. Her Missionaries of Charity order have kept a presence in the shantytown ever since.
Like Mother Teresa, Francis brought his own personal history to the visit: As archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio frequently preached in the poverty-wracked slums of his native city, putting into action his belief that the Catholic Church must go to the farthest peripheries to preach and not sit back and wait for the most marginalized to come to Sunday Mass.
In remarks to a crowd of several thousand Varghina residents, who slushed through a muddy soccer field to welcome him, Francis acknowledged that young people in particular have a sensitivity toward injustice.
"You are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good," Francis told the crowd. "To you and all, I repeat: Never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change."
It was a clear reference to the violent protests that paralyzed parts of the country in recent weeks as Brazilians furious over rampant corruption and inefficiency within the country's political class took to the streets.
Francis blasted what he said was a "culture of selfishness and individualism" that permeates society today, demanding that those with money and power share their wealth and resources to fight hunger and poverty.
"No amount of peace-building will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself," Francis said.
Rather than a shower of reports and round-tables on the Pope's dialogues with the poor, Americans are bombarded with news accounts, interviews and press conferences dedicated to Anthony Weiner's Tamale Textings and the effect that is having on his odious wife. That sin of omission is because the Pope and Catholics are dead set against abortion and defend the marriage between man and woman. 

Like Trampas in Owen Wister's novel The Virginian, America's corporate media sponsored by the Progressive Democratic National Party use language to deconstruct our common spirit.  The Virginian, like Pope Francis employs the gift of words to bring people together.

"Events like this, with the pope and all the local media, get everyone so excited," said Antonieta de Souza Costa, a 56-year-old vendor and resident of Varginha. "I think this visit is going to bring people back to the Catholic Church."
In the last two decades, the church has lost legions of faithful in the country, most of them poorer Brazilians who have switched to Pentecostal evangelical congregations with a huge presence in Varginha and most other slums.
The Varginha slum butts up against what until about six months back was the largest "cracolandia" — crackland — in Brazil, where hundreds of crack cocaine users gathered under a train overpass and used the drug openly night and day. Crumbling brittle shacks still give the area a bombed-out feel.

The Pope dialogues and the American media monologues endlessly.

I'd attend any Varginha Dialogue and will continue to the . . . . other Monlogue a huge pass. 

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