Curb Your Traditions

Sinterklaas Eve. Dutch tradition. December 5th. Putting carrots out for Sint Niklaas so he will fill the wooden shoes with candy for the children. No chimneys involved. Nor toys. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave it at that? Done! Kids can get toys & games all year long now anyway. On Amazon. Not only is bricks & mortar retail on its last gasp. So soon is consumer Christmas! Back to families, carols & food. Yay.

Larry David & Lin Manuel Miranda’s Fatwa! the Musical. Please. Broadway!

btw Deutsche Bank isn’t Dutch.

Mundo Quebrando

Earthquakes. Mexico. Check. Superstorms. Puerto Rico. Caribe. Florida. Check. World War 3. Iran. North Korea. Check. According to a Christian numerologist, this coming Saturday, September 23 the world will end. Biblical signs sure are lined up. Exoplanets newly discovered may go rogue. Nostradamus nothwithstanding. Won’t plan on going to book club next week.

Terror Bro’s

Again. Brothers at the center of terrorist attack. This time Belgium. It started with the Tsarnaev sibs of the Boston Marathon massacre. The Chechen Brothers KaramazOff. Disaffected young men ostracized and marginalized in their adopted or native land. Attracted by a global gang of thugs to mount revenge in the name of religion but with no real devotion to it.

So. It we take Cruz and Trump to their logical conclusions. Arrest all swarthy young brothers. Just to be safe.

Sunday School

What happened to Sunday? It used to be devoted to going to Church. Gathering to pray in the local house of worship. Today, Americans of all denominations can be seen genuflecting in front of the big screen and the NFL. Football has kidnapped a whole day of the week. Klieg lights illuminate gigantic stadiums as altar candles flicker out.

Families gather around a communion bowl of Doritos in fervent prayer for their team to prevail. Players themselves raise their eyes toward the Lord in praise and thanks. Devoted  dance. God must love them more than the Broncos, Seahawks or Colts. On any given Sunday. Faith is powerful. So is our quarterback.

After Glow

Okay. I’ve been resurrected from my Pope Francis stupor. Reality has set in. Yes. There were lots of men in dresses with purple sashes. And nuns serving as sister wives. I get it. It’s an anachronistic patriarchal cult. Anchor-pundits tried to narrate about what they had no clue, then were more swept away day by day. Even as a long lapsed Catholic, I still love the guy.

Then. Central Park Festival dovetails with Papal message. Bey. Ond. Say. First Lady Michelle. Bono. Malala. Back to Seattle’s Pearl Jam. Whoa. Tomorrow season finale of Ray Donovan. Best show.

Siempre Adelante!

Francisco is the coolest most authentic person. A joyful warrior for mercy. Siempre adelante! Kinda like Kasich. Evangelicals deride the Pope’s stands on climate change and income inequality. Their hate for Muslims and illegal immigrants Trumps their love for Jesus. Interesting times.

What happens when you fly West to escape oncoming Pope cluster in Manhattan? You run into Chinese President Xi at your Seattle hotel.

SpringBoard

King Abdullah of Jordan gives a controversially candid interview to Jeffrey Goldberg in April’s the Atlantic. As he trashes his neighbors’ response to the Arab Spring, Abdullah pines for his days at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He has even built a school in Jordan modeled on his happy boarding phase.

Spring edition of MSKCC’s Bridges newsletter compares cancer survivors’ resiliency and the long journey of recovery to the plight of Sandy victims.

New York Magazine’s cover RetroWife captures the current phenomenon. Women choosing to be the modern version of a 50’s wife. I get it. They were brought up by absent moms, the feminists who tried to have it all. It’s a nostalgic nod to June Cleaver and Donna Reed. The ideal misses the reality of women who stay home all day. Mother’s “little helpers” are also back in vogue.

I’ll say it again. Richard Engel’s spellbinding account of his kidnapping in Syria is a must read. VanityFair, April 2013.

Il Papa Francesco will celebrate Holy Thursday at a juvenile prison in Rome. He may be the real deal. Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon comes to mind.