Thursday, July 13, 2006

peaches and woe: a rant

Yes, a short tail of the peaches and my long running disdain, and often anger, with the abilities of the grocery store bagger.

I bought several donut peaches at the store yesterday. They have a very strong yet mild perfumey smell to them. It's strong if you're standing over the bin of peaches, but a few in the plastic bag were actually overwhelmed by the plastic bag, strong yet mild.

I picked carefully, selecting peaches with a good scent and no bruising. I carefully lowered them into the bag, excited at the little treat that should reside within these delicate little morsels. Peaches are delicate anyway, but these little guys are even more delicate.

Preparing lunch today, I put our sandwiches together and turned to the fruit part. Those peaches sat, still in the bag, waiting for us to dive in. What went into the bag as fruit that was as perfect as possible came out of the bag almost inedible. They were bruised, each and every one, over at least a third of their tiny bodies.

I've thought before that I should just demand to bag my own groceries. I don't feel that I'm really that anal about it, but I pay attention. I was taught to bag groceries many years ago at a grocery store job. It wasn't a class on the subject, but a sense of order and appropriateness was taught in the methodology of placing items into a bag. I find it doubtful the many people care based on my experience with bagging.

I really don't feel I'm asking much, and I don't expect every employee in a store to be aware of the nuances of all their products. I do want the person bagging my groceries to know how to handle produce. Regardless of the product, I take the time to check it out. I'll walk away from bad produce and change my menu before I buy crap. You can believe that I didn't purchase bad fruit or damage it. Yet I am throwing away half the amount of peach that I purchased because I also won't serve bad fruit.

I borrowed the picture from VegiWorks, and when I say borrow, I mean that I used Google image search to find some pretty peaches, and I like these guys' site the best, so I used the picture. I haven't checked the site out much, but it's pretty.

the truth of the matter

One has to love when the random comic in his or her bloglines holds so much truth. So for those among us who feel that the issue of media bias is more important that all the other calamitous actions by our leaders, I give you this link.

diversity, faith and not needing the crutch

Sometimes I don't mind taking over Darryl's blog comments to rant my point, but I don't feel like that today. I feel that my wandering mind will be best suited by making my argument from my own little home on the nets.

Scott Somerville basically asks why we can't all get along. Homeschooling is not the grossly over peopled christian family of blond haired, blue eyed children of the corn that we see so often. For a fact, they are a part of our community and should be as welcome as the hairy armpit hippy mom nursing both her seven and five year old hippy progeny. Somewhere in between those two extremes are the science teacher with nothing but disdain for the school system, the old punk mostly grown up, the hip knitting momma, the single parent wondering if it's really doable. In other words, homeschooling, like America, is a mixed up pile of every single one of us, and to make it more crazy, even gay people and black people are homeschooling. One family's extreme sounds just about right to someone else.

I really want to be fair to everyone which for me means that no one person or stereotype of a group is any more or less lambasted by what passes for humor in my mind. But I find that certain segments within homeschooling, and throughout average American life, just can't seem to hold onto common sense for longer than it takes to pray about it.

One thing that has to be understood, most people of faith seem totally convinced that their freedom to practice religion is being undermined and attacked, that the heathens and gays and atheists and humanists are out to steal their rights and turn their kids gay. They are certain that to pray in school would call down the ire of the ACLU and land them in jail. They fret daily that exposure to evolutionist facts will erase a lifetime of stories about Jesus and Paul and Gideon. They fear that our system of laws will collapse and the jails will spew out all those evil people if they can't chisel the ten commandments into the walls of all the court houses in the nation. Again, fact or not, this is how it seems to me.

So how do the christians fight this battle that exists mostly in their minds and churches? They would very much like to be in control and force a theocracy onto the rest of us. When we try to teach religious fables as equal to proven science, what else can it be but theocracy? When we damn people for the kind of things they do that shouldn't be any of our business, and we damn them using a religious text, what else can it be but theocracy?

It isn't hard to get along when people meet each other with the assurance of respect for one another. But when one side has a faith agenda to push, that getting along gets pushed away. Even worse is when that faith agenda is forced onto others in a smothering cloak of religious over reaching. And it isn't that other people care about the religion of the faith agenda side, because more often than not, I for one would love to not care at all about someone's beliefs. I'd be happy to not be forced to care, yet the faith people can't let it be easy. They have to push their faith as if they deserve extra rights just for being good enough. Sadly, most of these people are not good enough and in fact are no more christian acting than many atheists, gays or humanists.

So what's to be done? For a start, the christians could just shut their mouths sometimes. Maybe just bite down on the hate filled words before they fall out of your mouth. Stop using the phrase "gay agenda" and pretending that gay people want something more than equality. Stop trying to force us all to abide by your interpretations. Stop pretending that we should all bow to your idea of a god. Stop pretending that we are somehow less than you because we don't believe the same. Stop suggesting that our desire for equality is somehow undermining your ability to practice your religion. If your faith and religion are about more than hate mongering then please start to act in a way that proves what you say. Stop being dicks to everyone.