Monthly Archives: February 2013

Champion of the Oppressed

Many of you may have heard that comic-book fans and retailers are outraged at Orson Scott Card’s involvement in a new digital-first ‘Adventures of Superman’ series.  If you are like me, I’ve just heard about it a few times on NPR, but I heard a story by Glen Weldon, a freelance writer and regular contributor to Monkey See, on NPR yesterday.  I payed attention, partly because I did not know that the anti-gay author was Orson Scott Card, who I was familiar with only through seeing his books in bookstores. I also paid attention because I am a fan of Superman.  I’m not one of those fans that reads all of the Superman comics, but one who has a healthy fantasy about how very attractive Superman is.  Superman has always been my favorite superhero and it really goes deeper than just the attractiveness of the actors who have played him in TV and movies.  Like Weldon said:
Superman is not just a superhero. He’s the superhero. He created the very concept of the superhero, and everything that’s touched on that concept for the past 75 years — we are talking vast swaths of popular culture — exists because of him. Regardless of how you feel about Superman and superheroes, you can’t deny the cultural impact the character has made, and continues to make…Superman is an ideal. He represents our best self. That’s what he’s for.
He’s not the hero we identify with — that’s what Spider-Man is for. Spider-Man worries about rent, and girlfriends, and his sick Aunt May still, again, some more. In him, we see ourselves as we are.
In Superman, we see ourselves as we hope to be. It’s right there in the name — he’s not “Pretty Good Man” or “Doesn’t Suck Man”; he’s Superman. He personifies our noblest ideals, ideals we believe in, and strive for, but only inconstantly attain: Truth and Justice, but also Fairness and Compassion.
He is a man born with tremendous gifts, who could do anything he wants. Anything at all. And what he chooses to do, first and always, is to help others.
In Action Comics #1 from 1938, Siegel and Shuster slapped together a one-page origin story in which he discovers his powers. We don’t actually see him in the baby-blue longjohns until the very last panel of this introduction.
But when we do see him for the very first time, these are the first words that appear directly below, the first epithet applied to this newly-minted creation as it was unleashed upon the world:
Champion of the Oppressed. (Emphasis added)
There it is, coded into his creative DNA from the very beginning: He fights for the little guy. 

Weldon also states the reasons why he, as an inveterate Superman nerd and a gay dude, will not be reading the first two issues of a new digital-first Superman comic.  He stated that:

First (and I think his most important point about Card): Card isn’t just a guy whose opinions I happen to disagree with. Trust me, the comics industry is rife with writers, artists and editors whose politics I don’t share, who hold views they’re quite public about in interviews and various internet forums, and I would defend — to the mild inconvenience — their right to hold those views. This isn’t about that.
Card is different. Card is an activist. He sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, an entity entirely devoted to attacking and defeating marriage equality and spending millions of dollars lobbying to do so.
So let me give you some more background about Orson Scott Card.  Card has publicly declared his disapproval of homosexuality and of gay marriage. In 1990, Card called for laws that ban consensual homosexual acts to “remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.” He no longer advocates this, however, and argues that the 1990 stance must be seen in the context of the times (such laws were still deemed constitutional at the time) and the conservative Mormon audience to whom his essay was addressed.

In 2008, Card wrote that “[t]here is no branch of government with the authority to redefine marriage,” and indicated that a revolution would be appropriate if gay marriage became law. He said:

Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary. . . .

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

In 2009, Card became a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that seeks to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Card has also voiced his opinion that paraphilia and homosexuality are sometimes linked. In a 2004 essay entitled “Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilization”, Card wrote:

The dark secret of homosexual society—the one that dares not speak its name—is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.

Additionally, in Card’s novella Hamlet’s Father, which re-imagines the backstory of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, some claim that Card directly links the king’s pedophilia with homosexuality. The novella prompted public outcry and its publishers were inundated with complaints. The trade journal Publisher’s Weekly criticized Card’s “flimsy novella” and stated that the main purpose of it was to attempt to link homosexuality to pedophilia. Card responded to the claim:

…[T]here is no link whatsoever between homosexuality and pedophilia in this book. Hamlet’s father, in the book, is a pedophile, period. I don’t show him being even slightly attracted to adults of either sex. It is the reviewer, not me, who has asserted this link, which I would not and did not make.

Card’s views became the subject of even more pronounced controversy when he was selected as one of several recurring guest authors for DC Comics’s new Adventures of Superman series. DC Comics responded that it supported freedom of expression and that the personal views of individuals associated with the company were not the views of the company.

Like Mr. Weldon, I will not be reading the new Superman comic book, nor would I read anything else written by Mr. Card.

Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand

Last week, Jack Scott, mentioned in his comment Romans 8:31-39, which in some Bibles is titled “God’s Everlasting Love” says:

Romans 8:31-39 (KJV)

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I was doing some research about this passage and God’s everlasting love as a way to expound on these verses and I came up with two things, on is a song that I dearly love to sing in church:

Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand
Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.
Hold to God’s unchanging hand,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.
Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling.
Covet not this world’s vain riches
That so rapidly decay,
Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures,
They will never pass away.
When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory
Your enraptured soul will view.

The other thing I found is from Dr. Charles Stanley, of InTouch Ministries. The problem is that though Dr. Stanley’s sermon about God’s everlasting love is inspiring (you can read it yourself by following this link: I could not bring myself to put it on my blog. There are too many beliefs of Dr. Stanley and the Southern Baptist Convention that I find so very wrong. Yes, he may speak wonderfully about God’s love, but then he turns around and shuns those (especially GLBT) people who do not believe what he believes. I find it hypocritical and abhorrent. God’s love is God’s LOVE and some so-called Christians do not get to decide who God loves, because God loves us all. His love is eternal, everlasting, and unchanging.

Moment of Zen: Tighty-Whities

As a general rule, I don’t care for tighty-whities but on some men they are the sexiest thing they can wear.

The Borgias

Last night I sat down to finally watch a DVD I received for Christmas. It was The Borgias, a 2011 historical fiction television series created by Neil Jordan.

The series is set around the turn of the 16th century, and follows the Borgia family, an Italian dynasty of Spanish origin. It stars Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI with François Arnaud as CesareHolliday Grainger as LucreziaDavid Oakes as Juan and Aidan Alexander as Gioffre Borgia.  Colm Feore also stars as cardinal della Rovere.

The Borgias takes place during a time period that I love to study and so I have been anticipating seeing it.  Finally, I had some free time last night to watch it. I had not opened the package before last night, and to my great disappointment, I opened the package only to find that inside was the show Entourage instead of The Borgias.  So there was no Borgias to be seen last night.

Next, I decided to watch an old show that I loved as a kid that has recently come out on DVD ,Tales of the Golden Monkey. More than likely, none of my readers has ever heard of the show.  It only lasted one season and starred Stephen Collins.  Anyway, after I put it in the DVD player, I decided I really wanted to watch something less wholesome, so instead, I began watching the fourth season of True Blood.  Not quite as unwholesome as porn might have been, but pretty damn close.  I love the show, even if its not the greatest television.  It just has plenty of eye candy.  The only bad thing is that I am pretty sure that I have not seen season three like I thought I had.  Oh well, it was still fun to watch.

Single On Valentine’s Day?

Single On Valentine’s Day?

Red roses, chocolate candies, special edition M&M’s, those stuffed plush red hearts everywhere. We’re surrounded by sensual seas of red on Valentine’s Day, a irritatingly crimson reminder to those single on the holiday.

You may think it takes two to have a good Valentine’s Day, but that’s not exactly true. With a little planning and persistence you can turn this Valentine’s Day into 24 hours of opportunity. 

Grab Life By The Heart

The love gods don’t exactly align the timing of their gifts with the Valentine’s Day holiday, so it is possible that you may still be single on the big day. There’s nothing wrong with being single and riding doesn’t have to be synonymous with hopeless unhappy. Take control of your heart and manage those deceiving self-esteem stabbers by shifting how you think about Valentine’s Day. Whether you are content with being single or not, take the opportunity to treat yourself to a little love and a special night out. 

Reach Out And Touch Someone

It’s too easy and too common for singles to associate their self-esteem with the lack of date-age on Valentine’s Day. Protect your heart and your self-esteem by reaching out to friends, family, and loved ones. Plan a single’s V-Day party or a night out with your single buds. You can also get adventurous and go out alone. Remember, you won’t be the only one single on Valentine’s Day. Other single boys will be out and about looking for love or company, too. 

Paint The Dream

There is someone for everyone out there. Often, it just takes time for you and the right person for you to sync up. So, who is this guy you’re supposed to run into? It’s up to you to draw his blueprint. Create your model of a man: His demeanor, his personality, his smile… then let it go. Often the man of our dreams comes in a package we least expect. Focus on you, but be open to the possibilities of a connection where you least expect it.
This Valentine’s Day, just like all the other Valentine’s Days of the past, I am single.  I’m not sure exactly what I will do tonight, but most likely, I will make dinner, watch some TV, and curl up with a good book. 

What will you be doing this Valentine’s Day?

Sent from my iPad

Isn’t it funny…

Mardi Gras Madness

Mardi Gras Madness
By Mary Beth Magee

“T’row me som’pin, mistah!” yells the crowd along the curb,
And the riders throw them something as if they could be heard.
The roar of human masses drowns out single voice or thought.
Only beads, doubloons and trinkets can appease the crowd’s onslaught.
As purple, green and golden hues shade everything in sight,
The distant roar of motorcycles nearing sounds so right.
Horses step in rhythm, cadence clopping as they pass.
At a float’s approach the crowds surge toward the street, en masse.
Last fling before the austere days of Lent, we celebrate
With parties, food and bright parades to make the grayness wait.
A pretty string of beads to keep, a blazoned cup to hold,
A treasured doubloon to collect become Mardi Gras gold.
At midnight, Carnival will end, like Cinderella’s ball
And costumes put away in attics, closets in the hall
Remind us of the fun and laughs we shared with loved ones dear.
And we start counting down the days to Mardi Gras, next year.

Mary Beth Magee

Mary Beth draws on her curiosity and love of research to explore the world around her and write about it. New Orleans native, she now lives in northern CA, by way of Chicagoland. She first saw her name in print as a juvenile book reviewer her hometown paper and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her checkered past includes stints as a telephone operator, substitute school teacher, cosmetic sales, home health aide, government contractor, kitchen help in a deli, real estate sales, office manager and corporate trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, focusing on adult learning. Over the years, her writings covered news and feature articles, book and movie reviews, training materials, greeting cards, short fiction, poetry, and church bulletins.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Prayers Needed: Tornado Touches Down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Emergency officials say an apparent tornado has caused significant damage in Hattiesburg, Miss., after passing along a main road.  The tornado seems to ha e passed over two of the three places where I lived when I was in Hattiesburg.  I have not been able to find out the extent of the damage.

Forrest County Fire Coordinator Chip Brown says there is major damage in Hattiesburg and Petal, including on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. He couldn’t confirm injuries. Thankfully, the tornado hit while many students were away for the Mardi Gras holiday.

He said the damage was still being evaluated, but that the storm passed along a main Hattiesburg thoroughfare.  The people in Hattiesburg and all of my friends there would greatly appreciate it if you would join me in praying for them and that they will be able to recover from this quickly.

Psalms 23

Psalm 23 
King James Bible 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; 
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 
Thankfully He is always with us!

Moment of Zen: Good Advice