Monday, May 28, 2007

Blogging on the Train

Okay, I am one lucky and happy blogger. I am on a train from Newcastle to Wakefield (UK) and could only get a First Class ticket because everything else was sold out. I get to first class, sit in my plush seat, get a hot cup of tea served to me right away, open my laptop and BAM! wifi. So I blog to you as I speed through the English countryside on my to change trains at Doncaster. I live for wifi.

I just came off a wonderfully exhausting and exhilarating weekend with British Quakers ages 18-30ish. In this one weekend I have had so many conservations with thoughtful, informed and passionate Friends. Really inspires me and gives me hope.

At the weekend I met several people who I only knew through e-mail and blogging as well as dear Friends who I have hung with before (hey Esther, Mark and Alyn!). I got to meet and speak at length with Friend Wes who authors the GatheringInLight blog. Wes is very involved with the Convergent Quaker movement which attempts to help Quakers from various background to connect and converse.

In the past I have read many blog post by Convergent Friends, but I feel like such a novice in all of this that I typically don't respond other to say, Cool Post! which I am sure they appreciate, but does not contribute much to the conversation. But there is a time to listen and with much of Quakerism, I do much more listening than speaking.

Okay, I want to sit back and enjoy the views, but before I do, I want to share some new music! In Sweden Alex bought me Rufus Wainwright's newest album, Release the Stars. They adore Rufus in Sweden and the UK (#2 on the UK charts this week). On the album Rufus sings a powerful protest song that speaks to the weariness many of us feel about the US government, its leaders and the harm we have brought to the world.

Speaking about the US as I do my new play, The Re-Education of George W. Bush, I feel so bitter sweet. I come from an amazing country with amazing people, yet we have ruled with violence and oppression. The largest penal colony in the world is in NYC (and grew thanks in large part to Rudolf Guiliani). Our gun laws are outrageous and health care is abysmally bad. We oppress other countries politically, economically and culturally. The waste we produce, the recklessly in which we spend tax dollars, the neglect of the needy and the sellout to corporate interests sickens and saddens me. Then "concerned citizens" spend so much time talking crap about gay people. As if we didn't have real problems in the world that needed attention! Instead the focus gets put on fake problems that then have a real impact on American families--queer and straight.

In his song Going to a Town, Rufus sings,
Tell me do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
(Tell me) and not for thinking every thing that you've done is good
(I really need to know)
After soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood

I'm so tired of America
(I really need to know)

I may just never see you again or might as well
You took advantage of a world that loved you well
I'm going to a town that has already been burned down
I'm so tired of you America

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At 2:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I just bought the Rufus CD yesterday. The lines that jumped out at me were the very ones you quoted and I am going to put it on again and really listen to the songs.
Carol (Indiana)

At 3:56 PM , Blogger Contemplative Activist said...

The video of Rufus Wainwright's 'Going to a Town':

I will have to buy that album soon - thanks for reminding me :)

So is first class on the train waaay better than the standard seats, that is...if you can get seats. I once travelled, sitting outside the (very smelly) toilets between carriages on a very crowded train. They didn't offer me first class. Hmmmph. British rail = nasty.


At 5:33 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

it was great to meet you! thanks for taking some time out to talk with me about this stuff, i hope the rest of your trip goes well. what you're doing is definitely convergent! :)

At 2:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to read quite a bit of the convergent blogging stuff. I have got slack recently, I will now add it to my list of things and each morning when I check my emails, my blog and one post from blogging against disablism day I will also search out one quaker blog. I found the convergent stuff particularly facinating because it was a book about the emerging church which allowed me to allow myself to entertain the possibility of my same sex attraction being anything other than an abomination. Thank God for that! Esther


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