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Advent adventure

A seasonal rerun.

I so miss the columns Anne Lamott used to write for Salon, because they got me through some of the roughest times of my life. (How can you not love someone who refers to herself as a “cursing Christian”?) Anyway, via several other bloggers who reminded me of this, an excerpt from one of my favorite columns. I hope it gets to someone who needs it:

So I called my Jesuit friend, Tom, who is a hopeless alcoholic of the worst sort, sober now for 22 years, someone who sometimes gets fat and wants to hang himself, so I trust him. I said, “Tell me a story about Advent. Tell me about people getting well.”

He thought for a while. Then he said, “OK.”

In 1976, when he first got sober, he was living in the People’s Republic of Berkeley, going to the very hip AA meetings there, where there were no fluorescent lights and not too much clapping — or that yahoo-cowboy-hat-in-the-air enthusiasm that you get in L.A., according to sober friends. And everything was more or less all right in early sobriety, except that he felt utterly insane all the time, filled with hostility and fear and self-contempt.

But I mean, other than that everything was OK. Then he got transferred to Los Angeles in the winter, and he did not know a soul. “It was a nightmare,” he says. “I was afraid to go into entire areas of L.A., because the only places I knew were the bars. So I called the cardinal and asked him for the name of anyone he knew in town who was in AA. And he told me to call this guy Terry.”

Terry, as it turned out, had been sober for five years at that point, so Tom thought he was God. They made arrangements to go to a meeting that night in the back of the Episcopal Cathedral, right in the heart of downtown L.A.

It was Terry’s favorite meeting, full of low-bottom drunks and junkies — people from nearby halfway houses, bikers, jazz musicians. “Plus it’s a men’s stag meeting,” says Tom. “So already I’ve got issues.
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If we live in the land of the free and all that twaddle, then why do our cops treat protesters as if they’re terrorists rather than fellow citizens? Inquiring minds, including a prominent United Nations official, want to know. More here.

Chuck Colson

Thou shalt not bear false witness, Chuck!

Some animals are more equal than others

Fox News.

Deep thought

Why did I not win the Powerball last night?

Stupid

They should give the kid a medal!

Jerusalem

Steve Earle:

I woke up this mornin’ and none of the news was good
And death machines were rumblin’ ‘cross the ground where Jesus stood
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way
And there was nothin’ anyone could do or say
And I almost listened to him
Yeah, I almost lost my mind
Then I regained my senses again
And looked into my heart to find
That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem
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True colors

Cyndi Lauper:

The heart that love forget

Kelly Willis:

‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’

And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else…

Go here for notes about the song.

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