Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Retitled and updated: A personal epiphany

This was originally called "An American in China reflects on Keillor's 'buzz off.' It's grown and changed direction some.

Like a rubbernecker turning around on the highway to go back and stare at the car wreck, I've been monitoring Internet reaction to that GK column, in the blog-UU-sphere but also beyond. I won't post everything I see, but this at MinnPost.com resonates especially with me, perhaps because of the 3 weeks I spent in China 7 years ago.

And now, the update:

Some more stuff up today; here is one. And here or two more very strong responses, one responding to Keillor and the other inspired both by Keillor and by a Slate commentator who made a passing diss at UUs.

Which brings me to my 'aha' moment: As one who has for years laughed jokes at the expense of Unitarian Universalism, my spiritual community, I am becoming increasingly embarrassed by my own tolerance of same. Reading this as well as this (the relevant passage begins 8 paragraphs from the end) from Rev. Thom really brought that home for me. And in an indirect way, so did reading this.

It's just hitting me: I still think they can both be very funny men, but on the subject of faith, Bill Maher and Garrison Keillor are two sides of a tarnished coin. I have never liked Bill Maher's cheap shots at Christianity and at religion in general--even at religious beliefs that I find impossible to accept.

The least I can do is to show as much respect toward my own.

Confidential to Chalicechick: At least when it comes to Keillor's jokes about us, you were right all along.


  1. I am being very Green here by recycling this comment that I just left on Rev. Cyn's blog -

    Interestingly enough U*Us. . . A free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of Garrison Keillor's appparent anti-U*U "rant" reveals that Garrison Keillor himself told U*Us that he was not a "companion" to U*Us seberal years ago. Check out these quite "prophetic" words of Garrison Keillor that were posted to UU World magazine editor Chris Walton's now rather defU*Unct Philocrites blog on Thor's Day, October 2, 2003 -

    "Beneath this cool tolerant exterior beats the heart of an old *reactionary* and *pulpit-pounder* and if you ever put me in front of Unitarians with a microphone, I'd be hollering about man's inherent sinfulness and unworthiness and singing "Are You Washed In the Blood". I'd be roaming the aisles, *poking* people, baying like a dog. It wouldn't be a pretty sight."

    So maybe U*Us should have taken *those* words of Garrison Keillor seriously way back when. . .

  2. Interesting point, Robin. For those who want a URL, here it is:


  3. I meant to provide the (im)pertinent link but forgot to. . .

    All the more reason for U*Us to engage in a free and *responsible* search for the truth and meaning of my comment. ;-)

    BTW I am just putting the finishing touches on my alternative version of Silent Night. You have the dubious honor of being the very first U*U blogger to have the rough draft submitted in a comment to your blog DSD.


    Keillor's w*rite, Keillor's w*rite
    Was it calm? Was it bright?
    Garrison Keillor got U*Us riled
    Op/Ed satire not tender nor mild
    Rant in Opinion Piece
    Rant in Opinion Piece

    Keillor's rant, Keillor's rant!
    Unitarians "take it" can't. . .
    Bigotry screams from GK's page?
    U*U bloggers continue to rage!
    Keillor's true colors are shown?
    Keillor's true colors are shown?

    Keillor's plight, Keillor's plight!
    Son of Grace and John's delight
    Radiation streams from his toxic waste
    With interdependent loss of face
    U*Us, jarred by Thy "mirth"
    U*Us, jarred by Thy "mirth". . .

    Happy Solstice Holidays,

    Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger aka The "Less Than Silent" Dark Knight of the U*U World :-)

  4. The UU World interviewed GK sometime in the early 1990s, I think. (I'm estimating the timing because I have a strong visual recollection of reading the story in a home that I did not own after 1993.) I also think the same article was paired with an interview with William Sloane Coffin. I was just hunting around the 'net for it but cannot find it. If memory serves he was equally blunt then, in retrospect, but I do not trust my recollection's accuracy.

  5. Ah, yes! I've been annoyed at Keillor for years; his comedy is often misogynistic, and yet he makes me laugh. But Christians (or pseudo-Christians) that want to complain about others taking 'their' holiday must remember whose holiday these season belonged to originally: The pagans, celebrating solstice, are the ones whose symbols early Christian converters used to create the flavor of (European) Christmas today. Trees, lights, even carols, all have their precursors in those times. What, after all, would Christ do? my guess is NOT spend time shopping at the mall!! DairyStateDad's Quaker sister...


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