Around our house, when one of us is getting revved up to speak truth to power, we like to channel the spirit of the Crocodile Hunter as portrayed on South Park: “This croc has enough power in its jaws to rip my head right off….So, what I’m gonna do is sneak up on it and jam my thumb in its butthole….This should really piss it off!”
So I was especially honored when Steve Emery tagged me as a “Kick Ass Blogger”, a meme started by MammaDawg, whose list of ass-kickers now exceeds 200. Go check out Steve’s blog for beautiful artwork and meditations on creativity and spirituality. His watercolor “Hounds” will be on the cover of my forthcoming chapbook from Southern Hum Press.
Here are the criteria for the Kick Ass Blogger award, along with my five choices:
Do you know any bloggers that kick ass?
Maybe they’ve got incredible, original content. Or they’re overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a bloggy friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it’s someone who simply inspires you to be a better person… or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off.
Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well… why not tell ‘em so?
The rules to this are as follows:
1) Choose five other bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
2) Let them know that they have received an award.
3) Link back to both the person who awarded you and also to http://www.mammadawg.com
4) Visit the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky and leave a comment.
And the nominees are…
Callan: Heartbreaking and inspiring, this transgender woman blogs about her journey toward self-affirmation and the ever-imperfect balance between sacrificial caregiving and self-nurturing. Our lives are different yet our souls are similar. Callan shows that transgender is not a weird or extreme “lifestyle,” but only an unusually visible example of the quest for a self that transcends society’s stereotypical roles. A lot of us don’t have the courage to confront the ostracism that goes along with that quest, so we react badly to those who show us that conformity is not the only choice: hence trans-phobia. Callan says, “Broken mirrors,/denying reality,/don’t change the world.//They only break hearts/which continue to beat/even when made invisible.”
Of Course, I Could Be Wrong: “MadPriest” is a cheeky Anglican priest in Newcastle-on-Tyne who lives to satirize intolerance in our beloved church. Check out his frequent photo-caption contests; you’ll never look at ++Rowan Williams the same way again. MadPriest has a loyal following of equally insane bloggers who send him rather good dirty jokes, for which he disavows all responsibility. I especially liked this one (I am SO the American woman).
Eve Tushnet: Separated at birth! Another 30-ish Jewish-to-Christian convert who loves all things dark, campy, and incarnational. Eve identifies as a lesbian who is celibate in obedience to Catholic doctrine. While I don’t agree with her conclusion that this is right or possible for every Christian, she expresses her point of view with remarkable fairness, nuance and humility. Plus her blog is just plain fun. Where else will you find discussions of ethical philosophy alongside comic-book reviews, quotes from New Wave songs, and recipes? Eve’s blogroll was my first gateway to the online Christian community. Now we know who is responsible for my lack of productivity since 2001.
Hugo Schwyzer: Hugo may be famous enough not to need my blog-love, and if he’s not, he should be. Christian feminist, gender-studies professor, environmentalist, chinchilla-rescuer, giver and receiver of second chances, Hugo inspires me to believe in redemption and challenges me to discipline my imagination when it strays toward idolatry and greed.
Betwixt and Between: Christopher, an Episcopalian layman and Benedictine oblate-novice, bears cogent witness to the blessedness of same-sex partnerships as a form of Christian brotherhood, and intelligently dissects the failures of both “liberals” and “conservatives” in the Anglican Church who use GLBT people as a pawn in their culture wars. From a recent post on Christians’ uses and misuses of sacrificial language:
“Self-emptying” tends to be understood by many as absence of a self, and though literally kenosis might mean self-emptying, self-gifting or self-giving-for-others might be a more accurate theological understanding. This “absence of self” may be perfectly appropriate spiritually for those who are encouraged in our culture and church to have a large ego, but can be deadly to those who are encouraged to only be a mirrored mesh of relations around them.
I know when I hear self-empyting language used, I become suspicious because of the history of how that term is often used, and often as a bludgeon. As Sr. Laura Swan, OSB points out in her book, Engaging Benedict, “self emptying” language is often used by Christians in dominant positions and by the culture more generally to tell especially women, but I would dare say African-Americans, gays, and others in “minority” positions not to have a self or to have a self rooted only in serving the greater. As early Desert Ammas make clear, however, as does the witness of generations of Benedictine women, on the contrary, in a dominant situation, having a self is often the first and necessary possibility of offering oneself for others.