In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Hairy Decision

I hate puns. It won't happen again...

Anyhoodle, I've been doing an experiment of sorts, essentially cutting my hair-washing schedule down to twice a week. I only began this a few weeks ago and, so far, have seen a dramatic improvement in the itchiness of my scalp - which is weird, because I thought the extra oil would make it worse. In fact, that fear is the sole reason I didn't do this sooner; I kept reading all the accounts which say your hair goes through a period of adjustment wherein it'll be extra-super oily and gross and I was afraid that, with my luck, that "adjustment period" would be around six months and that my dandruff would just explode. My hair will probably become much more oily once I stop using shampoo altogether, but, until then, my (admittedly limited) experience has bolstered my confidence enough to someday take that next step.

Aside: EJ just asked me what I was writing and, when I told him, wondered what was so blog-worthy about it. "I never use shampoo, ever," he said. "What's the big deal?"

Then again, EJ has the kind of luscious, dark-gold hair that Hesiod could write line after line about, so he doesn't really count...

The Bradford City Football Fires

On May 11, 1985, the worst sports disaster in English history occurred. Gaby Logan was 12 years old that day and here she recounts her memories or the horrific event.

Gaby Logan: How Mum's Decision to Leave Early Saved us from Fatal Bradford FC Fire

By Antonia Hoyle

It was supposed to be a day of celebration. Bradford City Football Club were playing their last game of the season against mid-table Lincoln City.

It was a formality – Bradford were runaway leaders of the old-style Third Division and the trophy had been presented to the team before they had even set foot on the pitch.

The sun was shining, promotion was assured and the 11,076 supporters packed into the club’s Valley Parade ground were so jubilant that, as the first half progressed, they hardly noticed the billows of smoke that started to spiral up from beneath the seats in stand G.

Read Rest of Article Here

Sunday, April 11, 2010

China's Gendercide

I've often heard it said - and repeated it myself - that the government ruins everything it touches. Nowhere is this more apparent than China's attempt to control its population growth. We've all heard of China's looming gender imbalance, but this beautiful and well-written post from Peter Hitchens (who is, I believe, the brother (and polar opposite) of famed atheist Christopher Hitchens) puts a personal touch on the matter.

Gendercide: China's shameful massacre of unborn girls means there will soon be 30m more men than women
By Peter Hitchens
In the cruel old China, baby girls were often left to die in the gutters. In the cruel modern China, they are aborted by the tens of millions, using all the latest technology.

There is an ugly new word for this mass slaughter: gendercide.

Thanks to a state policy which has limited many families to one child since 1979, combined with an ancient and ruthless prejudice in favour of sons, the world's new superpower is beginning the century of its supremecy with an alarming surplus of males.

By the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women of marriageable age in this giant empire, so large and so different (its current population is 1,336,410,000) that it often feels more like a separate planet than just another country. Nothing like this has ever happened to any civilisation before.

The nearest we can come to it is the sad shortage of men after the First World War in Britain, France, Russia and Germany, and the many women denied the chance of family life and motherhood as a result.

It is possible that the effects of that imbalance are still with us, in the shape of the radical feminist movement which found ready recruits among the husbandless teachers and other professionals of the Twenties and Thirties.

But men without women are altogether more troublesome than women without men, especially when they are young.
Read entire article here...

This one child policy would only work if there were absolutely no differences between men and women. Though the article disparages the "perceived differences" between men and women in China, the facts of the matter are, the people choosing to abort their daughters in favor of sons are, to some extent, correct in their perception of who will better care for them in old age. Even in today's ultra-feminist paradise, women in general choose lower-paying careers than men, more often opt to stay home either part- or full-time with their children, and there's no guarantee the son-in-law won't choose his own parents over his wife's. So, in a society which still depends on children caring for parents once they can no longer care for themselves, boys really do make the most sense. Of course, all of this could have been avoided had China just decided not to institute this policy at all. Just goes to show you that, yet again, egalitarianism on paper mean nothing to reality.

Granted, other articles I've read have commented on the sorry state of parenting among one-child families in China, so it remains to be seen if many of these spoiled/neglected "little princes" will have been successful enough in life to provide for, or will want to so burden themselves with, elderly parents when the time comes. No matter what, it seems that China has really dropped the ball on this one. Yay, Communism! (/sarcasm)

"East Meets English"

From the archives of Touchstone magazine, this article on English translations of the Divine Liturgy and Occasional Services both provides interesting background on the subject and showcases the oft frustrating, ever confusing mish-mash of styles, ideas, and opinions of those in charge of such matters. Unlike other Orthodox countries in the east, the U.S. (and, I believe, Australia) did not have the Faith brought by missionaries (Alaska being the exception), but by settlers. Those settlers came from everywhere and founded their own parishes connected to their own countries. Thus, in some places we have Russian, Antiochian, and Greek parishes side by side, overlapping in the same city, each with their own languages and "small-t" traditions. The article gives suggestions about what to focus on, what has helped, and what has hindered, and points out that, even if the clergy within each ethnicity were finally able to settle their differences and appoint one single translation, the people of each parish, having become accustomed to their own way of doing things, might very well revolt. Such obstacles can't be overcome in a night and there is simply no way to please everyone.

But, the faith has survived for over 2,000 years. It will survive this. Praise God now and ever and unto the ages of ages!