What's Tony Thinking

At the Week End, March 16 – 17


Hola from San Miguel de Allende, where things are ramping up for Holy Week, a multi-week affair here. There’s a 12K procession that begins at midnight tonight and ends at 6:00 a.m. with a mass to follow.

Since the one hour a week that I work is tomorrow morning, I will forego this all-nighter.

Meanwhile, the jacaranda trees are in bloom everywhere here, providing appropriate seasonal color, purple, or lavender if you prefer. The color of Lent and Holy Week.

In Seattle I think you could pretty much ignore or be unaware of Holy Week, if that is your druthers. I remember one year when I was at Plymouth Church in Seattle when we got word that the high-rise across the street was going to completely shut down 6th Ave on Easter Sunday (location of the church’s doors) to install a new HVAC system. When I reached the building owner, I said, “Hey, it’s Easter Sunday.” He, who was located in New Jersey, said, “Sorry, not my problem.” I followed up with the City, which had issued the permit, but thought better of it when I pointed out it was Easter.

Don’t think ignoring Holy Week is even remotely possible here in San Miguel. Processions, music, people in costume, church bells ringing and fireworks are all pretty constant. Fireworks are understood here as a wake-up call for the Almighty. “Hey God, pay attention!” Lest that sound impious, it is a frequent refrain in the Psalms as in “Stir thyself, O God! Come to our aid!” though without the firecrackers.

Here’s a bit of entertaining snark with a Northwest angle from the weekly roundup at The Free Press. “Wait, why aren’t the Natives building grass huts?

‘Right in the city of Vancouver (Canada), there is a lovely piece of land controlled by the Squamish Nation. And they’ve now decided what to do with it: they’re going to build gorgeous, huge, gleaming housing towers. A massive new neighborhood in a city with a housing crisis. It will, in fact, be the densest neighborhood in all of Canada, with 13,000 new housing units.

“Obviously, the anti-housing progressives are appalled. When the good left fought for indigenous rights, they assumed that meant noble savages, bead curtains, dances, maybe hiring someone to do a ceremony in the living room after a breakup.

“Per one of these critics, a Vancouver urban planner and a former city councilor, who is publicly railing against the development: ‘When you’re building 30, 40-story high rises out of concrete, there’s a big gap between that and an Indigenous way of building.’ Yes, why aren’t you building grass huts, exactly? Like, who taught you ‘concrete’? According to the Vancouver Sun, the First Nation’s property portfolio will be worth about $30 billion once they’ve developed all their urban lands. Get it, guys!”

Probably not grass huts actually, but cedar longhouse but point taken.

Pascal Pops. While running down a quote from the 17th century math phenom and Christian essayist, Blaise Pascal, I came upon the following which struck me as worth pondering if for no other reason that to suggest that we are not the first human beings up to our ears in stuff that sounds true but isn’t. Here’s BP:

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.” Like the linkage of truth and love.

My fav from Pascal is this: “The world is not divided into saints and sinners; but between sinners who believe themselves to be saints, and saints who know themselves to be sinners.”

Trump’s Trials. Speaking of truth and what isn’t, I wonder if one unintended consequence of the highly-publicized and protracted nature of Trump’s legal cases, is to school the rest of us on how the legal system actually works, at least for those with money and power.

Answer: very, very slowly. Maybe so slowly that people are dead or have become President, with pardon powers, before anything ever gets decided. Attorney friends, help me out here. Does any case ever not lead to an appeal, after which the appeal is appealed? I guess if you can come up with the money for lawyers, you can pretty much avoid anything ever getting decided or resolved. Different story for people without the big bucks.

Happy Weekend!


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