March 11, 2002
At the close of every year, Swans editors let their hair down and create the always tongue-in-cheek, often sacrilegious, and occasionally sarcastic predictions, grounded in the absurdities of the times. Sometimes they ring true. Case in point from the January 1, 2002 Predictions:
"All churches will relocate to Mall Inc., thus allowing Americans to indulge in their two favorite pastimes in one location. 'Shop till you drop to your knees and pray,' says Bush II. 'It's good for your soul, the economy and my re-anointment.'"
A New York Times article in the 'Religious Journal' section on March 2, 2002 boasted the headline, "Yes, God Is Everywhere, Even at the Local Mall."
"I remember the distraught elderly shopper who wheeled her empty Kmart cart from the store into our sanctuary," Mr. Knight said. "She had been informed that morning that her sister had died. In the midst of shopping, she found this place of solace and met the presence of God. It's a gift to be at a church where people drop in just to see what's going on."
Your sister dies, and you seek comfort in shopping. Left empty and empty-handed, you find absolution right there at the Mall. There's no price tag on solace, so feed your consumerist soul.
But will the Mall churches turn a profit? In the words of Francis Gildea, general manager of Plymouth Meeting Mall, PA: "A shopping center is a capitalist operation," Mr. Gildea said. "Trying to connect that with religion doesn't always mesh well. Do you charge God rent? I don't think so."
If God won't pay rent, there's another option: Ask him to look favorably on capitalism. According to Greenspan, the spiritual/economic recovery is among us, so keep shopping till you drop to your knees and pray.
This Week's Internal Links
Pretzels And A Book: Sign And Portent - by Deck Deckert
Our Tax Dollars and Moral Leaders at Work - by Jan Baughman
Keep Dancing - by Michael Stowell
Why Didn't YOU Vote For Nader? - by Deck Deckert
Wrong Question, Worse Time - by Milo Clark
'Terrorists' Who Made Good - by Philip Greenspan
The Worst Day of the War? - by Stephen Gowans
Israeli-Palestinian And American Sad Minuet - by Gilles d'Aymery
The Best-Laid Plans Of Mice And Tribunals Go Oft Astray - by Stephen Gowans
Destinations For The Cynical Traveler - by Aleksandra Priestfield
Watch Your Language! - by Alma Hromic
An Acre of Grass - A Poem by William Butler Yeats
lxxx - A Poem by Charles Baudelaire (in French - en français)
War up Close -- The Kid and the Old Man - by Norman L. Russell (Book Excerpt)
War up Close -- Russell's Lament - by Norman L. Russell (Book Excerpt)