Spring recovery

For a Big Box home improvement and garden center omniplex, spring is bigger than Christmas. Once the weather turns — sunny and warm on the weekends — people get to planting, seeding, weeding, sodding, cleaning, fixing, mulching, paving, replacing, power-washing, etc. etc., and the store gets crazy busy.

For me, personally, that’s meant six-day weeks since April, finishing up with the end of our “spring recovery” marathon last weekend and ending with Friday’s 11th-straight overnight shift. So this weekend starts the beginning of my recovery from spring recovery.

Right now, though, I’m pretty fried, with just enough coherent focus (maybe) to toss up some links to interesting things written by better-rested folks elsewhere.

• Emma Green writes about “A Conservative Christian Battle Over Gender” for The Atlantic, looking at the debate over the role of women in the conservative Presbyterian Church of America. It’s fascinating, in part, because of how entangled this PCA business of male supremacy is with its unexamined and unarticulated white supremacy. “Intersectionality” is a relatively new word, but the thing itself has always existed. Oppressors have always been intersectional.

In Green’s article, one conservative PCA member complains about the rabble-rousers’ use of “weird” words like “oppression,” saying “Those are not words that are common to traditional Christian usage.” That’s … odd, because this is an extremely biblical word. You think it’s “weird”? Like, dude, do you even Psalms?

• The gazillionaire Green family of Hobby Lobby infamy is in trouble for smuggling artifacts out of Iraq, paying millions for cuneiform tablets — funds that likely wound up supporting ISIS and other terror groups in that region.

No dealer in his right mind would have been involved in this,” said Jerome Eisenberg of New York’s Royal-Athena Galleries. Echoing the opinion of most scholars, museums, and art-dealers that the Greens’ excuse of simple naiveté is not credible. But then we’re not really talking about dealers in their right mind — we’re talking about billionaire white evangelicals who don’t understand how birth control, human reproduction, or insurance standards work, and who are intent on building a multi-million “Museum of the Bible” near the National Mall.

That museum is another manifestation of the family’s acquisitive obsession with ancient biblical artifacts. Collecting and accumulating stuff is such an American way to demonstrate one’s devotion to the Bible. And it’s so much easier than, you know, trying to do what it says.

This weird story has tantalizing potential as the basis for Hollywood thrillers. I want to see the one where the cuneiform tablets contain the secret to stopping the rise of the Antichrist and the End of Days, and the one where the tablets contain the secret to facilitating the rise of the Antichrist and the End of Days (billionaire American evangelicals, after all, want to do both). And I want to see the one with the first-century lost gospel manuscript that they’re desperate to destroy. And I want to hear everyone’s ideas for all the other movies we need to get out of this.

• Jeffrey Toobin writes about “The National Enquirer’s Fervor for Trump.” Yes, the supermarket tabloid is now a pro-Trump propaganda outlet endorsing the worst authoritarian impulses of our corrupt and incompetent president.

But even before it hitched its wagon to Trump, the Enquirer was a garbage rag that misled its readers and contributed mightily to making America a crueler, coarser, dumber place. Millions read it. Tens of millions more are deceived and misinformed just by absorbing its mendacious headlines while standing in line at the supermarket.

I wonder if public pressure might not convince supermarket chains to stop that. I’m sure they make a bit of revenue from allowing this malignant nonsense to confront all of their customers, but I think if enough of those customers spoke up they might come to realize that not carrying it is simply the right thing to do. Maybe they’d even agree that making their own customers crueler, coarser, and dumber isn’t in their own long-run best interest.

We should speak with supermarket chains about that. Politely, but firmly. And with a tactful but not overly subtle suggestion of consequences.

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