Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Braxton's Lear


This is an old, old cartoon Dean clipped out of a magazine years ago. I think it was part of his collection before we even met, so it must be a quarter-century old, and judging from its style, it might have come from the New Yorker, or perhaps The Spectator. “Braxton’s Lear” has become a shorthand term in our house for hammy overacting of every kind. Other blogs have their special categories: “Derbyshire Award Winner” (Andrew Sullivan) and “And now…idiots” (MCJ), so in that spirit I am introducing a special category to highlight self-dramatizing hyperbole and melodrama. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Braxton’s Lear.

The following piece of performance art took place at a Starbucks in St. Louis, MO.

Coming from a most powerful time in the Eucharist and coffee-hour conversations at Trinity on Sunday -- which had helped me to see that I must come back to TEC, whatever the hurt -- this encounter was a sobering, tear-sparking one.

After Columbus, and because of Columbus, I took a sabbatical from TEC. But I found myself in the city after a month, in which was a marvelous Spirit-filled church (and Oasis parish) I had visited a couple of times before. I thought this might be just the moment to return to TEC, and I did -- but wearing my brand-spanking new t-shirt that says, "My manner of life is a challenge to the wider church." It was a good day.

Then I stopped in at a Starbucks, before starting the 2+ hour drive home, and the young man (college-age, I'd guess) at the register saw my shirt as I approached the counter. He didn't even greet me as he obviously, slowly read my t-shirt.

Then he looked up to my face, greeted me, and sadly said, "Episcopalian?" Yes, I returned with similar sadness.

"I had never gone to church, but I just found the Episcopal Church a year ago," he told me quietly. "I thought I'd found a home. But I don't go anymore, after Columbus."

After Columbus.

And I stood there with tears welling up. As was he. But I needed to say something, to encourage him that it is our home. But I couldn't do it with much firm conviction. I simply said, "I know. Today was my first day back. I had to wear this shirt for armor. But it's hard. It's hard."

Then we shook off the tears, he got my latte, and as I left, I said again, "But please try to come back."

This is the way the gays leave.
This is the way the gays leave.
Not with a bang, but a wimper.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Indeed, the melodrama over at "Telling Secrets" is beyond belief.

10:05 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Boy, you said it! And the mere act of linking to these posts has been hysterically termed an "attack" by conservatives.

10:17 am  
Blogger Christ Church WOC said...

My husband used to threaten to attach velcro to our daughter's hand and forehead during her Jr. high dramatic heyday. Her teacher called it "the hand to forehead syndrome"! I'll be teaching Jr. High next year. I guess I'd better stock up on velcro.
Maybe we could buy a carton of the stuff and send it along to those poor put-upon TEC's. Might save them getting bursitis of the shoulder.
Keep on blogging...
PW

8:56 pm  
Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

An attack? I haven't seen that. I assumed she was oblivious.
At any rate, if there's another trademark about "Telling Secrets" (besides the melodrama) that is worth mentioning it is what can only be described as the hateful tone. That should really set them off--but I am afraid it is true. The contempt, the scorn, and yes, the hatred for those who look at the world differently. It all comes through so clearly, it really is quite unbelievable. Even in the recent post over there about the letter to a baptized infant. It just was so angry and spiteful. And the funny thing is, those are all the things that I am sure she claims NOT to be.

12:02 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

The "attack" remark was at My Manner of Life, and I note that it's gone now. I agree about the ill-tempered tone of these revisionist blogs (and not just in the comboxes). The other thing that is so noticeable is the writers' perception of themselves (and their friends) as completely fair and broad-minded. Yet they have no embarrassment about banning commenters who challenge them, even if it's done without resort to bad language, insults or threats. This is SOP at such places as democraticunderground.com and Daily Kos, but it seems to characterize the Left, whether secular or not.

4:38 pm  
Blogger Jeffersonian said...

The interesting thing is that she never explains which reason the young man abandoned TEC. Was it because of the vague, toothless and openly-ignored B033? Or was it because GC2006 cemented in place the consecration of VGR?

5:25 pm  
Blogger K+ said...

I'm confused- are we supposed to think that this encounter at Starbucks actually occurred or is it merely an essay with a Starbucks barista who is hyper-aware of the language used in political amendments offered at ECUSA’s General Convention and a protagonist who has strange tastes in t-shirts. Seriously, though, does the writer purport to write fact or unrealistic fiction? Please advise.

I'll also make my suggestion for Braxton's Lear. Tom Shaw, when he claimed that a group of high school students in Boston hanging out on the street corner saw his purple shirt, immediately made the, oh so obvious connection between purpose shirts and Episcopal bishops n the Episcopal Church, and then thanked him for being pro-gay telling him that they will now be going to church since ECUSA was going to confirm the election of Gene Robinson. The interesting aspect of this Lear suggestion is that Shaw claimed this encounter actually happened and he spoke about it in the House of Bishops.

3:32 am  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Around my house, we call "histrion alerts". Oh, and the unit of measurement for histrion radiation is the Kirk.

Old science fiction fans never die, they just get cornier and cornier...

7:27 pm  

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