Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Bags of Summer

A few weeks ago, The Swan of Newark looked up from her volume of Mrs. Beeton's Household Book of Overextended Metaphors and penned this gem:
A few seconds past and I said, "What is it?" A few more seconds and she looked up and said, "++Katharine Jefferts Schori has just hit one out of the park."

It appears "Our Katie" has stepped up to the bat and decided to play good old fashioned American baseball with the Big Boys across the pond.
The occasion was The Madwoman of Second Avenue's Pentecost-timed Grand Remonstrance to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Since 'the Big Boys across the pond' don't play baseball, she must have felt pretty confident that this was going to be as easy as taking candy from a baby, or robbing a conservative congregation of its steeple.
It's her response to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Pentecost Letter, and it's a pip.

There were no swings and misses. She never chocked[sic] the bat. Neither did she foul out for an easy walk to first, just to load the bases.
No, she boasted about the ancient, 50-year long campaign to elevate "Four (Or More) Bare Legs In A Bed" to the status of a sacrament. That was followed by a languishing glance at the self-sacrificing nature that could spend 6 years (2003 to 2009) sullenly sulking through a moratorium they'd agreed to, all the while lying in wait for just the right moment to break their promise with a dramatic flipping of the bird.
She looked over the madding crowd, some of whom boo'd while others shouted words of encouragement. She took the bat and hit the dirt from her shoes with this:
We do not seek to impose our understanding on others. We do earnestly hope for continued dialogue with those who disagree, for we believe that the Spirit is always calling us to greater understanding.

We live in great concern that colonial attitudes continue, particularly in attempts to impose a single understanding across widely varying contexts and cultures. We note that the cultural contexts in which The Episcopal Church’s decisions have generated the greatest objection and reaction are also often the same contexts where women are barred from full ordained leadership, including the Church of England.
Then, she seemed to center herself with a deep breath and then a spit, straddled home plate, took steady aim and knocked that sucker right out of the park.
Spit, eh? I always thought Mrs. Schori had a prominent jaw, but who knew it was loaded up with Copenhagen?
As the crowd roared and cheered, Our Katie took a victory lap around the bases, sliding into home base with this final quote:
As a Church of many nations, languages, and peoples, we will continue to seek every opportunity to increase our partnership in God’s mission for a healed creation and holy community. We look forward to the ongoing growth in partnership possible in the Listening Process, Continuing Indaba, Bible in the Life of the Church, Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, and the myriad of less formal and more local partnerships across the Communion – efforts in mission and ministry that inform and transform individuals and communities toward the vision of the Gospel – a healed world, loving God and neighbor, in the love and friendship shown us in God Incarnate.
But the Swan of Newark hasn't finished waterboarding this metaphor to extract the last possible utility out of it:
We're still going to play baseball on our field and by 'the' rules - not the ones made up by certain "Instruments of Communion" who want to change the rules in the middle of a game that's not going +++His way.

The +++ABC can't be franchise owner as well as the ump who calls the shots as they come over the plate.

So, Rowan, as we say over on this side of the Pond - grab a dog and some suds, park your back end in a stadium seat, keep your pie hole shut and watch the game. You might learn a few things about how to play it.

Alas, a week later it's clear that The Madwoman of Second Avenue instead hit a pop fly directly over the pitcher's mound. Not only that, the moment it was caught everyone on base started to run and they were all thrown out in turn - baseball's stupidest manoeuvre, the Quadruple Play.


Blogger Bob the Ape said...

Damon Runyon she ain't.

7:49 am  
Blogger The Bovina Bloviator said...

What on earth does the silly woman mean when she writes: "Neither did she foul out for an easy walk to first, just to load the bases?"

In what game does that happen?

7:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Katie has struck out."

Ellie M.

10:02 pm  
Blogger C. Andiron said...

I think she must have been smashed when she wrote this. The role ascribed to Rowan is not coherent throughout.

For instance, I at first thought Rowan was on the other team. Now he's being asked to be a spectator? Wouldn't he always be a player, although he might be asked to step down from being the umpire, although then I'm not sure how victory in the game could be decided if a dispute should arise about the validity of a play.

And if she were sober and willing to be interviewed about the aptness of this analogy, I'd ask her why she thought that the model of baseball was the correct model that applies to how ecclesiological and theological disputes should be worked out.

On the plus side, she's helped me arrive at a more precise definition of 'flake': someone unselfconsciously fatuous, or someone whose pretensions of grandiloquence are unconvincing due to lack of intellect.

11:50 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Yes, and Rowan is the one who's supposed to sit down, shut up and learn how the game is played?

8:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:21 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Looks like the intervention failed.

4:35 pm  

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