Incrementalism

Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars.Alfonso Cuaron is the first Latino director to win Best Director — in fact, as far as I can tell, he’s [Correction:] the first non-white person one of two non-white artists to win Best Director (the other being Ang Lee, who has won twice; thanks to Piper for noting my commission), in 86 years of the Academy Awards. Lupita Nyong’o is the first black African to win an Oscar. Steve McQueen is one of three black men ever nominated for Best Director, and black screenwriter John Ridley of 12 Years A Slave took home Best Adapted Screenplay. Robert Lopez is the first Filipino American to win an Oscar. Sunday’s show contained a significant portion of the awards taken home by non-white artists in the Academy Awards’ 86 year history.

Not that there’s not a long way to go.

Pope Francis says that the Catholic Church could support some kinds of same-sex civil unions, and even though Vatican spokespeople promptly tried to walk his remarks back, the fact remains that the head of the Church didn’t straight-up condemn some kind of official recognition of same-sex relationships.

Not that there’s not a long way to go.

Lammily, a Barbie-style doll modeled on the average body type of American teenage girls with the specific goal of promoting realistic beauty standards in young girls, has gone viral. Nickolay Lamm, the designer and artist, has already raised twice his fundraising goal for putting Lammily into production.

There’s a long way to go, but that’s a damn good first step.

Pater noster, mater nostra

ImageI’m practically the definition of a lapsed Catholic. I don’t go to mass, but I feel vaguely guilty about it, especially at Easter; I can’t help doing a Sign of the Cross when I walk into a church, but I haven’t been to confession in years; I have Opinions on the new wording of the mass that are decidedly mixed because come on, “and with your spirit,” but maybe “consubstantial” is a little closer to the original Latin, I don’t know. I’ve thought about writing at greater length about why the Church and I have been “It’s Complicated” on Facebook for some years now — the Church’s attitudes towards women and the LGBTQ community, my skepticism towards any long-entrenched organization, the Church’s scandals — and maybe one day I will, but for now, it’s not necessary to do so. Though the Church and I may not always get along, I still consider myself a spiritual person and more Christian than anything.

So today we went to the Vatican.

Continue reading