Administration: The Invisible Job

You can’t tell how much work I’ve lately been putting into this blog, because it’s mostly trying to administer it better. Better pictures you can see, but more links, more of following others with curiosity about their ideas.

The invisibility of administration is a key reason so much of “society” is breaking down these days. People with jobs are overworked because so many “middle layers” and “support staff” have been streamlined right out of the administration. Yes, computers can send you emails, but you still have to open, read, contemplate, answer, file, and apply each one.  Yes, you can video conference with others, but with more and more crowded schedules, finding good times and making it work becomes a job in itself.

Administration is often the answer to “What do ministers do when they’re not doing worship?” It CERTAINLY explains why Directors of Religious Education and Congregational Administrators deserve more hours, more money, and sometimes, ordained status.  Administration means “service to” something, and if you’re not steeped in the spirit and mission of the congregation — or HEAVILY guided by someone who is — your work might very well be lacking.

So I’m working on what this blog is “in service to.” Denominational polity issues no longer fire my furnace. These days, my soul works more like a bonfire: structured to burn, but open to the living flame in everything.

Big Day in Sports Injustice

Yes, Politywonk is a solid Red Sox fan.  2004 is a dear date to me, and the League Championship Series far outweighed that little postscript against — was it Colorado?

But today, my heart goes out to some very fine men in the pinstripes. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Robby Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Texiera, Andy Pettite have been joined by a bunch of “who’s that!” call-ups who have embraced the chance to add to the legends in the Bronx. This group is not in last place in all of Major League Baseball, not even in the hyper-competitive AL East.

These legends and leaders are the ones who today have to witness the desecration of their uniform, their tradition, their personal standards by sharing the locker room, the dugout, the field, with a player who has lied to them over and over, who has disgraced the game at a level not seen since Shoeless Joe Jackson. My heart goes out to them. Yes, they must be hoping this man brings a big bat and solid glove, but they’ve also got to be wondering what they’re going to get, between his age and his lack of self-medications. So much of the hope A-Rod emanates on this occasion, after all, came from both his lost youth and his relinquished medicine case. So the worst of this could be that these very fine Yankees, these Hall of Fame sure-shots — will not be helped as much on the field as they ought to be able to hope.

The feelings of all Yankee fans — one of whom sits right next to me, sleeps next to me, eats next to me — can only be imagined. Yes, Yankee World, Red Sox Nation grieves for you today.

And what about those fans in Chicago, the ones whose grandparents lost a World Series championship to a few who cheated and several others who got cheated. So many believe Shoeless Joe merited no lifetime ban. How must it feel to see someone who clearly does take a field from which Shoeless Joe was forever excluded? Having grown up on Pete Rose’s brilliant career, I know how you’re feeling tonight. If I lived in Chicago, I believe it would be worth the price of a ticket just to boo and throw shoes at the Yankees’s (temporary, we hope) third baseman. Not just on behalf of Shoeless Joe, but on behalf of every fan who lost a hero in the meat grinder of hypocrisy which whirls the Office of the Commissioner on one side, and the Players’ Union negotiators on the other.

Predatory Blogging

Got your attention with that title?

All that means is that currently the discipline of blogging — upgrading, reframing, renewing, reconnecting — seems to have eaten all other responsibilities. Here are some miscellaneous observations from inside the belly of this whale:

1) It’s still all about the covenanting: while I hope to write things that people outside my religion can appreciate, it’s too late to change the place I live, the position from which I write. So, should I be starting a separate blog for my social science wonkiness, or is social justice stuff of such interest to so many UUs that it’s part of our very polity? There are bloggers I respect who go both ways: separate strands for the highly focused, and narrative of conscience for the large of heart. The ones that appeal to me most are the media clusters of Reverends Naomi King and Gary Kowalski, but both of them are blessed with the time and financial opportunity to put more time into such things. That doesn’t mean they don’t work hard, it just refers to the way they are able to integrate their work into their blogging excellence. Right now, stuck at home as a caregiver, I’m not sure I can do those things.

2) I tried to use the old Facebook site UU Bloggers to find a list of good reads, and it closed at a time which left a lot of folks behind. I’ve now gotten UUpdater onto my following list. Other recommendations welcomed.

3) WordPress users, could you please tell me how to separate my “blogs I’m following” list by topics. Some days I just want to be a daoist and spiritual, other days I have two thesauri and a dictionary by my side.

4) What else am I missing?