Memo to God: Houston we have a problem.

Like a great many people who live in the real world, I spent all of last week dealing — by which I mean: professionally, quasi-professionally (aka: this blog, Twitter, other blogs), mentally, and emotionally — with an enormous slew of horrible things. Horrible, horrifying, horrific things. Things that, one way or another, always happen to humanity, to the world — there are always horrible things happening — but last week, they seemed to cluster together, like metal filings on a magnet, one big spiky bunch of Awful.

I’ve decided, for my own sake and possibly for yours, that I won’t write about those things this week.

At the end of each day’s post, I’ll provide good, useful links to whatever Horrible needs our attention that day, and I’ll continue to tweet about whatever (and that totally counts — it’s called micro-blogging for a reason, people!), but here, in this space, my own writing will go to other things.


And so, to begin:

Memo to God – Engineering failures.

Dear God,

I know that you’re the Divine and all. And just between us two, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re neither perfect, nor omniscient, nor omnipotent. Which is ok by me, because I figure: You’re still miles ahead of humanity — miles, did I say miles? Leagues away! Lightyears! You’re tons more powerful and -scient than we are, and I lean on you not infrequently for guidance and strength, not to mention the gift of joy when I’ve forgotten it. It’s a good one, that one, the gift of joy. Thank You, especially, for that.

But. Having said all that. With all due respect. If I may. A word.

Have You looked at us?

I mean, really looked at us?

We are made in Your image — this I believe, this serves as the basis for the radical equality that informs all my earthly ideology — but I somehow cannot quite believe that You actually look like… this.

Take — just for one example — the appendix. What’s up with that? You went ahead and put a time bomb inside all of us, but gave none of us a little note, not so much as a tweet, to indicate whose timebombs are actually ticking? And honestly, if we’ve evolved past needing it — couldn’t You have engineered it to wither and disappear from the human mechanism?

That’s my issue, you see. The engineering of it all. Frankly, it’s a bit of a mess.

The appendix is an obvious one, but hey, what’s with all the hair shooting out of men’s faces? Scratching their loved ones and, in modern society, requiring a daily scrape with a deadly object? No really. It helps no one, and literally hurts many.

And since I’ve broached the topic of secondary sexual characteristics, I’d like to tackle a primary one, too: Menstruation? Really?

Women having to bleed every.single.month — frightening generations of men, turning camping in bear-infested woods into an occasional nightmare (so I hear. I never camp. But I hear things), and creating deeply mortifying moments for middle school girls everywhere — seriously? There was no better plan? Was this Plan B? Did Plan A blow up in the lab or something?

I could argue with the fact that we fall apart (I find myself particularly annoyed with the Degenerating Human Eyeball lately) but the truth is, on a very real level (a level at which I sigh a lot), I’m ok with that. I mean: This body is a mechanism. It gets old. It wears down. I understand. The machines You engineered last longer, and often with more elegance, than the ones we engineer, but ultimately, the gears grind and the wheels slow and: Scrap heap. I understand that.

But honestly. The “elegance” thing is not nearly as elegant as it might be. Exhibit A: Farts. Exhibit B: Burps. Exhibit C: Humans emerge from the womb not in the least bit in control of their elimination processes. I mean to say: That baby pooped in my eye*! Was that really necessary?

So, in summary, let’s call this Disgruntled Creation Memo #1, and Your take-away should be: Things need to be neatened up a bit. Loose ends need tying, rough edges smoothing. That which stinks, hurts, or embarrasses — improved.

When I see that all that has been attended to, we’ll move on to Disgruntled Creation Memo #2 – Terra Firma: Must It Really Be So Not-Firma?

Thanks. For everything – I mean it. יהיו לרצון אמרי פי והגיון לבי לפניך יהוה צורי וגאלי  May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before you, my Rock and my Redeemer — and please don’t forget: Abraham and Moses argued with You and You were totally cool with it.


*No, really. Baby #2. Pooped in my eye. How is this not a bug?


Your day in Horrible:

  1. Saudi Arabia sends troops into Bahrain, one repressive Sunni monarchy that suppresses its Shi’ite citizens rushing to the aid of another – New York Times: Saudi Arabia Action in Bahrain Strains US Ties: “All this is about social control in Saudi Arabia,” said Christopher Boucek, who studies the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “People have been forecasting the fall of Saudi for a long time, and they’ve always been proved wrong. It’s a pretty resilient place.”
  2. Following this weekend’s murder of three children in an Israeli settlement, Gidon Levy in HaAretz “The IDF has no mercy for for the children in Gaza nursery schools”: “About a third of those killed in Gaza have been children – 311, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 270 according to the B’Tselem human rights group – out of the 1,000 total killed as of Wednesday. Around 1,550 of the 4,500 wounded have also been children according to figures from the UN, which says the number of children killed has tripled since the ground operation began.” As MJ Rosenberg points out – for all that we’ve all rushed (absolutely correctly) to condemn this weekend’s killing, neither the US government nor a single American Jewish organization has yet to condemn these killings.
  3. Wis. GOPer Scott Fitzgerald – Dems In Contempt, Not Allowed To Vote In Committees” – Talking Points Memo. (Me – “Awesome.” – Update: By which I mean: “The complete opposite of awesome.” )

Crossposted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.


  1. Well put ! 🙂

  2. Mary

     /  March 14, 2011

    Hi, I liked your post.

    I am a little confused by this one.. not to make it a point of contention at all.. but I’m not quite sure what’s awesome.. the Dems? the rules about contempt keeping their votes from being counted.. Just wondering what I should take away from this one?

    3.“Wis. GOPer Scott Fitzgerald – Dems In Contempt, Not Allowed To Vote In Committees” – Talking Points Memo. (Me – “Awesome.”)


    • Oh dear – very sorry! That was pure sarcasm. There is in fact nothing awesome whatsoever in that piece of news. Just more horrible….

  3. There are many parts of the human body that can be cited in the case against Intelligent Design. Facial hair is not one of them. If I were a believer, facial hair would in fact for me prove that there is a God. I’m sure Andrew Sullivan thinks so.

  4. BJonthegrid

     /  March 15, 2011

    When the Lord is done with your list please send him to me….I’ve got a list I’ve been keeping since 7th grade!

  5. stephen matlock

     /  March 27, 2011

    Loved the final note about Abraham and Moses.

    And now can you add: what’s up with the hair-in-the-nose and -ears as you get older? Really? As I age I need to keep warmer there? Is the extra hair there supposed to comfort me from all the hair that’s missing from the top of my head? Like I’m supposed to be grateful it all balances out? I’m OK with the gray part – that my naturally brown hair is now naturally white and gray. I can color that. But if you’re going to put hair in our nose, you need to provide something I can do about it that doesn’t require pain and tears as I pluck it out.

    Oh, and the part where your nose and ears actually continue to get bigger as you age? What is the goal of that, exactly?

    There needs to be a sign at the nursery ward in the hospital: abandon all hope ye who enter here, and written so infants can read it.

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