liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] liv
Some unanswered questions from conversations recently:

  1. Is there such a thing as a lesbian icon?

    There were a group of mostly straight or at least non-scene women out with a gay man, and we were trying to get him to explain the gay icon thing. Like, why are most gay icons straight women, such as Cher, Madonna, Judy Garland and so on, and not, you know, actual gay men? His theory was that a gay icon needs to be flamboyant and overtly sexual towards men, but preferably projecting a happy, confident image, as opposed to the angst and emo typical of the few male artists who actually talk directly about gay themes.

    Somebody asked, what about lesbians, are there any lesbian icons? I could only think of celebrities who are either well known to be lesbians such as Ellen de Generes, or actresses who are known for lesbian roles, such as Alyson Hannigan. But they are not really icons in quite the same way, I think. I did end up offering to make a playlist of lesbian themed music, though, so any suggestions welcome.

  2. How do they make holy water?

    This is from the picnic. Of course we all know that it requires a priest who has to bless the water. But how exactly does it work practically? Does the priest bless a large volume of water and then divide it up into lots of little bottles, each of which is holy? Can the holy water be diluted with normal water, and does that make the mixture holy or unholy? Or does the priest have to bless exactly this particular water in this particular vessel? Is there a maximum amount that the priest can bless at any one time? Does the holiness stick to the water forever, or does it have to be water that was blessed recently? Is it different for Catholics and Protestants?

    I hope these questions aren't irreverent; we really do want to know. But they might the kind of questions that only make sense in a conversation between Jews and geeks, and completely miss the point of how Christian theology works.

Why, yes, I am supposed to be working. I'm hoping that interesting speculation on these questions will provide a minor distraction, but not enough of one to keep me from getting any work done at all...

In other news, I have reorganized my flist a bit. I hope this won't lead to drama; I promise that I haven't removed anyone due to being offended by them or thinking badly of them. It's just that that sociological theory that says people can only really handle being connected to a community of about a hundred people seems to apply to LJ as well, at least for me. I had twice that number, and I came to the point where I just had to admit that there were some people I wasn't getting to know, however much I admired them. Of course, by removing a few dozen of the people I interact with least, I haven't actually made my reading much easier to manage. But just to make it absolutely clear, you're entirely welcome to keep reading if you find my journal interesting, and indeed if we start getting into conversations I'll probably add you back. Equally, if you don't have time to follow me I am not going to take offence.

My ideal is to have around 80 to 100 friends and carefully read every word they write and comment and join in discussions. But to get to that level would require cutting people I can't bear to do without, and I can't help myself meeting new shiny people and wanting to add them too, so I'm still really over capacity. *sigh*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 11:13 am (UTC)
emperor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emperor
A friend of mine describes preparing for a service, and going "argh, we need some holy water!", to have his wife gently remind him that since he had recently been ordained priest, he could make some himself ;-)

Re: Poor taste joke alert!

From: [identity profile] lavendersparkle.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-07-01 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beckyc.livejournal.com
Is there such a thing as a lesbian icon?

Xena, Warrior Princess?

holy water

Date: 2008-06-25 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isolani.livejournal.com
"This is from the picnic. Of course we all know that it requires a priest who has to bless the water. But how exactly does it work practically? Does the priest bless a large volume of water and then divide it up into lots of little bottles, each of which is holy? Can the holy water be diluted with normal water, and does that make the mixture holy or unholy? Or does the priest have to bless exactly this particular water in this particular vessel? Is there a maximum amount that the priest can bless at any one time? Does the holiness stick to the water forever, or does it have to be water that was blessed recently? Is it different for Catholics and Protestants?"

Holy water is water that - through being blessed - is set apart for a religious purpose. A priest can bless holy water for a single occassion (i.e. the rite of Asperges (sprinkling, in lieu of the Confiteor (the general confession of sin) before Mass, or a Baptism). A priest can also bless a larger volume of water, contained in a plastic tank, say and one can help oneself to it (bring your own little bottle)
In theory I suppose a priest could bless a limitless amount of water, but because it must be set apart for a holy purpose this implies a priest would only bless an amount of water that one could actually use for a purpose. I don`t think there is a maximum volume set anywhere in either holy tradition or canon law, but common sense applies.
As far as mixtures are concerned, yes, as long as the added 'normal' water does not exceed the volume of originally blessed water.
How long does the Holiness stick? I suppose for as long as the water is still water and not fetid moldy gooie stuff. Or, more strictly, as long as the water can still be used for a holy purpose, and it generally can`t if it's skanky.

anyway, loads more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_water

I don`t think Protestants actually use Holy Water at all. Except Anglicans and their kind of funny as far as protestants go.

Re: holy water

From: [identity profile] isolani.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-06-25 11:48 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

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Re: holy water

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Re: holy water

Date: 2008-06-25 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angoel.livejournal.com
In theory I suppose a priest could bless a limitless amount of water, but because it must be set apart for a holy purpose this implies a priest would only bless an amount of water that one could actually use for a purpose. I don`t think there is a maximum volume set anywhere in either holy tradition or canon law, but common sense applies.

Could a priest bless a lake if the holy purpose involved travelling across it in a boat, in order to prevent evil spirits lurking within from causing trouble with the journey?
Edited Date: 2008-06-25 12:13 pm (UTC)

Re: holy water

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Re: holy water

From: [identity profile] lavendersparkle.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-07-01 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: holy water

From: [identity profile] isolani.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-07-01 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 11:43 am (UTC)
taimatsu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] taimatsu
Re. lesbian-themed music, I am working on a playlist just like this. Do not leave out Melissa Etheridge; many of her songs are very appropriate.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 11:47 am (UTC)
ext_8103: (Default)
From: [identity profile] ewx.livejournal.com
I move people who talk more than I find them interesting to a separate filter full of photo communities, RSS feeds and whatnot and read it about once a day. People who don't have much to say can stay on my default view whether or not I find them especially interesting when they do have something to add.

(no subject)

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Date: 2008-06-25 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abigailb.livejournal.com
Also: what do they do with the body and blood of Christ if they made too much?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naath.livejournal.com
We had this one at pizza!

The body of Christ may be stored; you have to put it in a, um, *thing* (tabernacle?) that is specially wossname for the purpose. But because it's usually wafers rather than normal bread it keeps fine. You take it out and use it next time, or take it 'round to sick people. Plus you can keep it this way so that if a non-priest has a service they can give out the body of Christ (which only a priest can consecrate).

The blood of Christ may *never* be stored consecrated (obviously you store the wine prior to consecration) nor thrown away. It must be drunk, this is normally done by the people who hand it out (Eucharistic ministers?) and the priest. I guess you could ask for volunteers if you stupidly consecrated a whole bottle when only 5 people wanted to receive.

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From: [identity profile] lavendersparkle.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-07-01 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand

1. Is there such a thing as a lesbian icon?

Date: 2008-06-25 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
My first thought was about livejournal icons, which was startlingly appropriate, given who people choose to portray in them.

My third, even more inappropriate, was about little statues of the virgin mary :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daharyn.livejournal.com
I'm not sure what's all on your lesbian music playlist yet, but Melissa Ferrick's "Drive" is essential. I would also include God-des and She -- my preference would be for "Lick It", but if this is going to include an audience of anyone of refined tastes, "Love You Better" would probably be more ...appropriate. And Tegan and Sara -- I am not up-to-date on their latest stuff, but there are a couple of songs which get a lot of play.

Apparently I have stronger opinions on this topic than I realized, because my brain's generating a number of additional ideas.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lisekit.livejournal.com
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jun/24/television.gayrights

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Drive-by punning

Date: 2008-06-25 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j4.livejournal.com
Can the holy water be diluted with normal water, and does that make the mixture holy or unholy?

It makes it holyopathic!

Re: Drive-by punning

Date: 2008-06-25 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rysmiel.livejournal.com
I think I have just realised something that's going to turn another one of those collections of mildly dumb ideas that I occasionally quote for purposes of being mildly amusing into an actual novel. In this case, a mildly dumb novel, but, well, I haven't actually tried to write broad comedy before, so we shall see. One of these years.

It is the fault of this post and this comment, though.

Re: Drive-by punning

From: [personal profile] pthalo - Date: 2008-06-25 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathrid.livejournal.com
I could be a lesbian icon.

Well, according to a recent meeting of Wychwood old gits 'looks feminine, shaves infrequently, sounds like a lesbian to me', is an accurate description. All I need now is for people to know who I am and I'm all ready to assume iconic status.

Of course, given my generally shy and reticent nature, this may prove a problem...

(no subject)

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(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 03:58 pm (UTC)
pthalo: a photo of Jelena Tomašević in autumn colours (Default)
From: [personal profile] pthalo
indigo girls maybe?

i dunno. i'm a lesbian, but i'm not really overly involved with lesbians as a community.

Marija Šerifović (the one who won eurovision last year, if you watch it, and the one who opened this year's eurovision with last year's song and a neat act with brides and grooms) would make a great lesbian icon. She says she's straight, but that doesn't stop gay males with their female gay icons. So I'm voting for her.

(no subject)

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(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smhwpf.livejournal.com
I often wonder about Holy Water blessing rules, mostly from the point of view of Buffy fanfic though rather than theological concern I'm afraid. Like, could you bless a river for example? The water on someone's clothes? Etc. Not looked it up though...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glamwhorebunni.livejournal.com
Hmm, the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Holy Water (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07432a.htm) suggests it doesn't work on rivers.

"As, in many cases, the water used for the Sacrament of Baptism was flowing water, sea or river water, it could not receive the same blessing as that contained in the baptisteries."

It's a pity tho, that would be cool!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 05:16 pm (UTC)
ext_3375: Banded Tussock (Default)
From: [identity profile] hairyears.livejournal.com


The term 'Gay Icon' might be a bit misleading: 'Camp' icon fits better as they seems to be the aspirational figure for the archetypal vamp tranny. As such, there's a degree of irony and self-mockery in the near-worship accorded to (say) hot video footage of Deborah Harry onstage by determinedly monosexual gay men in clubs in London.

I doubt that anyone knows, exactly, this came to be.

From a personal perspective, I think an image or a personality qualifies as 'iconic' if it elicits a widespread cultural memory of being a teenage boy in serious need of a cold shower and a brisk run around the games field.

As society has become more accepting - and teenagers have become better able to acknowledge their own nature - it may well be that the next generation of 'gay icon' figures will actually be male rather than female. But I'd wait and see, rather than pretend I can make reliable predictions.

As for the lesbian community - who are probably a far more diverse population than the men - there may be a very different experience of growing up with 'pin-up' figures from music and the media. I'm not sure that teenage boys and girls respond to images - in the broad sense of the term, public persona as well as published pictures - in quite the same way, and being gay adds several layers of complexity to the responses. If, indeed, there is a 'typical' way of being gay at any age.

It is surprising that none of the usual suspects - all those androgenous boy bands pitched at schoolgirls as teenage idols - are turning up a decade later on giant video screens in the clubs... But then again, how the hell would I know?

Here's a prediction though: none of MTV's simulated-lesbianism-as-soft-porn performers will ever be heard of in the gay clubs, male, female or mixed.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glamwhorebunni.livejournal.com
I heard TATU in gay clubs, around the time it was released...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glamwhorebunni.livejournal.com
Hmm, good question. I don't actually know.

But did you know Baptisms don't technically need Holy Water? Any water is good. Hell, they don't even need priests- "In case of necessity, however, not only a priest or deacon, but even a layman or woman, nay, even a pagan or heretic can baptize, provided he observes the form used by the Church, and intends to perform what the Church performs".

I've performed baptisms before. It's a great party trick. Rememeber it only works once on each person tho.

Anyway. I heartily recommend the Catholic Encyclopedia for all theological questions. It's about a century out of date, but utterly fascinating. And it mainly talks about historical precedents, so it isn't a major problem that it's out of date.
Relevant articles might include Baptism (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm), the Baptismal Font (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02274a.htm) and of course Holy Water (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07432a.htm). None answer your question, but they're all fun.

You might like to check out the Catechism as well (http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm), but I always find that a bit modern and boring.

(no subject)

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Date: 2008-06-25 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pw201.livejournal.com
Holy water (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Holy_Water) comes from good aligned clerics or paladins casting the Bless Water (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blessWater.htm) spell, so you get 1 pint at a time and consume 25 gold pieces worth of silver as part of the casting (the 25 gp worth of silver rule is clearly a game balance hack to stop [livejournal.com profile] scribb1e's idea of super soakers for dealing with undead: some people (http://www.enworld.org/archive/index.php/t-93134.html) consider it a bit of an ugly hack). Interestingly, some people have house rules that lawful or chaotic clerics can create Axiomatic or Chaotic (http://marq.wikispaces.com/holy+water) water, which I think is geekily excellent.

I'm not sure what happens if you dilute it (or bless more water than 1 pint). For balance, I think I'd either rule the positive energy is diluted (and hence its efficacy against undead, which is the main reason you'd be carrying it, right?) or that the holiness goes away as soon as you intermingle it, as per Haggai 2 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=haggai%202:10-14&version=31). Maybe if you intermingle it with pure water it dilutes, and anything else does away with the effect. That sounds about right.

BTW, almost anything anyone says about all Anglican churches is wrong: you probably won't find The Square Church (http://www.stag.org/) reserving the sacrament or insisting that all the bits get eaten after the Eucharist, because that sort of thing smacks of Popery. I have seen big founts of holy water at the entrance of places like Our Lady and the English Martyrs (the big Catholic church near the chemistry department in Cambridge). Catholics tend to get a bit on their hands and then cross themselves on entry. It must cost the RCC a lot of silver.

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From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-06-26 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-25 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blue-mai.livejournal.com
once i figured you were talking actual people icons and not LJ-userpics, i been keeping it at the back of my mind all day. it is quite an interesting question, even though, at first, it didn't appear to be.
because everytime i think of people, or criteria, it seems to shift a bit. i guess for someone to be a lesbian icon they have to be reasonably widely acknowledged to be admired or held-up by lesbians. it doesn't work if i worship someone but no-one else ever finds out. so the first issue is that lesbians as a group are perhaps not that vocal, or universal in their views, so it's hard to see who the icons are.
some basics thoughts on criteria though - is the icon a lesbian? someone who is out and proud, who fights against prejudice, that seems like a good criteria (Navratilova, KD Lang)*.
on the other hand maybe it's someone sufficient numbers of lesbians find attractive, lust after, worship, regardless of their own orientation (Uma Thurman, Chloe Sevigny, Cat Power)* - one suggestion, unusual in that i have actually heard her talked about by others, and even though not out seems to be well... liked, is Jodie Foster.
or maybe someone who has raised the profile of homophobia but is not a lesbian (Billy Bragg)*, actually he's the only one i can think of that works. i think it works because quite a few lesbians i know like him a lot. he is right-on and fluffy and caring and liberal and i dunno, fits one of the lesbian stereotypes.
or maybe it is someone who has qualities lesbians admire or seek out. now this one seemed to be the most problematic, because the ones i thought of were just women who are strong women, who don't pander to men, who might push the mainstream idea of how a woman should behave. most visibly as musicians (Patti Smith, Annie Lennox)*. but in this criteria i can't differentiate between lesbian icon and general feminist icon.
basing it on your take on gay icons, you could take lesbian stereotypes, and see what they refer to - but i think it is not particular people you'll find so much as archetypes - for example 30's to 50's pin up girl, 50's/60's cool American guy, so there are people who made each look/attitude famous, that might work - Betty Page, James Dean, perhaps?

a last one, not sure if this is very universal (there must be a better word than that - i mean something that is applicable to more people than just me!) is people with whom we feel a kind of resonance or identity, typically from adolescence. for me anyway, lesbians in the public eye seemed to be few and far between in teenage years, or at least, i didn't feel that i could identify with them, and i felt much more comforted by gay singers - Jimmy Somerville, Andy Bell, PSB. which seems a bit wierd. but they were out there! and i like pop. and i am not really lesbian. so, it might not be typical. possibly the best ever - Dusty Springfield. i'm not sure she is in any criteria. my criteria have failed. oops.

*suggested icons in brackets author's own

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-26 08:17 am (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
Given that I don't comment much on your journal - or you on mine - I'm grateful that you've kept me on your list. I really enjoy reading what you write, your LJ is a different style to any other on my FL and you make some really interesting points in your discussions and link to other fascinating journals.

Thank you!

And I agree with everyone else about holy water ... it's a bit like communion wine in an Anglican church, where the priest blesses a small amount in addition to that which is used at each service he presides over and that amount is holy and can then be used at later services that day, or to be taken to the sick and elderly who were unable to make it to the church.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-26 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coalescent.livejournal.com
I asked [livejournal.com profile] bibliolicious, and she suggested Jodie Foster, although that more generally the criteria are "strong, sucessful and out" (on which Jodie Foster scores two out of three). She also endorses the Xena suggestion.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-06-26 07:01 pm (UTC)
wychwood: Catholic socialist weirdo (gen - Catholic socialist weirdo)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
1 - I second recs of Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls. kd lang may also be useful. The Ditty Bops? And possibly Scissor Sisters, depending on how you're defining your categories :)

2 - I see that people have answered this one quite fully, but I must still SAY MORE! We have a font, which we fill with tap-water; that's then blessed, and we use it for baptisms and asperging (sprinkling the congregation) and things like that. We also scoop some of it out to go in a big jug at the back of church, from which people can fill small bottles. Basically, it's whatever is practical, but the holiness is fairly persistent :)

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