Daily Update: Monday, February 6th, 2017

Paul Miki and Companions and 02-06 - International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

Today is the Memorial of Saint Paul Miki, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (died 1597). Today is also the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Our Saint was born about 1562 in Izunokuni, Japan, the son of the wealthy military leader Miki Handayu, and felt a call to religious life from his youth. He became a Jesuit in 1580, having been educated at the Jesuit college at Azuchi and Takatsuki, and became a successful evangelist. When the political climate became hostile to Christianity, he decided to continue his ministry, but was soon arrested. On his way to martyrdom, he and other imprisoned Christians were marched 600 miles so they could be abused by, and be a lesson to, their countrymen; they sang the Te Deum on the way. His last sermon was delivered from the cross. He was one of the Martyrs of Nagasaki, who were twenty-six Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries and Japanese converts crucified together by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and he is the Patron Saint of Japan. It should be noted that the the Japanese style of crucifixion was to put iron clamps around the wrists, ankles and throat; a straddle piece was placed between the legs for weight support, and the person was then eventually pierced with a lance up through the left and right ribs toward the opposite shoulder. International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a UN-sponsored awareness day that takes place February 6th each year since 2003. One of the beliefs in support for this day acknowledges that culture is in “constant flux,” and with the concerns begetting FGM being so high-risk, the abolition of such practices must be prompt. This is a movement for the rights of women and their bodies, as well as the protection of their physical health- which can be tremendously affected later in life. These efforts are to benefit actions fighting violence against women and girls as a whole. Every Woman, Every Child (a global movement), reports that “Although primarily concentrated in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, FGM is a universal problem and is also practiced in some countries in Asia and Latin America. FGM continues to persist amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.” In the United States alone, the recent reports of how many women and young girls are affected by FGM staggeringly tripled in numbers in comparison to the previous reports in 1990. About 120 to 140 million women have been subject to FGM over the years and currently at least 3 million girls are at risk each year, in accord to data presented by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is an effort to make the world aware of FGM and to promote its eradication. The World Health Organization has said that “Though the practice has persisted for over a thousand years, programmatic evidence suggests that FGM/C can end in one generation.” (And the very idea of someone doing FGM on me, or my sister, or my daughter, or my female friends and their daughters, gives me chills.)

I neglected to mention in yesterday’s Daily Update that before we went to bed in the early afternoon Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb. Our LSU Lady Tigers won their College Basketball game with the Alabama Lady Crimson Wave by the score of 48 to 41; our LSU Lady Tigers (16-7, 5-5) will next play an Away College Basketball game with the Ole Miss Lady Rebels (14-8, 3-6) on Thursday, February 9th, 2017. I continued sleeping when our alarm went off at 5:00 pm, and I slept for the duration; Richard watched the game until halftime, so he missed the historic comeback made by the New England Patriots; after being down by 18 points at the half (with the Atlanta Falcons leading 21 – 3), the Patriots came back and won the game in Overtime by the score of 34 to 28. (Those paying attention will note that I hoped that the Falcons would win; I did not forecast them to win, however. I have learned that my prognostication abilities are about on a par with a dish of homemade mashed potatoes, if not less, depending on if the mashed potatoes are made with real milk and real butter.)

When I woke up to get ready for work today I did my Book Devotional Reading, then posted to Facebook that today was the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at the casino I checked our hours for the pay period just ended on the Scheduling site (correct), called the Pharmacy and renewed prescriptions, and took a Benedryl© because my nose was itching. Today was the first day of the new two-week pay period; when we clocked in Richard was on Four Card Poker until they closed that table; he was then the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker for the rest of the day. I was on a Blackjack table; I made more mistakes than usual (including two that surveillance didn’t catch) because my nose, eyes, ears, and scalp would not quit itching. I figured, since the Benadryl did nothing, that it was because I had run out of one of my antidepressants on Saturday and had to take double doses of my other antidepressant to make up the difference yesterday and today. At any rate, though I did not work that hard, I felt by the end of the day like someone had been beating me up.

After we clocked out we went to the Pharmacy, and I picked up my prescriptions. One of my prescriptions was not filled, and I need to call the Pharmacy about it (it’s one that my Psych office called in last week). While I was in the Pharmacy Richard called Callie and left a voice mail about plans for tomorrow (more anon). Richard stopped to get gas on our way home from work. Once home I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. I then came to the computer, did my Advance Daily Update Draft for tomorrow’s Daily Update, and started with today’s Daily Update; when I finish this Daily Update I’m going to bed, with instructions for Richard to wake me up if the girls (Michelle and Callie and Kitten) come by. Our New Orleans Pelicans (19-32, 2-6) will be playing a Home NBA game with the Phoenix Suns (16-35, 2-8)this evening, and I will post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Remembrance of Blessed Pius IX, Pope (died 1878). I will be waking up half an hour early, and Richard and I will get to work early and sign the Early Out list. For lunch, if the girls are agreeable, Richard would like to grill steaks. In the afternoon I will get ahead on my Advance Daily Update Drafts. Our LSU Tigers (9-13, 1-9) will be playing a College Basketball game with the #8 Kentucky Wildcats (18-5, 8-2).

Our Monday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from André Brink, South African novelist. Born in 1935 in Vrede, Free State, as a child his family moved to Lydenburg, Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga), where he matriculated at Hoerskool Lydenburg in 1952 with seven distinctions, the second student from the Transvaal to achieve this feat. He then studied Afrikaans literature in the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (now the Potchefstroom Campus of North-West University) in North West Province. His immense attachment with literature carried him to France from 1959 to 1961, where he got his degree from Sorbonne University at Paris in comparative literature. During his stay, he came across an undeniable fact which changed his mind forever, as black students in France were treated on equal social bases with other students. Back in South Africa, In the 1960s he, Ingrid Jonker, Etienne Leroux and Breyten Breytenbach were key figures in the significant Afrikaans literary movement known as Die Sestigers (“The Sixty-ers”). These writers sought to use Afrikaans as a language to speak against the apartheid government, and also to bring into Afrikaans literature the influence of contemporary English and French trends. In 1961 he was appointed as a lecturer at the Department of Afrikaans-Dutch at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown. In 1962 appeared Lobola vir die Lewe, which is considered his debut work. In 1963 he received the Eugene Prize of the South African Academy for Science and Art for his play Caesar. He was awarded the CNA Prize for his travel book Olé in 1965. During a second sojourn in France between 1967-1968, he hardened his political position against Apartheid, then writing both in Afrikaans and English to enlarge his audience and outplay the censure he was facing in his native country at this time. In 1970 he won the Academy Award for Translated Work of the South African Academy for Science and Art for his translation of Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Brink wrote Kennis van die aand (1973) in Afrikaans, then self-translated it into English and published it abroad as Looking on Darkness. This was his first self-translation. After that, Brink wrote his works simultaneously in English and Afrikaans. In 1975 he obtained his PhD in Literature at the Rhodes University. He won the CNA Prize for his novel Rumours of Rain (the English version of Gerugte van Reën) in 1978 (the novel was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize), and in 1982 won the CNA Prize again for his novel A Chain of Voices (the English version of Houd-den-Bek). In 1994 he won the Gustav Preller prize for Literature and Literary Criticism of the South African Academy for Science and Art. In 2000 Brink won the Hertzog Prize of the South African Academy for Science and Art for his drama (Die Jogger) (The Jogger), and won the Hertzog Prize again the next year for his novel Donkermaan (Dark Moon). In 2008 his family was beset by tragedy when his nephew Adri Brink was murdered in front of his wife and children in their Gauteng home. He published his memoir, A Fork in the Road, in 2009. Brink’s final novel was Philida, published in 2012. In February 2015 he received an honorary doctorate from the Belgian Francophone Université Catholique de Louvain, but died on the flight from Amsterdam to Capetown. At the time of his death he was an Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Cape Town (died 2015): “One of my novels [Kennis van die aand (1973)] had the dubious distinction of being the first book in Afrikaans to be banned under apartheid.”

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