Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Sense Of Whimsy, And Funking It Up

Juliana, a lovely gnostic, wrote all about this blog (and me) here:

First of all, I misread the name of her blog and initially thought it was "charisphobia," which I thought was FANTASTIC. I thought, Hey, how many of us are terrified of the gifts of the Spirit? That's so genius!

But it's not charisphobia, but charisophia, which is an entirely different thing, and lovely in it's own way. But I'm definitely using "charisphobia" as a sermon title or something.

That said, I think it's hilarious that Juliana thinks I should be a gnostic -- whose job prospects are probably even slimmer than trying to make a living in the Unitarian Universalist religious leadership -- and whose movement is possibly even nuttier and more impossible to get a grip on than my own crazy, nutty movement.

And I think it's sweet that she thinks I'm trying too hard and trying to convert the unconvertible.

I told you, I'm a soldier in the Army of the Lord! I will not tire! No trying is too hard for PeaceBang! She is the ultimate Stage Mother of all clergypersons and wants all her babies to be STARS! Do you hear me? STARS!

However, Juliana seems to think that I am seriously recommending that my darling readers go out and buy suits and stick a silk flower and triple strand of pearls on them by way of accessorizing. That's frightening, because I probably did say that, and I probably forgot to say at the same time that we should only use such classic accessories if they come with a bit of funk -- or if we're accessorizing an outfit that has a bit of funk and flair, and pairing it all with fabulous, slightly whimsical shoes (like something decidedly vintage looking with an ankle strap or a stacked heel and a peep toe).

What I mean by "funk" and "flair" is rather hard to describe, but an absolutely essential aspect of developing your own personal look. In most cases -- unless you're a veritable fashion genius who can blaze your own trails -- having flair requires keeping an eye on fashion trends. For example, if you're going to wear a Victorian lace blouse and a classic blazer, pair it with a pair of dark denim jeans and cowboy boots. If you're going to wear a silk flower, make sure it's big and colorful and that you're not sticking it on a dowdy, boxy suit that makes you look like a big, walking square of fabric. Put it on a cropped jacket and pair it with a slim-cut skirt (tulip or trumpet shaped) with great pumps.

Don't fret, pigeons. I know this is too much detail for those of you who are taking the first or even second baby steps toward an updated look, but for those of you who generally understand the importance of cut, line and proportion, and who are more into fashion than the average minister, you're right there with me.

Meanwhile, trust me when I tell you that changing your accessories to reflect current fashions is one of the least expensive and risky ways to look current and with it. If the rest of your wardrobe fits impeccably and is fairly classic, you can add a wide belt, lots of beads, and a pair of wedge heels this season and get a lot of flair for your buck.


Blogger Juliana said...

I feel compelled to call you "Bang Bang" because that's how right on you are, 99% of the time. Bang On. Etc.

Well if I've been forgiven for suggesting I send you my dating non-fits (grovel grovel, slobber, scrape, oh please let me wash the windows in your house or something...) I would like to suggest something even more wacked-out than my fist What to Wear post.

Since I do believe that, deep down, you're a Magic-lovin', Christ-accepting, Nag Hammadi Witch-ling, I think you should accept this fact and - in the spirit of elevating at least one corner of the Gnosto-Mondo to solvency - join us on our crusade to support our clergy through the "Better Vestments" crusade - dreamed up by Jordan Stratford's hotter-than-pistol wife (also curvey and fabulous btw, we can relate...) - and seconded by moi who, in search of Alb, decided all available stuff looked like a pile of stray napkins that had coallesced under the table and joined together to form an outfit...

Zandra S. and I are forming this Better Vestments company - where the feminine shape will be honored and decorum maintained (and gents attired lovingly also).

We plan to make giant piles of cash with which to convert drab UUs to Gnostic mystery tradition. One bejewelled neckline at a time... (and that's the guys! - kidding...)

Also, briefly, on subject of moola - Jordan's exceptional group of gents, the AJC ( are going to encourage those members of their clergy who wish to, to join with yours truly's senior housing company and become adminstrators of same (earning v. respectable change), part time, whilst building their parishes where they are... At least that's a model we're rolling out in Frisco. It's terribly sensible and may actually lead to people able to pay bills and take holidays with loved ones.

If only we had your more frequent input...

I envision conclave looking like a giant Make-Over Spa - men getting their beards trimmed and receiving fabulous massages, women getting tasteful tattoos, lovingly applied by our own in house AJC tattoo goddess (tbd). We'll hire the Queer Eye team to evaluate the whole crew. Zandra and I will do new vestments - tailored and flattering - for men and women. (Although the AJC cassock is the official garb so - we'll have our work cut out).

The possibilities are endless. What we're lacking, dear Bang Bang, is the Matriarch of Fashion. Kay Thompson's character in Funny Face - "Think Pink" she shouts, as the minions go rushing off to edit the Fall Issue of whatever magazine that was...

We must all converge in Paris. Sing wonderfully corny songs beneath the Arc de Triomphe. Hold a kick ass, spiritually moving gnostic mass in some grizzled stone church in a corner of the Ile de la Cite... Then retire to a bistro for hours upon hours of revelry.

And you, chere Bang Bang, must sing for us... La Chanson de la UU Perdue - or that old favorite En Cherchant Un Amour Spirituelle.

Failing that a little Cole Porter will do nicely. I may join you. A tout a l'heure...

bisoux! and think pink...

11:45 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

If I get to go to Paris and also talk fashion all the time, I am SO IN. Add me to your payroll immediately and I will sign up to live in your senior housing, which I think it's never too early to start thinking about. And I've always love San Francisco.

Just know that if I become a Gnostic I'm going to go Full Endora and rampage around in flowy garb,enormous bright auburn hair and massive eyeliner. I may even wear a tiara, because I look really good in them.

My stone will be amethyst.

P.S. I am absolutely a Magic-lovin, Christ-accepting Witch, but I don't know about the Nag Hammadi part.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Juliana said...

Bang Bang - If I get you to Paris with us, I absolutely insist we go off and get little Eiffel Towers pierced to our bodies somewhere. Just DON'T tell my mother!!! She' will kick my sorry butt.

As for Endorra and red hair and tiaras - bring it on. Although you might want to dial back the tiara and reserve it for Christmas or Ascension of Sophia day or something... Our actual liturgy is very reverential, quiet and - well - legit. :)

Nag Hammadi is the source of the off-label gospels the pope and his merry minions since the 4th century have tried to prevent the rest of us from reading. Elaine Pagels talks quite a bit about them.

Nag Hammadi was the location where the scrolls were found, in 1945 - previously only understood through attacks made on same by irritated papists who sought to burn the heretics who thought it a lovely idea that one didn't actually require a priest to commune with God. Indeed, God, Christ, and Sophia are indwelling - the spark within...

The indwelling spark, bringing it to light - that is the function of a gnostic church. I do love these lads, and so look forward to welcoming more women to the fold.

The pay is grubby right now. But we're not in it for the pay. We're in it for the tiaras.

San Francisco will welcome you with open arms, fabulous food, and high qual accommodation when and if the Bang descends in our midst... (in a cloud of glittery pink smoke no doubt).

Our reading list is here. Perhaps we should include Vogue... (scroll down to list of reading matter)

12:29 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Whoops, I should have said, "I don't know what I think about Nag Hammadi." I am familiar with the gnostic gospels and have read all of Elaine's books. I just don't know what I think. When I first learned about the gnostics I was very excited about them. When I studied them in more depth in Div School (with none other than Helmut Koester, original translator of the scrolls), I was much less enthusiastic.

I'll keep at it.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Juliana said...

Gotcha. Yes, some gnostic texts are decidedly odd - and profer some weird stuff. AJC folks are holistic and non literal in their approach. Very focused on liturgy. We just had an extraordinary, moving little mass here in Seattle in which Father Stratford gave his own daughter her first communion. I'm still teary eyed. Such normalcy, magic and tenderness in one morning...

Stay in touch Bang. And do share all questions, good bad and dangerous, about gnostic texts - most of us have less Div school than you (me, none), but you can get a feel for how the practicing among us come to terms with the whole of the history.


4:12 PM  
Blogger Jordan Stratford+ said...

Usage and Abusage guy says:

"Like the words Christian and Buddhist, Gnostic should always be capitalized."

12:27 PM  
Blogger Sravana said...

Found your blog from Charisophia, and you inspire me! I'm an almost-49-year-old oriental medicine student (you can just *imagine* my wardrobe!), looking at graduation and professional status in less than a year. I've been really concerned with "what in heaven's name am I going to do for clothes" (as I'm moving to upstate NY - yet another story), and your musings are spot-on and timely. Must...just...stop...buying...tarots!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Juliana said...

Sravana - My local Macy's started stocking lots of different figure-trimming camisoles and such recently. "Spanks" started the craze, now the other guys are in on it and the results are terrific.

Those irritating "puppies" that Bang talks about are much less of an issue with one of them cool camis - around 30/each. Worth every penny.

And congrats on completing your studies!

7:57 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey PeaceBang: You made my top three favorite blogs. Just wanted you to know . . .


9:53 PM  
Blogger Sravana said...

Thanks, Juliana... I'm looking forward to July '07 when I finally complete my studies.

Oh, and thanks for the Spanx tip. Will check that out...

8:17 PM  

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