The Emerson Avenger

The Emerson Avenger is a "memory hole" free blog where censorship is scorned. This blog will "guard the right to know" about any injustices and abuses that corrupt Unitarian Universalism. Posters may speak and argue freely, according to conscience, about any injustices and abuses, or indeed hypocrisy, that they may know about so that the Avenger, in the form of justice and redress, may come surely and swiftly. . . "Slowly, slowly the Avenger comes, but comes surely." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In 1992 I underwent a profound revelatory experience of God which revealed that the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" is a "Sign in the Heavens" that symbolizes God's divine omniscience. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal contemptuously dismissed as my "psychotic experience" here: http://revelationisnotsealed.homestead.com - This revelatory religious experience inspired me to propose an inter-religious celebration of Creation that would take place whenever a total solar eclipse took place over our planet. You may read about what Rev. Ray Drennan and other leading members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal falsely and maliciously labeled as a "cult" here: http://creationday.homestead.com - I am now an excommunicated Unitarian whose "alternative spiritual practice" includes publicly exposing and denouncing Unitarian*Universalist injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy. The Emerson Avenger blog will serve that purpose for me and hopefully others will share their concerns here. Dee Miller's term DIM Thinking is used frequently and appropriately on this blog. You may read more about what DIM Thinking is here - http://www.takecourage.org/defining.htm

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yet Another Unitarian*Universalist U*U In The Media. . .

Who has been hit with a three-month suspended sentence for disorderly conduct and an apparently well deserved year-long restraining order thanks to what U*Us would call her disruptive behaviour. . .

"Truly a unique and inappropriate situation," says Beth Bacha, a vice president for Comcast. She says company policy forbids disclosure of clients' records, but did say their files note that the service record wasn't exactly what Shaw has indicated. Besides, "nothing justifies this sort of dangerous behavior."

So just who are the "sub-moronic imbeciles" in this Washington Post story anyway?

20 Comments:

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Comcast's business model seems to be "survival by monopoly." I've known people who picked where to move partially based on whether they would be forced to use Comcast if they wanted decent internet service.

In 2004 the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that Comcast had the worst customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency in the United States, including the Internal Revenue Service, so I wouldn't be too excited to believe the Vice President's claims about how happy her customers usually are.

And making an old lady wait outside for two hours in the August heat is nasty.

That said, the lady is out of her mind.

I don't like anyone in this story.

CC

Friday, October 19, 2007 9:57:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

I certainly am not terribly impressed by Comcast's treatment of Mona Shaw by any means although it is not any worse than how the UUA quite regularly treats victims of clergy misconduct. Heck I dare say that it is somewhat better than how the UUA responds to some clergy misconduct complaints. . . My post however was about the behaviour of the U*U in question, this blog being dedicated to dealing with U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy and all.

One thing that really strikes me about this story is that Mona Shaw is apparently not only completely unashamed of her violently "disruptive behaviour" which, quite frankly, is quite symptomatic of "tin pot" terrorism, but seems to be more thjan a little bit proud of it. The Washington Post's photo of this smug U*U "activist" posing with her precious hammer is very telling I think. . . It brings to mind a certain Beatles song that I just might have a bit of fun reworking for the education and entertainment of my readers.

More on this sub-moronic U*U in the news later. . .

Friday, October 19, 2007 10:20:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

If I were you, I'd say to myself that this woman has had enough publicity and let it go.

A lot of people hate Comcast, and those people tend to treat her like a folk hero. I think it is more likely that she's senile. My grandmother went through a phase where she always believed everybody was out to get her and would lash out at people whom she percieved as treating her badly*, some of whom on some level deserved some sort of comeuppance, but most of whom were just people trying to do their jobs.

But wasn't funny and she wasn't a folk hero, she was just a freaked out old woman. (Now if a reporter had shown up to my grandmother's house and told her how great she was, my grandmother would have posed for pictures, too.)

My guess? This lady is losing it and will be dead within a couple of years. She mostly deserves our pity.

I'd suggest you leave her alone.

CC

*Sometimes they were, sometime it was she who was unreasonable. It's not the cashier's fault that the cashier isn't allowed to accept coupons that have expired, for example, but she would scream and yell at them for trying to cheat her out of the 25 cents off.

Friday, October 19, 2007 10:50:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:If I were you, I'd say to myself that this woman has had enough publicity and let it go.

Well, as you well know CC, I am not you and I do not believe that this U*U has had enough publicity just yet. . . Au contraire, I believe that she and those U*Us who openly admire and support her U*U "activism" and "civil disobedience" could do with a bit more publicity aka "Public Witness".

:A lot of people hate Comcast, and those people tend to treat her like a folk hero.

That is abundantly evident from the Washington Post article in which the Washington Post Staff Writer Neely Tucker, to say nothing of Washington Post photographer Richard A. Lipski, is clearly treating Mona Shaw as a folk hero. N'est-ce pas CC? My whole take on this Washington Post story, and follow-up U*U blog posts about it, is that Mona Shaw should not be being treated like a folk hero, U*U folk-hero or otherwise, and publicly basking in all her U*U glory that has arisen fom her act of "tin pot" U*U terrorism.

:I think it is more likely that she's senile.

That is a possibility CC however that is all the more reason why Mona Shaw should not be treated like a folk hero by either the Washington Post, or her fellow Unitarian*Universalist U*Us who openly express that they wish they had "the balls" that Mona Shaw has. . .

:My grandmother went through a phase where she always believed everybody was out to get her and would lash out at people whom she percieved as treating her badly*, some of whom on some level deserved some sort of comeuppance, but most of whom were just people trying to do their jobs.

Hmmm. . . I wonder what your grandmother would have made of Rev. Ray Drennan, Rev. Diane Miller, Rev. Dr. Tracey Robinson-Harris and Rev. Beth Miller just trying to do their jobs CC?

:But wasn't funny and she wasn't a folk hero, she was just a freaked out old woman.

The same might be said for U*U "activist" aka "terrorist" Mona Shaw, to say nothing of a certain U*U "Citizens' Police Officer" I happen know. . .

:(Now if a reporter had shown up to my grandmother's house and told her how great she was, my grandmother would have posed for pictures, too.)

Of course. Just like Mona Shaw did. No doubt with a similar shameless grin on her face too. . .

:My guess? This lady is losing it and will be dead within a couple of years. She mostly deserves our pity.

I agree that Mona Shaw may deserve a certain amount of pity, regardless of whether or not she is actually senile as you have some "reasonable grounds" to suggest might be the case. There is no question that Mona Shaw at least temporarily "lost it" in quite literally hammering her point home. Perhaps some appropriate medication to treat her senility would be as advisable as the restraining order but first it would need to be properly determined if Mona Shaw is in fact senile or suffering from some other mental illness. She might just be a short-tempered belligerent asshole, like some of the other "like-minded" U*Us I have the misfortune to know, in which case she deserves little or no pity. . .

:I'd suggest you leave her alone.

I'm not too worried about Mona Shaw attacking me with her not so silver hammer CC. If necessary I can always obtain a restraining order against her but for now Mona Shaw is quite out of sight albeit not out of *my* mind. . .

Friday, October 19, 2007 11:41:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

To be clear, I wasn't asking you to lay off Mona Shaw because she might attack you, I was asking you to do it because it would be the kind thing to do.

Which UUs have praised her? I haven't seen it.

CC

Friday, October 19, 2007 11:52:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Oh, and you can say a lot of things about a woman who waits for two hours in the heat for the manager to come talk to her, but I don't think you can reasonably say she is "short-tempered."

CC

Friday, October 19, 2007 11:56:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:Chalicechick said... To be clear, I wasn't asking you to lay off Mona Shaw because she might attack you, I was asking you to do it because it would be the kind thing to do.

Yes, my dry humour and sarcasm goes right by you doesn't it CC? I was quite aware of why you were asking me not to hammer away at Mona Shaw as it were. . . Being kind to aggressive and belligerent U*Us, especially when their aggressive and belligerent words and/or actions are tacitly condoned, or even openly and actively supported, by their fellow U*Us is not my forte.

:Which UUs have praised her? I haven't seen it.

Well this blog post brought Mona Shaw's rather dubious exploits to my attention but a quick check of U*U Updates reveals that this U*U blogger in the Bay Area has seen fit to publicly express that he feels "a twinge of pride" in knowing that Mona Shaw is a fellow U*U. I am very confident that Mona Shaw will have more than her fair share of admiring and supportive commentary from U*Us, after all she is well on her way to becoming something of a U*U folk-hero isn't she?

:Oh, and you can say a lot of things about a woman who waits for two hours in the heat for the manager to come talk to her, but I don't think you can reasonably say she is "short-tempered."

OK CC I won't bother disputing that point, although the first steps should have been to m,ake some follow-up phone calls and write some letters and emails to appropriate Comcast officials before even thinking about grabbing her hammer. . .

Friday, October 19, 2007 12:26:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Well, she could have written some letters, but she couldn't make any phone calls or send any e-mails because Comcast had turned off her phone and internet three days before and nobody would talk to her about how to get them turned back on. That was why she had sat outside Comcast for two hours in the first place.

(In this sense, Comcast got off easy. If, for example, her husband had suffered a heart attack and they had been unable to get an ambulance because they had no phone service, she would have hammered them with a lawsuit instead and it would have cost the company a lot more than $345.00.)

So far you have found one UU who says he feels a twinge of pride and one UU who is ashamed. I'd say you're overstating your case when you say she's basking in UU glory.

CC

Friday, October 19, 2007 1:18:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Sorry CC but there are such things as public phones and internet cafes etc. Presumably Mona Shaw has a few friends who would have let her use their phones and internet access to contact Comcast. Then again, perhaps not. . .

:(In this sense, Comcast got off easy. If, for example, her husband had suffered a heart attack and they had been unable to get an ambulance because they had no phone service, she would have hammered them with a lawsuit instead and it would have cost the company a lot more than $345.00.)

Well, as it is CC, it cost Mona Shaw a $345 charge for fines and costs, a year-long restraining order barring her from Comcast's property, as well as a conviction for disorderly conduct (aka disruptive behaviour) entailing a three-month suspended jail sentence. I expect from the sound of it that it probably cost her an ambulance bill too. . . And what if Mona's "tin pot" terrorism had caused a Comcast employee or customer in the office to have a heart atack CC? What then? How much would Mona's antics have cost then?

:So far you have found one UU who says he feels a twinge of pride and one UU who is ashamed.

Actually the first blog post taht I linked to had something of a cheering section for her too.

:I'd say you're overstating your case when you say she's basking in UU glory.

Not at all. Mona Shaw is a U*U, and she is definitely basking in her rather questionable glory as a "folk-hero", as should be clear from the Washington Post photo of Mona Shaw and her weapon of mass distrU*Uction. . .

Friday, October 19, 2007 1:58:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

If an employee at Comcast had a heart attack because of Mona, the person would have likely lived because at Comcast they would have been able to call the rescue squad immediately. (And they likely would have sued Mona, which would have been ok with me.)

Mona lives in a rural area. (I know where Bristow is, I live in VA, too.) If someone in her house had a heart attack, they would need to be driven to the hospital or someone would need to drive to the neighbor's to use a phone.

On the 19 posts at the livejournal discussion you pointed to, there's only two that are unreservedly supportive while more people are pretty disgusted by her actions or are making fun of her.

I think that's a Bronx cheering section.

Ok, so when you say she's "basking in UU glory" you mean she's a UU and she's getting glory, not that UUs in particular are cheering her, because we seem to be cheering her less than the general public is

A look at the comments on the article shows that a fair number of people in the general public think Mona's great. But the UU blogsphere isn't really bothering with her, except for those two short posts and you.

CC

Friday, October 19, 2007 3:57:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Give it time CC.

The sorry saga of 'The Hammer of the U*Us' is just breaking. . .

This rather questionable "spin" on the story by UU World editorial staff on the UUA's Unitarians Universalists (sic) in the Media web page on the UU World blog was a very much predictable semi-official U*U response to this story.

Read it and weep. . .

I was going to blog a bit about this official U*U "spin" on the story as an update to this post but I have decided that it is worthy of a post of its own.

Friday, October 19, 2007 5:17:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

(((Give it time CC.)))

We gave it a week and it sure looks like the UUs aren't rushing to defend her like the general public did. Your blog has more about her than any other UU blog.

Indeed, in my friend's church, somebody said in Joys and Concerns that she was embarassed that the woman was a UU, though she was praying that the woman wasn't mentally ill.

Maybe we're a little more reasonable than you predicted we were?

CC

Friday, October 26, 2007 11:03:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

I said give it time CC. A week is not much time. Why not see what kind of dubious U*U "folk hero" Mona Shaw is in a few more weeks. Let's say by mid-November or something. . .

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 11:28:00 am  
Blogger Joel Monka said...

It's mid-November, and I haven't seen anybody mention her name, much less make a hero of her...

Thursday, November 15, 2007 1:44:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Yeah, the only thing I've read even referencing the woman recently was this, and it's not by a UU:

You're switching my apartment to Comcast? I'm moving out!

Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:16:00 pm  
Blogger Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

Hmmmm....

It isn't like this woman began her tirade with "In the name of the Unitarian Universalists". I mean...she was a human who went a little nuts and did some inappropriate things...and she HAPPENED to be a UU. Why make a UU issue out of this? In our little UU church, no one expresses this kind of negativity. Maybe we are fortunate. We can discuss most anything, without judgement. I know not all UU churches are the same, but ours is a very soft place to land. That's what I love about it. I had not attended church in many years, because of the guilt and the judgement. Why bring negative attention to UUs? I'm just not sure where your blog is coming from, though I respect your opinion. It does seem as though you are trying to shed a very negative light...well...period. I mean...you seem angry and want to justify your anger by pointing fingers. I'm sure you are quite intelligent, but in this case, you are coming across as a tattle tale. Honestly, I mean no offence, but you brought negativity to my blog and I'm not sure what you want us to know. There are wacky people in all religions. What does this really have to do with UUs?

OK, I'll be quiet, now.

Friday, January 04, 2008 8:03:00 pm  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

:It isn't like this woman began her tirade with "In the name of the Unitarian Universalists".

True, but the newspaper article clearly mention that she is a Unitarian*Universalist and it seems likely that she volunteered that information to the reporter for a reason. It is not out of the question that she tried to justify her act vandalism and tin-pot terrorism by equating it with the "civil disobedience" that U*Us seem to be so proud of. . . Certainly the UU World blog treated Mona Shaw as if she was some kind of civil rights movement heroine.

:I mean...she was a human who went a little nuts and did some inappropriate things...and she HAPPENED to be a UU. Why make a UU issue out of this?

Primarily because she is being treated as a kind of folk hero by some other UUs, including the UU World blog as noted above.

:In our little UU church, no one expresses this kind of negativity. Maybe we are fortunate.

I expect so. . .

:We can discuss most anything, without judgement.

Well sometimes a bit of judgement may well be called for. . .

:I know not all UU churches are the same, but ours is a very soft place to land. That's what I love about it.

I am sure that there are some good UU churches out there too but there seem to be too many where God believing people are less than genuinely welcome.

:I had not attended church in many years, because of the guilt and the judgement.

I have protested in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal for close to a decade now because of their unjust and abusive judgement of me.

:Why bring negative attention to UUs?

In order to expose and denounce various negative and indeed quite harmful behaviours of UUs so that positive change can eventually take place.

:I'm just not sure where your blog is coming from, though I respect your opinion.

It might require some further reading in a "free and responsible search" before the "truth and meaning" of this blog becomes more apparent to you.

:It does seem as though you are trying to shed a very negative light...well...period.

I am definitely shedding light on the negative and harmful behaviour of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the UUA, its Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and a number of individual UUs, including some abusive and/or hypocritical UU clergy and top level UUA administrators.

:I mean...you seem angry and want to justify your anger by pointing fingers.

Well I do have some good reason to be angry about some things but most people who know me reasonably well understand that I am actually a remarkably calm and even-tempered person. Strong criticism of injustices, abuses and hypocrisy does not always entail anger. One insightful U*U minister once described my protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy as my "alternative spiritual practice." The editor of a weekly alternative newpaper who had interviewed me referred to this activity as "your hobby".

:I'm sure you are quite intelligent, but in this case, you are coming across as a tattle tale.

Well I am definitely a "whistle blower" when it comes comes to U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy.

:Honestly, I mean no offence, but you brought negativity to my blog and I'm not sure what you want us to know.

I want you and other U*Us to know what is happening in terms of this conflict and other U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy that have come to my attention over the years.

:There are wacky people in all religions.

Indeed there are, and there is no shortage of them in the U*U World. . .

:What does this really have to do with UUs?

I think that I have answered that in my previous responses. Mona Shaw identified herself as a U*U. Some U*Us, including the editorial staff of the UU World blog are treating her as if she was some kind of folk hero. I have been permanently expelled from the Unitarian Church of Montreal for doing nothing more than writing letters of grievance and engaging in peaceful public protest against U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. Montreal U*Us have had me falsely arrested on totally unfounded criminal charges in misguided efforts to over-ride my constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful public protest. Rev. Diane Rollert is currently seeking a restraining order against me towards the same end on spurious grounds. I am contrasting how she has been made a hero by U*Us with how U*Us have behaved towards me.

:OK, I'll be quiet, now.

Well feel free to come back and speak your piece again Bettina.

Happy New Year,

Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger

Friday, January 04, 2008 9:34:00 pm  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

How is the UU World blog's coverage making her sound like a civil rights hero?

It quotes a Washington Post article that makes fun of her, while specifically noting that the Post isn't endorsing her actions.

They talk about her "visiting her wrath." Wrath is a bad thing. It's a deadly sin. People don't talk about heroes having "wrath," they talk about them the way you talk about yourself. A Google search of this blog reveals that you've never used any variant of the word "wrath" to describe your actions. Because you know it's not a compliment.

And of course, it helps that UUism has actual civil/human rights heroes for comparison.

For two examples:
Here's how the UU World talks about James Reeb

Here's how the UU World talks about Martha and Waitstill Sharpe

Given that we talk about actual civil rights movement heroes so differently, I have no idea where you are getting that comparison.

Also, my guess is the reporter asked her for some details about how ordinary her life was so the reporter could play up the "ordinary woman who went crazy" angle, which was the general theme of the article. If you will recall, the UU church was mentioned in the same sentence as her square dance club.

Nobody has held her actions up as an example of UU values, except for you when you use her to insult us. In at least one UU church (that I happened to be visiting that Sunday,) someone spoke about how unfortunate it was that she had chosen to make a point of her UUism and how CONTRARY her actions were to our values.

CC

Saturday, January 05, 2008 8:29:00 am  
Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Well I certainly agree that Mona Shaw`s acts of vandalism and tin-pot terrorism are CONTRARY to the claimed principles and purposes of U*Uism. That is one of the reasons that I wrote about it here. I am also glad to hear that *some* U*Us have spoken out against Mona Shaw`s criminal acts and have expressed dismay that she identified herself as a U*U. Unfortunately however *some* other U*Us, including AFAIAC the writers of the UU World blog, are making something of a folk-hero out of Mona Shaw and making her sound like a civil rights hero. The UU World blog describes the Washington Post story as a "prominent human interest story" and titles its blurb about it - If I Had A Hammer - which, as I am sure you and other U*Us know, was an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1960`s. Indeed they do talk about her "visiting her wrath upon the local Comcast office's equipment with a hammer" but, unlike you, I do not believe they do so in a condemnatory sense at all. I expect that most people will agree that the UU World`s treatment of the story is more positive than negative.

:People don't talk about heroes having "wrath,"

Actually they do CC. In fact they even talk about heroes with hammers having "wrath". . .

:A Google search of this blog reveals that you've never used any variant of the word "wrath" to describe your actions.

Why would I CC? I am after all a very "even-tempered" and erudite fellow. . .

:Because you know it's not a compliment.

Actually it has much more to do with the fact that I am not so much getting angry as getting even. . .

:And of course, it helps that UUism has actual civil/human rights heroes for comparison.

Indeed it does CC because it helps to show just how utterly pathetic it is that some U*Us, including the U*U World blog writers AFAIAC, actually seem to believe that Mona Shaw actually compares to actual civil/human rights heroes. . .

:Nobody has held her actions up as an example of UU values, except for you when you use her to insult us.

I most certainly have not held up Mona Shaw`s actions as "an example of UU values" CC. On the contrary, I am holding her words and actions up as yet another example of how some U*Us make a total mockery of the purported principles and purposes of U*Uism and other claimed "values" of U*Uism. Need I remind you that this blog is all about U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy CC, and that I have added U*U stupidity to the list more recently? I dare say that Mona Shaw`s act of tin-pot terrorism fits all four of these criteria, and the accepting and even supportive responses of *some* U*Us fit at least two of them. . .

:In at least one UU church (that I happened to be visiting that Sunday,) someone spoke about how unfortunate it was that she had chosen to make a point of her UUism and how CONTRARY her actions were to our values.

Well I applaud that person because they were absolutely right. It`s nice to know that at least a few U*Us clearly disapprove of Mona Shaw`s criminal "disruptive behaviour". Unfortunately however, other U*Us have been rather less inclined to speak out against Mona Shaw`s violent "disruptive behaviour" and have even condoned it. In one U*U church, presumably her own congregation, Mona Shaw`s hammer was auctioned off as if it was some kind of holy relic. . .

Saturday, January 05, 2008 10:07:00 am  
Blogger Chalicechick said...

Thor is a hero? My impression is that he was a very powerful guy who essentially cheated and bullied to get his way. He spends most of his time fighting off the giants who got mad at his family for cheating them.

(Thor's family told the leader of the giants that they could have Thor's sister's hand in marriage if the giants built the family a mansion. The giants built the mansion and asked for the sister. Thor's family had never intended to keep their end of the deal and told the giants to screw off. Thus, Thor fights giants. But I wouldn't call him a hero.)


That the second link in the google search you provided is about charms to get Thor to leave you alone speaks to this.

And if the UU church views it as a Holy Relic, it seems odd that they would auction it off. Most churches want to keep Holy Relics. Seems to be that they viewed it as a chance to turn a bad situation into a quick buck that they could use for good.

I'm not sure why the UU World's (to my mind truthful) characterization of Shaw's story as a "prominent human interest story" is treating her like a civil rights hero. It's an interesting story. People were interested for a week or so.

Again, their coverage of her is nothing like their coverage of real UU civil rights heroes. (You will note that they don't refer to civil rights songs when they are talking about real heroes.)

CC

Saturday, January 05, 2008 10:38:00 am  

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