Wednesday, November 30, 2022
This sort of either/or thinking is absurd, but they appear to believe this. Such is the only explanation I can conceive for why it is better to close down healthy parishes if the only way they can be salvaged is to fill them with Latin Mass Catholics, or to let seminaries and religious orders die if the only way to perpetuate them is to restore traditional theological or liturgical practices to them. Better to let the Church die off, apparently, than have it fall into the hands of people you think are fundamentally evil.
I am at a loss as to why Jesus doesn’t call the Pontiff home and have s chat. Happily, I remember that Jesus remains the head of the Church. Francis is only a stand-in.
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Politics, for Stoppard, can only go so far in extricating us from the scourge of politics. A playwright preeminently of ideas, in such works as (1982), (1993), and (1997), Stoppard in shows his audience the vanity of ideas, especially political ones, when confronted by the monstrous evil of race hatred.
Monday, November 28, 2022
Are their own voices so compelling that the rest of us are expected to listen, heeding advice which overturns two-thousand years of Catholic Christianity? Are the witness of countless saints and scholars, popes and martyrs, to count for nothing? The authority, no less, of Christ Himself, who made provision for none of the changes being proposed today?
Sunday, November 27, 2022
For our purposes here, it’s more important to focus on the two very different ways our competing hemispheres have of changing the world. For the left hemisphere, we change the world by manipulating and controlling it. For the right hemisphere, we go out into the larger environment and transform both ourselves and our world in a way that feels more like merging or transcending. That is precisely the hero’s journey described in this book, and songs are better tools for that transformation than a hammer or a gun.
Saturday, November 26, 2022
… A. E. Stallings: Two Poems: Crows in the Wind & The Younger Memnon. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Porter’s unconventional harmonic shift from the first to the second theme surprises the listener. His second delivers a gift: instead of the standard 32 bars, we get 48, heightening the lyric’s expression of passion.
Friday, November 25, 2022
Therese takes away every excuse, dismissing every good reason we can give for not being holy, for not at least striving after sanctity. She’s proof that great holiness is possible for every soul, and so our lack of sanctity is a matter of our own will, rather than our luck or our circumstances. In other words, Therese’s message is this: If we’re not holy it’s because we don’t want to be.
Neurosurgery entails what for most of us would be would be an intolerable burden of risk and responsibility; of no type of surgery is it more true that the surgeon should have the eye of a hawk, the heart of a lion and the hand of a lady.
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men?— Abigail Adams. Born on this date in 1644
Monday, November 21, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
I just ordered a copy of Rieu’s translation. I have made my way through a chunk of the Gospels in Greek. They are very impressive.but I want to see what Rieu has to ffer. You can never stop learning.
And yes the people are ovine and servile and will cower to power. That has been amply demonstrated of late by the masses' mindless donning of useless masks. Don we now our fey apparel! Let us signal our specious virtue and adherence to the party line of Lord Fauci and his minions. And when the party line shifts, we shift with it!
Saturday, November 19, 2022
If you think sounding musical and/or stringing turns of phrase together is enough, AI can write poetry. But since for me poetry is so much more than surface effects, I’d argue that it can’t. And that, furthermore, it won’t be able to for a long time, if ever. And why not? Because we don’t know how to code emotion, intuition, and understanding of context. And they’re essential. The first is what makes the reader feel something. The second enables the leaps that when you read them leave you breathless for days. And without the combination of those two and the third, poetic wit and humor would be impossible.
At the Care Net conference, Ford shared a testimony about the reconciliation that eventually happened with the pastor who refused to marry the young couple when she was first pregnant.
“He asked my husband for forgiveness and said it was the worst mistake he has made as a pastor,” recalled Ford.
A couple of years later, Amy Ford was asked to speak at that pastor’s church for a Mother’s Day service. After she spoke, the pastor asked Ford and her son Jess, who was 16 at the time, for forgiveness in front of his congregation.
“He was very open about what he had done years before. He said that he had a religious spirit, a pharisee heart,” Amy Ford said.
In an apology to Jess Ford, the pastor said, “While you were in your mother’s womb, I rejected you. Will you forgive me?”
“It was such a powerful moment,” Amy Ford said. “You could feel church wounds being lifted in the room. The fact that the pastor would humble himself in that way was so amazing. And he has his own [testimony] about grace and mercy and what God did in his heart.”
In the 1954 strips, Schultz establishes the basic rules of Pig-Pen’s dirtiness. Pig-Pen doesn’t dislike baths; he just prefers getting dirty. He doesn’tto get dirty; he just doesn’t go out of his way to stay clean. Dirtiness, if not precisely an elected state, is one Pig-Pen can initially control — sometimes by seeming to have washed his face; when she walks away, we see that the other half of his face is dirty.
Your preschool child will chatter endlessly to you. If you half-listen and half-reply the whole conversation will seem, and become, tediously meaningless for both of you. but if you really listen and really answer, he will talk more and what he says will make more sense— Penelope Leach, born on this date in 1937
Friday, November 18, 2022
Thursday, November 17, 2022
The play’s title refers to Vienna’s old Jewish ghetto—Leopoldstadt—and the suggestion is that the ease and comfort its deracinated characters think they have attained outside it is illusory. They are no freer outside and in greater danger.
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
The problem, very simply, is that if reason is culturally or racially or in any way relative, then there is no such thing as reason. Reason is like truth in this respect. Truth is absolute by its very nature; talk of relative truth is nonsense. Similarly, reason is normative and impartially adjudicative by its very nature. Talk of reason as reflective of class interests or racial biases is nonsense. So either there is no reason or it is not a social construct. And if it is not a social construct, then of course it is not a white male Euro-Christian construct.
Exactly how dumb do people like Caputo think the rest of us are? Well, I don’t think Caputo is dumb. He’s just a shameless panderer to faculty lounge fashion. Pathetic.
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
I went to a Jesuit college. Edward Gannon S.J. Was one of the most important people in my life. I can honestly say that I studied philosophy under him. But the appeal of the fashionable to today’s Jesuits puzzles me. And Pope Francis underrwhelmsme.
Along with our passivity, we're entering a profoundly masochistic phase everyone is a victim these days, of parents, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, even love itself. And how much we enjoy it. Our happiest moments are spent trying to think up new varieties of victimhood.— J. G. Ballard, born on this date in 1930
Monday, November 14, 2022
Sunday, November 13, 2022
I think I had some understanding, at the time, of why I was so interested in obsolete words. I knew how much it hurt to feel extraneous, but I also knew the secret joy of liking yourself anyway. This was also the reason I exclusively wore secondhand clothes and dragged home intriguing objects from people’s trash. Everywhere I looked there were things that people didn’t want anymore, but I could look at them and see their value. They were still good! They just needed fresh eyes, some love and imagination. When I resurrected other people’s old belongings I felt the deep pleasure of owning something that was old and new at the same time, of letting the past mingle with the present—this time on purpose and for fun. If I couldn’t “learn to let go,” I could at least make a small theater of my inability to move on
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Friday, November 11, 2022
For Judith Fitzgerald
Rapture and despair
Lies the region most prefer
Inhabiting, feeling at home
There, playing it safe, willing
To forfeit one to be spared
The other, learning too late
Escaping despair means
Taking a chance on rapture.
Judith would have turned 70 todayl
Thursday, November 10, 2022
The cops who are retiring or quitting say they worry about deadly confrontation with criminals armed with illegal guns. If the cops draw their firearm and kill a suspect, they run the risk of being fired by an unsupportive mayor and commissioner, and being prosecuted by an anti-cop, progressive DA.
Which brings me back to Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt, just opened on Broadway last month. If this play does not convince the theatergoing public of Stoppard’s preeminence, then I am not sure what could. Stoppard — born Tomáš Sträussler in 1937 to secular Jews in Czechoslovakia — has crafted a play that dramatizes the process of memory in time as incisively as Pinter ever did. And through the subject of Jewishness — not Judaism, exactly, since many characters are not practicing — he elaborates a favorite theme of his, the ebb and flow of history, with characteristic ebullience. This show is a marvel. Hats off to Stoppard, director Patrick Marber and all involved.
I have liked the work of both.
Wednesday, November 09, 2022
… Rave. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
‘We should not expect all monuments to have been set up to entirely morally admirable people, even if they stand in a place of Christian worship. If, on the basis of contemporary moral judgments, we deface monuments or cause them to be taken down, then the debate is stifled and the opportunity to learn from past mistakes is lost. Our future is nothing without our past.’
Richard Hoptner, the fellow who taught me what little I know about carpentry, was apprenticed to be an ecclesiastical carver and joiner. He also did 25 bombing missions in World War II. Here is one of his sculptures.
Tuesday, November 08, 2022
Monday, November 07, 2022
Leonard is nine years gone, and Sutter is essentially still working for him. It's a labor of love, and besides, if you don't count Leonard's five kids, it's a subject he knows better than anyone.
Dutch was not only a great writer (I once suggested that he be given the Nobel Prize —and I was serious.) He was also one of the coolest guysI have ever met.
For the past four months, Krasner has been trying to evade my questions at his weekly press conferences by either ignoring me, or abruptly ending those sessions rather than answer my questions.
Ralph and I are former colleagues. Trust me: He’s a real journalist.
Having done some medical editing in my time and worked for several years in the field of arms control and disarmament, I was skeptical of the official line from the start.
Sunday, November 06, 2022
Soldiers flooded the Carmel in Lisieux with letters about their devotion to her. How she saved them. How she even appeared to them!
Saturday, November 05, 2022
Some years I was hiking in World’s End State Park. It was the opening day of deer hunting season. We were walking along the Pioneer Road. On our right was the state forest, where hunting was permitted. On our left was the state park, where hunting was prohibited, we saw more deer than we ever had in our lives, crossing the road our of the forest and into the park
Friday, November 04, 2022
Dave is living proof of this.
Thursday, November 03, 2022
… There’s now consensus that when Bach wrote “Das Wohltemperirte Clavier,” he meant “clavier” to signify any musical keyboard—harpsichord, clavichord, organ. He did not mean the modern piano as we know it, the very instrument upon which The Well-Tempered Clavier is played most often now, because modern pianos had yet to evolve.
Wynn is seriously ill.
I wasn’t aware that physics had become the queen of sciences. Do people pondering a question in biology now pick up a physics text? I hope not. Quantum has provided some pertinent information about the universe (e.g., were it the mass of a dime smaller or larger than it is it would not exist). And just to nit pick, the theologian mentioned near the end is Peter Fisher, not Peter Fishes). Trust me, if I hear of any physicist intruding on chemistry, I’ll be the first to complain. Intruding on philosophy? Well, we’ll have to take that on a case-by-case basis. Though I highly recommend quantum pioneer Werner Heiseberg’s Physics and Philosophy.
Johnson ran as the peace candidate. A few blocks from where I live he declared that “I’m not going to send American boys to fight a war Asian boys should be fighting.” I have long thought that if Goldwater had been elected, the NorthVietnamese would have backed off out of caution.
Wednesday, November 02, 2022
Just 3 percent of Americans totally deny the existence of the supernatural, and yet they have convinced the rest of us to feel embarrassed because we agree with 99.999 percent of human beings who have ever lived: that there are forces at work in the world we can’t explain—that these forces have consciousness and agency—that they’re creatures, like us. They awe and frighten us, and rightly so.