Sunday, October 04, 2015


I finally got tired of all the grief it took to make my PC laptop work, so after 35 years of Microsoft, I have bought a Macbook Air and am in the process of migrating, Mohammed-like :), to the world of Apple.

Where apparently, Eve's first bite is memorialized in logo.

 I've had an iPhone for several years now and have gotten used to that way of things. Now the old dog must learn new Mac tricks.

Like any migrant --funny how loaded that word has become of late-- I look forward hopefully but I also run into puzzling changes and what appear to be cultural impasses.

One of these is Blogger.

Mac's new image program, Photo, is crapola. Everyone hates it, it seems, not just newbie me.

One of its side-effects is that I cannot upload photos or images that I have stored on the Mac. (The dog's breakfast that resulted from Photo's "importing" of my 6K image library and destroying my folder and file system is only part of it).

So, in my current mood of trying to upgrade and renew what I can in my life, --which mood often comes upon me in Octobers-- I took a shot at a Wordpress blog. And discovered much to like about it.

So, I may very well move ExCathedra to Wordpress.

If I do, I will certainly leave a link here for my dozen(s?) of dedicated readers to leave Blogger's Microsoft Medina with DrAndro aka USMaleSF aka ExC and migrate to Mac Mecca, where they will find DrExCathedra still ranting and bloviating at a new Wordpress site.

I'll let ya's know.


Devalued currency

The now-worthless Zimbabwean dollar 

I grew up in the Church of Pius XII, the Latin Mass --whose "rote" responses and complex choreography I learned as a boy--and the Cold War. I thus remember a time when the Church was The One True Religion, and nobody inside it questioned it. In fact, this was its primary calling card.

One of the quite novel ways of thinking about the Church which came out of the blue with the Vatican Council, when I was in high school, was that we were "The People of God." So much cozier than the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Initially, this meant that the Roman Catholics were The People of God. Within ten minutes, that got extended...uh, made more the Orthodox and our more local "separated brethren" the Protestants...and well, you can imagine. It was the 60's and pretty soon everybody was The People of God. Everybody.

So now, whenever I hear a priest or theologian or pope use this phrase, I see an ideogram in my head, sorta like the ancient Mayan ones, and it means "gooey but completely empty egalitarian mush designed to lull me into feeling Kumbaya and buying some crapshit idea that's toxic."

It struck me as one of a myriad of transformations, both sacred and secular, where what began as a "new vision" of some kind of kinder, gentler more democratic POV turned into a cheap and empty nostrum used only for emotional manipulation.  It's part of human nature to value what is rare and to disregard what is easily come by. So that now, with the Liberal and PoMo hegemony well nigh absolute, the ten-minute old values of the Sixties --equality uber alles-- have infected everything in sight. And what we have is not, of course, "equality" but, a la Nietzsche, a de-valuation of all values.

What was once a source of Catholic identity and self-confidence was dumped in favor of an image and idea now droned on about in emptying and graying churches and advertized in word and deed by His Loudmouthness, who presses Mother Europa and all her children to welcome with open arms the waves of savages invading her from the south, because after all, aren't we all The People of God?

 In one lifetime to have gone from the majestic Eugenio Pacelli to Jorge Mario Bergoglio the leftist clown...and people think the West is not in decline, the One True Church of Christ along with it?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Almost forgot

Today was the Folsom Street Fair.

Haven't been in twenty years. But it reminds me of the some of the adventures of my old leather jacket...

Religious basics

For humans to engage in a religion, they have to believe that it is more than the creation of their own ego. That it reveals Reality in a way that they could not otherwise know.

Rudolf Otto's description of the divine as mysterium tremendum et fascinans is apt. It is mysterious by nature and cannot in principle be comprehended by us. It is overwhelming in its power and scope. And it captures our attention, imagination and awe. Without these elements, it is not really sacred.

Thinking of the liberal rationalism which lies at the heart of post-Enlightenment faiths, such as Unitarian Universalism, I cannot see them as engaging the divine. They are just religious ideologies, having reduced their scope to what they can understand.

On the other hand, when history and culture change and a given religion can no longer make "good-enough" sense of things or provide a way of life that people can actually live --or are any longer willing to live-- its scope is likely to shrink.

I do not think it accidental that a European (and rapidly and increasing an American) civilization which has "emancipated" itself from the religion of its ancestors --Christianity, for the last many centuries-- now finds itself incapable of resisting the savages invading its borders. I think they are linked.

As I have said, the young reactionaries who have awakened to the imminent collapse of their people and blame Christianity's universalism for that fail to note that it was only after Christianity ceased to be the spiritus rector of their people that the sturdily evangelized cells of the Western body metastasized into the cancer of global liberal secular humanism, leaving us defenseless against the New Huns.

It is the emptied churches of the West that the Muslims are turning into mosques.


Saturday, September 26, 2015


Chad Allen. Actually Chad Lazzari. Like Mr B, one of those blondish Italians.

And an out gay man and actor. Although he holds all the standard Borg positions of the LGBT thing, I've always liked him in movies. Especially the Donald Strachey series. His character saves the otherwise predictable LGBT attitudes in those stories. He plays a guy.

Now, alas, he has retired from acting. And has decided to become a psychologist.

I'll miss ya, Chad.

Oh, and by the way, when are your office hours?


Breaking the Sabbath

with my heretical musings.

Bought a Macbook Air yesterday. I have finally had it with Microsoft and the PC. Been a user since day one and remained so because of the ease of getting software, the lower cost and the fact that I had learned so many tricks under the hood to fix things when they went south. As they did, all too often.

So far the thing is good, although the smaller screen takes getting used to. Fast, light, and since it has a solid state drive, no heat while it sits on my lap. Still a learning curve, --I will keep both systems in place for a while--but especially since I got a hardly-used "pre-owned" machine at half the retail price, I'm hopeful.

#Cuckservative Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, who used to impress me a lot in my merely conservative days, is attacking Ben Carson's sane rejection of a Muslim for president. Do the Liberals go after each other in public as much as the Right does? I don't think so. Pas d'ennemis a gauche.

Calling Carson's idea "poisonous" and out of sync with the Constitution's "ethos," he commits the very common mistake of thinking the this document is a kind of Bible. It ain't. See my 2007 post. Extraordinary thought it be, the men who wrote it never intended it to be anything of that kind. Krauthammer even goes so far as to say that "it doesn’t just set limits to power; it expresses a national ethos. It doesn’t just tell you what you’re not allowed to do; it also suggests what you shouldn’t want to do.”

Are you kidding, Rabbi?

Ultra PC Salon magazine is thrilled, of course. Republicans are great at giving aid and comfort to th e enemy. Salon is shocked that anyone should think about "religious litmus tests." Sure, when there's a Muslim involved. But what about Mormon Romney? Well, that's different...

On FB, pics of my ex and his current BF having dinner with a couple that my ex and I had dinner with years ago. One of them is a Swiss faggot --yes, I know-- who thought it was both chic and ok to do his European contempt of America thing right at the table, in my country, in my face, sibilants and all. That was the last dinner.

And another FB friend is "liking" some sanctimoniously whiny article about how "the Black man in America" is doomed to death or prison. And of course that is "America's" fault. Nothing that ever happens to them is ever their fault, of course. Where she sees a Passion Play, I see parasites.

Finished Thomas Sowell's Conflict of Visions. I am sure that he has his reasons, but he sticks to the lingo of "those who hold the unconstrained vision" and "those who hold the constrained vision" throughout the book. Makes for clunky reading. He does not simply use shorthand such as  "the dreamers" and "the realists." Which is how I look at the two visions. An outline here.

Francis The Talking Pope clearly holds the unconstrained vision, which 2000 years of Christian theology says is a lie. And since Vatican II and the Church's sudden creation of this novel fulcrum for all Catholic thinking and acting --"the dignity of the human person"-- that poisonous vision has infected it at all levels. Original Sin anyone? The first of the seven principles which the ultraliberal Unitarian Universalists hold, by the way, is "the inherent worth and dignity of every human person."

Still marching through The Passion of the Western Mind. The tensions, which have sometimes become a dance, now seem quite split. And no one has come up with a way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I grit my teeth while he described the post-moderns as having given up belief in grand narratives. Bullshit. Their grand narrative is progressive socialism. Hicks' Explaining Post-Modernism makes that quite clear. Masquerading as "critical theory" open-minded non-dogmatists, they have greated the intellectual gulag of the modern university, where failure to be sufficiently enthusiastic about the naked Emperor gets your goose cooked.

The book does reveal to me, by my reactions along the way, my divided loyalties, making me, too, a modern Westerner.

As I continue to muse about a post-Christian religion for the Whites, I had the thought the other day that the figure of the Devil should be modeled on Saul Alinksy and the anti-Christ on Martin Luther King.

The basic mythic structure would, I think, be the Grail.

On theological basics, I think I come down on the side of pluralism, but not the "all religions are equally true" version. That makes little sense to me. Something more like Knitter's mutuality model, which sees both truth and falsehood in all religions. This make the claim to universal truth less important. In my current musings, under the metaphor of the light refracted through a spectrum, all religions --well, many-- have their necessary bias in the rainbow. Somewhat like language. We all speak our native tongues, our particular language, but no one speaks Language.

The truth claims of a religion should focus on internal consistency and on avoiding contradictions --not alternative views but contradictions-- to reason or, with caveats, science. After all, with centuries and centuries of debate between theologians and scholars, people's religious allegiances remain.
What makes for change is not correct argument but passionate conviction, cultural shifts, and the contigencies of history. At this point, a religion which tries to present itself as true in the same terms as science is barking up the wrong tree, I think. But how do you avoid that tree without simple consigning yourself to the prison of the subject?

Unless you and everyone else is already there.

Mr B just called from Genoa. I am very lucky to be in love with a happy man.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Canuck

A favorite Canadian actor, Ian Tracey.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Trannies to the rescue

Mr B is in Italy and so he is not able to fulfill his regular duty of making me laugh out loud each morning. I miss that. I laugh a lot less when he is away.

But today, via a FB link from a dear friend who is as liberal as they come --a Unitarian lesbian minister, no less-- comes this hilarity, which produced the usual Mr B effect of out loud laughing.

The prologue: Being trans is an identity that comes with a bill.

Transgender rights health

The new frontier in LGBT Civil Rights...

The predictable rest of it, in all its glory, is here. Keep laffin, boys and girls and er...

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