Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gadgetry

Program on 100 Best Gadgets of All Time ends with these Top Ten:

smartphone
radio
television
hypodermic syringe
personal computer with microprocessor
portable air conditioner
rotary phone
phonograph
alarm clock
light bulb

___________________

Go figure



About a month ago, I did something to my right knee. Stretched it too much, or rode the bike too fast...don't know. But it was off. As I have grown older, I realize that while muscles retain their capacity to heal and grow, once a joint gets injured... So I stopped working legs at the gym, and watched carefully how I walked, what shoes I wore, etc. I felt it was well enough to risk hiking yesterday.

The hike was listed as "moderate". But it was high moderate. Lots of climbing. Not necessarily short and steep, but what's tougher, long and often constantly upward. And of course downward for two miles has its own stressors: slippage, etc. I was real careful.

And to my surprise today, my leg is...fine. Even better than it was a week ago.

I hesitate to say this, for fear of offending the Patella Archons, but there it is.

Cartoons for brains

A lacrimose O and his grim bride

 Thomas Sowell writes:
One of the painfully revealing episodes in Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" describes his early experience listening to a sermon by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Among the things said in that sermon was that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." Obama was literally moved to tears by that sermon.
Painfully revealing indeed.  The rest of Sowell's thoughts here.

I sometimes feel bad for Sowell, a Black man, and as smart a cookie as you'll meet, that the first (half) Black president turned out to be such a disaster.

_____________________________

Comic truth

If you watch ethnic group comedians playing to their own group, you can discover that a lot of what is held to be heinous stereotypes when asserted by outsiders, is just common knowledge for the insiders. It's only on that basis that the audience can laugh. Comedians are applauded for telling truths that critics get pilloried for saying.

Gerard P Donelan published a bunch of all-too-true gay cartoons. One book (1987) is called Drawing on the Gay Experience. Voila.





I'm afraid that the hypermale exterior and the teenage ladygirl interior, pictured above, is still all too common.

_______________________________

Wrong train

Got an email ad from the archive connected to my old Jungian workplace. Something about the psychological roots of Christian anti-Semitism.
Not a big deal anymore, boys and girls.

Hatred of Jews comes from Muslims and their secular (usually anti-Christian) allies in Europe, under the guise of anti-Zionism. Referencing that awful book, Constantine's Sword,which, under the guise of dissecting Catholic/Christian anti-Semitism, unintentionally shows it to be European.

When was the last time that actual Christian-inspired, organized and/or enacted anti-Jew activity was significant?

And who are the best friends of the Jewish state and all the Jews that live there? Christians.

The Jungians might better attend to their own hatred of Christianity.

Wrong train again, boys and girls.

Anthropogenic Local Raining

Lucky we chose yesterday for the hike. Perfect summer weather.

Today:

A stubborn storm system parked off the California Coast is dumping record rainfall over portions of the Golden State. With the locally heavy rain on Saturday, San Francisco has already set its all-time wettest June on record. The 0.97 of an inch of rain recorded so far this June surpassed the previous record for wettest June, when 0.86 of an inch fell in June of 1967.


The rain that has fallen so far this month in
San Francisco is nearly nine times the normal rainfall received in the entire month of June. AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Cory Mottice examined the rainfall amounts in the city, noting that San Francisco has more than doubled its average rainfall for four months in the past four days!

Strange. Northern California basically has a winter wet season - summer dry season pattern, due to the fact that it is very desert-like. (Wet winter is why the place is full of greenery during the coldest months). So rain like this in June is very odd.

I am sure there is some human bad behavior to blame....:)

Summer day


A hike yesterday with B to Alpine Lake and Bon Tempe Reservoir in Marin. Sunny, perfect weather. One of SF's great virtues is that places like this abound, very close to the city. But when you're there, you could be somewhere in the foothills of the Sierras. In the four hours we were on the trail, we met three people.

An observation from Canada

from the very atypical Canadian Kathy Shaidle.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Multiple choice

I read recently that when people, either individually or in groups, have serious disagreements, the default responses are usually to conclude that your opponent is a) stupid, b) crazy or c) evil.

Sounds good to me.

Does that make me close-minded, or, gasp!, a "hater"?

Sounds good to me.

Constitutional restraint

As Judge Antonin Scalia says, the Constitution does not always match his own convictions, feelings and attitudes. Unlike "living constitutionalists", he does not expect it to.

I see a news story about two gangbangers who invade someone's home and shoot them in the process. For me, that would be automatic public execution. Were I in charge, any invasion of a private home which resulted in harm to residents would be a capital offense.

Unfortunately, I can't find any emanations or penumbras to support that.

Random anecdotal memory

After a night of partying and drinking, a hungover and groggy Tallulah Bankhead found herself at High Mass at the very high church Episcopal church, St Mary Magdalen. As the acolyte came by her pew during one of the incensations, she leaned over to him and whispered:


"Darling, your dress is divine, but your purse is on fire."


PS. When I was an untouched and unmolested altar boy back in the days of the old Latin Mass, we wore a cassock and surplice.


A new nun was given charge of altar boy training and decided that we should also wear starched collars with red ribbons. We hated it. It made us look and feel like the fussy doll pictured below.



My first experience of female power in the church.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gay Pride

With my diminished sense of tribal belonging --which, though real, is damned inconvenient, both socially and professionally-- I look on the festivities around Pride Weekend with some ambivalence.


***

Apparently some Balkan country recently had its first Pride Parade, small, and protected by the police from the unhappy and threatening populace. It's the strange paradox of gayness: to pull this off takes tenacity and courage, but when the event happens, it's full of guys dressed like fairies or girls.


This confluence of effeminacy and bravery has often led to the defiant axiom of the Drag Queen as Real Man: "I'm more woman than you'll ever have and more man than you'll ever be." A dress with bad makeup and hostile resentful attitude does not add up to masculine courage* anymore than does the desperate defiance of an adolescent. Gotta give it to queens, though. That combo of histrionics and sadism (and not a little masochism) gives them a way with words. But a very limited syntax and mood: usually either soothing or slashing. Classic unintegrated feminine.

***

Speaking of gay pride, it is common to hear the response that being gay is just what happens to you, not an accomplishment, and so no reason to be proud. Well, yes and no. All I'll say at the moment is that groups which engage in "pride" activities, like Blacks, for instance, are simply trying to address the older cultural message that they should be ashamed of themselves and are saying No by asserting its opposite. Over and over, it seems.

***

That reminds me of another complaint, btw, that gays are always making an issue of their sexuality, while straights don't, for instance, have "Pride Day". As my mother once blurted out in exasperation, "Why do gays have to be so....GAY!?" I sympathize. I really do. But what straight people can fail to realize is what fish fail to realize. How wet they are. That is, how massive and continuing and ubiquitous are the assumptions and promotions and celebrations of male/female attraction. Sometimes it takes an outsider to see it. A cat in a pond knows viscerally what the fish hardly suspect. I have no problem with that, no wish for heteros to tone it down. The differences between and the connections between the two sexes are fundamental. After all, it's really their planet and without them, there'd be no one left, gay or straight. But if homos over-react sometimes, it might be to that overwhelming, 24/7, almost inescapable energy.


***

And speaking of cats and heterosexuality. I was confessing to a friend that even though Sonny was just a cat, he was a regular and pleasant presence in my house for the last fifteen years and when I woke up today, I was sad he is gone and I miss him. I felt somehow honored that he had "chosen" to spend his last few days and hours, literally, next to me. Even had that usual post-mortem guilt about what I might have done to keep him alive longer. My friend is not famous for sympathy about human troubles, much less animal bereavement, but he went out of his way to be kind: "Well, look at it this way. He's in a better place now, sort of a guardian angel. And you can be comforted by knowing that when you die, there's pussy waiting for you in Heaven."

***

Here endeth the lesson.

___________________________________

*Courage, of course, is not limited to males. Women certainly need it and have it. But it is not a defining characteristic of femininity. When was the last time you heard, "Woman up!" A fearful woman has defect of character, not a defect of gender. A fearful man can be called into question precisely as a man. Courage is a plus in a woman, a basic in a man. A fearful woman is a fearful woman, a fearful man...is he a man at all? And there's a difference between manly courage and queeny courage. Another post another time.

Fertile gaydar


A study
shows the fertile women are especially skilled at distinguishing gay from straight males. They just looked a pictures. Boy, I'd love to see those pictures.

My Facebook friend Eliot Rifler claims a similar skill, even when he's not in estrus.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The daylight world of Christendom

Although I am in favor of strong churches as constitutive of a Strong West, I am glad not to be a participant anymore in what I call "the daylight world of Christendom", with all its to-ing and fro-ing and pillowfights.  All groups and movements have their jargons, of course. Unavoidable. This, for example (italics mine), lamenting greater consultation on the new English Mass translations:
The early church as presented in New Testament openly portrays differences among Christians, including leaders. The Church of Ireland and the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in Ireland have their synods and assemblies where such matters can be discussed candidly. Is that a source of damage or of strength for them? Would Catholics in Ireland have their faith weakened if they discovered that the hierarchy is not actually a monolith, and that they are willing to respond to genuine concerns raised by the people? Is there a sign of the times to be discerned here? This something which can point to an area of renewal for the church? A more open and participative exercise of authority would help bring about the renewal of the church and promote communion.
The fetishization of the "early church". Just cause something is earlier does not make it better, simply previous. Although it is hard to believe now, I had to fight a perfectionist streak for a long time. One of my confessors told me for a penance that  I had to read all the Epistles in the New Testament and list all the problems the letters confronted or complained about. Result: the Church has never been anything close to perfect, even when run by the very Apostles themselves.

A commentor called for "Town Halls" where parishes could come to (hic genuflectitur) consensus. Aka Rule By the Mob of the Baptized.

Before I fell asleep reading the Irish paragraph, my favorite parts were "discern" and "sign of the times". It's a Vatican II phrase from the unfortunately very 1965 Gaudium et Spes. A favorite of liberal nuns. It usually means, "I've seen a cool new trend and I want to jump on board." I envision groups of genuinely concerned and candid Christian people furrowing their brows in communion, in open and participative prayer before prayerfully arriving at genuine non-monolithic conclusions they held before their renewed foreheads wrinkled.

I am evil

2012
New American President
Rick "Andrew Jackson Redux" Perry
and
Vice President
Michele "Sarah Palin Lite" Bachmann

They'd make George W Bush look like Eugene McCarthy.
They'd have to re-open all those camps GWB forgot to intern the gays in.
Could the Republic of Gilead be far off?

LOL.

The thousand natural shocks

That's Shakespeare, a Dead White European Male, for those of you multicultural types who think that Toni Morrison is the new Jane Austen. Hell even Jane Austen wasn't. Aren't all her plots basically the same story: middle class girls looking for husbands with money?

So. It looks like my next door neighbor's cat is on his way out. I have known Sonny since he was a kitten. My neighbor and I share a back porch, so the feline has always considered my place as part of his range and I think of him as my cat-nephew. A handsome and assertive fellow, white and yellow with blue eyes and a weirdly unique meow. He's in his middle teens, at least, a very long life for a cat. And clearly an old, old fella now. Skinny, mostly blind and, I suspect, mostly deaf. He moves slowly. I suspect he has stopped eating. Has spent the last three days in my house, sleeping almost 95% of the time. He's very quiet now, not the voluble type he used to be. Last night he got a claw caught on the pile of my living room rug and couldn't extricate himself; just sorta collapsed, tired from the little effort. Mortality is in the air.

6.23 Update: The little old guy is dead. I found him in my hallway this morning; he had hidden in a closet overnight and stumbled out. He was like a little rag doll, but still breathing. Wouldn't drink water or make any noise. I wrapped him in towels, called his owner, who came from work and took him to the vet, but he was too far gone. His temperature was 4 degrees below normal. Fifteen years old, actually. I'll miss him, even though he liked to sit right on my laptop keyboard. Here he is as he was in better days:


And, this may be TMI, I am almost, but not quite, recovered from some bacterial invasion which settled in my lower GI tract. Musta been two dozen trips to the throne in a 12-hour overnight period.
Tiring. If not mortality, then a reminder of what the flesh is heir to. (That's Shakespeare as well.)

Watched some more of the Why Does Evil Exist? series with my friend Bill. Rabbinic Judaism and Islam on evil. Amazingly, for a people whose history is loaded with disaster, Jews have largely hewn to a pretty mundane approach to human badness as a natural inclination to selfishness that you can kind of expect from a finite creature. Until the Holocaust. Which has made some of them wonder if the "cosmic, metaphysical and melodramatic" approach of Christianity to evil might not have some merit.

The lecture on Islam focused on a Quranic story of Iblis, the Muslim Satan. I am no fan of the Quran, as you might expect, but this re-telling of the primeval fall in heaven is quite rich.


11. It is We Who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels bow down to Adam, and they bowed down; not so Iblis; He refused to be of those who bow down.
12. ((Allah)) said: "What prevented thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay."
13. ((Allah)) said: "Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures)."
14. He said: "Give me respite till the day they are raised up."
15. ((Allah)) said: "Be thou among those who have respite."
16. He said: "Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way:
17. "Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies)."
18. ((Allah)) said: "Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee,- Hell will I fill with you all.
Shocks natural and supernatural.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Men and women are not equal

It is an article of faith that men and women are equal. I don't buy it.

Just today I have watched several TV programs where women pour drinks into men's laps, slap men in the face in public, hit them with fists and throw objects at them...and fully expect that they will not be attacked in return.

It's only because they rely on the fact that that women are weaker, more vulnerable (both physically and emotionally) that this kind of stuff can be portrayed without any hint of a second thought.


And if the man did in fact respond by smacking her or punching her, HE would be the one in trouble.

Women's apparent freedom to attack males without expectation of retaliation is a full confession of their inferiority.

I'll believe that women are equal to men when they know that behavior like that will be met with equal retaliation.

No nanny state here


From my friend's trip to India.
You can talk on your cellphone and still drive a team of oxen.

I've been watching The Jewel In The Crown, about the last days of the British raj in India. Now, I am of Irish descent, so I know how brutal the Brits can be. But what imperial power is not?

Here's my question: if you are an African or Asian country and you know that your fate in the 19th and 20th century is to become subject to a European country. Which country would you choose for a colonial master: France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland, Italy...or Great Britain?

Hint: which country's former colonies have done best after independence?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who's the crazy one?

A&E's Hoarders. Seriously ill people.

But the helpers...

A guy has a house with a thousand rats in it. It is full of excrement and urine and the rats are attacking one another. The man has moved out and lives in a shed, but continues to feed and water them and let them breed. They are his "friends". The Humane Society comes to remove them, promising the hoarder that all of them will be placed in good homes. They spend hours and hours doing this work.

The level of control that these hoarders exercise over others is really disturbing.

At one point HS calls the hoarder over to show him a rat whose viscera are hanging out from a bite, to get his permission to euthanize it. They explain how painless it will be, it will end his suffering, etc. He takes a minute to decide. He agrees and goes off to weep.

I could never work with hoarders.

Cultural diversity celebrated once again



My friend is back from India. Brought a news clipping he read whilst there.

Female Kuwaiti politician suggests having legal sex slaves so that men are not tempted to adultery.

In a concession to modern sensibilities, however, she would prefer that they be at least 15.

The Religion of Peace and Women's Dignity strikes again!

An online version in a UK paper is here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Heh

I woke up last night deep in the night. Turned on the tube for a little while till I fell back to sleep. They had a Queer Comedy Festival on. It's Gay Pride Month, in case you hadn't gotten the memo. Anyway, a female gay comedian, quite ordinary looking. Her line:
People have a hard time telling that I'm a lesbian and when I tell them, they have a hard time believing me. I used to think it was my long hair. Or the dresses I wear. Or my makeup. Then I discovered what it was...my cheerful demeanor.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Truth in advertizing



So here we have two immediately recognizable images, cleverly embodied in a single person. The assumption of the hypermale Black gangsta thug who suddenly turns into fussy femmy gay queen. Barbarians and wimps: The wreck of manhood after feminism.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The worst anti-gay propaganda

often comes directly from gay sources.

Cut-Sleeve Boys (2007) follows a few gay Chinese guys in London. What do we have? Narcissists with the shallowest of lives, creepy gender issues, spite, emptiness. All males --sorta--- but not a man in sight. Even the butch trick reveals himself to be a tranny in training. Who needs Focus on the Family to tell you that homosexuality is a disaster?

Space and time

My friend who has been travelling in India is now at a shopping mall in Dubai and will be back in the States this weekend. I know this because he texted me.

There are times when the technology really amazes me. For the three weeks or so that he has been away, on the other side of the planet, I have pretty well known where he was and what he was up to, via text and cellphone pix and emails.

And what always comes to mind at times like these are John and Abigail Adams. This very odd love match, so important to the American nation, included long periods of separation. Especially when Adams was in Europe. When I think through the details of travel in those days, I am struck not only by the difficulty, the uncertainty, the danger, the real discomfort, but the gaps in communication...the not knowing. Once Adams left Abigail at the front door of their house in Massachusetts and boarded a ship for Europe, she would have been completely in the dark about his whereabouts or conditions --even if he were still alive-- for months. He would have been, and was, equally ignorant about her.




So here they are, the person they loved most in the world absent and distant. And no way to connect or know, either way, between Massachusetts and Paris or Amsterdam, for a couple of months at a time. It's very moving to me.

Jesus the enabler

While I try to psychoanalyse why I still find myself reading PrayTell, --some complex is at work there--I do note that there is a big gap, between the educated and the uneducated among the commentors. A few of them clearly know their history, etc. Most are liberals, a minority conservatives. And there is a middle ground of lay people who work for the church in some capacity, often music, for whom the phrase, "a little theology is a dangerous thing" seems apt. These folks are ideological, that is, they have one or two ideas and decided to recreate the complex worship of the world's largest and oldest Christian church on that basis alone. And then there are a few, one in particular, who are just stupid and adolescent and shameless.

One named "Sandi" --with an i-- is the worst offender. When a discussion arose of an earlier translation, one which still used "thee" and "thou", she announced that this only showed "what a whitewashed tomb of death the Church had become and how Vatican II tried to drag it out of the Dark Ages." The woman is a moron, with a cartoon view of the world. I characterized her as the love child of Oliver Cromwell and Matthew Fox*. When a commentor rightly took her to task, another one piously reminded them to concentrate on the message, not the messenger. (Yet I note that smart male conservative voices will get smacked down without this tender evangelical concern.)



This is a huge part of what I do not miss about Church life. And that is why I made this post. One of the things that used to bother me when I was in the church was the way in which the "forgiveness" theme got used. Or how to deal with "the little ones, the least of my brethren". These things are, as might imagine, highly local both in space and time. The current format is infected with sentimental egalitarianism and the metamessage that the church has settled on to adapt to the age of EuroLiberalism, "the dignity of the human person."
What this very often "cashes out" into is an uncritical enabling of the dumbest and the most character disordered or immature in the group. Where once a stupid peasant would be told by his pastor that he was a stupid peasant whom God loved but who nonetheless should keep his big mouth shut, now each dumb loudmouth, especially if she's a woman, must have her ego coddled (it's really nothing more than that) and never confronted. The conscious blab was to treat people like adults, but in reality they were to be treated like moody adolescent girls. If they got their feelings hurt, it was never their issue, but always yours.

I remember this "ethos" and how much it irked me. I suspect that on one or more occasions I lost my Mr. Rogers persona (LOL) and told some of these people what the story was. And if they left the parish, angry and hurt, I repented not. But then again, with my personality, stupid has always seemed to me a far worse sin than regular evil-doing.

It's just the ecclesiastical version of liberal victim power, which infects many kinds of organizations nowadays, under the rubric (!) of one of Jesus' least felicitious phrases, "Judge not lest ye be judged". IMHO, it is one thing to assume that you know the secrets of the heart as God does, but quite another to distinguish an idiot from a normal person. Jesus himself, if you read the Book, indulged in a whole lotta lotta judging. But then, He was the Boss.

*Not the hot guy on Lost, but the desiccated New Ager with the oppositional-defiant personality.

_____________________________-

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not bad

 From a commentor named Frank, on Pajamas Media.

My score sheet for presidential candidates goes like this:

1. Give 10 points for being a Governor
2. Give 10 points for being a Governor for more than one term
3. Give 10 points for being from state west of The Mississippi.
4. Subtract 10 points for being from a state smaller than San Bernardino County
5. Give 10 points for military service.
6. Give 20 points for any degree not from Ivy League
7. Give 20 points for any non law degree
8. Give 30 points for owning, starting or running a business without assistance from your family dynasty
9. Give additional 20 points if the business failed, and you started another afterwards.

10. Give 20 points for :
- Holding A Pilots License
- Owning a handgun, rifle and/or shotgun
- Hunting, fishing regularly and outside of the politcal season.
- Being married without scandal for more than 10 years.
- Knowing the difference between Matthew, Luke, Mark and John and John, George, Paul and Ringo.
- Discussing potential amphibious landing sites near Bandar Abbas near open mike.
- Knowing the significance of November 10th

11. Give 10 points for visible and risible contempt for Europe
12. Give 10 points for distrust for Russia and China.
13. Subtract 10 points for each political book written
14. Subtract 20 points for each political book written with ghost writer
15. Subtract 10 points for each appearance on Bill Maher
16. Subtract 20 points for being a Senator(state or federal).
17. Subtract 30 points for being Senator for more than one term.
18. Subtract 25 points for each use of the phrase “Addicted to oil”


____________________________

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The gay street

Overheard on the street in my Castro neighborhood.

Two middle aged white males walking together. One says:
"You know that wig of mine? The silver one, that's almost pink? In the pixie style."

Two middle aged white males leaving the subway. The first says,
"You been following the Giants?"
The other:
"Nah. I'm a fan, but not a huge fan. And I still haven't recovered
from all the excitement last year over the Series win. It was
emotionally exhausting. I'll have to wait awhile."

Two twenty-something white males, crossing Castro
and 18th Street. One to the other:
"You're such a pushy bottom and you know it.
Don't even try it."

A black TV* reporter with camera and mike asks a middle aged
white male gay guy in muscle shirt, three day stubble and
sunglasses and cap if he thinks the Prop 8 judge should have recused
himself because he's gay:
"Everyone's equal. It shouldn't matter."

*Given the neighborhood, I should clarify. This means "television",
not "transvestite".

__________________________________________

I think that the ruling should stand on its merits,
no matter who wrote it. But being contrarian, this is the real world. 
The judge was foolish and
self-indulgent to take the case if his private life could be used to call
his impartiality into question, validly or not. Being convinced
that you are right (plus feeling hard done by) does not excuse you from
using the old cardinal virtue of prudence.

Cause you know very well that if the judge had been revealed to be
a strong Evangelical Christian and had ruled in favor of Prop 8,
don't you think the gay side would now be raising bloody hell on the
same grounds that their opponents are now holding?

Me and Paul

The saint, that is. And sometimes an acute psychologist.

There is one line in his whole corpus that I really "get". 

Romans 7.15
ὃ γὰρ κατεργάζομαι οὐ γινώσκω· οὐ γὰρ ὃ θέλω τοῦτο πράσσω, ἀλλ’ ὃ μισῶ τοῦτο ποιῶ.


I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do; but what I hate, I do.

Kindling the flames of Androphilia

Jack Donovan's very irritating and true 2007 manifesto, Androphilia, is now available via Kindle.
 


If you did not get a chance to read his unfortunately quite convincing take-down and smack-down of gay culture in its original dead-tree edition, now's your chance. I call it unfortunate because it crystallized several half-formed, hazy uneasinesses of mine* into a clear analysis and made my connection to the gay tribe even more tenuous. Which, if you live in San Francisco and make your living working mostly with gay men, is inconvenient.

In the current culture, being gay is not being a man who loves other men. It is not about the shape of same-sex eros. It is a pre-packaged herd identity (now canonized as LGBT etc.) built out of a culture of group victimism, left-wing politics and --most ironic of all-- a feminist-inspired ambivalence (at best) about actual men and about manhood itself. I wish it weren't true, but it is.


*Coincidence only. I take no credit whatsoever for Jack's work. On the contrary, his has had a very big influence on mine.

More fun up North

The province of Quebec, recognized --to no apparent effect-- as "a nation within Canada", now has a proposal for a new national anthem, "O Kebek". As we say in the shrink biz, it's diagnostic.

The author is not the first in his family to try his hand. The words to O Canada were written "by an ancestor of my mother's second husband..."

This is the short version, sung by the author. And it's not from The Onion/L'onion. It's just a lot of bilge.





 (English translation)

O Kebek

Kebek is who we are, people from here, people with heart

A unique country in North America

Great people united under the fleur-de-lis

A nation flourishing and aspiring to goodwill

Under the rainbow we sing of liberty

All the days we remember our history

Our pride our victory is to speak French

And to live together in peace

We keep our memories of France

From where we left under a wind of hope

Our dear ancestors that gave birth to

the breath of a country where abundance reigns

We formed alliances with the aboriginal peoples

Having spoken with the spirit of the Earth

That gave us life with the fruits of nature and

Protected us from the cold

Our beautiful youth are our richness

The freshness of our dreams will change the world

With the wisdom of the ages we respond

We are confident and united

Between our generations we built bridges

The same water flows in all our rivers

Bringing together the new and the old

Creating the beautiful country which is our

O Kebek

Land that we love

Catchy, eh? I mean, oui?

God, what crap.


Chapeau-Tip to FB ami, Eliot Rifler, a Canuck of the non-Kebek variety.
____________________________________

Who, pray tell?

Whether you consider it a tempest in an incense pot or a Catholic pillow fight, I have to admit that my old RC genes have gotten engaged in some of the back-and-forth at PrayTell. I'm not proud of it, but there it is.

But what to my wondering eyes should I read...

The brilliant but chronically irritable Irish priest who often opines there seems to me to be one of those folks for whom Vatican II is the source of a new religion. He admitted that what he was really after was to turn the Church of Rome into the Episcopal Church.

Anyway, with his usual to-the-point and emotionally ramped up prose...he agreed with me.


On the group of females claiming to get themselves ordained "Roman Catholic Womenpriests"
(and Womenbishops, too), he allowed as how he gave no support to illegal ordinations since they gave rise to schism and constituted "a crime against the sacraments." He pointed out that one thing all Catholics learn from childhood is that "you do not play with sacraments". He agreed with another commentor, whom I also supported, that the women involved were "delusional."

What's that sound I hear? Ah wings flapping. On flying pigs.

Myth #233

"Travel broadens the mind."

Message from friend travelling in India:

"Vishnu were here."



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Monday, June 13, 2011

Big Texas Fella



Some men don't even have to take off the T and jeans...
but it's not bad if they do.

Humpty dumpty religion

Politics, sex and religion interest me a lot. And I recognize that my attitudes and ideas about them may not seem very congruent. Even to me.


My latest is a set of comments on PrayTell about the Roman Catholic Womenpriests, about whom I have blogged before and before. Because I think that the Bishop of Rome and say, the Patriarch of Constantinople have a pretty good case for being authoritative voices in their realms of Christianity, I accept that they do not accept the ordination of women to the priesthood*. When I opined that it is delusional to engage in an action which excommunicates you from the Roman Church and then turn around and call yourself a Roman Catholic priestess, the website's monk moderator told me that I did not have an inkling about the complexities of this issue. Me? Not an inkling? But I was polite:
And as you know, studying theology reveals that practically everything in Christianity can be interpreted as “complicated, historically problematic, ambiguous and open to further doctrinal development.” That is a condition which, while significant, is not by itself decisive.
What pisses me off about several of the commentors over there is that they think they can hold whatever theological opinions they want and still maintain that they are in perfectly good standing in their churches. In fact, that they far better understand them than the people who run them. And some of them have the theological smarts of a bumper sticker.


I admit that it bothers me because I made a huge change in my life because I could not accept my tradition's theology. It seemed the only honest thing to do. I don't regret it and I am not whining, but it was hugely costly for me. So when other people play religious Humpty Dumpty and then get all superior about it, it makes me angry.

____________________________

*My best female friend is a minister. And I have great respect for Bishop Rosamonde. But they are Unitarian Universalist and Gnostic, respectively. No conflict between their traditions and female clergy. But it does not fit for Catholic and Orthodox faiths.

O, PO'd WTF


The Israeli Prime Minister apparently upset The American President with his speech recently, after The American President prescribed suicidal borders for the aforementioned Israeli Prime Minister's country.

Well, of course. The One got skooled by Bibi. In public. Damn smart aleck Jews.

Who wouldn't be PO'd?

Heh.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Horror

Stumbled onto 2012 on TV. You know, the Mayans were right and the whole world is falling apart. The scariest thing in the whole movie...




Danny Glover as the American President.

In real life, Danny Glover is an America-hating leftist.

Oh. Wait. An America-hating leftist is the American President.


______________________

Reciprocity?

When Americans I know go to Mexico or India, they can (and do) get "Montezuma's Revenge" or "Ghandi's Revenge."

When Mexicans or Indians come to America, do they get someone's revenge?




_____________________________

Nostalgia

The grey-headed liberals at the American Catholic Council meeting in Detroit complain that "the Church is not listening."



Reminds me of chronically whiny employees I had in an AIDS and substance abuse non-profit I once ran. Whenever they wanted something and did not get it, they would say, "You're not hearing me." I explained to these childish narcissists that I was indeed hearing them and was responding with "No."

To them, and to the folks in Detroit, "listening" means "giving in to what I want because justice and truth are obviously on my side."


Could if be that because the Church listened to them, that it said no?

Unclear on the concept

From a FB profile page...


This fella is not putting 2+2 together.
Or "O" and zero.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cool


and unusual and sexy.

Like

Saw a DQ commercial and really liked the actor.  Tracked him down on YouTube. Name of John Behlman. I must really like him. Even watched his birfday rap...Really. Damned cute.

Found this clip of some other work he did.

video


Modern dating....

New who?

My global app has recorded site visits from 60 countries in the last week. Including one I never even heard of: New Caledonia, a colony of France.

President Rick Perry?


This possibility pleases me if only because the thought of yet another white male Texas Christian capitalist in the White House would make so many progressives apoplectic. Does that make me a bad person?

What can you say?

How did I miss this? From last summer...

An Anglican priestess gives Communion to a stranger and his dog,
"to make them feel welcome".


Parishioner says she thinks it's "no big deal."

Does the phrase "Unitarians in drag" ring a bell?

A liberal moment

The actual 1969 landing


A 1950 sci-fi movie, Destination Moon. On first landing, the American crew claims it as a possession of the USA "for the benefit of all people on earth."

So now whenever anyone looks up into the night sky, they know that a piece of America will be circling overhead?

Now that's a bit of imperialism too much even for me!

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Who'd a thunk it?

The catalyst for my departure from the Catholic fold was none other than Joseph Ratzinger, back in the mid 80's. I say catalyst, not reason, because even though he had his own personal tone, he spoke for mainstream* Catholicism. And so, gentleman that I am, I took my leave.

In the last few months, I have been reading and occasionally commenting on the PrayTell** blog, where a testy mix of liberal and conservative Catholics slog it out over the liturgy. Most folks fall to the liberal side of things. Some are very bright indeed, others are an example of "a little knowledge" and the religious equivalent of thinking in bumper stickers.

One woman stands out by her passionate idiocy. I called her "the love child of Oliver Cromwell and Matthew Fox" because she combines a populist loathing of prelacy with a New Age feminist fantasy life. In a discussion of trends in church architecture, she recently blasted the return of the communion rail because there was no such barrier in the stable at Bethlehem. The Catholic equivalent of proof-texting: take one image, word, slogan, etc and build your whole case on it. The liberal obsession with equality uber alles marbles most discussions there.

I titled my post "Who'd a thunk it?" because, reading the folks over there the other day, I thunk the following, "Well, I'm glad Benedict XVI is in charge of the liturgy and not any of them!"


Having read over some of the new translations of the Mass, I think they could have been better done, but the general tone --castigated as "sacral" and "hierarchical"-- beats out the kindergarten prose of what's being replaced.


The purchase that feminist issues still have in that discussion is particularly noticeable. None of the men seem able stand up and say out loud that feminism is a secular ideology which, when taken past a certain point, comes into destructive conflict with Catholicism. A Trojan mare.

And the attitudes of most of the women support that reading. Plus, as one of their regular lights admitted to me, they really want to turn the Church of Rome into the Episcopal Church USA. And that Unitarianism in drag has no future.

As I've said, I am not interested in returning to the practice of the Roman faith --although I recognize that it's in my DNA. But my general concern with the health of The West includes, in my case, a concern with strong Western religions. If that strength includes, for example, an inability to celebrate same-sex love, that's something I can live with. When the barbarians are at the gate --and in our case, very often well inside it-- you make your stand with the people who can fight them, even if you have your differences.

And liberal religious types, of whatever stripe, seem distinctly unwilling to make that stand. In Burnham's telling phrase, they "find themselves morally disarmed when in the presence of anyone they deem less well off than themselves." This means that whoever gains or its granted victim status runs the show. While it can be played out as the victory of compassion or justice, it is really about vanity and weakness.

*I say that because a lot of "progressive" Catholics keep imagining a church which is not going to exist, the one that the mosh pit commentors at the National Catholic Reporter and the American Catholic Council make believe is going to show up some day....(1968 was a long time ago, boyz and girls.)

**The blog is subtitled, "Worship, wit and wisdom".The wit part is in especially short supply.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

A diversity of viewpoints

is/are welcome on this blog. For example, this view...point.

Ex & Cathedra: At the movies

I lost all respect for Roger Ebert when he came down on the side of seditious Chicanos during 2010's Cinco de Mayo event. Nevertheless, I'm nodding to his (and the late Siskel's) show.

The Tree of Life. Well, long and ambitious, if nothing else. A  meditation on the Book of Job, the evolutionary unfolding of the cosmos after the Big Bang, and the life of Texas family in the 1950's.
Good acting. Unusual in being so open to a Judeo-Christian set of questions about God, meaning, death, faith, without contempt or chic ironic distance. And a rendition of growing up as a boy in America in the 1950's that this American boy of the 1950's recognized right away. A portrayal of a father who is flawed but not pathologized. Nature vs grace. The Garden and the Fall. Plus some Oedipus and 2001 A Space Odyssey. Death and suffering. Unusual, often beautiful, but too self-conscious about Meaning.

One commentor at a review site, one Ahmed from Bagdad, said it was based on "Gilgamesh, an Iraqi folktale." Iraqi folktale...One of the terrible things about the internet is that it lets you know how very many stupid people there are in the world. And these are the ones who have net access and can speak a second language.

I Want To Believe. This is the second X-Files movie. Made in 2008 . God, what a dog's breakfast. Grotesquely dark and violently gruesome, some Saw with the usual hamfisted theology games about belief and guilt, plus pedophile priests, psychics, gay marriage and Mulder/Scully sort/sorta-not being involved. For slash fans, though, at one point Skinner finally cradles Mulder in his arms. Otherwise, pretty literally stomach-churning.

The Jewel In The Crown. Not exactly a movie, but a 1984 BBC mini-series about the closing days of the British raj in India. One of those stories of human passions contained by strict social structures, which always fascinates me. (And for which the Brits used to be a great source.) Still well done: complex and interesting characters, fine acting, a lost world made sympathetically vivid.

Hangover II. I only saw the trailer. I can't imagine wanting to see any more.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Only Whites can be racist

unless they're Latinos trying to drive Blacks out of "their" town.


_________________

High speed connectivity


Ad on a telephone pole.

Generations



I am famous for not noticing physical details. My ex T used to say I could step into a pile burning snakes not realize it. Hey, I'm busy thinking about important things.

Anyway, on the way home yesterday, I notice this derelict pay phone on Market Street. I have walked by it thousands of times, I am sure. But I never noticed it til yesterday. The receiver is long gone. Recalls the days when you had to search for a pay phone sometimes and then have a supply of coins to keep it going...if someone else wasn't using it.

Ironically, I took this picture with my phone.

There's a lesson there somewhere, but I haven't had my coffee yet. So you're spared.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sports fan

New study shows cause of Jihad

is...Islam.

Natural born fascists

Worthless Brit TV interviewer Piers Morgan asks very American Ann Coulter if the Tea Party are like the followers of Hitler or Mussolini. She politely hands him his sorry ass.

One of the new things I have realized recently. For liberals, white people are naturally and inherently fascist racists. The Civil Rights Movement taught us that that is our natural condition. And only regulation by the Federal government (and membership in the Democrat party and multiculturalism) prevents us from acting out our dastardly evil nature. Hence, if a group of mostly white people want the government to leave them alone, it is because they want to return to their KKK ways.

Just ask the headess of the Democratic National Committee. (And its people like her who provoke my anti-Semitism. And for damn good reason.)

So his question is, prima facie, ridiculous. How can a group that wants less government control fascist, when the essence of fascism (and its totalitarian sibling, communism) is massive government control? But if the only thing keeping the good people (people of color and liberal whites) from being ruled by the KKK is government control, then white people who want to be freer are indeed supporters of fascism. It's like a rabid dog wanting off of his leash.

As Kenneth Minogue notes in The Pure Theory of Ideology, according to the True Believers of our current Enlightenment,
Left to themselves, the people of the actual world we live in will generate, ideologists all believe, nothing but structures of domination.


That is the image of white Americans in the liberal psyche.

Bad faith, continued

I waded into this PrayTell discussion about not allowing female altar servers at the Old Mass. I tried to find a non-explosive way to explain to an agitated woman commentor (Ms. Coogan of my previous post) how the traditional Roman mind might work.

My point was that the Traditionalists experienced the last fifty years as including huge losses to their Faith. The Reformers are not yet even finished with changes. So to include with the Old Mass the seeds of the Reformers' deconstructive agenda makes no sense. Asking Traditionalists for a "rational" or "theological" justification of a single rule will not get a satisfactory response. But their real reason --and from their viewpoint protecting the Faith is both rational and theological-- is that this would be heading straight for the tip of the very iceberg they are trying to sail around.

Remember the old poem, "For want of a nail"? I remember bittersweetly the outburst of a priest who was once my mentor and friend, whose conservatism erupted in the following phrase: "The sum total of the non-essentials is the essential!" His overheated point was that small changes, like a small leak in the dike, can eventually disrupt large and valuable things.

Her response was instructive. And not subtle. She emphasized that the Reformers were indeed not finished, and indeed, had not yet even started! Said that Tradition was never a reason to continue a practice. And then she proceeded to pathologize the exclusion of altar girls as part of a larger illness, "fear of female sexuality", a matter "not for theology, but for psychoanalysis."

So, after that, tell me again why the Traditionalists should allow for this, when your response proves rational the very image they hold of you, a tradition-despising radical who is not yet even started on transforming the Faith? And why should they accommodate you and recognize your "female and baptized" value when you consider them pathological, root and branch? And isn't protecting the Faith, as they see it, from madwomen like you a quite "theological" task?

Doesn't your response verify for them --in detail and high volume--that this is not about a single rubric at all, but an even greater loss than the ones they've already suffered?

Talk about irrational.

New link to the Dark Side

I've added Andrew Klavan to my List of Darkness. Funny dude, both in print and in his videos, "Klavan on the Culture." Sorta the Columbo of the Right. He's also a mystery writer.

I missed this one

Muslim missionary in Bloomington* turns violent. American kaffirs scratch heads all round.

Shall I repeat? Paranoid schizophrenic shoots politicians and others and
it obviously comes from the climate of right-wing hate speech.
Muslima goes jihadi and...huh? What was that about?

*Why the fuck are there even Muslims in Bloomington in the first place?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Bad faith

The boyz and girls over at PrayTell continue to slog it out. Nastiness abounds. I am quite used to this kind of stuff on political blogs, but for a site aimed mostly at liturgically progressive types, well, the name-calling and foot-stomping and, Heaven forefend, the stereotyping that goes on. Shocking.

 A boy saint and two girl saints

The Vatican has clarified that for celebrations of the Old Mass, the 1962 rules must be observed. And this means, they say, no female altar boys. Well, you'd think they'd just rolled back no-fault divorce. The two irritable Irish priests (one brilliant and irritable, the other just irritable) had an antiphonal support group going: "It's gynophobia, Joe." "No, Jerry, it's rank misogyny." Pretty cool, eh?

Here's some of the purple prose:

A Ms. Coogan writes:
 How depressing to read this article! Are the temple police striking again, this time with a gratuitous smack-down of young women who might be presumptuous enough to think of serving at mass? Yes, yes, I know–no one has a “right” to special participation in the liturgy. But we all have a right to equal respect from the institutions we associate with. As she intones, “Domine, non sum dignus,” will she glance at the side of the altar and notice that there is a young man serving who is less unworthy than she is?

The May 13 “Instruction” contained the statement “On account of its venerable and ancient use, the forma extraordinaria is to be maintained with appropriate honour.” How would having female servers near the altar dishonor the Extraordinary Form? This seems a punitive development at a time when the rate of depression among teens and incidence of youth suicides are rising, at a time when young people struggle to build some confidence in the future while economies across the globe have yet to recover. The Vatican that is so expert at keeping secrets might have kept this rule from becoming public. What IS the point of announcing it, except to align the Vatican further to the right in the perception of the public? Indeed, if Ecclesia Dei moves just a wee bit further to the right, maybe it’ll fall off its big flat earth.

I call upon priests who celebrate the EF to resolve to do so without altar servers*! You have an obligation not to give a symbolic slap in the face to women.
Sandi (with an "i") is even more apoplectic.
This is truly stomach-turning. Any church that spits on women like this is *not* a Church of God. Once again, the hierarchs have provided proof for the world to see of exactly why this unholy Latin Mess has to be completely eradicated from the face of the earth before we can enter the New Springtime. It does nothing to instill the Spirit of Christ and of Sophia in the people.

Where is the progressive revolt on this?!! NCR isn’t even covering this issue; are PrayTell the only ones who are going to stand up about this? When are we going to throw these misogynistic hierarchs out on their duffs and smash their precious idols (gold crockery, pointy hats, backward-facing altars) once and for all?
She sounds like the love child of Oliver Cromwell and Matthew Fox.

And the irritable but not brilliant Irish priest just shared this:
I’m in Germany at the moment and I picked up a German book today which speculated that a certain kind of person likes the Tridentine rite because it allows them to look at the priest from the back. They wouldn’t at all be interested in looking at female altar servers from the same perspective.

By all accounts, many of the more influential ones among them are in the office which drafted this gynophobic, misogynistic rule.


Priest's behind during Old Mass

And yeah, replied irritable but brilliant Irish priest, a lot of clerics would really prefer boys only at Mass..wink wink...but the new rite forces them to confront or at least hide their gynophobia...

What puzzles me is that these folks hate the Old Mass with a passion that even Archbishop Cranmer could love, but are outraged that young women will not be able to participate in this oppressive medieval ceremony and its "detestable enormities".

Gosh, I miss the Church sometimes.


*Reminds me of an angry progressive nun from the 80's who told a group of monks that their all-male Masses in the monastery were invalid because they lacked representation from one half of the human race...

**A wry remark in French, from the old progressives, who talked about choosing between "la Messe face au peuple ou fesses au peuple"...face to the people or butt to the people. See? Sex and liturgy. No escaping it.

Well, that settles it

Link to a story in the reliably progressive-left Brit paper, the Guardian.




The narrative is established. Pushing wheelchaired granny over a cliff. Stressed single Mom and her tots starving to death. Etc.

Reminds me of William F Buckley's remarks at the Oxford Union, facing off against James Baldwin: "It is clear that my role here is to play the part of Simon Legree in Mr. Baldwin's Passion Play."

Monday, June 06, 2011

RC PC

At PrayTell, responding to a news report that a whole Episcopal parish was "converting" to Roman Catholicism under the Ordinariate, commentors spent a lot of cyberink and some bad feeling and name-calling over the improper use of "convert".

The US Bishops were quoted to the effect that the word "convert" was never to be used in regard to members of other Christian bodies coming into communion with the Catholic church. One chronically irritated Irishman allowed as how using this insulting word implied that they had not been previously Christian. Even the fact that it was a secular paper, the Washington Post, who made the report, palliated not the outrage of these post-Conciliar bien-pensants.

Catholic pillow fights.

Just cause


As in "just (be)cause".

Indjuh

That's how the old Brit pronunciation of "India" sounds to me.

A friend is traveling there. He relays the story of the Muslim conquest of the vast ruined city he is now visiting. The Hindu king was skinned --before or after death I am not sure-- and stuffed with straw, to be paraded before the populace. The women of the court committed suttee. And his sons converted to Islam.

Religion of peace, anyone?

If you want a somewhat unsanguine view of (sanguinary) Islam, trying talking to some Hindus. And Will Durant characterized the Muslim invasion and conquest of India as the bloodiest in history.

__________________

Strange moments in cinema

In North by Northwest (1959), Eva Marie Saint climbing down the face of Mt. Rushmore in high heels.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Maybe I'm still gay after all




Because I watched, again, with pleasure and much laughing, this immortal 1988 flick. Let's face it, Elvira is basically a female drag queen. Her nemesis in Falwell, Massachusetts (sounds dated already) is Chastity Pariah. Her love interest is shy (Aw, gee, Miss Elvira) handsome musclehunk Bob, who looks great in jeans.



Favorite line, when she's under the movie theatre marquee and a letter falls on her; Bob asks her sympathetically, "Gee, how's your head?" Her deadpan reply, "No complaints so far." Love that.

Anyway, she's a hoot, with hooters.

Sunday school lesson

Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition, holds that this world is not God's first attempt at creation. He tried to make some other ones but they did not work out and so he scrapped them and kept trying. Here's a secret text about one of them, that's been turned into a video.

Google on the fritz

Google has been accused by some of having a liberal or left-wing bias. When I try to use the Google search app on my blog's left hand column, this is the only result that comes up now.


While true, it's not what I am looking for.

(I installed another version and it seems to work...)

Satan


complained today in an exclusive interview with Ex Cathedra that he was being "demonized" and "dehumanized" in a way that practically amounted to "hate speech".

Describing discourse about him as "hurtful" and "stereotyping", he  called for more civility and bipartisanship.

_______________________

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A cosmo-theological meander

There's an apocryphal quote I once heard (or dreamed up myself, since I can find no trace of it), attributed to St Thomas Aquinas. It's about the state of paradise before the Fall of Man. The line goes something like "It would be credulous to believe that, prior to the sin of Adam, lions ate grass."


Several months ago I wrote to the Blackfriars' webpage to ask about the apparent conflict between the accepted evolutionary view of how the universe and earth and its creatures unfolded and the orthodox Christian view. This is not about seven days. Even Saint Augustine thought that the seven days were symbolic. It's about how a world apparently created free of death suddenly became infected with it.

In the orthodox narrative, even if you don't take it literally, Adam and Eve, the human race in a nutshell, were created in a state without sin and with death. But due to their sin, they became mortal and inherently flawed.

In the evolutionary narrative, which most educated Westerners buy, death long preceded the arrival of homo sapiens. And homo sapiens was one more mortal form of its mortal line of always mortal ancestors.

I asked for some sage theologian to deal with the issue. I have not heard back.

As a non-practicing Catholic of Gnostic leanings --no easy feat, let me tell you-- I am fascinated by the problem of evil. As an explanation of how things are, Original Sin works pretty well. But as an explanation of how things got to be that way in the first place...not so good, if you buy the idea of a non-eternal universe.

For the orthodox, the Creation is a good thing which went wrong. For the Gnostics, it was created flawed; the creation and the fall were simultaneous. There never was, in this world, a Paradise.

(Although on Sunday afternoons for a few years, I was very much tempted to believe there was...)

Same sex unions


Over at the PrayTell blog, a lot of chronically irritated people (my peeps?) get exercised over papal bad behavior, overdressed prelates and The New Mass Translation. One of them, an Episcopal, put up a new marriage rite for homosexuals and asked for comment. The responses had a lot to do with papal bad behavior, overdressed prelates and The New Mass Translation.

I also opined from the Macadamia Nut Gallery:

" I hope it will be OK to make a comment about the same-sex unions liturgy rather than the erotic doings and undoings of prelates in Western history.

I understand the Catholic position on homosexuality. Although I do not find it personally convincing, I also conclude that for the Roman Church to say otherwise would utterly unravel its whole teaching on sexual morality. So I am not going to argue there.

The Episcopal Church, on the other hand, has shown itself to be very pliable and responsive to changes in mainstream liberal Western culture: ordained females, ordained, even episcopal gays, etc. And so a Holy Union liturgy is not surprising.

I am not supportive, however. Not because I have a personal judgement against homosexuality per se, but because I think the drive for gay marriage, while societally and legally understandable (that is, it gives approved social status and legal benefits), is “archetypally” wrong-headed. That is, it does not do justice to the specificity of male/male and of female/female dyads. (And homogenizing them all into one format with changes in the gender references erases the specific sacramentality of the male/female dyad, as well.)

Following the agenda of the gay culture, this liturgy subsumes two male lovers or two female lovers into a structure that has, for its entire immemorial history, assumed a male and a female (at least one of each!). To me, the specific sacramentality of a male/male and a female/female dyad is thus left ignored, unexplored, unsignified. It puts these two different relationships together as well as, frankly, hiding them under a heterosexual bushel basket. Gay marriage, to me, is homosexual love in straight drag.

Jack Donovan & Nathan Miller have written “Blood Brotherhood and Other Rites of Male Alliance”, a historical and cross-cultural survey of how men ritualize intimate bonds with each other (most of which are not sexual). These structures are indigenously male. To me, a better path.

And since I am on the topic, although I know proponents would never accept this –equality must trump all these days–, it would be intriguing to explore ritualizing the two different varieties of same-sex union not as a sacrament but as a sacramental. (This is a category that may have small purchase in an Anglican tradition, however.) To think about these unions as more like monastic vows, which are sacramentals but not sacraments. That might allow more respect for the unique qualities of love between two men or two women rather than that frankly annoyingly neutered Episcopal liturgical habit of speaking of “these persons.” Whatever happened to gendered incarnation?

(Unless the un or semi conscious agenda is to reduce maleness and femaleness to mere categories of socially constructed oppression, a la feminism.)

And it would leave the sacrament of marriage in its natural archetypal role. Like it or not, the marriage of male and female has a central role and function and meaning in human history that vastly outweighs same-sex unions. Hey, if we’re supposed to be in favor of “diversity”, why try to homogenize these diverse forms of dyadic love?

I realize that for Rome, this horse will never leave the barn and that for ECUSA, the equine creature is long out of it, but I sometimes like to read myself write."

Global catastrophe

I thought I could change the color of my Global Hit app on the left column, but it just erased it. So I lost my record of those 600 or so hits in the last week or so. Gotta start over. It really is amazing to see the global reach of the internet.

Friday, June 03, 2011

TV I will not be watching

"Dr Oz reveals the shocking results of his 2nd colonoscopy."

You might not believe me

but I actually do feel kinda bad for John Edwards. Don't ask me why. So I feel a little lacking in integrity by posting this...

CyberF**king

No, nothing to do with naked men.
I wish.

My laptop was getting sluggish, so I went to CNET and downloaded their highly rated and very popular PC cleaning utility, Advanced SystemCare 4. Things ran much better after that.

But this morning I discover that I cannot send email.

On checking, I find that Advanced SystemCare 4 removes files that Windows Live Mail needs to function properly.

Sigh. More repairs. Cyberlife.

the rules of the game, continued

Reading an article at American Thinker, I head to the linked book review and someone reminds us of the following: that while the sin of Washington and Jefferson as slave-owners is a regular part of the current moral autopsy so beloved of progressives, it is not cool to point out that Muhammad was a slave owner.

Slavery remains an uncontested and traditional part of Sharia law. Some Islamic sources encourage (but do not require) manumission. St Paul had the same attitude (see the Epistle to Philemon). But Sharia is divine law and Muhammad, who owned slaves, (including Black ones), traded them and okayed their owners having sex with them even if the women were married, remains the perfect example of humanity.

If I ever own a car again, perhaps a bumper sticker?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

President Romney?

 

Mitt Romney threw his hat into the 2012 ring today. I saw his interview with Sean Hannity and he did well. Better than I expected. Fiscal realism and Federalism at home, American self-respect and interest abroad. Sounds like a good start. As he said, agreeing with Ex Cathedra, Obama's policy has basically been to want America to become Europe. He sends his regrets. A good start.

As for his religion, not a problem for me. Mormons can apparently disagree on matters of government: Harry Reid is a Mormon. But I would like him to address it directly --as he did with Hannity's questions on RomneyCare and ObamaCare-- rather than, as previously, playing the victim game. It's unbecoming to a believer.

Decline and fall

A note on the fraying of the American Lutherans.

Every ELCA board, church assembly, and what-not beyond the congregation must be composed of ten percent “people of color or whose primary language is other than English,” fifty percent female, fifty percent male, sixty percent laity, and forty percent clergy (the same fifty-fifty male/female ratio works for clergy representation too).

So take a committee of, oh, ten people. Four are clergy and two of them are female. It would help in the formulation if one of the clergy females was a black woman who was raised speaking a language other than English, but you can’t have everything.

Perhaps the adoption of secular progressivism's obsessions with race and gender and ethnicity, etc. was not the cause, but it is a symptom of losing your center of gravity, losing your ground in real, as opposed to "social justice" theology and wanting to please Caesar, even when Caesar is a Democrat.
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