Thursday, July 20, 2006

Scrutinous Round-up

Matthew Lickona provides a short soliloquy that comes down hard on the Disney Girls. We've had the arguments before; pleasant (often saccharine, we could say) family entertainment with leading ladies with the dimensions of Vargas girls, new films taking care to add more and more diversity to this stable of animated beauties, etc. The catch? For Lickona, it's not about looks; no, it's their philosophy he condemns. They exhibit almost to a woman a yearning to break free from the vile prison of domesticity and plainness, deriding the simple and affirming the extravagant.

Belle sings it: "Every day/Like the one before." The same thing can happen in a castle. Routine is a part of life. Family is a part of life. Someone like Chesterton would even argue that they are good parts of life, that ordinary life, even in the midst of its routine, is fraught with romance and drama, and not to be fled.

Moving on, Gerald Augustinus at Closed Cafeteria brings us delightful images of an Austrian Church, which is described as what a church would look like if it had been built for humans by hobbits. What's more, the Church is in the name of St. Barbara, who is a matter of some interest, of course, to many readers of this blog. He also delivers more photographs from Pope Benedict XVI's vacation, including one of the Holy Father encountering a vision of St. Bernard.
Of great interest to some of our readers will be this site, courtesy of the University of Virginia Library, containing the complete text of Max Beerbohm's 1911 classic, Zuleika Dobson. As much as the Incomparable Max is now something of a minor star in the liberal arts constellation, there is little you could do with your time that would be more enriching than reading Zuleika.

"You want to be rid of me?" asked Zuleika, when the girl was gone.

"I have no wish to be rude; but -- since you force me to say it -- yes."

"Then take me," she cried, throwing back her arms, "and throw me out of the window."

He smiled coldly.

"You think I don't mean it? You think I would struggle? Try me." She let herself droop side-ways, in an attitude limp and portable. "Try me," she repeated.

"All this is very well conceived, no doubt," said he, "and well executed. But it happens to be otiose."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean you may set your mind at rest. I am not going to back out of my promise."
What promise? Who is the gentleman who's speaking? All this and more if you simply read the book. Anyhow, that's all I have time for right now, for I am on vacation. Have a good weekend.

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