Something new every year. This year, it's the GKC Christmas tree ornament. It's advertised in the new edition of Gilbert Magazine. I might get one. It's mildly salty ($19.95), but you ain't gonna find it cheaper at Wal-Mart.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Four score and seven cases of beer ago, I served as editor of this esteemed, if occasionally beleaguered, publication. Neither before nor since have I had so much occasion to drink, and I'm told that readers during my short, interim-ish, editorship bolstered the bottom line of many liquor stores during my 14 months at the helm.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Look, how those steep woods on the mountain's face
Burn, burn against the sunset; now the cold
Invades our very noon: the year's grown old,
Mornings are dark, and evenings come apace.
The vines below have lost their purple grace,
And in Forreze the white wrack backward rolled,
Hangs to the hills tempestuous, fold on fold,
And moaning gusts make desolate all the place.
Mine host the month, at thy good hostelry,
Tired limbs I'll stretch and steaming beast I'll tether;
Pile on great logs with Gascon hand and free,
And pour the Gascon stuff that laughs at weather;
Swell your tough lungs, north wind, no whit care we,
Singing old songs and drinking wine together.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Nine years ago, as I was sitting in the "George" at Robertsbridge, drinking that port of theirs and staring at the fire . . .
"Drinking that port of theirs." The folks at Robertsbridge must've made their own port, as I'm supposing many inns did back then. They probably also made their own beers.
Within thirty years of Belloc's death, such a thing was virtually unheard of. One didn't go to a bar "to drink that port/beer of theirs." You drank the same thing everyone else across MTV land drank: Swiller Lite, Crapweiser, and the other mass-advertised brands. Today, that's changing. Microbrews dot the land. One is even going up in my fairly dry home town (though my preview of their beer was not pleasant). The microsbrews are a slice of distributism, and they're taking a bite out of Grudge (or is it Hudge?) breweries. Be a good man: Visit a microbrew this weekend, buy a growler, and toast Belloc's memory repeatedly.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
- G.K. Chesterton. "On Lying in Bed" in Tremendous Trifles, 1909.
"In fact, psychologist Matthew Walker of the University of California, Berkeley, says that 'almost all psychiatric disorders show some problems with sleep.' But, he says that scientists previously believed the psychiatric problems triggered the sleep issues. New research from his lab, however, suggests the reverse is the case; that is, a lack of shut-eye is causing some psychological disturbances."
- Nikhil Swaminathan. "Can a Lack of Sleep Cause Psychiatric Disorders?" in Scientific American, October 23, 2007.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
There was never just one GK Chesterton. There was Chesterton the Catholic proselytiser, the hearty balladeer of Merrie England, the harrumphing castigator of teetotallers and vegetarians, the blustery anti-Communist, anti-plutocrat and, also, alas, anti-Semite [alas, Adair is misinformed on the anti-Semite bit, and just regurgitates what he read or heard from some anti-Chestertonian]. There was Chesterton the charmer of children - one little boy, asked after a visit to the great man's home if GKC had been awfully clever, replied, "I don't know about clever, but you should see him catch buns in his mouf." ....
The article somewhat focuses on The Club of Queer Trades and even mentions Kafka and Borges.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Although there are too many quotes from Chesterton on insanity to reprint here I could not find a Chesterton quote on our modern tendency to kill off cartoon characters. I only feel that this should not happen - it does not fit the fairy tale model, “Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” In fairy tales dragons DON’T beat the prince. If a cartoon character loses his or her “relevance” then, like in the past, they should just not show up one day, like Calvin and Hobbs or Zeus.
Why fret about cartoons or fairy tales?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Among the many pleasures of attending the Rochester Chesterton Conference two weeks ago was meeting Joseph Pearce, and getting a copy of his biography of Hilaire Belloc (Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc).
I had enjoyed his biography of Chesterton - Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton - so I happily bought the Belloc book.
In part, I wanted to learn more about Belloc, about whom I knew little beyond his ties to Chesterton and a few of his children's poems.
I started it after finishing another book I'd been reading (due back at the library). Even with all my other reading for school, correcting student papers, creating worksheet and tests, choir practice, family activities and town meetings, I've already finished a third of it. I am thoroughly enjoying it.
I also get to look at the signature in the front, and to recall Pearce's story of his own remarkable life - which I'll deal with in another post about the conference.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
His meticulous and beguiling reconstruction, along with his exploration of the psychological and spiritual devastation caused by the Tudors’ wrecking of the physical culture of the late-medieval Church, demonstrated that the Reformation was “a great cultural hiatus, which had dug a ditch, deep and dividing, between the English people and their past”—a past that over merely three generations became a foreign country, impossible for the English to regard as their own. The book stirred the English popular and scholarly mind from a historical and cultural complacency bred of Protestant and Whiggish triumphalism.
Anybody else thinking Belloc's Europe and the Faith?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
We find in the Little Brown Book of Anecdotes that on one occasion when Hilaire Belloc demanded that a public attack on Chesterton by George Bernard Shaw be answered, Chesterton replied, "I have answered him. To a man of Shaw's wit, silence is the one unbearable repartee." [
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Here is the trailer for The Golden Age, a very gorgeous looking film of Queen Elizabeth fighting off the Spanish Armada. I think most of us on this blog know about how unquestioningly pro-Anglo our cultural historians are. The fear of the Inquisition coming to England seems to be used as a device. Most of us are aware that Elizabeth's purges and actions make the Inquisition look tame. I wanted to bring this up to demonstrate "Small World Theory." The guys at Arms & Armor/ The Oakeshott Institute that Dale and I visited for the "Sword Issue" designed and made most of the props and weapons used in this movie.
Have a great weekend!!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Several friends recommended that I take a course with him. I was never able to do so, but I did attend a talk he gave on Catholic writers.
One of the writers he praised enthusiastically was G. K. Chesterton. I had recently discovered Chesterton myself through his biography of St. Francis, so I was pleased to hear him lauded by a respected and bright teacher.
What I didn’t know at the time – I discovered it later – was that Father Hetzler was a well-known Chesterton scholar and advocate. I later came across his name in The Chesterton Review, for which he wrote and served on the Editorial Board.
I wrote an article about Chesterton back when I was a Catholic journalist – and naturally I interviewed Father Hetzler. And when I’ve been able to make meetings of the Rochester Chesterton Society, I’ve always enjoyed his stories and insights.
So it was no surprise when I spotted him at the Rochester Chesterton Conference last Saturday. What did surprise me – and Father Hetzler – was when Dale Alquist presented him with the American Chesterton Society Lifetime Achievement Award.
A well-deserved award.
Even if I never took a course with him, Father Hetzler has taught me much over the years.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Anheuser-Busch rivals Miller Brewing Co. in Milwaukee and Coors Brewing Co., of Golden, Colo., will be combined under a joint venture announced by the parents of the two firms Tuesday.
SABMiller plc, of London, and Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co. have signed a letter of intent to combine the U.S. and Puerto Rico operations of Miller and Coors.
The new company, which will be called MillerCoors, will have annual combined beer sales of 69 million U.S. barrels and net revenue of approximately $6.6 billion, SABMiller and Molson Coors said in a joint press release.
read it all at the St. Louis Business Journal
Majoring in international business at the University of Tulsa, [Eric] Marshall spent a semester studying in Germany.
"And I just fell in love with the culture of beer," he says, putting the emphasis not on the word beer, but on culture.
The culture of beer has nothing to do with drunken keg parties or stumbling out of a bar late at night. A beer lover, to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, would never insult beer by drinking too much of it.
The culture of beer is about an ancient craft that has been handed down generation-to-generation since the pharaohs and the Babylonians. It's about the infinite subtleties that can be achieved with just four simple ingredients -- water, malt, hops and yeast.
"I always knew that sooner or later I'd come back to Tulsa," Marshall says, standing next to that open trench in his warehouse. "I love Tulsa. This is my home. This is where my family is. And this is where I want to make my beer."
"The goal is to be part of the culture," he says. "To become 'local lore,' as they say."
The way Kansas City has Boulevard. Boston has Sam Adams. And Houston has Saint Arnold.
"This is going to be our beer and I want to make something that Tulsa can be proud of."
read the whole article, "Hops for Tulsa" by Michael Overall at Tulsa World
Monday, October 08, 2007
In his introductory remarks, Lou Horvath, Presdient of the Rochester NY Chesterton Society, noted that when he invited speakers for the conference, it dawned on him that he was inviting converts to talk about these converts.
This seemed appropriate, he observed, "In Chesterton circles ... there's converts all over the place."
He admitted that he had hopes that at least Father Derek Cross was a cradle Catholic like himself. No luck.
But the many people who gathered for the confernece were treated to the insights of a spectacular group of converts.
David Higbee, director of Rochester's Irenaeus Center, spoke on St. Paul.
Ronald Stansbury, a professor of history at Roberts Wesleyen College (in the Rochester suburb of Chili) talked about St. Augustine.
And finally, Dale Alquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, naturally provided some insight into Chesterton's conversion.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
I have to agree to a certain point. I have seen riots for many different causes, but not for moderation. Does not fire people up.
As a Chestertonian, I think GKC comes the closest to making a passionate argument for balance and moderation. His line about his conversion, seeing hope as resting on the edge between presumption and despair sums it up. One of the things that upsets me the most is that the true Christian position, especially the Catholic position on many issues is never clearly defined in debate, or even casual discussion. People throw out an adolescent label and then in a very Freudian way proceed to rise above and demolish an argument for an idea which doesn't exist anywhere except in their own misconceptions. For example, I think even an honest atheist should be intrigued by the ideas of Theology of the Body, that loving a woman with true romantic love and the chaste/celibate life are both water from the same well.
Have a great weekend!!!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
(Actually, given that I missed my turn last week, maybe "whimper" is a better word.)
The Rochester Chesterton Society is sponsoring a conference this Saturday entitled, "Conversion of Heart: St. Paul, St. Augustine, John Henry Newman, GK Chesterton."
It will feature Joseph Pearce and Dale Ahlquest, along with Fr. Derek Cross, Dr. RJ Stansbury, and Rochester's own David Higbee.
Although I have been a devotee of Chesterton for many years, I have never been able to make any of the conferences. I used to work at a radio station on Saturdays (for 21 years). But I quit this past Spring, and so I am finally going to make the conference.
I'll report back this weekend.
By the way, St. Francis is my patron saint - and Chesterton's biography of him was one of the first books by Chesterton that I read - so happy feast day to all.
With the fourth man enters the shadow of a mob; the group is no longer one of three individuals only conceived individually.- G.K. Chesterton. St. Francis, chapter VII.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
There is a Chesterton Conference coming up on Saturday, October 6. It's being put on by the Rochester, NY Chesterton Society. Some time later this month the St. Irenaeus Ministries podcast will feature recordings from this event. Check it out!