St. Thomas Security has taken over our conference. This is what we have to deal with this year:
1. Alcohol can only be served and consumed in the lobby of OShaugnessy Education Center. Glasses cannot be taken into the auditorium or outside.
2. The wine and beer has to be served by St. Thomas food service staff, for which we will be charged a fee.
3. The alcohol has to be served with food. Not just cheese and crackers. The food has to be ordered through Food Service. We can’t bring our own. They may make an exception for the wheel of Stilton cheese.
4. We have to serve other drinks as well. The other drinks have to be ordered through Food Service.
5. We can serve wine and beer only during the following hours during the conference: 7-10 Thursday, 1-4, Friday, and 1-4, Saturday
6. We can have an outdoor “afterglow” in Foley Plaza on Thurs, Fri., and Sat nights from 10:30 to Midnight. Again we have to have a food service staff member act as bartender with the last drink served not later than 11:45 pm. The plaza will be fenced off with one entrance and exit and everyone there has to wear a conference badge. We have to pay for the fence, too.
7. There will be a security officer present at all our events.
8. We had to get a special license to serve wine with the banquet on Saturday night.
The costs of these extra requirements will do a good job of eating up the costs saved by having Catholic Studies co-sponsor the event. So we’re back to the conference being a money-loser.
I think we’re done with St. Thomas, and I think the conference is changed forever.
This is frustrating. First, you know the person that has imposed these restrictions is a self-righteous little jackass that is probably chanting “liability." Second, the self-righteous little ass probably has very little, if any, exposure to the Annual Chesterton Conference and doesn’t know how this will kill the Conference. Third, you couldn’t explain it to the self-righteous little ass because all these changes affect the “intangibles”–the spirit, the little things, the unnoticed things, the “air”–and if you can’t show such a person in black-and-white how changes will screw things up, he won’t believe you. Most frustrating.
Some Chestertonians are fighting back. An enjoyable email from one of them:
Dearly Beloved Mailing List 1, and Bcc’s:
Please find below a forwarded copy of a sad and distressing email I received tonight from Dale, the reigning Czar of the American Chesterton Society. For those of you who are unaware, the American Chesterton Society has held its annual Conference at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota, since June of 1997 (previously it had been hosted for nearly two decades in Milwaukee). Until last year, our Conference was a joyful, personalist, self-directed meeting of minds and hearts regarding all things Chesterton (and, therefore, Catholic and godly), but it appears that those pathetic, treasonous, squash-every-life-like-a-bug, Left-wing, sour, ruthless, joyless, little nimrod-minded, Obama-voting imps of the Fifth Pillar (hereafter referred to only as they) cannot stand the sounds of resounding laughter, singing and conversant chatter that are the ordinary hallmarks of a good, traditional Catholic party; they cannot tolerate the warm, sweet scent of cigar smoke wafting though the trees and, by GOD, they must not let us alone to, as responsible adults are sometimes wont to do on festal days, be allowed to imbibe anything stronger than Coca-Cola without wage-sucking chaperones and security. After all, they must tell themselves in the wee hours of the cold dark nights in the Caves [faculty housing], we evil Chestertonians might get a little loose in the head and begin planning the sacking and overthrow of all that is good and Marxist in a modern-day liberal “Catholic” house of education; we might even gang up as an unruly mob in the first night, storm the Caves, and run all the sad little tenured heretics off the premises with our pen-knives and holy-water-guns and (gasp!!!) raise the standard of the Papal household in the Quad before the dawn breaks! Eek-gads!
Here’s the deal: I didn’t spend all freaking year babying thirty gallons of prize merlot along just so I can turn around and have it measured out by the thimbleful, like so much poison, by some snot-nosed little Liberal-hack-without-a-clue because ol’ Archbishop Flynn has refused to grow a spine and let one of the most historic hallowed halls in American Catholic academics be turned into a den of Green Peace-worshiping, law-mongering, joy-sqwashing Commies. Sounds harsh? Too bad. It’s the bare truth.
We need help. Please!!! Send this communique to everyone you know–especially the media. St Thomas will invite every anti-Catholic, anti-Life, anti-Reason moron and hack to our campus to spread Modernist filth and lying propaganda, but we orthodox, faithful Chestertonians (with 10 solid years of peaceful, non-confrontational, trouble-free, self-directed, responsible assemblies under our proverbial belt–and not one single DUI) can’t be trusted to meet without Big Brother monitoring our every move??? O, puleeze…..
We need you to protest.
We need donations to find a new Conference home.
We need dynamite in the Church, as Peter Maurin put it–and you all are the fuse!
Please email Fr. Dennis Dease (DJDEASE@stthomas.edu) and tell him that this is a sophmoric, vengeful move on the part of the University of St Thomas. And if you are giving money to these idiots, please stop!
That’s all. Up until now, this has been the best three day party on the planet. Now, like everything else, the Libs are trying to destroy it. We alone can stop them.
In His Grace, miki