Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Thunderer Feast Day

"St. Jerome lived with a real lion; a good way to avoid being lionised. But he was very sociable with the lion. In his time, as in ours, sociability of the conventional sort had become social suffocation. In the decline of the Roman Empire, people got together in amphitheatres and public festivals, just as they now get together in trams and tubes. And there were the same feelings of mutual love and tenderness, between two men trying to get a seat in the Colosseum, as there are now between two men trying to get the one remaining seat on a Tooting tram. Consequently, in that last Roman phase, all the most amiable people rushed away into the desert, to find what is called a hermitage; but might almost be called a holiday. The man was a hermit because he was more of a human being; not less. It was not merely that he felt he could get on better with a lion than with the sort of men who would throw him to the lions. It was also that he actually liked men better when they let him alone. Now nobody expects anybody, except a very exceptional person, to become a complete solitary. But there is a strong case for more Solitude; especially now that there is really no Solitude."
G. K. Chesterton: The Case for Hermits


God’s angry man, His crotchety scholar
Was Saint Jerome,
The great name-caller
Who cared not a dime
For the laws of Libel
And in his spare time
Translated the Bible.
Quick to disparage
All joys but learning
Jerome thought marriage
Better than burning;
But didn’t like woman’s
Painted cheeks;
Didn’t like Romans,
Didn’t like Greeks,
Hated Pagans
For their Pagan ways,
Yet doted on Cicero all of his days.

A born reformer, cross and gifted,
He scolded mankind
Sterner than Swift did;
Worked to save
The world from the heathen;
Fled to a cave
For peace to breathe in,
Promptly wherewith
For miles around
He filled the air with
Fury and sound.
In a mighty prose
For Almighty ends,
He thrust at his foes,
Quarreled with his friends,
And served his Master,
Though with complaint.
He wasn’t a plaster sort of a saint.

But he swelled men’s minds
With a Christian leaven.
It takes all kinds
To make a heaven.

From "Times Three" by Phyllis McGinley

The Thunderer | Dion Song - Yahoo! Music:
My new guitar hero - Tommy Emmanuel

“Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things.” GKC

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Three Acres and a Cow

“Trade Unions are confederations of men without property, seeking to balance its absence by numbers and the necessary character of their Labor.”
~ G.K. Chesterton, A Short History of England.

Well the Teamsters have added a “medical marijuana” workers to their ranks.

Patients will still be able to get the weed but only union members can roll it and light it. And only the Shop Stewart can bogart it.

Imagine what these union meetings will be like - if anyone can get up the gumption to go. On the upside picket lines will be very mellow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chesterton Conference Clerihew (Pearce)

About Joseph Pearce
the speculation was fierce:
Given the number of books he boasts
did he really write them ... or was it ghosts?

Chesterton Conference Clerihew (Dale)

We can assume that Dale Ahlquist
on his honeymoon was kissed.
But we know without doubt before it was done
he'd discovered G. K. Chesterton.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

It is good to be king

There are tremendous trifles, (you know like the solar system and such) and then there are trifles that are tremendous like becoming Home Coming King. My number 2 son was crowned king last night. Eleven years ago my number 1 son was crowned king.

My number 1 son opened the door for a new era. Out of the fifteen previous years he was the first nonjock to be king. For those of you still familiar with High School life that is big deal. Many were in an uproar that power was taken by the geeks, freaks and nerds and they have held sway ever since.

My number 2 son is not a jock yet he is king. Now that makes me a king maker.

You may send me tribute.

And yes that is a cheerleader hugging him.

Rochester Chesterton Conference

The Rochester Chesterton Conference is tomorrow. I am looking forward to it - see some of you there!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There is a genre of movies called Catholic movies. This is usually meant to be a put down or for audiences who can’t “think for themselves.”.
This was not always the case. There was a time when Catholic movies were just called movies. This past weekend I saw the original 1951 version of Angels in the Outfield. The same basic plot line as the Disney version except the original was from the adult view point and was saturated with Catholic imagry. It is an enjoyable film. Then again it came out in a time when Bing Crosby was everybodies favorite priest. It was also the time when Archbishop Fulton John Sheen began his TV show to become one of the most watched shows of that era.

It’s not that Catholic movies are not being made and done well but it is not the norm and it’s hard to get widespread distribution. An exception is the work of Roland Joffé (who gave us The Mission) now comes out with There Be Dragons.

(From Studio synopsis) There Be Dragons follows the story of controversial Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, in a sympathetic portrayal of the Catholic organization, bravely contradicting the sentiment set by Dan Browns The Da Vinci Code.
In this action-packed film, Director Roland Joffe surrounds the priest with fictional characters and deals with universal themes of love, betrayal and redemption.

A sympathetic portrayal of the Catholic organization, shows you that that the studios lack any knowledge of faith and are suspect that anything can good come out of it.

If this is as good as some of his other films it should start some interesting discussions

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Get your game on

With my tongue firmly thrust into my cheek I mentioned that in the future school teaching and testing will be done with video games. Well not so fast white boy this seems to be a good idea as a teaching tool. The premis is this, a dozen biochemists may take decades to solve a problem but a million people working on the same problem would take far less time. Enter stage right - Foldit.

Foldit is a new on-line game to teach how proteins work, with levels of play from novice to expert. As you work through each level you learn more and get a better and better at understanding on how proteins work. Scientists, through the magic of cyber space keep track of what is going on.

The co-creator of Foldit, Professor ZORAN POPOVIC, says “ This game is basically enticing huge number of people around the world to solve one of the deep scientific problems in biochemistry that pretty much has to do with the way the life functions. So what Foldit is trying to do is trying to merge computers and people together
to solve a very hard scientific problem that neither computers nor people alone can solveby themselves. ”

This is pretty cool stuff.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A message for England

Once it is baptised a country, like an individual, can never cease to be Catholic it can only cease to be itself. - from "Laodicea a filthy puddle of popery"

Sounds like something Chesterton could have said.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eat em up yum

Food has always been the center of my family life or at the very least it is the kitchen where my family was FAMILY. As a boy my Dad would cook up some sauce when ever he was nervous (when my brothers and I were teenagers there was a lot of sauce) and when ever he was joyous.
The former calmed and centered him the latter was how he shared that joy.

Cooking brought us into the kitchen. He would have mom taste the sauce to see if it needed anything. Then we would all test it. He would have one of us kids assist him in making the meat balls The size of tennis balls) or what ever he needed. Mom would make the bread and the pasta. My parents always cooked as a team and it was fun to watch them share a spoon. Nearly every dinner was an event and did not end until the last dish was dried and put away. On weekends this event began shortly after breakfast.

No visitor ever left my dads house hungry.

Much of this model I follow today.

My dad also had a rule: You do not come to any meal with a frown on your face. (very Franciscan of him).

Of course we Catholics understand the importance of the shared family meal. And every sunday we say "Happy are those who are called to his supper."

Here is a priest that combines the joy of the family meal in the Lords house and the Domestic Church.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Mario

“It is only we who play badly who love the game itself,” GKC

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tools for Manly Men

Football season is here (yea!) and the boys will coming over to watch the game.

You will have to feed them.

If you are like me you also like working around the kitchen but don't want to look like a wus when you do it.

You bring out your freshly made chicken ranch and bacon pizza and strawberry chocolate bunt cake but before they can call you Sally McFancypants you whip out your new pizza circular saw and cross cut saw and they will know they are in the presence of a real manly man.

Kitchen gadgets for men - what fun.

Revisiting Anne

To Hate is easy - To Love is hard. It is easy to lash out at 'stupid' instead of instructing, a fault I am guilty of. Recently I did this with the Anne Rice apostasy.

Those who hate search out those who will confirm them in their hate and bigotry instead of those who will challenge it. This is, of course, why news outlets seek out stories of hate - they are easy to find and easy to talk about. Since MSM hates Christians, Catholic Christians in particular, they used Anne to confirm their hate and give proof to their bigotry.

["It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong." GKC]

Robert Lockwood put it nicely when he said, "We live in a world where media reflect the prejudices of the times. Frankly, media have always done that. The image portrayed of Catholics — anti-science, anti-gay, anti-humanism, even anti-Democrat — fits a preconceived bigotry, a picture of Catholics that has nothing to do with the reality of who Catholics are and what they believe.

There are two unfortunate results to Anne Rice’s public departure from the faith: she gave another excuse, as if media needs one, for their preconceived bigotry, and she is no longer with us.

We need to respond to the first. We need to pray for the second."

He also answers each of her objections. We should all have these answers at hand because Anne is not the only one who is a wondering sheep.

The most important question we need to ask is "Who was pasturing her?" The problem with us Catholics is that once a soul has entered or reentered the Church we leave these young ones alone and think everything is going to go fine. We need to stay with them until they they get their adult teeth and become meat eaters.

Bigotry of Christians is the one thing being taught by the media because we are in the way and we just won't shut-up. Yes we are carefully taught.

Burning books (with paper roses)

Rumor has it that that Florida pastor originally planned to burn copies of the Book of Mormon, but decided against it when the Osmonds threatened to perform a free concert in retaliation.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Teachable Moment

The joke used to go like this:
What do call a medical student that graduates at the bottom of his class?


Now the answer is an abortionist.
Much scarier and no longer funny

safe, legal and rare. Yea right.

oh yea and, 'why is it amazing that somebody who kills babies for a living is a liar as well.'

A lost thing could I never find;
Nor a broken thing mend.
And I fear I shall be all alone
When I get to the end.
O who will there be to comfort me,
O who will be my friend?

H. Belloc

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Clerihew: Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck
said, "What the heck.
I can make a lot of money
pretending to like Tea."

More News From The Big Heads

The Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe, Stephen Hawking has concluded.

The scientist has claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed.

In his latest book, The Grand Design, Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

Hmmmmm. If there is gravity then there is something - right??? And where did the gravity come from? Also doctor, since I only have a little head, please explain how something can come from nothing when in science 101 we learned only nothing can come from nothing. Are you saying that the Universe willed itself into being if so where did the will come from? Or should I say from whom?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Least we get discouraged there is beauty, truth and joy in this world. And on this Labor Day many paticipate in the labor of Love.

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Standard tests

During the 09-10 school year my job was to tutor high schoolers to help them pass their state graduate exam. If they do not pass this exam they do not graduate.

These standard exams have been a source of controversy since they started especially in the reading comprehension category. A few years back many were saying that they favored white people then it was since they were only in English they discriminated against Latinos, teachers are lambasted for only teaching to the the test – on and on.

Since this was my job to help these kids I have read a lot of these short stories, poems and essays. Most of them are banal. The latest controversy is that they favor Islam and put down Christianity.

‘The most troubling passage came from Daniel Roselle's "A World History: A Cultural Approach," observers said. The passage reads: "Wherever they went, the Moslems [sic] brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western Christendom."
Meanwhile, an excerpt listing the common procedures used by Christian friars to introduce the religion in Latin America stated that "idols, temples and other material evidences of paganism [were] destroyed," and "Christian buildings [were] often constructed on sites of destroyed native temples" -- and built with free Indian labor, to boot. ‘

Keep in mind that within one hour after taking these tests the kids cannot remember what was in them.

The thing that jumped out at me in this is that the reporter did not mention that the best of the Muslim culture Roselle could come up with happened 1000 years ago and the worst thing the Christians did happened 500 years ago.

As mentioned earlier, students have to pass this test to graduate - well that is only partially true. Any student who has been diagnosed with ANY TYPE of learning disability at any time in their school life does not have to pass so they just do not give a crap.

And that attitude is growing throughout the whole of the public school student body and these tests now discriminate against them. Fortunately the Media is now picking up on this.

In The Know: Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Give A Shit?