Thursday, July 20, 2006

Succulent Round-up

As a follow-up to the scandalous utterances (and motions) of one Charlotte Church, it is with a satisfied nod that I report to you that Ignatius Press has prudently decided to drop all products of theirs which may involve Miss Church in some way, and offers prayers for the salvation of her soul and the calming down of her body. More aggrieved persons have begun a campaign to wipe from human memory the fact that Miss Church once performed for John Paul Magnus.

In other Ignatius news, Insight Scoop is also reporting that Pope Benedict XVI is hard at work on a new book about the theology of the person of Christ - a book which he initially left off writing upon his elevation to the station of Pope - as well as a new encyclical. This latter work will be of great interest to fans of Chesterton and Belloc, for it is slated to be broadly concerned with human labour. Could we be seeing an encyclical to join the exalted ranks of the likes of Rerum Novarum and Laborem Exercens? If it's of similar quality to Deus Caritas Est, I think we'll all have reason to be glad.

Proving in a novel way that they are the pricks against which the devil must kick, the House voted 349-74 yesterday to preserve the Mt. Soledad war memorial by transferring the title deed thereto to the Federal Government, and thereafter having the site be administered by the Department of Defense. The enormous off-white cross has been the subject of almost twenty years of legal challenges on behalf of one little atheist and his frustrated cronies, who were last seen weeping like heartbroken schoolgirls over a meal of tapwater and Plain Leavened Wafers.

And finally we'll close with something that's a bit of a tradition for me, as far as space-fillers go: a Gustave Doré plate. Be sure to click on it for a version of the same image enlarged almost the point of vulgarity.

The image is a plate from Gustave Doré's illustrated edition of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Part of the appeal that Doré has always had for me is his ability to render things in a technically realistic manner, and yet still manage to create an air of almost mystical wonder to virtually anything he depicts. When I think to myself of the concept of a procession of the Knights of Europe passing some eastern potentate, the image above is almost exactly how I would imagine it, and almost exactly how I feel Chesterton, for example, might have described it. In any event, if you've never seen any Doré before, you have many happy hours ahead of you. If you have, however, then you are already blessed.

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