Friday, March 28, 2008

Obama Clerihew

Barack Obama,
neither Muslim, nor Osama.
But his foes are not above lies
to fabricate ties.

Why is this man Smiling??

Because he knows GKC!!

Ive started reading a bit of history/current events about the Vatican II era forward of the Church and the Papacy......I realized how little I really knew about John XXIII, Paul VI, and JPI and how they saw their leadership in tumultuous times.

Pope John Paul I, born Albino Luciani (sp?) wrote a book calledIllustrissimi , a collection of letters to historical and literary figures, including G.K Chesterton! I attached a link to a google books excerpt. I think John Paul does catch the spirit of GKC, for those of us who have lived most of our adult lives with John Paul the Great, the style of writing seems so un-pope-like. I cant believe Ive been a Chestertonian this long without knowing about this.

Sorry for my absence, I plan on being around much more frequently.

Happy Easter.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Any Thursday Experts Out There?

I received this question by email. Can anybody help?

Can anyone help me identify the "constable" who recruits Gabriel Syme to become a "philosophical policeman" in THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY. I'm convinced it's not Sunday himself, but neither is it Lucian Gregory. Who is it? Help, please!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More on Second Spring

John Zmirak writes about Second Spring at Taki's Top Drawer. Excerpt:

But in the Easter spirit, I’d like to offer something positive today—news about a terrific intellectual journal edited in Oxford by Tolkien scholar and theologian Stratford Caldecott. Learned in the work of other “Inklings” C.S. Lewis and Dorothy Sayers, and well-versed in the smart cultural criticism of Chesterton and Belloc, Caldecott provides a contrarian voice among orthodox Catholics—one that takes seriously the importance of “just war” teaching, distributism, and internal cultural renewal instead of the confrontations urged upon us by the neocons. Published twice per year, subjects regularly covered in Second Spring include the arts, sciences, technology, liturgy, new ecclesial movements, metaphysics, history, literature, poetry, and the world of books. Indeed, one might call Second Spring a kind of First Things for the peace party.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

GKC-Type Joke

I think GKC would've liked this joke:

There are three religious truths:

a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Only Friday

The men of the east may spell the stars
And times and triumphs mark
But the men signed with the cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark.

The Ballad of the White Horse

Whenever I get depressed about the current condition of things I have to remind myself that I am called to go gaily in the dark because it is only Friday and Sunday is coming.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Second Spring

I received an email from John Zmirak, new writer-in-residence at St. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, informing me of a new project:

"We recently launched a new journal, Second Spring: An International Journal of Faith and Culture, edited by the Oxford-based theologian Stratford Caldecott. This thoughtful, thought-provoking journal explores and advances the mission of a Catholic intellectual in the context of contemporary culture. Published twice per year, subjects regularly covered in Second Spring include the arts, sciences, technology, liturgy, new ecclesial movements, metaphysics, history, literature, poetry, and the world of books."

They're offering a 50% discount right now. I bet it'll be good. Zmirak might be the best Catholic writer alive. Scamper over.

(Aside: I responded to Zmirak, congratulating him on landing a position at the location of the annual Chesterton Conference. Kind of embarrassing. His is the school in New Hampshire, not the one in St. Paul, Minnesota. Oh well, I received his email in the heat of the work day, just as the morning caffeine burst was wearing off. I'm sure he understands.)

Thomas More College - Second Springa

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Quiet Beauty

The good news out of New York is the Neue Galerie is hosting a Gustav Klimt show though June.
If you can take it in you will not be disappointed for your effort to go into “the big bad city”.
(OK maybe not as exciting as Jet Li and Jackie Chan in the same movie but in this world we need to sometimes seek out quiet beauty in order to renew the spirit.)

Klimt was one of only a few artists that captured the transcendent strength and beauty of authentic femininity. Just compare this mother and child with the dripping sentimentality of Mary Casset’s work, the predatory sexuality of Picasso’s women, the aloof elegance that Modigliani gives us or the party girls of Lautrec. Klimt loved women, and loved the idea of woman. He gives us the same tenderness in his portrayals of old women and those in their prime.

Through the symbolism of women he worked out his biggest spiritual battle - the question and meaning of death. His conclusion was that life was monumental and at the same time as delicate and fragile as the wings of a butterfly. He saw it is only in women that this paradox is at balance.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Buddha Clerihew

When Siddhartha Gautama
was seeking Nirvana
he refused to settle
for any old heavy metal.

(Karma's gonna get me!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stupid is as Stupid does

What Eliot Spitzer did with those naughty ladies of the night is between him and his wife and him and God. We will pray for him. Of course it cost him his dream job, he will become the butt of many jokes for a long time and he may even have to do some jail time because our system of justice nevvverrrr favors the rich and powerful. But remember, within the Democratic Party this kind of activity is usually a resume booster. Look what it did for Jerry Springer.

Both Springer and Spitzer support Hillary Clinton because Bill is their hero – sin attracts sin and as Mark Shea tells us: “Sin makes you stupid.”

Psalm 94: "Can judges who do evil be your friends? They do injustice under the cover of law; they attack the life of the just and condemn innocent blood."

The Bad Catholic's Guide to Distributism

John Zmirak (of The Bad Catholic's Guide fame) has a post on Distributism today at Taki's Mag. A snippet:
Those of us who understand the importance of economic independence, the virtues of independent farms and mom and pop businesses (and here comes the radical step) should patronize them. And convince our friends to join us. And boycott everything else.
read all of A Road Not Taken: Distributism

Frank Petta, RIP

Frank A. Petta, a man who played a significant role in the GKC revival, passed away last week. I met Frank once, at his birthday party when he was turning 84. He was a most gracious man, based on my brief meeting and the testimony of his many well-wishers at the party. His obituary:

Frank A. Petta, 89, of Elgin passed away Monday, March 3, 2008 in his home. He was born March 12, 1918 in New York, NY, the son of Victorio and Rosa Maria Petta.

Frank was Baptized at St. Anthony of Padua and received first communion at the Church of Transfiguration in 1929. he graduated from St. John's University in Brooklyn and served two years in the US Army Air Corps. He then attained his Masters Degree from Columbia University. Frank was a teacher and taught in New York and Chicago for many years prior to retirement.

He had a life long interest in the ideas and writings of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, an English journalist and author of many books. With others, he founded the Midwest Chesterton Society, and helped start an annual conference. Frank had been a member of several Pro Life organizations, and was director of Elgin Birthright for several years.

He was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Elgin.

Survivors include his wife, Ann, whom he married on March 23, 2002; a sister-in-law, Ethel Petta of New York; along with niece, Theresa Catherwood; and nephews, Fredrick, Joseph and Robert Petta; and many cousins and family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Louis Petta.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. in St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Elgin with Rev. Geoffrey Wirth officiating. Burial will follow in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Elgin. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4-8:00 P.M. at Laird Funeral Home, 310 S. State St. (Rt. 31), Elgin, IL 60123, 847-741-8800, and on Friday at the church from 9:30 A.M. until the Mass. Memorials directed to St. Thomas More Building Fund.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lunchroom Caucus part duex

The Wednesday lunch after Hillary’s win in Ohio my buddy announced to our table, “See my girl won. Na na ne na na.”
The ladies chimed in, “I can’t believe that hag won.” and other derogatory remarks.
So I asked them, “So you voted for Obama?”
“Well no. Not exactly, I didn’t vote. I was just sure she would lose.”
The only other person that voted at all was the 20 something girl (voting for Hillary). So I asked her why she voted for Hillary.
“That’s who my dad told me to vote for.”
Of the 10 of us 3 voted, two for Hillary and one for McCain.

“The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.” GKC

Let’s just hope we don’t get too unconscious.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Collecting Rocks

I have posted the following quotes on my studio wall. This kind of thing helps to keep me focused on what studio work is supposed to mean.

"The world will never starve for want of wonders, only for want of wonder."

“The Catholic Church is the natural home of the human spirit. The odd perspective picture of life which looks like a meaningless puzzle at first, seen from that one standpoint takes a complete order and meaning, like the skull in the picture of the Ambassadors.”

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Although Saint-Exupery is not an official member of the friends of Chesterton many of his quotes and essays have that flavor. I think Gilbert would have liked The Little Prince, as well as Saint-Exupery adventure stories.