Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lift a Glass

It has been suggested the GKC be made patron saint of beer drinkers. If that happens he will be in good company

auggy doggy day

St. Augustine feast day today - he showed us the truth:

"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." 
Thus Joy is found.

Which brings us to Uncle Gilbert
"The mass of men have been forced to be gay about the little things, but sad about the big ones. Nevertheless (I offer my last dogma defiantly) it is not native to man to be so. Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labour by which all things live. Yet, according to the apparent estate of man as seen by the pagan or the agnostic, this primary need of human nature can never be fulfilled. Joy ought to be expansive; but for the agnostic it must be contracted, it must cling to one corner of the world. Grief ought to be a concentration; but for the agnostic its desolation is spread through an unthinkable eternity. This is what I call being born upside down. The sceptic may truly be said to be topsy-turvy; for his feet are dancing upwards in idle ecstasies, while his brain is in the abyss. To the modern man the heavens are actually below the earth. The explanation is simple; he is standing on his head; which is a very weak pedestal to stand on. But when he has found his feet again he knows it. Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man's ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this; that by its creed joy becomes something gigantic and sadness something special and small. The vault above us is not deaf because the universe is an idiot; the silence is not the heartless silence of an endless and aimless world. Rather the silence around us is a small and pitiful stillness like the prompt stillness in a sick-room. We are perhaps permitted tragedy as a sort of merciful comedy: because the frantic energy of divine things would knock us down like a drunken farce. We can take our own tears more lightly than we could take the tremendous levities of the angels. So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear." Orthodoxy

You can not steal the Joy of a Christian.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Few "Comic" Clerihews

I've never seen Steve Martin
in tartan.
But to me he doesn't look right
in anything but white.

Kathy Griffin
Likes to joke about sexual sin.
But to be honest all she does is bore
When she tries to play the whore.

Steven Wright
Is right:
Boycott shampoo,
demand the real poo.

I sometimes think Frankie Boyle
Fills his mouth with soil.
As for his jokes, he’s out of luck:
I won’t repeat anything containing words like #@&!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Banned in New York

New York City has gotten a reputation for banning strange things  - like large soft drinks. That one is thanks to mayor Bloomberg,

But the NY Department of Education have topped him.

They've banned certain words and phrases from class rooms and tests. They don't want the children to feel "bad."

Being ignorant is apparently acceptable, though.

Imagine trying to teach history without using words like "slavery" or "war."  Or science without "tsunamis" or "evolution."

"Religion" also made the no-no list - but we kind of knew that.

So has "witchcraft" - but that seems fair given that religion ban.

Oh, and don't mention "sex" or "pornography" or even "television" - given the predominance of the first two on television shows that makes sense.

GKC might take exception to the ban on "alcohol" or tobacco products.

And don't bring up "cancer" or "politics" - which seem to be related anyway.

Here's a list of words and phrases to avoid:
  • Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
  • Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
  • Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
  • Bodily functions
  • Cancer (and other diseases)
  • Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
  • Celebrities
  • Children dealing with serious issues
  • Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
  • Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
  • Crime
  • Death and disease
  • Divorce
  • Evolution
  • Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
  • Gambling involving money
  • Halloween
  • Homelessness
  • Homes with swimming pools
  • Hunting
  • Junk food
  • In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
  • Loss of employment
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
  • Parapsychology
  • Politics
  • Pornography
  • Poverty
  • Rap Music
  • Religion
  • Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
  • Rock-and-Roll music
  • Running away
  • Sex
  • Slavery
  • Terrorism
  • Television and video games (excessive use)
  • Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
  • Vermin (rats and roaches)
  • Violence
  • War and bloodshed
  • Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
  • Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.
No mention of a ban on "education," but they seem to be working on that anyway.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

in support of his cause.

A 300 lb cigar smoking saint? Cool. When he gets his plaque put up in the catholic hall of fame, aka sainthood, to who or what will he be crowned patron saint? Before answering keep in mind the type of sense of humor the Church has, St. Lawrence is the patron of barbecue and St Steven is the patron of stonemasons. Maybe St Gilbert will be the patron saint of runway models. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More on St. Chesterton (okay, jumping the gun)

In Crisis Magazine, Dale Ahlquist talks about the news that the first step in a potential cause for canonization of Chesterton has begun. He explains it far better than I can.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Prayer for the intercession of Chesterton

In light of the first steps in the possible start of Chesterton's cause, here's a prayer from the American Chesterton Society: 
Prayer for the intercession of G. K. Chesterton
God our Father,
You filled the life of your servant Gilbert Keith Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless work, a hope which sprang from his enduring gratitude for the gift of human life, and a charity towards all men, particularly his opponents.
May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief, his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his love for all men, especially for the poor, bring cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to those without faith.
We beg you to grant the favors we ask through his intercession, [and especially for ……] so that his holiness may be recognized by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Friday, August 02, 2013

NPR's sci fi/fantasy list - read the usual suspects

NPR has put out a list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy novels.

I looked at the list with interest, having been a fan of such fiction for a long time.

I was bemused to find I had read only 33 of the 100 books on the list. Hmm. I need to do more reading!

There are a couple of givens. J. R.R. Tolkien made it with The Lord of the Rings. And C. S. Lewis made it with his science fiction trilogy. Tolkien's The Silmarillion also made the list, which pleased me.

And Walter Miller's great A Canticle for Leibowitz made it.

But there were a number of missing titles - including anything by Chesterton. I consider The Man Who Was Thursday or The Napoleon of Notting Hill better than some of the titles on the list.

Other notable missing titles include Tolkien's The Hobbit, and Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters. I could also put in a word for Lewis's Till We Have Faces - his retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth.

Or how about A Case of Conscience by James Blish, about a race on another planet that is completely moral and ethical with no belief in or sense of God or religion? Or anything by Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, or A Swiftly Tilting Planet)?

To be fair, maybe the people selection decided L'Engle's books, or Narnia, or even The Hobbit children's books and that's why they didn't pick them. But I'd argue that they are still better than some of the other books on the list. Oh well: All such lists are subjective.

It's an interesting list and a good conversation/debate starter. What titles would other folks include that would be of interest to Chestertonians?

St. Gilbert?

Here is the reported wording from Dale Ahlquist's announcement at the GKC conference:

"Martin Thompson says that Bishop Peter Doyle 'has given me permission to report that the Bishop of Northampton is sympathetic to our wishes and is seeking a suitable cleric to begin an investigation into the potential for opening a cause for Chesterton.'"

Okay - qualified, just a possible start, but at least it's movement!