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Monday, September 08, 2014

And in news--Sport!

The NFL season kicks off at a disorienting time for us Lions fans--on a Monday Night. 

Against the Vile Steve Skojec's Giants, no less.

I have no clear sense of how the Lions are going to surprise and break my scarred heart this year, but they'll no doubt find a way.

I think Jim Caldwell is a decent coach, and probably a sensible change to a steadier hand after the manic Jim Schwartz, who really couldn't find a stable mood for the team. 


This is a *good* thing, and will be better for the team overall. I like the fact he sounds like "Spock on Football." 

They're going to need it, I'm afraid--because I can't see this team doing better than 9-7, with a lot of ups-and-downs. The defense has too many question marks and I'm not sure how Stafford is going to do after last year's miserable passing record down the stretch. Also, I'm worried about Megatron's mileage. He's an Olympian god among men, but he has taken a beating.

So, put me down for somewhere in the 7-9 to 9-7 range. Next year will be Caldwell's first on the hot seat.

Whew--"national conversation" avoided!

Nothing worth soul-searching about or discussing here

Back to Ferguson and/or your favorite celebrity's hi-jinks.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Putting first things first.

Yes, it's regrettably overused, and a part of all sorts of self-help (material and spiritual) phenomena, but...it's true. 

You should put the first things first. 

In my case, what drew me to Catholicism was not the fabulous shepherds, but Christ. Specifically, the Real Presence. 

I've been re-learning that of late through this virtually-unknown treatise whose first edition dates from the second decade of the 20th Century



It's...dense and very, very thorough. Too many of the footnotes are in Latin. But it is a real masterpiece, repaying re-reads of each page. I'm only 50 pages in, but I am truly inspired by it. The book starts with a discussion of what constitutes a "sacrifice," examines Christ's on Golgotha and works its way from there. Brilliant, and back in print (not sure which edition) from a reprint house, it is a meditation on the Cross and the Mass. One that deserves to be better known. Tolle, lege.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri.

I don't actually have any thoughts--yet--about the underlying incident between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. I need to see more evidence before I can say one way or another. I have a sneaking suspicion there may be no innocents here at all. The leak wars are not increasing my confidence.

But I do know the following:

1. I hate looters. If you try to destroy a shopkeeper's livelihood, you are near-enough to literally tearing the food out of his (or, yes, her) family's mouths. If he sends you to the particular judgment during your extralegal shopping spree, the prosecutor best not ask me to be on the shopkeeper's jury.

2. I hate militarized police forces. Sure, this is true:





But it's also true that that big dog is an indiscriminate biter, and will eventually get around to sinking its teeth into you, too, Suburbia. "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy." 

A/k/a "mission creep."

This isn't law and order. This is just force masquerading as law.

3. I hate narratives. A 6'4", 292 pound 18 year old is a man. He can serve in the military, bind himself under a contract, vote, get married, drive a commercial vehicle--everything but grab a beer (which makes the current drinking age a bit stupid on that account). With those measurements, he'd be a prime candidate for a college offensive line. He is not a "teenager." 

4. Fellow ofays, we do need something of a reality check--perfectly law-abiding black men take shit that no comparable honky would experience [read the whole article: McWhorter spares no one.] Related: police/minority community interactions are extremely complicated, even when there's no ill will. Note the author of that last piece, but turn off your irony meter first.

5. Speaking of narratives: it would be nice if people gave a shit about someone dying without first checking the color of the perpetrator and the victim to see if it serves some news agenda.

Yes, I know--while I'm dreaming, ask for a new car.


Monday, August 18, 2014

"Let yesterday burn and throw it in a fire."


The Forgotten Battle.

Raymond Ibrahim recalls the anniversary of the beginning of the 717-18 Siege of Constantinople, the second such Arab effort to break Christendom's bulwark. The focus on the Coptic deserters from the Muslim army is especially helpful.

Here's an earlier post of mine on the first siege, with invaluable insights from Ostrogorsky.  

A couple of thoughts:

1. Take the claimed numbers with a grain of salt. Medieval chroniclers, regardless of religion, tended to exaggerate in that department. Not as bad as their classical forebears, but still. 

2. Ibrahim is dead on when he says it deserves more press than Tours. Tours was important, but I'd argue that it wasn't the most important battle Martel fought against the Caliphate: his later southern campaign which led to the uprooting of Muslim France was more important.

 

It's a metaphor.

But it's actually happening.



[If you have not seen DodgeBall, go see it. Promptly.]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Say what you will about Chris Ferrara...

...the man has a way with words: "neo-Modernist rebound infection."

He has as much chance of "stopping the Synod" as I do of starring in a romantic comedy, but dream big, I guess.

Worth a read.

 

Yeah, new look.

Felt like a change--so, voila. 

I think it reads a little better. Going to see how it ages, I think.

Next time, America...

...pick someone with at least a modicum of executive experience.

Meanwhile, the world is starting to burn and apparently vacations cannot be interrupted.

Oh, and Agence France-Presse offered this cheery tweet, too.

"MSF" is Doctors Without Borders.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

There are certain advantages...

...to not giving a crap.


Home Fields, by John Singer Sargent.

I think I need a hobby, and I'm leaning towards woodworking, with an eye to eventually making furniture. Seriously. The last is a long term goal, but I'm interested in just the rudiments of working with, say, oak or maple.

Anybody have suggestions/tips for starting up?