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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pro-military, pro-affordable family formation, the Irish church's woe, and the story on Uber

  • In defense of the American military.
  • Steve Sailer: Liberalism is expensive, conservatism is cheap.
  • An Irish writer for a British Catholic journal being humble: The Irish Church’s failures have caused its people to choose secularism over faith. Long story short, for the foreseeable future Ireland isn't Catholic anymore (how's that "renewal" working out for youse*?), but religion there has been cyclical; they haven't left the church so much as lapsed. One naysayer has claimed de Valera wasn't sincere, that Catholic Ireland was a myth ("shamrocks and crosses") to get money from "the diaspora" (Irish-Americans, like the ones who gave to the IRA in the '70s). I think that's at least overstating things; that might have been a factor (but an academic paper I've seen says the Irish cause, unlike Israeli, lost major funding from ethnics abroad early on) but Dev was sincere. One thing's true: the Irish cause has never owned the church (just like the Communists couldn't, and the IRA arguably is more Communist than Catholic) and in fact has had little to do with it. (In America, Cardinal Spellman had no time for Irish nationalism.) Also, I think it's true that in the Republic, (easygoing) Catholics and the few Protestants (originally Scottish Presbyterians and the fewer Evangelical turned liberal Anglicans) get along. *Old neighborhood Phillyspeak that came from Ireland when the church was peaking in America; non-standard English, plural you's a grammatical refinement that's standard in many other languages.
  • BBC America's Anglophenia. Cute blondes explain the mother country to Americans.
  • "Organic" is a gimmick: Hormel buys Applegate Farms.
  • So's independent journalism. Metro now owns a local lefty paper; maybe that's just a sign that the left is now the establishment. (I do Metro's crossword on my commuter train ride.) Anyway, some investigative reporting: on driving for Uber.
  • Glimpses of my job: I track production for (and semi-officially proofread) 14 humanities academic journals; two "have a British accent" (British-based with many British, Australian, and New Zealand writers) while two are partly Russian, on Russian subjects with some Russian and other writers from the former USSR. Not in Russian, which would go over my head, but I get to use my Russian. So far I've used it to communicate by e-mail with a writer who has next to no English, from one of the 'Stans. (The article went through a human translator.) And with an American librarian for fun. In my former copywriting career (about two years recently) I used Spanish on the phone and in writing, which was fun because nobody in the offices expected the conservative throwback to speak it.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Redrawing the manosphere map, and more

Memorial Day, and more

  • Joshua Snyder on American Memorial Day. I'm pro-military but: Neocons and other statists and militarists decry the happy fact that Memorial Day for today's Americans is all about hanging out in backyards and having a good time. Perhaps Americans realize in their hearts that no American soldier or sailor has died defending (or promoting) any American's freedom in the past 150 years. So enjoy the day guilt-free, and enjoy what freedoms you have left. Also: an article by Paul Craig Roberts. I like to say that for our élite there are no more countries (they don't care about you or me) but Gen. Smedley Butler (a Marine) figured it out many decades ago. "War is a racket."
  • Told you so: The world isn't better off because of the Iraq War. “Well, the world is better off without a bad guy like Saddam, so it wasn’t a mistake.” OK, except this is completely inaccurate. The world is not better off without Saddam. Why? Because for all his faults, Saddam Hussein presided over a stable Iraq, served as a buffer to (a now more powerful) Iran and was no religious fanatic. When we invaded and removed him, we created a power vacuum in the country, a vacuum then filled by brutal ISIS.
  • Takimag's Gavin McInnes: Idle hands do time. False: The sociopaths who gain pleasure from hurting people are extinct.
  • Dogs have been man's best friend for 40,000 years.
  • When I was a kid I took "Star Trek" as seriously as it took itself. Now I see it's essentially the same show as "Gilligan's Island," a fable about Middle America (both with hot chicks), but with "Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits"-like elements, and taking itself as seriously as those shows, most of the time.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

  • Pentecost: Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia. Book of Common Prayer translation of the Mass's collect and readings.
  • Margaret Thatcher: If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing. Including being liked! Something the Anglicans have never understood. "Comprehensiveness, or else" (just like what the Anglosphere has become, "the Cathedral" of political correctness) has resulted in less than half of Britain being nominally Anglican, and (honestly, not different from Catholic countries now), few of those go to church or (unlike Americans) believe in God. The English Civil War, the "Enlightenment," and the Industrial Revolution finished the job for the "Reformation." England, still painfully obviously once Catholic, was lost to Christ (John Wesley and the Tractarians being among those trying to win it back for him). Catholics ("the Rrrrromans") became a distrusted minority there (but one in which you could find high church after Vatican II if you were looking for it; thanks to Benedict the Great, Philadelphia has caught up!), although there are now more churchgoing Catholics than churchgoing Anglicans in England; "the Italian mission to the Irish" Polish now. The Episcopal Church tells the world what it wants to hear, but next to nobody goes to it. In my town, after a century they shut down almost seven years ago.
  • The Church of England is required by law to display a complete, accessible Bible in all its places of worship. Obviously of Protestant origin. Conservative Protestants (from evangelical Baptists to Bob Hart Anglicans) can point to that as holding their idea of the church accountable to an unchangeable standard, like we do with church infallibility (which encompasses scripture and papal infallibility); liberal ones would say it enshrines private judgment, as if laity without study can make sense of all the contradictory sex and violence in the Old Testament and the code in some of the New, such as in the Apocalypse/Revelation. Of course they can't, and the liberals' idea of the church claims far more power, really to change scripture, than the Pope does. (Fr. Hunwicke: the Pope's just a caretaker.)
  • Damian Thompson: Gay marriage will split the Catholic Church. Of course the church is indivisible; people leave. Per the creeds, there can't be two true churches (the Orthodox are still an estranged part of us, still having bishops and the Mass). Catholics have a Magisterium whose teachings on homosexuality can’t be changed without the Church deciding that it has the authority to scrap them. At which point some traditional Catholics will up sticks to the modern equivalent of Avignon and we’ll have two popes. Or three, if dear Benedict XVI is still alive. The church, even the Pope, doesn't have that authority. (The Anglicans think they do!) The Pope's office, not his person, shares in the church's infallibility, so Benedict the Great still being alive is irrelevant; he is no longer Pope (but the church can re-elect him, right?). Thompson seems to agree with me that the sedevacantist scenario can happen. Right now, we're not even close. (Thanks to Benedict, the English-speaking Catholic world is better off than we ended up under Paul VI and John Paul II.) At Catholic Defcon 2, if the local church stops teaching the faith once delivered, that would come into play. If the See of Peter is vacated by apostasy and/or the powers that be (the New World Order, the Cathedral) puts in an antipope, but the diocese (the basic unit of the church: your lawful bishop; your parish priest is his stand-in) still teaches the faith, I think you can stay. If not, go to the SSPX. Defcon 1 is persecution, such as under the Soviets or ISIS; we would do what Ukrainian Catholics did in that land: go underground.
  • Anglo-Catholic alumni note: déjà vu. The SSPX scenario is like what Bishop Chambers and those other good souls founding Continuing Anglicanism (not really Anglicanism but '50s American Anglo-Catholicism as a church unto itself) were trying to do, thinking the Archbishop of Canterbury had their back for saving Catholic order (they thought he'd drop the Episcopalians for them). If the Anglo-Catholic Episcopal dioceses put their money where their mouth was and left, as the last three did 30 years later over homosexualism, maybe? Moot. (And those three dioceses are in a denomination that ordains women, and an ex-Catholic is Bishop of Quincy. What's the point?)
  • The future of God. Increasingly godless Americans vs. historically and newly conservative, Orthodox Russians? I hope the Russians are a new Constantine, at least for themselves. Let's bring them back into the church one step at a time, honestly, not trying to break them up or of course trick them. Stay out of the war in the Ukraine. They would be a non-Novus Ordo boon to the church, helping to clear that out of here.

Classic cars in Collingswood and Hainesport, NJ


Dig This, Collingswood. Piece by piece I'm ransoming this stuff from the kitsch merchants.


Hotsy Totsy. Didn't record a clip because they usually record their own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Home truths about women, and more


  • Dear career women: Please stop throwing your ovaries in the garbage. Gavin McInnes via Kathy Shaidle. Women on average make less by choice; they'd rather go to their daughter's piano recital than work late. The rat race is awful: of course they want to quit when they get their MRS degrees. Wage slavery: marketed as female empowerment. (Keeping you on the treadmill; reminds me of George Carlin's "Stuff" bit.) Also, PUAs and the carousel: "Show me a society that hates virginity and I'll show you a society that hates children." Senior orphanhood (spinsterhood): it's not just for the autistic anymore (plus some people outlive their loved ones). Demographic suicide.
  • "Mad Men": If indeed Don went back to McCann and created "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," the ending fits the opening credits to a tee. Matthew Weiner says he knew the show's ending all along. Smart, not sappy like Don just chucking his job and being a hippie bum (or in his case, a Beat, better than a hippie, like the "Route 66" guys; about 10 years after the Beat movement). Part of why Weiner's creation is superior television, whether you're a liberal like most fans or nostalgic like me.
  • Dorothy Day's legacy. Politically naive but a good person. Why are the US bishops so hyper to get this woman canonized? Don't we have any other persons who lived in this country who are worthy of sainthood? What about Solanus Casey, Audrey Santos, Demetrius Galitzin, et al.? The bishops seem so intent to raise a left-wing social activist to the altars, maybe more due to her political perspective and trying to tie it into the face of the church in this nation? Desperate for the secular world's approval, which won't work. That said, Day was orthodox, even traditional in ways (a pre-conciliar lady), unlike her fans.
  • Banks fined more than $5B, to plead guilty to market rigging.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Episcopalians criticize themselves

Articles by their smart insiders:
  • The Living Church, which before the Sixties was at least sort of Anglo-Catholic: St. Blasé's welcomes you. Like Pope Benedict's Catholic revival, liberal high church is a backing away from self-destructive Modernism, but with its fallible, fungible church (it's a feature, not a bug, in Anglicanism), it's still part of the problem.
  • Fr. Tony Clavier: A silent prejudice. Liberals love humanity but hate people.

Boring Christianity, 15 kinds of American conservatives, and more

  • Maybe Christianity in America is dying because it's boring everyone to death. Complaining that churches aren't strict enough sounds holier than thou, and I like to say Catholicism is not a cult; it's not fundamentalism. But this still has a point. And: there's liberal high church (the Episcopalians), not on the mainstream media's radar. "The Cathedral" of political correctness can "do" traditional and solemn (and credally orthodox), and be impressively steeped in history; interestingly, that doesn't get many new followers. The kids see the same secular humanism they learned in school, cut out the middleman, and do something else on Sundays.
  • From Kathy Shaidle: 15 kinds of American conservatives. A history lesson.
  • Of course mainstream liberals who've heard of MGTOW make fun of it. Good old shaming. A search of this blog will show you I've criticized MGTOW (Peter Pan, selfishness, and you'll end up alone in your old age) but you can still learn from it.
  • Bob Wallace tries to rebut the idea of female hypergamy. Actually the manospherians I read agree that in themselves being handsome and/or having a million dollars don't necessarily make you an alpha. A ghetto thug can be one. It's in the attitude. Hint, also courtesy of MGTOW: if you have those assets and you're still trying to impress women, for "validation," you're not an alpha. Most religions agree: if you're enslaved by your lusts, you're less than a man. And Wallace agrees with the basic premise: In reality relationships are associative mating. Women do prefer a man who is taller than them and makes more money, but that's all I have ever seen. Every study ever done has confirmed it.
  • Most European men are descended from just three ancestors.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to kill Christianity, and more

Hypergamy, Orthodoxy, and propaganda


  • MGTOW's Sandman: Hypergamy: women always trade up.
  • Pat Buchanan: Does the Journal regard this gutting of the greatest industrial base the world had ever seen, which gave America an independence no republic had ever known, an acceptable price of its New World Order? For our elite, there are no more countries.
  • The well-meaning American bishops still say no nukes. As a blogger for peace I appreciate that but no. "MAD is still Realpolitik."
  • Ukrainian and American Orthodoxy.
  • Takimag: "It's all whites' fault"; the Christian heresy that is the Cathedral trying to be nice.
    • Land of 1,000 microaggressions, the venial sins of the Cathedral's faith.
    • So whereas the previous party line had been, “white America is hurting the black family by ignoring its problems,” the new line would be, “white America is hurting the black family by exaggerating its problems.” The history of the black family was to be written based not on facts, but on political concerns. Accentuate the positive, and attack as “racist” those who address the negative. Also: Cracked.com receives 300,000,000 page views per month, making it the most visited humor site in the world... the site has gotten much more political over the years, which means it has a unique opportunity to blindside people with liberal hogwash they didn’t expect to encounter. Why, like The Onion, I don't read it anymore.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Person to Person"


I thought the previous episode, the penultimate, was a great sendoff for "Mad Men." Roger was the only main character whose story was left unresolved. The real ending didn't knock my socks off but I'm satisfied. Roger et Marie: perfect. Not trying to be deep like with the other main characters but naughty and funny, perfect for him. Glad he does right by his son (by the way, the son and I are the same age). The romantic ending for Peggy seemed tacked on, and I thought things were resolved long ago with Stan, but considering her job is her life, it makes sense she'd find love there (even though she got burned by Pete, Ted, and arguably Duck there). I don't hate her so good for her. Joan turning women's-lib? For the viewers who bought Matthew Weiner's intent. Hooray for Pete and Trudy (she's still looking golden-era good at the end). Glad Don didn't come home. He's free for his journey. He's a Beat, not a hippie, thank God. A lot of fans predicted he'd end up at someplace like Esalen. His last scene is enigmatically cool as I wanted. The commercial ending the show is Weiner being wonderfully ironic about advertising, as it's very much not the real thing (McCann, a real agency and the show's bad guys, invented it).

I was afraid Weiner would do an end-zone dance over the fall of the golden era. Arguably Don getting all touchy-feely was that; still, that has its place. The show's art as well as a superior soap opera; an all-American answer to "Masterpiece Theatre."

Update: A New Yorker critic has this great take on the ending to the ending. Don didn't hippie out, as his hair shows. He took from the Sixties (found inner peace) but it didn't take him over. He went back to McCann refreshed and created that hit commercial. Man's gotta make a living.

As a Catholic I saw parallels at Don's California retreat. Spiritual conferences, confession (to Peggy on the phone), and a monastic routine, even a meal in silence; natural stuff that religion uses.

The Russians as the new Constantine and more


Sunday, May 17, 2015

A sign of life in the American church

Archdiocese of Newark has Seton Hall fire its top campus-ministry priest for homosexualist Facebook post. The American church's slow turnaround returning to orthodoxy is under way. It's like turning around an oil tanker or stopping a train. Even the benighted mainstream Catholic colleges are getting the Pope Benedict effect (outlasting Benedict). Apparently even after Land O'Lakes (in which Catholic colleges gave up church control to get government funds, or why besides "Sports!" the American mainstream loved Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame so much: apparently the acceptable way to be an American Catholic is to follow certain school sports and get drunk on St. Patrick's Day), dioceses have some control over colleges in them. About time those old campus ministers were sent packing.

The weekend: golden-era cars and Mass


WOGL-FM's big classic-car show at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union in Northeast Philadelphia. Best in show: silver '59 Caddy. Everybody who sees her calls her the Batmobile (which is actually a concept car, the '56 Lincoln Futura, modified at the last minute).



The Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania's spring show and flea market at Linvilla Orchards. It has its big fall show at Delaware County Community College. I'm familiar with this '59 Chevy Impala from that. Met the owner (since '60). The car's mostly original. The copper paint is actually called Gothic Gold for these Chevys. The owner tells me GM used the same paint for its cars, just renaming it for different makes and models.


Bubbletop '59 Chevy. The right way to do sexy tailfins.


Today's secret word is "Throwback!" Carnival of Collectables, Sicklerville, NJ, down Cross Keys Road from Mater Ecclesiae.


House of Fun, Oaklyn, NJ.


Sunday after the Ascension. (The Ascension lost its octave in 1955.) Mass: Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad te, alleluia. The littlest torchbearers. Usually 7-year-olds start as boatboys. Regina caeli, laetare: Our May crowning.

"How's that renewal working out for youse?" Driving through southern New Jersey yesterday I counted three closed parishes.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tsarnaev, church-service chaos, and more


  • So Tsarnaev got the death penalty. I think everybody's cool with that. Not literally everybody as an Episcopal priest pointed out to me; she's right that blood lust (revenge) is a sin. The church is clear: the death penalty's an option; some crimes call for restorative justice like that and the perpetrator forfeits his right to live. The court can spare him but doesn't have to. Obviously, I meant that Muslims do things so reprehensible even the left doesn't really like them. (Normally, get whitey and curse Christ are the left's prime directives; even feminist women, gays, and Jews are thrown under the bus.) It's easy for white liberals to feel superior to other whites by defending the perps in race riots in Ferguson, Mo. and the slums of Baltimore. But this is like 9/11: it attacked THEM for once (SWPLs love the Boston Marathon) so next to nobody has sympathy for the Tsarnaevs. Sure, the brother was the leader but Tsarnaev's still guilty. Legally sane: this attack was obviously planned. (Paralleling the church's criteria for mortal sin: grave matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will.) An American Baptist (not Southern Baptist) minister and others pointed out to me that strategically these attacks don't make sense because they turn Western opinion against the perps; that's not their motive. They want to go to heaven by becoming martyrs. So executing Tsarnaev isn't a deterrent, but it's just. God have mercy on him. But this shouldn't have been a federal case but a state one, and Massachusetts happens not to have the death penalty.
  • Inadvertently funny church clip, and it's of our friends, not our enemies. Why the church in its different traditional rites has rules for ceremonial (Fortescue, O'Connell, Martinucci, the Baltimore Ceremonial) and the traditional Roman Rite has masters of ceremonies. (High-Episcopal parishes have customaries usually adapted from our traditional rules.) Literally so people don't crash into each other in the sanctuary. A metaphor for Continuing Anglicanism (American Anglo-Catholicism, a huge influence on me, as a church unto itself): their heart is in the right place, and they borrow our good stuff such as copes, but they have no idea what they're doing (they don't know how to use it). An observer pointed out another of the Continuum's faults; this service is top-heavy with clergy. To be fair, it is the consecration of a new bishop, which usually uses three bishops. But that clericalism is a tell of vagans churches, as in episcopi vagantes (a Latinist has told me there's no such word as vagante), which have been on the fringes of Anglicanism for about 125 years.
  • Orthodox triumphalism about Latin-American converts. Born Orthodox liberal Arianna "Zsa Zsa" Huffington's journal shanks the church. Probably a drop in the bucket down there but still disturbing as when anybody leaves the church. Byzantium beats the Novus Ordo but it's not the sum of the church. When churchmen concentrate on secular goals such as politics, the people go elsewhere for spiritual help, such as the Pentecostals in Latin America and among Hispanics here.
  • Broken-home epidemic reversed since '90s babies?
  • Driving the bus. Betty Duffy remembers her free-range childhood as neglect ("most of us were latchkey kids"), skewering well-meaning conservatives' romanticized notion of that.
  • All the lonely virtues; where do they all belong? Aristotle and N.T. Wright. Wright's idea about the afterlife and general resurrection is interesting; not sure if it's orthodox.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Modernity's neutered gospel for the Ascension, and more

  • Ascension Thursday Sunday. Hilary White perfectly parodies the non-threatening ecumenicism that's acceptable "Christianity" in this (ugh) "post-Christian" age, in which the Christian heresy of secular humanism (the comfy Church of Niceness) is the West's state religion. I went to High Mass yesterday at our cathedral, which was hosting the now-nameless Traditional Latin Mass Community of Philadelphia (what I call St. Clement's Jr. in honor of their serving crew — for many years, St. Clement's Episcopal was literally the only place in town where you could see and learn these practices). (No pictures yet because I forgot my camera's chip.) Now nameless because they're moving to another host church. Not their fault but "Traditional Latin Mass Community" sounds like condescending liberalspeak, like "parish community." Literally true but it makes my skin crawl. Anyway, the orthodox know that "up" is metaphorical, an image Jesus' viewers would understand; really, he transported himself (yes, sort of like "Star Trek") to another dimension/state of being. So Anglican Bishop Spong's argument that Jesus would have burned up in the atmosphere is silly, a cartoon making fun of orthodoxy.
  • Dog Mountain. I'm fine with this, chapel and all, as are most people. Man and dog have been friends, not just co-workers, since pre-history; people had burials for dogs that far back. Because it's scientifically proven that they know how we feel and they love us back. As long as we don't have requiems or other Christian burials for them, great. (Cats and other pets too.) The rainbow bridge is like limbo: you can believe in it if you want to. There's the hardline option: "Dogs don't have immortal souls!" A nicer and still true thing to believe and say is they don't need our intercession; there is no hell for them. (A lot like unbaptized babies.) A loving dog is an icon of God's love, almost like a human; in that spirit there are pictures of at least three dogs I'd put on that chapel's wall. By the way, the dog is now officially a sub-species of the wolf. Cool.
  • "So why do you live halfway in the '50s?" (Including the early '60s. As late as 1965 it was all still there.) A reader answers for me, on the reactionaries' point, with merit, that the '50s were part of modernity so they were part of the problem. I think that a lot of these traditionalists are just too demanding and oftentimes drift off into bizarre, esoteric ideas. Sure, the '50s weren't perfect, but no time truly is. We remember and glorify those days because the state of both the church and society was sure better then compared to today. By accepting the '50s as the standard, we aren't shooting for perfection, just an anchor in a time that did exist and is in the memories of many still living. It's a living tradition, still in living people's memory. And American liberty worked for us so I won't throw it out.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Catholic critique of the '50s and more


  • Jon Kabel brought these to my attention at Rad Trad:
    • Nostalgia vs. tradition. When I've criticized the Orthodox because their reason to exist is to worship their rite, cultures, and politics (emperor, prince, sultan, Comrade First Secretary) over Christ, a Western revert to that church said, "After all, you pretend to live in the '50s. Just saying." My answer: part of my own culture and I don't think it IS the church, which includes the Christian East; the Christian East doesn't really include us so it's not the church, or rather is an estranged part of it. The cult of Greece or Russia doesn't keep ethnic Americans past the third generation. What I'm doing isn't kitsch; it is almost like the Amish (who aren't pretending it's the past; they're only trying to keep their religious community together) in that it's acknowledging that a lot of old things are better. One day I realized I could bring it back, and so I did.
    • American Pie. Criticizing what I call America's golden era, as many deep reactionaries have before, from Fr. Seraphim (Rose), a perennialist in the René Guénon school and a former Beat, to Bishop Williamson. As I like to say, the hippies didn't cause Vatican II (the boomers were just dumb kids buying records); the space age did. "The Pope was the chaplain to the United Nations." Understandable and appealing because modern liberalism is a Christian heresy (much of the UN is benevolent) and all politics are temporary, not doctrine. Catholics can believe in international or world empires like the UN wants to be, even though I, also a Catholic, believe you shouldn't. Pre-conciliar Catholicism isn't the lockstep its enemies say; we're many schools of thought, some of which don't get along. Recommended reading to explain the American '50s: Populuxe. Is "Mad Men" the Jewish Matthew Weiner making fun of the golden era? The way the show's wrapping up, no. It's character-driven. He's smart enough not to preach.
  • Bob Wallace:
  • Orthodox apologists: Pelagian about original sin, Lutheran about the Eucharist, modern about contraception, and sliding into universalism. That'll show us. I feel sorry for Fr. Kimel. By the way, nobody asked me, but Owen White's a brilliant, mercurial tortured soul, which explains his viciousness (I've been one of his targets); I've known for some time that he and the missus have found a kind of peace being as close to normal Greek Orthodox as generic white Americans can get (versus what he used to call überfromm convert Orthodox). I don't agree with where he is right now but OK. God moves in mysterious ways.
  • The well-clad conservative. Actually I look like Kennedy-era liberals, like Jack Webb, who weren't like liberals now; social conservatives with left-wing politics, true believers in the American experiment and the city shining on a hill. (Rule of law: in Webb's world, cops only enforce the law, not create it on the fly; anybody who's arrested is read his rights, etc.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Your average American Catholic, and more

American Christianity in collapse, and more

  • Rod Dreher: The Pew Center is out with a comprehensive study of religion in America, and the news is bad for Christians. The losses are chiefly coming at the expense of Catholicism and Mainline Protestantism, which are hemorrhaging; Evangelicals declined only slightly, and that as a proportion of the overall population (their numbers have actually increased). We are staring at the face of a European-style collapse within a couple of generations. If you think the children being born now to religiously observant Millennial parents are, on the whole, going to be more pious than their parents’ generation, you are whistling past the graveyard. Once this decline gets going, it’s very hard to stop. The role model is acting Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sterniuk), not Patriarch Sviatoslav's appeasement of the mainstream by parroting the lingo of the French Revolution, of the liberal mainstream, nor Fr. Gabriel Kostel'nyk's Soviet sellout. So no, Dreher's schismatic religion is not a lifesaver.
  • byzcath is anti-Catholic, like the Anglican Catholic Church has become. Seems like false advertising. Quoting myself, if I may. Online Eastern Catholicism in a nutshell: snotty converts on their way to Orthodoxy, fetishizing this wonderful rite. They look down on traditionalist Roman Riters just like Catholic liberals do, and if you don't buy that and their anti-Westernism, no matter how Eastern you make yourself, you're not in the club. (Liberal Orthodox liking the Novus Ordo are just another form of anti-Westernism: trying to screw over the Catholic Church by cheering for its internal enemies.)
  • "Too ethnic, right?" I'm sure a lot of people outside the Christian East assume it's too exclusively ethnic, which is why some converts leave. Not exactly. Real Orthodox fetishize their ethnicity like converts do the rite (which says the same thing as Catholicism but if it's not Byzantine, it's crap), but I never found Slavs exclusionary. Meet them halfway and they're very nice. But ethnocentrism is a feature, not a bug, in those churches. The church is best as the Church Local, but only when she is part of the Church Universal. Lose that, and you get a denomination that naturally loses people after three generations in a Western country. To be fair, the Greek Catholics lose people in America for the same reason. I think they have no future here. That's not our plan in the Catholic Church; it's a natural cultural thing, not religious.
  • Amtrak derailment in Port Richmond, Philadelphia last night. At least five dead. Scary. My commuter train isn't as fast but I trust it with my life, on the same rails. By the way, I understand Amtrak is a federally subsidized waste of money.
  • On "Mad Men," I think all the major characters are wrapped up. Let's leave Peggy looking enigmatically cool too (like Don the end of the previous episode), strutting into McCann with her shades, cig, smile, and dirty picture "in your face." Pete's gone from toad to prince. That only leaves Roger, who's relatively not that interesting, not that he's not a great character. Matthew Weiner is a master storyteller; he has us on the edge of our seats.
  • Happy 90th birthday, Yogi Berra. Not quite koans or malapropisms, his famous sayings are full of feeling; we understand them even though they don't literally make sense.

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Mad Men": "The Milk and Honey Route"


  • I would be satisfied if that's Don's last scene. Not histrionic, not mawkish; enigmatic and utterly cool, divested of his car in a random act of kindness, with a mysterious smile. We don't know where he's going but likely not back to New York and the ad biz.
  • Ditto Joan last week: she's out of the rat race and happy with Richard. The end.
  • Same with Pete this episode. All this time he's been a villain we love to hate but with an endearing side; in the decade of this show's timeline he's become a man. Now, give him all the money he wants (wow; Learjet), and he asks for his wife and daughter back.
  • Exciting action in Alva with the American Legion and the boy con artist. Don can be a badass when he has to be but is still kind. Nice fake-outs where you think he's busted for being Dick Whitman. I didn't figure out the boy had stolen the Legion's money. Nice fake-out with the girl poolside too.
  • The Legion hall with its private bar for veterans: where guys who don't do therapy can talk about their experiences with the only other people who understand.
  • Don didn't really kill his CO (as in fragging: assassination, which sometimes happens); it was an accident. "Wojo" from "Barney Miller," the scraggly old American Legionnaire with my glasses, is a war criminal. True, soldiers do what they need to in order to survive, but once those Germans surrendered during the Battle of the Bulge, they weren't combatants anymore. Reprehensible. We rightly executed enemy commanders after the war for doing that to us. He deserves to be in Leavenworth, not Don.
  • Matthew Weiner delivered a note-perfect tear-jerker for Mother's Day while keeping Betty entirely in character. This cold WASP-bred lady won't cry and hug Sally. The encouragement for Sally is suitably subtle at first: Henry can't handle this but I know you can (I respect you). The note is exactly what she'd do, writing about herself but with that affirmation at the end. Sally and half the viewers are sobbing. Henry's not weak by crying. He's one of the show's only good guys; he loves that woman. Don knows his kids are in good hands so he's free to go on his journey.
  • Weiner's smart enough not to be too heavy-handed with the women's lib. Betty and Joan didn't feminist out. Joan's not a women's-libber but was smart enough to try to use that to get her money.
  • Don's no hippie. He's like Kerouac or the Route 66 guys.
  • So who does that leave for the last episode of "Mad Men"? Roger and Peggy. Some say she's really the main character; bring it on.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Catholicism and Orthodoxy again, and more

  • Church: East/West again. Patriarch (unofficially, but OK) Sviatoslav is entitled to his opinion about state churches. Of course the Catholic Church as well as the Orthodox Church has been a state church, our churchmen preferring that arrangement before Vatican II. Religious freedom has worked well in America for Catholics and Orthodox so I like it. DMD is right of course that the only real difference between the sides is the scope of the Pope. Of course we approach church unity differently. As a good Orthodox, he seems to ask us, "Why not drop your claims about the Pope and just come into the church, as we have open arms, even being willing to recognize your orders?" (Essentially the nice, ecumenical Orthodox view.) My line is: Why do you think the Pope's claims threaten your perfectly good customs? I don't see cause and effect there. I'm sure every Eastern Catholic churchman who's worked with DMD's brother Fr. Dutko on ecumenism agrees on this: we are to blame for the split in America. Cum Data Fuerit was a horrible mistake. It was within the church's authority to do, but not about doctrine so I can criticize it. Again, not about doctrine: not the Pope's fault. The Orthodox want us to drop half our defined doctrine; I say everything EXCEPT our doctrine is negotiable. Save Eastern customs in North America, including married priests? Parish ownership of property? It's a deal. I don't think the official dialogue is anywhere near that, but let's keep talking. I'd make you that bonafide offer. As for high-church/low-church, as a former Episcopalian who considers the Novus Ordo low-church, I hear you. That said, my line is mother church offers both latinized (which many born Greek Catholics are by choice, and have been for centuries) and unlatinized options for the Byzantine Rite. As DMD notes, Orthodoxy has a high-low spectrum too. Realistically I see a perpetual standoff between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
  • In England last month: Hundreds of priests in the UK gathered in the city of Bath to learn how to say the traditional Latin Mass.
  • My feelings about the Beatles are mixed. Talented, and just another catchy pop band from the late golden era, at first. (Paul McCartney did a mean Little Richard impression.) But I hate their effect on the culture. Anyway, George Harrison was the only Catholic in the group; he'd quit by the time they were a group. To give him credit (and he wrote some very good songs, classics), that somebody so manifestly spiritual quit the church should make us ask ourselves some questions. (He ended up a Hare Krishna, technically not the same as a Hindu [it's Westernized], in all but name.)
  • Roissy: The egonomics of bitterbitches: Yes, homely skanks are using Tinder to get attention. No, not from desirable men.
  • Pickup-artist (PUA) websites in a nutshell (at least Roissy; I'm not a PUA). Here it is, good and bad: Society's messed up now. Nice guys (betas) had it better in 1960; then ordinary guys and girls were glad to have each other. The sexual revolution and feminism messed things up so now it's happy hunting for manly jerks (alphas) and unlimited social climbing for girls, while most nice guys don't get sex. Guys, want to have sex? Here, simply put, are truths about female human nature you can use to change your behavior to get it. P.S. Mainstream relationship advice is garbage, worse than useless. Act all caring and offer to share the housework, and girls won't take you seriously. (Why do so many girls dump their nice-guy husbands after five years or so? And women start most divorces.)

Dream cars, space-age dishes, and more

Boy Scout car show, Southampton, NJ. As you've guessed by now, classic-car shows are a New Jersey thing. Mexican-Americans love our golden-era cars (in Pixar's Cars, Ramón's a '59 Impala, one of my favorites); Italian-Americans like them a lot too. (South Jersey is actually rural, like Missouri except virtually everybody's Italian.)


Perfecto: '58 Chevy Biscayne, either mint or wonderfully restored. This was actually the lowest-budget sister of this line. Identical body to the Bel Air and very close to the high-end Impala but no "power" anything. A cheap utility car for farmers, et al.


Mopar, baby. From the same family as Christine, the '57 Chrysler 300C. Mike Torello's private car (his was black too), perfect because she's menacing-looking like that cop. Christine's persona's different; she's the sexy but seemingly wholesome '50s girl (who's a psycho killer).


'56 Lincoln Capri.


'59 Chevy El Camino.


Donna and Buffy, a Pomeranian-American Eskimo mix (perfect together), which is why the dog looks like a big Pom. Donna grew up with a collie-golden retriever mix almost just like her, with the same name.


Buffy the Wonder Dog. She was good, very protective; once bit a foolish boy who climbed the fence into her yard.


This is Karma, a long-coated German shepherd. I thought she was an Old German shepherd, the long-haired dogs found naturally in Germany and never developed as a breed. Breeders created the German shepherd from those, burdening that wonderful breed with health problems so they don't live very long (you see a lot of sad news stories about police K-9s having to be put down because of those problems). Karma's owner says she actually has a recessive gene found in regular German shepherds.


My new old space-age dishes. The astronauts captured people's hearts and imaginations. ("Star Trek" just riffed on contemporary culture, and it wasn't really about space and aliens, dig?) Yes, when you visit my home, you're halfway in the '50s. My place isn't a hoarder's haven, but, built in 1910, it looks like it's been lived in for about 80 years, with the furniture from around the '40s. (The past has a past.) And modern gadgets such as the one I'm using now. (Minimal; no iPhone, for example.) The space/atomic-age pieces do stand out. Ironically, that optimism about progress begat Vatican II. (Streamline the church like a rocket and it will be even better!)

My missals

My weekly missal is the Maryknoll one from 1957 with Cardinal Spellman's imprimatur.

I also have:

The English Missal, by Anglo-Catholics in 1911 (mine was printed in 1943), including the entire Tridentine Mass including the Roman Canon in Latin and English, with some Book of Common Prayer options for priests who had to use that; very Anglo-Papalist (what I call would-be Catholic, not believers in Cranmer, Hooker, and the Elizabethan Settlement at all). It has all of the Roman Missal's sacristy prayers, in both Latin and English, the entire Roman Rite calendar, and all of our votive Masses, among other things. It has its quirks (Sundays after Trinity with slightly shifted collects and readings, and also a supplement for those who wanted to follow the Roman Missal (in English).

The American Missal Order of Mass from the Order of St. Vincent for acolytes, from the '40s or '50s, an Episcopal booklet showing how such Anglo-Catholics spliced the 1928 BCP collects, readings, and canon (not allowed in the Catholic Church, because Cranmer was heretical in it; the church's Anglican Use doesn't have it) into the framework of the Tridentine Mass. What American Anglo-Catholics, such in the Episcopal Church, did in the '50s.

(British Anglo-Catholics, a tiny minority in the Church of England, were would-be Catholics who wanted nothing to do with the BCP, which the C of E was using against them. They wanted to come back to the church but corporately, in their [invalid] orders. American ones believed in something they thought was Anglicanism but was really their own invention, copying the Catholic Church much like their British cousins but more Prayer Booky. They thought Anglicanism was "Catholicism without the Pope" as we believe the Pope to be. Them: "He's our patriarch but he doesn't have universal jurisdiction nor does his office have the charism of infallibility.")

A Catholic altar missal from 1965, bad but important liturgical history with typed inserts and penciled-in corrections showing one parish's slow transition in the late '60s to the official rollout of the Novus Ordo. Starting in 1965 there were official revisions to the '62 missal until the Novus Ordo came out at the end of '69 or in '70. The official missal of the Roman Rite remained '62. There was no official '65 missal, but the modified Tridentine Mass (edited down; at first only the Roman Canon, only in Latin) starting that year was unofficially a new missal. The new stuff already was the Novus Ordo, bad paraphrases.
'62 all the way. That's the version of the Tridentine Mass approved for use by the Church.
The church officially approves only '62 for our Mass and that's fine with me (of course every church I regularly attend uses it), but I understand it has never banned older missals; before Vatican II, priests and parishes used older missals all the time. For an example of something a little older ('50s) there was the late Fr. Gommar De Pauw's radio Mass, a taped votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary broadcast every Sunday (ironic since you never have that Mass on Sunday): there's a second Confiteor before the people's Communion. My Maryknoll missal from '57 has that. No big deal.

(Related: St. Pius V allowed missals and breviaries in continuous use for over 200 years or something like that, which covers the Eastern rites and also European diocesan uses, so French dioceses kept their medieval missals and breviaries, not using the Tridentine ones until around the 1800s. St. Jean-Marie Vianney never used the Roman Breviary.)

The Tridentine Mass was tweaked that way for centuries after St. Pius V's Quo Primum issuing it in 1570; again no big deal. No rupture like with Cranmer's "Reformation" or the Novus Ordo. Interestingly the church's official line was that it was restoring the liturgy to something more ancient, just like the line with the Novus Ordo, but it really just slightly edited the medieval Mass. Which is right, because liturgical change should be organic and very slow. No rupture. The Christian East gets that.

Philadelphia area Tridentine Masses


Seven that I know of, four in my archdiocese, two across the Delaware River in the Diocese of Camden, and one "irregular" in but not of the archdiocese. A resource: Latin Mass Times.
  • Our Lady of Lourdes in Overbrook, Philadelphia, my parish by choice since early 2012, 15 minutes from home. The house that Fr. James Mayer built: an 1890s pseudo-Gothic exposition chapel the Mercedarian order of friars has run for about 10 years; Fr. James high-churched it with "reform of the reform" and, since Summorum Pontificum, our Mass. (As far as I know, the first parish in the archdiocese to schedule a Sunday-morning Tridentine Mass after SP went into effect Sept. 14, 2007.) He's been transferred but his work remains; a magnet for Philly conservative Catholics. We're a mix: "living link" stalwarts from before Vatican II who kept the memory of the old Mass, Anglo-Catholic alumni from Good Shepherd in Rosemont, newbies (Catholic grandkids who still go to church are conservative), and black locals. Not a re-enactment but a living tradition, with much good from Anglo-Catholicism (the music: pipe organ, former sub organist from Smoky Mary's, Manhattan, and unabridged standards from the Hymnal 1940; we also have coffee hour once a month), better than most '50s American parish practice. Our Mass is usually Sung but with one Low Mass a month (pictured; Fr. Brannan is one of our living links). White-gloved altar boys ringing two sanctus bells: yes, that's our place.
  • Our Lady of Consolation in Tacony, Philadelphia. An Italian national parish built circa 1950s; one of the archdiocese's first indult Masses, still going.
  • Holy Trinity on Spruce St., Philadelphia: St. Clement's Jr., formerly the core group of St. Clement's Episcopal Church (formerly would-be Tridentine Catholic) and other traditional Catholics, now moving (again) to St. Edmond's in South Philly "starting the first week of June."
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Holy Saviour parish), Norristown (Montgomery County, Pa.'s seat, which like the church and the nation has seen better days).
  • St. Jude's, Eddystone: SSPX (the late great Archbishop Lefebvre). Their Christmas Midnight Sung Mass is SRO, with not just traddie parishioners but Delaware County Catholics of all kinds showing up. "The Catholic Church: here comes everybody."
  • St. Peter's, Merchantville, NJ.
  • Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ. My South Jersey church for Christmas and New Year's. A high-church bastion pre-dating Pope Benedict.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Neomasculinity, an awful TV commercial, and more


  • Roosh V on neomasculinity, almost a manosphere (red-pill, not necessarily PUA) catechism. By the way, who else hates that new State Farm commercial, "Never," about the sitcom-stock hapless wimp dad being prodded to conform at every turn? (Never mind the tacked-on "aw" ending.) Good to see MGTOW has noticed. I think I see MGTOW's problems (Peter Pan selfishness in which guys end up alone as wards of the state, rather like "the c*ck carousel" and the lie of "Sex and the City," "me and my BFFs so I don't need a man," produce bitter spinster cat ladies with no kids to care for them) but rather like Sandman says the best way for girls to help the manosphere is to push feminism in order to finally get the nice guys angry, this is virtually a recruiting ad for MGTOW. The answer, of course, is not in white-knighting (putting girls on a pedestal hoping they'll love you back, which today means feminism pushing you around) but in tradition (so the manosphere at its worst including MGTOW, like feminism, is part of the problem, even though at its best it's reteaching society some home truths): celibate vocations are the exception; men and women are obviously (physically and psychologically) made for each other, for themselves, sure, but more to continue families by having children, which incidentally is God's old-age insurance. When mainstream society bought the idea that marriage is only about how the couple feel about each other (the contraceptive culture), it was the beginning of the end; gay marriage is only a logical conclusion from that error.
  • And if you doubt that women have a herd instinct (God made them very social) and try to shame non-conforming men, check out the "Mad Men (MADdicts)" page on Facebook if you're a nostalgic man, a retro conservative, not a liberal true believer in Matthew Weiner's vision (the girls who say they cheer for Peggy). "I loooooove Don." "Of course! (Some manosphere truths.)" "How dare you? Go away." The show naturally draws nostalgics like me (even sales of Lucky Strike and Canadian Club have gone up) but I don't think that was Weiner's intention.
  • A feminist primer for tots. There's a place for this in limited doses; of course famous women deserve their due. But I see misandry: elementary-school teaching is a very female, very liberal profession; another sign for boys that their teachers hate them. (As if doping them up on Ritalin wasn't bad enough.) And ... Angela Davis? Biased much? Bet Ayn Rand, Phyllis Schlafly or Clare Booth Luce aren't in this. "Rad"? And you think I'm dated.
  • "7 ways to welcome young people to the mainline." Pretty evangelical turned Episcopalian Rachel Held Evans' heart's in the right place but "young people" today don't see the need for mainline religion no matter how "cool" or steeped in tradition it tries to be. They have their families and BFFs; secular humanism and its charity are their religion. They've cut out the churchy middleman on Sundays: logical conclusion from Protestantism (fitting the American religion perfectly). The mainline knows it's passé and tries to play catch-up by becoming more liberal (gay marriage); kids see it's an imitation and thus remain turned off. Liberal high church (almost Catholic, but a fallible, hip church; a traditional-ish Mass is fun but a lifestyle accessory, ultimately not necessary) is appealing only on paper. (If one could invent a church, I might have come up with something like that.) Evangelicals and traditional Catholics (real Catholics) will survive but as minorities.
  • On that note: Liturgy and the emerging church. Isn't "the emerging church" an already-past fad in evangelicalism? Anyway, again, trying to have Catholic sacramentality, the numinous, minus the Catholic Church ("oppressive"). No sale.
  • Fear not, saith the Cathedral through its Narrative. "O ye of little faith. Lo, we can ALWAYS rewrite the news so it's whites' fault." MSNBC says black cops charged in Freddie Gray’s death are actually "white African-Americans." Snort! Christian heretics, the old Yankee Congregationalists turned SWPLs are trying to nice other whites out of existence; actually they're putting themselves out of business too.
  • Pat Buchanan: On a fast track to national ruin. No more good blue-collar jobs in our cities; they'll all been moved overseas. Among our elite, there are no countries anymore; they don't care about you.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The left's ever-shifting goalposts, and more

  • The left's ever-shifting goalposts.
  • Gay marriage will move on to further gay crusades, not letting other weirdo groups get married.
  • How I think "Mad Men" will end. Don really does run away. He doesn't find Diana. Joan is very happy, very feminine, with her new tough-guy boyfriend who loves her. Peggy's on her way up at McCann; her work is her life. (There's some depth to Matthew Weiner's liberal sermon; Peggy's not a cartoon heroine — outside of work she has no life.) I don't know how to resolve the other story lines; they well could remain unfinished. I don't think Matthew Weiner will do a cheesy where-are-they-now? fast-forward.
  • Reality: a vignette. Recently rode a bus home from work; a large woman started an argument with me really because I was the wrong race and wrong class, and look weak enough to be a good target. She was surprised when I talked back ("Wanna have a go at me? Come on!"); nice whites aren't supposed to do that.
  • The Islamic State opens a luxury hotel that keeps sharia. Reminds me of the Mormons and Marriott. They're our Mohammedans: a Christian heresy no longer Christian, but they're from our culture so they blend in; they can pass as Christian when they want to (even their faith's official name). At least I don't have to fear the Mormons gunning people down over cartoons, which is more than what I can say about those Fuslims. Read history to learn what the Mormons are capable of. Brigham Young was basically a gangster/mass murderer. When they're not in power they seem like nice conservative Protestants; in power they'd become ISIS. Yeah, they're creepy. People join because they crave the old America; nobody intellectually converts to it. The craving for order is also why second-generation ethnics leave the West to join ISIS ("Minnesota man busted for trying to join ISIS": bet his name isn't Olson). The Mormons put on that mask years ago to blend in. They are actually creepy, but the mainstream left thinks they are because the mainstream left hates normality.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

"Diversity" really means uniformity, and more

  • Ex-Army: We have a diverse planet, with different kinds of people in different places, and that produces many different wonderful things because of the infinite variety of human insights and abilities. To the left, though, that kind of diversity really stinks, and their kind of diversity would slop everybody around all over the world, encouraging all kinds of multiculturalism and interbreeding, the idea being to end up with a bland, beige human race where there's no significant difference between one person and another, one nation or another, one family or another. In short, the leftist "diversity" ethic is actually a uniformity ethic. Got that? As is the case in so many other areas, the left is working towards the opposite of what it publicly advocates. Another example is "safety." The left says it will make you safer by disarming you. That is, when criminals are assured that regular people have no weapons in their homes, home burglaries and invasions will of course increase like crazy, so the criminals will feel safer. So when the left says they want to make you safe, again it's the opposite — they want to make the criminals safe and therefore put you at much greater risk. You can go on and on with this 'opposites' theme. They want to make you more prosperous by raising your taxes. Prevent war by threatening Russia. Improve education by forcing incompatible groups to go to school together. And that brings us back to diversity. The white liberals, Christian heretics, believe they're the true church and that everybody wants to be like them, or should want that.
  • England: Mainline me-too marketing destined to fail. Such doesn't convert the New Agers (and really how many New Agers are there?) and drives off the Christians you do have.
  • A leftist's case against Facebook. I use it; I have no need for Twitter. The Internet can be a lifeline (and it's the greatest library ever: teach yourself the humanities for the cost of a connection) but it can also be a dangerous second-rate substitute for real community.

"Mad Men": "Lost Horizon"


Viewers including me have long speculated that Don will chuck his New York adman lifestyle and run away, maybe to California (he was happy in L.A. with his good friend Anna, the real Don Draper's widow). Become Dick Whitman again? Impossible unless the feds declare an amnesty or pardon him. It looked like he was moving there anyway with that last-minute plan to save Sterling Cooper during the McCann takeover (McCann's a real agency; they did the "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" and "It's the Real Thing" Coca-Cola campaigns; Draper's been assigned Coke) but that was a fake-out.

So far he hasn't Sixties'd out in his style. Good.

Don gets away with leaving work, unannounced (remember his interlude with the rich folks including Joy?), but McCann won't put up with that. Looks like his ad career is done.

So he just hits the road, like a Beat. Nice cameo by Bert Cooper's ghost. Don can think on his feet and is cool when confronted (intelligence/street smarts and alpha state control). Stalking Diana (the depressed femme fatale played by the alluring Elizabeth Reaser): both romantic (he's in love) and disturbing. Is he a sap? Is he dangerous? I liked the hick husband seeing right through him, telling him the truth about Diana's character, and offering him Jesus, a nice heartland Protestant.

Maybe the title's an allusion saying Don's on his way to his own Shangri-La or at least is looking for it.

Nice that he and Betty are friends. An endearing part of the man besides his machismo and his sex appeal to women is he loves his kids. Like lots of men who grew up poor and/or abused, he's worked to give them what he didn't have as a child. So he'd never leave them UNLESS he was sure they would be fine with Betty and Henry.

Peggy's so cute and cool here: roller skating (around the empty Sterling Cooper, with Roger playing an electric organ just like a rink) and then strutting into McCann with her shades (she's hung over from all that Cinzano) and, yes, cigarette. Shocking people with a dirty picture seems very Sixties but here she's not Sixties'd out. (The left's culture war has two stages, the invasion "shock and awe" one where they try to tear down our "bourgeois" morals, then once they're secure, a puritanical phase, political correctness.) She's the proto-feminist you're supposed to cheer for, and she's charming here. Elisabeth Moss is actually pretty; fashion's been kind to Peggy lately.

Joan's an Iron Lady; I like her here too. Not really a women's-libber but using that in her arsenal to try to get the money (half a mil!) she was promised. Her slightly criminal boyfriend has still more of his roguish charm, offering, with a Mafia-style threat, to take care of the problem for her. Anyway, like most women, she smartly concludes the rat race sucks and gets out, because she can, taking McCann's offer of 50¢ on the dollar. Of course you're supposed to hate the McCann guys such as the slimy Ferg. He makes a play for Joan much like the boyfriend did but the latter's got the right stuff; Ferg, even though he has power, doesn't.

Only two more episodes and the show's history.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Why Teh Gay has taken over mainstream American culture

Not news. By itself, a mere 3% at most of the population couldn't wag the dog as it seems to. No, we, the normal, blew it. Good old sin. Sex is a powerful natural good; thanks to original sin, it throws us off course. Regular readers know I don't promote Rod Dreher (schismatic religion and surrender-monkey politics) but as part of his wooing of American conservative Christians (his false-flag operation), he's smart enough to quote some really good people. "A teacher at a prominent private school writes (I’ve edited the e-mail to remove identifying characteristics):"
Why all my students love love love gay marriage: because they are, for all intents and purposes, gay.

That is: their relationships are temporary, experimental, experiential, and casually genital.
Read the rest here.

P.S. To quote a bohemian but still elegant WASP lady I used to work with, who grew up in the golden era on the old Philadelphia Main Line, rap is not music. It's street poetry.

P.P.S. Satan's war on God has three fronts: who Jesus is, what the Eucharist is, and what sex is for.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

When Byzantine Riters make excuses for the Novus Ordo


Byzantine Riters praising Roman Riters' modernizations? From the tradition whose liturgical practice in its pure form is medieval (that's a compliment), with the services droning in song for literally hours while the congregation comes and goes, or tunes in and out, following along, doing devotions, or socializing? (Fr. Serge [Keleher], on Russian Orthodoxy: "This ancient and vast tradition is entirely Catholic.") Where minor ritual changes caused a schism in Russia and calendar-based splits (the Greek Orthodox adopted the Gregorian calendar in the '20s), both still going on? Bizarre but true at least in some quarters.
  • On Western Rite Orthodoxy, part 1 and part 2. Fr. Chadwick's posts on the subject.
  • “Two different traditions — One Catholic Church.” The first pane compares the Roman Rite Today — note that “today” — and the Byzantine Rite Today. "The Roman Rite Today" just about emptied our American parishes. This stupid illustration is from well-meaning Greek Rite Catholics trying to be loyal. I've seen this illustration. Great advertising: for Orthodoxy! Most Orthodox have had the sense not to modernize, so their Slavic-American heartland parishes, often literally ex-Catholic, seem almost like our parishes 50 years ago. (Married priests and semi-congregational polity: nothing wrong with either. In that department I would do anything to end that schism here, except give up the papacy.) Actually, Conciliar Press and some other Orthodox publish stuff almost exactly like that bad poster but to use against us. But the liberal ecumenical Orthodox praise the Novus Ordo vs. our (traditional "Latin," Tridentine) Mass, because the Novus Ordo has a descending epiclesis and a few other tweaks. Which makes them look foolish. Both arguments, from their respective schools of thought in Orthodoxy, fail because of the obvious: their liturgy is as medieval as our Mass, its clear analogue even though it evolved separately. (Why Roman Rite refugees after Vatican II feel at home at Greek Catholic parishes.) Comparing the Byzantine Liturgy to the Novus Ordo is comparing apples and oranges; comparing it to our Mass is the only way to be fair to Western Catholicism here. The Orthodox' Western Rite experiments either use our Mass as their base (varying byzantinizations) or make up liturgies (sometimes Anglican-based: prayers by the Non-Jurors, etc.); neither is Novus Ordo-based. (Western Rite Orthodoxy is self-limiting/doomed because the Orthodox don't really want it; anti-Westernism is their reason to exist outside the church.) By the way, from the liberal camp in Orthodoxy that loves the Novus Ordo in theory, some churchmen in Greece are playing with having the Liturgy (Mass) facing the people, in front of the iconostasis (pictured). You can do the traditional Roman Mass facing the people; few did. Places like St. Peter's, Rome did at the high altar not to face the people but because the altar literally faces east but the church doesn't. A reminder: mother church offers both unlatinized (the original plan for Greek Catholics: be just like the Orthodox) and latinized (the Greek Catholics latinized themselves) forms of the Greek Rite, and that's great. Neither is modern.
  • Former Communist spy: KGB created Catholic liberation theology. Of course the priests in the Sandinista government in Nicaragua were Reds.