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Saturday, April 25, 2015

The sexes and more


  • Should be obvious but it's a mad world: 10 reasons why "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" is wrong, especially when Army cadets do it. I'll add a manosphere point (red-pill, not necessarily pickup-artist): it's hard for the socially awkward to learn this, but we straight men trying to empathize with the women we love by doing these things don't get their love or respect. These lose them. Makes sense when you think about it. Women want strong men, and nobody respects a man who demeans himself like that (echoing Gavin McInnes' points). What makes this harder to learn is that liberalism is a Christian heresy; our Christian culture values humility and defending the underdog. Gestures like this are chivalry knocked off course. A manosphere point: mainstream relationship advice pushing these things is worse than useless. Stunts like this are why the Russians, the Chinese, and ISIS are laughing at us.
  • Chutzpah. Bruce Jenner to the still beautiful (America's Junior Miss 1963) Diane Sawyer: "I'm a woman." If she could speak freely: "Like hell you are!" Actually some radical feminists have round-tripped to reality, agreeing such demeans real women. As Steve Sailer has noted, what's with these older guys suddenly doing this? Testosterone drop with age? More likely a rare fetish, transvestism taken up a notch: "becoming" the women they love. But there's more to this poor man's story. The Left was all ready to pour their acceptance and tolerance on Bruce Jenner when he came out as a transgender. Now that he has come out as a Republican, he will be kicked to the curb. Just watch! OR the GOP will try to use him in another of its catch-up me-too marketing plans, sucking up to the liberals in charge, which always fails. (Same thing: real woman Carly Fiorina running for president. Another failed corporate head like Herman Cain.) Pictured: Miss Sawyer on top of the world, in the world's capital, March '63.
  • Hillary Clinton: Political cartoon from likely a distant cousin. I've met such. Same name? Pacific Northwest? Hey, cuz.
  • Matthew Weiner guest-edited Metro yesterday. Predictable liberal garbage. "Mad Men" is superior "Happy Days" to me but I know what he's up to: dancing on the grave of the golden era. Actually it's not dead; five years ago I realized I could bring much of it back and so I did. (I don't do kitsch.) Like the old joke about dogs: because I can. Anyway, Metro ran a typical piece about "unequal pay." If you didn't know better, you'd think women are paid on a lower scale because men are big meanies as bosses. (A proposed answer all the white knights and manginas are supposed to buy, literally: transfer payments in the form of more paid leave, etc. Nice-guy betas are still footing the bill but the women don't have to have sex with them. Communism doesn't work; take away incentive and your economy crumbles.) What they don't say: there is no real pay gap; of course women are paid the same wages. The difference is on average the sexes are different, wanting different things, so many women hate the rat race and quit it as soon as possible, ideally (to them; what most really want) marrying well (getting their MRS degrees) and having kids. So their average pay of course is lower. Men work longer and harder. Actual quote from a Metro mangina (metrosexual?): "testosterone-addled." If it wasn't for testosterone, women would be living in grass huts if at all, as Camille Paglia says. By the way, I know Metro because I do the crossword riding my commuter train.
  • Speaking of economics, of course McDonald's proposes more automation as an answer to the well-meaning folks who want to raise the minimum wage. Those jobs by nature aren't living wages.
  • "You are there": England in color, 1928, the world my late rector was born into, in London, a year earlier.
  • Predictable feel-good Catholic stuff but still nice. Catholic England would have been great today, writes one of us in a British Catholic journal.
  • Cultural conservatives have barely begun to fight. Answering Rod Dreher's surrender proposal. By the way, Est Quod Est gets at least one thing wrong about Dreher: he's not a Russophile. Indeed his blog has his objections to Putinism, for example, trying to prove Dreher's liberal bona fides. I don't think Dreher knows any Russians or other real Orthodox; his church is largely his creation, the Russians being his flag of convenience. What might be morbidly entertaining: if Dreher's ego clashes with ROCOR, as the Russians don't take too kindly to insubordination (imagine talking back to Putin; me neither).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alexander Dugin, culture warrior: "American liberalism must be destroyed"


From Facebook: Alexander Dugin is a "Kremlin insider," an "informal adviser" to Putin. Seems another reason for conservatives including Catholics to like Russia. For the newbs, no, I don't want Russia to rule America, and neither does Russia (they're not Communist anymore; all they want is the Eurasian empire that's their historic right), nor do I want to go into schism.
Much of Russian politics today, especially the retaking of Crimea, is based on Professor Dugin's ideology.

According to Alexander Dugin, the twenty-first century will be defined by the conflict between Eurasianists and Atlanticists. The Eurasianists defend the need for every people and culture on Earth to be allowed to develop in its own way, free of interference, and in accordance with their own particular values. Eurasianists thus stand for tradition and for the blossoming variety of cultures, and a world in which no single power holds sway over all the others. Opposing them are the Atlanticists. They stand for ultra-liberalism in both economics and values, stopping at nothing to expand their influence to every corner of the globe, unleashing war, terror, and injustice on all who oppose them, both at home and abroad. This camp is represented by the United States and its allies around the world, who seek to maintain America’s unipolar hegemony over the Earth. The Eurasianists believe that only a strong Russia, working together with all those who oppose Atlanticism worldwide, can stop them and bring about the multipolar world they desire. This book introduces their basic ideas. Eurasianism is on the rise in Russia today, and the Kremlin’s geopolitical policies are largely based on its tenets, as has been acknowledged by Vladimir Putin himself. It is reshaping Russia’s geopolitics, and its influence is already changing the course of world history.

Professor Dugin is the author of many books. Two that are quite thought-provoking are "The Fourth Political Theory" and "Putin vs. Putin".

"The Fourth Political Theory" states that all the political systems of the modern age have been the products of three distinct ideologies: the first, and oldest, is liberal democracy; the second is Marxism; and the third is fascism. The latter two have long since failed and passed out of the pages of history, and the first no longer operates as an ideology, but rather as something taken for granted. The world today finds itself on the brink of a post-political reality — one in which the values of liberalism are so deeply embedded that the average person is not aware that there is an ideology at work around him. As a result, liberalism is threatening to monopolize political discourse and drown the world in a universal sameness, destroying everything that makes the various cultures and peoples unique. According to Alexander Dugin, what is needed to break through this morass is a fourth ideology — one that will sift through the debris of the first three to look for elements that might be useful, but that remains innovative and unique in itself. Dugin does not offer a point-by-point program for this new theory, but rather outlines the parameters within which it might develop and the issues which it must address. Dugin foresees that the Fourth Political Theory will use the tools and concepts of modernity against itself, to bring about a return of cultural diversity against commercialisation, as well as the traditional worldview of all the peoples of the world — albeit within an entirely new context. Written by a scholar who is actively influencing the direction of Russian geopolitical strategy today, "The Fourth Political Theory" is an introduction to an idea that may well shape the course of the world's political future.

In "Putin vs. Putin" Prof Alexander Dugin thinks that Vladimir Putin stands at a crossroads. Throughout his career as the President of Russia, Putin has attempted to balance two opposing sides of his political nature: one side is a liberal democrat who seeks to adopt Western-style reforms in Russia and maintain good relations with the United States and Europe, and the other is a Russian patriot who wishes to preserve Russia's traditions and reassert her role as one of the great powers of the world. According to Dugin, this balancing act cannot go on if Putin wishes to enjoy continuing popular support among the Russian people. Putin must act to preserve Russia's unique identity and sovereignty in the face of increasing challenges, both from Russian liberals at home and from foreign powers. Russia is no longer strong enough to stand on her own, he writes. In order to do this, Russia must cooperate with other dissenting powers who oppose the new globalist order of liberalism to bring about a multipolar world, in which no single nation wields supreme power, but rather several major powers keep each other in balance. Russia is crucial to this effort, in Dugin's view, and indeed, its own survival as a unique and independent civilization is dependent on a geopolitical shift away from the unipolar world represented by America's unchecked supremacy.

With Russia in the news often lately, please take this opportunity to hear it "from the horse's mouth" concerning current affairs and the future direction of Russia.
Хорошо.

Of course Western Christians including Catholics fall for Atlanticism; it's a Christian heresy. Which reminds me: Ross Douthat, writing about Pope Francis (silly clickbait headline, but the gist is don't worry; Bergoglio's not as radical as he's made out to be), nails Vatican II, which at face value I don't have a problem with. Since American liberty worked so well for Catholics here in 1959, why not the rest of the world?

The tsar visited America once, circa 1890s, when he was still crown prince, and liked it here, but didn't think that liberty would work in Russia. Russians have strongmen like Putin and Lukashenko because they like them.

Also, Russell Kirk: “Capitalism” and “socialism” both are 19th-century ideological tags; they delude and ensnare, as do all ideologies. Sounds like the Popes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The "Mad Men"-osphere


This might lose or not hold the interest of those who don't watch "Mad Men," and actually few outside the elite seem to, but:

The countdown's on; the final episodes are being broadcast Sunday nights (me, Monday mornings, bought online per episode). It's 1970, a year I remember (the character Kevin Harris and I are the same age); the golden era is phasing out (and I've been chasing it since); the show began set 10 years earlier (style pointers).

As I've mentioned a few times, the leftist hipster elite seems to love this show. The ostensible plot is really celebrating their parents winning the culture war; the nostalgia is probably unintended but even they feel it. Rather like I understand with Fifty Shades of Grey, the political incorrectness is part of the turn-on. So I imagine many/most viewers would denounce red-pill/manosphere principles (really just street/home truths about human nature and the sexes, and social skills, not necessarily about pickup-artist cads) yet the show dramatizes them well. (Don Draper is "a miserable drunk" as the actor who played him has said, but the girls watching can't get enough of him, as they pretend to cheer for Peggy Olson.) It's part soap opera, part soft porn as much as American Movie Classics can get away with, which by modern standards isn't much. Sadly, a show about nice people wouldn't sell (wouldn't get viewers). Centered on Ken Cosgrove and Trudy Campbell (they and Megan Draper are arguably the show's only nice adults), you'd have a show about Middle America then, like a better version of "Happy Days." The name and setting fit: back then, Madison Avenue and its surrounding culture were crazy.

So I'm watching it for same reasons as others but in reverse: celebrating the golden era AND getting a look inside the lefty brain as it celebrates the era's fall.

Anyway, a manospheric look at the final episodes so far.

Joan Harris' (played by the pretty and ferally sexy Christina Hendricks) new beau: looks don't matter so much for men (he's very average, no Don Draper), or when men get older, they get better! I didn't grow up with his type but I recognize it: an alpha from the golden era but, midlife crisis, already into Me Decade selfishness? (Or maybe his marriage was awful; who knows?) A man of means, he gets the girl, early on, because of that and because he's not needy; he loves Joan but she's not calling the shots, even with her considerable appeal which would cow a lesser man (and turn her cold just like that; Joan is cold most of the time). The manosphere point: with men, it's about the attitude, not the looks.

Then you have the other extreme, poor clown Harry Crane, whom the Sixties ran over like a truck (while alphas Roger Sterling, until very recently, and Don have changed very little; Don still has his pomaded short hair and fedoras; Harry started off as a bow-tied version of me). You know his pass at Megan will fail; no rapport to begin with, and he just pours on the compliments; desperation. The man has no game and nothing to build on there anyway.

Glen Bishop's weird but alpha: the attraction with Betty Francis is mutual.

The manosphere isn't just about sex: that socially tone-deaf young blond adman (reciting Don's line out of context so it backfired) also lacks alpha state control (control of his emotions, saying "f*ck" at a meeting) but had the guts to talk back to Don, knowing he'd get fired, but it's ineffectual beta rage until/unless he learns game.

Some other notes: Sally Draper's speech sounds suspiciously 2015; not obvious anachronistic slang ("like... awesome"), a subtlety maybe hard to counteract/control in a teenager (Kiernan Shipka probably can't hear the difference), but "Mad Men" is usually a stickler for details like that. (Which accidentally produced nostalgia: sales of Lucky Strike and Canadian Club have actually gone up.) Namely I hear vocal fry and 2010s "Really?" in her tone. January Jones sounds like that in real life but in character as Betty, she and the others sound like what I consider normal; I'm of the last generation to grow up before Valley Girl talk was invented/became a national thing (I remember when it started, in the early '80s, all because Moon Unit Zappa recorded a song making fun of the haughty high-school girls she hated).

Quality: Matthew Weiner's keeping us guessing to the end.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

First Things' boogeyman: Russian Orthodoxy


Orthodox terrorism. This isn't getting the reaction from me they're fishing for: revive Cold War (and older) Russophobia, defending Western liberal values. (A renewed opportunity for Sacha Baron-Cohen to tell more Polack jokes with his Borat character.) My answer is more Realpolitik and questioning those values (which are Christendom's bastard). I don't believe that Orthodoxy is the church but am not angry at the Russians for believing there is only one true church. Catholics do too! Russia's behaving very historically for Christendom. There are hardly any Greek Catholics in the Crimea (part of Russia) or in Russian areas of the Ukraine, so frankly the Russian Orthodox aren't my problem. The Kyiv Patriarchate isn't really Orthodox and is kind of a tool of Western liberals. (Parallel: what if American Protestants and the government got American Catholics to secede from Rome and elect their own Pope, claiming all Catholics here? How would/should real Catholics react?) In the Orange Revolution, President Yushchenko belonged to the KP; it's in part a Western-backed, anti-Russian schism. As I like to say when explaining the Ukraine and our meddling there, imagine if China got California to secede from the Union and turned it against us, including sending military trainers there. Russia's not Communist anymore (meaning they're not out to get us in America) so again they're not our problem, plus America doesn't trade with them. We don't NEED Russia for natural gas or anything else; any sane person just wants to keep the peace. (Nixon: they'll never be our friends but we can't afford to be their enemy either.) And... they are estranged Catholics; even though they hate us because we don't answer to their empire, our mission as Catholics remains to reconcile them to us if only working through prayer and example. (Our vision of the church includes them; theirs doesn't include us.)

Better estranged Catholics than the secular humanist overlords here, and the Russian Byzantine Rite beats the Novus Ordo.

By the way, the onion domes on this church are uniquely Ukrainian.

Христосъ воскресе!

"Why trust the church fathers?" From a denomination that doesn't.


  • Mass: Misericordia Domini plena est terra, alleluia. Book of Common Prayer translation of the gospel. The Good Shepherd, the name of what was one of the Philadelphia area's few Anglo-Catholic parishes, a place I knew on and off from 1985 until about 2010. Its core group is now in the church, the Community of Blessed John Henry Newman, and some former parishioners are with me at Our Lady of Lourdes.
  • Ask an Anglican: why trust the fathers? Fr. Mitchican well explains the classic Anglican position. They say the English (Fr. M is an American and an ex-Catholic) excel at irony. He and his school of thought make a good case for the church here, only his denomination undermines that same case for itself. "We trust the judgment of the church, except when we don't." First, Erastianism in England: Henry VIII dispensed with the church whether he meant to or not. As a result, Fr. M's Episcopalians think the church is neat but nonessential: "we can change the matter of the sacraments by vote." (Fallible and fungible: all it takes for apostasy here is a General Convention vote.) The best of them now are liberal high church: with us orthodox Catholics and not like Catholic liberals they believe the creeds and in the sacraments and love our stuff. But anybody thinking logically can see through it, so the Episcopal Church loses people like crazy. The kids cut out the churchy middleman (fallible and fungible: why waste my time Sunday morning when I have a loving community somewhere else?), going right for secular humanism, the Christian heresy that's the logical conclusion of Protestantism. The Vincentian canon (St. Vincent: everywhere, always, and by all) gives you the consensus of 1) the church, 2) Eastern Orthodoxy and its offshoots such as the Copts, and 3) old Anglo-Catholics, more or less Catholicism, not Episcopalianism. We don't believe the fathers are infallible (they made mistakes and contradict each other); we believe the church is. Saint Athanasius may not have worshipped from a Book of Common Prayer, but he would recognize in our liturgy the same faith that he defended against the Arians in the fourth century. No. Neither the biretta nor the iconostasis had been invented yet but he would have recognized the faith and the church in those liturgies, not the ones in the king's denomination. (By about 600 the text of the Roman Rite Mass would have been familiar to us traditionalists. We have the second oldest Eucharistic consecration prayer still in use, second to the Nestorians.)
  • I don't blog to pick on the Episcopal Church but this one's too good to pass up. The new "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" sign is fitting because the shield tilts to the left and most of it's now missing.
  • A case for Hillary Clinton as president. She's actually less ambitious than Obama and won't do much to try to prove herself because she wouldn't have to; her whole point would be she's a woman. One of the writer's points: a wake-up call for men. But how would that be if she's just a symbol, really a do-nothing president, relatively a good thing? I worry she'd start a war in order to compensate. She has a shot but my guess is in the Punch-and-Judy show of our politics (in which the GOP and Dems only pretend to be against each other), it's the Republicans' turn so whoever they cough up will get it. Putin is the kind of thoroughly corrupt leader American men could actually be proud of (instead of the thoroughly corrupt leaders they actually have). He's an Eastern version of the Bad Catholic: an action-packed life probably fighting and sexing but he knows he's a sinner, showing up at Mass occasionally to light a candle asking a prayer of the Mother of God. The Russians are estranged Catholics; better that than the ex-Protestants running us.
  • Car-show season is here! At Johnson's Corner Farm, Medford, NJ, for a little one. I'm not a mid-'50s Chevy person; the best car there again was Jim Vertolli's '58 Pontiac.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ugh, "post-Christian." And more.

  • The Anti-Gnostic: The culture war is over. We lost. So what do we do about it? Regular readers know my line. A friend anonymous online (smart considering the oppression; the other side, now in charge, forces you to apologize then ruins you anyway) has explained Rod Dreher to me; I don't hate him but his Benedict Option is a Soviet-style surrender. Better the lesson of the Ukrainian Catholic Church under Soviet rule. They didn't surrender; they went underground in a modern society.
  • Some Eye of the Tiber satire that gets it right: San Francisco Catholics petition God to remove Jesus from the Trinity, because they're more righteous (defending the oppressed and the outcast) than he is. (Referring to attacks on Archbishop Cordileone.) A perfect answer to the mainstream media (MAG, media and government; the Cathedral, etc.) game "Survey Says," attacking the church: "Rome says this, but OUR SURVEY of American Catholics says THAT, so take that, you celibate weirdos!" (They wish the church were a democracy like a Protestant denomination.) But that they care so much about a church they ostensibly don't believe in is a backhanded testimony to its having grace and the truth.
  • The French spoken on "Mad Men." Not speaking it, I didn't realize the English (French name?) Julia Ormond (the magnificently nasty Marie Calvet) can't speak it, or least sound like a native speaker. I thought I picked up that the characters sound more continental than Québec. (Megan's parents are supposed to be from France; Jessica Paré really is French-Canadian.) Also, "Calvet" is not a French-Canadian name (again, the father's supposed to be Parisian or something like that), and no way a Québec girl Megan's age would be named "Megan." (From the comments: it's as if, tin-eared, the English Lane Pryce sounded like he was from Atlanta and the lead characters were, anachronistically, Liam Draper and Ashley Olson.) By the way, Peggy's supposed to be a Brooklyn girl; where's her accent? They should have made Peggy Midwestern.

Friday, April 17, 2015

One quarter of American women are on psych meds

Bob Wallace, a smart red-pill guy but a manosphere critic (an unbeliever who agrees with the church that much of it's sinful, plus there's no such thing as alpha dogs):
One quarter of American women are on psychiatric medication. I have found they get this way this way when they lack husband, home, and children — then they blame their lack on men. Then the men run because of the attacks on them. The problem gets worse. This feedback system can be broken by attacking the weakest link only I don't know what it is.
Don't miss the comments thread.

Sure explains foreign mail-order brides (better, of course: meeting a nice girl while traveling abroad, or even going expat; I understand South American women are nice; lower cost of living so if you have an income and know Spanish, you're in), MGTOW, and even, ew, sexbots. The women Bob describes spurn the geeks but don't want anybody else (Haruko or Natasha) to have them either (they wish the geeks were dead, but they live off their funds); fallen human nature. ("I don't need you!" "Fine. Susie, this is my waifu." "LOSER!")

Modernity's (MAG, the Cathedral, political correctness, feminism, egalitarianism) doctrine teaches women they're supposed to want something they naturally don't (be a macho executive), while putting down the things their instincts scream at them to have (home and husband, that is, marry a macho executive and bear and raise his kids). The corporation and state as your sugar daddy and fake husband ("I don't need a man!"*) just don't cut it in the long run when you end up alone (the lie of "Sex and the City," a rotten show: "me and my BFFs"; unrealistic expectations of single life like the milder but still toxic "Friends"). (Sure, all of my references are dated. I didn't really follow these then and don't follow the new stuff. I watch what you think I do: the news and old movies and TV shows, from "Sea Hunt" to Danny Thomas; "Mad Men" being the exception for obvious reasons.)

*Meaning no boring nice-guy provider husband; rather, "the carousel," a continuous (contracepting and aborting) party with charming jerks ("sexy strangers"; instinct — going for a man with strong genes — but knocked off kilter) until your looks hit the wall and/or your ovaries dry up; the nice guys, plural, pay for your life but you don't have to have sex with them. "Sex and the City": women imitating men at their worst ("women who act like gay men," or "is this about three hookers and their mom?"), which again doesn't come naturally to them. Or eatpraydump the beta after you've gotten the kid you want (the Leif and "conservative mommy blogger" Jenny Erikson story, or joining a conservative church doesn't make you immune), live off alimony, etc., from him, and keep riding the carousel for a while.

"It takes all kinds," or a down side to the "beta," etc. labels Bob hates: even Roissy agrees that around 1960, average nice guys and girls were glad to have each other.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lincoln the dictator and more

  • Abraham Lincoln and the inversion of American history. Seen semi-blasphemously as a Christ even then. (The state as your church.) Actually a dictator who suspended the Constitution and was only about trying to keep the Union together by any means. (As for religion, he was at the theater on Good Friday.) The South had the right to secede, Lee (a devout low-church Episcopalian under an almost-Catholic president, Jefferson Davis) was a hero (actually against secession but, offered command of the U.S. Army, he wouldn't take arms against his home state), and Sherman a war criminal (my great-great-grandfather, George Washington Wylly, surrendered Savannah to him).
  • From 1994: Jewish Murray Rothbard on America's political false religion. During the 1820s, the Protestant churches in the Northern states of the U.S. were taken over by a wave of post-millennial fanatics determined to impose on local, state, and federal governments, and even throughout the world, their own version of a theocratic statist kingdom of God on earth. As I say, our left is a Christian heresy: trying to stand up for the weak and oppressed, they deify minorities for being such and try to erase the sexes or deify women, depending. Interestingly, relatively recently, the government pushed the Pilgrims' story as THE American founding myth. (The Northern Protestants who are the SWPLs' church fathers.) What about the Anglican Cavalier adventurers who were here first, founding Virginia?
  • A troll down memory lane. How a clickbait-ized TV station baited Memories Pizza in Indiana. It's all one jump from gladiatorial games.
  • History I've recently learned. Joe McCarthy was right (the Hollywood Ten were guilty as sin): not only our government (such as Henry Wallace) but our press was riddled with Communist spies (such as the repentant Whittaker Chambers), part of our helping the USSR win WWII, which they won thanks to Lend-Lease but had to deny since it proved Communism doesn't work.
  • Fred Reed on feminist nonsense. Bob Wallace and others nail this: feminists are childish and envious, wanting men's power without the responsibility. (Camille Paglia et al.: without men you'd be living in grass huts if at all.) Trivializing real rape, with some semi-literate writing, from Vassar, and the fact that on average women in combat is a very bad idea (makes no sense biologically: men are on average stronger and women more valuable reproductively so a healthy society protects its women; we stopped being a healthy society about 40 years ago). By the way, there's no glass ceiling/unequal-pay plot: women on average hate the rat race (they have a point) so they quit it as soon as possible to be married with kids (also trying to beat the biological clock); men on average work harder and longer so they make more. Elementary as Holmes said to Watson.
  • Fr. Chadwick on church labels. This phenomenon affected me because, due to Vatican II, for a long time (and still so in places), the high churchmen outside the church (a contradiction, but they think they're the church — the Orthodox do — or a branch of it), Anglicans and vagantes for example, had more of the basics, from credal and sacramental orthodoxy to traditional liturgics, than real Catholics locally, so who's "Catholic"? (I believe Apostolicae Curae. To believe the Eucharist and holy orders are possible without the church's intent isn't apostolicity but magic, and the church doesn't buy the Dutch-touch argument.) In '80s America, you often had to look outside the church to learn this stuff, so I did. (It was a little easier to find, if you were looking for it, in the Catholic Church in England.) I first heard of the Anglican Catholic Church around 1979 or '80, and I thought, "That means we're Catholic too, just like I was taught" and "Why leave over the new Prayer Book? We don't use it!" The other shoe dropped a couple of years later when I found out about Bishop Spong, women's ordination, and the Thirty-Nine Articles. Anyway, I understand they've changed, from would-be Catholics minus the Pope (the old Tridentinesque American Anglo-Catholicism, different from the would-be Roman British version) to something like real classic Anglicanism (Fr. Robert Hart et al.: mild Calvinism but with bishops) but retaining the later would-be Catholic trappings (crucifixes, chasubles, etc.). Traditional Anglicanism is the Articles and "the north end"; most such believers say it's "Hooker without the Erastianism." In 20/20 hindsight it's only a short jump from hijacking the church to do what the king wants to voting to change the matter of holy orders and matrimony, so even though Henry VIII and Cranmer never imagined women priests or gay weddings, these logically result from their principles and precedent. (Or on their own, wrong terms, the Episcopalians are right.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Pacific war, Jews and political correctness, and what does the Anglican patrimony have to offer the church?

  • What does the Anglican patrimony have to offer the church? I've met Richard Upsher Smith. The answer lies ... in the origins of Anglicanism at the beginning of modernity. From what I can tell, that's exactly Anglicanism's and the rest of Protestantism's problem. (Anglicanism: mild Calvinism with bishops.) Smith seems to argue its modernity is why it's perfect for re-evangelizing the West. Actually, including after reading this, I tend to agree with a friend who remains anonymous online and is virulently anti-Anglican (he literally says "Fakedy fake fake!" whenever I mention Anglicans), just with a different tone from his. Smith seems to be defending aspects of Anglicanism; no sale. I guess I'm anti-Anglicanism of course but not anti-Anglican. My friend claims the patrimony has nothing to offer the church; Anglo-Catholic alumni should just be Roman Riters (he's a "fusionist," basically reform-of-the-reform; Novus Ordo but let's retrofit it with some of the old, high-churching it). Sorry, no; I've heard that "give it all up" rap before, not only from the Orthodox (who fantasize about byzantinizing Christendom so they really think my religious origins are worthless) but from Novus Ordo Catholics left and right (JP2's devotees) going back to the '80s: "Give up that artsy old-fashioned stuff and become a charismatic." No. Sed contra, you don't have to buy the modernity including the Protestantism and Erastianism (a feature not a bug in Anglicanism) to learn from Anglo-Catholicism (not exactly Anglicanism) at its best: the possibility of a semi-congregational version of traditional Catholicism in classic English with some great hymns. My parish by choice (a conservative magnet in the archdiocese) has most of that, especially the hymns with organ, but our main Mass happens to be in Latin and of course American Catholicism isn't run semi-congregationally. As I like to say, everything in church polity except the papacy and the episcopate is negotiable. That and American Catholics getting over their Irish low-church bias (pre-dating Vatican II) would do us a world of good and the liberals wouldn't know what hit them. (Parishes owning their own property, married priests... "and you're c-c-conservative?!" The Christian East, including American Greek Catholics historically, teaches the same lesson.) Also, in America, the old Book of Common Prayer has about the same place culturally as the Tridentine Mass; it was our way of saying no to the Sixties, nothing really to do with Cranmer. (Also, Cranmer was orthodox enough that hybrids such as the American Missal — the BCP's Communion framed by the Tridentine Mass — mostly work; the church doesn't allow Cranmer's Eucharistic prayer, which is fine with me.) Why when I'm at an English-language Mass (about five or six times a year) I say the first Gloria and Creed I learned, same as the Continuing Churches. My guess is Pope Benedict XVI saw the ordinariates as a way of reinforcing the conservative Catholic revival. They're small but good, with their influence extending beyond themselves (I'm not in the American ordinariate). By the way, again, the irony of Anglo-Catholicism: what started in the 1830s as an intellectual movement not about ceremonial, positing Anglicanism as the true answer vs. Catholicism (as classic Anglicans did), reacting against Catholic emancipation in Britain including Ireland, ended up imitating the Catholic Church.
  • Steve Sailer: it's always fun when political correctness conflicts with itself. So are Jews part of the left's sacralized fringe as historic victims or are they evil whites, oppressors? Vis-à-vis America regarding Israel and the Palestinians.
  • LRC: Why we fought Japan in WWII. China was a longtime spoils we were defending, which we ended up losing to the Communists, whom we'd just helped win the European war. We were saps.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pascha with Putin, pinup models, and more


  • Putin goes to church at Easter; of course he ties religion with patriotism. Which has its place but the state never owns the Catholic Church. He's in schism but this new Constantine is one of my heroes; our chief executive is very much not.
  • Britain is one of the least religious countries in the world. Creepy because it obviously used to be a Catholic country, centuries ago. I would have put Britain second or third behind the Scandinavian countries. Australia's in the top five; Canada in the top ten. Basically, English Calvinists, including America's founding fathers, lost their faith at the "Enlightenment." So British countries are a ground zero for this stuff.
  • Understanding Anglicanism. Besides the Erastianism, one of its features, not a bug. William Tighe (a Catholic, in the Ukrainian church by choice) and the Conciliar Anglican's Fr. Jonathan Mitchican (an ex-Catholic) have explained Anglicanism to me so, years after leaving, I understand and respect it for what it is, not what I thought it was or wanted it to be, even though I don't agree with it. An unusual version of mild Calvinism that kept governance by bishops. Then there's the matter of "true" Anglicans being the ones whose bishops are invited to Lambeth (so the Episcopalians are in, like it or not), but that's recent and not all real Anglican bishops went to the first conference! So it almost comes down to Catholic Bill Buckley's joke: an Anglican is whoever says he's one.
  • Finland's schools are among the best not because they're laid-back and liberal, which wouldn't work here. It's because they're advantaged on average because they're Finnish.
  • Big Mother FlyING Car Show pictures. Most of mine are up; a pro, Brian Hughes Photography, took pictures of the rockabilly pinup models, featuring one of my favorite cars, a '58 Pontiac Star Chief (still with its second or third owner, Jim Vertolli, who got it from his dad's dealership in Vineland, NJ, around '65). Of course I realize the tattoos say that to them it's camp/kitsch, but there's beauty and talent in the photos all the same.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Super Sunday


  • My shop and flea-market finds this weekend: a space-age glass and an antique picture of Our Lady of the Rosary. Her, St. Dominic, and I don't know who the nun is: St. Catherine of Siena? (A Dominican tertiary; she didn't live in a convent.)
  • Super Sunday in Media, Pa. The Media Theatre's neon on.
  • A critic of the ordinariates. Followers of the scene know that the Americans' Prayer Bookiness compared to the English is our symbolic resistance to the Sixties, fitting perfectly in the frame of the Tridentine Mass in the American Missal, for example. (But I have no time for Cranmer as such. The "Reformation" was evil.) He has a point that the Continuing denominations leave a lot to be desired but this whole piece strikes me as the same Novus Ordo trash I heard in the '80s about how great the "renewal" is ("WE get lots of people in RCIA"). I've heard that rap before: give up that artsy stuff and become a charismatic. No, thanks. As for the "renewal," around here I just see a broke archdiocese closing parishes and schools. They've spent down the clout they earned before Vatican II. The basis of the proposal was that an unspecified but very large number of disaffected Episcopalians was poised to go over to the Catholic Church. Bishop Pope estimated the number in the 1993 meeting with Ratzinger at a quarter million, about 25% of then-TEC membership. No way.
  • Social-justice bullies: the authoritarianism of millennials. Lefty social justice is a Christian heresy.
  • Pat Buchanan: the long retreat in the culture war.
  • My guess for the presidency next year: business as usual. Either Jeb or Hillary (lots of people would vote for her just because she's a she): if Jeb, the media will witter about a conservative revolution but of course it wouldn't be; the usual suspects would be pandered to as the Republican Party tries to look cool. More foreign wars as "humanitarian." Because neoconservatives are really liberals. If Hillary, you'd get the same thing but going about it in a different way: she'd play the hawk to look tough (trying to please the mainstream right "despite being a woman") plus service her usual leftist constituency.

Low Sunday 2015


In the Catholic Church, today is both Quasimodo Sunday AND Pascha.
  • Mass Quasi modo geniti infantes, alleluia at Mater Ecclesiae, where a Divine Mercy shrine was set up in front of the pulpit; it's all about Jesus so that's great. Today with the flea market at the high school (Tina Fey's alma mater) in the next town and the Super Sunday street fest in the county seat, the vigil Low Mass at Mater was my choice for our Mass this weekend.
  • Some notes on radical and integralist Catholics.
  • Donna now has true vintage sunglasses from yours truly, in time for this year's car-show and flea-market circuit.
  • Martha Stewart's basics of mothproofing. Essential if you wear vintage.
  • One of the best lunches I've had: Just-cooked jerk chickens with spiced beans and rice from Little Negril, the Jamaican restaurant at the Berlin Farmers' Market, set up outside in the flea market.
  • Χριστός ἀνέστη! (This week I'll be saying that to Christos and his crew at Colonial Kitchen.) Христосъ воскресе! Today this year the estranged traditional Catholics of the Orthodox communion as well as our relatively small Greek Catholic communities in their homelands (mostly in the far western Ukraine) celebrate Easter. My tribute to Russia: hoping Putin's a new Constantine. The Russians just had a literally all-night round of services including a midnight street procession and of course Mass (Liturgy), dwarfing our famous Christmas midnight Mass. On paper, Easter is Catholicism's No. 1 feast ("Christ our God... trampling down death by death"; rightly co-opting the natural feast of spring renewal); culturally, in the West Christmas rules (me: et Verbum caro factum est; et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est; everything else is commentary; even secular people love the Yule fest of cheer in the dead of winter and getting gifts) while at least for Russians, Easter is in fact THE feast in the Christian East. By the way, on their Low Sunday, culturally the Russians skip Mass and head out to the cemeteries for the priest to come bless their families' graves, where they have a small party.
  • A P.S. What's your opinion of the Orthodox Holy Fire in Jerusalem? Miracle or pious fraud? I believe it's real.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Showbiz headlines

  • Hamm hazing? Jon Hamm, who portrays Don Draper on the hit AMC series "Mad Men," helped brutally initiate a male student in 1990 and was charged with hazing while he was a member of the subsequently disbanded Sigma Nu fraternity at the University of Texas at Austin. Pictured, Jon Hamm in the university's Cactus Yearbook's 1990 edition. The expected reaction: Figures. Popular kid is jerk (chicks dig jerks). In other news, sun rises in east. But you shouldn't jump to conclusions. The story just says Hamm was in Sigma Nu and was charged; apparently he wasn't convicted. By the way, Roissy reports that Hamm is "a PC p*ssy" in real life; that and bullying aren't mutually exclusive. And hazing is too dumb for Draper.
  • The show's only good guy. Hamm's right that Draper's a miserable drunk but he's catnip for chicks both on the show and among its few viewers (the elite likes it so it's influential despite few viewers), and that Ken Cosgrove, a blond seldom seen (because good guys aren't good soap-opera story lines?), is the real catch for them. Loved the revenge in "Severance," the most recent episode. He deserves that. It wasn't evil; Ken's not. Just fitting. Also, he's a man: as sweet as his wife is, he won't live off her family's wealth (but nothing wrong with it as backup, such as getting him the connections to get him his new job).
  • "Mad Men" is a Jewish show even though there are no Jewish main characters. Because of Matthew Weiner. You know my line: a lot like Norman Lear's intent with "All in the Family," he means to celebrate the fall of the old gentile America by elaborately re-creating it like a piñata; the nostalgia's (obviously why I watch) probably unintentional. (Seeing Draper as a hero; sales of Canadian Club and Lucky Strike going up; echoes of what I wear in modern fashion.) Like I said, I'm not taking his victim bait just because Ken dislikes Catholics (Ken called his old agency "black-Irish thugs"); Ken has faults like a real person. Steve Sailer explains the Jewish angle: Weiner didn't grow up a victim (his dad was a doctor and he went to prep school), and a lot of dramatized American anti-Semitism is really a depiction of the older, assimilated German-bred Jews (who started country clubs, for example) historically discriminating against Russian Jews.
  • Barry Manilow's "married"? I only read of the gay rumor a few years ago. He's like a latter-day Liberace: similar female fans. Again, not taking the bait. My line remains "as long as he's not harming someone, it's his business, not mine." He's made great pop music over 45 years (I recommend 2:00AM Paradise Café, jazz pop for grownups and I understand his favorite of his albums). Regarding the plastic surgery, he doesn't look bad, just different. Very gentile-looking now. Understandable given the anti-Semitic-sounding vicious comments about his looks 40 years ago.
  • "No homo." The narrative preaches nonstop now that gay is good but male friendships are demonized.
  • Ex-Army:

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Conservative flops and more

  • Takimag: How and why Hollywood's conservatives have failed. The minute you put any political adjective before “entertainment,” you’ve doomed yourself. Successful “conservative-friendly” films are most likely to come from popular source material with a huge following (the Bible, Narnia), from A-listers with the clout to bring pet projects to the screen (Eastwood, Gibson, Parker & Stone), or from inspiring real-life stories (“Soul Surfer,” “The Blind Side”). In all cases, the idea is the same: start with a compelling story, and let the “message” emanate organically. So whenever conservatives go on a tangent about “we need to make some balls-out conservative films,” the lessons of the Abes should be remembered. Never start with your message and work backwards. Also, it seems alliances with the anti-religious don't work. An American Carol sounds bad: A leftist Michael Moore-type anti-American filmmaker is given the “Scrooge” treatment when patriotic ghosts like JFK and General Patton show him the true meaning of something-or-another.
  • Another part of the golden era passes into eternity: RIP Stan Freberg. My favorite is the commercial that parodies several others (can't find a copy online anymore): "Get out of my house!"
  • Glad I could help. A reader: Wanted to say thanks. I've learned quite a bit from your blog. Long story, short: Raised Byzantine Catholic. When I was in high school my dad took a job offer in a place that didn't have a Byzantine Catholic parish, so we became Eastern Orthodox. Something has always felt like it was "missing," for lack of a better word. A friend, who reads your blog, showed me an essay which discussed Eastern Orthodoxy. Ever since then I've tried to read your writings as often as possible. Such switches by born Greek Catholics are now extremely rare and have been so at least since I first got to know them 30 years ago; then again the first Greek Catholics I knew were refugees from the western Ukraine who chose exile over schism. Another reader wasn't Catholic until recently but, a Westerner born Protestant, trying to be Orthodox for over 10 years left this person turned off by what the late Gerard Bugge called its "anti" spirit. (He tried Orthodoxy for a few years and later ran "A Catholic Page for Lovers," one of the first Web apostolates.)
  • Anime and decadence. Japan is decadent and is committing suicide with impressive grace and style. This is intentional Cathedral and MacArthur policy. Mark Bonocore, whom I think speaks Japanese, explained the country to me once: a medieval society punished (MacArthur) for World War II so it was dragged into modernity (before the war it was medieval but with modern technology: the planes and ships that attacked Pearl Harbor); understandably the Japanese can't handle it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Against democracy, questioning the Nolan chart, liberalism summed up, and more

  • Rand Paul's running for president. Probably the best of the mainstreamish bunch but I won't vote Republican for him. Rand's not his dad, who would have made a wonderful president; voted for Ron in two primaries and he's one of the only candidates I've gone to see in person, once in the rain.
  • The Anti-Gnostic: Democratic Man, criticizing democracy and America's consumer approach to religion. A word from Fr. Stephen Freeman.
  • Steve Sailer: Matthew Weiner on how "Mad Men" is driven by his resentment of WASP country clubs. As a social commentator, Weiner is on the winning side in the culture war. Yet, as an artist, he senses a void in the brave new America. While he may lack the vocabulary to articulate it, this longing helps give "Mad Men" its romantic aura that lifts it above its own soap-operaish and soft-porn tendencies. ... “Adding money and education doesn’t take the rude edge out of people.”
  • Ex-Army:
    • The Nolan Chart, part I. Maps aren't the terrain but still useful.
    • Part II.
    • Liberal: "Everything I don't like must be banned. Everything I like is a human right so it must be paid for by someone else."

Monday, April 06, 2015

The show: the resurrection of Don Draper

A few notes/spoilers as I watch the "Mad Men" episode "Severance":

Still just after the golden era but not full-on Sixties/'70s: my guess is still '69 or maybe '70 (awful wide ties and lapels and loud shirts). When did L'Eggs come out? I remember but don't know the date.

Roger's Sixties-ed out with long hair and a mustache but Don still has his pomade and hat, thank God.

"You're not just smooth. You're Wilkinson smooth."

Don's a Manhattan playboy. Megan's just about history but Jessica Paré's still in the credits.

"Dear Penthouse Forum..." Diana the waitress is one of my types. Guess "I know you" and "my name is Don" are all the game he needs. I was expecting a twist like Diana was really Midge, his mistress in '60, or even Rachel Menken Katz living incognito, very soap-opera.

A we-know-better feminist morality play with the still ferally sexy Joan and Plausible Deniability Peggy (the one the hip girl viewers pretend to identify with). At least the story line's interesting (trying to save a client, a L'Eggs rival, by going upmarket to Macy's). And fashion's been kind to Peggy.

Ken has lost his eye for good and now has been sacked. One of the show's only good guys. Deserves sweet revenge.

Update: Don calls Megan his ex-wife but they're mid-divorce.

Ken's still one of the good guys even if he doesn't like us snappers (partly why McCann had him fired). More a fault than a vice. He's not evil. I'm not taking Matthew Weiner's we-know-better victim bait.

Peggy's romance is charming.

It's April-May 1970.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Was Thomas Cromwell the grandfather of the American dream?

This writer seems to think so. The strange thing is despite America's deep anti-Catholic roots in men such as Thomas Cromwell via the "Enlightenment" deists who were our founding fathers, it was a great home for Catholics until the Sixties. So American religious liberty can work. By the '50s, many/most Americans accepted and liked us; there were Protestants afraid the U.S. was becoming a Catholic country. But for the Sixties, it might have happened.

England is both appealing and creepy because unlike here, it used to be a Catholic country; the people were driven from the church by force. There are reminders everywhere such as the names of the old churches and colleges the Anglicans stole, yet their mainstream hates the church. Their elite knows what it all means and says "I will not serve."

Christopher Haigh writes that by 1600, in Shakespeare's time, most of the English had resigned themselves to the new religion but still treated it with the same easygoing conduct but reverence people in Catholic countries and cultures (immigrants and ethnics in America) do the church. Catholic recusancy was for the rich and for martyrs; the extreme Protestant hotheads (the Pilgrims; the New England Yankees who are SWPLs' godfathers) hadn't gotten their way yet. Their revolution and the later "Enlightenment" pretty much did in Christian faith among the English.

P.S. I've been told the Popes told Poles to obey the tsar and the Irish the king; in 1776 I would have stood with George III. We weren't under English religious law so his Protestantism wasn't our problem (the Crown actually decided a court case in favor of other colonial Protestants against the Anglicans), and he was an anointed Christian ruler. Loyalty oaths matter. And he claimed nowhere near the power our government does.

A Catholic case against Christianized seders

Today's Mass, both the Christian Passover and Christian temple sacrifice, making present the one offering of our one priest and victim: Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, alleluia.

Why Christians shouldn't have seders.

I'm inclined to agree because this issue was settled in the Book of Acts. Christianity isn't Jewish anymore; the new covenant replaces the old. (Before 3 p.m. Good Friday the head of the church on earth was Caiaphas; afterwards it was St. Peter.) But I give good-hearted evangelicals credit, even though they seem to have edited out this part of scripture. Mainstream society including most Jews accuses them of being anti-Jew; on the contrary, because of their reverence for the people of the Old Testament and of Jesus, many are the biggest Zionists and seem to hold Jews in the same regard we do the saints. (Many Jews hate them but are willing to use them for Israel's sake.) They think the old covenant is still in force so Jews have a hotline to God (ironic since the German "Enlightenment" hit them late but hard; many are unbelievers); the new covenant is for gentiles like them and us.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Big Mother FlyING Car Show

At the Flying W airfield, Medford, NJ.





Music by the Black Flamingos.

Bought: Big Slick pomade.

St. John Paul the Overrated Day in Canada, and more

  • St. John Paul the Overrated: Canada declares April 2 Pope John Paul II Day, the anniversary of his death. Liberal Canada likes JP2? "A champion of human dignity and freedom." I see; as "a defender of faith," not of the faith. The right people, the liberals, hated him, a backhanded tribute to his generally being on the right side of things, and he gets partial credit for the fall of Communism because of his moral authority as a world leader, but under his watch the Tridentine Mass was still largely suppressed (conservative Catholics were told to imitate Pentecostal Protestants instead; now-passé ecumenism), he kissed the Koran, and he sold out on altar girls. In the '80s, conservative Novus Ordo was arguably more hostile to us than were the liberals, who at the time were comfortably secure in their power over the church locally. So I will never have a lick of devotion to the man. Which you can do as a Catholic: I recognize all of our saints but am personally devoted to few. His feast day is Oct. 22, the anniversary of what would have been his coronation.
  • The Ace of Spades on "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" and on work manners vs. the rest of life. A salty rant.
  • Fr. Longenecker on the fight in Indiana between heartlanders and homosexualists: What's gone wrong in pizza-parlor America?
  • No president can change our trajectory. Jeff Culbreath quotes Dennis Martin. You probably know my line: if it comes down to persecution, be it from our own apostates in the West or from the Mohammedans such as ISIS, make a retreat with honor like the Ukrainian Catholics under Soviet rule (truly going underground in modern cities), not Rod Dreher's schismatic Benedict Option, which is more like the Russian church's accommodation to the Soviets.

On comparing rites

I have to be totally honest here: I enjoyed the service tonight but the Byzantine Rite just totally blows us Latins out of the water altogether when it comes to doing Holy Week. I'm not saying what we do is "bad"; I'm just saying the Easterners, be they Orthodox or Catholic, do it better.

Well, the good news is, no matter what "rite" you are baptized into, being a Catholic means you can fully embrace and practice any of the rites you choose. It makes one appreciate the Universal Catholic and Orthodox Church so much more!
Serious devotees by choice of the Christian East are right that a rite is more than a suit of clothes; it's supposed to be a whole culture. (Our doctrine has always been a big tent of different schools of theological speculation and spirituality, which don't always get along.) A reason why you need to actually join a particular ritual church for a few things, namely, to be married or ordained in it. But yes.

Readers of prolific online writer Diane Kamer will recognize this:
Well, it's always a matter of personal taste, and in a sense that's as it should be. That's why it's good to have both options. I grew up before Vatican II in a very Catholic Irish ghetto in Boston, which was absolutely saturated with Novenas and Holy Cards and Stations and stained glass and rosaries and statues and Benediction and on and on. That stuff is in my blood and always will be. If I had been brought up in an Eastern Christian milieu, I would no doubt have a very different POV. The Eastern stuff would be in my blood. But as it is, I am Latin down to my fingernails. I can certainly appreciate the Eastern stuff. But it does not resonate with my inmost soul the way the Latin stuff does. But...variety is the spice of life, right? Diff'rent strokes. It would be boring if we all gravitated to the same thing. One isn't better than the other. It's just a matter of what resonates with YOU.
A beautiful unique selling point of Catholicism is it doesn't force you to hate one to love the other. As I was born Episcopal to a wayward Roman Riter, I'm Latin to my fingernails by extension. But my first traditional Catholic liturgy in person was Ukrainian. My biggest lesson from the Christian East in America is about the same as from Latin offshoot Anglo-Catholicism: the possibility of a conservative semi-congregationalism for Catholicism. (My favorite American Orthodox parishes are Slavic ones that are almost like Catholic parishes 50 years ago but are run semi-congregationally; appealing but heartbreaking because they're so close to us and in many cases started out as part of us.) The Eastern rites and Tridentine are point-for-point analogues to me, all largely medieval developments.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Good Friday headlines

  • Ex-Army: Hatin' on Hoosiers. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sounds good to me.
  • Pat Buchanan: Meritocracy, not "diversity." "Heredity, rather than environment, determines intelligence."
  • Is using Wikipedia legit? Yes but: Wikipedia is not a primary or usually even secondary source — it's a tertiary source providing you with overviews to orient yourself in a subject. Wikipedia's individual facts are cited from published sources. You don't cite Wikipedia; you cite the papers and books that you see cited in Wikipedia or elsewhere and then examine for yourself.
  • RIP Mar Dinkha IV. In a small field, Eastern churches in the U.S., but historically significant as the Nestorians, from what's now Iraq, are the only historic Eastern church now based here (in Illinois); an American patriarchate, but still immigrant/ethnic of course. (There's the OCA, likewise small, as most Orthodox in America are Greek, but some say it's still a branch of the Russian church.) Also interesting: the pan-Eastern bromance, maybe a sign of Eastern Christianity being a tiny minority here. Official positions and common knowledge are coming together as, more and more, non-Catholic Easterners think they are one group. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Also, identical polity: traditional rites and married priests but celibate bishops.) Most Orthodox would not be offering prayers, etc., for a Greek Catholic patriarch, understandable given the true-church claim (just as the Pope wouldn't celebrate a public Requiem for a deceased Orthodox patriarch) but historically the Orthodox were thought to have less in common with the Nestorians than with us fellow Chalcedonian apostolics. I don't have much of a problem with the idea that it was all just big misunderstandings so the Lesser Eastern Churches (Monophysites and Nestorians) aren't heretics after all. Like the Orthodox, they're "Catholic," meaning they meet our criteria for valid holy orders: credal orthodoxy so basic (God is one in three; Jesus is God) that they pass, true apostolic succession (bishops), not just claimed succession (some high-church Protestants claim it; they think it's neat but not essential), and orthodoxy about the Eucharist (Christ's sacrifice, being commemorated today in the Roman Rite, made present by the priest, and a complete change of the bread and wine into Christ). By the way, Iraq is a rare case where an Eastern Catholic church, the Chaldeans, is bigger than its church of origin (the Nestorians); the Chaldeans are the country's biggest church.
  • The idea of "self-ownership" can go too far (the church: God's in charge, not you; like the centurion we are all under authority), and left-libertarians are really just liberals, but as a working philosophy this appeals: Libertarianism recognizes that every human being is an individual, with their own wants, needs and ideas, who has the inherent human right to pursue whatever it is they desire in life to the extent they desire, as long as it does not impose upon another’s will to do the same. These individuals are both free to pursue, and responsible for, their own happiness and well-being. Those who espouse libertarian ideas seek voluntary, non-aggressive solutions to problems and to social interactions. That’s it. That’s my working definition. There are many others. From a girl writing snark about socially awkward libertarian men, part manosphere common sense, part mainstream relationship advice.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Church, state, and more: The usual from me

  • Church and state. Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Boxer I find extremely distasteful. And regardless of where a person's religious conviction lies I found the threats that Ms. Pelosi has leveled against the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco absolutely wrong and an infringement on his religious freedom. Were I the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco I would have long ago excommunicated Ms. Pelosi and quite possibly banned her from church properties. The biggest political football now here in California: do religious leaders have the right to set religious standards in their private schools? I say the government has no right to interfere with standards that they set for their faculty. Quite right. The government has NO STANDING in the church. NONE. We permit transgressions of that at our peril. Catholics haven't exercised that clout since the Sixties. The great Cardinal Spellman would have done that and most Catholics would have obeyed, so even though the Rockefellers and other Protestants would have hated it, they would have had to go along. (Our primatial see should be Baltimore but is really New York, which was Spellman's.) Politicians of Nancy Pelosi's kind would have been finished. But in the Sixties, what with Vatican II, Catholic churchmen went for mainstream acceptance, "the seamless garment" packaging the Rockefellers' liberalism, for example, as Catholic social teaching. (For example, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh at Notre Dame, a leader from before the council who sold out so the mainstream loved him. Reduce Catholicism to St. Patrick's Day parties and sports.) What's happening now is this accommodationist "Catholicism" that took over all our pre-conciliar institutions such as parishes and colleges is dying out. As it dies, those old institutions, our footprint in America, are going away; closing. The good news is the remnant that still goes to church is conservative, even sometimes traditionalist, and has kids. (My magnet parish, for example.) But in the meantime, we still have bishops who'd rather have their pictures taken with the president and get government funding than act Catholic. While of course the church has been amenable to arrangements with the state (being the state religion), the state can't own the church (why sultans, tsars, and Communists have hated it).
  • Congregationalist Catholicism? This charter and amendments from a Greek Catholic parish that went into schism in the '30s are interesting. Historically American Greek Catholics (Greek Rite but not ethnic Greeks; mostly Slavic) didn't organize like in the old country (state churches) or like Orthodox in their countries (again, state churches). They went congregationalist (very American, like the Pilgrims), organizing as private clubs as protection against hostile local Roman Rite bishops (who really started the schism here; it wasn't about our doctrine). The Polish National Catholics, offshoot Roman Riters, do the same. Most here know that congregationalism isn't how the Catholic Church in America operates. But as I like to say, everything in church polity is on the table except the papacy and the episcopate, which are doctrine. Now congregationalism, like clerical marriage, can be abused: it could be a libcath fantasy, part of the protestantization of American Catholicism I describe above (the Rockefeller liberals to us snappers: cut your apron strings to Mamma Rome and don't let some celibate bishop in a dress tell you what to do). Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, NY, for example, a latter-day vagante schism when a new bishop acted Catholic and cracked down on a liberal parish; the vagante bishop's just a hired hand like a funeral director, popping in for ordinations. But just as Anglo-Catholic alumni and Eastern churchmen are fine conservative examples of ordaining the married (we don't marry the ordained and all our bishops are celibate), conservative congregationalism is worth a look. Also, because Episcopalianism is semi-congregational, some Anglo-Catholic parishes managed to resist the spirit of Vatican II. (Part of one here, St. Clement's, became the core group of one of our Tridentine parishes, Holy Trinity.)
  • Ex-Army: The boomers didn't start it. As I say, they were just dumb kids buying records. Good reactionary talking point: the kids were just a propellant for what older generations had started.
  • The "Enlightenment" steals credit from... medieval Christendom. Progressivism is a Christian heresy. No culture other than Christendom could have come up with it.
  • A scare article about spring break. Unsurprisingly I've never been. What this article touches on is how the left seemingly has changed and has its wires crossed. Back in the days of Hugh Hefner and the swinging Sixties, this degeneracy was considered progressive. Then a reaction set in among the left; it came up with its ripoff of Christian morals, political correctness, in which "rape is pretty much anything that makes a woman uncomfortable." (I guess "microaggressions" are their "venial sins.") But what's telling is spring break, like Hef, still gets a free pass in mainstream society including the media. If you criticize it, you're just a stick-in-the-mud, probably one of those dangerous conservatives. Like I've said before, all those outrageous dirty jokes including about homosexuality, in the '70s and '80s, that are called un-PC now really were PC; they were part of a program to desensitize Middle America to that stuff. (The "free speech" movement?) So, right; don't let your daughters go on spring break in Florida, Mexico, etc. I wonder what Face to Face has to say about all this: unsocial Millennials in an age of cocooning vs. the sociable '80s, or if these stories are true, are these kids really being anti-social?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Numinosity


Does anyone have the foggiest idea what this could be? I'm pretty sure it's from an Episcopalian source.

I believe that's a photo from Compline at Christ Church, New Haven (Episcopal).
The Episcopalians like our stuff; Catholic liberals don't.
That's Exposition, not just Compline.
I think in the traditional Roman Rite there is no incense at Compline.

Compline and Exposition are things libcaths wouldn't be caught dead at, because those are elitist or something. The Gothic reredos and the candles all over the place, even on the steps (where they're in the way and a fire hazard for the vested priest and servers; that frontal could light up at any second), told me this picture is modern Episcopal; liberal high church.

SAT word for the day: we Roman Catholics at our best, the Anglicans at their high-church best, and the Eastern churches understand and show the numinous. Including liberal St. Gregory's Episcopal in San Francisco; they are smart and talented but of course nowhere near Catholic or Orthodox, etc. The Novus Ordo normally doesn't unless it's been high-churched (reform of the reform, including Pope Benedict; what Fr. James Mayer did at my parish starting about 10 years ago); it's didactic like old-school non-liturgical Protestants.

Dominica in Palmis

Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me. We had Sung Mass without the blessing of palm leaves or the procession; maybe the blessing was at the vigil or early Novus Ordo. So we got one of the 1962 missal's changing Last Gospels, the one about Palm Sunday. Hosanna filio David. For the gospel reading, a marathon (St. Matthew's account of the suffering and death of Christ) for Fr. Matthew, who chanted the whole thing, with different tones for the different parts, like a one-man play without the annoying acting. It wore him out but he got through it and even preached afterwards, no problem. Few and overworked, our priests are troupers.


"When I survey the wondrous cross..." Our organ-playing (former sub organist at St. Mary the Virgin, New York) and hymns are very Anglican. We're not re-enactors but a living tradition (the Mass that would not die) using the best of Western high churchmanship, in the spirit of the Anglican Use and the ordinariates.

"Thanks, Anglo-Catholicism." — The Catholic Church


Ut in nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum. The Greek word to describe today's epistle is κένωσις, kenosis, "self-emptying," echoing both the Passion story in the gospel and, here towards the end, the joyous procession the day more famously celebrates. (People are fickle; a case against democracy. A mob elected Barabbas.) While remaining God, the Son became a true man, on a secret mission as I like to think of it. But Jesus never lied about his mission when asked.

Book of Common Prayer translation of the collect and readings.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The '58 Plodge and more


  • The '58 Dodge Regent: the Plodge. Not well-known automotive history, at least in the United States. In the golden era, not only did American carmakers sell autos to our northern neighbour (to honour their spelling: God save the Queen and bring back the Red Ensign) — with imported parts (Australians built and drove our cars too, with right-hand drive); they came up with unique Canadian models. I've seen one, the Meteor Rideau, a mid-'50s Ford with a different style of chrome; a survivor because it's from sunny British Columbia. (Canada's winters destroyed most of them.) Then I found out about the Plodge, formally with the fine British name of Regent. Like toymakers at the time mixing different makes in one design so they wouldn't have to pay for the rights, Chrysler/Mopar (now Fiat?! — the marriage with the Germans at Daimler didn't work out) took elements of two of their Virgil Exner forward-look beauties (think Christine) to come up with this in '58. A Dodge front "face" but a Plymouth rear end, and more. Smaller and dorkier than the Belevederes and Furys but if that's all you could afford, you got some Virgil Exner style.
  • The church the way the world would have it. Written by a devout Episcopalian. Regular readers know where I'm going with this. This sounds really cool! Have the best of traditional liturgics and sound, Christ-centered doctrine, AND be charitable and fair the way the world says to. Of course I love women; why not ordain them? Now the other shoe drops. God obviously has other plans. Not only do natural law and the magisterium make sense, but this invented religion really doesn't appeal to many: you offend the real Catholics as well as fervent evangelicals, plus it doesn't impress the secular people you're trying to do that with or even convert them. They move along still thinking religion is passé. I'm actually not that religious; religion is a must, though, and what religion I have is Catholic before around 1965. Don't settle for imitations.
  • Yesterday's feast: et Verbum caro factum est. Everything else is commentary.
  • A reader of this blog has been received into the church. Gaudent angeli.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Passion Sunday


The veiling of the images.


Fr. Brannan, one of our living links to before Vatican II. Low Mass with hymns today, the service he prefers.

Mass: Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta. Dixit eis Iesus: "Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum." Book of Common Prayer translation of the collect and readings.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Italians in Canada


Italian Canadians preserving their heritage like never before. They're concentrated in Toronto and Montreal and much of the immigration was after World War II. All I know about what's uniquely Italian-Canadian is that they have some of their own slang (mangiacakes for British-Canadians) and that Toronto's British-Canadians have their own putdowns for them; Kathy Shaidle says she hates them. Gino and gina mean guido and guidette. Her story: a convert or revert Catholic writer who turned on the church, now basically a libertarian on an anti-authority kick like liberals with the same slurs against the church, understandable because she fell in love with a divorced man and couldn't marry him in the church while pervert clergy almost got off scot-free. (A reminder: way back under John Paul II and maybe earlier, good conservative Catholics blew the whistle on the pervs; the church liberals were the enablers. Right after the Sixties, the left was almost OK with sex with kids.)
The immigration occurred in two main waves, from 1900 to the First World War and from 1950 to 1970.
A reminder that Canada's British. (God save the Queen and bring back the Red Ensign.) For some reason, after World War II, Italian immigrants went to British countries; in America, Italian immigration largely ended in the '20s with a restrictive new law in place until '65. Anthony LaPaglia grew up in Australia after the war; I think he likes it better in America (he speaks with his own invented American accent) because he says he wasn't welcome in Australia for being Italian. (Canada and Australia: lots of lapsed Methodists and lapsed Presbyterians, and now generationally unchurched in Australia. More secular than here.)

Interesting that at least some Italian-Canadians follow Italian soccer, being like modern Italians. Not so of Italian-Americans, American since the '20s so almost all sports are American (the older generation playing bocce; Wildwood has a court by the boardwalk). As Christian Lander wrote in his smart self-satire Stuff White People Like (hence SWPL to describe liberals), in American culture, pretending to follow soccer (at least at World Cup time) is lefties' way of pretending to be European; fellow liberals vs. heartland Americans they consider clods or even dangerous (America's civil war since the Sixties).

So the question for us is are the third-generation Italian-Canadians identifying with the old Catholic Italy (easygoing, long love-hate relationship with the church and some voodoo-ey devotions but deeply Catholic) or today's secular socialist Italy?
From what I've met of them, it seems more the older, immediate postwar version of Italy they identify with (which is pretty much the same as the Italy of the 1920s that Italian-Americans do).
Right; remembering the country as it was when they left. That makes sense. Glad they still identify with a good version.
I don't think that modern Italy is too off the wall as compared to some other European countries. It's not exactly the same as it was 50 years ago (what is?) but still better than many other places.
Like the recent media row with Dolce & Gabbana: Mamma Italia, where even the homosexuals are still just bad Catholics. Got to love those two: like Camille Paglia (met her; she's fun), they know they can't change nature, society, or the church; they're admitting the church may be right so they're wrong. Italians don't waste their time trying to change the church like the dumb northerners; if they sin or lose their faith, they just lapse.