- New scientific claim that the Shroud of Turin’s not medieval. The Shroud’s not doctrine; the principle of relics and their veneration is. I’ve long thought it is at least a medieval miracle, because it’s technically too advanced to be a hoax from the time. At most, proof of the Incarnation, a photo negative of God.
- Watching the Pope-watchers: why the Modernists and other foes of the church love Francis being low-church. They don’t really love humility. They hate the Pope not for his power, like they claim to, but for being Catholic. He can’t make the changes they want (turn the church into a mainline denomination so it’s not a threat) but they seem not to know that; they want him to have more power than he has. They think Francis is a pushover or dupe. Shrug. Because he really doesn’t have much power. Again let’s hope he stays distant so he lets the traditional practice of the faith be, wherever it is.
- Little parallel: new Pope, new Archbishop of Canterbury; neither that important. One is limited by the church’s doctrine, which he can’t change; the other, like his supreme governor, the monarch, only signs off on what’s voted on, either directly (synod) or indirectly (Parliament), which of course changes with public opinion. Neither can make changes himself. The church: traditional practice > person of the Pope. Cantuar’s a nobody outside the little circle of liberal high church; most English don’t go to church. (The church in England = immigrant Polish.)
- From Daniel Nichols:
- More on the ’50s being more just; do your own thing = every man for himself. Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on average between 1966 and 2011 (when you adjust those incomes for inflation), according to an analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston for Tax Analysts. During the same period, the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071. You had a Christian culture in common; real solidarity. Again, people culturally like me did the dog work to try to correct racial injustice, not the slumming kids being hippies.
- Co-op. I’m not saying this is the answer but something to think about. ...the United States, where CEOs now make 380 times more than the average worker. Not so in ’66.
- Shorthand for Catholic Social Teaching™ (not doctrine): socially right, economically left, well-meant but it doesn’t work because economics is science. (Communism fell because it flouted economics; implicitly in practice backed by our nukes, peace through strength, Eastern Europe eventually rebelled.)
- From RR:
- Thin invisibility cloak?
- Transgender-rights bill in Canuckistan. Golden-rule libertarianism: don’t harm anyone. Live and let live (don’t make fun); it’s their business. But where do their rights end and ours begin? Such as not to be forced to go along with someone’s play-acting, such as women not having to share a bathroom, etc., with someone who’s really a man? (And could be a straight transvestite for all you know.) By the way, that neologism’s apt; there are no transsexuals. One of RR’s faults is, because it’s left-libertarian, it automatically sides with the left on these matters as strides for individual rights.
- Almost pro-life law in North Dakota. The rape-and-incest exception doesn’t make sense and is a political compromise but was some states’ law pre-Roe and pre-Doe.
- The SpaceX private cargo craft. The market future of space travel? Sure, if it’s profitable, unlike spendthrift government propaganda. That said, the other ’60s, people like me but they knew math, put a man on the moon.
- The Iraq war 10 years later. Of course the media lied. Iraqis died needlessly, we gave victory to Iran, the alleged bad guys 30+ years ago (revenge for our overthrowing their government and installing the Shah), and now we pay twice as much for gas. Iraq, then a secular government, had nothing to do with 9/11; that was because of our meddling elsewhere in the Mideast. (The hijackers were Saudis.) Revenge.
- Cypriots and the president’s ability to kill.
- Go after legal-tender laws, not the Fed?
- Other than Obama’s culture war on the church (a WASPy SWPL prez hates the church; historically unsurprising; the Rockefeller Republicans running things don’t like us any better), the only difference between Obama’s administration and Bush the Younger’s is, as Takimag says, Obama seems to like insurance companies a lot.
- From Takimag: comedy for the devil.
- From antiwar.com: Rand’s not his dad.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
- Rod Dreher on the death of newspapers and the jump to writing ad copy online. Made the jump. It’s great.
- Daniel Nichols on the injustice system, or today’s goody-two-shoes, the zero-tolerance tolerant: Christianity without Christ or common sense. I’d read somewhere else about a kind of bully today whose parents are self-righteous non-violence types. Part of the feminized elite’s war on boys, on masculinity.
- For Holy Week from Gerry Lynch: do we really need more Christians in politics? He’s different from me; he’s Irish, gay and a Catholic-turned-Anglican. But he’s high-church, and not long after I discovered and adopted the term young fogey I found he was blogging under that name. I use it with his blessing and he’s now blogging somewhere else. Well-written and thought-provoking. There’s the Scylla of a Christian government falling short of Christianity, which of course the left exaggerates; secularist governments are more brutal. The left wants power (such as forcing the church to shut up about abortion, pay for contraception and rewrite reality about the nature of marriage; by the way, until last century all other Christians agreed with the church on those) so they try to get the Charybdis (to us) of a weak church, using arguments about Christian humility, etc., if they’re smart. (Political correctness is Christian ethics minus Christ.) You already know my answer. The church is apolitical. Monarchy, dictatorship, republic; it’s all good. With libertarianism, the freedom of religion our WASP hosts in America came up with, Catholics on one side and liberals like Lynch on the other can all get along, if the left forgoes the power grabs too.
- From LRC: Catholic third-wayism: the appealing Dorothy Day. A great lady of the left who didn’t fit into any American political camp. Socially right and economically left seems attractive.
- From RR: toward a really social safety net. Social programs administered by government are a weak and alienating substitute for the grassroots, working-class institutions of mutual aid, labor solidarity and fighting unions that they were largely designed to crowd out, replace, or domesticate. Grassroots social movements aimed to provide relief and person-to-person solidarity by creating alternative institutions that would be in the hands of workers themselves, so that they could better take control of the conditions of their own lives and labor. Good points and sounds like Dorothy Day, but... no to class war (actually our class war is between the elite leftist whites and prole whites, our Tutsis and Hutus as Derb says), the market is science, and... Mark in Spokane’s ordered liberty. I’m a conservative, as were the socially conservative Catholics who were unions and the old Democratic Party in the American Northeast.
- Steve Sailer on antitrust laws.
- From Cracked: natural-disaster myths. I’ve been a weather bug since living in tornado country (never saw one) briefly as a kid.
- Another new old watch. Helbros Invincible.
Friday, March 22, 2013
- From Roissy: 10 signs your relationship is healthy. The word from him and The Woman and the Dragon: almost all mainstream advice about this is harmful. Guys taking the red pill, meaning wising up about mainstream-advice fraud and learning a smidge of game, means more sex; love makes the world go round. More sex as God intended it is better for society, not just your romance, another of his and her points.
- Crossover with part of Roissy’s message, from Rod Dreher: The decline of two-parent households may be a significant reason for the divergent fortunes of male workers, whose earnings generally declined in recent decades, and female workers, whose earnings generally increased, a prominent labor economist argues in a new survey of existing research. In traditional society, like America 50-70 years ago, women depend directly on men (why God made women want alphas, the manliest men, and always be on the lookout for a better deal, just like men want beautiful women; makes reproductive sense) and not indirectly through the state or a corporation, and alphas are mostly unattainable so women are grateful to have nice-guy provider husbands. (So your average guy home from the war and his average gal were glad to have each other.) Undermine the traditional family, in the name of female empowerment or something, and you get more hurt women and their broken homes raising less manly men, which leads to... fewer fertile couplings so fewer kids (demographic suicide), and still more unhappy women. A vicious circle. Those unintended consequences again. (The change is also part of upper-class whites’ war on working-class white men.) Roissy predicts a painful economic correction of what Dreher describes. From God: women want alphas. Sin: feminists and others rewrite society so more women can have commitment-free fun with alphas, which leads to... fewer alphas. The sexual revolution: nice-guy betas don’t get sex. Nature doesn’t like being screwed with, and payback’s a bitch.
- From Veronica Glam: pictures of golden-era stuff, including LA fashion girl Vero modeling perfect hair, makeup and clothes in front of classic cars. ¡Gracias!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
- From Cracked: five mistakes new parents make.
- From MCJ: thousands of elderly Japanese-Americans rounded up for internment camp’s 70th reunion. Comment.
- Watching the Pope-watchers: more wrong optimism about Catholic-Orthodox relations. The Greek patriarch or the top ecumenical officer of the Russian Church, the biggest Orthodox one, meeting the new Pope and saying nice things doesn’t mean anything regarding union. Catholicism and Orthodoxy are trains on parallel tracks. Same one-true-church claims, and the official Orthodox opinion (not their doctrine) is there has been no true Christianity in the West since the schism. It’s confusing. The natural Catholic opinion is they’re really the same (which is our doctrine) so why stay apart in a smaller church? Why not come on board the larger one? Of course the first answer that comes to trads’ minds is, ‘Because the Novus Ordo s*cks’. But of course the schism’s much older than our self-inflicted wound of the council. Likewise, Francis saying nice things to his guests doesn’t mean union’s around the corner. He’s not high-church including not being interested in relearning grassroots folk Catholicism from the Orthodox. He took care of the Eastern Catholics in Argentina simply because it was his job. My guess is he’s more like ’80s conservative Catholics in the official church under John Paul the Overrated: give up that artsy old-fashioned stuff and be a charismatic (which seems to be dying out). No, thanks. I’ll keep admiring your kind face, defense of doctrine, and charity from a safe distance; let’s say you don’t bother me and I won’t bother you. I think a younger version of Benedict with a 15-20-year reign would have had a better shot at persuading the Orthodox. This one’s not interested; these meetings are just standard ecumenical courtesy.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The Sixties were a disaster, the end of the American dream: every child had a pretty good shot to reach at least as far as his old man got. Daniel Nichols recently pointed out that since 1968 the gap between rich and poor has widened while the middle class has shrunk.
If workers at the bottom had continued to share in the economy’s growth in the years since 1968 as they had in the three decades before 1968, we would be looking at a very different economy and society.Nichols is making a different argument from my libertarianism; he thinks we’re part of the problem, that libertarianism’s by nature selfish. While there’s a well-known libertarian case against having a minimum wage, let alone raising it, the problem stands.
’50s square society was more just overall (never mind the tropes about race; it was squares like me who actually did anything to try to correct racial injustice, not the hippies), not by government force but because the culture was better. Left and right, it was more Christian. You had Mark in Spokane’s ordered liberty.
Rod Dreher said it: take away the veneer of Christian decency as the counterculture tried hard to do and... do your own thing means every man for himself.
We lost a strong friend and protector in Pope Benedict. Again it seems Francis is sound on doctrine and morals (and, since the office of Pope can’t change those, the question’s moot), not interested in high church, and big on social justice. Basically a typical European bishop. (Argentina’s Latin America’s most European country; he’s part of their big Italian minority.) ‘John Paul III.’ It’s not news that economic liberalism including libertarianism doesn’t get along with Catholic Social Teaching™ (holy welfare state, Batman: statism with charity, peace and family values, defending true marriage, of a man and a woman; no abortion or euthanasia — neither and both the secular left and right, or right socially, left economically, appealing to the economically naïve as I imagine lots of clergy are). So Francis might not be our bud. So what? A lot of people in and out of the church don’t understand: while it’s true a good Pope like Benedict or an inept one like Paul VI can do a lot in the church, most of the time the Pope isn’t a big part of the ordinary practice of the faith. So if I can admire Francis’ kind demeanour, humility and charity from afar while he leaves us trads and libertarians alone (we’re not theocrats, and economics is no more part of doctrine than physics), fine.
Buona festa di San Giuseppe. The archetype for fathers, an ordinary guy called to stand in for the big papa in the sky, making him the greatest stepfather ever. The holiday here’s sort of the Italian-Americans’ me-too, coming infelicitously so soon after the big blowout celebration of Catholic immigration to America, which the English-speaking Irish own much as naturally they’ve run the church here. But Italians make up for it in the summer, which is much like their Mediterranean climate naturally making people happy: St Anthony, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Assumption (which they’ve made their own), St Rocco (the day after!), and, moving into fall, San Gennaro (St Januarius of Naples where many Italian-Americans came from) and, almost an afterthought and not holding a candle to St Patrick’s Day, the secular holiday, Columbus Day (the pious, brave man who started Spanish America, and yes, people already knew the world is round). Sorry I didn’t make it to South Philly’s parade last year; Frankie Valli was the grand marshal.
There are so many parallels between the Roman and Orthodox rites; same Catholic faith. This isn’t one of them. St Joseph’s biblical but in Byzantium he’s almost forgotten. A saint but no devotion to him. Just different.
The late, great Fr Serge (Keleher — he was a monk in the Russian Catholic Church so last name in parentheses) pointed out the pitfall of painting icons when you don’t know enough about them, namely, the well-meant ones of St Joseph and Jesus or of the Holy Family that, in iconography’s code (posture and who’s touching or holding whom), inadvertently say St Joseph was Jesus’ physical father. I’m sure though that born Orthodox around the world have a few such or purely Western Catholic images (like the one here) and don’t give it a second thought, and they’re right too.
After Mass the other day for our monthly coffee hour we had green paper tablecloths and St Joseph’s zeppoli. (The order who run our parish are Spanish-founded and Italian-based.) My first conversation, in a group, with Fr Matthew, our usual celebrant (not that day; that was Fr Brannan from before the council), younger than me and a good strict constructionist about the council. Of course I don’t buy the line ‘we needed the council’ (I’m guessing still the official church’s opinion on that); like Modestinus and others I agree that what good it tried to do could have been done better with a couple of papal pronouncements, not a council. No damage that way. You know my line: the vernacular and religious liberty are fine (although they’ve done a world of good, the SSPX’s wrong on religious liberty, one of their sticking points with the official church; Latin isn’t one of them), but 86 the council because of all the harm it’s done. God willing, in 100 years Vatican II will be as forgotten as Lateran III. Think about it: the Modernists are old and dying, not getting followers in the church anymore; those who lose their faith leave instead. The remnant of trads and conservatives having four or more children per family (they were crawling all over my pew getting in my face the other day) will be the church.
Locally St Madeline’s in Ridley Park (110 Park Street) is having a traditional High Mass (7pm; refreshments after) but I’m working. I’m sure St Joseph the Worker (May 1, Pope Pius XII of happy memory’s way of raining on the Commies’ parade) understands.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Mass: Judica me, Deus. The psalm that’s normally part of the priest’s prep office at the foot of the altar before Mass. It drops out today. From the gospel: Before Abraham was, I AM. Like the crucifixion, a stumbling block for the Jews and folly to the gentiles. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
‘I am.’ That’s this year’s starting point for my yearly talking points about Ireland and Irish-Americans for American St Patrick’s Day, different from the saint’s day as it was kept in Ireland. (In the old country it’s a holy day of obligation and the pubs were closed.) A feature of Irish English that’s a carryover from Gaelic is that an Englishman or an American answers questions such as ‘Are you John Smith?’ or ‘Do you follow soccer?’ with ‘Yes’, but an Irishman answers with ‘I am’ I (pronounced like ‘I yam’) or ‘I do’. Because Gaelic has no words for yes or no.
And with that, here are my points about American St Patrick’s Day and things Irish:
- Religious fervour in Ireland is cyclical. Partly circumstantial. At the ‘Reformation’ the Irish were Catholic but laid-back about it like lots of Catholic peoples. By around 1800 because of British persecution it remained low-profile. With Catholic emancipation you had a huge religious revival as the church rebuilt, producing the pious Irish and Irish-Americans in living memory, the last of whom are still with us. (The living ‘trad tradition’ at my parish: Fr Brannan from before the council and the grandparents who kept the memory of the traditional Mass.) Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way. (In real life William Shields, a Presbyterian!) Now, due partly to the self-inflicted wound of the council and partly to the secularism from the rest of Europe, that’s waning among the Irish. (The church in England — not the Church of England, different animal — used to be largely immigrant Irish, naturally; now I understand it’s Polish, great hardworking immigrants who are naturally conservative and not into leftist victim identity politics. Much like Polish-Americans, one of our finest immigrant groups.)
- The English aren’t necessarily the bad guys. Since becoming Christian, Ireland’s always been Catholic, but... at the ‘Reformation’, or King Henry’s schism that brought it to the British Isles, the first people in Ireland to fight to remain under the Pope were... the ethnic English. The government did a good job of hiding the schism from the Irish until it actually became Protestant, then the Irish ‘got their Irish up’ as we say in the States and at least passively fought back (not going back to the old churches now Anglican-owned).
- Southern Irishmen don’t necessarily hate the British. Of course! What with so much crossover between the two countries. Lots of Irish have family in Britain. Once met an Irishman who was in the RAF after Irish independence. (At Irish independence in ’49, Britain hastily passed laws making Irish citizens essentially the same as Commonwealth citizens in order not to hassle the many Irish living there.) And... as part of Britain, Irish soldiers and sailors helped build the empire.
- The church ≠ Irish nationalism. The church kept the nationalist movement at arm’s length. The movement had sincere Catholics such as de Valera who legally reinforced the country’s Catholic identity (so no abortion there to this day?) but the IRA for example wasn’t necessarily really Catholic but Communist.
- The Irish aren’t high-church. Why most English-speaking Catholics aren’t. (Anglo-Catholics adopted practices from France and Italy.) The great Thomas Day explained it. The persecuted Irish couldn’t have a showy religion and, with the great exodus of their people to America for example, exported their low-key, unliturgical style all over the English-speaking Catholic world. That’s why they didn’t fight the council. The yucky ’70s-style guitar Mass is just a version of Low Mass junked up with sappy hymns, their old mainstay. (Just the opposite of what the liturgical movement at its best wanted, congregations singing chant at High Mass.)
- The Irish weren’t Jansenists. That’s a myth from liberals.
- American St Patrick’s Day isn’t really about the saint or Ireland. It’s about celebrating all Catholic immigrants’ success in America. Our mini-Mardi Gras, ironically, during Lent. (Purple, not green.) Of course the Irish, being northern European like our WASP hosts and, in many but not all cases, speaking English (many 1800s immigrants spoke Gaelic), have long led the American church. (Interestingly the greatest American churchman last century, Cardinal Spellman, had no use for the Irish cause and identified himself wholly as American.) They rebuilt the Irish church and built most of the American one all around the same time. So even though I have no Irish blood that I know of (the only green I wore today happened to be small stripes on my tie), it’s my holiday too. As Judy Collins sang, ‘Drink a round to Ireland, boys; I’m home again. Drink a round to Jesus Christ who died for Irish men.’
Thursday, March 14, 2013
As he’s unknown outside Argentina, I have little idea what to make of this. From what I’ve gathered so far, he seems like ‘John Paul III’, Novus Ordo, not high-church, but sound on doctrine and morals. I imagine he’ll be like my archbishop, a distant figure who’ll just let us trads be. We’ll see. By the way, for those who didn’t know, there are lots of Italian-Argentines.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
The luncheonette I used to walk to has been closed for renovations. The food was pretty good.
The mostly original interior of the little place has been dismantled to give the building a complete overhaul (maybe it was unsafe). The big change is they laid a foundation and expanded Walt’s in back, where the tiny kitchen was.
The $64,000 question: will it still be real when it reopens? The ideal: ‘We’re not retro; we’re OLD.’ Not just the Fifties (Elvis, Marilyn and all that); the ’50s. (A real distinction and long-running argument; I’m not too snobbish about the Fifties but it doesn’t tell the whole story.) Not cutesy, not fake, but a reconstruction only with extra space. Would a bigger Walt’s still be real?
There’s a successful local burger chain, Nifty Fifty’s, that sort of pretends to be what Walt’s was, but bigger. Nifty’s looks like American Graffiti-ish ’62. Of course I like them. Including the food. (They make milkshakes out of nearly anything.) But I’ve been told they have no real regard for the history, as if Garry Marshall ran a restaurant. A friend told me one day he saw Union Jacks in one of them and was told they were celebrating the British Invasion. Almost as inconceivable as having a Woodstock Day. He never went back. Point taken.
As that friend said, if they put up a poster of Henry Winkler, I’m out of there.
Follow that car.
Here’s its big Pratt & Whitney radial engine, also used in the Navy’s Corsair and other planes.
The New Berlin Diner, a real local hangout.
Quoted throughout this Mass is Psalm 122 (121):
Ruby the basenji, one of two owned by Walt at the part of Ardmart Antiques that didn’t move away. He’s around the corner in a different building; the old bowling alley that was Ardmart’s gone. Basenjis are African, famous for their crying sound instead of barking.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Here comes the conclave. The usual clerical gossip, and Modernist and secularist bloviations. Again, they say they object to the Pope’s power (classic Protestant argument), then give him a list of demands that would require power he doesn’t have! In other words they don’t have a clue about the church. You know what I want. A Benedict XVII or Pius XIII who makes Bishop Fellay a cardinal. (86 the council because of all the damage it’s done, but I’m fine with religious freedom. It’s Not About Latin™ — traditionalism’s really not about forcing a dead language on people — but my Mass happens to be in it, which is fine.) Anyway, a couple about ressourcement:
- Well-written reform-of-the-reform stuff from the Acton Institute. Back-handed tribute: the other side fears the church so they can’t stop talking about it. From RR.
- Modestinus: R3: reform of the reform of the reform. Or ressourcement isn’t the answer the church’s neocons thought it was. By the way the other day was, on our calendar, the feast day of the greatest theologian of all time, the basis of Benedict XVI’s talk at Regensburg. Reason means conforming yourself to reality, and logic points to the existence of God.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Sunday, March 03, 2013
- Too busy making a living to blog this past week. 14-hour days: working one of my occasional jobs on top of the main one. I might disappear this week too.
- Mostly the same stories anyway. The state and mainstream politics still a bad joke? The church still the church? The Western mainstream still hates it? Check. Right, back to work.
- Mass: Oculi mei semper ad Dominum.
- Today is my first Mass this year without a Pope. From last week: Today for my last time: at Mass, ‘una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro Benedicto’. (Unless the next one’s Benedict XVII!) Sorry he’s stepping down but it’s a great chance to teach about the papacy: the power belongs to the office, to the church, not the man. Ironically that’s the lesson: it’s not that big a deal; the church goes on. It’s only unusual. Why he’s Benedict the Great:
- Fixing English Novus Ordo.
- Freeing our Mass.
- Anglicanorum Coetibus (only a couple thousand people and a continuation of the Pastoral Provision but good).
- Resta con noi. Hilary: As we talked, I heard the sounds of the crowd singing and praying in the background over the phone. “There’s a great sadness that the Holy Father is no longer going to be the Holy Father. But mostly there’s joy and an almost palpable feeling of gratitude and appreciation of the greatness of Benedict XVI. This is what has kept people from having that sense of loss and sadness that happens when a pope dies.” But they are sad too. “I talked to people,” my friend said, “asking what they would say to Benedict if they could, and they all said, ‘Stay with us, stay with us, stay with us,’ over and over again.”
- An old saying: he who walks into the conclave a Pope walks out a cardinal. So no point trying to predict. Again, worst outcome: another Paul VI. We know how to hunker down in that scenario.
- Modestinus: neocaths vs. trads. You can and should both have ‘markets and morality’/a secular test for ‘ideological purity’/basis for different faiths to get along (the libertarian non-aggression/do-no-harm principle; the golden rule we share with non-Christians) and maintain the one-true-church claim. (For all the good they do, the SSPX is wrong claiming they’re mutually exclusive.) As bad as the Novus Ordo and neoconservatism (I didn’t know Neuhaus had backed off from it) are, as far as I know, neocaths do uphold the true-church doctrine. You know my lines about well-meaning third-wayers. There’s no such thing as Catholic science (economics) vs. regular science, and when you make a great product that sells, we’ll talk.
- I don’t know who won this year’s Oscars. Haven’t cared enough to look it up.
- My nightstand clock radio. Like the stand, from shortly after the war. This was Sears’ house brand until the early ’70s. In use. The clock and alarm work fine; the radio just buzzes and the dial sticks. No problem: the little living-room Zenith from before the war works (the AM, not the shortwave); I listen to KYW on it.