Tuesday, February 02, 2016

"Grease Live!" and more

  • My view on the fake '50s including "Grease Live!" is mixed. (The retro Fifties at its best is only part of the '50s story.) Kudos to the actors for daring to do a stage musical with no retakes. The '70s movie was too '70s. I don't like the show's intrusion of '70s style in "You're the One That I Want." I like the stage-like numbers and the innuendo missing from the movie. A fun show for grownups, teen sex jokes and all, but "we know better now" snark leaves a bad taste. The "non-traditional casting" is well meant but please don't rewrite history or preach on the real and alleged evils then (actually, people then were doing the dog work for civil rights). At least some of it was pretty good. Problems included an intrusion of the 2010s' feel/sensibility; some of the cast acted as if they were on "American Idol," and rather like a high-school production, "Look at me; I'm live on stage!" Mugging/hamming on stage for the people in the back rows of the house. (Like a school play with young children, practically waving to Mommy and Daddy.) The best scenes were, like a movie, when you could completely "get into" the play; for example, the car race (early-'50s Chevy vs. mid-'50s Ford) was phenomenally done for the TV audience. Danny and Sandy were wonderfully cast.
  • Experiencing conservative Novus Ordo in the present day. The green tabernacle veil and chalice veil, then the missing altar cards, told me something was up at my parish church this past Sunday. Mass: Novus Ordo partly in Latin (including the Roman Canon), readings from the pulpit in English, and eastward-facing from the offertory to the ablutions because the friar who usually does our Mass is out sick (with a staph infection, from surgery!) and our friars couldn't get a supply priest this week so one of them who doesn't know our Mass well was assigned to us, doing a fair job of making it as close to our Mass as he was able. A complaint: at the Prayers of the Faithful, in church, is the American Catholic Church really reduced to simply begging for "Enlightenment" religious liberty (the second petition this morning)? This is the Church Militant? No wonder so many men stay home or become interested in evangelicalism or even Islam instead. Charles Smith writes: It's strange when you are following the office at home, and you go to a Novus parish, and it's the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and not Sexagesima. Then the alleluias are said, and the Gloria is read. And the office's propers tie into Sunday's readings, so the disorientation is bad. All the parts of a rite work together; disrupting that for a person or parish is wrong. Arguably, as Msgr. Klaus Gamber said, the new's no longer the Roman Rite even though it's Western, because, besides the different lectionaries, the new Mass often doesn't use the Roman Canon. The fact that not one of the other friars is capable of using the traditional missal is kind of a disgrace. The Mercedarian order remained sound after Vatican II but the traditional Mass isn't one of its specialties. One friar is assigned the traditional Mass here but we have at least two supply priests: the chancellor of the Diocese of Camden and a Jesuit from before Vatican II. I wish the old Mass were still the Roman Rite's norm too. Someday again? I remember the American church 30 years ago. That a young priest, as ours was that day, is wearing a fiddleback, facing "east," using Latin, and giving Communion to people kneeling at the altar rail is phenomenal, as was our normal use of Anglican hymns, not Marty Haugen. Experimentation and reform would have been much better done if the rite had kept the old form as the norm when all priests still knew how to do it; the experimental stuff should have been an add-on, an option, at most. What's funny is "we had to change to relate to the kids" is now believed mostly by people in their 60s and 70s; the kids reject novusordoísmo either mostly for unbelief (the larger culture) or classic Catholicism. Picture a guitar Mass and then picture a typical cynical Gen-Xer or millennial rolling his eyes at it; a big disconnect! It is condescending crap.
  • Are the Orthodox claiming this will be their eighth (or 10th?) ecumenical council? If so, of course I hope they don't dogmatize anything anti-Catholic (since so far they haven't!) and that this doesn't become their Vatican II and Novus Ordo. They might fall into formal error on divorce and remarriage; the rest seems mostly a rehash of Vatican II, innocuous and noncommittal really, plus an internal matter on how a national church becomes independent. We've been trying to end this schism since the Middle Ages; the Council of Ferrara-Florence briefly succeeded but in the next century the prideful Russians reneged and then the Turks re-separated the Greeks from the church.
  • Why Orthodox Easter is different. Orthodox Easter (which, like the Julian calendar, a number of Catholic churches use) doesn't have to be after Passover (superseded so Christians don't celebrate it); that's just a coincidence. It turns out the difference is to do with the Julian calendar (I thought it wasn't); they use the same formula to come up with the date that the Latin Church does but won't update their inaccurate tables for their calculations for the same reason some of them stick to the Julian calendar: to spite Rome. (The same reason the Protestantized English remained on the Julian calendar until the 1700s.) Why the ones that have adopted the Gregorian calendar for fixed-date feasts use the Julian for Easter and say they use the "modified Julian" calendar. In a lot of ways those churches are about spite. The different dates are not heresy (the calendar issue isn't theological) so the church has always lived and let live on this, and can continue to do so. But now that I know, a common Easter date, as with the Byzantine Catholic churches in America that have adopted the Western date, makes sense. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby proposes a fixed date for Easter. The church can do that but, the Novus Ordo being the big exception, rewriting services is not our normal practice and shouldn't be.
  • A New Year's resolution of sorts: to stay off Byz Anti-Cath Dot Org and SchismaticChristianity Dot Net permanently. No point being in either.
  • The National Rearview: obituary of a cuckservative rag. As Bob Wallace says, only one real candidate stands up for working-class white America and that's Trump. NR's orphaned by the times (after the Cold War basically created it) and "just doesn't get it." Or worse.
  • Regarding some moviemakers and actors boycotting the Oscars, crying racism, how about not whining and making better movies? There is no white American plan now to oppress blacks. Blacks are only 12% of America, and talented moviemakers and actors are a small minority of every race. So do the math: of course most nominees are white. Like the imaginary wage gap between the sexes: there's only one pay scale but men on average work harder and longer at harder jobs; women on average put family first. And it turns out black representation at the awards is... about 12%, the same proportion as in the American people. Also, if we take into account Europe's contribution to movies, the percent of blacks drops to something less than 5%. Many don't fathom just how few blacks there are in the world outside of Africa.
  • Music: Indonesia's Tielman Brothers. "John Lennon? Never heard of her."

1 comment:

  1. "Regarding some moviemakers and actors boycotting the Oscars, crying racism, how about not whining and making better movies?"

    Those were my exact thoughts as I watched a debate on the subject on BBC news the other day. Typical for the BBC, they scraped the barrel to find the most European woman (whose name I can't remember) to simulate phony outrage about Hollywood's alleged discrimination. "Equality" is an idol, and its champions Babel-builders.

    I've often wondered whether I might have been more at home in the 1950's. No supermarkets, very very few immigrants, shops closed on Sundays, bastardy laws still in existence, if rarely enforced, no "gay pride"...all evidence of a nominally Christian and common morality in the sunset of the Christian spirit slain on the battlefields of the Great War, but I sincerely doubt I'd have fit in even then. An old friend once quipped that I ought to have been born in 1731.

    "A New Year's resolution of sorts: to stay off Byz Anti-Cath Dot Org and SchismaticChristianity Dot Net permanently. No point being in either." Never been on either myself. In the palmy days when Liturgiae Causa was popularly read, people used to give it up for Lent!


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