Thursday, April 17, 2003

A blessed Maundy Thursday, traditional Roman Catholics. 'Maundy' comes from the Latin mundare, to clean, and has to do with Jesus' washing His apostles' feet. The king of England used to wash beggars' feet on this day in medieval times; today the Queen gives a token money gift to specially chosen people.

America the bootyful
by Solomon Jones
Quotes of note: 'We live in a society where kids are on Ritalin, parents are on Prozac and reality is a show where people eat worms.'

'Picture it: An overwhelmed soccer mom drives her five kids to karate, marching band, swim class, basketball and transcendental meditation. After dropping off the last one, she takes off her housecoat, pulls off her scarf and turns into J. Lo. Then a handsome guy pops out of the cup holder. The voiceover: "Buy the Solomon Transporter, and take your kids to so much crap you'll never have to see them again. Taxes, tags and title extra."'

[Me: I think you've got their number, Sol. It's pretty obvious that an affluent society that legalizes abortion on demand hates children. Good job unmasking it.]

'...our way of life is extremely triflin'. Especially on television.'

From the letters to the same newspaper:

Do any hip-hop artists smile? What's up with all the scowling and bad looks?

More important, rather than pondering who will be the next Eminem (white rapper), why not focus on who will be the next black Albert Einstein? We need one.

Your cover (and the cover of nearly every magazine on any newsstand) features black men in sports, rap, entertainment, and that's about it. Black men covered in "bling-bling," wearing baseball hats sideways, sporting bulletproof vests and scowling for the camera.

Where are the magazine covers featuring/celebrating black men in the fields of economics, business, medicine, scientific research, etc.?

A recent national prison survey indicated that 28 percent of black males will be in prison at one time in their lives. That's tragic.

How many of those men failed to realize the unlikely dream of being a scowling, bling-bling-wearing rapper, slam dunker or singer? One in a million?

How many of those men really applied themselves to a goal? Of earning a high school degree? Of learning to read, write, add/subtract? Of attending college?

Ask a black kid who 50 Cent is and odds are he/she will know. Ask about Cornel West and you're almost guaranteed a blank look.

[Me: Cornel West is nothing to write home about either - for reasons having nothing to do with his ethnicity - but that's another matter.]

American "black culture" is doomed to filling our prisons for decades to come unless it realizes that bling-bling, sideways baseball caps, gold-capped teeth and bulletproof vests as a fashion statement are a road to cell block A.

CHRIS CAMPBELL
Philadelphia

Maybe it's SS, DD, Chris: the affluent, snide, condescending, mostly white hipster editors, writers and readers of that newspaper, for all their PC posturing about how much they care about black people, have (unconsciously) cast them yet again in the role they expect them to play, both as entertainers and as a kind of projection of their own base impulses. (A lot like the white gangsters who went to the Cotton Club in Harlem back in the day, looking for their fix of black exotica.) The same paper that recently made fun of a refined, mannerly young black TV newsreader for not looking and acting like they think he should.

It's a form of slumming for the city's young elite.

You're right on your second point, too. The reason the burned-out 'badlands' not far from my home are the way they are is because American black culture has been so badly damaged - partly because of what white people did to them but also partly because a kind of reverse-racist negative peer pressure keeps it that way.

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Lee Penn
Vatican seeks better relations with Russian Orthodox
Transfers deported Bishop Jerzy Mazur to his homeland, Poland

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Samer al-Batal
The split on the American right
Thomas Woods is interviewed by Die Tagespost
From lewrockwell.com

‘I saw Marines kill civilians’
Eyewitness account from ‘embedded’ photographer

For the people on the streets, this is not liberation but a new colonial oppression
by Robert Fisk, The Independent

More from Mr Fisk:
So now Syria is in America’s gun sights

It seems Planned Parenthood aren't the only Yankee carpetbaggers with a hostile (to truth) ideology who're salivating over their prospects in postwar, American-vassal Iraq. The Prots want in on the action too:

A crusade after all?
Samer al-Batal: Could there be, in addition to the apostles of secularism,
aggressive Protestant shock troops on standby waiting to move in?
Should there be any fear for the indigenous Apostolic Churches
of Iraq and their flocks? I would say it is difficult to draw a parallel between
this and places like Russia and Eastern Europe. Iraq, Christian and Muslim,
is steeped in tradition and hasn't been subjected to the purge of a cultural revolution.
Note however the tactic mentioned here of wooing people with material benefits.
The Pentecostals are notorious for this in Latin America.

Russia to pull troops from Bosnia, Kosovo

Photo of the day
From antiwar.com



Eastern Catholics not allowed to missionize?

Pope issues encyclical about the Eucharist
Seems to be lots of orthodox but innocuous pious rhetoric. The big question is will this translate into a restoration of pre-Vatican II, hieratic, objective, Godward worship in Catholic churches or is it just a defense of the current dismal status quo there?

From blogforlovers.blogspot.com

Today in Church history

April 17, 1492: Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella give Christopher Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia. Though he was also interested in wealth, Columbus saw himself as a "Christ-bearer" who would carry Christ across the ocean to people who had never heard the gospel.

April 17, 1708: Ambrose, Russian Orthodox metropolitan of Moscow from 1768 to 1771, is born. In 1771, in the middle of an outbreak of the plague, Ambrose (who is known for his translations of the Hebrew psalter and some Greek and Latin fathers) was martyred by a mob when he removed an icon from the church to prevent the spread of infection.

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