Sunday, May 25, 2003

US cuts contact with Iran
Not again. Pray.

Drudge Report

BettNet: Domenico Bettinelli

On the wonders of duct tape
It was useful for Mr Bush's war-effort propaganda - allegedly effective against imaginary poison-gas attacks from those evil Ay-rabs - but even more useful to me yesterday. As I started on my weekly 14-mile bicycle ride into the city and back, the bike's seat (about five or six years old and the replacement for an older one) popped off! I didn't happen to have a roll because of the hype. It's been said duct tape is the mechanical fix-all for those who don't know what they're doing/how to do it right. True a lot of the time for me but the only solution this time. It saved my a**, literally - rode into town, to the nearest bike shop, and - thank the Lord for charity and small mercies - the mechanic replaced it with a perfectly good used seat gratis!

US Memorial Day
Watched 'The Perilous Fight' on PBS late last night - a few hours' worth of World War II film in living color. Funny how I think of those times, long before my experience, in black and white! The quality was excellent - one of the few times when seeing old film that I felt 'I was there'! Through it you really could see the world of the 1940s through those people's eyes.

Hybridism? No
Some online have remarked somewhat accusingly that either I am somebody who 'dearly misses' the Roman Catholic Church or wants to create a kind of high-church Frankenstein's monster amalgamating Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism. I can understand the confusion but neither is true, though of course I want to see a reunion of all the orthodox, apostolic, Catholic (in the sense I described earlier on this blog) churches built on a foundation of small-o orthodoxy (‘mere Catholicism’) - a faith that includes but transcends several rites and ethnicities/cultures.

Except for a handful of practices that are really Victorian Anglo-Catholic - crossing myself with holy water at home, bowing my head at the Sacred Name of Jesus, praying the Angelus/Regina Coeli (using the Victorian AC wording) and having a palm leaf behind a crucifix in my kitchen/office - the only arguable, major Westernization in my religious life is the way I read the Bible - psalter, canticles and lessons twice every day, a method right out of classical Anglicanism, in a prayer life that is otherwise Russian Orthodox. The Pope is great and I wish him well always, but I have zero longing or desire to set foot into a modern Novus Ordo Mass - went to it occasionally three years ago and hated it; the only reason I went was because at the time I was dating a displaced Byzantine Catholic who lived in another city and that's where she went (there was no BC church there).

I have what I call the over-50% rule - more than half your prayer life should be from one rite. One can't really live in two or more rites at the same time.

‘Anna and the King’
Finally saw about half of it - a recent, nonsinging, even more PC remake of 'The King and I' with the charismatic and handsome fellow Chow Yun-Fat stepping into Russian-born Yul Brynner's golden slippers as King Mongkut and Jodie Foster in the other titular part, doing a old-fashioned cut-glass accent credible enough for an American movie but otherwise basically an assertive, rebellious, costumed and odd-talking American. It seemed to me the filmmakers didn't 'get' the English - those I've known would've felt right at home and known how to act in 19th-century Siam's world of subtle and maddeningly precise protocol! Can't speak for the Thais as I've never been to Bangkok (though I've been told one can have a wild, sinful time there for 1,000 baht). They still revere their king, though, and that's probably a good thing.

The remarkable story of the real King Mongkut
A great man - with both a Solomonic wisdom and libido!