Monday, July 14, 2014

Black for Bastille Day, and more


  • From Gerald Warner:
  • The Church of England's General Synod on women bishops today. The only way it affects us: Looks like that love-in Welby and his circle are trumpeting with such excitement with the Vatican has limits and they are not going to attend the event where the CofE separates itself further from the majority of the world’s Christians and the conservative Christians are crucified. Even with low-church Pope Francis, whom I'm told, like most Catholics, is not interested in women's ordination. Even if the reports of his personal liberalism are true, I respect him as a man because apparently he's his own man, not lockstep left OR right. ("Neither the sickle nor the swastika" as Elena Maria Vidal's husband puts it.) The authentic Catholic position does that. If the culture's wrong, the church says no. A mob isn't always right but no, we can't change the matter of the sacraments. I forget where I first read it, but the point, repeated by John Paul II, is because the validity of the Eucharist is at stake, we have no business even trying.
  • Babies as returnable merchandise. As a conservative wrote on Facebook, our civilization struggled to get rid of slavery and now the left wants to bring it back.
  • From Steve Sailer:
    • The elite seem to think that in the future, everything will look like an Apple store. Like futurists are prophetic, ha ha. At least it looks a lot like another intended prediction, googie style, known back East as doo-wop. (Casa de Cadillac is '40s art-deco.) "So modern it's dated." Of course I love it. Actually I live in a 1910 building with mostly '40s furniture and of course some doo-wop things, both real and toys; the past has a past. Not fake Fifties chrome and a poster of the Fonz (except its great first year, "Happy Days" was so bad, with its '70s and '80s fashion: Garry Marshall thought his audience was stupid). If I lived in a postwar house, things would be mostly mid-century modern (not ironic/camp/kitsch: I ransom these things from that). Regarding "doo-wop," I thought the Wildwood museum would be about the music but I wasn't disappointed.
    • What baby-boomer slang is now unhip? Only "groovy," which had a very short shelf life about 46-47 years ago. (As did "honky," the supposed black answer to the n-word, which nice whites have never used. That came from "hunky," Eastern European working-class immigrants, ethnic versions of arguable folk hero Archie Bunker.) A sign that they've taken over, which is probably bad. (Like a lot of hippie slang, "groovy" came from '40s black jazzmen.)
    • Univisión is owned and run by rich white men who don't speak Spanish. My comment.
    • One of his historical interests is "diversity before diversity," when golden-era America (strong white majority: culturally WASP with a big Catholic and a small but very successful Jewish minorities) supposedly was so mean all the time to non-whites. Actually, he points out, Hispanics (a number of whom are white: of Spanish descent) were overrepresented in the media, from César Romero to Xavier Cugat to Desi Arnaz. Long before political correctness, LA suburbs have had Spanish names everywhere because of California's history. Part of that was the feds' Good Neighbor Policy and trying to generate interest in and tourism to Latin America since Europe was cut off during World War II. In my view the sad main fact of America's story culturally in the 20th century is it succeeded in neutralizing, assimilating, its big Catholic minority, thanks in part to churchmen buying into space-age progressivism and thus losing their nerve. (That was the culprit, not the hippie thing. They were too old for that, and kids were just consumers of pop music.) Yes, googie/doo-wop is the style of that progressivism but part of the charm is the old ways were still really in charge ("the grownups were still in charge" as a friend who grew up then put it). A modern Catholic church can be great if it was built for the Tridentine Mass; of course space-age churches were.
  • Bill Haley first performed "Rock Around the Clock" in Wildwood in '54; a lot of people think that's the first rock song (maybe it was the first rock hit) but there are older contenders - rock was a slight shift from late '40s r&b. Bill Haley wasn't all that different from it; the kids still jitterbugged.
  • An Aussie's take on Dreher: A false-flag operation? Not convincing. Still, as an Australian I don't comment on US politics. Dreher is interesting, though, especially from a cultural and religious perspective. He seems to live a very idyllic writer's life infused with piety (very attractive in a way). His Orthodoxy is ecumenical, though (I think) he has fallen for the Byzantine escapism that Orthodoxy can easily throw at a Westerner. I hope Orthodoxy works for him, but his posts suggest that he's still focused on the sins of the RC Church and is not really looking seriously at the problems within Eastern Orthodoxy. "The Byzantine escapism that Orthodoxy can easily throw at a Westerner." Well put. "His Orthodoxy is ecumenical ... but ... he's still focused on the sins of the RC Church." Speaking from my experience trying to be Orthodox, that he can't turn his back on us suggests he'll come home.

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