Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Internet trads, two characters in American decline, a gift of the autistic, and more

  • Facebook trads. Is it time to join the SSPX? I can't stomach the irreverence and sacrilege of the Novus Ordo any longer. The church can't change our doctrine but it can do things we don't like, like having the Novus Ordo. The SSPX does good, but it's a last resort (Catholic Defcon 2). Don't leave the church just because you don't like the ceremonial. Don't join a cult with the church's trappings. If liturgy is just a ceremony like some military change of command, then it doesn't matter anyway. A Mass is a Mass, but I never said ceremonial doesn't matter. The Novus Ordo in English as corrected now has everything necessary. Everything necessary doesn't mean ideal. (Like how Anglo-Catholics feel about the Book of Common Prayer.) I've been to liberal parishes since Pope Benedict's change; because of what he did, their Mass is Catholic in spite of themselves. I can go to Mass anywhere in the country, just like an un-self-conscious Catholic 50 years ago. Beats the spiritual pride of a cult. "Don't leave the Church by going to the SSPX"??? This presumes the SSPX is outside the Church. However, this is something which no one has said. You got to love neocon reasoning... LOL. I give the SSPX its due (we have our Mass in the official church because of it; I think Fellay should be a cardinal and Lefebvre a saint). But leaving the official church as things stand now is wrong. If the SSPX isn't part of the "official" Church, then it means they are part of some "unofficial" Church. Something which no one has ever said. Religious orders can only operate in a diocese with the bishop's permisson. The SSPX has none from mine. Jurisdiction (the bishop's permission) is required for some priestly duties regarding the sacraments: valid absolutions and church weddings. I appreciate the SSPX's argument that there is a state of emergency in the church supplying them jurisdiction, and that theologically they are very much not a separate church, but I don't believe the state of emergency they claim exists. Not that things aren't bad.
  • From A Real Live One:
    • It is often with disbelief that an older generation has to wrestle with a younger generation reclaiming what it had cast away. Plainly, the majority of the Roman hierarchy does not readily comprehend why the old liturgy fascinates anyone with no living memory of its regular celebration. Indeed, even the bishop of Rome doesn't quite get it. There are a myriad of reasons why this is the case, most of which do not have any discernable connection.
    • Traditionalist ecclesiology implicitly denies absolute infallibility to the Roman Pontiff. As Jeff Culbreath said to me right after he came into the church, explaining the difference between traditionalists and conservatives, "We are papal minimalists." Does that make us Gallicans, conciliarists, or Western Orthodox, not Catholics? (Why not be Orthodox?) I appreciate the argument but no. More that many people never really understood papal infallibility; as Fr. Hunwicke says, Pastor Aeternus, by defining (limiting) the doctrine, put a lid on the wild speculation of the ultramontanists. The Pope's not the Mormon Prophet or the Episcopal Church's General Convention. He can't do many things. Because he's only the Pope. True Catholicism actually has more in common with Orthodoxy than many know: a loose communion of national churches run largely by custom. All we're saying, as opposed to non-Catholic churches, is the Pope has his place. All the Orthodox (practically, Russia, as they're the only Orthodox with power) have to do is get over themselves and they'd be back in the family, and we'd all be that much stronger. As much as libcaths go on about collegiality and Eastern mysticism vs. the legalistic West, I really don't think they want a horde of strong-willed, opinionated, definitely non-Novus Ordo people coming into the church; a yiayia invasion. I'd cheer.
  • From Ex-Army, a quotation from Matt Bailey: Libertarians oppose violations of person and property by government, historically the largest purveyor of such activity. Old-school "Dirty Harry"-style law'n'order conservatives, as opposed to neocons, are concerned about violations of person and property from private scum-of-the-earth criminals. Both groups have valid concerns. Leftists by contrast traditionally adore both sorts of violators.
  • Matt Bailey reviews a book about Ayn Rand.
  • From Bob Wallace:
    • Homer Simpson and Walter White. Something went bad right around 1974, when all of us graduated high school. For one thing, Richard Nixon went off the gold standard in 1971, and because of that and several other things, wages stopped going up in January of 1974. They have never recovered, contrary to the claims (I mean lies) of the government. As for Vietnam, it ended in August of 1973. I was last year to get a draft card. Since, as Ezra Pound so perceptively noted, artists are the antennae of the race, what do these two characters tell us? One, there are the stupid, ignorant, beer-guzzling Americans who are basically interested in in bread and circuses. They don't count except as mostly a drag on everything. Then we have the smarter Walter White criminal types. They are most interesting.
    • "We'll become ISIS" — the devaluation of America's young men.
    • I've known for years the word "meek" that Jesus used in the New Testament really translates as "humbly observant." Even when they're not savants, that obsessiveness, single-mindedness, of autistic-spectrum people including of average intelligence is an asset when understood and harnessed. Tony Attwood has said the same. Scientists. Engineers. The next Nikola Tesla. That painting? "Astronomer by Candlelight," by Gerrit Dou. Notice the absorbed expression on his face. I don't see that expression that much anymore. I often have it, which is one of the reasons so many people think I'm strange. Also reminds me of the TV show "The Mentalist," about a former phony-psychic con man helping the cops. People still thought he was psychic but, he explained, he was just paying attention, noticing things. Something the Cathedral doesn't want you to do, rather accepting its convenient, invented "reality" by decree. Some people, our Protestant culture, think that's what the church does when it does the opposite. It's taking the red pill, seeing objective truth. And yes, this comes from the free-inquiry, religion-is-for-idiots, "Question authority, man" people. God has a sense of humor.
    • Everything goes in cycles. Smart criticism of the manosphere.
  • By the way, I understand the story behind that passé hippie use of man (form of address) is moving. Like many white hipsters, they were copying blacks, something going back to the '20s. The endemic filler use of like and this use of man go back to '40s jazzmen, as swing segued into boogie-woogie and r&b (piano riffs, and call and response from black Protestantism) and into early rock, one of my musical sweet spots. The story says black musicians called each other man because many whites called them boy. "I am a man." Indeed. The beatniks (Kerouac was cooler than his followers) got it from them, and the hippies got it from the beatniks.


  1. I prefer liturgy that is highly reverent (of which the TLM is the epitome). In this culture, such liturgy is rare.

    I should fast much more than I do.In this culture, that is very common.

    Participation in less-than-ideal OF liturgy is itself a sort of fast: one gets enough to keep body and soul together, but with less savor. Perhaps if more of us were better at literal fasting, liturgical matters would improve. The SSPX has done a great deal of good, but participation in it can be a near occasion of pride and almost certainly would be for me.

    1. Works when the OF's baseline is unequivocally orthodox, as it now is in English thanks to the changes Pope Benedict ordered. What you wrote is why I didn't go to Mater Ecclesiae's High Mass at our cathedral this year, instead choosing to do what Catholics 50 years ago did: walk to my territorial parish (I'm registered somewhere else, because it's better and because I can) for the early Low Mass, OF of course and lacking much. Fake religion is self-centered, and I wanted this to be about religion, not religious entertainment.


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