From the Mirror. This is too funny.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
A well-read friend sent this quote from Earnest Hemingway during an email conversation about so-called Mystical Journalism. I'm chuckling—I'm afraid I can't write that phrase with a straight face.
This too to remember. If a man writes clearly enough any one can see if he fakes. If he mystifies to avoid a straight statement, which is very different from breaking so-called rules of syntax or grammar to make an effect which can be obtained in no other way, the writer takes a longer time to be known as a fake and other writers who are afflicted by the same necessity will praise him in their own defense. True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic quality. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic.
OK, the friend was Pikkumatti. The quote is from Death in the Afternoon. With regard to false epic quality, Hemingway could have exhibited that by titling his famous book about Spanish bullfighting Death in the Afternoon and Me.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Currently slogging through my 2013 backlog. Happy New Year by the way.
I didn't read this excellent piece by Erika Rudzis when Keith blogged it almost a month ago. It's a good summary of what is wrong with the so-called Benedict Option. It might be an essay responding to a comment Kathleen once made: "The Benedict Option is neither Benedictine nor an option. Discuss."
Reading the whole thing doesn't take long. She points out many problems with Bunker Christianity from a Catholic point of view and quotes Pope John Paul II on the mission of lay people in the world. She also writes this, something I can imagine our current Pope stating and definitely agreeing with:
Bunker-Christianity is ironically un-Christian because it’s unloving. It reflects a lack of interest in the salvation of those outside our safe faithful communities. Love of God has to extend to love of neighbor, which means desiring and working for our neighbor’s salvation. I’ve heard it said that the desire to evangelize is an indicator of a strong personal faith — the degree to which we love God, we must desire to share that goodness with others. But if we lock ourselves away from those who need to hear about the faith the most, we make ourselves incapable of laboring for the salvation of others as is appropriate to the vocation of a lay person.
God so loved the world, so we should, too. That doesn't mean we love the sin and disorder in the world. The founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaria Escriva, points out that wanting to make the world into a cloister is itself a disorder. I always go back to the good ol' Letter to Digonetus to show how it has always been seen by true Christians way back in the days of AD 130. Here are a few excerpts:
Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.
Wow, they eat the same kind of food as everyone else. Amazing. Who would have thought that?
And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.
It's actually very simple, although, of course, it is far from easy. So let's not complicate it. If you are called to be a monk, take a vow of silence. And if you are called to live a life of a regular Christian, don't build a church in your backyard.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
P. T. Barnum, author of the subject line, was obviously the first person who came to my mind upon seeing the latest addition to The American Ideas Institute/The American Conservative CEO Wick Allison's Texas stable, none other than hactivist group Anonymous' spokesman Barrett Brown, currently jailed among other things for threatening an FBI agent and his children.
Given that recaps of a reality show named Courtney Loves Dallas are the consistently highest drawing posts on Allison's FrontBurner blog, I'm now putting my money on Bert and Ernie becoming Rod Dreher's blog mates over on TAC any day now, offering their unique perspectives on fleece, flock, flannel, friction, and other conservative LGBT puppet issues crucial to TAC readers.
Speaking of Rod Dreher, is the polar vortex still keeping you and the kids trapped indoors? If so, here's a quick and inexpensive game to help break that cabin fever: Rod Dreher Twister.
What you'll need: a used shower curtain, a large permanent marker, and a large round Styrofoam dinner plate.
Now, first, take the dinner plate and the marker and draw 4 rows of 6 circles (or, if you're a rebel like Barrett Brown, 6 rows of 4 circles).
Then, in each one write one of Rod Dreher's long ago exhausted memes, like "kale" or "The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming" or "Dante".
Finally, inspired by Rod Dreher's penchant for mindlessly connecting his obsessive memes merely to produce page fill for gullible college sophomores, challenge those bored kiddos by successively calling out random combinations of your 24 choices, like maybe "Pope Francis" and "The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming", or "Dante" and "kale", or, if you're really wicked, "Dante" and "Phil Robertson" and "kale" and "The Little Way of Ruthie Leming" and "Walker Percy", just to see if the kiddos are up to using their heads.
Good clean fun for the entire family!
A bonus bleg: in comments, help list the 24 circle memes needed.