Saturday, December 08, 2007

Renew me, grown old from senseless sins, O most Immaculate One

Midnight Song to the Most Holy Mother of God. From the Eastern Church.
Booooorrrrrrrinnnnngggggg .......

Now, I'm fairly open-minded when it comes to poetry, perhaps culpably "catholic," but this is horrid.

It's not only nonsense (and I can take a little bit of nonsense; I have a high surrealism-tolerance quotient), it's uninteresting nonsense.

"[A]nticipating site-specific specificity ..." Wow. How ... transgressive, how radical, how ...

Vide supra. Title of this post.
More on Romney

Peggy Noonan. Mostly praise for his performance. But there was this bit I liked:

His text was warmly cool. It covered a lot of ground briskly, in less than 25 minutes. His approach was calm, logical, with an emphasis on clarity. It wasn't blowhardy, and it wasn't fancy. The only groaner was, "We do not insist on a single strain of religion--rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith." It is a great tragedy that there is no replacement for that signal phrase of the 1980s, "Gag me with a spoon."

Noonan also wonders why Romney doesn't include agnostics and atheists in his "moving portrait of the great American family." In fact, he does take appear to take a shot at them in his speech.

We should perhaps distinguish between someone who has a secular world-view and is virtuous, merciful, charitable, etc., etc., and the militant secularist, who has the intractable desire to expunge every trace of religion from the public square. When Romney spoke of those who would elevate secularism to a "religion," he clearly meant the latter sort of person.

At Erik's Rants and Recipes, we have an impassioned plea to Catholics: don't "swallow the kool-aid and vote for the Mormon"!

I should fess up. I voted for Romney in '02 for Massachusetts governor. His opponent, Shannon O'Brien, was a Roman Catholic who, in addition to having all the other baggage of your average Democrat, favored lowering the age of consent for prenatal infanticide from 18 to 16. So I voted for the Mormon, who maintained the status quo.

Now we have a Christian governor here in the Bay State, Deval Patrick, a Presbyterian who hasn't done what Ms. O'Brien promised to do, but who has expanded the buffer zone for protests around abortuaries to something like six and a half miles (actually, 35 feet). Mr. Patrick is also, predictably enough, an enthusiast for embryonic stem-cell research. But it's a good thing we don't have an infidel in the corner office!

Having said all that, I should say that I'm not in the Romney camp as far as the presidential primary goes. And the more I learn about Mormonism -- a late-night radio talk-show host around here recently devoted some time to enumerating some of their beliefs (e.g., Jesus and Satan are brothers) -- the more I detect some insalubrious eccentricities!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Of an excellence belying its author's claim that it is merely an exercise : In California from Meredith of For Keats' Sake.
He will be missed

Fr Jim Tucker of Dappled Things has decided to retire from blogging.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


A poem by Thomas Merton.

Last night I dreamt ...

that I was at a Trappist monastery with a priest-acquaintance of mine, on retreat. I turned to him and said something like, "It is good for us to be here" ... a sentiment which soon changed as the Mass began and the opening "hymn" was ... "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones.
Hart Crane

O, I have known metallic paradises
Where cuckoos clucked to finches
Above the deft catastrophes of drums.
While titters hailed the groans of death
Beneath gyrating awnings I have seen
The incunabula of the divine grotesque.

from "For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen," section II

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hate crime in East Boston

A white firefighter was dining in a Latin-American restaurant in East Boston when he was approached by six Hispanic men who told him, "We don't want no gringos in here." He left, and drove to his fire station. The men followed him there, began punching him, and stabbed him twice in the chest. His injuries are described as non-life-threatening.

Heard this on the radio last night, WBZ (1030 AM). Can't find the link to the story on their website, nor can I find the story in either of Boston's two major daily newspapers.

Update : Here it is, from the Boston Herald.

But do I need to tell you, dear readers, that the incident was not described by the folks at WBZ as a hate crime?

Here we have a stabbing, where the victim is told he's being stabbed because he's a member of the "wrong" racial group. Not a hate crime.

Can someone please explain?
The Snow-Storm

The famous poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

A meditation by the 20th-century Anglican clergyman Eric Milner-White.