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Friday, May 21, 2010

The Latest Alternative to Vapid Conversation



First read about yet another whiz-bang electronic device sported by our increasingly shallow "educated class," Foursquare, as reported in (where else?) the New York Times.

Now read the between-the-lines account in the Onion.

The Times' story almost seems a parody of the Onion, especially the photo (above) but the Onion's, of course, is far closer to the mark: a foul-mouthed obituary for a dying medium.

(Thanks to Serge)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Extreme Unction

Watch, if can bear it, the installation of Mary Glasspool, the first lesbian bishop in the Episcopal Church, in a multi-culti extravaganza. Note the ghastly surrounds, a dismal convention center. Note the row upon row of empty seats. Note the preponderance of grey heads among those who did attend, how atrociously dressed people are, the drab depressing dowdiness of it all.

Note also, as I did with particular pain, the wretched music. Not the myriad ethnic numbers (I am clueless about that stuff), rather the few traditional works--tossed in, I suppose, to suggest continuity with the Episcopal Church's glorious Anglican heritage. Up until now, the Episcopal Church has kept its performance practices up to a high standard; whatever other nonsense might take place during a state occasion, you could always count on a few, well-performed traditional anthems or hymns that would thrill you to the marrow. Not any more. The choirs here are dreadful: obviously amateurs, mostly old women with wobbly voices, the ensemble and pitch horrendous. Even the brass choir, which I assume is professional, makes countless clams.

The less said about the liturgy and ritual, of course, the better. What we are witnessing here is an institution in its death throes; what is sadder still is except for those who have or had a connection to it, nobody cares. Requiescat in pace.

(Thanks to Banished Child of Eve and StandFirm)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Water Music

Comes the most peculiar news from Boston of a musical tribute to the Kennedy family.
The world premiere of "The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers," is set for Tuesday night at Symphony Hall. Celebrity narrators Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris will read from some of the most famous speeches of President John F. Kennedy and Sens. Robert and Edward Kennedy.

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart commissioned composer Peter Boyer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens to write the piece, which will be performed several other times this spring and during the Pops summer season.
I suppose those Bostonians are welcome to it but I can't imagine scalpers will do a brisk business outside Symphony Hall on nights the Kennedy brothers portrait is performed. Still, if the Pops wants to do this thing right, they will join forces with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus at some point during the tribute for a rousing rendition of the famous and much beloved Teddy Kennedy Song (to the tune of the Irish Washerwoman):
Oh, your mother is dead
And your father is dead
And your brother is dead
And your brother is dead
And your brother is dead
And your wife is a drunk
And your kid has one leg
And your car doesn't float.
Hat tip to Robbo

Cry Babies

Damien Thompson of the Telegraph reports on the welcoming gift being prepared for the Pope when he visits England in September for the beatification of Cardinal Newman.
A ghastly discovery today: plans to subject Pope Benedict XVI to trendy musical tripe when he celebrates the Beatification Mass for Cardinal Newman at Coventry Airport on September 19. According to Nick Baty, a supporter of the little gang of composers who have liturgical commissions sewn up in this country, the music for the Mass will include...
Since all that crap sounds alike, it's pointless to list it. Thompson continues,
Oh, and there’s a brief motet by Elgar and a couple of rousing Newman-based hymns; but basically it’s game set and match to the Society of St Gregory (SSG), the mafia of the mediocre who ensure that most music at Mass in most dioceses reeks of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This stuff didn’t sound either beautiful or cutting-edge when it was performed for Pope John Paul; how will it sound to the ears of a genuine music lover, Pope Benedict XVI? And young Catholics, especially, loathe it.
Good for those young Catholics. They, like baby boomers of the past, rebel against hoary and hidebound conservatism but unlike in my generation, the conservatives are the liberals these days. The Holy Father's advocacy of the Catholic Church's glorious musical and liturgical legacy is well known and he has fought mightily to have them restored to their rightful place in the mass. The ploy of larding up up Newman's beatification mass with post-Vatican II sludge can only be interpreted as an effrontery, a temper tantrum to let the mean old Pope know just what the liberal English Catholic hierarchy thinks of him.

They're getting so old, these people; what a shame they won't grow up.

I ♥ Polarization

The editors at the Washington Post, in top handringing form, lament the recent trend toward "partisanship and paralysis" and wonder if there is a way to "carve out some space for those who strive to work across party lines in the national interest?" Which makes Mona Charen at the National Review wonder in return where those budding sculptors at the Post were hiding just a short while ago.
This call to a high-minded spirit of compromise was utterly absent in the winter of 2009, when it seemed that the Democrats would carry all before them. When newly inaugurated Barack Obama airily spurned Republicans who objected to aspects of the stimulus bill with the reply “I won,” the Post did not pull its chin about the problem of polarization. Nor did the great stewards of bipartisanship turn a hair when Speaker Pelosi declared, during the health-care debate, that “a bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes.”
Finally, at long last, the Republicans (some of them, anyway) realize this country is charging full speed toward the abyss. Liberals like those at the Post, terrifed at the prospect of their cherished doctrines in jeopardy, now suggest in the spirit of compromise our run off the cliff be slowed to a stately and respectable promenade.

Expediency

Illegals are pouring over our border in Arizona and the federal government not only does nothing about it but, via the Obama Administration, derides Arizona for simply doing what the feds refuse to do. Meanwhile, up in Franklin, Vermont, a sleepy town on the Canadian border, the feds tell a dairy farmer to accept $39,500 for his five acres of his land or they will take it from him by force, so they may spend $8 million to "secure" a little-used border crossing abutting his property. The feds do this, obviously, so they may claim they are "doing something" about illegal immigrants yet be spared angry accusations from the usual suspects they are targeting the wrong illegal immigrants.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Unmitigated Gall

From nj.com:

TRENTON -- A Senate committee approved legislation today creating scholarships for students to attend private schools during a raucous hearing held in front of the Statehouse Annex building.

Hundreds of demonstrators, mostly students from private and charter schools, gathered to rally for the bill. Supporters said it provides students a chance to leave failing public schools, while opponents said it undermines the public school system.
Actually, the public schools were undermined years ago, by the very same people so fiercely opposed to vouchers. They did not prevail, however. This part is priceless.
The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee. The hearing was scheduled to be held in a normal committee room, but senators said it was packed with NJEA members when they arrived.

Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) said he asked them to make room for some of the bill's supporters, splitting the seating evenly between the two sides.

"They said we're not moving. So we'll have it outside," he said.

Statehouse staff carried out desks and chairs for senators, and the hearing -- complete with testimony and parliamentary procedure -- was held in front of hundreds of demonstrators.

"It's a great lesson in civics," Lesniak said.
Sure is and how deliciously humiliating! If anyone had told me a year ago this would be take place in one of bluest states in nation, I would have asked him what he was smoking. We are witnessing a tide change in this country.

UPDATE: Also galling is the implication taxpayers are to serve the schools, not the other way around.

Don't Sugarcoat it, Governor

I like this guy.

Gov Christie calls S-L columnist thin-skinned for inquiring about his 'confrontational tone'


It's being noised he's presidential material. Works for me.

McWorship

I made the claim earlier that most modern the pop songs sound alike and provided strong evidence to back it up. That claim, apparently, may also be made for so-called "contemporary worship."


Thanks to Fr. C

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some Dictatorships are More Equal than Others

Glenn Reynolds wonders at the disparity between Western attitudes toward communism verses Nazism. While most among our elite now acknowledge that abuses took (and take) place in communist regimes, abuses that used to be politely ignored, there is far more attention paid to the atrocities of Nazism; this despite the general consensus there were over 150 million people who died at the hands of the communists in the last century, far more than those murdered by the Nazis.

The reason for the muted reaction to communist abuses, I think, is that Western culture is overwhelmingly dominated by liberals and ultimately there isn't a whole lot of difference between liberals, in their modern incarnation, and hard-line Stalinists. The goal is the same; the only difference is the timetable. It was not for nothing around 1935, during the New Deal, it was popularly said by communists to their liberal colleagues that they were simply "liberals in a hurry." And to what were they hurrying? Forced equality, at the point of a gun if necessary, just like the liberals.

The tacit endorsement of communism by liberals was made strikingly clear to me back in the 'nineties when a bar opened in the newly-hip Lower East Side (after, of course, Republican ogre Rudy Giuliani had cleaned up crime in New York). I can't remember its name, the "Politboro" or the "Kremlin"--it doesn't matter, but the theme of place was the former Soviet Union, with a hammer-and-sickle and red stars motif, along with portraits of Uncle Joe Stalin and the gang, photographs of May Day parades--you get the idea.

The joint was hugely popular for a while and was considered by many (for almost a whole year!) a Bar of the Century. I remember, though, at the time wondering just how well that bar would have been received had it adopted as its theme Nazi Germany, with portraits of Hitler and Himmler and stills from "Triumph of the Will" hanging on the walls. Not terribly well, was my conclusion; some forms of tyranny are absolutely unacceptable to the hip liberal elite.

C'mon Harry, One More Time

Has Barack Obama finally seen the light regarding the multi-trillion dollar debt?
"For too long, Washington has kicked this challenge to the next generation...This time, the status quo is no longer acceptable to Americans.
Nope, keep dreaming. Those stirring words were spoken by our plucky President about the just-introduced Senate bill limiting carbon dioxide emissions, the "cap and tax" bill.

Lest you think, "now there's one that's DOA," don't forget many of us thought the same of the healthcare monstrosity last year. I say, however, go ahead and pass the thing. If this bill, with its huge tax increases, meets with even half the acclaim healthcare did, we may be reasonably sure the Democrats are going the way of the Whigs.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vote Early and Often

Run, don't walk, over to Christopher Johnson's Bad Vestments website and nominate your pick for "worst Christian vestment you have ever seen." There is a tempting array of choices on the Bad Vestments site and you will certainly find many, many more on the Internets.

For what it's worth, here is my nominee.



No need for a telescopic sight to dispatch that fearsome creation, especially when the thing is modeled in the manner shown.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Many Happy Returns

New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority, the agency responsible for the city's trains, buses, bridges and tunnels is hemorrhaging money, a victim of declining revenues owing to the recession and colossal mismanagement. Lately the agency has been making drastic cuts in subway and bus service and threatens more of them unless it can get its financial affairs in order.

It is thus gratifying to learn that despite its severe financial woes, the MTA is digging deep beneath the sofa cushions to find the $134,000 per annum necessary to keep Chief Equal-Employment-Opportunity Officer Gloria Colon on the payroll. Ms. Colon recently displayed her incalculable worth to the MTA and city's long-suffering commuters by distributing a memo to 300 employees announcing a significant milestone in the history of mass transit: the 50th anniversary of the FDA's approval of Enovid, the first oral contraceptive.

Why thank you, Ms. Colon and a very happy anniversary to you, too.

She Got it Right the First Time

From the New York Post:
The Golf Channel reporter who explained why Tiger Woods yesterday pulled out of a major tournament could use some lessons in anatomy.

"[Woods] says he's been playing with a bad neck for about a month and thinks it could be a bulging d- - k," Win McMurry said on-air.

What she meant to say is that the serial-cheater quit in the final round of The Players Championship in Florida because of a bulging disc in his upper back.

The red-faced reporter quickly corrected her X-rated observation.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Here was a Really Bad Guy

From Taylor Marshall's blog Canterbury Tales:
By now we know that the founder of the Legionaries of Christ Marcial Maciel had abused drugs, abused children, abused millions in Church donations, and worked under four to five alias in order live as husband or lover to a number of women...

It has been recently revealed that Marcial Maciel refused to confess his sins on his death bed and that he refused Last Rites by saying to the priests at hand "I said no!" and that he "did not believe in God's pardon." The reaction led to the summoning of an exorcist.

*****

Maciel's life seems thoroughly diabolical--plagued with lies, sacrilege, adultery, false witnesses, rape, theft, incest, and child molestation. The stories and legends that will arise about him through the ages will be stupendously haunting--a true Faustus. He is perhaps the greatest ecclesiastical villain since Judas Iscariot.
Wow, after a long sordid run he checks out of this existence by blaspheming the Holy Ghost, the unpardonable sin. This guy was truly evil.

Read it all.

(Thanks to Augustine)

You've Got to be Carefully Taught

I work but a block from Fifth Avenue and so can observe close up most of the various ethnic parades that take place on New York City's Main Street. You see lots of flag waving, of course, the flags of the celebrants' (or their ancestors') native countries as well as of their their adopted country, the United States. This holds true regardless the parade: the St. Patrick's Day, the Columbus Day, the Greek Independence Day, the Steuben Day, the Dominican Day Parade and the host of others I have surely left out.

The national day of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo, is not celebrated to any great extent in New York but is, as you might expect, in California. Yesterday, May 5th, five high school students in Morgan Hill, California, a suburb of San Jose, were suspended when they refused an order from an educrat to turn the t-shirts they were wearing inside out because he considered them "incendiary." The shirts were adorned with American flags.
"They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended," Dominic Maciel, Galli's friend, said.

The boys really had no choice, and went home to avoid suspension. They say they're angry they were not allowed to express their American pride. Their parents are just as upset, calling what happened to their children, "total nonsense."

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel's mom, said. "All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature. They're expressing their individuality."

But to many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.

"I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day," Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. "We don't deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July."
Miss Nunez speaks the truth, in a way. We can be sure she and her friends will never be seen waving an American flag, on the Fourth of July or any other day. That would be contrary to the narrative so carefully taught in the public schools that for ethnic victims like herself, the United States of America is a racist and oppressive nation, not to be celebrated but condemned. Miss Nunez has learned her lesson well and owes a debt of gratitude to that racist and oppressive nation providing her schooling.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Upsetting the Apple Cart

In the small-and-getting-smaller-world of Anglo-Catholicism (whence your Bloviator originates) there was a bit of a tizzy recently when word leaked out several A-C bishops had traveled to Rome and met with Vatican officials, including the Pope, allegedly, to discuss details of the Anglicanorum Ceotibus, a vehicle devised by the Vatican by which Anglicans may become Roman Catholics en masse while retaining most aspects of Anglican worship, via so-called Anglican Ordinariates. The meeting was precipitated by, among other things, the impending move by the General Synod of the Church of England to permit women bishops.

Among the Anglicans in Rome was John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham and chairman of Forward in Faith International, an Anglo-Catholic "support group" within the Anglican Communnion. He is not a happy camper about the leak and has expressed great concern over its consequences as well questioning the motive of whomever spilled the beans. He recently issued a statement to members of FIF in which he informed them:
I am embarrassed by the leak to the press that we had visited the Holy See. All of us have expressed an interest in the Ordinariate and so it is obviously necessary to understand exactly what is intended and how the Ordinariate will be implemented. We were certainly neither negotiating nor plotting. The leak came as a real surprise to me as it happened whilst I was abroad. As we had not informed others of our visit, who leaked it - and why - is a very serious question. It risks damage to the Church of England, and to Catholic Anglicans in particular, as well as to the forthcoming visit to the UK of the Holy Father. It also has serious ecumenical implications. To say it was malicious would seem to fit the facts.
Bishop Broadhurst maintains, sincerely I am sure, that he is still a loyal Anglican (although so did Newman up until he poped). He states further:
I have a deep love for the Church of England and its Anglo-Catholic tradition in particular. The question of how it is to continue is a serious one. Though the signs in General Synod do not look good, many still hope for proper provision in line with previously made promises. Our visit must not be allowed to colour these discussions.
The biggest obstacle facing Anglo-Catholics who wish to come over to Rome is not the Anglican Church, rather liberal Catholic bishops (whose numbers, thankfully, are also getting smaller), holdovers of the dreadful post-Vatican II reforms . They are vehemently opposed to large numbers of Anglo-Catholics becoming Roman Catholics because they will spoil everything by bringing with them tasteful liturgy and soaring music, in short, worship for grownups, which appalls the felt banners and giant puppets contingent, who earnestly believe worshipers should be treated like children. Opposition from liberal Catholic bishops is, apparently, the reason the Anglican bishops bypassed them went and straight to the Vatican, a wise move, I think. Let us pray the press leak does not force Coetibus off the rails.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Stop Me if You've Heard This One Before

In the 70s I found myself listening to rock 'n' roll less and less, giving it up entirely by decade's end; it seemed all the songs sounded alike. I was not mistaken.



In the unlikely event you want to know, the four chords in question are the tonic, dominant, submediant and subdominant (I-V-vi-IV).

(Thanks to Robbo)