Archives for August 2013

Rally, Friends of Korrektiv, rally!

So after JOB posted his link yesterday, I went and got lost at Cosmos in the Lost. Any man who’s willing to argue that Camus and Sartre were secret believers has my interest. (It really is remarkable how much of Percy is built off of these two.) And any scholar of Czeslaw Milosz has my attention. Anyway, I noticed a donate button on the blog’s front page. Go thou and donate!

In which a Great Mind speaks and a fellow Freeholdian makes good, better, best

Here is the Great Mind Alisdair MacIntyre addressing Notre Dame students on the very Percian question of, aside from Catholicism, what else is there? In the talk, he speaks to some extent about the violent (or at least highly uncomfortable) claims that truth makes in this world – to the extent that every expression of the Creed is a revolution (sometimes bloody, more often not) against the secular status quo. The respondent’s words are also important, too – given, incidentally by my grammar/high school/college chum, Dr. Sean Kelsey, one of Notre Dame’s philosopher-kings.

Can we all go home now?






Lost to the Nth Degree.

(He even does Dylan!)

My man Mel Gibson is back in the news.


But alas, it’s not because he’s decided to produce, direct, and star in Surfing with Mel.

Crystal Blue Perdition


Anyone getting psyched for the first of Breaking Bad‘s final eight (8) episodes could do worse than revisit this post from two years ago by a friend of Korrektiv. The commentary contained therein is still relevant, as is the link to the New York Times profile of the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan — a lapsed Catholic, in case you didn’t know (which reflects at least a few faint photons of glory on us). As an Extra Added Bonus, there’s a YouTube embed of an old (i.e., young) Bryan Cranston commercial for J.C. Penney that — at least for those of us not too familiar with the man’s pre-Walter White résumé — constitutes a real-life flashback as paradigm-shifting as anything on the show.

In case you didn’t click the first link above, here it is again.

And Hank exits the loo in 3… 2… 1…

Pretty Saro

JOB alerted me to this. A beautiful 18th Century folk song recorded by Bob Dylan during the 1970 “Self Portrait” sessions but never released. Squirreled away and lost to history till now. I love what Dylan does with his voice on the high notes here. Extraordinary.

Sanctus Pater Noster Dominicus

Cell 7 of the Convent of San Marcoby Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), 15th Century

Cell 7 of the Convent of San Marco
by Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), 15th Century

Today is the feast of Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers.

As previously noted in Korrektiv, Holy Father Dominic practiced ‘nine ways of prayer’, based on distinct gestures or attitudes of the body. The Nashville Dominicans have a superb illustrated outline.

Blessed Fra Angelico‘s fresco of the mocking of Christ (above) depicts Dominic off to the side, reading — but, it’s safe to suppose from the context, not just reading: In his Eighth Way of Prayer, Saint Dominic integrated the acts of prayer and reading. Dominic’s reading-prayer did not consist only in his meditation on the text, but also in his reverent handling of the book as a physical object, and in his engagement with the Divine Author as a presence in the room. The Nashville Dominicans quote Fr Simon Tugwell, OP’s description of the Eighth Way:

Sober and alert and anointed with a spirit of devotion which he had drawn from the words of God which had been sung in choir or during the meal, [Dominic] would settle himself down to read or pray, recollecting himself in himself and fixing himself in the presence of God. Sitting there quietly, he would open some book before him, arming himself first with the sign of the cross, and then he would read. And he would be moved in his mind as delightfully as if he heard the Lord speaking to him. […] It was as if he were arguing with a friend; at one moment he would appear to be feeling impatient, nodding his head energetically, then he would seem to be listening quietly, then you would see him disputing and struggling, and laughing and weeping all at once, fixing then lowering his gaze, then again speaking quietly and beating his breast. […] The man of God had a prophetic way of passing over quickly from reading to prayer and from meditation to contemplation.

When he was reading like this on his own, he used to venerate the book and bow to it and sometimes kiss it, particularly if it was a book of the gospels or if he was reading the words which Christ had spoken with his own lips. And sometimes he used to hide his face and turn it aside, or he would bury his face in his hands or hide it a little in his scapular. And then he would also become anxious and full of yearning, and he would also rise a little, respectfully, and bow as if he were thanking some very special person for favors received. Then, quite refreshed and at peace in himself, he would continue reading his book.

Today in Sports

So Gary Player poses nude in the ESPN Body Issue …


… which is fine. I guess. I hope I look that good when I’m 70 something. I hope I look like that good by the end of summer. Not going to happen, but I can hope.

Then he gives interviews and makes like Jesus:

My big dream now is to help people become healthy. Obesity, as far as I’m concerned, is the greatest problem facing the planet at the moment. What worries me is there is nothing worse than when you see children getting all of these diseases now. People are overeating and eating all kinds of fatty foods and high sugars and junk. We have a massive challenge. It’s actually easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than to get the average man to worry about diet and exercise.

Maybe he thought he was quoting that awful Sting song, but whatever … we have for so long conflated eating a little too much corn with utter depravity that it’s hardly worth noting any more. And if it helps to mangle a biblical verse or two so that more people feel so comfortable with their bodies that they feel like posing nude in magazines, who am I to start kicking against the goods?

Well, hold on. Consider Exhibit B:

Tennis star dropped by Catholic youth group after ESPN Body Issue Pics

[Agnieszka Radwanska], who made the semifinals of Wimbledon this month, was an ambassador for a Catholic youth group’s campaign, “I’m not ashamed of Jesus.”

In 2011, she posed for a picture with the Polish spelling of Jesus written in tennis balls.

Soon she was one of the top ranked women players in the world. She turned blonde. She had fame and fortune galore. And then what? Then she went and tossed those balls like so many pieces of bread upon the waters. Or a horse and a rider. Or … whatever. I trust you take my point.

“It’s a shame that someone who has declared their love for Jesus is now promoting the mentality of men looking at a woman as a thing rather than a child of God worthy of respect and love,” Father Marek Dziewiecki, a senior Catholic priest, told The Telegraph. “If she meets a man who she can truly love and establish a happy family and raise Catholic children, then she would probably have to hide these pictures from relatives.”

Well, the Church should hold us to a different standard. Of course, of course. And of course The Voice Within demands to know, “What if she were your daughter?!” And then The Other Voice says, “But she’s not your daughter!!”

So I’m not sure what to think about this. Has my sense of propriety become so blunted that I no longer recognize licentious debauchery when it’s all huddled up on a chaise-lounge by the pool?

Korrektiv Presents: Great Moments in the History of Embarrassment

chestertonhenry james


Henry James had a name for being subtle; but I think that situation was too subtle for him. I doubt to this day whether he, of all men, did not miss the irony of the best comedy in which he ever played a part. He had left America because he loved Europe, and all that was meant by England or France; the gentry, the gallantry, the traditions of lineage and locality, the life that had been lived beneath old portraits in oak-panelled rooms. And there, on the other side of the tea-table, was Europe, was the old thing that made France and England, the posterity of the English squires and the French soldiers; ragged, unshaven, shouting for beer, shameless above all shades of poverty and wealth; sprawling, indifferent, secure. And what looked across at it was still the Puritan refinement of Boston; and the space it looked across was wider than the Atlantic.

Trolle, Lege

comic extant


Today in Porn: Calvinist Lapso Cineaste Edition

Bruce Fretts’s retrospective essay/interview with writer-director Schrader may be of interest to some of the readership here. The occasion for the article is the release of Schrader’s new film, The Canyons:

Aside from [pornography performer James Deen’s] character’s name—Christian—and a “Thy Will Be Done” tattoo across the chest of one of his sex partners, “The Canyons” features no overtly spiritual content. While Schrader denies that the film is about porn, “what’s terribly interesting is these kids in this movie—I’m a generation away from [screenwrier] Bret [Easton Ellis], and Bret’s a generation away from [stars Deen and Lindsay Lohan]—are the result of the post-porn generation. These are kids who have been raised in a world full of Internet pornography. How can that not affect someone’s moral ecosystem? I don’t know. All our cultural artifacts now come with the notion that we have to raise our children in a sea of pornography.”

from Fretts, Bruce. ‘Paul Schrader: Porn Again?’

Now maybe were Alphonse an alien….


Matthew wouldn’t hate me so much for posting this little tidbit of massively hemorrhaging success

(The Easter egg within the roiling cauldron of envy, of course, is that such things can lead one to the dizzying edge of hope…)

Dinner with Waifu (嫁との晩餐)

Flannery O'Connor Dinner

Supping with the beloved on an important anniversary.


Tomorrow in Porn


Don’t Forget ‘Obdurate, Dipsomaniacal, Seedily Satyriastic Bad Catholic’

Concrete Poetry on Jay Street

concrete poem

…in downtown La Crosse.