Archives for March 2006

Happy Feast

One of the reasons we gave up the TV here at Casa Godsbody (well, except for videos and DVDs of our favorite shows…) was that, when we gave it up for Lent, we found we didn’t miss it a bit. Not so, the Internet, not so. This being a feast to which we are at least somewhat attached bloodwise (Godsbody – French palate, Irish liver), we have summararily released ourselves from the Internet fast we took on Ash Wednesday, and have been disturbed at the degree of pleasure we took in visiting the old sites.

While we’re out and about – this is fantastic. I’m not sure I could join, since I’m afraid I went and wrote a book, but I’m definitely with the B-listers in spirit.

Last note: Tullamore Dew or Powers? Discuss.

Holy Crap.

Godsbody may be bloody, beaten, and bowed, but it has somehow survived a year. Here is my first real post. Hoo!

From the Way-Back Machine

In the spirit of Godsbody (Yesterday’s News Today!™), I thought I’d post something from today’s news (pretty much–the story’s still hot, anyway) that makes reference to yesterday’s posts (mine, natch).

What’s the Godsbody connection?

1. To “quote” Clooney (à la Arianna), “I’m [sort of] a liberal [too]; there, I said it.” (Shades of rants past.) Plus I think I’ve said some nice things about Clooney somewhere else on this blog. Like here. (Read a nice interview with Clooney recently in which he reveals that it meant more to him than anything else that his newsroom in Good Night and Good Luck passed muster with his anchorman dad.)

2. We were talking about bloggers and journalistic standards a while back. Clooney, everyone’s favorite movie journalist (esp. among journalists) here holds forth on the subject in a (proleptically) timely manner in February 2006 in Los Angeles Magazine:

You have to remember, the beauty of blogging is that they can fact-check a tremendous amount of things journalists say instantaneously, but who is their ombudsman? Who corrects them? Along the way an awful lot of crap gets out.

(Again, Yesterday’s News Today!™…or in this case, Yesterday’s News is Today’s!)

Controlled Cinematic Haiku…

Shaun of the Dead

Sometimes, it’s enough
When avoiding zombie life
Just to try something

Lucky Jack and me.

“The Captain says there’s enough of his blood in this ship that it’s almost a relative.”
– sailor in Master and Commander, speaking of Capt. Jack Aubrey

I’ll go the good Captain one better, or worse, or whatever. There’s enough of my money in my house that it’s almost a child.

The redwood ran a little more than anticipated.

The world is too much with us, etc….

Man and wood.

In college, where we spent our time pursuing philosophy, theology, mathematics, and other rather abstract matters, special reverence was kept for the carpenters – those who could create things – actual concrete things – from wood. Small wonder Aristotle chose lumber to make his analogy to prime matter – the primal stuff underlying substantial change. St. Joseph was a carpenter, we reminded one another, and he was the paragon, the model of virility and husbandry. Needless to say, I, the glorified word pusher, was not counted among their number.

So my friend the carpenter is visiting now, and he’s going to replace the narrow and dilapidated strip of decking outside the house. Last night, he ran into another friend of mine, one with considerably more practical skill than I.

Other friend: What do you think of a man who can’t replace his own deck?

The carpenter: Man?


The Way of It

the latest hour, the extra bottle of wine, the best conversation…

Happy Death

(It’s not linking if you’re doing it for someone else, or some such…)

Got to go out with the wife last night, to the fantabulous Maxwell’s House of Books here in La Mesa. We went to hear the Methodist Reverend John Fanestil read and discuss his new book, Mrs. Hunter’s Happy Death: Lessons on Living from People Preparing to Die.

A fine evening, an interesting discussion – I especially liked his observation that the Happy Death started slipping from the popular imagination when death became institutionalized – that is, when it went into hospitals. He certainly wasn’t bagging on hospitals and/or medical treatment, but it seems sensible to suppose that the attitude toward death will shift when the chief caretakers of the dying are no longer ministers and family, but doctors and medical personnel. When death leaves the home, it becomes easier to deny, and also becomes less of an ordinary part of life, and more of a monstrous enemy.

Going, going…


Off to San Bernardino today, to watch wine judges in action. Oh, the rigors of the day job. Back tomorrow.

Nashing of Teeth

Finally sat down and gave a good listen to my most astonishing Christmas present: The Ogden Nash Soundbook – four tapes of the man himself reading his own work. It made me so very happy. Thinking of starting a new bit of doggerel myself…

Are you tired of peace?
Are you tired of sitting around in harmony with your fellow man, watching the length of your days increase?
Would you thrill to even the imaginary shedding of blood?
The cartoonish clash of the Bunny and Mr. Fudd?
If you are, if you would,
If you think the setting of mother against daughter and father against son and brother against brother is a positive good,
And you need a causus bellum more powderkegish than Burgundy vs. Bordeaux
Walk into a room full of Catholics and ask, “Tridentine or Novus Ordo?”


Chatting with Anne Rice

(It’s not linking if you’re linking to yourself…or something like that.)

Well, in the true spirit of Godsbody (Yesterday’s News Today!), I went and talked to Anne Rice a couple of months back about her novel Christ The Lord. (I wanted to let everybody else in the media world have an opportunity before I went – the last shall be first and all that.) She was exceedingly gracious, and I thought we found one or two plots of ground to cover that hadn’t already been done to death.

Survey Says

So the wife wants to know of movies or novels in which a person is presented as extremely wealthy – never lift a finger, what to do today wealthy – and also happy. Mr. Knightly from Emma came to mind, though I could be misremembering. Others?

Poetry Corner

A friend passed this along…

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
and hermits are contented with their cells;
and students with their pensive citadels;
maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
high as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
in truth the prison, into which we doom
ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
in sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound
within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
should find brief solace there, as I have found.


No, no, no.

Glad to see* Hoffman win for Capote, but while I admit to missing and continuing to miss Crash, I find it hard to believe that it topped The Squid and the Whale for Best Original Screenplay. The Oscars, as everybody knows, are an absolutely objective and reliable measure of excellence in film. What happened?

*By “see,” of course, I mean, “read about on Defamer.” Sigh.

"May blessings of blood rain upon you."

How to handle an Internet scammer targeting religious-minded people? Adopt the persona of bloody-minded “Sister Lillian Gans,” and let the fun begin.

(Thanks to Michael for this and the Financial Times article below.)

"This is easily the worst generation since…The Protestant Reformation."

The Criterion Collection does Metropolitan. Yes, it’s another Whit Stillman link. I saw this movie when it came out in 1990; I was the same age as the protagonists. It delighted my heart.

"We’ll win by attrition."

That’s what a friend of mine said at a wedding a while back, as he beheld the hordes of lil’ Catholics running about. I think he was sort of joking, but if this is right, then maybe not so much.

(Yeah, I’m linking. It’s Sunday!)

Family Matters

Just noted in an email that since giving up the Internet for Lent, I’ve made some fascinating discoveries. I seem to have five children. Fascinating.

Third Son, age two, has a new Prime Directive: watch Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and get a parent to sit on couch and watch with him. I bought the thing for two bucks at Hollywood Video, just on a nostalgic lark – something to which we Gen Xers seem to be particularly vulnerable – as it was the only Godzilla movie I could recall having seen. It was my first introduction to arterial spray – the bright red Japanese variety (don’t know if there are many other kinds). I also never forgot the awful scene where Mechagodzilla, while still in his fake Godzilla skin, dislocates the jaw of one of Japan’s Defender Monsters.

I never really intended Third Son to see it. I didn’t know if First Daughter, age four, would be able to take it. Now Third Son is forever presenting us with the video – he knows it by sight, even without the cover. And First Daughter? There’s a scene in which one of our heroines kneels on the beach and sings a ’70s ballad in an effort to wake King Cesar (sp?), another of Japan’s defenders, this one resembling a giant Pekingese (sp?). I’m sitting with Third Son, wondering at his devotion to this film, when I notice First Daughter, on her knees in front of the TV, hands folded in front of her just like the gal onscreen, singing along.

At the judgment, I will have much to answer for.