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Archives for February 2007

Bastardization Nation

Gerard Manley Hopkins praised God for “all things counter, original, spare, strange.” Nowadays there’s plenty that’s strange, no doubt about that, but most of it is half-baked, rehashed, bloated and bastardized — hardly original and rarely spare. Consider translations of the Bible, especially the massive farkleberry that is the New American Bible, foisted upon us in the 1970s and hanging around like so much bad architecture and music from that era that abides with us yet, not a “fickle, freckled” beauty mark such as Hopkins praised, but rather a monstrous growth, a giant, hairy mole or a goiter on the face of the Church, on the face of civilization itself. OK, let’s move on.

So THAT’s why he’s been harping on "Hallelujah."

And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…

The Minor Fall, The Major Lift said it best, way back in 2004:

***

Dear Internet,

On Wednesday afternoon, shortly before we were to commence our traditional Rosh Hashanah activities (pelting Hasidim with Hostess SnoBalls) we received a message from a woman of our acquaintance who, in spite of her intimidating formidability, seems to have our best interests at heart. She asked us to meet for a drink; a request which we never deny, no matter who makes it. Over a few Wild Turkeys up (ours; she wound up drinking water, which may make our trust in her seem rather suspect) she gently informed us that we should quit blogging, since our heart seemed no longer to be in it and it was “painful to watch.”

Stunned, and not a little hurt, we staggered back to the drop forging factory where we earn our living to ponder her suggestion. Was she right? Had we really fallen off that badly? Was it time for us to hang it up? Why did we decide to have that third drink when we knew we’d soon be operating heavy machinery?

After we came to and all our wounds had been cauterized, we had to admit to ourselves that our friend had something of a point: This blog has sucked lately, and our heart hasn’t been in it. (We’ve been too busy writing slash fiction about that guy in the red pants from The Apprentice.) As our friend herself admitted, we’ve had a good run. We are deeply appreciative of all the people we’ve come into contact with as a result of this blog, even that guy who always posts comments like, “Not funny” or “Don’t get it.” (Us either, pal.) But we hate to continually disappoint so many of you with substandard service, so we are seriously considering hanging it up. We are, at the very least, taking a looooong hiatus, in hopes that this time our frequent attempts at retirement are somewhat more successful.

We’ll leave the links up (from what we understand, that’s what most of you come here for in the first place), and if something really fascinating occurs (read: Alessandra Stanley/Virginia Heffernan cage match) we’ll pop back up, but in all likelihood, this is goodbye. It’s been a pleasure, kids. Do a shot for us.

We’re going to turn the comments off, since we’re a little tired of being your one-stop clearinghouse for Viagra prescriptions and online gambling…Stay safe. Also, we love you and want to have a million of your babies. We’re sorry it took us so long to tell you that. Okay, that’ll do.

Best, etc.,

TMFTML

***

Of course, he came back, and then went on to become editor of Gawker. So take it for what it’s worth. Anyway, this by way of saying that Godsbody is shutting down, at least for Lent. After that, we’ll see. Besides the charge of general lameness, I’m realizing that I pretty much need to axe the Internet if I’m ever going to get some writing done on a number of projects dear to my heart. It’s been a delightful run, mostly because of the excellent people I’ve encountered through the comments. You folks are the best. Thanks for stopping by. Have a happy Lent, and an excellent Mardi Gras. Cheers!

Fitter, Happier

The Golden Age

Lost Cause

Kangaroo

Corpus Christi

This Might Have Been What They Meant

Barrier-Method Contraception…

…sometimes, it’s just a baby between you in the bed.

From the YouTube Music Archives XI: Maria Callas Sings Selections from Norma

I’m going down to Portland tonight to see Brenda Harris perform in a production of Bellini’s most famous work, so I thought I would post some video clips of her in the role. She’s had some recent success with her performances of the ancient British queen. Unfortunately, there aren’t any on line. There’s plenty of Callas though, including this performance of Casta Diva, recorded at a concert performance in 1958. Here also is Ah bello a me ritorna from the same concert. From a 1952 performance at Covent Garden, here are two duets with Ebe Stignani, Mira, O Norma, and Oh, rimembranza!. There’s a different version of Mira O Norma with Giulietta Simionato, slower and I would say better. There’s also Oh! Di qual sei tu vittima by Callas, del Monaco and Simionato which brought down La Scala in 1955. And just because it’s one of my favorites, here is Compagne, Teneri Amici Come Per Me Sereno… from Bellini’s much too seldom performed La Sonnambula.

And as a special bounus, here is a quasi-interview with Callas after she created a scandal by walking out on a performance of Norma after the first act.

Aphorism of the Day

Less camps, more movements.

(What am I, a CL’er?)

St. Gilbert of Sempringham

Gilbert was born at Sempringham, England, son of Jocelin, a wealthy Norman knight. He was sent to France to study and returned to England to receive the benefices of Sempringham and Tirington from his father. He became a clerk in the household of Bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln and was ordained by Robert’s successor, Alexander. He returned to Sempringham as Lord on the death of his father in 1131. In the same year he began acting as adviser for a group of seven young women living in enclosure with lay sisters and brothers and decided the community should be incorporated into an established religious order. After several new foundations were established, Gilbert went to Citeaux in 1148 to ask the Cistercians to take over the Community. When the Cistercians declined to take on the governing of a group of women, Gilbert, with the approval of Pope Eugene III, continued the Community with the addition of Canons Regular for its spiritual directors and Gilbert as Master General. The Community became known as the Gilbertine Order, the only English religious order originating in the medieval period; it eventually had twenty-six monasteries which continued in existence until King Henry VIII suppressed monasteries in England. Gilbert imposed a strict rule on his Order and became noted for his own austerities and concern for the poor. He was imprisoned in 1165 on a false charge of aiding Thomas of Canterbury during the latter’s exile but was exonerated of the charge. He was faced with a revolt of some of his lay brothers when he was ninety, but was sustained by Pope Alexander III. Gilbert resigned his office late in life because of blindness and died at Sempringham. He was canonized in 1202. ~ catholic.org

Because my children are cooler than I am…

…more photos at the other blog.

The family thing.

Not only did Aunt Cheryl manage to get one of her works selected for a juried art show, but her piece was also chosen to adorn the Arts Columbia website.

Saletan on Santorum

Rick Santorum became something of a punching bag for a certain segment of the population after he argued, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.” The comparison to incest in particular seemed to ruffle some feathers.

Enter William Saletan, a fellow who seems to be able to get away with asking all sorts of questions that might get someone else branded or dismissed. Thanks to Smokee, we have this piece in Slate, in which Saletan asks exactly what is wrong with Santorum’s argument, at least as far as it applies to incest:

“Like Smith, a defender of brother-sister incest could accuse Santorum of ‘disparaging an entire group of Americans’ and ‘advocating that a certain segment of American society be disavowed from constitutional protection.’ In its brief to the Supreme Court in the sodomy case, HRC maintains that ‘criminalizing the conduct that defines the class serves no legitimate state purpose,’ since gays ‘are not less productive—or more dangerous—members of the community by mere dint of their sexual orientation.’ They sustain ‘committed relationships’ and ‘serve their country in the military and in the government.’ Fair enough. But couldn’t the same be said of sibling couples? Don’t laugh. Cousin couples are already making this argument.”

Elsewhere

Some new photos up at the other blog.

Søren Says

Longing is the umbilical cord of the higher life.
~ Journals

Hallelujah, Round Two

Thanks for Petellius for the suggestion:

John Cale vs. Allison Crowe.