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Archives for September 2007

From The YouTube Music Video Archives: Lost Cause

I’ll say up front that much of the music made by Beck eludes me, but the album Sea Change is incredible. The song Golden Age is another winner, and (although?) in the video here it seems pretty clear he’s aping Dylan as well as he can. On the other hand, maybe he was being ironic, since he’d been considered by others the next incarnation of His Eternal Bobness long before this video was made. How can we possibly keep up with the irony of the next generation? In any case, these are both great songs.

Put your hands on the wheel / Let the golden age begin / Let the window down / Feel the moonlight on your skin / Let the desert wind / Cool your aching head / Let the weight of the world / Drift away instead / These day I barely get by / I don’t even try / It’s a treacherous road / With a desolated view / There’s distant lights / But here they’re far and few / And the sun don’t shine / Even when its day / You gotta drive all night / Just to feel like you’re ok / These days I barely get by / I don’t even try

Emo Jesus

Dashed off while attending a Christian service recently…

Aphorism of the Day

The danger in espousing the holiness of the ordinary is that you may end up supposing you are approaching holiness when all you are is ordinary.

Christianity: a million ways to miss the mark – and counting!

Marching

I knew that my parents marched in Washington, D.C. to protest the Vietnam War. What I didn’t know until this morning was that they marched shoulder to shoulder with Flannery O’Connor super-mega-crush Robert Lowell

and Norman “Prisoner of Sex” Mailer

(I also didn’t know, until I read his Wikipedia entry, that Lowell was a major figure in Mailer’s Armies of the Night – so now I’m wondering if my dad gets described therein…)

“Oh yeah,” chuckled Dad when he told me. “Lowell and Gene McCarthy used to stay up late into the night reading poetry…”

Parents. It’s like they had this whole other life before we were born.

Godsbody Goes Surreal

Ce n’est pas un dejeuner gratuit:

You know, because there’s no such thing…

(Image taken from this guy, who’s pretty good.)

Bang Your Head

Oddly enough, this amazing interview with Oliver Sacks doesn’t address the effects of using the music of Quiet Riot to wake the dead. But it’s still awesomely worth reading, you philistine. A snippet:

Wired: You call yourself an old Jewish atheist in your new book. What is it about music that lends itself to being a catalyst of mystical experience even for people who don’t believe in God?

Sacks: Music doesn’t represent any tangible, earthly reality. It represents things of the heart, feelings which are beyond description, beyond any experience one has had. The non-representational but indescribably vivid emotional quality is such as to make one think of an immaterial or spiritual world. I dislike both of those words, because for me, the so-called immaterial and spiritual is always vested in the fleshly — in “the holy and glorious flesh,” as Dante said.

So if music is not directly representative of the world around us, then what’s inspiring it? One has the feeling of the muse, and the muses are heavenly beings. This feeling is very, very strong with Cicoria, the surgeon in my book who was hit by a bolt of lightning. He felt that he was actually tuning in to the music of heaven — that he had God’s phone number. I can’t avoid that feeling myself when I listen to Mozart. I feel differently about Beethoven. I think of Beethoven as a sweating Prometheus, a terrestrial figure.

I intensely dislike any reference to supernaturalism, but I think there can be profound mystical feelings which do not have to call on fictitious agencies like angels and demons and deities. The whole natural world is bathed in wonder and beauty and mystery. The feeling of the holy, the sacred, the wonderful, the mystical, can be divorced from anything theological, and is conveyed very powerfully in music.

(Thanks to Manhattan Lawyer for the heads-up.)

Food for the monster

A novel by a friend of mine…Louis is in the bayou, struggling to get up onto the pirogue where Harlan is, before the gator comes:

“Harlan stood on the pirogue, and looked all around. He wondered where the gator was; he wanted that gator so bad. He thought about sharp teeth sunk into Louis’s flesh, a wild tearing, the swift satisfying gush of blood. There was another turning in the water, and he thought he saw a dark shape: an animal, a branch, a trick of the light…Harlan stared at Louis’s hands. He considered lifting his foot and crushing the bones, watching Louis slide down and disappear forever. He wanted to send Louis back, food for the monster. He looked away instead…A profound stillness settled over Harlan then. And gradually, he felt a presence, something that lived just beneath the surface of things. His skin tingled all over with anticipation. He thought of the gator, seen only when its hunger allowed. But always there. He looked at the sky. A thin veil of clouds drifted, white over the blue, seen through thick trees. He thought of the moon in daylight, visible only when the heavens allowed. But always there. And the truth was always there…”

Q

My favorite letter is Q, for obvious reasons. An “O” with a cigar stuck in his mouth. Rich Uncle Pennybags with half his mustache shaved off. Unfortunately homonymous with queue, to form a line, or even the line itself, both of which I have no patience for. Fortunately homonymous with cue, helpful in billiards, which I do enjoy.

Good Q.

Bad Q.

Other fun facts about my favorite letter may be found here, and you will find a couple of fun lists here, and here.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief intermezzo concerning my favorite letter.

N.B. This was published earlier as a comment to the story of Humpford.

"Do not store up treasure on earth…"

Yes, yes. Still, WSTS* at this list of TV’s top earners.

*According to a brilliant old Onion piece, Weeping Silently To Self

Oh, what the heck…

For the curious, morbidly or otherwise, here are a few more Talk About Movies between myself, Mr. Grimm, and an array of colorful commenters.

Million Dollar Baby

Sophie Scholl

Little Miss Sunshine (Why oh why did it take me until the comments section to nail the film for not being true to its own premise – i.e., that we must be like Proust and accept suffering in life, instead of trying to pull a Neitschzean will to power – i.e. “I’m gonna fly planes!”)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

300

I think that ought to do it for a while.

Good grief.

Gawker has a perfectly ludicrous clip from Dirty Sexy Money. Oooh, a priest in a cassock acting like a bitchy queen. Don’t the writers know that a really nasty Catholic priest (I mean, if there were such a thing) would be far, far more subtle than this? No, no they don’t.

Serendipity II

Happened to be visiting an old friend who was himself visiting this idyllic valley:

And happened to come across a copy of Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals, bookmarked to the section on Tolstoy, in which Johnson recounted various examples of the way that Tolstoy, who was forever caught up with love for all mankind, had considerable trouble managing to love this or that particular man, even his friends.

Then, after finally getting back to Alec Guinness’s Blessings in Disguise last night, I happened upon this account of Tolstoy, told to Guinness by one of his friends, Sidney Cockerell:

“Later, up in the house, Tolstoy said he would like Syndey to see the billiard-room. The door was pushed open and they stepped into a large room, but there was no sign of a billiard table although it was there all right. The table was entirely surrounded and covered, nearly to the height of the ceiling, by tens of thousands of unopened letters which Tolstoy had thrown there. Stamps from all over the world, a philatelist’s dream, could be glimpsed and Sydney turned to his host with a look of astonished enquiry. Tolstoy shrugged, muttered something about vanity and propelled him out of the room.”

An astonishing image. One almost wonders if the billiard table haunted the great author (this or that particular man or woman, massed together into a credible substitute for all mankind, each of them seeking some form of communion – the reader responding to the writer). Otherwise, why show it to guests?

Culture Wars

A Godsbody reader was kind enough to wander over to Cal Catholic Daily, which plays host to an (almost) weekly back-and-forth about some movie or other between myself and Mr. Ernie Grimm. We have a lot of fun. So do the the folks in the combox. Last week, we took a gander at the Simpsons Movie. We liked it. Others were not amused. I may start linking to these more often. Feed the blog.

Soren Says

Our religious person chooses the way to the amusement park, and why? because he dare not choose the way to the monastery. And why does he dare not do that? Because it is too exclusive. So he goes out there. “But he does not enjoy himself,” someone may say. Yes, he does indeed. And why does he enjoy himself? Because the humblest expression for the relationship with God is acknowledge one’s humanness, and it is human to enjoy oneself.
~ Concluding Unscientific Postscript

Support Your Fellow Catholics!

This guy:

Wrote this book:

Which gets reviewed here.

Serendipity

‘Sfunny how these things go. I was here just a couple of weeks ago, and while I was there, I heard about this book. And then, I stumble upon this news of a movie about Jesus’ Missing Years. You know, the ones he spent in India.

Jukebox

Man, I gotta stop this grass
Lay off all this drinking
Really gonna make my life last
Find out a new way of living
Up until the party last night
I was a different man
Old ways
Got their way again.
– Neil Young, “Old Ways”

If I Were A Better Blogger…

…I could have a slogan like this:

Godsbody. If you can find a better Catholic blog…you’re probably Protestant.