Archives for January 2011

White horehound bodes a bitter exodus….

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

I read The Metamorphosis back in 1992, and scribbled down these notes:

“How we treat the marginalized and the suffering of others. Impatience, indifference, disgust. (Auden’s poem.) That’s one thought this story prompted. An interesting story but I was a little disappointed. I expected more or a tour de force. Maybe it was the translation, but it struck me as almost amateurish. Kafka is a conundrum. I guess style and technique may not be his forte; as C.S. Lewis pointed out, myth making is.”

Now I’m wondering if my judgment was impaired; thinking I need to re-read. Korrektiv Summer Reading Klub, anyone?

Elsewhere in the Catholic Blogosphere

… cultural Catholicism is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD as a retention strategy for the American Catholic church in the 21st century.

R.I.P. David Frye…

…whose Richard Nixon comedy albums did so much to form my political sensibilities.

OMIGOSH, here’s one of them!

Happy Feast of St. Thomas

(via to Bernardo)

Today in Porn, Bad Catholics Edition.

Charlie Sheen, highest-paid actor on television and star of the mysteriously popular sitcom Two and a Half Men, has gone into rehab.

What happened to bring about this disaster for primetime comedy? “Party pal Kacey Jordan played embedded reporter, tweeting a (NSFW) photo of her crotch from the scene, then providing an eyewitness account to TMZ that elaborated on yesterday’s rumors of a ‘designer briefcase full of cocaine’ (it was a nice, ‘professional’ Gucci satchel, according to Jordan), and added her account of a marathon screening of porn in his home theater. (‘He has so much porn,’ Jordan says. ‘I think that’s all he does is probably sit there and watch porn.’) Jordan also elucidated Sheen’s alleged plan to retire from show business, ‘go fucking crazy,’ buy a $20 million, 27-room house, and fill it with a ‘porn family,’ with Jordan playing the crucial role of ‘the blonde.’”

Forget drawing a connection between porn and self-destructive behavior, I’d like to use this example to posit a connection between porn and really lousy art.

[Not pictured above: Sheen’s Catholic dad Martin as a Catholic priest in Gospa. Google Images, you disappoint me.]

Succoring selfish suckers with clustered sprays…

The Awl takes on The Rite, Walker Percy references ensue.

Percy gets mentioned in the second comment. I didn’t start it!

Pope Benedict Blesses Social Networking

Proclaims TIME: “Pope Benedict XVI may be old, but he’s still with it.

Aphorism of the day.

All gods demand sacrifice.

They might be Dr. Spock’s back-up band…

Oh please, oh please, oh please.

Apparently, J.D. Salinger preferred Burger King burgers to other burgers. If they don’t make an ad out of this that features a Holden Caulfield-type character lamenting the way that other burgers just seem phony, then they’re even bigger fools than we thought.


John Zmirak gets all up ons storytime:

“The Church’s heroes, seen from a worldly point of view, are a pack of self-destructive zealots who embark on crackpot projects like lifelong celibacy, voluntary poverty, and (worst of all) obedience; who leave perfectly serviceable chateaus in France to go preach the Beatitudes to scalp-collecting Indians in freezing Canada; who volunteer to sneak into Stalin’s Russia precisely because he has imprisoned so many priests, then spend decades saying secret Masses in labor camps; who open up pro-life pregnancy centers in crappy neighborhoods so they can talk welfare queens into having still more babies we’ll have to pay for . . .

And so on. A religion like this doesn’t need after-school specials; it needs science fiction and fantasy, horror films and surrealism to convey the fundamental strangeness that it believes lies just beneath the surface of day-to-day “reality.” To keep our sense of perspective, every once in a while at one of our dull, desacralized liturgies, the priest needs to die of a heart attack in the pulpit (as happened at my old New York parish, St. Agnes, some years ago), if only to remind us of the stakes we’re playing for. We need — though let me stress, we don’t enjoy, and I do not want — the occasional ‘Flannery O’Connor moment.'”

Now that he’s said it, I suppose someone will have to go and actually do it? Or not…

[Thanks, JOB.]

Today in NJLNJ (Now Jesus Loves New Jersey)

This blog post is lifted wholesale from the heart of Catholic jihadism (tongue in cheek, I say this, because the Archbolds have been given the stink-eye from those with a less-than-muscular sense of humor…)

Also, I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick, his lovely wife and their glorious abundance of children here at the farm a few summers ago. He’s not as mean as he sounds (although he still likes guns…). Also, I want his brother to come to Gerasene 12.

At any rate – I figure if Matthew can pro-life post news about his mother, I can post pro-life news about my favorite governor….
And besides, I think it’s a good question…


Mom at the March for Life in D.C.

Special bonus pic: pro-life hipster?

3,000 3,001

Sorry. Someone had to do it.

Self-Portrait with Truck [Post # 3000!!!]

There was that old International, cobalt
blue with a dappled patina of rust
and a tinny ping when you slammed the door.
My dad drove it to livestock shows and county
fairs as a high school Vo-Ag teacher.
He sat me on his lap sometimes and let me
steer, just like in that Springsteen song.

The first truck I owned was a green ’74
GMC with an ugly canopy under which
I placed my window washing supplies—
canvassing neighborhoods that summer
after my first year of college with my
xeroxed flyers: “are your windows unSIGHTly?”
(“Yes,” many of you replied. “They look bad.”)

I drove Old Green across the Cascades in ’88
to seek my fortune and womankind in Seattle.
Fortune and womankind were both unkind
and Old Green collapsed going south on I-5
during my morning commute, literally:
one front wheel folding under and scattering
sparks across four lanes of traffic at 60 mph.

I traded the carcass of Green for a video camera
(think Sex, Lies, and…) and picked up
a primer gray Datsun and a can of blue
spray paint that ran out before the truck did.
I’ve no recollection what became of it
or me at that time for that matter.
They let me work from home, but then I quit.

That was a time of having no truck—
no car even—traveling by train to distant
places, eventually finding myself back in town
and in need of a bed so I laid down
cash on another Datsun, brick red
with natural plywood dash and a cow vertibrae
on the stick shift. A truck with character.

Some years I opted for cars, my favorite
a rusted-out ’72 Cadillac
I paid two-fifty for and drove to its grave.
Two Ford Rangers, one with a bullet hole
in the roof—a sign of some exuberant episode
in its past life—and my current Toyota
round out this collection of pick-up lines.

My former trucks are like former girlfriends,
part of the hackneyed history of my soul.
Four-wheel drive is great if you can get it:
the extra surge of testosterone, the ability
to uproot small trees when you need to.
But most of mine have been two-wheel drive,
which does, I confess, make me a little sad.

from House of Words by Jonathan Potter


“The reason I live in Covington, Louisiana, is not because it was listed recently in Money as one of the best places in the United States to retire to. The reason is not that it is a pleasant place but rather that it is a pleasant nonplace.”

– Walker Percy

“I thrive on nothingness, and Cushing [Maine] is one of those things that almost isn’t.”

– Andrew Wyeth