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Archives for January 2011

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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?

Let’s hope Mr. Potter is also an etym…entomologist

Vladimir Nabokov may be known to most people as the author of classic novels like “Lolita” and “Pale Fire.” But even as he was writing those books, Nabokov had a parallel existence as a self-taught expert on butterflies.


Nabokov spent much of the 1940s dissecting a confusing group of species called Polyommatus blues. He developed forward-thinking ways to classify the butterflies based on differences in their genitalia. He argued that what were thought to be closely related species were actually only distantly related.

At the end of a 1945 paper on the group, he mused on how they had evolved. He speculated that they originated in Asia, moved over the Bering Strait, and moved south all the way to Chile.

and then…

Only in the 1990s did a team of scientists systematically review his work and recognize the strength of his classifications. Dr. Pierce, who became a Harvard biology professor and curator of lepidoptera in 1990, began looking closely at Nabokov’s work while preparing an exhibit to celebrate his 100th birthday in 1999. She was captivated by his idea of butterflies coming from Asia. “It was an amazing, bold hypothesis,” she said. “And I thought, ‘Oh, my God, we could test this.’ ”.

Read the whole article at the New York Times: Nabokov Theory on Butterfly Evolution Is Vindicated

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Sorry. Someone had to do it.