April 12, 2006

Random Generated Thoughts

Hey, you got politics in my religion! You got religion in my politics! Corner post.
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I think I said before how reading Cobra II has been a joy simply for its seeming lack of bias. While newspaper articles are irritating for their transparent bent, the novelty of Cobra II is how the authors deal in facts and look at things from both sides. I'm about 150 pages in and George Bush comes off, by my lights, as doing the right thing given what he knew. It's rare that one can read a one-column newspaper article and come away with the same conclusion. (Disclaimer: I'm sure progressives who read Cobra II will still think Bush the devil.)
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John at the Inn at the End of the World, as is his tradition, posts some wondrous old pictures.
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When I was a kid, I liked Masterpiece Theatre for the bibliophilic pornography. You know, the opening scene with the fine bindings and good music after which I would switch the channel. But watched "He Knew He Was Right" last night and it was damn good. PBS is publically financed, so I say if we're going to suck at the government teat we may as well enjoy it - so I'll be taping future Masterpiece Theatre's.
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I've been thinking a bit lately about how your role determines your approach to issues. Many think that Cardinal Ratzinger has "changed" as pope even though it was not he who changed but his job description. If I'm the cantor and then I become a catechist, will those who are being taught the Catechism cry that I am not being true to myself because I'm not singing what I'm teaching? Singing and teaching aren't oppositional; it's a question of emphasis. Some said that Pope John Paul II was concerned about how the Iraq war would impact Christian/Muslim relations and rightly so. His charge was not the protection of the American people but his flock, which to some extent he saw as including all people. The protection of America is Bush's concern and he must seek to do that without imperiling his own soul. You'd think more folks would sympathize with the difficulty of his position.
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I made these images for a friend but thought I'd share with the crowd. Here and here.
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Staff meetings are welcome opportunities for sharpening comedic skills. There is really some good off-the-cuff material. A guy named Bud calls in from another location and participates via speaker phone. He takes his share of abuse such that it seems illustrative of a group's need for a scapegoating, ala René Girard’s mimetic model. But he's very good-natured about it.
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Posts will be scarce as hounds' teeth next week as I'll be heading to Florida. The highlights will be, should it work out, long-awaited meetings with William "Night Sentry" Luse and Steven "Appetency" Riddle.
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The end of Lent is like the end of life - we look back and think: "I could've done more." In the riches of Lenten liturgies, spiritual readings, Way of the Crosses, don't forget to spend private time with God.
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Stop me before I spend again! I'm trying to fend off, using only a poor scabbard & shield, the tantalyzing temptations of the following books. If you recommend one in particular and think I should succumb to buying it, please let me know. If you think I should pass on one, that is good information also:
  • The Triumph of the Therapeutic : Uses of Faith after Freud - Philip Rieff
  • En Route - Huysmans
  • Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
  • The Byzantine Rite: A Short History - Robert F. Taft (don't call me Bob!)
  • Earthly Powers - Michael Burleigh
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