July 02, 2009

Stream o' Consciousness Post

Don't have any prepared posts today so thought I'd think aloud. It's been far too long since last I just opened up the whole blogpage and started musing on the proverbial fly, although critics will say that all my posts are like this.

I'm hyp-mo-tized by the reaction concerning a Mrs. Darwin post about sex, that great unmentionable. (Sex, not Mrs. Darwin or her post.) As one perpetually interested in borders, and not just the borders of hems relative to knees, it's interesting to see the titanic struggle between the great intimacy/openness of the Internet and the understandable guardedness of the Catlick blogosphere. At the border of extremely conservative internet sex post and daring Catholic post is where Mrs. D unwittingly landed.

So what else? Well our new dog came home last night. A joyful moment though it seems unseemly on the heels of Obi's death. Not that Obi will be forgotten or replaced.

The course of canine love rarely runs smooth and we found to our chagrin that our new dog is afraid of stairs. Deathly. He came upstairs with us last night but wanted no part of the return trip. At 80+ lbs, he's not easily carried, especially since he's not an inert mass but a wild, gesticulating puppy-like six-year old.

We tried lining the stairs with tempting treats but that only increased his suspicion. He smelled a rat. Given that his "pee-pee sack was full" (as my wife puts it), it seemed that was motivation enough. But it warn't. We waited about an hour, both of us downstairs, and other than a few squeaks he wasn't going anywhere.

We tried wrapping him in a sheet and carrying him down but that didn't work out too well since he was fighting us and my wife didn't want to use force.

Finally it was decided: let's bring the crate upstairs and carry him down that way. So we constructed the crate in the bedroom and then moved it to the hallway and then carried him down. Mission accomplished. Don't know what we'll do after this, but at least he won't be living upstairs forever.

I've been wanting to read One Nation Under Dog in which the author tries to explain how it is that our society has gone dog-crazy as far as the accoutrements needed (i.e. dog spas? come on...) but I suspect it is part of the cultification of any activity. For example, I love to ride my bike, but I don't have gear. Don't have a helmet (should!) or read magazines about biking or learn about gear shafts or tires or the best odometers, or wear a Spiderman outfit, or monitor wind resistance. But the hardcore bikers, whom I'm not criticizing here, have a lot of extras that make them fit in with other bikers in addition to helping them (surely the tight-fitting clothes are great for long rides and girls anyway do look good in spandex). People like to take their hobbies seriously and really get into them, getting all the gear, learning all the latest techniques. It's the adrenalin rush of the new thing and I suppose as well as surely the status of it. But people have a need for status and if that floats their boat, who am I to say that it's okay to get excessive with blogs but not bikes or dogs? So I'm not sure the whole dog phenomenon is different from the way we take all of our hobbies to the max. Americans tend to like to work hard and play hard and the latter apparently includes dressing up their pets and spoiling their hounds.

Michael Jackson's sad saga reminds me of the fall of the Roman Empire. Even when you have all the resources in the world (Jackson had a personal doctor whom he paid $150,000 a month), you can't pull out of a slide very easily. Once Rome started to fall and once Jackson started going down the path he did, it's very hard to turn around and re-group. Unlike some pro athletes who are oblivious to the perils of fame and fortune, Jackson's awareness of the pitfalls was keen: in '88 he said he didn't want to become another Elvis Presley. He'd learned from Elvis's example. What went wrong? The drugs, the plastic surgeries, surely. If the plastic surgeries came first than that explains the drugs. The key moment, it seems to me, was when he wanted to whiten his face. [UPDATE: Cristina reminds me that the bleaching was in reaction to a skin condition, so it's now explicable.) Why did he want to make himself look white when he was one of the most celebrated entertainers of all time? Is it that affirmation sought and missed in childhood can't be filled up in adulthood? Is it that seeking from other humans are sense of worth is a recipe for disaster? Fortunately with God all things are possible, including the healness of our brokenness.

The results of the Bulwer Lytton bad fiction contest are in.

Writing badly is fun and relatively easy. What follows is something I wrote years ago, imagining through fiction of what it would be like to be hauled off towards a hanging:
I tried not to feel overdramatic, as they half-carried us up the big hill... The symbolism of the day ending as my life was ending brought tears to my eyes and I realized anew how difficult it was to get tears off your cheeks when your hands are tied. I had to rub my face against Gina's hair, which was not an unpleasant endeavor.
But I don't want to cheat the reader by simply quoting my old bad stuff. You have the right to some fresh bad writing:
It was a dark and storm-filled day when I checked the Drudge Report but found I'd mistyped the URL as drudge.com and the site that came up was unfamiliar and sort of disagreeable as is limburger cheese although perhaps it's a similarly acquired taste.


I went about that summer lustily singing that Neil Diamond that goes "Some people gotta sing!" only I changed it mentally to "Some people gotta write!". I met a girl; "C'mere big boy," she said. I dated her in part because she admitted never having heard the word "narcissist" and my last girlfriend had called me that. I'd always resented being called narcissistic not because it wasn't true but because it didn't come from me.

Oh God but she was pretty as a tallow flower! Her hair (as well as that of her hares - she kept various mammals of the family Leporidae) was gold, each strand the color of a fine French cheese. Her lips were like the red sirens of police cars which give you the choice of pulling over or gunning it depending on whether you think you could outrun them and whether you figured they had one of those helicopters handy. Her body had curves made for sin which, by the way, is where the word sinuous comes from. And her nose! It was Aquilian, flanked by eyes that were like gazeable gazelles...

The 2009 winner:
Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the "Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.


Enbrethiliel said...


Comments O'Consciousness:

Is that apostrophe an Irish thing with you? ;)


That annoying Anonymous who harped on Mrs. Darwin has obviously never read the 'blog Still Seraphic. (In fairness, the main annoying thing about "Anonymous" was his anonymity. The assonance is ace, too.)


The only thing more gratifying than taking our hobbies seriously is running into like-minded hobbyists--because then it's socially acceptable and even cool. (And how many of us have a claim to coolness other than the subjective values we put on what we enjoy doing? . . . I hope that makes some sense!)

Even Twilight bashing has become quite the pastime among those who purport to hate Stephenie Meyer's VampRom YA. I'd be more involved in that if I had the patience, dedication, and well, talent to make my own chops, parodies and other stuff.


In fairness to Jackson . . . wasn't his skin bleaching a radical response to his skin condition which was turning him white in patches? (I'm not sure how to spell it. Vitilligo?)

I have the kind of skin asthma which made me break out in light patches as a child. In the third grade, a concerned classmate suggested I had some kind of fungus. (Yes, it was pretty bad.) If the patches hadn't blended into the rest of my skin on their own, I'd be buying whitening lotion by the barrel today, just to hide them.

TS said...

Cristina good point about coolness. It's understandable that we want to be cool; culture moves us, but that's understandable and natural since we're not isolated individuals.

And I'd totally forgotten about Jackson's skin disease. Proof again I shouldn't blog about subjects I know little about (see my blog title). Very understandable in that context.

On the o'thing: I think I'm in an apostrophic mood right now although it's also the Irishness of it.

Enbrethiliel said...


It turns out I have more to say. (Not a shock, aye?) Feel free to delete this if you'd rather not host it, TS. =)

There's lots of commentary on sex on the Catholic 'blogosphere, if one knows where to look. (Hmmmm. Should I really be revealing this?)

You can find frank discussions of "GLBT issues" (as it is permissible to refer to them these days) on Abbey-Roads . . . and less refined stuff (i.e. locker room language) on The Lair of the Catholic Caveman.

Steve Kellmeyer also went after Christopher West with a thoroughness I can only compare to one of those WWE "finishing moves" in The Fifth Column . . . and now I know the answer to a question about sex that had been bugging me for five years. (You see, there are some things people just never ask.)

I've already mentioned Seraphic's old blog Still Seraphic. As "Auntie Seraphic," she had some straight talk about sex for the young ingenues (Ha!) among her readers--all of it totally worth reading and totally in line with Catholic teaching. Then, of course, there's her arch-nemesis (I'm kidding) Dawn Eden of The Dawn Patrol, who often gives a supportive "shout out" to teenage virgins when she addresses high school students. (How is that for chaste yet edgy?)

Remember the days when the only one who could give a young woman advice about sex was an older, married woman, preferably her mother? (The implication was that the woman had to have done it "right" the first time around.) In this 'blogosphere of twisted cyber-ties (compounded by our feeling of communion as baptised Catholics), Mrs. Darwin is actually the only person with the same qualifications. With respect to the aforementioned women 'bloggers, Dawn is not married and Seraphic was actually divorced for ten years. Even if what they say is totally right and totally Catholic, they don't have authority like Mrs. Darwin's, who did it "right" all the way. This is why I'm really upset that Anonymous rattled her so much. Now she may never write about sex again! =(

TS said...

Impressively comprehensive there Cristina, or at least close enough for guvmint work. You remind me that I really should read more Steve Kellmeyer, who has a lot to offer on a variety of subjects. And sign me up for wanting Mrs. D to write about sex again.

Enbrethiliel said...


Last one! I PROMISE! (I'll just e-mail you anything else I remember. =P)

June Cleaver is hilarious BUT she makes me blush like no one else. I'm not sure why her comments have disappeared. They were half the fun, too. It's interesting whenever a new visitor reacts to the pictures of hot, shirtless, sometimes wet men alongside the pictures of Our Lady and Pope Benedict XVI on her sidebar. On Good Friday she posted an image of Jesus' crucified feet and a prayer, and on Easter Monday she had a dirty joke and a pic of Robert Pattinson in a wet shirt. It's not a 'blog where you go to discuss Catholic teaching about sex, of course, but during the one time she brought it up, I knew she was "on the level."

There's another 'blogger I can think of who is Catholic but has a more pop culture-oriented 'blog. I won't provide the link because he also posts pictures of hot women in their underwear and I'm nice enough to spare you from near occasions of sin. ;) I bring him up because I'd bet my entire library that he is totally orthodox . . . however much of a visceral shock his 'blog persona is.

Darwin said...

There's another 'blogger I can think of who is Catholic but has a more pop culture-oriented 'blog. I won't provide the link because he also posts pictures of hot women in their underwear and I'm nice enough to spare you from near occasions of sin. ;)

What, and so you condemn us all to endless google searches? Now that is not at all a nice-girl thing to do. (Or is it _nice_ but not helpful, since you're sparing us temptation and all that.) Sigh...

Oh well.

I hesitate to say that I have "inside information" given the subject matter and all that, but I would imagine that you can count on Mrs Darwin to write on sex again some time or other.

William Luse said...

You didn't provide a link to the sex post. I'm always up for a sex post.

For the dog, you need Cesar Milan. But if he can't fit you in, the dog *can* be cured of his fear. You'll just have to be patient and clever enough to figure it out. (Big help, huh?)

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for the scoop, Darwin. I'm sorry I can't reciprocate with an exchange of information, but that is one url that I'll be taking to the grave. ;)

TS said...

Will keep you posted, literally, on the continuing stair saga Bill!

And on the link, just head on over to http://darwincatholic.blogspot.com