July 27, 2011

This & That

Call-in show on The Catholic Guy show posed the question: if you were drafting non-Catholics into the Church, who would be your first pick? The objective seemed to be to pick someone who would bring the most folks into the Church. The responses I heard were: James Earl Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Prince William and Harry Potter. I was thinking along the lines of Barak Obama and Billy Graham. Who else? Lady Gaga? (The fact that I know who Lady Gaga is probably doesn't bode well for her longterm popularity; she's likely already passé in a certain crowd.) Bill Clinton could be big, given his world rock star status. The Dali Lama would be gigantic, I think. The New York Times publisher. Iran's president, or China's. Yes, ideally a leader who could garner a small percentage of Muslim or Chinese Catholics would be amazing, given the numbers of Muslims and Chinese.

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Started a Miami U. history blog yesterday, inspired by the recent historical treasure hunt for the genesis of the small stone pier. Turns out it used to be covered by a building, something my imagination didn't imagine. Looking at old pictures one sees how little continuity there is with a campus like Miami. Buildings come and go, trees get large and cut down. Seems like only the slant walk has stayed in the same place, and a mere path is thin historical gruel. Broadway, the street of dreams in Manhattan, was once an Indian path.

But, on the other hand, that somehow makes Broadway and the pillar even more figures of wonder. The stone was cut and erected in 1840, a score of years before the Civil War. Then it became the object of graffiti artists and they are long dead now, so even the "vandals" (as one article called them) have the veneer of history about them. Flannery O'Connor wrote in one of her stories that there's nothing poorer than being dead, but there's also nothing more inaccessible, at least to the living. Dead people are the great "other", not only for their inaccessibility but for embarking on a journey we can scarcely imagine. Dead people are charismatic, a lost tribe in a place so remote we have to die to get there.

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The recent combination of rain and heat have made the backyard corner nearly tropical: pine needles hang down like Spanish moss and the bushes rise up to meet them. There's a cornucopia of textures and colors next to the sublime hammock, which serves as much as eye candy as for utilitarian purposes. I like the byzantine, baroque look of our over-the-top back yard with its twenty hanging flower baskets and numerous trees and bushes. It was my aim on my blog to keep adding trinkets ("gadgets" blogger calls it) to the side bar in order to present a blog flourishing with data and links. The equivalent of a summer blog.

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