May 01, 2014

Un-Imprimatur'd Thoughts


Nice May day, the famous world work day (should we get off work for it?)

Charitable interests today included Blessed Margaret fund (fresh, local, authentic as the sign at the North Market says) and Kiva.

Kiva.org was a real pleasure since I found a Catholic group to join and one of the members, a Martha from California, had the goods on worthy loan recipients. Don't know how she found them, but looks like she did a lot of research to find Catholic groups, often recipients with especial charitable attractiveness, such as a widow with eight children. A really smart charitable donation is like making a long basketball shot and ideally should make me want to sacrifice in other areas to be able to increase the donation since as Jesus said the widow who gave the mite was the biggest donator.

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More delicious Richard Burton prose:
It was not mine intent to prostitute my muse in English, or to divulge secreta Minervae, but to have exposed this more contract in Latin, if I could have got it printed. Any scurrile pamphlet is welcome to our mercenary stationers in English; they print all ———cuduntque libellos In quorum foliis vix simia nuda cacaret; But in Latin they will not deal; which is one of the reasons Nicholas Car, in his oration of the paucity of English writers, gives, that so many flourishing wits are smothered in oblivion...

I had not time to lick [my book] into form, as she doth her young ones, but even so to publish it, as it was first written quicquid in buccam venit, in an extemporean style, as I do commonly all other exercises, effudi quicquid dictavit genius meus, out of a confused company of notes, and writ with as small deliberation as I do ordinarily speak, without all affectation of big words, fustian phrases, jingling terms, tropes, strong lines, that like Acesta’s arrows caught fire as they flew, strains of wit, brave heats, elegies, hyperbolical exornations, elegancies, etc., which many so much affect. I am aquae potor, drink no wine at all, which so much improves our modern wits, a loose, plain, rude writer, ficum, voco ficum et ligonem ligonem and as free, as loose, idem calamo quod in mente, I call a spade a spade, animis haec scribo, non auribus, I respect matter not words; remembering that of Cardan, verba propter res, non res propter verba: and seeking with Seneca, quid scribam, non quemadmodum, rather what than how to write: for as Philo thinks, He that is conversant about matter, neglects words, and those that excel in this art of speaking, have no profound learning.
A lot packed in there: I thought of John Updike, whom many critics say was beautiful with words but without much to say. Also I loved the line, "Acesta's arrows caught fire as they flew." I also found it humorous that he says he writes without affectation of big words and fustian phrases when he does just that, repeatedly, and sprinkled heavily with Latin! Ha.

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As much as the city of Detroit seems to be in straits, bankrupt and a “dead man walking”, the fact that there are still three major sports franchises centered there suggests Detroit's death/decline is greatly exaggerated? It seems like towns, cities, countries muddle through. Greece was in the news for months but now what do we hear? Little, suggesting Greece is muddling through. Even the fall of the Roman Empire seems exaggerated in that there were many centuries after the sack of Rome when the empire functioned more or less as per usual.

The world tells us that the most important thing is that the next generation have as high or higher standard of living than our parent's generation. But of course the real measure of success is spiritual. It speaks volumes that the media never, ever asks whether this generation will live up to the previous generation spiritually.


Nostalgia Break: A Book I Read Years Ago; you won't want to eat plants ever again after reading
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I feel both guilty and exhilarated when on the commute to work I'm able to pass a myriad of cars waiting, in error, on a school bus. Ohio law allows you to pass by a stopped bus when it's a four-lane road and you're going the opposite way as the bus, but it seems few drivers seem to know this. So I pass on the shoulder/bike lane and suddenly it's all clear-sailing ahead! I feel a tad guilty because it's like I'm setting a bad example since it looks like law-breaking to them and what if they decided to do the same on, say, a two-lane road? Plus they surely think negative thoughts about me, which is hurtful to their peace-of-mind.

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This morning I hit “door close” on the elevator because there were other elevators opening up and lo and behold this older gentleman tries to board and the door closes on him and he drops a full cup of coffee on the floor and partially on me! He was apologetic and when I asked if he wanted to get another cup he said that this meant he didn't deserve one. He said he's been working at the company for 30 years and it's the first time he's done something like that.

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Surprised by the high-ish price of Jennifer Fulwiler's ebook $16.95. I always wonder about Ignatius Press ever since they decided to put out Scott Hahn's bible book-by-book. Seems a gambit to maximize sales, but then that's capitalism. And the demand for Jennifer's book is certainly very high, as can be seen by her being like around number 190 of all amazon books! Wow.  Great to see blogger make good.  [Update: ebook price more traditional $12.99.]

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So the blogisphere is atwitter over comments supposedly made by Pope Francis to a woman married to a divorced man saying “a little wine and bread won't do any harm”. I was momentarily exhilarated in the Walker Percy sense (Percy always saying that we're only fully alive if we think the Apocalypse is tomorrow) because I thought: “Wow, that Malachian prophecy that the last pope would be a heretic is true and is happening now!”

Fortunately (as my better half would say) this is not the case. Turns out Francis didn't say “a little bread and wine”- that was made up by a British headline writer - and who knows exactly what Francis said to the woman.

So perhaps it's not that important. But worth keeping an eye on ol' Francis since he does seem capable of just about anything. He loves to surprise us, as Letterman said of Madonna.

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