November 24, 2015

Alliterations and Asides Adhered by Asterisks

It's an odd thing to be able to time travel via YouTube to the final New Year's Eve celebration of Guy Lombardo and his wacky Canadians. It was 1976, and he had 11 months to live before succumbing to a heart attack, but Guy was in his glory looking fit and full of energy and life.

The cheese quotient was high. Cheesy songs, cheesy hairstyles, cheesy clothes. There was also a kind of, perhaps barely definable, difference in mannerisms and faces. TV is a cool medium and the partiers didn't know that yet.

This was the heartland of my youth. 13 years old.  It was especially odd to think that the great majority of the couples there are now dead or in nursing homes. Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shall (soon) return. Even the pretty 30-year old girls are now 70, and the average age on television was probably 50, making for an average age now of nearly 90. There's definitely a jarring aspect to that. When I was 25 I knew, on paper at least, that people get old. But without the experience….unless I put my fingers in the hand of someone who was once young (or look at myself in the mirror), I could not believe it.

The greatest song of the '70s, according to Lombardo, was “Feelings”, a tune that never much appealed to me then, nor now, even with the hazy glaze of nostalgia. They did a cover version of "I Write the Songs" by Manilow. High sugar content.

24 degrees; ice on the patio. Time waits for no man. We get maybe 25,000 days, 35,000 at most. Or much less. Another one has sped by.

It is the time of death and disfigurement; the trees mourn their leaves and the Church remembers the end times now for good reason. I wonder how it is in the southern hemisphere, when the recollection of the souls departed, as well as the contemplation of our own death, occurs in sunny, spring-like November. Seasonally, it's a northern church we have.

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I think God is anti-sin not only because it hurts others but equally because it hurts ourselves. I used to think he was mainly concerned about sin simply because of its deleterious effect on others but he loves us too, and he loves us individually such that anything that hurts us or our one-on-one relationship with Him is anathema to him. Certainly if we sin against a saint, as the Nazis did against St. Maximilian Kolbe by murdering him, it hurts St. Max not so much in the long run, but really hurts themselves far more, since Kolbe is in Heaven and they are in…an bad situation.

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Last night was splendorized by goodly reading of Peggy Noonan's new book. The introduction was magical in how she talked about the summers she spent with two poor Irish aunts, one widowed and one never married, in the country. It, along with National Review (including book reviews of the Reagan fiction by Mallon and a bio of the mystical Russell Kirk, was much enjoyed.

*

A poor Buckeye outcome. OSU felt ill-fated all year given how they struggled constantly on offense and had misadventures like Cardale Jones going from world beater to egg beater and poor JT Barrett getting his DUI. It feels like it wasn't meant to be, and to be beaten by a MSU team at the Horseshoe with a second string QB sings volumes. Ain't the Buck's year.Given the good spirit of an MSU team down in the mouth, i.e. with an injured starting qb, you got to love their spunk and drive and there was a sense of justness about their win.

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'Round 1pm I headed out with our dog Max for an old-fashioned Saturday walk, like the times of olde I took Obi to Darby Creek park. We came across bison in a field only a few feet away. Love seeing those big brown hulks with whale-like eyes and tusks that sound a bass note when they strike another's. They were so slow-moving that Max didn't even know they were alive or real, and totally missed them. I had to wait till one was moving towards us and lift Max up over the fence and boy did that got his attention. I let him down and he stared with his ears up, not making a move for a good thirty seconds as the curious animal slowly approached. Then Max started barking like crazy and I had to pull him away with herculean effort. Fortunately there was a fence between them lest he get gored.

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Distracted by another shiny object: a farmer's almanac iphone app. Spent too much time setting favorites and exploring all the features that I will never, ever look at, such as where the constellations are tonight or the moon phase. Why the moon phase should be of importance I'm not sure, although the full moon brings out the wolf in people, so I hear. So that's important to know. Don't want to go to an emergency room during a full moon - plan your accidents or illnesses for another phase.

*

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” goes the famous saying.

Semen, of course, comes from the Latin meaning “seed”. And I got to thinking about the difference between blood and semen. Semen sows natural life, blood eternal life (especially Christ's blood). Semen, in most circumstances that lead to life, is the product of love between two people conjoined with intense physical pleasure. A martyr's bloodshed is the product of love between God and man conjoined with intense physical pain.

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Russell Kirk quote:
"A truly humane man is a person who knows we were not born yesterday. He is familiar with many of the great books and the great men of the past, and with the best in the thought of his own generation. He has received a training of mind and character that chastens and ennobles and emancipates. He is a man genuinely free; but free only because he obeys the ancient laws, the norms, which govern human nature. He is competent to be a leader, whether in his own little circle or on a national scale—a leader in thought and taste and politics—because he has served an apprenticeship to the priests and the prophets and the philosophers of the generations that have preceded us in our civilization. He knows what it is to be a man—to be truly and fully human."
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Cardinal Dolan mentioned the atrocities in Paris and remarked wearily that it's the same as it ever was. Man and war are inseparable. As irrational as the terrorists are, it's also irrational for me to expect a peaceful and rational world. I read recently a famous quote: “History is an abattoir.” A slaughterhouse.

And so while keen is my frustration at having an enemy so unmerited as that of radical jihadists, I have to recognize that to every generation enemies are given. They are a given. The Devil exists and hatred seems the default setting for many people. So I should not think I am so special that I don't deserve enemies. Only one man didn't deserve enemies and we see where that got him: crucified.

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