December 30, 2004

    Spanning the Globe to Bring You the Constant Variety of Posts

I used to read Lileks every day, but after a year or so wearied of it partly because I lost interest in The Wink or The Tic or whatever his daughter's nickname is, and partly because I found his fecundity - in words - just demoralizing. Had to stop and focus on what I can do rather than what I can't. - Amy Welborn

Oh, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is devastatingly beautiful in this film.  I mean it.  I let out an audible gasp when I first saw her.  It seemed to annoy the couple next to me.  I was, to be honest, disappointed in him – no reaction, not a peep.  I mean, such a lovely woman manifests the glory of God who created her.  [My Lutheran friends may now be crowing, ‘Theology of Glory!  Theology of Glory!  Have at thee thou heretic!’  To which I say, shuddup shutin’ up!] - Thomas of ER

In a very nice essay in a recent issue of The New Yorker, Anthony Lane points out that Tolkien's "view of English literature, incidentally, ended more or less where the current view begins; he rarely ventured later than Chaucer, and thought Shakespeare to be pernicious nonsense." - Jonah of the Corner

Catholicism is more like the family you were born into, or the one you acquire over time. All the stupid time-wasting cantankerous crap your family can put you through is there in spades. You can fight for ages before you realize that nothing's going to change and you'll just have to put up with it, somehow. - S.A.M.

It seems to me there's something serious beginning
A new approach found to the meaning of life
Deny that happiness is open as an option
And disappointment disappears overnight
- on Fr. Jim Tucker's blog

[Henry] James may be in some ways out of date and out of fashion, but what he has to say is not confined to any time, and his neglect is due more to the progressive deterioration of the art of reading and the impulse to use reading as recreation and escape rather than as a learning experience. I suppose it is the inevitable result of the training of generations of children in the reading of substandard multi-culti literature. It is a shame that great figures of the past can no longer command attention merely because of their race and sex. In more enlightened times such an attitude would have been labeled, parochial, or perhaps even sexist. - Steven Riddle of Flos Carmeli

Class presidents and football heroes, he had finally come to learn, required careful and suspicious watching. They were like the potted hyacinths and daffodils that he sometimes bought for Sylvia in midwinter—spectacular but they often yellowed around the edges once you brought them home. The same was true with bright young men who had come along too fast. They were tired because of premature effort, or else overconfidence had made them arrogant. At best the cards were stacked against someone who made good too young. Willis could see now that he had once been in this same dubious category. He could no longer wonder, as he once had, that Mr. Beakney had made no effort to keep him. In fact Mr. Beakney must have been relieved to let him go—gray suit, trimmed hair, polished Oxfords, sharp mind and everything—because he had come along too fast for the age of twenty-nine. --John P. Marquand, "Sincerely, Willis Wayde", via Terry Teachout

My mother is a mighty tough 60-year-old, whose idea of a good time is nude swimming in barely melted mountain lakes. - Camassia

Ladies Welcome - Men, We'll Talk - Bill Luse, caption below a link to his Apologia Groupies Site

Most Catholics probably think like I do. "Does this war seem like it's a sin according to Church rules, taking into account what the various Vatican statements say? No. Okay, time to gather information about it from secular sources." So "most" of the influence on my thinking is indeed from secular sources. But the basic right/wrong decision came from being Catholic and examining the war according to that. Afterwards, the question becomes less of right/wrong than good idea/bad idea, justly/unjustly prosecuted, and/or effective/ineffective. (Enough slashes there for ya?) - commenter on Amy's blog concerning the Iraq War

Catholicism... isn't utopian at all. It says that whatever beauty and joy there is in this life, it is still a life lived, so to speak, in a burning house. Its concern is not with the general, the broad patterns of change and culture. Its concern is with imbuing the individual, sojourning through this vale of tears, with the faith and ability to survive the conflagration and emerge into a life whose true happiness cannot be found, or found to any great degree, here. - Secret Agent Man on St. Blog Parish Hall

Like it or lump it, we belong to a Church which has given honor both to honorable warriors and honorable people who would rather die than hurt a fly. We are supposed to turn the other cheek to our own enemies but protect others to the full extent of our ability. This is supposed to be a challenge to everyone. And it is. We could avoid a lot of trouble if we could assume that both war and peace are honorable callings for honest Christians, but that not everyone is called to the same thing. If both kinds of folks really worked to understand the other and quit calling names, we might actually be a lot farther along the road to making Christianity more reflected in our lives. - Maureen, on Amy's blog

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