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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

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Irish Elk
Friday, October 31, 2003  

More old Halloween postcards: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4

Shape-shifters, a dead Minuteman and an Indian curse figure into a Halloween story I wrote a few years back on ghosts in Littleton, Mass.

Turner Classic Movies this week has been spotlighting Lon Chaney: A revelation, and from now on, an October staple.

A tale of a haunted rectory that reads like a ghost story out of J. F. Powers is part of a cavalcade of Halloween coverage at the page of Tom Fitzpatrick, in Salem, who no doubt has been dodging tourist queries all week for directions to that there witch house.

And Dale Price ushers visitors into the paranormal. Keep staring.



Harvard Stadium marks its centennial this Saturday with Harvard-Dartmouth, which used to be a great show: The game was usually played in Cambridge, allowing the Dartmouth students an annual escape from the woods to toss green paint on the John Harvard statue and take over, with little resistance, the bars of Harvard Square. The spirit of the occasion is captured in the archive of past halftime shows by the Dartmouth College Marching Band.

Listen to Tom Lehrer's great "Fight Fiercely, Harvard" and various rousing Dartmouth odes at this site devoted to fight songs. For some reason, however, I can't get the "Maine Stein Song" out of my head; listen to it here and think of Rudy Vallee.

A bit of unauthorized non-political-correctness slips into the pages of the official Dartmouth football site with this photo of former star QB Dave Shula wearing an Indian pullover * The Dartmouth helmet, with its bug-like antennae, is perhaps my favorite in college football * My favorite college football jersey remains the old Princeton model, with its throwback arm stripes * But the old Penn and Brown football jerseys are also outstanding, and available at Stall & Dean

When a Dartmouth Indian tee-shirt buyback was proposed earlier this year by campus sensitivity mavens, the Dartmouth Review took the occasion to flog its line of Indian canes:

So what is this fight for? For one thing, it is for the right to express pride in ways other than those prescribed by the pissed-off, humorless few. It is the few, I believe, who have shamed everybody else into feeling indignant where no insult exists. They have poisoned the well—making Dartmouth a place where people are quicker to feel suspicion and outrage than to stop and think: is this really a big deal? Are these people really wearing these shirts or carrying these canes to express their dislike of Native Americans? Ladies and gentlemen, were that position anything but ludicrous, we would have made President Wright our mascot years ago.

There is another more sobering question in all this, and it has nothing to do with T-shirts, mascots, or Dartmouth College. Should we throw around words like ‘racist’ and ‘bigot’ so casually that they have no meaning left when they’re really needed? These words are regarded today as magic bullets, secret weapons to reach for whenever reason and argument seem too taxing. If one disagrees with my defense of the Indian, he or she should take great pleasure in arguing me into the ground. Instead, as our extensive collection of hate mail demonstrates, most rely on the abuse of words and ideas that should be reserved for more serious use.

We are not, for the millionth time, racists. It’s time to put that tired old song and dance to bed. Nor are we ignorant. We’ve heard the arguments; we’ve considered them; and we’ve made our own in reply. If you’d care to say that we’re contrarian, obsessively devoted to doing the opposite of what we’re told, you’re getting closer to the truth. But for us, that’s fun with a purpose. When we wear an Indian T-shirt, we send a necessary message: try all you like, but we’re not going to kowtow to Dartmouth’s little tyrants.

Vintage-style Dartmouth Indian merchandise is available from the Dartmouth Review, which maintains a blog at Dartlog.net.


Thursday, October 23, 2003  

Aboard the S. S. America, New York, 1947

Cocktails with a curmudgeon: Evelyn Waugh remembered – not unfavorably – at the National Catholic Reporter * See a trailer for Stephen Fry's new film version of Waugh's Vile Bodies * The Waugh centenary on Oct. 28 observed by W. F. Deedes in The Spectator and in The Telegraph (2nd item) * At Doubting Hall, a guided tour around the works of Evelyn Waugh, with a comprehensive selection of links * An anecdote about Waugh and Kick Kennedy * An Atlantic flashback * The Age * The Scotsman



Harvard Stadium at 100 * Give a listen to the theme song of the old What's Happening program in memory of the late Rerun * Christopher Johnson at MCJ administers a monumental and well-deserved fisking to Joe Sobran, anti-Semite


Wednesday, October 22, 2003  
Ouellet of Canada: Quebec Archbishop Marc Ouellet has been elevated to cardinal and Primate of Canada. Will he be the next pope?

From the Globe and Mail, some background on Quebec's new cardinal:

Archbishop Ouellet, a Sulpician priest, has impeccable academic credentials but less experience as a pastor. He is an expert on Hans Urs von Balthasar, a conservative theologian the Pope greatly admires.

Supporters maintain it is simplistic to label Archbishop Ouellet's beliefs as conservative.
Nevertheless, in less than a year as archbishop in Quebec City, leading the so-called mother church of all dioceses north of Mexico, Archbishop Ouellet has made headlines with his forceful calls for a return to a larger role for the Roman Catholic Church.

"Quebec is languishing, far from the values that were the strength and glory of her forebears," he said at his Jan. 26 installation, in a homily that warned against "the idolatry of money, sex and the power of the media."

The province's low birth rate and its high number of teen suicides are "the sign of the gravest deficiency now ailing Quebec society: forgetting its spiritual heritage, its martyrs and its saints," he added in that speech.

In an another address, made before the Assembly of Quebec Bishops last March, he said the church shouldn't shy away from stating its views on marriage, considering "the massive influence" of the media on lawmakers and "the spectacular gains" of special-interest groups.

Marriage has a divine origin and is "by nature a social institution created by God to propagate the human species," he argued.

While he has expressed sympathy for gay people, "socially, you cannot place homosexual unions and the family on the same footing, otherwise you are touching at a most intimate fibre of our identity," he said in an interview with Le Soleil newspaper in January.

In another controversial interview with the same daily, he criticized school teachers for what he called their "Marxist" approach to education, holding them responsible for young people's "wretched ignorance" about Roman Catholicism.

As the second-in-command at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 2001 until last year, Archbishop Ouellet has had opportunities to practise his diplomacy in the ecumenical world.

He has recalled how he worried — needlessly, it turned out — about offending Greek Orthodox officials visiting the Vatican who were shown relics pilfered from Constantinople by the Crusaders.

The Western Catholic Reporter weekly recounted how he got a standing ovation for his tactful manners during a conference for interchurch families in 1999.

The new cardinal-in-waiting said Sunday that he was so surprised when the papal nuncio told him of his selection that he asked him to repeat it. He said he then prayed in gratitude.

The third of a family of eight children from small-town Abitibi, he is a well-travelled 59-year-old who speaks French, English, Spanish, German and Italian. Although he has been rector at St. Joseph's Seminary in Edmonton and at Montreal's Grand Seminary, he has spent large parts of his life overseas, studying in Europe, teaching in Colombia and working at the Vatican.

Fr Sibley from the land of Evangeline doffs his biretta * The ceremonies in Rome sparked a rush on the clothiers to the cardinals * The motto on Cardinal Ouellet's arms will appeal to Acadian Bill Cork * Make an online visit to the churches of Quebec and to Cardinal Ouellet's order, the Sulpicians.

I hadn't realized the original script of the Hitchcock film I Confess, set in Quebec, had the priest hanged at the end:

Hitchcock’s reasons for locating the film in Quebec were complex, but basically French Canada was as close as he could get to the play’s original setting. Quebec in 1952 had an Old World quality, and was noted for its architecture of medieval flavour; also, the city was the only one in North America where priests still wore the cassock, a garment that suggests its wearer combines male and female qualities. With its sloping, narrow streets, and flights of steps and stairs, Quebec City prefigures the San Francisco of Vertigo (1958). A memorable flashback shows a radiant Ruth coming down a spiral staircase to greet her lover, Logan, outside her home. Here the staircase echoes the one in Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Kazan’s film is set in another French-American city, New Orleans, and Hitchcock astutely made a connection. Logan later descends a curving staircase of a different kind, in the courthouse, to face an angry mob who believe him a murderer. In fact, steps and stairs are everywhere in I Confess, like a secular version of the Stations of the Cross.


Etc… An Evelyn Waugh Centennial symposium is planned at Georgetown on Oct. 24 * A facelift has been performed on the NYT * Patterico has thoughtful posts on the constitutionality of the partial-birth-abortion ban, on a neurologist's take on the "inhumanity" of starving Terri Schiavo, and on a high-school ban of "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Terri Schiavo's family has been denied visitation rights * The Orlando Sentinel editorializes that the legislative intervention to save Terri Schiavo from being starved to death amounts to "playing God." Presumably, taking someone else's life in the name of that person's right to die does not * Bill Allen, University of Florida bioethicist who sees nothing ethically wrong with starving Terri Schiavo, holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


Tuesday, October 21, 2003  

Elkhornitis, from Winsor McCay's 'Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend'


Outstanding news: Florida orders feeding tube for Terri * Senate OKs ban on partial-birth abortion

The Yahoo! News roundup on the abortion-rights debate makes it seem a pretty one-sided debate – a telling indicator of enlightened newsroom opinion. They won't like this Senate vote. Good.


Longing for Mutt & Jeff

In the wake of reports like this, will they be revising the Doonesbury strip plastered over much of the front of the Boston Globe funnies on Sunday?

Why is Doonesbury still in the comics section, anyway? Given it consists entirely of hackneyed anti-Bush editorial cartoons, doesn't it belong on the op-ed page? Has anyone outside Molly Ivins found this strip funny in the past 30 years?

Not that Mutt & Jeff or Andy Capp, longtime mainstays of the Globe Comics front, were particularly funny. But a child once could read the Sunday comics without a primer on angst, irony, or geopolitical events. And in most cases the art was above Dilbert quality.

It says something when Family Circus and Garfield are the only – and I mean the only – strips in the funnies a kid can remotely get. Makes you appreciate Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes and Pogo all the more. Hell, it makes you appreciate Alley Oop all the more.

(/Andy Rooney-like rant)


Home, home on the fringe

The Malaysian prime minister who says Jews control the world would feel right at home among the Feeneyites of the St. Benedict Center, who post at their website articles that:

Detail how "the great alliance in the empire of Satan -- the Masons and the Jews -- have formed together for one reason: the destruction of the Catholic Church;"

Demonstrate that "the most sustained and ubiquitous hatred and opposition Catholics have had to the spreading of the Kingdom of the King of the Jews has come from the Jews themselves;"

And tell "how the Jews invaded the Holy Land," in a "concise history of Zionism, the movement that wants to replace Christianity with Judaism and establish Jerusalem in the place of Rome."

Perhaps the Malaysian prime minister can join Catholic Action League president CJ Doyle and the other speakers at the recent St. Benedict Center annual conference at next year's Feeneyite confab. He'd fit right in.


Monday, October 20, 2003  

The Wall Street Journal's Robert Bartley writes on the case of Gerald Amirault:

He will finally go free--17 years too late.

The end of Gerald Amirault's long struggle for freedom is in sight. A Massachusetts parole board saw to that with a unanimous decision on Friday granting his petition for release--officially set to occur at the end of April.

It was a joyous day for this prisoner of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, behind bars since his conviction, in 1986, as a molester of nursery school children in a case based on bogus testimony dragged from browbeaten child witnesses. It was an exultant day too for his family, which has kept its hopes up despite years of having them dashed.

Mr. Amirault's freedom could have been derailed by one factor of consequence to Department of Corrections parole boards--namely the prisoner's refusal to agree that he was guilty. Like his mother and sister, who were also wrongly accused but were released earlier, Mr. Amirault refused to attend sex offender classes despite what it could cost him. They refused to do anything that would suggest there was any merit to the charges against them…

It is newspaper practice to drop the "alleged" when a person has been convicted of a crime. But in the face of so much that says Amirault was wrongly convicted, is it truly "fair" journalism to refer to the man at the center of the Fells Acre case this way or this way, or to continue to refer to the complainants as "victims?"

The state prosecutor who built his career on the Fells Acres case, Luther Scott Harshbarger, liberal do-gooder icon, who went on to become state attorney-general and Democratic candidate for governor, and then to head Common Cause, has been named to lead a review of state prisons. Perhaps on an inspection tour he can stop and say hello to Gerald Amirault, the man he put behind bars all these years.

There is something more than a little appalling about being lecture on ethics and good government by a politician who made his name sending an innocent family to prison – and still, in the face of overwhelming evidence they were unjustly convicted, refuses to admit he made a mistake. Good government, indeed.

Here's a page that was compiled to protest Harshbarger's connection with Common Cause. Another chronicles the Amirault case and draws a comparison to the Salem Witch Trials.


Terri's Bill: Legislation was to be introduced today by Florida's House speaker in a bid to halt Terri Schiavo's death by thirst and starvation. She has been denied last Holy Communion.


Pilgrim down: Mark Shields on the pain in Red Sox Nation:

The capital of Red Sox Nation is Boston, our most political of cities. The team's fans are the offspring of a shotgun marriage between Puritan Protestants and the Catholic Irish.

The Puritans, with their unswerving belief in original sin, surrendered political control, but not social and economic primacy, to the Catholic refugees from famine and British-sanctioned persecution. Instead of a happy tune and a clever quip, these Boston Irish brought with them a grim fatalism, which taught that the grief and injustice endured in this world would eventually be rewarded in the next.

There you have the emotional DNA as well as the historical imperative of the Red Sox fan. The New England Puritans, with their suspicion of and aversion to public pleasure, and the Boston Irish, sustained in their consolation that life's inevitable pain is but temporary, may have agreed on very little politically. But both agreed on the Red Sox, whom they loved and whom both groups expected to lose.


Etc… A lesson in How Not to Write, courtesy of the Professoriate * More on bad academic writing * The Scotsman's Michael Pye on Brideshead: The real trouble with how we think of Evelyn Waugh is Brideshead Revisited. It sits there, among the rest of his novels, a great empty blockbuster: sentimental, self-consciously God-bothering in a way no truly religious writer would indulge, and nostalgic for a past that never was... * John Mortimer on life, death and champagne * If it's October, it's Witch Tour time in Salem, where the renovated Peabody Essex Museum has been getting good reviews


Friday, October 17, 2003  

Punch, 1924

Boston fans by the thousand this weekend will gather on bridges for another reason: The Head of the Charles. The Photojournalistas offer an image gallery from last year's regatta.

Meantime, a mad hatter sees the traditional college rowers' graffiti on Charles River bridges as an eyesore that needs to be stopped before the Democratic Convention comes to town.


An injustice righted: Gerald Amirault has been paroled nearly two decades after being convicted in the sensational Fells Acres daycare child-molestation case. It's pretty clear he was an innocent man unjustly accused and imprisoned in a witch-trial frenzy based on fantastic accounts induced from children by psychologists. The Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz won a Pulitzer for her reporting on Fells Acres and other cases of phony child-abuse convictions.


Well, she's sung.

I can't stand it.

I just can't stand it.

Five outs away in the eighth. A pennant sacrificed to a star pitcher's pride.

At the Royal Rooters of Boston message board, the Official Shoot Grady Thread is in full swing, as is another which asks, Worst Loss Ever?

The answer to the latter: It's right up there.

UPDATE: As it happens, I live down the street from the original Mudville. There is no joy here today.

"I don't believe in curses. Wake the damn Bambino up, and have me face him. Maybe I'll drill him in the ass." Pedro Martinez, 2001

The baseball gods will not be mocked.

This from Drudge: "In a historic media moment: Nearly every television in use in Boston was tuned to Game 7 during final innings of American League Baseball Playoffs... Thursday's record in Boston marks high-water mark of audience share in season's sports primetime rampage..BASEBALL BLOWOUT: FOX SCORES 81 SHARE MAX IN BOSTON, 68 SHARE PEAK IN NYC FOR PLAYOFF FINALE"

Also linked is an early New York Post editorial written in anticipation of a Yankee loss – the only thing baseball's version of US Steel could be said to have in common with Harry Truman.

Well, now I know why Ol' Case was smiling: He was looking at Denny Galehouse champion Joe McCarthy and thinking ahead 54 years to Grady Little.

The Washington Post's Thomas Boswell writes in an outstanding post-mortem:

For years, Red Sox fans will have the same bitter thought: "Will somebody please pass the dynamite? Put it under poor Grady. Light the shortest fuse you can find. Please, blow that man out of his seat and send him to the mound to get a new pitcher."

But Little never budged as this game -- and a role as a clear favorite in the World Series over the Marlins -- escaped. Now New England will have another installment of sorrow to regurgitate endlessly. Will this one-night saga be analyzed for another 85 years, the length of time since the last Red Sox world title? Why not? After this defeat, the Curse of the Bambino, or whatever you choose to call the psychological shackles that imprison the Red Sox, has risen in credibility to the level of a Euclidian postulate. If no man can disprove it, and every succeeding piece of evidence supports the theory, then it must be true, right?

It is little consolation, but the Marlins are laden with players from the former Double-A affiliate Portland Sea Dogs, including NLCS pitching star Josh Beckett, whose 2001 no-hitter for Portland is counted among the minor-league team's finest moments. One more reason to pull for the Fish, though I'll be giving this World Series a pass.


Thursday, October 16, 2003  
Fenway Litany

St Ted, ora pro nobis
St Dom D, ora pro nobis
St Yaz, ora pro nobis
St Pudge, ora pro nobis
St Spaceman, ora pro nobis
St Dewey, ora pro nobis
St Tony C, ora pro nobis
St Tiant, the Forerunner, ora pro nobis
St Freddie, ora pro nobis

(Via the Edge of the Precipice)

Intercessory Hymn

Tessie, you make me feel so badly
Why don’t you turn around
Tessie you know I love you madly
Babe, my heart weighs about a pound
Don’t blame me if I ever doubt you.
You know I couldn’t live without you
Tessie, you are my only, only, only.

Martinez versus Clemens tonight in New York for all the beans.

A friend e-mails: Go Sox. Go Pedro! F*** the moral high ground; what has it ever done for us?

Think this guy wears a Yankees hat?


"I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult." A Burkean mood inspires Tom Fitzpatrick's tribute to Marie Antoinette.


"Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe."
Pope John Paul II, Warsaw, June 4, 1979

Czestochowa, Poland, June 4, 1979

"The Pope's visit in 1979 was like a gift from God." Lech Walesa

The makers of a Frontline documentary on John Paul II write on the Polish pope's role in the fall of the Iron Curtain:

Our images of revolution are filled with blood-stained pictures: French aristocrats lined up against the Bastille wall; the Tsar's family executed in a cellar under cover of night; Mao's victims floating down the Yellow River. The romantic collective Polish psyche brims with images of violent, quixotic rebellions. They range from the futile uprisings of the 19th century to the calvary charging German tanks on horseback at the beginning of World War II. But the revolution launched by John Paul's return to Poland is one that conjures roads lined with weeping pilgrims, meadows of peaceful souls singing hymns, and most of all, of people swaying forward as one--reaching for the extraordinary man in white as he is borne through their midst. "What is the greatest, most unexpected event of the 20th century?" James Carroll asked in his interview with us. "Isn't it that the Soviet Empire was brought down non-violently? Isn't John Paul II's story part of it?"

Again and again, people told us that it was. John Paul II's 1979 trip was the fulcrum of revolution which led to the collapse of Communism. Timothy Garton Ash put it this way, "Without the Pope, no Solidarity. Without Solidarity, no Gorbachev. Without Gorbachev, no fall of Communism." (In fact, Gorbachev himself gave the Kremlin's long-term enemy this due, "It would have been impossible without the Pope.") It was not just the Pope's hagiographers who told us that his first pilgrimage was the turning point. Skeptics who felt Wojtyla was never a part of the resistance said everything changed as John Paul II brought his message across country to the Poles. And revolutionaries, jealous of their own, also look to the trip as the beginning of the end of Soviet rule.

It took time; it took the Pope's support from Rome--some of it financial; it took several more trips in 1983 and 1987. But the flame was lit. It would smolder and flicker before it burned from one end of Poland to the other. Millions of people spread the revolution, but it began with the Pope's trip home in 1979. As General Jaruzelski said, "That was the detonator."

See also: An interview with Observer reporter Neal Ascherson on the Pope's impact on Poland in 1979 * William F. Buckley's profile of JPII as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.


On to Game 7

Pedro faces Roger at the Stadium Thursday night for the AL pennant.

Some in New York were counting their chickens before Game 6 on Wednesday. Maybe the last laugh will be on them.


Life isn't fair

Chicago fans lament as the Cubs' drought continues.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003  
Fickle hand of fate

"OK, let's make that kid famous." One Marlin to another, after a fan's interference cost the Cubs an out, 8th inning, Oct. 14

Poor schmuck. He turns up at Wrigley in his Cubs hat and transistor radio headphones feeling lucky to have a front row seat on history. He leaves a prime candidate for the witness protection program, his mug plastered all over the media and his life story on the Smoking Gun, with thousands of people wanting to run him out of town – or much worse – as the human incarnation of the cursed Billy Goat. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like Ferris Bueller from hell, or something out of a Seinfeld episode, only real.

"You could tell we're better than Boston or he'd be dead already," yelled one denizen of the No Longer So Friendly Confines.

Another, quoted in the Sun-Times under the headline "The Spit Hits the Fan:"

Did you see the replay? Did he interfere?'' asked fan Paul Springer, who was sitting two rows behind the unnamed man.

Yes, he deflected the ball, though it was on the fans' side of the railing.

"Then they should kill him.''

The guy's employer told him: Better stay home this morning. Turns out he's a youth baseball coach: Bet his e-mail is getting a workout.

Writes a Trib columnist:

If the Cubs lose game seven tonight, their fans will never forget and never forgive.

It sounds ridiculous and petty, but it's probably true that this young man will almost certainly have to leave town and start again elsewhere if he wants some semblance of a normal life.

And to think I turned to the Cubs game last for a happy respite from the Sox.

To the Chicago fans five outs from a pennant who saw their celebration dissolve into agony, may I say, as a longtime Boston fan, I feel your pain.

ESPN's Eric Neel writes on the Cubs' karma:

Some people talk about a curse. Forget that. Curses are petty and local. The Cub thing is deeper and wider than a curse. It's a responsibility is what it is. The Cubs don't lose, the Cubs are losing itself. We define the concept so that winning has meaning. We are the yard-stick, the baseline. You get me?

And what's more, we occupy the cosmic niche. The Cubs take on frustration, disappointment and longing so that others may know deliverance, jubilation and satisfaction.

We keep things in balance. We fall on our swords. The gods damn us but they love the little children. There is turmoil in our Windy City hearts but détente between the United States and Russia, you know what I'm saying?


Crying Wolf

In Wellesley, Mass., where sensitivities to perceived racial bias are high after a couple of high-profile incidents of alleged discrimination against African-Americans, racist graffiti in a high-school bathroom is found to have been penned by a black pupil. Globe columnist Eileen McNamara, a Wellesley resident awash in white liberal guilt and the therapeutic culture, falls all over herself trying to find a reason for behavior that departs so drastically from the approved script.

If she could look away from the Teaching Tolerance talking points she might note that faked hate crimes are a growth industry on campus. This is not because colleges – or the Wellesley schools, for that matter – are in fact populated by cells of Klansmen or otherwise unreconstructed white racists, despite what racial-sensitivity trainers and flailers of "white privilege" would have you believe.

The college campuses and public school systems of today are filled with students who have been versed in multicultural diversity from Pre-K on. A campus is a rarified place, far removed from the real hatreds that scar so much of the world, yet you still have, at oases like Brown, hyper-sensitive students whose identity politics lead them to find hatred behind every leafy elm on the Green.

Where tolerance has been raised to the highest virtue, all it takes is a case of intolerance, real or perceived or staged, for the wagons to be circled, hands to be held, teach-ins to be launched, vigil candles to be lit, and minds to be got right.

Proponents of all-racial-consciousness-all-the-time and its attendant allotments of victimization and guilt prescribe more emphasis on race as a cure to problems caused by their own harping on race. Perhaps a little benign neglect would work better?

Erin O'Connor at Critical Mass writes of a rash of faked hate crimes on college campuses in recent years:

Hate crimes on campus--whether real or faked--are wonderful boons. They facilitate an agenda. They prove that racism, sexism, and homophobia really are the defining issues of our moment. They justify throwing money at campus advocacy groups, hiring minority faculty, establishing ethnic studies departments and creating diversity course requirements.

See also: "Hate crime hoaxes unsettle campuses" (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1999) * "Hate Hoaxes on College Campuses: How do colleges react when campus leftists fake right-wing terrorism?" (Pope Center, 1998) * "Faking the Hate: Not all reports of campus incidents are true" (John Leo, 2000) * "Hate crime hoax at Ole Miss" (Michelle Malkin, 2002)


The Schiavo Case

"In our eyes, it's murder," Bob Schindler said Wednesday on CBS' "Early Show." George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, said that the Schindlers were "still in denial" over Terri Schiavo's wishes not to be kept alive.

"'Still in denial' over her wishes not to be kept alive." The mind reels. More at Bettnet and Blog from the Core.


At Random: Leave it to Reuters to come up with this spin * E. L. Core has more on what should rightly be called the Nobel PC Prize * Agatha Christie: Burkean * Behind the pose of Evelyn Waugh * Tony Blair: Tory



From Duke Ellington...

Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie...

And Coltrane...

To the Hip Hop Awards.

Hip-hop this past week held every spot on the Billboard Top 10. We've really arrived when a song titled "P.I.M.P" can reach No. 7 on the charts.

Fletcher Henderson, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.


Tuesday, October 14, 2003  

Tiant, Fisk reunited at Fenway

Now Playing: "Cuban Pete," by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.

The Fox broadcasters the other day were taking a poll: In a playoff game for all the marbles, which pitcher would you want on the mound: Pedro Martinez or Roger Clemens?

My answer: El Tiante.

Any Boston fan who cheered Cuban expatriate Luis Tiant in the '70s would agree he belongs in the Hall. Those so inclined might light one of his signature cigars to the cause.

What a treat he was to watch. The New Yorker's Roger Angell wrote at the time:

His repertoire begins with an exaggerated mid-windup pivot, during which he turns his back on the batter and seems to examine the infield directly behind the mound for signs of crabgrass. With men on bases, his stretch consists of a succession of minute downward waggles and pauses of the glove, and a menacing sidewise, slit-eyed, Valentino-like gaze over his shoulder at the baserunner. The full flower of his art, however, comes during the actual delivery, which is executed with a perfect variety show of accompanying gestures and impersonations.

Marvin Olasky reminisces:

Baseball, like many other good gifts from God, can give us a temporary happiness that points us toward the happiness that lasts. One fine day in 1975, as I was coming out of the seven lean years of my life, I walked the 12 miles from my parents' home (where I was visiting) to the Atlantic Ocean and stared out at it. Then I looped back to Fenway Park, where the Red Sox had an evening game against the dreaded Yankees.

I sat in the right-field bleachers as pitcher Luis Tiant twisted indescribably on the mound. (If you have ever watched his idiosyncratic wind-up, you can picture it in your mind's eye right now.) He pitched brilliantly, the Red Sox had some timely hits, and they led 5-2 after eight innings. That's when I did something exceedingly rare in my life: I left a game early.

The reason was neither rush nor boredom; for some inexplicable reason (because the facts of my life did not warrant joy) I was filled with happiness. I didn't want to lose that moment, so I walked out into the night before anything could go wrong. I walked out thinking, "It doesn't get any better than this."

But of course, through God's grace, it did, because a fine baseball game is just a shadow of what God has in store for us.


Monday, October 13, 2003  

Sr Adrienne Schmidt, left, and Sr Thos Eileen at Wrigley (AP)


Columbus: Patron saint of everyone who misses the turnoff and winds up in Cleveland: Maureen Mullarkey wishes everyone a politically-incorrect holiday with a reprint of a poem sympathetic to the Admiral of the Ocean Sea, accompanied by a wonderful illustration.

Columbus Day images via the Library of Congress: San Francisco, 1991 * Denver, 1900-20

From the New York Post, a Columbus Day supplement.


Oengus Moonbones, commenter extraordinaire, has launched his own blog.


Sunday, October 12, 2003  
Base Brawl

The tabloids best capture the feel of yesterday's ugly game at the Fens.

Here's today's banner headline at the Daily News, which in print looked like this, front and back.

And here's the New York Post, front and back.

Meantime, Boston.com has fan video of Pedro vs. Zimmer and a Game 3 photo gallery.

Writes Jim Caple at ESPN.com: Festive? The only thing missing was Clemens biting someone's ear off. But you never know. The series isn't over yet. Who knows what will happen Sunday in Game 4?

Newsday's Joe Gergen had out the crystal ball this past Wednesday with a column recalling epic Sox-Yankee dustups of the past.

But they have fought regardless of whether a pennant was at stake. They fought on May 30, 1938, before the largest official crowd in Yankee Stadium history (81,841). In the course of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Jake Powell became enraged at threatening pitches by Boston's Archie McKain and charged the mound. He was intercepted by Joe Cronin, the Red Sox shortstop and manager. The two slugged each other repeatedly, earning ejections from the game. They pledged to meet under the stands where, egged on by teammates, they continued the melee. Each was fined and suspended for 10 days.

Fourteen years later, responding to Jimmy Piersall's insults about the size of his nose, Billy Martin took on the Boston outfielder in a tunnel at Fenway Park. It was only later in the 1952 season, after Piersall was institutionalized, that people realized that the Red Sox outfielder had serious mental problems.

In 1973, catchers Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk rolled around in the dirt after a collision at home plate in Boston. That set the stage for a wild brawl in 1976 precipitated by Lou Piniella's hard slide into Fisk at Yankee Stadium. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied after the pair exchanged a few harsh words and shoves. In the aftermath, pitcher Bill Lee was pummeled by Mickey Rivers and then Graig Nettles.

After the 1973 skirmish, Lee had goaded the Yankees with the observation that they fought "like a bunch of hookers swinging their purses." Although Nettles denied trying to hurt Lee, he wasn't particularly upset when the pitcher was diagnosed with a torn capsule and ligament in his throwing shoulder. "I'd like to know," the third baseman said, "does he look like he's been hit with a purse?"

Joe Cronin's 1938 sparring partner, Jake Powell of the Yankees, earned another suspension that year for an anti-black slur on radio, and 10 years later killed himself after being caught passing bad checks.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003  

From Eric Wilbur's Sox blog at Boston.com:

Reader Frank Solensky writes in and points out: “Here's an interesting factoid: you've no doubt heard the theory that if the Sox and Cubs ever met in the World Series a meteor would have to hit the earth before one team could win. An asteroid came within 55,000 miles of the earth last week, high and outside.”

The Spaceman himself, Bill Lee, writes colorfully of the Sox-Yanks rivalry:

I love the playoffs! I loved to pitch against the Yankees. I beat them like a redheaded stepchild. By the end of my American League career, someone told me that I was No. 3 in lifetime winning percentage against the Yankees. I asked who was No. 2, the man told me, "Babe Ruth." Go figure. No wonder Mr. Ruppert wanted the Babe in pinstripes.

When the Angels disposed of New York last year, some Red Sox fans were jumping for joy and celebration for the demise of the Yankees. I was ashamed. I take no satisfaction, unless I get to beat them myself.

I remember my first Opening Day appearance in Yankee Stadium in 1970. I came in out of the bullpen in the left-field corner a-whompin' and a-stompin', only to be greeted by an empty liquor bottle that careened off my chest. It was a glancing blow, but it was enough to "pump me up." I had come on in relief of Gary Peters in the sixth inning. Gary was my roommate. He taught me it was OK to drink beer in spring training, but when it comes to Opening Day in the Big Apple, go right for the VO.

Kindred spirit Jim Bouton, the NY pitcher turned Ball Four memoirist, also reminisces:

It was 1963 and the Red Sox had just won the first two games of a weekend series, with Radatz striking out the side in the ninth inning of each game and swaggering off the field with his Monster salute. On Sunday, the place was packed to watch Radatz do it again.

But he never got the chance. Pitching my best game of the year, I beat the Red Sox, 2-0. So far, so good. Then, for reasons it would take a therapist to explain, I got it into my head that I should march off the field with my arms raised over my head, just like Radatz. Boy, wouldn't that be funny?

Some joke. Before I even reached the foul line I had to start dodging things from the stands. Popcorn boxes. Half-eaten hot dogs. Cups of beer. Could bottles be far behind? My triumphal march to the dugout became a broken-field dash. It was lucky I wasn't killed -- depending on your point of view...

I loved pitching in Fenway Park. I loved the challenge, the excitement, the intimacy. (These days I like any ballpark not named after a bank.) I love the passion and the knowledge of the Red Sox fans. Most of all I love their loyalty.

"Why do they keep rooting for them?" my wife asked recently.

"Because it's going to feel so good when they finally win it all," I said. "For those who are still alive."

A precedent has been set for Boston beating New York for the AL pennant – 99 years ago (or two years after the Jules Verne-inspired moon above took a silent-film rocket in the eye). Here's more on the Year the Sox Beat the Yanks.

Elsewhere, the Curse of the Billy Goat is described that haunts the Cubs, as is the storied subterranean tavern whence it came.


Bread and Puppet: Giant processional puppets form the backdrop for a Eucharist-in-the-Rough at the dedication of a camp named for Massachusetts Episcopal Suffragan Bishop Barbara C. Harris. If the puppets appear to be assuming the orans position it's because their arms are being worked by special puppeteer acolytes.


At Random

Keep in your thoughts Dylan, who has been having a rough time, but who notes the anniversary today of his Tenebrae blog. Stop over and wish him well. Best also to the family of Bill Cork, whose daughter is in the hospital.

The Oct. 7 anniversary of Lepanto was marked by Tom Fitzpatrick with a rendering of Chesterton, and by Fr. Sibley. Two paintings by Titian that evoke the famous victory are Religion Succored by Spain and Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto.

Interesting to note Larry Flynt beat Gary Coleman and porno actress Mary (Carey) Cook in the California election results. And all three beat former GOP candidate Bill Simon.

Wonder what Erik Keilholtz will make of Paul Johnson's new history of art, which gives thumbs-up to Rockwell and dismisses Picasso as a fraud?

Here's to Joe Bob Briggs in a cassock!

Mottram? Pecksniff? Sent scattering by Dale Price, who has been on a tear of late reminiscent of the Python's Piranha Bros:

Interviewer: Doug?
Vercotti: Doug. (takes a drink) Well, I was terrified of him. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.
Interviewer: What did he do?
Vercotti: He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.

In appreciation for the kind words, we send to the Innkeeper at the End of the World a piece of Caledonian cheesecake.

Midwest Conservative Journal has announced a contest in connection with a story of a clown-preacher delivering a high-wire sermon in an English cathedral.


Tuesday, October 07, 2003  
Bring on the Yanks

Derek Lowe is a god. Sox slideshow

Now Playing: "Love that Dirty Water," by the Standells.


Monday, October 06, 2003  
Jump Around

A weekend for the ages at Fenway: The Globe's Red Sox coverage includes this photo gallery from Sunday's nail-biter. Another gallery capturing Saturday's home run Trot is part of the all-around Sox slideshow at Yahoo!

Meantime, how about those Cubbies?

Pedro goes tonight in Oakland. Harpoon Oktoberfest, prescription strength, at the ready.
Intercessory prayers have been said. Cowboy up!

On the Turntable: "Captains of the Clouds," by the Mart Kenney Orchestra, via Dismuke.

And via the Virtual Gramophone, a round of the Royal Rooters' theme song, "Tessie."

Tessie, you make me feel so badly
Why don't you turn around?
Tessie, you know I love you madly,
Babe, my heart weighs about a pound.
Don't blame me if I ever doubt you.
You know I couldn't live without you
Tessie, you are my only, only, only.


Friday, October 03, 2003  

The ancient Greeks who told of Achilles' heel foresaw the Red Sox bullpen.


On the Turntable: "Elephant Wobble," by Benny Moten's KC Orchestra * "Here Comes My Ball & Chain," by the Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra


Cornucopia: Below the high altar of St. Peter's, investigators have found sheep bones, ox bones, pig bones, and the complete skeleton of a mouse. Was Peter himself ever there? * The new book, In Denial, on Communist historians is reviewed at Commentary * Nixon the anti-intellectual delighted in the literary realm * Not only is the Victor Davis Hanson-led Higher Ed Supplement to the Oct. 13 National Review a must-read, the whole edition is, starting with Jonah Goldberg's cover piece on Vermont * An American leftist professor proposes Democrats secede to Canada. The New Criterion wishes him a bientot * Also at the New Criterion, a review of several new books on Thurber * At City Journal: Has multicultural indoctrination made us less sensitive to the mores of different societies? * The Historical Society has begun a weblog, Historacle * Quite the catchy ditty, this, but one is moved to point out the Klan were Southern Democrats. And it's unclear where unbridled hostility ties in with the peace-and-love platform, or where intolerance for an entire stereotyped class of enemies ties in with the message of tolerance. (Via Edge of the Precipice) * Cuba: Bishops are sick of the Revolution


Wednesday, October 01, 2003  

From Peter Schilling Jr. at Mudville Magazine, Oct. 1: Another reason I love baseball: my favorite part of the Fox broadcast was this little number trotted out in the sixth inning. Apparently, Kerry Wood’s two-run double was the first time that a Cubs pitcher drove in a winning run in the postseason since Orval Overall did it in the ’07 Series. I’m not even going to pretend that any other sport cares a whit about ANYTHING in 1907, much less whether a player duplicated a feat some 96 years later. And that name! Basketball can keep its Shaqs, I'll take Orval Overall any day. Hats off to the unheralded, underpaid, and probably underfed minions at the Fox research department for that one.

Much as I appreciate David Ortiz, I must say Kerry Wood's two-run double in support of his own two-hit pitching was as eloquent a statement as any against the abominable DH rule.

And now, everyone join in with Harry: Cubs win! How about them Cubbies? (Via the Harry Caray Tribute Page)

And hey, holy mackerel: Bill White offers a chorus of the '69 Cubs fight song.

Spahn & Sain, 1950

Actually, with all the attention being paid to a possible Sox-Cubs Series, little has been paid to the potential cosmic significance of Sox-Braves: Reparation for 1948?

In the Daytona Beach News-Journal, a member of the old Braves Field Knothole Gang waxes nostalgic for the Boston NL entry.

Meantime, a Sox-Giants series would see a rematch of the 1912 Fall Classic remembered for Snodgrass' Muff.

And the legacy of the Royal Rooters and "Tessie" is highlighted in today's Globe.


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