"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
They come with dandelions, since dandelions are plentiful in the last week of May and may be picked with impunity. They arrive around 9:30 in the morning, and as they walk underneath the wrought-iron gate that is three and four times their height, they abruptly stop hopping or skipping or trying to step on the heels of the child in front of them.
Suddenly, they are attempting to behave like grown-ups. They disperse into small groups, but they walk slowly among the tombstones and markers, pausing when they see a name that they know, squatting when they discover a relative. The boys stand with their hands clasped before them, replicating the way they've seen their fathers and grandfathers stand, while the girls sometimes hold hands.
Every year on the first school day after Memorial Day, the children of the Lincoln, Vermont, elementary school walk about a mile from the red cedar building that houses the school to the village cemetery. The school is east of the center of town, and the cemetery is to the west.
The result is a rambling parade through the village: 106 students, kindergartners through sixth-graders, 14 teachers and administrators, and perhaps a dozen members of the support staff. They walk across the narrow bridge spanning the New Haven River and then past the line of Gothic Revival homes built a century and a half ago. They pass the gray clapboard general store and the brick monolith that serves as the town hall. Then they wander around the hill upon which sits a church built in 1863, and down the short street that once housed the village's modest creamery. They walk right past my house. And, all along the way, they stop, bend down, and pluck the dandelions they will use to decorate the graves, many of which will have small American flags…
A week before the battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, a Major in the 2nd
Rhode Island Volunteers, wrote home to his wife in Smithfield:
July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington DC
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. And lest I should not be able to write you again I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I am no more.
I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.
Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield. The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you, that I have enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and see our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us.
If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name...
Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been!...
But, O Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I shall always be with you, in the brightest day and in the darkest night... always, always. And when the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath, or the cool air your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again...
Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the 1st Battle of Bull Run.
FC Ziegler Co. has you covered on bellsandsmells as supplier of the "popular Ziegler Charcoal Tongs and Censer Trivet." (A "censor trivet" would be something else entirely.) For incense, I might lean toward the "ubiquitous Pontifical" by Will & Baumer, but other lines that catch the eye include Kaufer Co.'s Russian Lump and Frankincense & Myrrh Blend, and Trinity Brand, with a "nice selection of Non-Chocking aromas."
Meantime, the Liturgical Customary of the Newman-friendly Anglo-Catholics at the Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill offers thurifers useful advice on hot-coal safety, choosing the right weight thurible, and when and when not to execute a full 360-degree swing.
More on St. Philip Neri:
He was known as the "jovial priest" and…was constantly telling his flock: "Be good - if you can!"
He considered humility to be extremely important and required his followers to undergo humiliating experiences to develop this virtue. He once told a young man to walk through the city with a fox's tail attached to his rear; the young man refused and was in turn refused admission to Neri's congregation.
During mass the saint frequently fell into an uncontrollable state of ecstasy. He often prayed all night long in the Catacombs of St. Sebastian. He was reputed to be able to predict the future and several witnesses testified to having seen him levitate. He was endowed with great charisma and attracted not only people but also animals: it is said that a dog once left its owner to follow him. (InfoRoma)
* * *
He used, even in old age, to spend many hours in the confessional, bringing pardon and peace to all who came to him: his penances were perfectly suited to the needs of his penitents, and never harsher than they could bear. He was always available to those in need, and used to say that the porter's bell was to him like the voice of God. He saw what others might regard as these distractions from prayer as 'leaving Christ for Christ'. Above all, perhaps, he is known for his joy in the service of Christ: the attractive character of the 'Saint of Joy' brought people flocking to him, and through him to a renewed vigour in faith. His practical jokes and eccentricities were many: whether he was sending the future Cardinal Baronius to taste countless different wines before buying the smallest amount possible of one, organising a procession of noblemen carrying pots and pans through the streets to the Chiesa Nuova, or shaving off half his beard, his aim was simple: to change Rome for the better, to draw everyone he could closer to Christ, to allow others to share in something of that joy which he himself experienced. (Oxford Oratory)
* * *
“He lived in an age as traitorous to the interests of Catholicism as any that preceded it…and he perceived that the mischief was to be met …by means of the great counter-fascination of purity and truth.” (Cardinal Newman on St. Philip Neri, cited by St. Philip Neri House)
* * *
Already when he was five years old, he was called 'good little Philip.' He lost his mother while still very young, and it seemed he should have died himself when he was about eight or nine years old. He fell, along with a horse, onto a pavement from a certain height. Though the horse landed on top of him, he was entirely uninjured. He attributed his preservation to a special intervention of God…
He became renowned all over Italy for the instances of bilocation which were duly verified during his lifetime. (Lives of the Saints)
* * *
Because of the fact that St. Philip would often go into ecstasy and begin to levitate while celebrating the Holy Mass he would often have to rush through the mass grasping on to the altar to anchor himself in order to not draw too much undue attention to himself while he was offering mass. Many times to avoid this totally and to truly enter into the mystical experiences he would often say mass in a private chapel at the Chiesa Nuova. Since his mass would often last several hours, his acolyte would sit outside of the chapel door and St. Philip would ring a bell to let him know that his services were needed. One day the bell rang, and entered to find marks of St. Philip’s teeth embedded into the silver of the chalice with which he was celebrating mass. It seems that while he was speaking over the chalice, saying the words of consecration, he went into a deep ecstasy and forcefully bit the metal lip of the chalice leaving a set of teeth marks. The chalice with the teeth marks is still able to be viewed today in that same chapel. (Fr. Sibley)
* * *
Each year on 16 March, a special Mass is said in the chapel of Palazzo Massimi in Rome. This particular Mass can be said nowhere else. All day long, streams of visitors come to the chapel, and priests queue up to offer Mass there. It commemorates the 1583 miracle by which St Filippo Neri raised young Paolo Massimo from the dead.Fr. Tucker
The Young Fogey's Agreeable World: Fresh from bicycling home from Communion, having straightened out his waistcoat and settled down to a briarful of his favourite mix, the young fogey gives you his views on a few of his favourite places and things.
Found via same: an article on the fashion of living in old rectories, and a Spectator piece, "The Young Fogey: an elegy," which mourns the extinction of young men who wore four-piece tweed suits, including ‘westkits’, and loved the old Prayer Book.
Twenty years after his creation, the Young Fogey has pedalled off into the sunset on his sit-up-and-beg butcher’s bike, broad-brim fedora firmly on head, wicker basket strapped to the handlebars by leather and brass ties.
Interestingly, the latter article, for some reason unavailable at the Spectator archive, has been saved at the Lew Rockwell paleo site. The phenomenon of Michael Moore Toryism is written up this week in the Weekly Standard.
The Young Fogey bastion of the Spectator (itself increasingly shrill on the anti-Bush-Blair-Iraq front) received a 175th birthday tribute in the Telegraph last fall.
Here in the US, the New Criterion crowd has started an Algonquin-style Roundtable at an Upper East Side Irish pub on Tuesdays and has invited the right-of-center literati the Fabianians and anyone else who wishes to join in the revelry. Perhaps Steve M. or Otto Clemson Hiss would stop by and file a report.
Meantime, thanks to Enoch Soames for the link at The Charlock's Shade, a literary-minded site, laden with Waugh, that, by its own description, looks life straight in the face out of the corner of its eyes. It's well worth a visit.
Tap tap tap, then, on the window-pane;
and, as I peer out,
a rumble runs across the valley.
Pelted now by wicked winds,
icestones leap frog, helter-skelter,
bouncing, racing, flouncing:
E. L. Core
Sounded just like that around here the other night. Happy Second Blogiversary to Lane Core!
No sooner was it announced that Boston will be placed in gridlock during the four days of the Democratic convention in late July than John Kerry said he may not even accept the nomination in Boston – which would mean millions of people in the metropolitan area sorely inconvenienced, and millions of dollars lost to the local economy, for nothing.
They've just opened a brand-new convention center in South Boston that wouldn't require shutting down the transportation hub of the Hub, but it was rejected as a venue because of poor sight lines for TV. But if no nomination is in the offing at the Fleet Center, TV won't be coming, anyway.
Nothing like taking the home-state electoral votes so thoroughly for granted that you can stiff the citizenry from Boston to the Merrimack Valley with impunity. (Poor old Mayor Menino is probably about ready to take the gas pipe.)
Not for nothing has John F Kerry acquired the nickname of JFK – Just For Kerry.
Meantime, if you're the GOP, where do you go looking for this year's Dukakis-in-a-Tank or Willie Horton footage – the recent ScrewBall crowds outside the marriage license offices in Massachusetts, or the motorists sitting in traffic jams on any road leading into Boston in late July?
As for the Dems: If the convention shapes up to be the dog's breakfast it seems likely to be, you have to wonder what kind of advertisement it will be for ceding the White House to its architects. After crashing Boston, they want the keys to the Middle East?
"Every time someone mentions Fats Waller's name, why you can see grins on all the faces," Louis Armstrong said on the passing of Fats Waller, who would have turned 100 this week, and whose centennial is marked by the NY Sun and by NPR.
Brideshead is reported to be in for an unfortunate remake:
As noted by David Cliffe at An Evelyn Waugh Website, the screenwriter, Andrew Davies is doing just as Waugh feared; "Davies has decided not to have Charles convert to Catholicism; rather he intends to show how faith destroys the relationship of Julia and Charles. He has been quoted as saying If God can be said to exist in my version, he would be the villain."
"Politics begin at home," reads the saying at the top of the Massachusetts Republican Party's News & Events page, which hasn't been updated since this past October. Meantime, five of nine Hot Links to Massachusetts GOP Chartered Organizations are anything but – they're dead. Can anyone name the GOP chairman in Massachusetts? The top return on Googling him is criticism of him as a nonentity, from a Newton Republican activist's website that itself has been out of business for a year.
This in a year the junior senator from the other party will be nominated in Boston as the Democratic candidate for president: So much for at least token resistance in Sen. Kerry's backyard. Politics may begin there, but if the Mass. GOP's lights are on, nobody's home.
And a bizarre spectacle it is, thought the region's paper of record will never say so. I feel rather sorry for the brides and brides and grooms and grooms pictured, though I'd be a good deal more sympathetic if it weren't for the children being roped into these adults' lifestyle experiments.
Meantime, this from the first to get hitched in P'town:
Yarbrough, a part-time bartender who plans to wear leather pants, tuxedo shirt, and leather vest during the half-hour ceremony...says the concept of forever is "overrated" and that he, as a bisexual, and Rogahn, who is gay, have chosen to enjoy an open marriage. "I think it's possible to love more than one person and have more than one partner, not in the polygamist sense,'' he said. "In our case, it is, we have, an open marriage.''
Martin Luther King wrote from the Birmingham Jail:
A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.
Those of us who think this week's revolution is a terrible mistake need to do a much better job of explaining that the core question is not "Why shouldn't any couple in love be able to marry?" but something more essential: "What is marriage for?" We need to convey that the fundamental purpose of marriage is to unite men and women so that any children they may create or adopt will have a mom and a dad.
Marriage expresses a public judgment that every child deserves a mom and a dad. Same-sex marriage, by contrast, says that the sexual and emotional desires of adults count for more than the needs of children. Which message do we want the next generation to receive?
Colleen Carroll Campbell writes: Perhaps the children of America should flock to our courthouse doors and demand that we start respecting their rights.
Time for another Tea Party, suggests Big Trunk, musing on the "love that won't shut up now."
All of this should make a spiffy backdrop for this summer's coronation of John Kerry in Boston. If George Bush the Elder had an easy time using Boston Harbor against Dukakis in '88, how's Massachusetts going to look on the national stage this time around?
And while we're on the topic, if Rome is going to keep cranking out saints (482 in 25 years, and Cardinal Newman still not among them), why not give back a few of the old ones that people actually want?
The Four Freedoms come to the Corcoran Gallery, and no matter what Erik Keilholtz thinks, I say bravo * Michael Novak pens a tribute to "the Last Liberal," Sargent Shriver * A former Marine who says Lynndie England should have said "no" criticizes the abuses at Abu Ghraib while recalling even more severe hazing performed by American servicemen on each other.
The Innkeeper at the End of the World, who has been reporting on the passing of the Old Mass from St. Mary's by the Sea, says he's heard rumors of "renewal" planned for the Serra Chapel that is now the only indult site in the Orange Diocese. (Aptly named, one says, to the roll of the Lambeg drum.) Perhaps the 300-year-old reredos there will be preserved as a museum piece, separate from the sanctuary, which will be remodeled into a spare and ambo-friendly worship space to encourage Full Active and Conscious Participation in the liturgy by the unreconstructed Tridentines who haven't heretofore been doing so.
US Olympians told to cool it on flag-waving at the Athens Games: Wouldn't it be an even better exercise in humility if the American athletes simply lost on purpose to forswear jingoistic medal ceremonies and anthems? More from Garrulitas (via Power Line)
Two Today: Thanks to Lane Core for remembering today's blogiversary, and to all the visitors who have turned up over the past two years. As the sign by the poker-playing dogs over the bar reads, there are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met.
Extra points to anyone who can recall the original name of this blog in full. (It was up only a few days and isn't recorded on the Wayback Machine.)
To borrow from the adage about the terrorists: If you pay attention to Ted Rall, then Ted Rall will have won. I'd rather look at editorial cartoons from a hundred years ago, when the political cartoonists actually could draw. To that end: the Harper's Weekly political cartoon archive.
What sort of dysfunctional moral compass must one have to make such a comparison?
It's one thing for someone like Michael Moore to utter garbage like this at the film festival in Cannes. It's something altogether different for one of the country's highest elected officials to speak these words in the well of the United States Senate...
Kennedy's remarks yesterday, however, were not only the acme of rank partisanship but crossed a line that truly disgraced the Senate as well as the Senator.
Kennedy is now using the scandal at Abu Ghraib to work openly and actively against U.S. policy and U.S. interests in Iraq. By his own words, Kennedy is trying to "shame" America before the world, and in doing so he is emboldening our enemies and endangering our soldiers.
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country: How about selling it out for petty partisan advantage, for starters, while supplying pull quotes to al Jazeera and who knows what inspiration to the fedayeen?
Hey, Teddy: How about launching an investigation into these photos?
Cutthroats in the Hood: If a terror suspect in a black hood standing on a box at Abu Ghraib is a face of the war, the terrorist in a black hood ritually slaughtering an American hostage on video is the face of the war.
After Daniel Pearl and Fallujah, the murder of Nick Berg makes if difficult to weep overly long over Iraqi prisoners with panties on the head or glow sticks in the rear.
Brian Wise at Intellectual Conservative writes on Abu Ghraib in the wake of Nick Berg:
But until and unless that material proves so horrible, you’ll have to forgive me for not having the desire to dismantle the entire military establishment for the actions of a very small number of soldiers (and probably some in the chain of command), or to fire Rumsfeld, or to impeach Bush. I have seen the Nick Berg video; I have seen the Daniel Pearl video; I have seen the video of the four Americans massacred, their body parts hung from a bridge to burn. I have watched them not because they’re enjoyable, but because they remind me we are fighting a battle for humanity more than for “democracy in the Middle East.” It’s nearly impossible to give a damn about the nude pyramid and the guy on the leash when you’ve seen a man scream until the exact moment his head is removed from his body.
[T]he Berg beheading does a grim but salutary service. In the midst of our own deserved self-criticism, we are suddenly reminded of the larger stakes, the wider war, why we are in Iraq in the first place. Most Americans do not in any way excuse Abu Ghraib, but also see that any sort of moral equivalence between our flawed democracy and Islamism's pathological hatred is obscene. In a purely strategic sense, stiffening American resolve and inflaming American outrage at this juncture is exactly what a smart al Qaeda would avoid. But there is no such thing as a smart al Qaeda. Evil can sometimes be stupid, and often is.
This is al Qaeda. They beheaded Daniel Pearl long before the war in Iraq. They murdered thousands in New York City long before Saddam was removed from power. And they are as stupid as they are evil. Iraqis now have contrasting images. Do they want to be run by people who cut innocent people's throats at will or by people who have removed a dictator and are investigating unethical abuse of prison inmates? Zarqawi has now done something for our morale as well as his. He has reminded us of the real enemy; and he has reminded the Iraqis.
ROME - The scandal of prisoner abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq has dealt a bigger blow to the United States than the Sept. 11 attacks, the Vatican foreign minister told an Italian newspaper.
In an interview published Wednesday in the Rome daily La Repubblica, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo described the abuses as “a tragic episode in the relationship with Islam” and said the scandal would fuel hatred for the West and for Christianity.
“The torture? A more serious blow to the United States than Sept. 11. Except that the blow was not inflicted by terrorists but by Americans against themselves,” Lajolo was quoted as saying in La Repubblica.
In a report on Nick Berg, Reuters, ever impartial, wheels out the violent bicycle metaphor, so useful in the objective reporting of unalloyed barbarism by sadistic death cultists.
Flying jet planes into skyscrapers? Beheading Jews on camera? Blowing up commuter trains in Spain, setting off car bombs among fellow Arabs in Saudi Arabia, or planning a huge chemical bomb attack on fellow Arabs in Jordan? Gunning down a pregnant Israeli woman and her children and videotaping them as they bleed to death? It's that cycle of violence to blame.
Personally, I think the illustrator of this propaganda poster from the Great War caught in his "Hun" the likeness of today's Islamist monster, missing only the hood with the motto "Allahu Akbar."
We are in a war, one that has been declared on us, and would do well to remember it.
Most of the general officers think it will take years, and a large force of soldiers, to thoroughly subjugate the natives. And the unpleasant feature of this is that unless the conditions change radically there will be few soldiers who will care to stay there. There’s no use trying to conceal the fact that many of the men over there now, especially the volunteers, are homesick, and tired of fighting way off there, with nothing in particular to gain. There is not one man in the whole army now in the Philippines who would not willingly give up his life for the flag if it was necessary, but it isn’t pleasant to think about dying at the hands of a foe little better than a savage, and so far away from home. And the thought of its not ending for several years is not an especially pleasant one, either. Sergeant Elliott, Company G, Kansas Regiment
We advanced four miles and we fought every inch of the way; . . . saw twenty-five dead insurgents in one place and twenty-seven in another, besides a whole lot of them scattered along that I did not count. . . . It was like hunting rabbits; an insurgent would jump out of a hole or the brush and run; he would not get very far. . . . I suppose you are not interested in the way we do the job. We do not take prisoners. At least the Twentieth Kansas do not. Arthur Minkler, Kansas Regiment
The boys are getting sick of fighting these heathens, and all say we volunteered to fight Spain, not heathens. Their patriotism is wearing off. We all want to come home very bad. If I ever get out of this army I will never get into another. They will be fighting four hundred years, and then never whip these people, for there are not enough of us to follow them up........The people of the United States ought to raise a howl and have us sent home. Tom Crandall, Nebraska Regiment
Andrew Sullivan writes forcefully in the wake of Abu Ghraib:
The removal of Saddam was an unalloyed good. His was a repugnant, evil regime and turning the country into a more open and democratic place was both worthy in itself and a vital strategic goal in turning the region around. It was going to be a demonstration of an alternative to the autocracies of the Arab world, a way to break the dangerous cycle that had led to Islamism and al Qaeda and 9/11 and a future too grim to contemplate. The narrative of liberation was critical to the success of the mission - politically and militarily. This was never going to be easy, but it was worth trying. It was vital to reverse the Islamist narrative that pitted American values against Muslim dignity. The reason Abu Ghraib is such a catastrophe is that it has destroyed this narrative. It has turned the image of this war into the war that the America-hating left always said it was: a brutal, imperialist, racist occupation, designed to humiliate another culture. Abu Ghraib is Noam Chomsky's narrative turned into images more stunning, more damaging, more powerful than a million polemics from Ted Rall or Susan Sontag…
We are at war; and our war leaders have given the enemy their biggest propaganda coup imaginable, while refusing to acknowledge their own palpable errors and misjudgments. They have, alas, scant credibility left and must be called to account. Shock has now led - and should lead - to anger. And those of us who support the war should, in many ways, be angrier than those who opposed it.
From Midwest Conservative Journal: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan may head a morally bankrupt and thoroughly corrupt organization, a sort of green-tea-and-folk-music Mafia, but Episcopalians still revere both the man and his debating society on the take.
The Innkeeper at the End of the World pays tribute to a hard-working pastor of the Old School while lamenting the passing of the Tridentine rite from St. Mary's by the Sea.
Erin O'Connor at Critical Mass has had several compelling posts on the Law School vs. Graduate School Question, as well as on her recent decision to move from the university to teaching at a boarding school. Scroll through the archives from May and April.
Glenn Garvin at Reason plumbs the "Orwellian memory hole" of leftist historians who decline to revise their worldviews after having been proven wrong, wrong, wrong:
In 1983 the Indiana University historian Robert F. Byrnes collected essays from 35 experts on the Soviet Union -- the cream of American academia -- in a book titled After Brezhnev. Their conclusion: Any U.S. thought of winning the Cold War was a pipe dream. "The Soviet Union is going to remain a stable state, with a very stable, conservative, immobile government," Byrnes said in an interview, summing up the book. "We don’t see any collapse or weakening of the Soviet system."
Barely six years later, the Soviet empire began falling apart. By 1991 it had vanished from the face of the earth. Did Professor Byrnes call a press conference to offer an apology for the collective stupidity of his colleagues, or for his part in recording it? Did he edit a new work titled Gosh, We Didn’t Know Our Ass From Our Elbow? Hardly. Being part of the American chattering class means never having to say you’re sorry.
Journalism, academia, policy wonkery: They all maintain well-oiled Orwellian memory holes, into which errors vanish without a trace. Stern pronouncements are hurled down like thunderbolts from Zeus, and, like Zeus, their authors are totally unaccountable to mere human beings.
He keeps firing.
The speed with which the Soviet empire imploded and the economic ruin and popular revulsion that were revealed have made it clear that baby boomer intellectuals and journalists, viewing the world through the distorted lens of Vietnam, overwhelmingly got it wrong. Peasants ate less and were slaughtered more on the other side of the Iron Curtain; the jails were fuller; the KGB’s list was a lot longer and a lot deadlier than Joe McCarthy’s. A team of French historians calculated the worldwide death toll of communism during the 20th century at more than 93 million. When Hoover Institution historian Robert Conquest used newly available data from the Soviet Union to update The Great Terror, his account of Stalin’s murderous purges of the 1930s, his publishers asked for a new title. "How about I Told You So, You Fucking Fools?" Conquest suggested.
Meantime, if you appreciate Russell Kirk, you'll want to read this article at the Chronicle of Higher Ed and the accompanying transcript of an online discussion with political scientist W. Wesley McDonald, author of a new book on the late conservative thinker.
If it comes as little surprise, it's nonetheless a shame the doors likely will be closing on the old Holy Trinity German Church in the South End that has been home to Boston's Latin Mass community (and this magnificent altar).
A correspondent with ties to the local Latin Mass and Anglican-use congregations writes:
I'd love to see the Tridentines and the Athanasians (and what's left of the Germans) sharing what would otherwise become a closed parish, e.g. Presentation or Trinity or Philip Neri. I think Aidan's is already too far gone. Something on transportation, sufficiently dignified, with parking, and maintainable. Keep praying.
Also on the recommended closure list: Tip O'Neill's church, St. John's, once the anchor of the North Cambridge neighborhood, as John Farrell writes in this O'Neill bio excerpt. Another vestige of the ties that once existed between Massachusetts Democrats and Catholicism, gone.
The church where JFK was baptized, St. Aidan's in Brookline, was closed a few years back, and preservationists have been trying to save what they can of the building, which is targeted for condos.
The local Anglican-use congregation used to worship at St. Aidan's before it was closed, and it was a beautiful old church that hadn't been wrecked. It will be now, even if the exterior doesn't fall to the wreckers' ball.
On the preservation front, much as I am for saving beautiful and historic old buildings, I don't like what has been done to a former church that is touted as a showpiece of adaptive reuse, Sacred Heart in Augusta, Ga., a holy place now used as a venue for catered parties.
The depravity at work in Abu Ghraib evokes Ronald Merrick in Jewel in the Crown.
One remembers a passage from the moving speech given by Lieut. Col. Tim Collins to the Irish Regiment on going into Iraq last March:
"If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.
* * *
Wonder what reservist Lynndie England's parents thought when their interview defending her as a "paper-pusher" in "the wrong place at the wrong time" hit the wires simultaneous with a new photo of her holding a leash around the neck of a naked prisoner?
Cat heads and simulated rape? How could this have been countenanced? What accounted for the total breakdown of discipline that allowed such grotesque behavior to go unchecked?
Because we have an open society, these questions will be aired in public, as they should. And the Arabs and anti-Americans will howl in selective indignation.
It will be a shame if the brutality of a few in the American military overshadows the service of the majority. Imagine if nobody remembered the 9/11 sacrifice of the NYPD, but only remembered Abner Louima.
As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, I'm cynical regarding John Kerry, having, I think, a pretty good notion of what he's about. But I don't loathe him, don't think the nation will go utterly to hell in a handbasket if he's elected, and certainly don't regard him with the seething contempt the anti-Bushies direct toward W.
A Frontline special aired the other night on how Bush's faith has affected his presidency. Fair and balanced in the public-television way, it was the sort of thing you could tell would drive viewers in Cambridge and Brookline right up a pole. The impression was given that Bush actually took his faith seriously.
That is not, in my view, a bad thing. And W does come across as a likeable guy. I have trouble understanding the sneering hatred of him.
"AN ARMY OF SCUM
Or, We're Looking For a Few Good Homosexual Rapists"
Ted Rall's latest effusion is up at Universal Press Syndicate:
NEW YORK--Now it's official: American troops occupying Iraq have become virtually indistinguishable from the SS. Like the Germans during World War II, they cordon off and bomb civilian villages to retaliate for guerilla attacks on their convoys. Like the blackshirts who terrorized Europe, America's victims disappear into hellish prisons ruled by sadists and murderers. The U.S. military is short just one item to achieve moral parity with the Nazis: gas chambers.
"Scum." Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Wonder how William F. Buckley Jr., Ann Coulter, Maggie Gallagher and John Leo feel about having their columns carried by Universal Press Syndicate alongside those of Ted Rall?
"Accused of being both a liberal and a conservative, Rall speaks to a new generation of readers," reads his blurb. One imagines Ted Rall has been accused of being many things, but conservative isn't among them. And whatever generation of readers Ted Rall speaks to isn't new: the moral idiot has long been identified as a species.
One wishes Universal Press Syndicate would actually heed the motto that runs atop its opinions page.
Bronx cheer: Yankee fan Michele at A Small Victory explains why she takes the Pinstripes' rivalry with the Red Sox more than seriously than the one with the Mets. She writes: So, about that Mr. Met? Why make a mascot that just begs to have his head smacked in? New York is a tough town.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004 Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness
The Chronicle of Higher Ed reports on a Boston College senior's pro-life witness at the recent Washington march:
A four-foot-tall metal fence and a row of police officers in riot gear are all that separate Kelly A. Kroll from hundreds of thousands of people who strongly disagree with her.
Ms. Kroll, a senior at Boston College, wears a blue T-shirt that reads "Women Deserve Better than Abortion" and holds a sign with the same message. She is here with about 40 other members of American Collegians for Life, a national anti-abortion group with no political or religious affiliation. They are providing a counterpoint to the estimated one million abortion-rights demonstrators gathered for the March for Women's Lives.
Some of the protesters filing past stare disdainfully and hold up their middle fingers. "Join us! Satan will save you!" one of them yells sarcastically. Another screams, "You hate babies once they're born!"
Ms. Kroll and her peers just roll their eyes. They have not come to argue. Their protest is a silent one.
What she and her companions did took courage. More power to them.
Well, this isn't going to sit well with Joe D'Hippolito.
A statue in a Spanish cathedral showing St James slicing the heads off Moorish invaders is to be removed to avoid causing offence to Muslims.
Cathedral authorities in the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela, on Spain’s north west coast, plan to move the statue to the museum.
Among the reasons for the move is to avoid upsetting the “sensitivities of other ethnic groups”.
The statue of St James “the Moor-slayer” is expected to be replaced by one depicting the calmer image of St James “the Pilgrim”, by the same 18th century artist, Jose Gambino.
The Saracen-slaying image of St James, or Santiago in Spanish, is a symbol of the fight between Christianity and Islam and the reconquest of Spain from eight centuries of Moorish rule before 1492.
The saint is said to have appeared to Christian troops fighting Moorish army at the Battle of Clavijo in 844, the crusaders rallying to the cry of “Santiago y cierra Espana” - “St James, we will reconquer Spain”.
Cathedral authorities insist the timing of the decision has nothing to do with the 11 March bombings in Madrid, which an Islamic group is alleged to have carried out.
Now that is a cathedral. Wish I'd had a chance to visit before they carted off the statue of Santiago Matamoros dispatching the Saracens.
Here's another painting of St James in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
If Rene Gonzalez couldn't draw, he'd be the unspeakable Ted Rall, whose latest prompted this e-mail sent this morning to the editor at Universal Press Syndicate:
Lee Salem, Executive Vice President and Editor
Universal Press Syndicate
4520 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64111-7701
Dear Mr. Salem:
According to his blurb at the Universal Press Syndicate comics site, Ted Rall has an "irreverent attitude" that combines with "deft use of satire" to "make his work as fun to read as it is thought-provoking," while his "ability to connect with current culture gives his writing an of-the-moment perspective that is edgy and sharp."
No doubt there are some who regard Mr. Rall's comic dismissal of the late Pat Tillman as a "sap" and an "idiot" [link] as deft satire.
No doubt some regard Mr. Rall's column of Veterans Day last, written in the guise of an Iraqi "resistance" fighter urging the killing of American soldiers [link], as fun to read and thought-provoking.
No doubt some regard Mr. Rall's mocking of Daniel Pearl's wife and the widows of 9/11 [link] as edgy and sharp.
I am not one of these readers. I find these items loathsome, and I'm willing to bet the great number of people do, too.
If there is indeed a fever swamp to which Mr. Rall does appeal, why does Universal Press Syndicate wish to reach it? What is the upside of continuing to provide a venue for work that not only is deeply offensive but – it should also be noted – so poorly drawn?
Mr. Rall's art, such as it is, fails in humor, in originality, in talent, and in grace, and seems motivated as much, if not more, by twisted pathology as by ideology. His work shocks and offends, but does not enlighten. It does not speak, in some new or brave way, to the intellect or to the heart. It does not enhance, but coarsens, public dialogue. Why does Universal Press Syndicate continue to run it?
A similar e-mail was sent to Michael Getler [email@example.com], ombudsman at the Washington Post, which carries Ted Rall at its Web site.
Dale Price writes of Rall: I can't think of a more appalling sack of offal working in major media. That's saying something, when you think about it.
As Dale notes, the First Amendment that protects by no means compels the publication of Ted Rall. It's hoped a cascade of e-mails and letters will bring this distinction home to Universal Press Syndicate and other media outlets that carry the derivative, horribly drawn, but supposedly "edgy" anti-Americanism of the Generation X Lord Haw Haw.
A pat on the fiddleback to Fr Jim for his renewed appeal for ad orientem. #
Bobby Orr's famous goal came on Mother's Day in 1970. How big of a hockey town was Boston in the early 1970s? Not only did the Bruins own Boston, the old Garden was home to three professional hockey teams: the B's (Stanley Cup winners in '70 and '72); their minor-league farm team, the Boston Braves, whose 1971-72 attendance mark of 425,900 set an American Hockey League record that stood for 26 years, and who until the old Garden closed remained a ghostly presence in the Boston phone book under the Garden number; and the old New England Whalers, of the WHA, who won the inaugural Avco Cup in 1973.
So it's a shame to read of the NHL's current lowly state. The demise has been self-inflicted: Ticket prices are exorbitant for a product made boring by the trap-defense and watered down by over-expansion. The days of the Original Six may be past, but 30 teams, including one in Phoenix, two in Florida, and three in California, but none in Quebec City?