Formerly Ad Orientem

"Irish Elk is original, entertaining, eclectic, odd, truly one-of-a-kind. And more than mostly interesting."
Amy Kane

"Puts the 'ent' in 'eccentric.'"

"The Gatling Gun of Courteous Debate."
Unitarian Jihad

"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)."
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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.

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Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem

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

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

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Irish Elk
Wednesday, June 29, 2005  

Happy Moonlight Graham Centennial

We raise a toast to the real-life Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, who one hundred years ago today played in his one game for the New York Giants without coming to bat.

He went on to become a family doctor in Chisholm, Minn., and to inspire the famous character in WP Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe and the film Field of Dreams.

Young Archie's stepping over the baseline is one of the great scenes in that movie.

(According to Wikipedia, his real-life brother went on to become president of the University of North Carolina and a US Senator. Who knew?)


Tuesday, June 28, 2005  

Shelby Foote, RIP

Early in his career, Foote took up the habit of writing by hand with an old-fashioned dipped pen, and he continued that practice throughout his life.

He kept bound volumes of his manuscripts, all written in a flowing hand, on a bookshelf in a homey bedroom-study overlooking a small garden at his Memphis residence.

Though facing a busy city street, the two-story house was almost hidden from view by trees and shrubs.

"If I were a wealthy man, I'd have someone on that gate," he said.

* * *

An excerpt from Shiloh:

The sky had cleared, the clouds raveled to tatters, and at four o'clock the sun broke through, silver on the bright green of grass and leaves, and golden on the puddles in the road; all down the column men quickened the step, smiling in the sudden burst of gold and silver weather. They would point at the sky, the shining fields, and call to each other: the sun, the sun! Their uniforms, which had darkened in the rain, began to steam in the April heat, and where formerly they had slogged through the mud, keeping their eyes down on the boots or haversack of the man ahead, now they began to look around and even dance aside with little prancing steps to avoid the wet places.

* * *

Remembered: Coalition of the Swilling * Musing's Musings * TomFlannery.com * 1754Blog * Hobbesian Conservative * Rock Creek Rambler


Monday, June 27, 2005  

Turns out there was a Tammany Tiger in the old Pogo comic strip.

And the song "Tammany" was the fight song of John McGraw's old New York Giants.

* * *

Joe E. Brown, come to find out, inspired both Lippy the Lion and Peter Potamus. (Watch this trailer for Alibi Ike and you'll hear the resemblance.)

According to this tribute to voice actor Daws Butler, Wally Gator borrowed from Ed Wynn, Top Cat from Phil Silvers, Yogi Bear from Art Carney, and Snagglepuss from Bert Lahr, who almost sued.

Can you tell I've been watching a lot of the Boomerang Channel lately?

* * *

Meantime, the voices of both Tigger and Piglet have been silenced.

Survivors include Knucklehead Smiff and the disembodied spirit of Jack the Ripper.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005  

Great Flightless Birds &c

The moa, a large extinct bird from New Zealand, apparently had a decade-long adolescence – which may help explain how early hunters were able to wipe out the giant bird.

[The] moa may have had the luxury of growing up at a leisurely pace, as they had few natural predators besides the giant Haast’s eagle.

That all changed, however, when the first humans – the Maori – arrived in New Zealand about 700 years ago and began hunting the birds extensively – often only eating the best bits, like the 'drumsticks,' and leaving the rest.

Slackerdom proved fatal for the moa.

Of course, I welcome any excuse to post the pic (above) of 19th-century anatomist Richard Owen and a skeleton of the giant extinct bird.

* * *

Listen to a clip of "Ostrich Walk" done by Bix Beiderbecke with Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra.

Len Weinstock writes in an essay at Red Hot Jazz, "The Birth of the Cool 1927":

Who was the father of Cool Jazz? Miles Davis? Lester Young? Stan Getz? Gerry Mulligan? The answer, is none of the above. Cool Jazz has its roots as early as 1927 in the wonderful collaborations of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke and C-melody saxman Frank (Tram) Trumbauer! Bix and Tram were closely associated as early as 1925 and developed a tight musical rapport. They both used a linear, relaxed and lyrical style and were the first to offer an alternative to the searing, passionate and extroverted music that characterized the Jazz Age. They were inspired not only by Louis Armstrong but also by the modern classical composers like Debussey, Ravel and Stravinsky and as a result were the first to use intriguing harmonies and intervals based on whole tone scales in their improvisations.

Also at Red Hot Jazz: another essay on Bix and Tram and an outstanding selection of their music.

* * *

My apologies for the near extinction of posts of late: A new job has left little time for blogging. Hope to be posting more soon!


Saturday, June 18, 2005  

Texas backstop jazzed about roots: Catcher Taylor Teagarden, who has helped lead the Texas Longhorns to the College World Series, is a great-great-nephew of legendary jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden. As Mel Allen would say, how about that?

You can listen to some early Jack Teagarden at Red Hot Jazz.

(A tip of the cap to Will Elliott in San Antonio.)

* * *

Tom at Donegal Express has tagged me with a music meme:

The last CD I bought was: Ray Charles, Best of the Atlantic Years. Great music to paint a back porch to.

Song playing right now: "I Like to Move It," as sung by Ali G's King Julien in Madagascar. The lemurs make that movie.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

For some reason "Tiger Rag" has become a hardy perennial. I like this clip, from Louis Armstrong's Town Hall Concert of 1947, also good to paint the porch to.

I also like this version of "Mahogany Hall Stomp" by Louis Armstrong.

Certain songs, like scents, carry you back immediately to a different time and place in your life, and a few that do that for me are:

"FM" by Steely Dan

"Goodbye, Stranger" by Supertramp

"Tempted" by Squeeze.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005  

Today's Wall Street Journal asks:

If the White Sox are doing so well, why are they drawing so poorly?

Around the Horn: Black America's musical links to Scotland (Via A&L Daily) * A call to rebellion against the preposterous claptrap of academics * A ticket to the History Carnival * And belated Happy Birthday wishes to Jake Wirth. You have to like a restaurant that still has Hugh Duffy on the wall for hitting .398 in 1894.


my pet!

Left on the doorstep by Thos Nast?

Take it away, Bix.

(Via Thos Fitzpatrick)


Coalition for Darfur

There can be no doubt that, relatively speaking, the crisis in Darfur has generated a fair amount of attention. Journalists, human rights experts and bloggers have poured a lot of energy into raising awareness of the genocide and the 400,000 lives it has taken. Unfortunately, this focus on Darfur only highlights the lack of attention being paid to other, arguably even more horrific, crises in Africa. >>>


Tuesday, June 14, 2005  

Clip: "Grizzly Bear Rag" by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

* * *

Mordecai Peter Centennial "Three Finger" Brown, above, caught his right hand in a corn grinder when he was seven, and the spin he put on the ball with his mangled hand made him the pitching mainstay of the Cubs' last World Series winner.

"That old paw served me pretty well in its time," he said. "It gave me a firmer grip on the ball, so I could spin it over the hump. It gave me a greater dip."

Here's how he threw the spitball.

* * *

The Chicago Daily News morgue at the Library of Congress' American Memory site has some wonderful old shots of Wrigley Field, which I meant to post this past weekend when the Sox visited the Friendly Confines.

Here's a striking panorama, which served as a backdrop for the '29 pennant winners.

And the "At Home with the Gabby Hartnetts" pics are great fun. Washing dishes * Family pose * At his wedding * Wife, at bat

* * *

Around the Horn

John Cahill links to a story on the disappearance of ballpark organs, replaced with loud rock music and hip hop between innings. Pfeh.

TSO will be interested to know the left-field foul pole at Fenway is now officially Pudge's Pole. They had a naming ceremony before tonight's interleague game with the Reds.

Peter Handrinos at All-Baseball.com lists the eight baseball immortals he'd chuck from the Hall: Chas Comiskey, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Tom Yawkey (!), Gaylord Perry, Ty Cobb, Leo Durocher, Happy Chandler, and Morgan Bulkeley.

How about those Nats? First in war, first in peace – and first in the National League East! Nat Fanatics sings the praises of the Washington nine. Ditto Nasty Nats and Ball Wonk.

* * *

Currently reading: Guys, Dolls and Curveballs, a marvelous Damon Runyan baseball anthology, and, on tape in the car, David McCullough's John Adams, with a description of partisan rancor during the XYZ affair of 1798 that could have been written today.

* * *

The Bear Spirits were invoked this past weekend as my eldest son's Cub Scout troop advanced to Bear Cub status.

The Sox paid a visit to the Cubbies.

And in keeping with the theme, a black bear was reported roaming our area.


Monday, June 13, 2005  
The Problem with Blogs

Ignatius Insight presents the final installment of its four-part series on St. Blog's.


Sunday, June 12, 2005  

Red Sox-Cubs: The Sox make their first-ever visit to Wrigley Field, where a banner beyond the right-field wall reads, Eamus Catuli. This pic captures the Bostons' fortunes in the first two games.

The meeting of cosmic brethren is the first since the 1918 World Series, which may have been fixed.

Harry Caray's Ghost exclaims, "Holy Cow!"

Local coverage: Chicago Tribune Cubs section * Boston Globe Red Sox section


Thursday, June 09, 2005  

BLOGGING WILL BE SPOTTY for the time being, as work calls. In the meantime, why not head over to Red Hot Jazz for a bit of "Panther Rag" by Earl Hines?


Wednesday, June 08, 2005  
Coalition for Darfur

The Slow Reaction: The big news regarding Darfur this week is that the International Criminal Court has formally announced that it is conducting an investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity in the region >>>


Saturday, June 04, 2005  

Big Papi

The most important Sox player ever?

Boston.com's Eric Wilbur makes the case.


Friday, June 03, 2005  

Fr Monk Malloy, CSC

In a commencement speech at Stonehill College in May, outgoing Notre Dame president Rev. Edward "Monk" Malloy, CSC, spoke on moral courage:

Fr. Malloy cited the example of the hotel manger in the movie Hotel Rwanda. An ordinary person, the manager became a “reluctant hero,” during the mass killings in Rwanda when he exercised enormous moral courage in the face of mass slaughter and used his abilities to saves lives.

Fr. Malloy reminded students that society needs more people like that manager who are not afraid to stand up and declare “this is unacceptable” when they encounter wrong.

The college president many regard as the voice of Catholic higher education in the United States now has an opportunity to demonstrate that actions speak louder than words.

Fr. Malloy this month is to be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Western Ontario.

So is Canada's pioneering abortionist, Henry Morgentaler, described by the school as a "Humanist leader" who is to be honored for championing a "Woman's Right to Choose."

The university's controversial decision to honor an abortionist has led to an online protest campaign and blog.

The honorary degree to Morgentaler has been defended by the University of Western Ontario's president and by faculty leaders, but the chairman of the school's board of governors says the award will inflict a "permanent scar" on the institution.

Fr. Malloy has said he nonetheless plans to accept his honorary degree on the grounds it is being awarded at a separate ceremony by Catholic colleges affiliated with the university. The university, though, does not note this distinction in touting Fr. Malloy among its honorary degree recipients.

As of last year Fr Malloy had received a dozen honorary degrees from various colleges. This spring he adds honorary doctorates from Stonehill and from his own Notre Dame, as well as the University of Portland's highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal.

Does Fr. Malloy need yet another laurel, from the University of Western Ontario, under the circumstances in which it would be presented?

That university is making a statement about its moral and cultural values in honoring a man specifically for performing thousands of abortions and for campaigning for hundreds of thousands more -- indeed, a man who himself escaped the Holocaust only to campaign for the devaluation of human life.

Might this not be a prime opportunity for Notre Dame's outgoing president to model the very course he urged of Stonehill graduates -- to stand up, on encountering wrong, and say "this is unacceptable"?

* * *

The Catholic bishop of London, Ontario, has written a strong letter of protest to the university president over the degree to Morgentaler.

* * *

At the NDNation board, commenter PPio04 submits this post re Fr. Malloy, "Missing Part of the Story":

Gerry Killan, the principal of UWO's Catholic-affiliated King's College, told me this week the board of King's passed a motion in support of the bishop's letter. "That's our position too," Killan said, "and we're sticking to it. We object to the granting of this degree to Dr. Morgentaler because of our principles about the paramountcy of the sanctity of life and we have stated such, both publicly and privately to . . . Davenport."

In talking with alumni of King's, or parents of students who've been sickened by the university's decision to honour Morgentaler, Killan points out that there will be 10 convocation ceremonies at UWO this spring. At the ceremony for King's, Huron and Brescia colleges, the recipient of an honourary degree is going to be Father Edward Malloy, president of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

When the news broke about Morgentaler, Killan says he called Malloy. "I certainly alerted him and told him this was happening and that I hoped it wouldn't affect his decision to come. I told him, 'There are 10 convocations, we've got our own, and you're the one we want more than ever now. You're here to represent our tradition.' And he said, 'I'll be there as scheduled.'

* * *

RP comments re Fr Malloy:

Maybe he's going to use the platform to speak out against abortion or in support of his views...I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt...

RP may be on to something. We shall see.

* * *

From the viewbooks:

King's University College: King's is a Catholic, co-educational, liberal arts university college, affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. A King's student is registered at U.W.O. and receives U.W.O. credits. Our students may take any course not offered at King's at Western, Brescia or Huron. All degrees are granted from The University of Western Ontario.

Brescia University College: Located on beautiful grounds next to The University of Western Ontario with which it is affiliated…As Canada's only university-level women's college, Brescia focuses on the needs of women learners…A Catholic college in the Ursuline tradition, we prepare our graduates to respond with wisdom, justice and compassion to a changing world.

The question: Is it possible for these Catholic colleges to maintain their tradition while affiliated with the secular University of Western Ontario that grants their students' degrees? When the university treads on these college's founding principles, what does it say of the university's regard for these colleges? Why would these colleges wish to remain affiliated with a university that holds such little respect for their religious views?


Thursday, June 02, 2005  
Coalition for Darfur

The international community continues to fail to seriously addresses this crisis and so we ask you to join the Coalition for Darfur as we attempt to raise awareness of this genocide and collect contributions for worthy organizations providing life-saving assistance to the forgotten people of Darfur. >>>


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