"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
The Telegraph writes on the passing of the Scottish regiments:
Yesterday the Royal Scots was the oldest infantry regiment in the world, boasting battle honours from Marlborough's victories at Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. Today the regiment is no more.
In 1745, the Black Watch was described by a French officer at the Battle of Fontenoy as "Highland Furies who rushed in on us with more violence than ever did a tempest-driven sea". Today that regiment, too, is no more. Six Scottish infantry regiments are being merged into one, and all these historic regiments have similar proud stories.
Pride in tradition is at the heart of the fighting spirit. Men die for it. That tradition is being destroyed, on grounds of economy. While the Army is at a stretch round the world, these regiments are scrapped at the behest of Gordon Brown - the man who's just come up with the idea of a "Veterans' Day". Today those traditions are no more.
"I think for a lot of people in the center, what party loyalty they have is based on which extreme they fear or dislike more: The religious right or the radical left.
Personally, I often disagree with the religious right -- I'm a social and cultural libertarian -- but I've never considered them to be anathema. For me it's the radical left personified by Dean, Kennedy, Cindy Sheehan, Moveon.org, etc. that I find so repellent to keep me supporting GOP candidates.
However, give me a viable center party that believes in defending the nation and practicing social tolerance and I'll be there supporting it. Problem is, the key word is "viable." Until then, I remain a reliable Republican voter, if only to keep the Deans and Ted Kennedys of the nation out of power."
From the Moose's experience schmoozing with Democrats around the country, they are far more concerned about Christian fundamentalists than Islamic fundamentalists - or they see them through the lens of moral equivalence. At worse, conservative Christians seek to restore the moral verities of the 1950's while the Islamists seek to restore the caliphate of the seventh century.
Pro-life Democrats are politically homeless. We are not Republican, but we are excluded from our own party because we believe the slaughter of unborn children is an atrocity--and its unwavering support by the Democratic Party under any circumstances is an embarrassment. It would suit the currently self-righteous, blind, and deaf pro-choice Democrats to not only include us, but to show some kind of respect and understanding, even if they disagree. But this looks like another election in which I won't be voting.
Think that's un-American? Show me a candidate who represents ME. I'll vote then, but not a moment sooner.
I freely grant that the Republican Party has great flaws of its own. I don't like tax cuts skewed to benefit the rich, and I don't like drilling for oil in wildlife preserves. I'm an agnostic and not a Republican. Yet at this point in our nation's history, I'm more afraid of Hollywood and its values (Hollywood being a principal financier of the Democratic Party) than I am of the oil companies and theirs. With nihilism widespread in the courts, and with the brave new world of biotechnology heaving over the horizon, few things seem more urgent than keeping judicial appointments and other key cultural levers out of Democratic hands.
I have an undiminished desire for a party that embodies Catholic social-justice teaching--one that is both prolife and propoor. Neither party provides a good prospect for this, but conceivably it could develop from Republican "compassionate conservatism." It can't arise where people are bent upon preserving Carhart v. Stenberg. When Democrats declare "choice" the highest value, they forfeit their ability to critique coherently free-market arguments and to advocate for the poor. The Republicans at least know that life is sacred. Every social-justice initiative ultimately depends on that.
I grew up despising hippie culture. I found, and still find, virtually all of the Boomer cultural affectations to be utterly false and preening; I find the nihilism of their intellectual and popular leaders to be entirely banal and unromantic; their radical egalitarianism was, I thought, an emasculation of all the good things in life. Rather than donning Birks and tie-dye t-shirts, I dreamed about sword-canes and black capes. My image of a conservative hero came from men like Theodore Roosevelt, Andre Malraux, T.E. Lawrence, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Men of action and adventure yet also of refined taste and intellect. Men who wore black, fought for the old world, were on intimate terms with both life and death, and who never went anywhere without their driver or their butler. The image is about as far as one can get from John Lennon.
In basketball, those two extra points BC fan Steve M. hoped for against Villanova would have come in handy, as the Eagles fell in overtime, 60-59.
In hockey,Holy Cross beat Minnesota, 4-3, in overtime in the NCAA West Regional semifinal, in arguably the biggest upset in tournament annals. The Crusaders face North Dakota tonight in the West final for a ticket to the Frozen Four.
Meantime, perennial rivals BU and BC cruised in their semifinal match-ups and meet tonight in the East Regional final. USCHO has full coverage.
UPDATE, 3/26:BC beats BU to advance to the Frozen Four. Hopefully, for Steve M's sake, the International Herald Tribune will be carrying the NCAA hockey tournament scores. Meantime, Holy Cross' Cinderella bid comes to an end against North Dakota. Maine and Cornell win in the semis, Harvard and UNH fall. Running coverage: USCHO
Very Whig of very Whig, begotten not made, would not be a bad summary…
[P]erhaps it was the Tory party that failed to understand Churchill. He remained, to the end, essentially a Whig. He believed in the duty of a benevolent upper class to lead the nation in the direction of progress, and it was only when his faith in that concept wavered, in the 1930s, that he threw his lot in with the Tory avatars. He was essentially a liberal Conservative in the Disraelian mode, a Tory Democrat who, unlike his father, had an idea of what such a concept meant.
* * *
The Whig tradition is raised by Daniel Johnson in an essay for Commentary on "Britain's Neoconservative Moment":
If US-style neoconservatism has proved to be an unwelcome guest on the British Left, it has scarcely found a more comfortable political and ideological home on the British Right. The Anglo-American principles that the United States inherited and that neoconservatives so energetically promote—republican self-government, liberty under the law, bourgeois rectitude and industry—are associated, historically, not with the reactionary Tories but with their more liberal opponents, the Whigs. Beginning with John Locke, Whiggism has been the default position of American politics for over two centuries.
The British statesmen who admire, and are admired in, the United States have almost always been Whigs. Though his father was a maverick Tory, Winston Churchill came from a distinguished Whig family, switched parties several times, and was at his best as leader of a wartime unity government. Margaret Thatcher, who was despised by the Tory grandees for reasons as much snobbish as ideological, cordially returned their contempt, preferring free-market Whigs like Friedrich Hayek. #
The new CityHall, not surprisingly, appears to be winning in a landslide.
You can compare the New with the Old at Prof. Jeffery Howe's digital archive of American architecture. Two points for guessing which the Irish Elk prefers.
* * *
Architect Roger Clark mulls whether the new City Hall served to promote architecture to the public – or to promote design to the architecture practitioner:
The public…seems to find it difficult to embrace the building's brutalist nature. The public response can be characterized by a legend that claims a Boston cabbie identified the precedent for the City Hall as the Lincoln Memorial shown on the U.S. penny, turned upside down.
Unfortunately the city has mostly neglected and at times insensitively changed the building to accommodate growth in city government. Over the last 15 years, there have been proposals made to change the plaza, to incorporate commercial space into the building, and even to sell the building. Indeed, the building and plaza are challenging, but their boldness and civic posture might be difficult to equal today. Still, the big plaza is empty of pedestrians nearly all the time, even though it is intended as a terrific place for large civic gatherings, like when the Red Sox win the World Series. Perhaps it is too big.
* * *
The new City Hall won all sorts of awards when it was built following an international design competition in the '60s.
The New York Times' architecture critic, Ada Louise Huxtable, praised the building as a "structure of dignity, humanism and power" that "will outlast the last hurrah."
She notes in the opening lines of her Feb. 4, 1969, review:
"Whatever it is, it's not beautiful," said the Boston cab driver taking the visitor to the new City Hall. "What would you call it, Gothic? asked another. Which about sums up the architectural gap, or abyss, as it exists between those who design and those who use the 20th century's buildings.
She continues, a little further on:
Boston can celebrate with the knowledge that it has produced a superior public building in an age that values cheapness over quality as a form of public virtue. It also has one of the handsomest buildings around, and thus far, one of the least understood…
Not only cab drivers are puzzled by the unconventional structure. Cultural and community leaders who are also society's decision makers and a public with more and higher education than at any time in history also draw a blank. Too bad about that architecture gap. It has a lot to do with the meanness of our cities.
Today, more than 35 years later, the average Bostonian has yet to be educated as to the merits of City Hall and the surrounding plaza.
* * *
While on the topic of architects and awards: Scroll all the way down to read a tribute to worship-space visionary Dick Vosko, one of 10 "very special people" honored by the American Institute of Architects.
On the other side of the church-architecture abyss, Gerald Augustinus remains unmoved by Dr. Vosko's "antiseptic, pseudo feng shui-meets-Pottery-Barn style." (Via Diogenes)
My interest in the Oscars this year was in inverse proportion to my interest in posting this particularly Fine picture of Joan Crawford. Oh, my Stradivarius.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Why do I read the New York Sun? How many other papers last week led the front page with a Charles Willson Peale portrait of the Mohawk chief Joseph Brant?
The picture accompanied a review of a new history of the Iroquois Six Nations in the geopolitics of 18th-century North America. The same paper on March 1 carried reviews of a new biography of Michael Collins and of a history of newspapers in Early America.
The world's largest rodent, as cognoscenti know, is Vatican-approved Lenten fare:
When Venezuelans' appetite for capybara clashed with the church's ban on eating meat during Lent, a local priest asked the Vatican to give the world's biggest rodent the status of fish.
People rejoiced when the Vatican agreed, declaring that capybara isn't meat. More than two centuries later, they still consider the 130-pound capybara a delicacy and pay big bucks to put it on their dinner tables.
"It's the most scrumptious dish that exists," says Freddy Colina, 17, who lives on the southern Great Plains of Venezuela, where a Lent without capybara is like Thanksgiving without turkey in the United States.
As it happens, the capybara is related to the nutria, or coypu, among the Hystricomorpha, or porcupine-like rodents.
Would it therefore be possible to substitute capybara in a nutria recipe?
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 pounds capybara ground meat 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon red pepper 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 cup diced onion 1 cup diced green bell pepper 1 cup diced red bell pepper 1 cup tomato paste 4 cups beef stock (or water) 1 can red kidney beans (opt.)
In a heavy 5-quart pot on high heat, add oil and heat until very hot. Add capybara meat, and cook and stir 10 minutes. Add salt, red pepper, chili powder, onion and both bell peppers. Cook and stir 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and 4 cups stock. Cook 30 minutes; reduce heat to medium. Add red kidney beans; cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot!