Formerly Ad Orientem

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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
Monday, March 31, 2008  

Ten-shun, ten-shun please.

The Chicago Cubs’ Pat Pieper gathers straw hats showered by fans on Sept. 1, 1932.

Pieper announced for the team for 59 years, starting each game: "Get your pencils and scorecards ready for the correct lineup."

From Real Chicago Sports:

Photos from the Files of the Chicago Sun-Times

See also:

St Valentine's Night massacre

Four aces

The sweetest cowgirl

Beer and cheers

* * *

From Sports Illustrated, Jan. 24, 1955

William Faulkner attends his first hockey game:

"An Innocent at Rinkside"

* * *

From the Library of Congress:

Spalding Baseball Guides, 1889-1939

* * *

The national pastime has a new home in the nation's capital:

Nationals Park.

The most celebrated concession item: the half-smoke.

Odes to this Washington delicacy:

Washington City Paper


* * *

The Red Sox played the Dodgers at the LA Coliseum before the largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game, 115,300. The left field fence, 200 feet from home, was topped by a 60-foot screen. The Dodgers played only two outfielders.

LA Times: Baseball from another dimension.

Boston Globe: Dan Shaughnessy

NY Times: 201 feet to left, 440 to right


Thursday, March 27, 2008  

William Howard Taft

I'm sorry William Taft is out
Of Politics; without a doubt
Of all the Presidential crew
He was the easiest to do.

-- Oliver Herford, Confessions of a Caricaturist (1917)

See also his cartoons of Chesterton and Theodore Roosevelt.



Political Animalia

Gallup Poll:

If McCain vs Obama, 28 percent of Clinton backers go for McCain;
If McCain vs Clinton, 19 percent of Obama backers go for McCain.

Boston Globe: Lasting harm feared in Dems' battle

Politico: GOP looks to McCain Democrats

Toby Harnden, The Telegraph: How McCain can win the election

* * *

Joe Klein, Time: Is Al Gore the answer?

* * *

Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard:

The Wit & Wisdom of Barack Obama

"We are the ones we've been waiting for." Priceless.

* * *

The New Republic
: Exchange: HBO's 'John Adams'


Wednesday, March 26, 2008  

The Annual Lefty O'Doul Tribute

With the Sox opening the season in Tokyo, what better time to tip our cap to the Father of Japanese baseball?

Sparkletack, the San Francisco history podcast, recalls Bay Area icon Lefty O'Doul:

You’ve seen the green and white signs in front of the “Lefty O’Doul Restaurant and Piano Bar” down on Geary Street, but who is Lefty O’Doul? Just another phony Irish name invented to sell beer?

Absolutely not! The silhouette of that left-handed slugger on the sign is a clue. Lefty O’Doul was a baseball player, and despite the fact that other boys from San Francisco went on to enjoy a brighter national spotlight, Lefty was our boy — our very own real hometown baseball hero. We cheered his ups and downs back east, watched from afar as he palled around with Babe Ruth, and when he came back from the big leagues to manage the hometown San Francisco Seals he was the most popular man in town.

That in itself would make a pretty good story, but it’s the international angle that will really surprise you. You see, "Lefty” and “the Man in the Green Suit” were only two of the nicknames O’Doul answered to in his checkered career. The most interesting one is this one: “the Father of Japanese Baseball”. It turns out that the Irish kid from Butchertown was as much a citizen of the Pacific Rim as of the baseball world — and he’s now enshrined in Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame.

His tombstone down in Colma reads “He was here at a good time, and had a good time while he was here.”

The reporter discloses he wore his San Francisco Seals hat while researching the story.

You can get your own Seals cap from Ebbets Field Flannels.

* * *

At Lefty O'Doul's, all the stools are made of baseball bats.

* * *

From the SF Trad Jazz Foundation: historic jazz recordings

* * *

Past Lefty O'Doul Tributes: 2007 * 2006 * 2005 * 2004

* * *

Baseball in Japan

* Biz Mackey shakes hands with a Japanese player during a Negro League all-star tour of Japan in 1927.

* Princeton-educated Moe Berg's occupation as a backup catcher for the Red Sox in the 1930s provided cover for his other line of work -- as an intelligence agent:

In 1934, he was inexplicably named to a touring all-star team that visited Japan. While the other players were taking in the sights, Berg was secretly filming Japanese military installations for the United States. His later missions took him all over the world, most often using his incredible command of languages to pose as everything from graduate students to journalists to international businessmen. Among his contributions to U.S. intelligence was his careful tracking of the German’s progress toward nuclear bomb capabilities. Maybe not a hero on the baseball field, but certainly one off the field.

His biography is titled The Catcher Was a Spy.

* Babe Ruth bats and signs an autograph for a geisha during a Big League All-Star tour of Japan in 1934.

A tale of the Babe in Japan:

The Moe Berg biography "The Catcher Was A Spy" tells of a visit to a geisha house on that trip. Babe apparently thought that the women were prostitutes, and kept pawing under the very elaborate costume of one of the ladies. Moe saw that the woman was quite perturbed and knew that wasn't how a geisha should be treated, so he took the lady aside and gave her a quick English lesson. The next time Babe grabbed her, she smiled sweetly at him and said, "F U, Babe Ruth!"


Monday, March 24, 2008  

The "I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield"



Stage Manager.
"The elephant's putting up a very spirited performance to-night."

"Yessir. You see, the new hind-legs is a discharged soldier,
and the front legs is an out-and-out pacifist."

-- Punch, June 20, 1917


Sunday, March 23, 2008  

Happy Easter!



A toast to Llama Robbo

And to everyone else who swam the Tiber this weekend!

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!

-- Hilaire Belloc

* * *

The bibulous cleric is religious cousin to the dog playing poker.

A Fine Vintage is the title of the piece above by Gerard Portielje.

See also Howard Helmick.

And the master of the genre, Andrea Landini:

The Toast

The Chef's Birthday

Champagne Toast


Friday, March 21, 2008  

Good Friday

A perennial for the day, from Time, 1939:

"For St. Dismas"

Above: Madrid penitents, 1955



McCain: Extraordinary foresight made Churchill great

The link to this piece by McCain arrived with the note:

He has the Old Dominion Sachem vote now firmly secured.

The Irish Elk vote, too.


Thursday, March 20, 2008  

The Dems' tumult

One reason I hope the Republicans retain the White House?

The glee I'll feel whenever I see one of those 1.20.09 bumper stickers.

Not to tempt fate, but the current Dem discontent is quite an enjoyable spectacle.

Meantime, McCain pulls ahead in the polls.

* * *

Why has Obama aligned himself so long with Rev Wright?

Former Bill Clinton advisor Dick Morris advances a credible explanation:

Wright's rantings are not reflective of Obama's views on anything. Why did he stay in the church? Because he's a black Chicago politician who comes from a mixed marriage and went to Columbia and Harvard. Suspected of not being black enough or sufficiently tied to the minority community, he needed the networking opportunities Wright afforded him in his church to get elected. If he had not risen to the top of Chicago black politics, we would never have heard of him. But obviously, he can't say that. So what should he say?

He needs to get out of this mess with subtlety, the kind Bill Clinton should have used to escape the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- but didn't. As the controversy continues, Americans will gradually realize that Obama stuck by Wright as part of a need to get ahead. They will chalk up to pragmatism why he was so close to such a preacher.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008  

Obama's pastor

UPDATED, 3/18:

Today's speech underscored a connection with the Rev.

Pastor Wright preaches a religion based in racial grievance.

Obama's theme was that we all are victims.

Charlotte Hayes writes:

Obama is no longer a post-racial candidate. In his speech...he has embraced the politics of grievance. He says that the Rev. Wright has “elevated what is wrong” with America — elevated?

I stopped listening when the senator started talking about immigrant Americans and it was clear that he was going to extend the roster of victims to include everybody. There is no excuse for Wright and his ugly sermons. Obama could have said he loved the man, but he’s wrong in his hatred of America. But that is not what Obama said.

This is the great uniter, the builder of bridges?

Jonah Goldberg writes:

Obama preaches unity. Well, real unity requires real truth-telling and the ability to tell right from wrong, and Wright from right.

I, for one, have no interest in being united with Wright or anyone who insists that America is an evil, racist, damnable nation bent on murdering black people — and I suspect neither will many general election voters.

Obama's power base is made up of black voters and the upscale left-wingers who condescend to them. Well, it is time he spoke truth to that power. If the eloquent, self-proclaimed truth-teller and would-be first black president can't manage that, he should go straight from would-be to never was.


Shelby Steele, WSJ: The Obama Bargain

John Podhoretz, Commentary: Obama's Singular Speech

Michael Goldfarb, Weekly Standard:

Obama as Mortal: Blame America

Wright on Israel

Todd Spivak, Houston Press: Barack Obama and Me (Via Power Line)

How do these Hillary supporters really feel?

Hillary is 44 is even promo-ing a potential GOP attack ad:


ABC News: Report on Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Ross Douthat: The Wright Problem

Ralph Luker: In defense of Rev. Wright

Hillary is 44: God Damn America

Andrew Sullivan: Theology, politics, Wright & Obama

Peter Wehner: What did Obama hear and when?

Spengler: Black liberation theology (Via Lisa Schiffren)

Power Line: The Great Obama * The Audacity of Hate

Victor Davis Hanson:

Race and the Democrats: I * II * III * IV * Postmortem

Mark Steyn: Pastor disaster

LGF: Obama website 'disappears' pastor

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Wright and wrong

John Salmon: On the story since January


Monday, March 17, 2008  
St Patrick's Day

Dancers to Bunclody Céilí Band, 1963

Allow Céilí Band, All-Ireland champs, 2007: Reels

Erin Go Bragh!

Mr & Mrs P will appreciate the flag we're flying today


Comhaltas: Promoting traditional Irish music worldwide

Joseph Morrison Skelly, NRO: Edmund Burke and Ireland

Globe: Step dancers, Boston:

Is that an Italian flag they're running up at St. Brigid's Church?

NY Times: Irish dance at unlikely school


Thursday, March 13, 2008  

James Cagney & Ruby Keeler: "Shanghai Lil"

From Footlight Parade (1933)



The Hot Club Of Cowtown:

"Chinatown, My Chinatown"

Ye Olde Evening Telegraph posts a shot of Boston's Chinatown.

Pictured is Hudson Street, site of an Irish Elk favorite, Jumbo Seafood.

There, if you're so inclined, you can fish your own gooeyduck out of a tank.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008  

Comeuppance for Client 9

The news was cheered on the Stock Exchange floor.

NY tabloids were invented to cover a story like this.

The Post took the laurels with the front page above.

Here are today's front pages from other local tabloids:

Daily News * AM NY * Newsday

* * *

New York minute:

The time it took Eliot Spitzer to go from penthouse to outhouse,

and end up material for a Letterman Top 10 list.

* * *

Roger Kimball:

Really, he was a power-hungry, regulation-crazed functionary whose chief sin was to harness the power of the state to destroy his enemies and aggrandize himself.

* * *

About 14,000:

Results of a Google search on Karma's a bitch Spitzer

* * *

UPDATE, 3/13/08:

AM New York wins today's Front Page prize.

Mrs. P thinks Spitzer wears eye-liner.

I think he's been trying to emulate Marc Antony in Egypt.


Monday, March 10, 2008  

Bratislava Hot Serenaders: "Cotton Club Stomp"


Friday, March 07, 2008  

Ss. Perpetua & Felicitas

On March 7 in the year 203, Ss. Perpetua and Felicitas and companions, Christians, were put to death in the arena at Carthage for their faith.

More than 1,800 years later, their names live on in the Eucharistic prayer at Mass.

Here is an excerpt from "Lives of Saints," published by John J. Crawley & Co. (1954):

On the day of their martyrdom they set forth from the prison. Behind the men walked the young noblewoman Perpetua, "abashing the gaze of all with the high spirit in her eyes," and beside her the slave Felicitas...

To each one God granted the form of martyrdom he desired. Saturus had hoped to be exposed to several sorts of beasts, that his sufferings might be intensified. He and Revocatus were first attacked half-heartedly by a leopard. Saturus was next exposed to a wild boar which turned on his keeper instead. He was then tied up on the bridge in front of a bear, but the animal refused to stir out of his den, and Saturus was reserved for one more encounter. The delay gave him an opportunity to turn and speak to the converted jailer Pudens: "You see that what I desired and foretold has come to pass. Not a beast has touched me! So believe steadfastly in Christ. And see now, I go forth yonder and with one bite from a leopard all will be over." As he had foretold, a leopard was now let out, sprang upon him, and in a moment he was fatally wounded. Seeing the flow of blood, the cruel mob cried out, "He is well baptized now!"...

Perpetua and Felicitas were exposed to a mad heifer. Perpetua was tossed first and fell on her back, but raised herself and gathered her torn tunic modestly about her; then, after fastening up her hair, lest she look as if she were in mourning, she rose and went to help Felicitas, who had been badly hurt by the animal. Side by side they stood, expecting another assault, but the sated audience cried out that it was enough. They were therefore led to the gate Sanevivaria, where victims who had not been killed in the arena were dispatched by gladiators. Here Perpetua seemed to arouse herself from an ecstasy and could not believe that she had already been exposed to a mad heifer until she saw the marks of her injuries. She then called out to her brother and to the catechumen: "Stand fast in the faith, and love one another. Do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to you." By this time the fickle populace was clamoring for the women to come back into the open. This they did willingly, and after giving each other the kiss of peace, they were killed by the gladiators. Perpetua had to guide the sword of the nervous executioner to her throat. The story of these martyrs has been given in detail for it is typical of so many others. No saints were more universally honored in all the early Church calendars and martyrologies. Their names appear not only in the Philocalian Calendar of Rome, but also in the Syriac Calendar. The names of Felicitas and Perpetua occur in the prayer "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass. In the fourth century their "Acts" were publicly read in the churches of Africa and were so highly esteemed that Augustine, bishop of Hippo, found it necessary to protest against their being placed on a level with the Scriptures.

* * *

Fr Robert MacNamara writes:

News of this heroic witness spread rapidly through East and West Christendom. A basilica was raised over their tomb at Carthage. In Rome the names of the two valiant mothers, one free, one slave, were enshrined in the First Eucharistic Prayer like two flowers.

As the poet, Alfred Barrett, put it: "Perpetua, Felicitas/Pressed in the Canon of the Mass."

* * *

The record of their Passion, preserving the martyrs' own words, is a treasure of early Christian literature.

Perpetua and Felicitas, or Felicity, are the patron saints of cattle.

Their story inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008  

Muffley '08

Irish Elk's choice in tonight's Democratic primaries.


Sunday, March 02, 2008  

Canada in a Box

The Canadian past, as stored in old cigar boxes.



Old Postcard from Dresden

Among the remarkable images at Amy Crehore's Little Hokum Rag.

Here's one for Mrs P.



Spoked B's resurgent

The Bruins have won six in a row, and are only five points out of first.

They seem to have recaptured some of their old scrappy spirit.

After the club's shootout win at Carolina on Feb. 19, [Glen] Murray introduced the Hard Hat - awarding a white construction lid to the hardest-working Bruin of the night.

Milan Lucic earned the headgear that night after a two-fight effort, and the Bruins have won every game since the cap went into circulation. The hard hat is a fitting symbol for this club, which has finally evoked memories of the Lunch Pail Gang of Bruins squads past with their work ethic and physical play.

"That's what the fans were talking about that we were missing last year - the old Big, Bad Bruins," said Bruins leading scorer Marc Savard. "We definitely have a slice of that this year."

Lucic might be the face of that transformation, as the young rookie already has a team-high 12 fights this season. That includes a marathon bout Thursday when he took on Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu despite having already suffered a broken nose twice this year.

"I think he's the strongest 19-year-old in the world," said Savard of Lucic.

Lucic is drawing comparisons to Cam Neely and Terry O'Reilly. In Vancouver, where Lucic is from, Orland Kurtenblog already had begun compiling Lucic fight highlight videos (scroll down). The bout with Ruutu the other night could be added to the list.

Deadspin writes:

This fight, for me, captures the Bruins' season thus far: They've had injuries, they're underestimated, everyone's watching the Celtics instead and they're just generally pissed off about their lot in life -- like the Harvey Pekar of hockey. And yet they're four away from Ottawa for the division lead, and three back of Montreal (with a game in hand) for the fifth seed. I like this team. And I love this Lucic; I watch a fight like that, and he's not Son of Sea Bass -- he's a Puck Lion. [Whatever that means -- MCNS]

Lucic said:

“They were announcing the fight and I was walking in (to the locker room) and all of a sudden I heard the buzzer go off and it was almost shaking in here because they were cheering so loud,” said Lucic. “As a player you love to see that, especially the fans of Boston. You know they like that. They cheer hard. They're blue collar-type of fans. They love the guys that work hard and we want to see a crowd like that every game.”

UPDATE, 3/4/08: Perhaps I spoke too soon.

UPDATE 3/7/08: I did speak too soon.


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