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
Saturday, December 31, 2005  


Irish Elk wishes all a happy and healthy New Year!


Saturday, December 24, 2005  

Music to wrap by

"Rudolph" in Latin is among the holiday music offerings at NPR.

Riverwalk Jazz is celebrating Jack Teagarden's centennial

As I type, a 1953 holiday episode of Dragnet is playing at WAMU at American University.

Thanks to Botanica for the link and for pointing to the way to retro cocktails and lap steel guitar.

Louis Armstrong reads "The Night Before Christmas":

Merry Christmas to all – and to all a good night!


Friday, December 23, 2005  

Christmas in the Trenches

NOTE 3/10/09: Welcome to Irish Elk! The log shows a number of visitors have been arriving in recent months at this post. Out of curiosity, where are you coming from? If you leave a comment in the box I'd be happy to know. And be sure to visit the rest of the site while you're here. Cheers, MCNS

* * *

The Week Magazine recalls the Christmas Truce of World War I

Meantime, a remarkable site, The Great War in a Different Light, containing more than 7,000 period photos, illustrations and news articles from Great War books and magazines, focuses its coverage this holiday season on "Christmas in the Trenches."

(Via Doroty)


Thursday, December 22, 2005  

Elk or Moose

How liberal am I? Eighty-two percent, according to this simple test.

Reactionary I may seem on campus or at family holiday dinners* -- but in certain corners of the blogosphere, my Inner Lefty shines forth.

That doesn't mean I haven't been getting lost in the 50th Anniversary edition of National Review, or that I don't still appreciate a good Roger Scruton interview on Burke.

* * *

* On the phenomenon of the "Liberal Bubble": Thos Lifson * Bookworm

* * *

The Bull Moose blog has been outstanding of late: On Scoop Jackson * On the wayward Dems * On Joe Lieberman * On the Mideast nuclear peril * On ideologues Left and Right

* * *

And via the Fellowship of St. Caedmon, a poem:

"The Bull Moose"


Wednesday, December 21, 2005  

The past in living color

The Library of Congress is exhibiting rare color photos from the Depression and Second World War periods. Sixteen-hundred of the color images may be seen online at American Memory.

The picture above shows passersby reading headlines posted in the street-corner window of the newspaper office in Brockton, Mass., in December 1940.

* * *

A gallery of vintage New York Post front pages from the '40s, '50s and '60s is found at a tribute site to late newspaper editor Paul Sann, postwar New York's "king of tabloid journalism." Of Sann's Page One headlines a reporter said: "Some of them [were] so exciting I had to wait for the story to catch up."



Darfur Mother and Child

Spotlight on Darfur: Christmas Edition


Thursday, December 15, 2005  

Iraq the Vote

Pajamas Media
Gateway Pundit
Iraq the Model




Thirteen degrees outside. Fine day for a bit of "Clicquot."

But let's have the "Black Bottom," to egg nog and Mount Gay.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005  

Purple Fingers of Fate

Yahoo! News photo search: Iraq vote ink

Raise a Purple Finger for Freedom.

Bill Bennett appears to have borrowed my avatar's cap from below.

Dems say No Joe-mentum, train ire on Lieberman: WSJ * RCP


Monday, December 12, 2005  

Sen. Eugene McCarthy, RIP

Eugene McCarthy was my parents' candidate in 1968, and I believe we have a picture somewhere of my eldest brother, who'd gone Clean for Gene, graduating from college with a McCarthy pin on his robe.

In an appreciation in the Weekly Standard last year, Andrew Ferguson wrote:

McCarthy stands out from recent political history as a uniquely appealing man: funny, thoughtful, eccentric, allusive; a professional politician whose mind had plenty left over when the politics was done. He's hard to figure out. No one, early in McCarthy's career, could have predicted that his political life would reach a climax with an effort to unhorse a president of his own party. As a young man he had entered a Benedictine seminary, dropped out, joined up again, and dropped out again, and he never shook the habits of a mind steeped in Catholic scholasticism. His classical training would emerge at the unlikeliest moments. Watching from a hotel window as a phalanx of Chicago police-men waded into protestors during the chaotic 1968 Democratic convention, he turned to a companion and said the horrible scene reminded him of the Battle of Lake Trasimeno…

THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, when the professorial mood was upon him (as it often was), McCarthy had called for "the de-personalization of politics"--a phrase that sounded just as pompous then as it does now, but which nonetheless expressed a thought-through belief about how self-government should work. McCarthy thought institutions deserved more care and attention than the men who run them, and that a political campaign should be bigger than its candidate. His favorite politician, he said, was Edmund Burke--pompous again, maybe, but revealing. His reticence seemed principled as well as personal. He attended Mass every day, for example, yet never spoke in public of his private faith--a blessed contrast to candidates who seldom go to services yet won't shut up about how much religion means to them. McCarthy despised charisma, deemed it dangerous and undemocratic--Bobby Kennedy horrified him, partly for this reason--and his disdain, paradoxically, made him all the more charismatic. When he campaigned in 1968 huge crowds would greet him, rafter-swinging crowds, roof-raising, thunderous crowds, and he would refuse to amplify the enthusiasm that poured over him. He never played to the crowd. The crowd loved him for it.

Coverage elsewhere of Sen. McCarthy's passing: The Telegraph * The Times * David Broder * NPR: Ken Rudin * Power Line * Washington Post * The Nation: Jon Wiener * Nation Blog: Re McCarthy's poetry * Minnesota Public Radio

And some Eugene McCarthy haikus

UPDATE, 12/13: More on McCarthy from George Will and Christopher Hitchens


Sunday, December 11, 2005  

Look who's playing Cindy Sheehan

in the new play Peace Mom.

It's Madame Maxime from Harry Potter

She'd certainly be an imposing presence outside the Crawford ranch.

But for full moonbat effect, they might have considered some other Potter characters for the role: Winky the House Elf, maybe, or Professor Sybil Trelawney.

Cindy * Dobby


Saturday, December 10, 2005  

Famous catch by Willie Mays Polar Ground

A Dutch Google search on the above phrase returns this site near the top.

Today's shoveling music at the 78 Jukebox is "Please Don't Take That Black Bottom Away" by the Seven Little Polar Bears.


Friday, December 09, 2005  
Yahoo! Avatars

My avatar at Yahoo!

Accompanied by polar bear, for lack of a Borneo Whatsit.

(Via Mixolydian Mode)


Thursday, December 08, 2005  

Immaculate Conception

A search at Web Gallery of Art returns many images.

The Marist Brothers offer their own gallery.

* * *

The Order of Service at the Brompton Oratory:

Wednesday, 7th December:
5.30pm Solemn 1st Vespers
Ave maris stella Hassler.
Magnificat Tone 8 à 8 Bevan.
Dulcissima Maria Vivanco.
Prelude: Nun danket alle Gott (657) Bach.

Thursday 8th December

7.00am, 10.00, 12.30pm,

6.00 pm Solemn Latin Mass
Prelude: Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn (648) Bach.
Missa l'Aria di Fiorenza Frescobaldi.
Tota pulchra es Maria Bruckner.
Ave Maria Parsons.
Fugue on the Magnificat (577) Bach

* * *

Listen to "Ave Maria" on a Victorian music box, via NPR:

Real Audio * Windows Media



Comin' down the chimney down

For Worst Christmas Song Ever, Callimachus nominates the Andy Williams chestnut "Happy Holidays/It's the Holiday Season."

So hoop de doo/And dickory dock/And don't forget/To hang up your sock.

* * *

With the slip to Adorable Little Rodent status in the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem, it's time to get the hit meter going, so here's the obligatory holiday link to "Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey." Buon natale.

* * *

For classic Addams Family Christmas cartoons like the one above, visit Bah! Humbug!


Wednesday, December 07, 2005  

Letter to Jackie

Written by Lt. Commander John J. Shea, USN, aboard the USS Wasp:

June 29, 1942

Dear Jackie,

This is the first letter I have ever written directly to my little son and I am thrilled to know that you can read it all by yourself. If you miss some of the words, I'm sure it will be because I do not write very plainly. Mother will help you in that case I am sure.

I was certainly glad to hear your voice over the long distance telephone. It sounded as though I were right in the living room with you. You sounded as though you missed your daddy very much. I miss you too, more than anyone will ever know. It is too bad this war could not have been delayed a few more years so that I could grow up again with you and do with you all the things I planned to do when you were old enough to go to school.

I thought how nice it would be for me to come home early in the afternoon and play ball with you, and go mountain climbing and see the trees, and brooks, and learn all about woodcraft, hunting, fishing, swimming, and things like that. I suppose we must be brave and put these things off for a little while.

When you are a little bigger you will know why your daddy is not home so much any more. You know we have a big country and we have ideals as to how people should live and enjoy the riches of it and how each is born with equal rights to life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, there are some countries in the world where they don't have these ideals, where a boy cannot grow up to be what he wants to be with no limits on his opportunities to be a great man, such as a great priest, statesman, doctor, soldier, businessman etc.

Because there are people and countries who want to change our nation, its ideals, forms of government, and way of life, we must leave our homes and families to fight. Fighting for the defense of our country, ideals, homes, and honor is an honor and a duty which your daddy has to do before he can come home to settle down with you and Mother. When it is done, he is coming home to be with you always and forever. So wait just a little while longer. I am afraid it will be more than the two weeks you told me on the phone.

In the meantime, take good care of Mother. Be a good boy and grow up to be a good young man. Study hard when you go to school. Be a leader in everything good in life. Be a good Catholic, and you can't help being a good American. Play fair always. Strive to win but if you must lose, lose like a gentleman and a good sportsman. Don't ever be a quitter either in sports or in your business or profession when you grow up. Get all the education you can. Stay close to Mother and follow her advice. Obey her in everything, no matter how you may at times disagree. She knows what is best and will never let you down or lead you away from the right and honorable things in life. If I don't get back, you will have to be Mother's protector because you will be the only one she has. You must grow up to take my place as well as your own in her life and heart.

Love your grandmother and granddad as long as they live. They too will never let you down. Love your aunts and see them as often as you can. Last of all, don't ever forget your daddy. Pray for him to come back and if it is God's will that he does not, be the kind of a boy and man your daddy wants you to be…

Kiss Mother for me every night.

Goodbye for now.

With all my love and devotion for Mother and you,

Your daddy

On September 15, 1942, three Japanese torpedoes struck the carrier USS Wasp as it sailed toward Guadalcanal. Commander Shea was seen running into the flames to rescue shipmates. He was among 193 officers and crew lost.



Image of Medea, Pompeii

Anything that purports to help a woman by killing her baby has a lot of explaining to do. Frederica Mathewes-Green

An "Underground Railroad" for women seeking late-term abortions is maintained in New York by volunteers who include the linked piece's author and Nation columnist Katha Pollitt.

The volunteers see what they do as important and good, as liberalism in action, and they have been cited by Salon and the ACLU as "Heroes of Freedom."

Words fail.


Monday, December 05, 2005  

Go set the world aflame

The feast of St. Francis Xavier on Dec. 3 marked the beginning of the Jesuit Jubilee 2006. The year-long observance commemorates the 500th birthdays of original Jesuit companions Francis Xavier and Blessed Peter Faber, and the 450th anniversary of the death of Society of Jesus founder St. Ignatius Loyola.

To get in the spirit, SJ Web offers a cornucopia of Jesuitana, including a searchable database of Jesuit saints and blesseds; pages on Jesuit history and shrines; and photo essays on worldwide Jesuit churches, including Iglesia de la Compañia, in Quito, Ecuador, from which the above image was taken.

Elsewhere, Mr Mark Mossa, SJ, provides a good stepping-off point into the world of Jesuit bloggers. Fr. Joseph MacDonnell, SJ, at Fairfield chronicles the achievements of early Jesuit scientists and lists the 35 lunar craters named for Jesuits.

Art: The Altar of St. Ignatius Loyola by Andrea Pozzo * The 'Apotheose of S. Ignazio' by Pozzo * The Apotheosis of St. Ignatius by Baciccio * Il Gesu restored * Il Gesu ceiling fresco, 'Triumph of the Name of Jesus,' by Baciccio

Martyrs: Of the 20th century * Of North America

Boston College Blog cover the Hub's Jesuit university, which sees its gridders dispatched for the holidays to Boise, Idaho, where those corduroy whale pants will come in handy for warmth. (Get 'em here, with Yuletide holly.)


Sunday, December 04, 2005  

A little Hawaiian music as the snow falls

A remix of "Oua Oua" by Kanui & Lula topped the Austrian charts a few years back, and you can listen to the updated house mix at the bottom of this page. A couple more by Kanui & Lula, including a rather nice rendition of "Mauna Loa," can be heard at a 78-rpm record site.

Of Kanui and Lula, another musician writes:

Kanui and Lula, Hawaiians living in Paris in 1929-3?, good friend of Tau Moe! Played SOLO on Oua Oua! According to Tau, he did this standing up with a squareneck tricone, not with a strap but with a braided silk cord. Tau says he drank quite a bit and sometimes Tau would help him stash his pay, so there would be some left for Lula at the end of the week. She was a dancer and singer…

Lots of pre-1945 recordings, some a bit scratchy, are at this Hawaiian music site. Meantime, Jane's Oceania corners the market on vintage Hawaiian postcards.

And "Mele Kalikimaka," with the Andrews Sisters, is among the offerings at this Bing Crosby shrine. Here are the lyrics for singing along.


Friday, December 02, 2005  

Jack Concannon, RIP. The QB who pioneered the instant replay was a school friend of my sister's. Here he is lofting a pass to Gale Sayers, and handing off to Brian Piccolo.


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