Formerly Ad Orientem

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

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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
Wednesday, December 31, 2008  

Top 11 Holiday Libations

The Irish Elk is pleased Mount Gay and Egg Nog makes this list
by FOP* James Poulos.

Have a sip and go back in time as Clairol wishes you a Happy 1958.

The ball starts to drop around 6:30.

* Friend of the Peperii



Newspaper Row, Boston, 1944

More newspaper nostalgia, from the Life Archive.

The Boston Post building is on the left, the Globe on the right.

Herald city editor William E Mullins cut quite a profile.

A paperboy delivers the Herald in Concord in 1959.


Monday, December 29, 2008  

Of Note

Joseph Duggan, Real Clear Markets:

The Evaporation of the American Newspaper:

The once mighty St. Louis Post-Dispatch, flagship of Joseph Pulitzer’s publishing fleet, announced in a small online posting December 17 a warning from its company’s accountant that it may no longer be, by the year’s end, a “going concern.” The value of stock in the Post-Dispatch’s publisher, Lee Enterprises, Inc., has dropped by about 97 percent since the beginning of the year. The company has lost more than 65 percent of its market value during the past 30 days alone.

Less than four years ago, Lee Enterprises purchased the entire Pulitzer company, then publishers of 14 daily newspapers, for $1.5 billion in cash. A share of Lee stock then sold for $45; today a share sells for 34 cents. (Note how prescient the Pulitzers were to sell for cash, not for stock.) With the parent company’s market capitalization now only $22 million, what might the Post-Dispatch be worth by itself -- $200,000? Maybe $400,000 at most?

The Post-Dispatch announcement came a week after the privately held Tribune Company, publishers of such leading dailies as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Baltimore Sun, filed for bankruptcy protection. E.W. Scripps Company, whose stock has fallen nearly 90 percent in 12 months, is trying to sell its Denver daily, the Rocky Mountain News. McClatchy, owner of the Miami Herald and other properties of the former Knight-Ridder chain, has seen its stock drop by more than 90 percent this year. The Herald reportedly also is for sale. This month the New York Times Company, owner of the eponymous Gotham daily as well as the patrician Boston Globe, sought to mortgage its new headquarters building and sell its partial stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise to meet urgent cash needs. Detroit's two newspapers announced they would curtail daily circulation of the print edition. One will cut back home delivery to three days a week, the other, only two days a week.

An institution, once grand and powerful, is vanishing into the ether, with no small assist from the Ethernet.

* * *

Daily Telegraph:

Conor Cruise O'Brien, RIP:

Conor Cruise O'Brien, who has died aged 91, was the leading Irish intellectual of his generation, though he assumed so many guises – diplomatist, historian, literary critic, proconsul, professor, playwright, government minister, columnist and editor – that he defies further categorisation.

Joe Skelly

Rick Brookhiser:

I remember one editorial dinner at Van Galbraith's (WFB must have been out of town). Much wine had been served, and Conor was declaiming against the third president. He banged his fist on the table and cried, "Jefferson was a sh*t! Jefferson was a sh*t!"

* * *

Conor Cruise O'Brien, NR (12/17/1990):

A Vindication of Edmund Burke

Yuval Levin: Burke Books

John J. Miller: On Burke:

Somebody should take on this important conservative project: a new, popular biography of Burke for the 21st century.

* * *

Ronald J. Pestritto, WSJ:

Theodore Roosevelt Was No Conservative

Max Boot: Yes, TR was

Jonah Goldberg: Teddy and the Right

* * *

Culture 11:

Pollyanna of Pinups No Voluptuous Rousseau

Yale Brought Me to Conservatism

The Unreal Past of Hannibal, Mo.

Best Journalism of 2008

* * *

Daily Telegraph:

World's oldest living animal discovered after he is pictured in 1900 photograph

Dr Boli Advertisement: Animal Seconds and Closeouts



“If somebody was sending rockets into my house

where my two daughters sleep at night,

I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that.

And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

~ Barack Obama

* * *

Israel calls Gaza assault "war to the bitter end."

Not the Holy Land post one would wish after Christmas.

But such is the state of the world.

* * *

QassamCount carries updates on rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.

Bookmark that site, writes JG Thayer at the Commentary blog.

Keep it handy should you find yourself discussing the current fighting in the Gaza Strip. And always remember that the disproportionate numbers of casualties are not because the Israelis are more bloodthirsty, but because they have a greater respect for civilians (both protecting their own and minimizing those they injure) and Hamas is so utterly incompetent. The latter party rejoices in civilian casualties — dead and injured Israelis are signs of victory, dead and injured Palestinians are martyrs they can avenge.

Hamas is getting a very harsh lesson — Israel doesn’t bluff. And it is getting it in the only language it has ever truly understood — blood and violence.

* * *

Worth noting:

Between 2001 and November 2007, 2,383 Qassam rockets hit Israel, and more than 2,500 mortar shells were fired.

This statistic doesn't take into account the rockets fired this past year.

* * *

Thayer on netroots criticism of Israel:

There was one commenter at FireDogLake who felt that instead of striking militarily, Israel should have “negotiated in good faith.”

Just how would that happen?

Negotiations are how civilized people settle their disagreements. But for negotiations to succeed, there have to be two parties interested in settling their differences peacefully. And Hamas has — by word and deed — consistently asserted its utter disinterest in settling its differences with Israel peacefully.

The recent events are no aberration, but affirmation of that policy. They unilaterally declared a “truce” that was merely a diminution of attacks. Then, they declared an end to the truce and escalated the attacks.

Hamas has also repeatedly affirmed their commitment to their charter:

* Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

* Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.

* There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

These are the words and deeds of Hamas. They offer no reasonable hope for negotiations or compromise.


Thursday, December 25, 2008  

He was in the world,

and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto

His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to

them He gave power to become the sons of God; to them that believe in His

name: who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of

man, but of God. AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us,

and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of

grace and truth.
John 1:10-14

* * *

Merry Christmas everyone!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008  

The Christmas Blur

Don't know how I managed to get this shot
but I think it came out pretty cool.

Some music to wrap by:

The Retro Cocktail Hour Christmas Party

(Free registration required)



The Krampus will get you if you don't watch out

Santa's furry helper in Austrian legend, he deals with the naughty children.

More images:

Fantagraphic Books: The Devil in Design

A Flickr gallery

Travis Louie: Sam the Krampus * Unconditional Love Krampus


Tuesday, December 23, 2008  

Oh Ho Ho It's Magic

From the Catholic Times, Springfield, Ill.:

Q. My question isn't very deep, but with Christmas coming I am concerned about the attitude of some friends who don't want their children to "believe in Santa Claus."

From almost infancy, they tell their children there isn't really a Santa and that it was all made up to sell more things at Christmastime. I think they're missing something, but I'm not sure how to tell them. What do you think? (Florida)

FATHER JOHN DIETZEN: I too think they are missing something - very big. It's always risky to analyze fantasies, but maybe it's worth trying for a moment.

Fantasies, perhaps especially for children, are critical ways of entering a world, a real world that is closed to us in ordinary human language and happenings. They are doors to wonder and awe, a way of touching something otherwise incomprehensible. Santa Claus, I believe, is like that.

No one has ever expressed this truth more movingly and accurately, in my opinion, than the great British Catholic author G.K. Chesterton in an essay years ago in the London Tablet. On Christmas morning, he remembered, his stockings were filled with things he had not worked for, or made, or even been good for.

The only explanation people had was that a being called Santa Claus was somehow kindly disposed toward him. "We believed," he wrote, that a certain benevolent person "did give us those toys for nothing. And ... I believe it still. I have merely extended the idea.

"Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great planet in the void.

"Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dolls and crackers, now I thank him for stars and street faces and wine and the great sea. Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big that it only went halfway into the stocking.

"Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic good will."

Are not parents of faith blessed, countless times over, to have for their children (and for themselves) such a fantastic and playful bridge to infinite, unconditionally loving Goodness, the Goodness which dreamed up the Christmas event in the first place?

Call Santa Claus a myth or what you will, but in his name parents, and for that matter all of us who give gifts at this special time of the year, are putting each other in deeper touch with the "peculiarly fantastic good will" who is the ultimate Source of it all. Plus, it's fun!

I hope your friends reconsider.
(Via TSO)

* * *

Tony Woodlief, WSJ:

OK, Virginia, There's No Santa Claus. But There Is God:

I know Caleb and his brothers will figure out the Santa secret eventually, but I'm with Chesterton in resisting the elevation of science and reason to the exclusion of magic, of mystery, of faith. That's why I'm not giving up on Santa without a fight. Not everything we believe, I explain to Caleb, can be proved (or disproved) by science. We believe in impossible things, and in unseen things, beginning with our own souls and working outward. It's a delicate thing, preparing him to let go of Santa without simultaneously embracing the notion that only what can be detected by the five senses is real.

This all sounds like madness, I know, to people like Mr. Dawkins. But Chesterton held that believing in impossible things is actually the sanest position. "Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not," he hastened to add, "in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination." The alternatives to embracing man's mystical condition, he argued, are either to go the way of the materialist, who understands everything according to scientific principles, yet for whom "everything does not seem worth understanding," or the madman, who in trying to "get the heavens into his head" shatters his rational (but woefully finite) mind.

Interestingly, the curse leveled by Lewis's White Witch on Narnia -- an endless season of winter absent Christmas -- evokes both: an unholy snow smothering wondrous creation in false uniformity, and at the same time a kind of madness well understood in snowbound regions. It's not surprising that one of the first signs of the Witch's coming demise is that Father Christmas appears: "'I've come at last,'" says Santa. "'She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last.'"

* * *

Meryl Streep, interviewed by the Catholic Herald:

"I was raised... I guess sort of Presbyterian. But on the other hand, I wasn't, really, because I don't think it was anything my parents really believed in...

"I would go to different friends' churches, and I was always very interested in the Catholic ones, largely because of the mystery of it all. In fact, I was quite sorry when they stopped having the Mass in Latin, because after I could understand what everyone was saying, a lot of the mystery went right out of it."


Monday, December 22, 2008  

The view from here

Calls for a little more Ella:


Sunday, December 21, 2008  

Dino & Frank: "Marshmallow World"

~ Via Amy in NH and Old Dominion Tory

Some of the comments at YouTube:

themightycelestial (3 days ago)
when God first created the concept of cool,
He split it in half
& created Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra.

texanhoustonguy (1 week ago)
Is it just me, or is Mr. Sinatra just a wee bit lit with some strong eggnog.

bus114 (1 week ago)
This is the acme of cool. Especially at 1:02.


The Darlene Love version:

And Bing & Ella.

Chicago Public Radio: It's a Marshmallow World, Again


Friday, December 19, 2008  

A slice of Pie

Holed up at home waiting for the storm today, I should be doing my Christmas cards, but instead I am surfing blogs on the illustrious Spoked Bs.

The word is out: the Broons are the genuine item.

I think this is what they play after goals, the new Garden's answer to John Kiley.

* * *

Re Pie McKenzie:

When Johnny McKenzie stepped on the ice, he was like a runaway grenade.

"My custom at the start of games was to take a run at somebody on my first shift," said McKenzie. "I just wanted to stir things up and plant the idea that if a squirt like me can go after them -- particularly if my target is a big star -- then why not everybody?"

He was born in Western Canada's cowboy country and made a living punching cows in the off-season.

On what was the Gashouse Gang of hockey, McKenzie was the perfect fit.

During the harsh 1971 Canadiens-Bruins playoff, McKenzie suffered a seven-stitch cut across the bridge of his nose. He continued to experience headaches after the series had concluded and was invited in for Xrays. It turned out that he had a fractured skull.

"It really wasn't much, as skull fractures go," said Pie.
~ Stan Fischler



The Cam Neely Foundation

This holiday season Irish Elk encourages you to consider making a charitable gift to the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care.

The Neely House at Tufts Medical Center in Boston is a bed-and-breakfast style home away from home for cancer patients and their families.

Your $20 donation funds one night for one family at the Neely House.


Thursday, December 18, 2008  

Frank Sinatra: "The Christmas Waltz"

It's that time of year
When the world falls in love
Ev'ry song you hear seems to say
Merry Christmas
May your New Year dreams come true
And this song of mine
In three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours
The same thing too


Wednesday, December 17, 2008  

Ho, ho, ho

File this one under Old Elf, Very Jolly.

Burl Ives never had it so good.

Speaking of Burl Ives, the Irish Elk has been conducting
an informal survey of the Most Annoying Christmas Novelty Songs.

Contenders include:

* "Nuttin' for Christmas," by little Barry Gordon;

* "I've Had a Very Merry Christmas," by Jerry Lewis;

* "I Tant Wait Till Quithmuth" by Mel Blanc.

* And the incomparable Christmas With Little Marcy.

More nominees?


Sunday, December 14, 2008  

'Tis the Season

Santa Claus tarries with the British wounded soldiers at St. George's
Hospital, London, for a smoke and a game of cards.

~ NY Times, 1/17/1915 * Library of Congress Newspaper Pictorials

* * *

Santa Claus hides in your phonograph: RealAudio * WAV

Performed by Harry E. Humphrey, 1922

Edison Sound Recordings, Library of Congress

* * *

Squirrel Nut Zippers: "Sleigh Ride"


Saturday, December 13, 2008  

Charge of the Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg

~ From the movie Gods and Generals

~ Music: "May it Be," Celtic Woman



Cardinal Dulles, RIP

The Times * First Things

J. Bottum, The Atlantic (2001):

One Establishment Meets Another

Above: Avery Dulles, SJ, and John Foster Dulles, 1956


Friday, December 12, 2008  

Bettie Page, RIP

A tribute: Charlie Parker Gunslinger


Thursday, December 11, 2008  

Louis Prima: "Che La Luna"



"Mele Kalikimaka"

A number of visitors have turned up looking for the lyrics.

We're happy to oblige:

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say,
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day,
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway,
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright,
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night,
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say "Merry Christmas to you."

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say,
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day,
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway,
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright,
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night,
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say, "Merry Christmas,
A very Merry Christmas to you."

(Click on the title to open the whole track in a new window.)

While you're here give a listen to another South Seas holiday favorite:

"Christmas Island," by Bob Atcher and the Dinning Sisters:

(Click on title to open track in new window.)

To get in the spirit Irish Elk recommends the Headhunter: rum, ice, Coco Lopez, pineapple juice and milk, mixed in a blender, and served in a coconut shell, to a little Sol Hoopii.*

* Via Tangleweed ~ Image: Alan Messer


Wednesday, December 10, 2008  

He Gets Things Done

This remarkable image of James Michael Curley was found in the Life Archive.

Say what you will about the old pols like Curley, they had a certain panache.

Indeed the great "Mahatma" of Boston politics, Martin Lomasney, had a cocktail named for him, the Ward Eight, named one of Esquire's Top 10 Cocktails of 1934.

I don't think Gov. Blago- whoozis will be having any cocktails named after him.

The Illinois governor who shakes down children's hospitals is no George Washington Plunkitt.

And he certainly would have profited from Mahatma Lomasney's famous advice:

Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.



Yesterday was International Anti-Corruption Day

And the Irish Elk missed it.

&*$#@&!, as Gov. Blago would say.

Anyway, let's celebrate a day late with a little Frank:

(Click on title to open whole track in new window.)


Monday, December 08, 2008  

Albert King: "Cadillac Assembly Line"

~ For the inspiration of Mr & Mrs P



Immaculate Conception

~ Panaji (Panjim), Goa, India


Friday, December 05, 2008  

All Wet

Old Dominion Tory joins Mencken's ghost in toasting Prohibition's repeal.

The Bard of Baltimore was Prohibition's implacable foe:

Mencken was...a staunch wet, meaning he was against Prohibition from start to finish. He coined a term ombibulous to describe his prejudice in favor of alcohol and against the affront to liberty that Probibition imposed on the Republic. "I'm ombibulous. I drink every known alcoholic drink and enjoy them all." Bud Johns has written "The Ombibulous Mr. Mencken", a chronicle in book form of Mencken's views on the merits of alcohol and the demerits of Prohibition. Here's one such nugget from The American Mercury:

"Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic, but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished."

In honor of the day, let's sing along with Louis Jordan as he asks the musical question:

"What's The Use Of Getting Sober (When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again)?"

(A tip of the stein to Mahons)



Band and Album Meme

Band Name: Random Wikipeda Link

Album Title: Random quote generator (take the last four words from the first quote on the page)

Album Art: Flickr Interesting Photo (pick one)

Our results: Band * Random Quote * Album Art

Via: Holy Whapping



Tommy Dorsey & His Clambake Seven:

"At the Codfish Ball"

Irish Elk's nominee for Massachusetts state song.

(Click on title to open whole track in new window.)


Tuesday, December 02, 2008  

Elks on Parade

Circa 1915 ~ Via Mrs P


Monday, December 01, 2008  

Hot Stove

Uni Watch wades through the baseball pictures in the Life Archive:

The National Pastime, as Captured by the National Magazine

In re the Life Archive, Uni Watch writes:

"If they ever archive the ads, my productive life will definitely be over."

* * *

Above: Rhubarb, Griffith Stadium, Washington, Oct. 1949



The Turk

Derek Sanderson & friend, 1970

~ Via the Life Archive



Hockey in Life

The Life Archive has a trove of images of the BU hockey team in action at the old Boston Arena in December 1950 and January 1951.

The game appears to have been played in shadows and fog by rough men who could have been coal-miners and who dressed in the boiler room.



A little Elvis for a rainy Monday

Last.fm: "A Fool Such as I"


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