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)."
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.

News & Ideas
Real Clear Politics
Daily Telegraph
Washington Post
Pajamas Media
American Digest
Little Green Footballs
National Review
The New Republic
The Corner
Opinion Journal
Best of the Web Today
Lileks: The Bleat
Mark Steyn
Midwest Conservative Journal
The Spectator
Atlantic Monthly
Front Page Magazine
Critical Mass
Weekly Standard
Power Line
Llama Butchers
The Onion
Conservative Home
Tory Diary
Henry Jackson Society
Naked Villainy
Fear & Loathing in Georgetown
Commentary: Contentions
The People's Cube

Culture & the Arts
Times Archive Blog
Spectator Book Club
Zajrzyj tu
Terry Teachout
Elliott Banfield
Today in History
Telegraph Obits
Maureen Mullarkey
City Journal
The Historical Society
The New Criterion
American Memory
Wodehouse Society
Hat Sharpening
Doubting Hall
Random Pensées
Hatemonger's Quarterly
Patum Peperium
Forgotten NY
NYPL Digital Gallery
Mid-Manhattan Library
BPL Online Prints
Cigar Store Figures
Scuffulans Hirsutus
Poetry Hut
Spinning Clio
Ye Olde Evening Telegraph
Atlantic Ave.
The Monarchist
Dr. Boli's Celebrated Magazine
The Port Stands At Your Elbow
Sven in Colorado
Dickens Blog
Feast of Nemesis

Red Hot Jazz Archive 'Perfessor' Bill's Ragtime
Arhoolie Records
Sinner's Crossroads
Riverwalk Jazz
Steamboat Calliopes
Cajun Music mp3
Old Hat Records
Virtual Victrola

Touching All the Bases
SABR Baseball Bios
Baseball Fever: Teams of Yesteryear
Boston Sports Temples
Philadelphia A's
Elysian Fields Quarterly
Mudville Magazine
US College Hockey Online
Baseball Reliquary
Sons of Sam Horn
Smoky Joe Wood & More
WaPo DC Baseball
Royal Rooters
Baseball Library
H-Y Football Gallery
Shoeless Joe

Cops in Kilts
Irish Eagle
Slugger O'Toole
Tallrite Blog
Irish Echo
Edmund Burke Society
Wild Geese Today

Theodore Roosevelt
Winston Churchill
Louis Armstrong
H.L. Mencken

St. Blog's Sampling
New Liturgical Movement
Damian Thompson
First Things
Mere Comments
Andrew Cusack
The Revealer
E. L. Core
Catholic Light
Thomas Fitzpatrick
Inn at the End of the World
Dale Price
Curt Jester
Domenico Bettinelli
Erik's Rants and Recipes
Shrine of the Holy Whapping
Todd Flowerday
Some Have Hats
Daniel Mitsui
Roman Miscellany
Against the Grain
Summa Minutiae
Digital Hairshirt


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.

Irish Elk - Blogged


05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002 11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002 12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010

Irish Elk
Friday, August 29, 2003  

As the Yankees come to town for a key late-season matchup, pennant hopes on the line, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam reports on the State of Red Sox Nation:

It's a condition, being a Red Sox fan, not a cult, nor a religious affiliation, although there are on occasion certain religious experiences. (Think Yaz in '67, and Fisk in the World Series in '75.) Most Americans are relatively indifferent to the past, believing that America is so powerful that history does not matter, that our nation is so strong and energetic, that we can mold the present to our needs, despite the burdens of the past. Not Red Sox fans: They know the past matters, and they know as well that you are, more than you realize, a prisoner of it. In a country where there has been an amazing run of material affluence for almost 60 years with the expectation built into the larger culture that things are supposed to get better every year, citizens of RSN know better. They know that things do not always get better. They know that the guys in the white hats do not always win in the last five minutes of the movie. They know the guys in the black hats have plenty of last-minute tricks, and that they can pick up just the right player off the waiver list in the waning days of a season (think Johnny Mize, 1949).

The Red Sox fan knows that the fates can be cruel. Never mind the Babe. Just think a mere 31 years ago -- why it was like yesterday: Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater. A 27-year-old
lefthanded reliever, who had pitched in 184 games in the previous three years, and had saved 16 that year (and would save a league-leading 35 the next year) for a 32-year-old first baseman with up to then 52 career home runs. Oh dear.

Ghosts in general are being discussed at Mark Shea's, with Rod Dreher offering an eerie account of a family poltergeist. Wandering souls from Purgatory, or something more sinister? (Via Fr Jas Tucker)

For a Halloween article a few years back I collected ghost stories from staffers of the reportedly haunted tavern in Lowell, Mass.:

Lights flicked on by unseen hands, disembodied voices and even specters in the dining room are among the eerie occurrences reported at the hundred-year-old landmark at 98 Middle St. Earlier this century it housed an annex to the old Pollard's Department Store.

Smithwicks bartender Peter Jamros recalls being alone on closing detail late one night when the large-screen TV in the bar inexplicably turned on by itself.

"I put the key in the lock and sprinted out of there," said Jamros, a Chelmsford resident. "I've been here by myself Sunday nights and gone running out of here."

Echoed tavern owner Tim Stone of Lowell: "When we work by ourselves, we get out of here pretty quick. When you're here by yourself, the building talks. Your mind runs wild, and you see things over your shoulder."

Legend has it a worker at the old dry-goods emporium fell to his death down an elevator shaft in the four-story building. Another undocumented story tells of a long-ago love triangle that resulted in a murder-suicide on the premises.

"A lot of strange things have been reported over the years, along the five levels of what used to be the elevator shaft," Stone said. "Mostly power surges - things going on and off."

A vestige of the shaft serves as an enclosure for a barroom pinball machine, illuminated by a hanging light that Jamros said has been known to go on without anyone touching it.

The bartender said a cleaning man who worked at the tavern two years ago reported feeling an icy cold breath on his shoulder whenever he entered the old shaft.

"He wouldn't go near it," Jamros said.

As bartender Jamros tells it, a former partner in the Smithwicks business was alone in the basement office counting receipts late one night three years ago when he heard the sound of a man and woman arguing upstairs in the kitchen. As he climbed the stairs to the kitchen to investigate, the noise stopped.

"He found no one there," Jamros said. "But when he went back downstairs, the noise of the argument picked up again. And there was no one in the place."

Leave the last story to current owner Stone.

Arriving to open the tavern one morning about three years ago, he says, he found on a table an open bottle of Courvoisier, two snifters filled almost to overflowing with the imported cognac, and an ashtray with two cigarettes that had burned, unsmoked, down to the filter.

A query of the manager on duty the evening before revealed no late-night patrons had visited the tavern after closing.

A rendezvous between doomed lovers from the spirit world?

"It's just one of those things you can't explain," Stone said.

And from an inn in Groton, Mass., that dates to 1678:

"Many people have seen many things," says George Pergantis, a Greek immigrant who has owned the property since 1977. "The lights go off. A waitress said she heard her name called over and over. I'm from the old country - I don't believe these things."

But staff and guests alike claim to have experienced the supernatural at the Stagecoach Inn.

The ghost of a Colonial soldier has been seen at least twice, according to longtime resident manager Gloria Lammi. In one sighting, a workman who was staying at the inn during a 1990 remodeling said he awoke during the night to see the phantom patriot sitting at the foot of his bed.

"When asked who he was," Lammi said, "the soldier didn't say anything, but just tipped his hat."

She said the resident spirits can be quite boisterous in making their presence felt. Beds have been found unmade and toilets have been heard to flush in rooms in which no one has been staying; paper towels and potpourri have been found strewn all over the floor of a restroom near the front desk, and water glasses from set tables in the dining room have turned up on the floor or even stacked in a pyramid.

One cook is said to have been scared off by a kitchen poltergeist who turned off the lights and the oven, turned on a water tap, and left the floor strewn with plastic wrap. "She went running out, hysterical," said Lammi. "She phoned to say she wouldn't come back in the building."

Tales abound over the circumstances that led the Groton inn to be haunted. Lammi has heard a story of a Colonial soldier killed in the war, whose wife, stunned at news of her widowhood, dropped her child to its death, then took her own life. Waitresses reportedly have seen a woman and a small girl in the dining room shadows.

Believe in ghosts? How can one not in New England?


An Octina for Wally Pipp: A poem by Michael Cantor in Elysian Fields Quarterly.


Thursday, August 28, 2003  

Burke, Trinity College Dubin

"Nothing can be conceived more hard than the heart of a thorough-bred metaphysician." This Burke quote adorns the masthead of Blog Irish, which this week features an outstanding rumination on political taxonomy and the Exceptional Whig:

In this sense, Edmund Burke was a radical. He confronted the late eighteenth century British consensus on its imperial kleptocracy in India, its shortsighted counterproductive repression of the American colonies, its bigoted treatment of Catholics in Ireland, and what might be called the radical chic Whig infatuation with the French Revolution.

Yet "conservatives" claim Burke as their icon.

In an introduction to Reflections on the Revolution in France written in the late '60's, Conor Cruise O'Brien pointed out that American "conservatives" who idolised Burke obviously had not stopped to realise that Burke undoubtedly would have opposed the Vietnam war.

And this:

The pretense to the moral high ground is essential to the opportunist totalitarian. This counterfeit morality permits its practitioners to override the common human morality that evolved over the millennia. Thus we find the unreconstructed Eric Hobsbawn in the current National Review, justifying Stalin's man-made famine:

IGNATIEFF: What that comes down to is saying that had the radiant tomorrow actually been created, the loss of fifteen, twenty million people might have been justified?


It was Cromwell's spin doctor who tried to justify the ways of God to man.

Thus the prescient Burke: "Nothing can be conceived more hard than the heart of a thorough-bred metaphysician." (A Letter To A Noble Lord (1796)).

Conor Cruise O'Brien's book, The Great Melody, which takes its title from a line in Yeats' poem "The Seven Sages" ("American colonies, Ireland, France and India Harried, and Burke's great melody against it"), and which stresses the Catholic roots underlying Burke's Irish sympathies, makes the case for Burke's liberalism.

Reviewer Mark C. Henrie offers a countering view in a 1993 First Things article, "Was Burke a Conservative?" (His answer: Yes.)

See also in First Things a 1998 review by Daniel Ritchie of several recent books on Burke, including studies of his views on India and of his treatment by 18th-century political cartoonists, who frequently depicted him as a crypto-Catholic in Jesuit garb, as here and here.


Burke Quote of the Day

"If mere dissent from the Church of Rome be a merit, he that dissents the most perfectly is the most meritorious. . . . A man is certainly the most perfect Protestant who protests against the whole Christian religion."



Now Playing: "Irish Black Bottom" by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five


If there is a patron saint of Fisking, he has been guiding the hand of Christopher Johnson in re Episcopal Presiding Bishop Griswold. Yes, indeed.


The Cleveland Hugging and Kneeling Debate touches a nerve with E. L. Core. Thomas Fitzpatrick differs slightly on totalitarian terminology for liturgists: He sees them as Little Lenins. For all the talk about subversives, however, it might be noted that liturgical novelty is embraced at the very top and throughout a Church establishment in which Charismatic youth hootenanny Benediction is touted as the Happening Thing.


From an eloquent sermon given on the Feast of Corpus Christi by Fr. Martin Edwards, on the occasion of the first Missa Cantata in 37 years at St. Mary's Church, Ryde, Isle of Wight:

The story is told of Cardinal Kaspar, who heads the Vatican Congregation for Dialogue with other religions. He recently attended a Greek Orthodox service. Some of you may know that their services go on for a very long time. Afterwards the celebrant said to him, "I hope that you were not bored". The Cardinal replied, "no, not at all". "It did not go on too long for you then? Perhaps you think we might modernise it or make it simpler", the celebrant asked. "No", replied the Cardinal. "It should stay exactly as it is. It is very beautiful". So the celebrant said, "so why did you do all that you have done to your Mass then"?


Churches that look remarkably like churches, and some that don't:

A gallery of churches and chapels designed by architect Duncan Stroik shows there is hope for a renaissance in Catholic sacred architecture. (Via Carrie Tomko)

Erik Keilholtz makes an intriguing suggestion: Richard Vosko, he says, has been put here to act as a purgative, to make a clean sweep of preconciliar church architecture that in many cases was undistinguished and representative of the Plaster-Saint School, and thus clear the way for distinguished architecture to come. After all, Erik reasons, how much of Vosko's oeuvre will still be here 20 years hence? Good point.

Carrie Tomko criticizes what she sees as Masonic influences in modern Catholic architecture, and St. Mark's in Santa Barbara*, home of the Cosmic Christ mural, offers fodder for her argument, as images from the renovated church's re-dedication last year indicate. Compare the altar placement at St. Mark's with that of the Gothic Hall -- or of any of the halls -- at the Grand Masonic Temple in Philadelphia. (* Via Bill Cork)


Wednesday, August 27, 2003  


We have a piper doon! First incense at Mass, now bagpipes: The famed Celtic instrument can lead to hearing loss, alcoholism and the breakdown of marriages, according to a report, which declares: "Bagpipes are dangerous and should come with a health warning." More from UPI and the Times of India. (Tip o' th' tam to Steve M.)


Now Playing: "The Drunken Piper," by Natalie MacMaster and Cookie Rankin * and a 1932 clip of same by accordionist Will Powrie. Here's a MIDI version.

And for fans of "So I Married an Axe Murderer," this, from a page of sounds from the movie.



Latin Masses in the Cleveland area are offered at two parishes in Cleveland every Sunday and twice a month at a parish in Akron, according to this list offered by the Latin Liturgy Association. Indeed, the Immaculate Conception has a Tridentine Mass on Wednesdays as well as on Sundays.

The Divine Liturgy is sung at the Byzantine Catholic parishes of the Eparchy of Parma. Here's one Byzantine Catholic's travelogue on a tour of Cleveland churches.

The Recovering Choir Director has compiled a GIRM Warfare Blotter of commentary on mandated liturgical changes. Tom Fitzpatrick puts in his two cents (and also has some poems for you to memorize.)

In Milwaukee, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is encouraging kneeling. No word about hugs.

Hugs all around will do nothing to arrest the flight of men from Mass or the Gaying of the Church described at Mere Comments.

If the Cleveland liturgical changes are imposed as described, many either will not follow the rubrics or will not attend Mass at all in the diocese. Hardly a recipe for positive reform.


From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: rad•i•cal
Pronunciation: 'ra-di-k&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin
radicalis, from Latin radic-, radix root -- more at ROOT
Date: 14th century
1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root c : of or relating to a mathematical root d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue
2 : of or relating to the origin : FUNDAMENTAL
3 a : marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : EXTREME b : tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c : of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs


For those who will say hugs all around and standing instead of kneeling were the practice of the early Christians and thus restore the Mass to its roots, some excerpts from the 1947 encyclical of Pope Pius XII Mediator Dei (On the Sacred Liturgy) that emphasizes a Burkean regard for organic tradition in the care and pruning of the liturgy:

59. The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism, in respect of the sacred liturgy also, she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded. This notwithstanding, the temerity and daring of those who introduce novel liturgical practices, or call for the revival of obsolete rites out of harmony with prevailing laws and rubrics, deserve severe reproof. It has pained Us grievously to note, Venerable Brethren, that such innovations are actually being introduced, not merely in minor details but in matters of major importance as well. We instance, in point of fact, those who make use of the vernacular in the celebration of the august eucharistic sacrifice; those who transfer certain feast-days—which have been appointed and established after mature deliberation—to other dates; those, finally, who delete from the prayer books approved for public use the sacred texts of the Old Testament, deeming them little suited and inopportune for modern times…

62. Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.


The sectarian threat posed by ecclesial movements, the little churches within the Church, is the focus of an article by Sandro Magister at L'Espresso Online. Meantime, the REGAIN site has plenty on the Legion of Christ, including a useful atlas of its front groups and media organs, including Zenit, National Catholic Register, and Catholic.net.

Comments Lee Penn: I see the endorsement of "new ecclesial movements" by a "spirit of Vatican II" journal [Concilium] as -- in a small way -- analogous to the German-Soviet pact of 1939. The totalitarians of the left and right in 1939 shook hands and agreed to divide Poland; it seems that the Right and the Left in the Roman Catholic Church are giving each other a handshake, too. Who will be the loser? You fill in the blanks.

More at Carrie Tomko's site.


Tuesday, August 26, 2003  

Boston Gaelic Fire Brigade

The new Hibernia category at left offers links to Irish blogs and other pages Celtic in theme, from the Irish Eagle (fine name, that) and the Burke-quoting Blog Irish to the Wild Geese Today and the Dead Zoo (the nickname for the Natural History Museum in Dublin). Slainte!

Added to the News & Ideas section is a link to the Times Watch site, devoted to keeping the NYT honest, as in the case of the paper's recent whitewash of Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm.



Thanks for the Links: Victor Lams * Times Against Humanity



With Peter Wimsey, Horace Rumpole and Theodore Roosevelt, I share ENTP status on the Myers-Briggs personality test. My results:

Your personality type is ENTP.
Extraverted (E) 50% Introverted (I) 50%
Intuitive (N) 59% Sensing (S) 41%
Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
Perceiving (P) 55% Judging (J) 45%

Here are a description of my type and a list of the careers to which I am said to be suited.

Meantime, I have evolved to Flappy Bird in the Truth Laid Bear's Blogosphere Ecosystem.


Q: Why does God allow liturgists? A: So that in times when the Church is not being persecuted, the devout still will have the privilege of suffering for their Faith.

From the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: Catholics to change Communion ritual

Raising their hands at "The Lord's Prayer." Losing the handshake and embracing the person in the next seat at the sign of peace. In an extra act of reverence, bowing before receiving the Communion host.

And undoing a lifetime of tradition by not kneeling in prayer after Communion.

Instead, in a sign of the communal nature of the sacrament, worshippers will stand and sing until each person has received Communion.

American Catholics are about to experience major changes in the Communion rite as dioceses begin implementing updated General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

Bishop Anthony M. Pilla plans for the changes to be implemented in all of the diocese's 234 parishes by Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent.

The Rev. J-Glenn Murray, director of the diocesan Office for Pastoral Liturgy, said the changes will unsettle many Catholics, but the diocese hopes the uniform guidelines will help people in the pews have a richer experience of the sacrament.

"I think the current rite stresses presence and holiness in a very powerful manner," Murray said. "I think it's a vast improvement."

It is worth noting that Fr. Murray considers St. Sabina's in Chicago an example of good practice in worship.

Bill White and Domenico Bettinelli say they aren't hugging anybody at Mass, thank you very much (though the Abercrombie & Fitch example raised by Bill White does make for an intriguing mental picture).

Meantime, for those Ohioans about to be forced to love their neighbor and then some at Mass, here are lists of Byzantine and Romanian Catholic parishes in Ohio and of Orthodox churches in Greater Cleveland.


Monday, August 25, 2003  


Remember the old Agony of Defeat clip on the Wide World of Sports – not the ski jumper crashing, but the guy getting sandwiched by men with wooden sticks? That was hurling. The North American finals in hurling and Gaelic football will be held in Canton, Mass., over the Labor Day weekend, and definitely are worth catching if you’re in the area. For a bit of background on the sports, here are a National Geographic News feature on Gaelic games, and a science paper on the physics of hurling.

Meantime, for those who will be in England, not New England, over Labor Day weekend, and whose tastes in contact sports run to belles lettres:

A conference celebrating the life and works of Hilaire Belloc is to be held at Plater College, Oxford, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his death. (See Upcoming Events)


On the Turntable: "Stray Cat Strut," by the Stray Cats, via Raven's Real Audio


How do NeoCats play in Peoria? They're thought to be Jehovah's Witnesses.

It's an easy mistake to make, though comparisons to Scientologists and Moonies as readily spring to mind. A pair of extensive features archived at Free Republic (here and here) give a thorough rundown on the oddball theology and liturgy of the NC Way, as does an article titled "Cult Fiction":

They have patrons in high places, including the Holy Father, and Rome has recently given them its formal approval. But then Rome has also given traditionalists its formal approval by setting up the commission, Ecclesia Dei, and the prelature of the Association of St Jean Marie Vianney. Rome has always been a deal more catholic and liberal than it detractors would give it credit. However, the faithful may be excused in these confusing times for taking such ecclesial approval with a very large pinch of salt. After all, it is just a couple of decades ago that l’Armée de Marie was enthusiastically and officially approved by the Church; only a mere decade later to be formally suppressed by an embarrassed Episcopacy which had finally woken up to the fact that its foundress was claiming to be the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary and was, what many of the laity had been trying to tell them all along, as barmy as a box of frogs…

How has [guitar-strumming founder] Kiko [Arguello] managed to so comprehensively con the Holy Father?

He has managed to con the Holy Father by using a very simple sales technique used by all professional salesmen, known in the jargon as "pressing hot buttons." What are John Paul II’s hot buttons? That’s easy: the gospel of life, evangelization and youth.

So when ever Kiko and his cohorts are in the presence of the Holy Father they work these three hot buttons like professional salesmen. Firstly, they continually stress in his presence their movements opposition to abortion, artificial contraception and sterilization etc. - that’s the gospel of life hot button pressed. Secondly, they reel out statistic about their rapid world-wide expansion - that’s the evangelization hot button pressed. Finally they ensure that at any youth gathering, their youth are up early and at the front of the crowd waving Neocatechumenate banners - that’s the youth hot button pressed. That’s all there is to it really, all quite simple.

Kiko doesn’t of course say to the pope, "Oh by the way Holy Father, behind your back we refer to you as a pagan because you offer sacrifices, the alleged sacrifice of the Mass, every day." Nor does he say, "Oh by the way Holy Father, I’ve completely rewritten the Church’s liturgy to exclude all reference to sacrifice, redemption, atonement etc. Do you mind?" And he most certainly doesn’t tell the Holy Father that his movement's apologists are trained to talk every week for sixteen weeks in parishes without once mentioning the Catechism of the Catholic Church…

If you embrace the Way, you must logically accept that the Church for the last sixteen centuries has got most of her doctrines hopelessly wrong.

See also past articles from the Guardian (here and here) and a piece from The Tablet found at the Rick Ross cult-watch site.

Consider that while a universal indult has yet to be granted the Old Mass, this quackery is not only given the green light to flourish, but endorsed at Rome's highest levels.

Indeed, the NeoCats and their like are considered by Cardinal Stafford just the thing to renew the Church (news no doubt pleasing to the NC editor and staff of the Pilot).

Cardinal Stafford has done as much as anyone to advance the NeoCats, already having given us World Youth Day. John Allen places the Cardinal in the anti-liberal school, an interesting perspective, given the Cardinal's promotion of sects and youth rallies that revolve around manipulation and the cult of personality.

When historians get around to chronicling the present crisis in the Church, one wonders at the place Cardinal Stafford will assume.


Martin Luther King Jr's special bond with Israel has been noted by Congressman John Lewis, but was lost on the terror apologists at the recent anniversary March on Washington.

This is the side in the Middle East enlightened "Progressive" opinion favors. Look familiar?

Lileks on the most recent Jerusalem bus-bombing: The bomber was a father of two. A man who has children who walks down the aisle of the bus, looking at the children whose small short cheerful lives he is about to destroy, contenting himself with the knowledge that they are mere Jews - such a man has abdicated his humanity.


Friday, August 22, 2003  
No Smoking

Will thurifers be exiled to the outside sidewalk?

The anti-smoking campaign in Ireland has been extended to incense:

An Irish Government minister has warned that burning incense in churches could be harmful to the altar boys and girls who help Roman Catholic priests celebrate mass.

Jim McDade, who is a former family doctor, said the children were at risk because they inhaled the carcinogenic smoke produced when incense is burnt close by.

"Here you have quite a thick billowing type of smoke. Sometimes you see the children with this instrument which is down normally around their ankles, and the smoke just keeps coming up," Dr McDade said.

"And sometimes I cringe when I see them literally inhaling this, because sometimes there is an aroma of it and all I was trying to do was making people aware."

File under: Fresh Eire. Northern Ireland blogger Slugger O'Toole comments.

Meantime, these images of angels offering incense are from the days before holy beings were aware of the health risks.


Ecce L-7

What would you get if you put the "Salve Regina" to a turntable beat?

I don't know. But I'm betting it would be better than the bulk of so-called "Catholic hip-hop."

Listen to an MP3 clip of "Son Still Shines" by "Fr. Pontifex," an Indiana priest who is a featured artist on a new Catholic hip-hop CD plugged at PhatMass.com, and a potential fill-in for the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley if Ozzy is unavailable.

The Godfather of Catholic Hip-Hop is rapping friar Fr. Stan Fortuna, whose ode to chastity, "The Zipper Song," may be heard here along with a few of his other numbers.

On a different note, here's Pope Leo XIII's presentation of (I believe) the Hail Mary, from a recording of Allesandro Moreschi, the last castrato, listening to whom also makes you wince, but in a different way. (Via Fr Sibley)


Thursday, August 21, 2003  

I run this 1949 picture of Red Sox manager Joe McCarthy with the Yanks' Casey Stengel for several reasons:

Because it's amusing, with Ol' Case (who would go on to win seven World Series with New York, tying McCarthy's Yankee record) seeming to wear the expression of the cat who ate the canary;

because I wonder what ever happened to the good old-fashioned long-sleeved manager's uniform;

and because Marse Joe, whose decision to go with Denny Galehouse in the 1948 AL playoff game still causes the tearing of hair and rending of garments in Boston 55 years later, exemplifies the spirit of frustration that has hovered over the Sox for lo these many years, and has set in once again.

Ken Coleman, RIP: The former longtime TV and radio voice of the Red Sox has died.

With partner Ned Martin, he called the Red Sox' Impossible Dream season of 1967, and he narrated the indispensable highlights record that followed. And his call of the celebrated 29-29 Harvard-Yale game of 1968 leads a CD compilation of play-by-play calls of great football finishes.

In the span of little more than a year, Ken Coleman called the 100-1 long-shot Red Sox' pennant-clincher on the last day of the '67 season, and perhaps the greatest comeback in college football history.

His voice was a welcome part of summer for generations of Red Sox fans. He will be missed. Tom Fitzpatrick and Chris from Maine add tributes.

The Old Bawl Game: The late Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray instituted the tradition of singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field, and in recent years, visiting celebrities have been invited to lead the crowd in the singing.

The other day it was Ozzy Osbourne's turn, and his rendition was one for the ages. The local NBC affiliate's coverage includes a clip of his memorable performance, as well as past clinkers by Nancy Kerrigan and Mike Ditka. The lyrics to the Ozzie version are here if you'd like to mumble along.


Now Playing: "Marcia Reale," performed by the Roma Band at St. Anthony's Feast


The Unemployed for Dean have not only a website, but their own line of merchandise. Of course, a comment about energies spent on web campaigning being better spent finding a job would be churlish. But it is interesting to note the unemployedfordean.org domain is held by a domain registration proxy service that hides the identity of the real owner. One wonders: Are the folks behind this site truly unemployed, or on a campaign payroll?

Meantime, after contemplating the Pride rally photos and the Dykes and Transgender for Dean links at Out for Dean, one does wonder whose country exactly his supporters want back. And has it been missing?

As for Al Franken: Shouldn't have used that Harvard stationery.



And now, for the benefit of the Rockneite Marxists of the Golden Domed Shrine of the Holy Whapping, we take you to the office of Professor Wagstaff at Huxley College:

Wagstaff: (Cracking walnuts with the telephone.) And I say to you gentlemen, this college is a failure. The trouble is, we're neglecting football for education.
Both professors: Exactly. The professor is right.
Wagstaff: Oh, I'm right am I? Well, I'm not right. I'm wrong. I just said that to test you. Now I know where I'm at. I'm dealing with a couple of snakes. What I meant to say was that there's too much football and not enough education.
Both professors: That's what I think.
Wagstaff: Oh, you do, do you? Well you're wrong again! If there was a snake here, I'd apologize. Where would this college be without football? Have we got a stadium?
Professor One: Yes.
Wagstaff: Have we got a college?
Professor One: Yes.
Wagstaff: Well, we can't support both. Tomorrow we start tearing down the college.
Both professors: But professor! Where will the students sleep?
Wagstaff: Where they always sleep. In the classroom.

For more of this sort of thing, visit Marx-Brothers.org and Why a Duck?


Wednesday, August 20, 2003  

The Democrats' Ike? Just what Dems want: A decorated military man who toes the liberal line; who favors Clinton armed intervention but not Bush armed intervention; who rose through the Army meritocracy but sings the praises of affirmative action, and who was born Jewish, raised a Baptist, and became a Catholic.

Of course, Gen. Wesley Clark is pro-choice. Better for a Catholic-convert Democratic politician to buck his adopted Church than his political party.

And Michael Moore likes him, which, remarkably, is seen as a positive development by some Clark boosters, though not necessarily all.

One Clark supporter reassures others wary of the Michael Moore imprimatur:

…98% of the people who would be turned off by Moore--centrists and so on--aren't going to hear about this, since they're not political hardcores like us. Moore may be controversial, and his book was a bestseller, but it's not like he's Louis Farrakhan or anything. You can practically label this endorsement as "for internal use only," and when it comes to primary season, this is a great boost.

So you didn't hear it here. But you have to wonder if the four-star former NATO commander welcomes – or will disavow – support from the likes of someone as contemptuous of America as Michael Moore.


Now Playing: The "Liberty Bell March," on the Delta Queen Calliope



It's not any trouble, you know it's a W, when you hear 'Wuh-Wuh-Wuh-Wuh.' Joe Cronin and Walter Johnson model the latest in George Bush 2004 garb.


Secrets of an Excellent Parish: Since the Mass is the Source and Summit of the Faith, turn the sanctuary into Promontory Point. And bring the joie de vivre of the Gatorade Splash to adult baptism. (Is that Fr. Cuenin wielding the pitcher?)


Cycle of Violence

Here's how it works: The Israelis prepare to turn over Jericho and another West Bank town to the Palestinian Authority. The Arab thugee cult responds with a suicide blast.

And Kofi Annan urges the Israeli government to "act with restraint in the face of this provocation, and not contribute to a renewed cycle of violence and revenge."

In a thumbnail: Israeli concessions + corresponding murder of innocents by Palestinian assassins = Cycle of Violence.

As for the goodwill earned by appeasement, see: UN, Baghdad.

More from Cox & Forkum and Little Green Footballs, including posts on the imam bus-bomber and the murder parties he inspired, and a link to a noteworthy Jerusalem Post editorial.


Jesus was a muslim, the director of Catholic-Muslim Studies at Chicago's Catholic Theological Union tells U.S. Catholic, an airline magazine for National Catholic Reporter readers.


Tuesday, August 19, 2003  
What might have been

Tony Conigliaro, 1945-90

"He was baseball's JFK." Tony Conigliaro was the local boy made good, the pride of East Boston and St. Mary's High in Lynn, the youngest player to ever lead the major leagues in home runs and, at age 22, the fastest to reach 100 home runs. He would have rewritten the record book, but his career was cut short, as was his life.

From the Tony C entry in Tales from the Red Sox Dugout:

There have been two great tragedies in Red Sox history, both involving local Boston boys with matinee-idol good looks and seemingly limitless futures. The first involved the Golden Greek, Harry Agganis, who died tragically in 1953 at the age of 23. The second of the Greco-Roman tragedies came more than a decade later on August 18, 1967, a steamy night in the midst of one of the hottest and most memorable pennant races in American League history. Hometown hero Tony Conigliaro was hit in the head by a fastball thrown by California Angels pitcher Jack Hamilton. The blow almost killed him and he was never the same again. He had 20 home runs at the time of his beaning.

Here he is in the hospital on Aug. 19, 1967, the day after he was beaned.

Tony C. is listed 32nd in the Boston Globe's rankings of top New England sports figures of the 20th century, and 13th among Sports Illustrated's 50 greatest sports figures from Massachusetts. He's also in the Boston Rock & Roll Museum. A campaign has been mounted to call on the Red Sox to retire his No. 25, and the team rightly should.

Elsewhere: Johnny Pesky is interviewed by a paper from his native Portland, Ore., and the Globe's Alex Beam makes a pitch for Les Expos to play in Boston.


Puppies are cuddly, puppies are cute: Cognoscenti of Veggie Tales Silly Songs will appreciate the reference: Doesn't Haugen's "All Are Welcome" call to mind "Lost Puppies"? Meantime, ex-pagan John Gibson will have you know he didn't leave the coven for Full, Conscious and Active Participation to a Caribbean beat.


Monday, August 18, 2003  

Classical dinos

The caption for the image at top right here is, "How the Brontosaurus Giganteus Would Look If it Were Alive and Should Try to Peep into the Eleventh Story of the New York Life Building." The New York Journal and Advertiser's breathless coverage of the supposed discovery of the "Most Colossal Animal Ever on Earth" in 1898 is recalled in the Dinosaur section of Strange Science, an entertaining and informative site that chronicles mistakes made on the way toward a modern understanding of paleontology and biology. (Found via Hanno's friend Fr. Sibley)

Shades of Gertie the Dinosaur, Winsor McCay's animated cartoon pioneer, who can be seen in action here.


Marty Haugen's "All Are Welcome" (performed here by the youth choir of St. Mary's Church, Denville, N.J.) leads Victor Lams to dare to seek to dream of sending the liturgical songsmith a copy of Strunk and White. (Via Catholic Light)


Worth a Visit: New Bohemia, a webzine of new realism in the arts, i.e., poetry that rhymes, music that has a tune, and paintings that actually look like something. Hear, hear!


Apropos of nothing in particular, a couple of my favorite films: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which won Oscars for Peggy Ann Garner and James Dunn (pictured), and Captains Courageous, which gets my vote as best film with a Massachusetts theme. Just try to keep a dry eye through the finale of either.



To cheers along the North Shore: The Chiefs bring a Cape Ann baseball title back to Ipswich with a show of swat worthy of Crane Beach's carnivorous greenheads, while the Saugus Little Leaguers try to win national glory for the home of the orange dinosaur and the Hilltop cow.


Thursday, August 14, 2003  
Major blackout in U.S., Canada: Thousands reported trapped in Manhattan elevators and subway trains by power outage. Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Ottawa among cities affected. Failure in power grid blamed, not terrorism. News comes as 3,000 reported dead in France due to heatwave. Says a colleague: "Just waiting for the locusts." Coverage: MSNBC * CNN * Boston Globe * Washington Post



Thos Nast's original donkey and elephant

Some cheesy comestibles, if you please, stout yeoman! *

I love this story. John Kerry makes a campaign swing through Philadelphia and orders a cheesesteak - with Swiss cheese.

If that weren't bad enough, the candidate asked photographers not to take his picture while he ate the sandwich; shutters clicked anyway, and Kerry was caught nibbling daintily at his sandwich -- another serious faux pas.

"It will doom his candidacy in Philadelphia," predicted Craig LaBan, food critic for the Philadelphia
Inquirer, which broke the Sandwich Scandal. After all, Philly cheesesteaks come with Cheez Whiz, or occasionally American or provolone. But Swiss cheese? "In Philadelphia, that's an alternative lifestyle," LaBan explained.

Great pic. Kerry may have tossed Vietnam medals on the Capitol steps, but the senator who lives on Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill clearly never spent much time at the old Buzzy's Roast Beef at the three stripe tossing Supers over the wall of the Charles Street Jail.

He needs to get back to Boston and make a pilgrimage to T. Anthony's for the finest steak-and-cheese going.

(No bowling shoes on Kerry in this photo. But he did leave the Topsiders at home.)

Time's Jeff Greenfield wrote in 1996 of the place of blintz-gnoshing in New York political campaigns:

In 1958 Nelson Rockefeller ran for Governor. To prove that this scion of privilege was a regular Joe, Rockefeller proceeded to eat his way through the tribes of New York. There he was, his picture in the paper day after day with a hot dog, a knish, a slice of pizza, an egg roll. He won--and political tradition turned into a required ritual.

Now it is true that the temptation to use food as a political symbol is bred in the bone. William Henry Harrison won the presidency by calling himself "the candidate of the log cabin and hard cider." Franklin D. Roosevelt served hot dogs to the King and Queen of England.

And it is also true that food can pose a threat in any locale. Recall President Ford's run-in with a tamale in San Antonio, Texas, when he tried to bite into it before removing the corn-husk wrapper. But New York is where they pile Pelion on Ossa--or kreplach on calzone. Democratic operatives still speak of the near disasters that occurred when first Robert Kennedy and then George McGovern sat down at kosher delicatessens and ordered a sandwich--and a glass of milk.

Meantime, in California, Ralph Nader takes a pie. And Arnold and Mary Carey could join forces on a cheesecake ticket.

Mark Steyn posts a dispatch to the London Spectator on the California race. His take: Arnold is a cut above the rest of the circus.

Cleverest name for a Schwarzenegger booster site: Total Recall 2003. The official Arnold site adds Kennedy panache with a prominent picture of Maria Shriver, while opening with an ode to the progressive reforms made 90 years ago by Hiram Johnson (scroll down), the California governor who was Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose running mate.

The idea of Arnold mulling Hiram Johnson makes me smile. Democracy is grand.


Now Playing: "Happy Days are Here Again," by Jack Hylton, via Jeeves & Wooster at the Hat Sharpening Spot, a spiffing site dedicated to the stories of P.G. Wodehouse, television adaptations and period music.


The Anglican Crackup, cont: A strong majority of the public disapproves of the Episcopal Church's decision to recognize the blessing of same-sex unions, and a larger share of churchgoing Americans would object if their own faith adopted a similar practice, according to a new Washington Post poll. Meantime, The Spectator's Peter Hitchens, an antidisestablishmentarian, maintains the link between Church and State is vital for British wellbeing.


Old-Time Baseball: From today's Gloucester Times:

Townies, Chiefs settle nothing: IPSWICH – After two and a half hours of baseball in the Inter-Town League Championship last night, nothing was decided. Two-time defending champion Rockport Townies and host Ipswich Chiefs battled to an 8-8 tie in Game 3 of the best-of-five series. The game was called after seven innings because of darkness and will be replayed in its entirety in Ipswich tonight (5:30). The series is tied, 1-1. "What would an ITL finals be without a tie?" Rockport veteran Bruce Emerson asked.

Meantime, the annual FleetBoston Oldtime Baseball Game will be held in Cambridge tonight to benefit the Special Olympics. And yes, that is Tollway Joe Morgan. Six, two and even.


Tuesday, August 12, 2003  

Cape Ann baseball crowns a new champion this week, with the Rockport Townies and Ipswich Chiefs currently tied at one game apiece in the best-of-five Intertown Twilight League finals. The Gloucester Times covers the action.

A search for a maritime-themed baseball image turned up the above photo of the Chicago Whales of the old Federal League, original tenants of Wrigley Field.


Now Playing: "At the Codfish Ball," by Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven


Brave New World: The late Ted Williams had wanted his ashes scattered over his old fishing grounds in the Florida Keys, but his head and body now lie in separate cans in a cryogenics storehouse while his son has skipped on the deep-freeze bill. Sports Illustrated has the unbelievably ghastly story.


Mackerel Snappings: The Left will want to update its conspiracy theories now that W has been shown to be a puppet not of Dick Cheney, but of the Pope * A sound fisking as administered by Dale Price or Christopher Johnson or Dom Bettinelli or Mark Steyn could be considered sacramental, I suppose, if one were so inclined * The American Neptune, a quarterly journal of maritime history and the arts published by the Peabody Essex Museum, has a great name and a great logo * The Sacred Cod-napping perpetrated by Harvard Lampoon staffers in 1933 has been judged one of the great all-time college pranks * The National Marine Fisheries Historic Images Collection has atlases of fish illustrations from the 1880s


The Original Spirit of Vatican II

Good Pope John XXIII, who championed Latin, knew how to make a grand entrance, and convened the Second Vatican Council, is pictured celebrating a Papal Mass. Compare to images from St. Bede's in London and S. Clement's (Anglo-Catholic) in Philadelphia this past Easter.

(Pontifical photos from the Roman Liturgy site of a self-styled bishop whose images of pre-conciliar pomp are as enjoyable as his clerical and chivalric claims are dubious.)


On the Cathedral Rorschach Test, I look at France's Evry Cathedral and see a bald man with a fringe of hair around his head: The church building as tonsure? The cathedral, which opened in 1996 and hosted the Pope a year later, was the first to be built in France in more than a century – thus telling you a lot about France, and providing a modernist yardstick against which subsequent cathedrals might be measured.

It is hard to top the L.A. Cathedral, which is coming up on its first anniversary, and which some critics have dubbed Cardinal Mahony's Temple of Baal, a perception not lessened by the air of the Delphic Oracle that has attended some rites there.


Herb Brooks, RIP: The coach of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team has died. Dale Price pays tribute to the coach whose team's Miracle on Ice is considered by some the Greatest Sports Moment of the Century.


The "dissent" of the campus Left hasn't really been stifled post-9/11, but reasoned religious assent to US war policy has, maintains Jean Bethke Elshtain.


Buckingham Palace is denying reports that Prince William, on a Kenya tour, used a seven-foot Masai spear to fell a dik-dik -- not easy to do, one would think, since the easily-frightened 14-inch deer is so quick to scurry. Prince William is not the first heir to the British throne to go native: Here's the Prince of Wales, later the Duke of Windsor, on a 1920 US visit posing in full Indian garb, for a picture included in the Library of Congress' John Bull & Uncle Sam exhibit. And then you have Prince Charles of Arabia.


Friday, August 08, 2003  
"If he lacked discipline, he exuded personality"

Maurice "Mickey" McDermott, who has died at 74, was the precursor to Bill Lee in the Red Sox pantheon of colorful characters. A pitching phenom who arrived in the big leagues in 1948 as a 19-year-old with a 100-mph fastball and a can't-miss tag, the convivial lefthander also was a prodigious drinker, lounge singer and Sinatra pal, called by Sports Illustrated the "thirsty Irish thrush," whose carousing ultimately kept him from stardom. His jug-eared looks inspired Norman Rockwell's Rookie. In his retirement, he hit the lottery for $7 million. McDermott recently released a memoir, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cooperstown, and given his flourish as a teller of tales (see his account of catcher Sammy White's unique mitt padding), articles done on the book's release literally wrote themselves.

From the New York Times:

Mickey may be a tad cantankerous. His language may turn the air cigar-smoke blue. He may, as near as I can figure, smoke half a carton of cigarettes a day. But when he reminisces, it's as if you're hearing living history as spoken by George Washington. Well, O.K., Ty Cobb.

So listening to a major leaguer who would have had a genuine shot at making Cooperstown if he hadn't lost his fastball in a bottle of Scotch, is a treat. And, surprisingly, still happy-go-lucky at 74, McDermott has no (or almost no) regrets. Highballs, not steroids or ephedra, were the drugs of choice in those days.

So as a Red Sox rookie, Mickey's role models were players like Ellis Kinder, a 23-game winner who pitched — and partied — better drunk than sober. Kinder, a big Tennessean, phoned Mickey one midnight to announce: "Congratulate me. I just got married."

Mickey asked, "But Ellis, what about Hazel?"

"Gosh," Kinder said, "you mean I'm already married?"

Walking a block is a big deal for Mickey these days, not only because of his pacemaker, but also because his knees have little cartilage left. "They got that way," he confesses ebulliently, "from falling off bar stools."

And his teeth would be a whole lot better if he hadn't met a "crazy drunken dentist" who, after a night of drinking, "yanked out every last one of them while I was asleep in his dental chair."

Mickey has been sober for a dozen years, ever since his wife bought the $1 ticket that changed their lives. "After my 12 years in the majors, I slid deeper and deeper down the hill every year," Mickey said. "I was a coach and a batting practice pitcher, a players' rep, and then I sold cars and radio advertising. I drank a cocktail lounge into bankruptcy, worked as a carpenter and a security guard, and got very tired of binge drinking and making love to toilet bowls. One night I got on my knees and said: `God, I want to quit drinking. Please. Give me a sign.' When Betty came home with a $7 million lottery ticket, that seemed like a pretty good sign. I stopped drinking."

From the AP:

When he got to New York, McDermott fit right into the party hearty Yankees clubhouse presided over by Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin and their running mates. "They welcomed me," he said. "I came with a reputation."

Manager Casey Stengel decided to crack down on the curfew-breakers, paying off hotel desk clerks and bellhops for information.

One night, McDermott arrived back at the hotel suitably late and headed upstairs. Stengel was tipped off and when the elevator door opened, the manager was standing there, his arms folded. He had the pitcher cornered.

"Drunk again," Stengel said.

McDermott squinted at the manager through his alcoholic haze, smiled benignly and said, "Me too!"

From a Q&A with the Boston Phoenix:

On why Johnny Pesky will never again lend him the car: When I first come up, the front office made me live with him, ’cause I was so young and he was supposed to take care of me. Pesky gave up that idea! He said, "Jesus Christ! Nobody’s gonna tame him!" They gave him a brand new Lincoln [for Johnny Pesky Day] and I said, "Can I borrow the car?" He says, "If you put one scratch on that, you’re gone!" I said, "Don’t worry about it!" So I’m going at it with this broad in the back seat, and I kicked the window out! That was the end of the ball game. I had to get a hotel room.

On how he startled George H.W. Bush at the Ted Williams Museum: [Ted] hollers to me, "Maurice! Have you met the president?" And I say, "Noooo, I haven’t, Theodoooore." He says, "Mr. President, Maurice McDermott." I said, "GEORGE, HOW THE HELL ARE YA, PAL?!" Holy Christ! Ted’s reaching for his head, going, "He’s calling my commander-in-chief ‘George!?’" I said, "Wait a minute, Ted! He played first base at Yale! Right, George?" And Bush gave me the high-five and laughed like hell. Ted just couldn’t get over it. He was gonna kill me!

From a publisher's Q&A:

Q: Didn't you play in Havana, too? A: A lot of us did. My highest salary in the majors was $19,500 with Washington, and that was after an 18-win season. So an extra few thousand a month in winter ball helped pay the rent. My last game in Havana we hear shots along about the fifth inning from the streets outside the field. The first-base coach falls down, struck in the head by a spent bullet. Luckily he's wearing a batting helmet. Then the shortstop gets hit in the leg. It's Fidel Castro invading Havana. Game called on account of revolution. Somebody shouts, "Run for the bus." I think I broke Mickey Mantle's record for the mile. We spent the next three days hiding under the bed at the Hotel Nacional. Finally Castro comes in and makes a fiery speech. The part I liked was, "Yanqui, go home!" I went. As fast as I could.

Q: When you played in Boston, you sang at a local nightclub in the off-season. Were you able to go back there and sing after you were traded to Washington? A: I wanted to so I went back to see the owner of Steubens, Joe Schneider. "Season's over," I said, "Wanna book me for a few weeks?" He said, "Mickey, 18 and 10 with the Red Sox, what a beautiful voice! But 7 and 15 in Washington? You don't sing so good no more."


Clip: "Ring a Ding Ding," Frank Sinatra


Thursday, August 07, 2003  

The Palladian Elk. Plus: Classical dinos.


The music goes 'round and 'round, wo oh oh oh, oh oh, and it comes out here

Queue up this clip from the 1936 hit by Edythe Wright and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, or listen to a cover version from the same year by Red McKenzie and his Mound City Blue Blowers.

Then behold the Six Flags appeal of the Basilica of the Divine Mercy near Krakow, Poland. Here's an image of the basilica on a postage stamp.

And here is the basilica's tabernacle. There is nothing wrong with your TV set. Look into the tabernacle. Look into the tabernacle.

Speaking of which: Is a tabernacle bigger than a breadbasket? Turns out the one at the Chapel of the Claretian Martyrs in Springfield, Mo., is a breadbasket. And yes, now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Claretian wall. (Via Land of the Irish)


Tolerant Democrats: Mark Shields writes the much-vaunted openness of the Democracy doesn't extend to those who don't toe the party line on abortion. And he notes a recent poll that indicates "reproductive rights" are not as widely held sacrosanct as NOW and NARAL would have you believe. Plus: A look at where some leading Democrats once stood on the issue, via quotes inconveniently retrieved from the memory hole.


From the Annals of Muscular Christianity: Groton School founder and FDR mentor Rev. Endicott Peabody built an Episcopal church in Tombstone partly on Wyatt Earp's poker winnings. Where have you gone, Dr. Peabody? A denomination turns its lonely eyes to you.


Loose Canon: I know it's the nature of identity politics, but what strikes me about the case of Rev. Canon Robinson is the selfishness, first in leaving a wife and two children in the name of lifestyle, then in persisting in a bid for advancement even at the cost of tearing a supposedly beloved faith community asunder.

UPDATE: Oh, to write as well as Lileks, who absolutely nails the point: The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else: that’s what it’s all about, at least for me. Marriages founder for a variety of reasons, and ofttimes they’re valid reasons, sad and inescapable. But “I want to have sex with other people” is not a valid reason for depriving two little girls of a daddy who lives with them, gets up at night when they're sick, kisses them in the morning when they wake. There's a word for people who leave their children because they don't want to have sex with Mommy anymore: selfish. I'm not a praying man, but I cannot possibly imagine asking God if that would be okay. Send them another Dad, okay? Until you do I'll keep my cellphone on 24/7, I promise.

* The Very Rev. John Burwell, an Episcopal priest from South Carolina who has been posting a chronicle from the convention, offers a conservative's perspective on the Day After.

* How interesting that for all the squishy multicultural affectations of Episcopal hierarchs, the loudest protests against the unorthodox departures of the American church are coming from Anglican leaders in the Third World.

* Anglicans traditionally have described the underpinnings of their faith through the analogy of a stool resting on three legs, Scripture, Tradition and Reason. Some might argue the Episcopalians have kicked out at least two, and perhaps all three, of those legs. But this sermon delivered a couple years back by an Australian pastor posits the addition of a fourth leg – the Social-Justice-Diversity leg, if you will. It is upon this fourth leg the American church has decided to most heavily lean.

And to mix metaphors, those who don't like the remodeling – who wish to preserve the faith in which they had been born and raised in the form in which it had been handed down through the generations – are shown the door. Oh, so collegially, of course. With smarmy protestations of sadness at their leaving, and assurances they're always welcome to come home. To a home they no longer recognize and that is no longer theirs.

Those who don't assent to what has been, for all its touchy-feely-ness, a hostile takeover of their faith and its institutions, are dismissed as unreconstructed reactionaries, as unenlightened, as intolerant, and as destructive of conciliation and unity.

The preservationists are portrayed as the home-wreckers.

* Read a remarkable perspective from a gay Orthodox former Anglican deacon in San Francisco:

The question was how can we as gay Christians make room for those who disagree with us: St Paul says not to scandalize each other, shouldn't we as gay folks side with Saint Paul and stand down our new morality so as to keep from scandalizing those who held an opposing view? The answer was a clear, "No." There was no room for people like that in the Church - the time to insist was now. In the words of Barbara Harris, "let them go." Or, "Good bye and don't let the door hit you on the way out."

…[T]he other rector of our parish…asked me, point blank, why it was I wanted to be in communion with those folks who didn't want to be in communion with me - and why I was willing to ignore folks who
wanted to be in communion with me. The problem was not that I was rejecting those folks - old friends, comforting faces. The problem was they were rejecting me: not for my sexuality but rather for the heresy (in liberal eyes) of believing in the Bible and the created order of things, of believing in a bodily crucified and bodily resurrected Christ; the heresy (in liberal eyes) of being a mostly (small o) orthodox Christian. A quote currently making the rounds - "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying: 'You are mad, you are not like us.'" - Abba Anthony of Egypt. I was mad in their eyes. (Via Bettnet.com)


* Mark Shea has quipped the whole of human existence can be summed up in two phrases, "What can it hurt?" followed by "How was I to know?"

To follow are excerpts from writers who have considered the Pandora's Box opened by the discarding of restraints, customs and institutions to suit ideology or simply oneself.

The Doctrine of Conditional Joy: G. K. Chesterton, on the "Ethics of Elfland," in Orthodoxy, written in 1908 while he was an Anglican:

…[A]ccording to elfin ethics all virtue is in an "if." The note of the fairy utterance always is, "You may live in a palace of gold and sapphire, if you do not say the word `cow'"; or "You may live happily with the King's daughter, if you do not show her an onion." The vision always hangs upon a veto. All the dizzy and colossal things conceded depend upon one small thing withheld. All the wild and whirling things that are let loose depend upon one thing that is forbidden…

…In the fairy tale an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition. A box is opened, and all evils fly out. A word is forgotten, and cities perish. A lamp is lit, and love flies away. A flower is plucked, and human lives are forfeited. An apple is eaten, and the hope of God is gone…

* * *
…Remember, however, that to be breakable is not the same as to be perishable. Strike a glass, and it will not endure an instant; simply do not strike it, and it will endure a thousand years. Such, it seemed, was the joy of man, either in elfland or on earth; the happiness depended on NOT DOING SOMETHING which you could at any moment do and which, very often, it was not obvious why you should not do…

…The aesthetes touched the last insane limits of language in their eulogy on lovely things. The thistledown made them weep; a burnished beetle brought them to their knees. Yet their emotion never impressed me for an instant, for this reason, that it never occurred to them to pay for their pleasure in any sort of symbolic sacrifice. Men (I felt) might fast forty days for the sake of hearing a blackbird sing. Men might go through fire to find a cowslip. Yet these lovers of beauty could not even keep sober for the blackbird. They would not go through common Christian marriage by way of recompense to the cowslip. Surely one might pay for extraordinary joy in ordinary morals. Oscar Wilde said that sunsets were not valued because we could not pay for sunsets. But Oscar Wilde was wrong; we can pay for sunsets. We can pay for them by not being Oscar Wilde.


Peter Kreeft observes that making tolerance paramount assumes the goodness of tolerance as a moral absolute – but if no moral values are absolute, neither is tolerance. Meantime, the fashionable academic philosophy of Deconstructionism, by denying objective reality beyond texts, makes "morality as arbitrary as penmanship."

"The logical consequence of a society that revolves around not offending anyone is that the bullies will win," said Kreeft, who quotes Mussolini himself on the topic:

"From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value," Il Duce wrote approvingly, "the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable."

In other words, said Kreeft, moral relativism -- the belief that there is "nothing right or wrong, but thinking makes it so" -- is the sort of philosophy that leads ultimately to the gas chamber. For if no objective standard of good or evil exists, he said, by what authority do we declare Hitler's view wrong, rather than simply different?

"Moral relativism has a reputation for being compassionate, caring and humane," said Kreeft, "but it is an extremely useful philosophy for tyrants."


Roger Scruton views Burke in the light of the '68 Paris riots, and the Orwellian realities of scrapping institutions for ideology:

The graffiti paradoxes of the soixante-huitards were…a kind of adolescent insouciance, a throwing away of all customs, institutions, and achievements, for the sake of a momentary exultation which could have no lasting sense save anarchy…

It was not until much later, after my first visit to communist Europe, that I came to understand and sympathize with the negative energy in Burke. I had grasped the positive thesis—the defense of prejudice, tradition, and heredity, and of a politics of trusteeship in which the past and the future had equal weight to the present—but I had not grasped the deep negative thesis, the glimpse into Hell, contained in his vision of the Revolution... My encounter with Communism entirely rectified this.

Perhaps the most fascinating and terrifying aspect of Communism was its ability to banish truth from human affairs, and to force whole populations to “live within the lie,” as President Havel put it. George Orwell wrote a prophetic and penetrating novel about this; but few Western readers of that novel knew the extent to which its prophecies had come true in Central Europe. To me it was the greatest revelation, when first I travelled to Czechoslovakia in 1979, to come face to face with a situation in which people could, at any moment, be removed from the book of history, in which truth could not be uttered, and in which the Party could decide from day to day not only what would happen tomorrow, but also what had happened today, what had happened yesterday, and what had happened before its leaders had been born. This, I realized, was the situation that Burke was describing, to a largely incredulous readership, in 1790. And two hundred years later the situation still existed, and the incredulity along with it.


Tuesday, August 05, 2003  
Going native: The famous image of Coolidge in Sioux war-bonnet was brought to mind by this colorful photo, from a rad trad page that would lead you to believe the pontiff, when not cementing the foundations of Modernism, spends much of his time in the company of South Sea islanders and Ziegfeld chorines. PLUS: Indian Mass, Indian sign. (Reuters appears to have a dedicated Funny Pope Photo wire: Coming soon to a midway near you, the Zucchetto Game?)


Fuzzy-Wuzzies meet The Warriors: Cross-dressing Liberians bring scare tactics to a new level:

In an essay in Liberian Studies Journal, an administrator at Cuttington University College tells a story of Taylor's forces storming the rural campus during the initial stages of the war in "wedding [dresses], wigs, commencement gowns from high schools and several forms of 'voodoo' regalia. … [They] believed they could not be killed in battle."

According to the soldiers themselves, cross-dressing is a military mind game, a tactic that instills fear in their rivals. It also makes the soldiers feel more invincible. This belief is founded on a regional superstition which holds that soldiers can "confuse the enemy's bullets" by assuming two identities simultaneously. Though the accoutrements and garb look bizarre to Western eyes, they are, in a sense, variations on the camouflage uniforms and face paint American soldiers use to bolster their sense of invisibility (and, therefore, immunity) during combat. Since flak jackets or infrared goggles aren't available to the destitute Liberian fighters, they opt for evening gowns and frilly blouses.

Meantime, toy-soldier aficionados can collect not only Fuzzie-Wuzzies and Dervishes but casualties of same.


Plain Hinglish: David Gardner writes in The Spectator of a fractured and stately form of English spoken in India:

Welcome to the wonderful world of Hinglish, a Hindu-inspired dialect that pulsates with energy, invention and humour — not all of it intended. Hinglish is full of cricket terminology and army metaphors, with echoes of P.G. Wodehouse and Dickens. It contains clunky puns and impeccably logical neologisms. In short, it is a delight.

When, for instance, I receive routine requests for ‘intimation 48 hours in advance’ for flight or hotel bookings, I feel not irritated but grateful — my planning skills allow for little more. And when the young lady who runs my local restaurant smiles winningly and says, ‘We like to pander you’ (meaning, I assume, ‘pamper’) a mediocre lunch starts to taste that little bit better.

Like so many good gags, ‘Official intimation’ pops up in P.G. Wodehouse (Heavy Weather, chapter ten), whose books are to be found on every bookshelf of every bookshop in India. It is a safe bet that Wodehouse is the inspiration for many standard Hinglish-isms, viz a ‘quantum’ (never a mere amount), ‘sans’ (as in, he went out ‘sans’ his coat), or, my favourite, ‘for the nonce’. An Indian acquaintance once playfully suggested that Wodehouse has a place in the elastic pantheon of Hindu gods.


Odds & Ends: The old Indian Head nickel was not the only US currency to bear the image of a buffalo – so did the 1901 $10 bill * The college named for Lord Jeffrey Amherst (himself a Cromwell to local Indians) is celebrated at Amherstiana, which features "a collection of postcards, photographs and ephemera from the College on the Hill" * The Shrine of the Holy Whapping has been outdoing itself with posts on magnificent church-architecture, but do see the recent entries on the Brothers of Death and other very obscure religious orders, and on ancient Benedictine curse rites * Fr Jas Tucker unearths the order of service for episcopal degradation * City Journal considers the post-Lady Chatterley descent down vulgarization's slippery slope; the deleterious effects of hip-hop, and the sad passing of tailcoats * A Kansas pastor runs with the bulls


This page is powered by Blogger.