Formerly Ad Orientem

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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.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003  

Macy's Parade, 1959

Happy Thanksgiving to all: From Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine, a November offering: "Casa Loma Stomp," by Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra * Stuffing dates with peanut butter is best done to the telecast of the Macy's Parade, though the coverage has been suffering from too many Broadway production numbers from Rent and not enough balloons like the old Eddie Cantor model * More vintage Macy's images: 1929 * 1933 * 1940 * 1958 * Accept no imitations: The Miracle on 34th Street, b&w, 1947 * Fannie Farmer offers two recipes for squash pie, I and II * Tom Fitzpatrick is hosting a WHRB-style Thanksgiving Orgy at his place, perhaps in atonement for his roots in Malden, on the wrong side of the geographic divide in the nation's second-oldest Thanksgiving rivalry * "Over the River and Through the Woods"? Composed in Medford. ("Jingle Bells," too, for that matter.) Here's more on the river over which one rode to get to Grandmother's house, and which now is a major motion picture * NFL.com last year noted the Massachusetts tradition of Turkey Day football: Needham and Wellesley boast the oldest high school rivalry in the country, but it is not the longest continuous Thanksgiving Day rivalry – it's been uninterrupted only since 1921. That honor belongs to the Boston Latin-Boston English Thanksgiving Day game, which has been played every year since 1887…Thanksgiving Day rivalries in Massachusetts that have been going for more than a century without interruption also include Malden-Medford (1889) and Brookline-Newton North (1899). Others that began more than 100 years ago, but have not been continuous: Lawrence-Lowell (1890), Amesbury-Newburyport (1891), Winchester-Woburn (1891), Fall River Durfee-New Bedford (1893), Fitchburg-Leominster (1894), Beverly-Salem (1900), and East Boston-South Boston (1901) * Thursday's Latin-English tilt at Harvard Stadium is the 117th in the series * Newburyport-Amesbury, 1995: I * II * III * For the sake of tradition in general, support your local Dutch Burke Society


Monday, November 24, 2003  

Spahn & Sain, 1948

And pray for rain: Warren Spahn, R.I.P. * Baseball Library recalls the winningest lefthander of all time * A lost landmark: Warren Spahn's Diner * A 50th reunion of the '48 Braves * A Boston Braves homepage * Kemer Brett, R.I.P. * A tribute from Peter Gammons


Friday, November 21, 2003  

After Mass at Holy Trinity, Georgetown, on Inauguration Day

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

* * *

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility--I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.


Goodbye, All That: How Left Idiocies Drove Me to Flee: An outstanding broadside by Ron Rosenbaum:

So, for my part, goodbye to all that. Goodbye to a culture of blindness that tolerates, as part of "peace marches," women wearing suicide-bomber belts as bikinis. (See the accompanying photo of the "peace" march in Madrid. "Peace" somehow doesn’t exclude blowing up Jewish children.)

Goodbye to the brilliant thinkers of the Left who believe it’s the very height of wit to make fun of George W. Bush’s intelligence—thereby establishing, of course, how very, very smart they are. Mr. Bush may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer (I think he’s more ill-informed and lazy than dumb). But they are guilty of a historical stupidity on a far greater scale, in their blind spot about Marxist genocides. It’s a failure of self-knowledge and intellectual responsibility that far outweighs Bush’s, because they’re supposed to be so very smart.

Goodbye to paralysis by moral equivalence: Remind me again, was it John Ashcroft or Fidel Castro who put H.I.V. sufferers in concentration camps?

Goodbye to the deluded and pathetic sophistry of postmodernists of the Left, who believe their unreadable, jargon-clotted theory-sophistry somehow helps liberate the wretched of the earth. If they really believe in serving the cause of liberation, why don’t they quit their evil-capitalist-subsidized jobs and go teach literacy in a Third World starved for the insights of Foucault?

Goodbye to people who have demonstrated that what terror means to them is the terror of ever having to admit they were wrong, the terror of allowing the hideous facts of history to impinge upon their insulated ideology.

(Via E. L. Core)



Hurl that spheroid down the field: The Game, to be televised nationally this weekend, is always a good take. I can say I was there in '82 when the MIT hackers inflated a giant balloon out of the turf at midfield. Good people-watching: Not every game draws the odd octogenarian Yankee in a bowler and vintage raccoon coat with a Yale bulldog pirate-patch over his eye. (Wonder what ever happened to that guy?)

Etc… In praise of the prolate spheroid * "Fight Fiercely, Harvard" (mp3) by Tom Lehrer, with lyrics and Casio version here * On the origins of "Boola Boola" * Yale's Greatest Hits * Vintage panoramic photos at American Memory


Thursday, November 20, 2003  

Pigs can and will fly if four members of the SJC say so

The editors of National Review write on the court's imposition of homosexual marriage on Massachusetts:

If you agree with the Massachusetts ruling — if you think that it was rightly reasoned as well as rightly decided — you cannot even be a moderate supporter of gay marriage who believes that intelligent people of good will may disagree. Opponents of gay marriage are irrational bigots, equivalent to the people who opposed interracial marriage in bygone days. The court declares that there is no rational basis for defining marriage in a way that renders same-sex couples ineligible. Thus the traditional marriage law cannot survive even if the court subjects it to the lowest level of scrutiny it can apply. The court repeatedly likens its decision to the Supreme Court's invalidation of bans on interracial marriage. It sees no difference between the cases.

Jeff Jacoby writes:

In the SJC's brave new world of gender-neutral marriage, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will no longer communicate to its citizens that the central purpose of marriage is to bind men and women exclusively to each other and to the children that their sexual behavior is apt to produce. It will communicate instead that marriage was created to gratify grown-ups by reinforcing their committed romantic relationships. To be sure, a loving relationship is ideal in any marriage. But that isn't why every society in history has defined marriage as an institution for linking the sexes.

The redefinition of marriage will not end with same-sex weddings. In explaining its decision, the court says: "Without the right to marry -- or more properly, the right to choose to marry -- one is excluded from the full range of human experience and denied full protection of the laws for one's avowed commitment to an intimate and lasting human relationship."

But if that is true for committed gay and lesbian unions, it is just as true for every other committed but nontraditional union. Why shouldn't a man and two women, deeply in love and yearning to live as one, be permitted to marry? Or two family members -- of the same sex or not -- whose romantic love for each other is deep and lasting? If the opposite-sex limitation must yield to "the right to choose to marry," by what rational argument can the only-two-spouses or no-close-relatives limitations be sustained?

SJC Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, Brattle Street champion of elevated progressive thought, new patron saint of social engineering by judicial fiat, and the product of the South African anti-apartheid movement who wrote the majority opinion in Goodridge likening opponents of same-sex marriage to segregationists, is the embodiment of the New England liberal establishment elite – darling of the Boston Globe, wife of a prominent retired New York Times columnist, and college commencement speaker du jour (here and here and here and here). And she was appointed by Republicans.

Meantime, the celebratory PR by the Globe continues apace. The coverage has been bad enough on the war and politics, and I long ago stopped even looking at the editorial pages, but this latest example of outright partisan campaigning in the news pages of the Globe has got me to the subscription-cancellation phase, a big step because I love to get a newspaper in the morning. I ask you readers: Any suggestions for daily journalism alternatives?



Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man--
Or woman.
Why don't you shut up about women, Stan. You're putting us off.
Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
Why are you always on about women, Stan?
I want to be one.
I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me 'Loretta'.
It's my right as a man.
Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
I want to have babies.
You want to have babies?!
It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
But... you can't have babies.
Don't you oppress me.
I'm not oppressing you, Stan. You haven't got a womb! Where's the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
Here! I-- I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.
Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
What's the point?
What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!
It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Symbolic of his struggle against reality.
[clap clap clap]

-- Monty Python's Life of Brian, Scene 7

And while we're at it: "Poofy Judges"

Good on Goodridge: Stanley Kurtz * NR editors * Maggie Gallagher * Why a constitutional amendment will fail * The case for a federal amendment, by the Alliance for Marriage


Cast your vote for the Greatest Irish Person. The Trinity College Historical Society is running the poll, but notwithstanding his statue on their green, Burke isn't on the list, which presents a handicap to those of us who would like to vote for the Exceptional Whig over, say, Bob Geldof.


Camelot was made possible by the Electoral College: Next time your Democratic friends complain over the 2000 election, show them this article that makes a convincing case that JFK, too, lost the popular vote.


On Bad Academic Writing: Butterflies and Wheels * Carlin Romano * Denis Dutton * Prior Bad Writing Contest winners * "Letter from Yale" by Helena Echlin


Wednesday, November 19, 2003  


The ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on same-sex "marriage" is a bad one on so many fronts, not only overturning by judicial fiat millions of years of biology, thousands of years of social custom, and plain common sense in undermining an institution at the foundation of family and society, but making law ridiculous: The SJC's saying two guys are "married" doesn't make them married, any more than a 4-3 ruling by the state high court means that henceforth men may have babies if they want to, or the sun in Massachusetts will rise from the west. And where does it stop? As Boston talk show host Jay Severin said, a man and his penguin may be a couple, but theirs will never be a marriage.

A state constitutional amendment apparently will be required to define marriage in Massachusetts as between a man and a woman. But an amendment can't go to the ballot before 2006, so it appears same-sex "marriage" will be law here for at least the coming two years.

The Corner's Robert Alt writes:

It appears that the Massachusetts legislature has less options than I had thought. When I first mentioned the possibility of amending the Massachusetts Constitution within 180 days, I must concede that I thought it implausible. After reading up on the method for constitutional amendment in Massachusetts, such an option appears impossible. To amend the Massachusetts Constitution requires 25% of the state legislature in two consecutive two-year sessions to vote to present the question to the people for a vote. Thus, any amendment started by the legislature could not succeed until 2006, and obviously could not meet the 180 day "deadline."

Another suggestion that I have heard bandied about is offering some kind of a Vermont-style civil union substitute. Given the sweeping language of today's court decision, it is dubious at best whether such an option is still viable. While the legislature could offer it, the court is likely to simply enter its order in 180 days, and thereby alter the state's definition of marriage. For gay marriage proponents, why have civil unions, when the court has already granted them equal access to the civil institution of marriage?

A state Constitutional Convention on the Marriage Affirmation and Protection Amendment (H3190), which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2004. The Massachusetts Family Institute is campaigning in defense of the institution of marriage as traditionally understood. American Spectator columnist Lawrence Henry of North Andover, Mass., reports on the group's efforts.

While the SJC ruling has much of the Globe turning handstands, the paper's lone conservative voice, Jeff Jacoby, wrote this week on the timeless meaning of marriage.

Apropos of the latest effort to dismantle society and define what is as you wish it to be: an essay on Agatha Christie as Burkean.

Her work conforms to Burkean conservatism in every respect: justice rarely comes from the state. Rather, it arises from within civil society - a private detective, a clever old spinster. Indeed, what is Miss Marple but the perfect embodiment of Burke's thought? She has almost infinite wisdom because she has lived so very long (by the later novels, she is barely able to move and, by some calculations, over 100). She has slowly - like parliament and all traditional bodies, according to Burke - accrued "the wisdom of the ages", and this is the key to her success. From her solitary spot in a small English village, she has learned everything about human nature. Wisdom resides, in Christie and Burke's worlds, in the very old and the very ordinary.

The novels are shot through with a Burkean fear of enlightenment rationalism. There is a persistent fear of the young and those with grand Archimedean social projects. Christie's greatest anxiety, she once explained, was of "idealists who want to make us happy by force." The minute a character is described as an idealist in one of her novels, you've found your murderer...

Her protagonists stand, novel after novel, against those who seek to disrupt the natural order and interpret the world with a misleading 'rationalism'. As one of her heroes explains, "We're humble-minded men. We don't expect to save the world, only pick up one or two broken pieces and remove a spanner or two when it's jamming up the works." Or, as another heroine asks, "Isn't muddle a better breeding ground for kindliness and individuality than a world order that's imposed?"
(Via the Invisible Adjunct)

Where is the consensus for the profound social realignment that is to be imposed by the un-elected justices of Massachusetts' high court? A Pew poll released just before the SJC ruling found opposition to same-sex marriage at 59 percent, and among religious Americans, at 80 percent.

More from the Pew survey, via The Corner:

The political importance of gay marriage has yet to become clear. But there is evidence that this issue could become problematic for the Democratic presidential nominee. Republican voters are largely of one mind on this issue: more than three-quarters (78%) of voters who favor reelecting President Bush in 2004 oppose gay marriage. But voters who prefer to see a Democrat elected in 2004 are divided - 46% favor gay marriage, 48% oppose.

And this from the American Spectator's Henry on the "Ick Factor:"

Democratic candidates from President on down will be whipped into making all kinds of statements in support of gay marriage, into making appearances at gay activist rallies, into endorsing the nationwide honoring of gay marriage reciprocally from state to state. If
Republicans are smart, they'll follow President Bush's lead, and mostly just say nothing while the Dems kick the Tar Baby.

And the American people, bombarded from the airwaves, will recoil in their Barcaloungers and change the channel, saying, "Ick! Go 'way! Just shut up about it, already!"

A factoid from Boston.com: The 2000 Census estimated there were about 19,000 gay couples in Mass., and about 659,000 nationwide, or less than 1 percent of households. Provincetown is the community in Mass. with the highest rate of gay partners, about 15
percent of households.

Minority rights are to be respected and protected in our republic. But when in our democracy did the least common denominator come to trump the majority? Why should less than one percent of households be enabled to redefine - and render meaningless - the institution of marriage as it has been understood in our society from time immemorial?


Monday, November 17, 2003  

Edw Gorey & Doubtful Guest doll, 1958

St. Morticia's: The web art of this San Diego parish appears to have been inspired by Edward Gorey or the Addams Family. (Via Canticle of Deborah and Firerosemom at a Free Republic re-post re liturgical music, Br. Erspamer &c.)

Another Free Republic correspondent makes the case that Br. Erspamer's Big-Handed Troglodyte style of liturgical clipart actually is a knockoff of the work of early 20th-c. British Catholic artist and typographer Eric Gill.

Etc… In 1952 the museum at Penn asked Charles Addams what items he most liked in the basement, and here is his reply * The Oxford Oratory, seen on Inspector Morse, is highlighted in sound and pictures by the BBC * A tip of the censer to the Whys Guy for the previous item, as well as for leads to a handy guide to indulgences and to a bit of historical flavor on exorcism * Quote of the Week: "I think I have a charism for insolence..." RC at Catholic Light


Thursday, November 13, 2003  
In defense of Mrs. Jack

Bill Cork describes a presentation on religious fundamentalism given by theologian Sister Mary Boys, SNJM, at a liturgy conference in California that has drawn criticism from the right.

Fundamentalists don't like change. But, as Cardinal Newman said, "In a higher world it may be otherwise, but here below, to live is to change." She told an appropriate story about the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston. In one corner of one room is a ghastly full-length portrait of Ms. Gardner--and according to the will, it cannot be moved.

Is the "ghastly full-length portrait" of Mrs. Gardner cited the one by Sargent?

When the painting was shown at the St. Botolph Club, Boston, it caused a bit of a stir. The décolletage and the flattering curves of her dress made her husband request that the painting never be exhibited in public again during his lifetime. Mrs Jack honored his wishes and even refused repeated requests by Sargent to show it in other exhibitions until after her own death, but she clearly loved the painting.

Each to his own, of course, and as Burke said, prudent change is the means of preservation. But the art of John Singer Sargent doesn't strike me as Exhibit A in a case to replace the timeworn and fusty (though sensibilities to that effect have accompanied the stripping of altars for 40 years). Had Mrs. Jack been alive, would she have signed the Agatha Christie Indult petition?

Bet she would have. See this memorable column by the Globe's Alex Beam on the Anglo-Catholic Requiem Mass for Isabella Stewart Gardner that was sung every spring at her museum.

(Ed. Note: I don't know that Bill C. or Sister Boys referred to the Sargent portrait, and I'm half expecting Erik Keilholtz to argue Sargent should be chucked as the Thos Kinkade of the belle époque drawing-room set. But I'm happy for the excuse to post the piece on Mrs. Jack's annual smells-and-bells requiem, a tradition I believe has been discontinued. Might a local Anglo-Catholic reader respond with more info?)



Oliver Wendell Holmes & Alger Hiss

For an idea of the work high-school pupils can do if challenged, see the Primary Research site that local students have put together on Beverly, Mass., history, from which the postcard image above is taken * See also the Concord Review * Choral Evensong has been broadcast over the BBC from cathedrals, churches and chapels every week since 1926, notes the Innkeeper * As Harvard Stadium turns 100, a report on the state of Ivy League football * Joe Lieberman is my Democratic candidate for president, according to Slate's Whack-a-Pol * Maybe it's just me, but Tony Awards or no, I can't see myself running out to see this musical * Slate on What the Butler Saw but the British Press can't print * Howie Carr on John Kerry, who revs his Harley on Leno as his staffers flee a sinking campaign * Andrew Sullivan on Kerry: He's gone through more top staffers in a brief campaign than president Bush has in his entire presidency. I think that's telling. By the way, he served in Vietnam. * Also via Andrew Sullivan (fifth item), Ted Rall's Veteran's Day column, or, more accurately, Fifth Column.



The New Seekers would have cleaned up, not to mention the New Zoo Revue.

Neither of these formative influences on modern Catholic liturgical music were in the running, however, at the annual Unity Awards hosted by the United Catholic Music and Video Association (UCMV).

So Clothed in Love by Tom Kendzia took the honors for Liturgical Album of the Year and Liturgical Song of the Year ("The Eyes and Hands of Christ").

Listen to a few representative cuts (I find saving the mp3s to my desktop and playing them back works best):

"The Eyes and Hands of Christ" * mp3

"I'm Gonna Sing" * mp3

"Clothed in Love" * mp3

(The cover art for Clothed in Love likely will earn its own place in the Fr Sibley gallery.)

This year's Unity Awards theme song, "Together We Stand," will appeal if you can't wait until brunch for a Sunday helping of Kenny G-inspired muzak.

But if you want to bust it up with something more "now," something with more street cred, try this mp3 clip of the Unity Award-winning rap/hip hop song of the year, "MC God" from Love Never Fails, by Jesse Manibusan and Ken Canedo.

* Chris at Maine Catholic blogs on the imprimatur the Marty Haugen style of hymn has been given by the US bishops.

The OCP monopoly on liturgical music doesn't appear ready to be broken any time soon, given the favored relationship the banal hymnodist trust enjoys with the bishops.

Portland Archbishop Vlazny is both a member of the USCCB subcommittee on liturgical music and chairman of the board of Oregon Catholic Press. Meantime, OCP produced the official World Youth Day theme and CD and and partnered with the USCCB Evangelization Secretariat on Disciples in Prayer, a musical companion guide to lectionary readings that has a foreword by Cardinal Mahony

* A central figure in the Gnome School of missalette clipart describes how he got into church art:

Soon Erspamer was showing in galleries around the country, but something was missing. He spent six months working on a one-person show and decided to slip in some subdued religious imagery. It turned out wonderfully well, but the gallery owner rejected every piece, saying no one would buy it. Furious, Erspamer threw the huge urns and plates in the Dumpster and decided to start doing what he wanted to do.

He got a job designing a new church in Texas: the layout, the stained-glass windows, the frescoes. Job after job followed, all through word of mouth. He studied liturgical design at the Catholic Theological Union and began educating parishes about the rich symbolism lost with Vatican II. "We started replacing statues with potted plants, and like any revolution, the cleansing went a little too far. There was a break in the ability to decipher symbolic language, and now there's a whole generation that has no idea what anything means. They don't look at art as a springboard for meditation, they look at it as pretty wallpaper. I keep telling parishes, 'This art is supposed to speak to your soul. Every time you see this, it should invite you to come back and pray and discover.' "

The things one finds doing a search on Br. Erspamer: Who knew there was a blog mad for his art?

Or that he designed a campus chapel at Emory named for former Atlanta Archbishop Paul Hallinan, who as chairman of the US bishops' liturgical commission in 1967 hailed the advent of the New Liturgical Man?

Archbishop Hallinan said reformed liturgy also must recognize the fact of anthropology. According to Dr. Margaret Mead, the Balinese people are delighted with the new Catholic reforms in worship.

With a language that sounds like a bell, an imagination enough to ‘produce a miracle play at a moment’s notice,’…the people of Bali are ready to take the Christian tradition, and give its ritual a new and delightful form, rich in their own symbols. What they could do with our own funeral rite, with equal parts of Latin and medieval gloom, staggers the imagination of every card-carrying reforming liturgist, he said.

Margaret Mead and the Balinese meet '60s liturgical reform: If only modern liturgy were as inspired as the Small House of Uncle Thomas.


Tuesday, November 11, 2003  
'Saintly priest of Passchendaele'

Fr Willie Doyle, SJ

The headline above is taken from a Guardian piece on Chaplain William Doyle, SJ, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, killed at Ypres in 1917 after having run "all day hither and thither over the battlefield like an angel of mercy."

Fr. Doyle is paid worthy tribute today at the Inn at the End of the World, and also is remembered here and here.

It's said Fr Doyle would have won the Victoria Cross had not the British High Command been loath to so decorate an Irish Jesuit. His cause for sainthood was promoted in the years following the Great War, and he remained much venerated in Ireland: Liam Clancy of the Clancy Bros writes of going through boyhood called Willie after the hero chaplain. A pamphlet by Fr Doyle on discerning a vocation still circulates on the Web.

An excerpt from his battlefield diary conveys a powerful image of faith amidst the horrors of war:

By cutting a piece out of the side of the trench, I was just able to stand in front of my tiny altar, a biscuit tin supported by two German bayonets. God's angels, no doubt, were hovering overhead, but so were the shells, hundreds of them, and I was a little afraid that when the earth shook with the crash of the guns, the chalice might be overturned. Round about me on every side was the biggest congregation I ever had: behind the altar, on either side, and in front, row after row, sometimes crowding one upon the other, but all quiet and silent, as if they were straining their ears to catch every syllable of that tremendous act of Sacrifice - but every man was dead! Some had lain there for a week and were foul and horrible to look at, with faces black and green. Others had only just fallen, and seemed rather sleeping than dead, but there they lay, for none had time to bury them, brave fellows, every one, friend and foe alike, while I held in my unworthy hands the God of Battles, their Creator and their Judge, and prayed to Him to give rest to their souls. Surely that Mass for the Dead, in the midst of, and surrounded by the dead, was an experience not easily to be forgotten. Fr Doyle's diary: 11 October 1916 at the Somme.

If ever you're feeling besieged, it couldn't hurt to ask Fr Doyle to help. Maybe he will. Today we remember his story, but it would be a fine thing to reignite his cause.

Etc… Listen to "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," by Jack Judge and Harry Williams, and "Indianola," by James Reese Europe's Hell Fighters, via the Big Bands Database * The Parlor Songs site recalls the music of World War One * Image: Ypres, Christmas, 1917, by Gilbert Holiday * More images of holidays in the trenches * The Great War Society features as its Veteran of the Month "Harvard Eddie" Grant, most prominent big-league ballplayer killed in action in the First World War * The Fighting 69th in World War One * A poster and a trailer from the 1940 Warner Bros movie on the celebrated New York Irish regiment


"I caught him, with an unseen hook and an invisible line which is long enough to let him wander to the ends of the world, and still to bring him back with a twitch upon the thread." This line from Father Brown is brought to mind by Fr Jas Tucker's surpassingly eloquent essay on belonging to the Church.


Todd Flowerday, advocatus diaboli and Amerks fan, takes his liberal voice of reason from the comments boxes to a blog of his own.


National Palestinian Radio: Central Ohio's NPR station declares at its site: As you know, every three months NPR conducts a review of its Middle East coverage in order to make sure that our coverage of this complex area lives up to the highest standards of our journalism. Whatever the merits of criticism of individual pieces and our continuing desire to improve our coverage of this and other areas, NPR's coverage, taken as a whole, carefully brings in competing voices, ideas, and perspectives, and through this coverage, offers listeners the tools to make choices within our democracy.

Against this backdrop comes an account from a pro-Palestinian rally at Ohio State of an attendee who won't denounce suicide bombings – and is alleged to be a reporter from NPR.


Etc…From a history of homosexuality in the 19th century, a quote by Voltaire on the merits of trying anything only once: "Once a philosopher, twice a sodomite" * Now Women's Studies scholars will have to take Pamela Anderson seriously * A conservative Anglican bishop from Florida sees in the ECUSA crisis shades of Robert the Bruce * As a get-rich-quick lawsuit ploy, this certainly beats wearing around an uncomfortable whiplash collar, and slipping-and-falling doesn't come with oyster crackers * Somehow I think cell-phone lovers who want to be connected to the world all the time never thought they'd be this connected to the world all the time * Boston.com sports blogger Eric Wilbur says the new San Diego Padres logo evokes a brand of soap. What demographic are the team owners targeting? Fans of the old USFL Boston Breakers? Bring back the Swingin' Friar!


Friday, November 07, 2003  

Middlebury plays at Tufts tomorrow in the last game of the season at Medford, which means my last chance to run the particular photo above. Watch the small-college clash of creative writers and Jumbos here.



As Armistice Day approaches, remembrances of James Reese Europe and his 369th Infantry Hellfighters Band, who introduced ragtime to the Continent: "All of No Man's Land is Ours" * "My Choc'late Soldier Sammy Boy" * "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm?" * A bio at Jass.com * The memorial at Arlington National Cemetery * Vintage propaganda


Etc…Fr. Sibley is described delightfully by a critic as not salt and light but salt in the wound, which is why we enjoy him so and will follow him to his new St. Blog's address * The American Spectator is officially back * In defense of the Hoopers of the world: We still look back to an England that either never was or a purported Arcadia in which, really, my ancestors were stuck on the fuzzy end of the lollipop. It's a vision sustained by the popularity for standing behind the velvet ropes of old aristos' pads, for revelling in the televised pomp of Regency bosoms and well-filled britches and forbearing from being harsh on Waugh's class politics... * You've no doubt already read them, but recent outstanding posts by Dale Price and Barbara Nicolosi put their talented authors alongside Pudge in the Fisk Hall of Fame * Jim Kalb reports on his recent New York Latin Massathon


Thursday, November 06, 2003  

Etc… "Turkey in the Straw w/ Variations," by John Stone, WPA Folk Music * Lamar Alexander having retired the plaid flannel Pendleton look that should have been Howard Dean's birthright, the Maple-Flavored McGovern took to the stage at the Rock the Vote debate in Boston the other night in RFK get-down-to-work rolled shirtsleeves * Here's Dean going mano a mano with Wesley Clark's Man in Black. Has the general been channeling fashion tips from the ghost of Oswald Mosley? * On that note, an item on the late Mrs. Mosley * For all the visitors who came here recently via various search engines in quest of the Founding Father who favored the Wild Turkey to the Bald Eagle: Franklin's your man. Was there some sort of contest I missed? * Indispensable for the classically-minded typesetter: the Lorem Ipsum Generator * Search for the Life Magazine cover the week you were born * Solar storms, fires raging in California, the Pope's health failing, and the European Union enlarging by 10: Jack and Rexella Van Impe must be having a field day



The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life--the sick, the needy, and the handicapped. Hubert Humphrey

How would most of today's Democrats fare by this standard? What does partial-birth abortion mean to those in the dawn of life, or the Terri Schiavo precedent to those in the shadows?

The radicals who excoriated him in '68 and remain known today as soixante-huitards have taken over Hubert Humphrey's party, lock, stock and barrel, as the Labourites supplanted the old Liberals in Britain. The name may be the same, but the current Democratic Party has more in common with the Socialist International than with the liberal internationalist party of Truman or JFK.

And with regard to the quote above: It is breathtaking to listen to "progressives" of the Jacobin Left speaking on the Schiavo case or on partial-birth abortion to whom Humanity counts for all, but humanity, for little; to whom Rights are paramount, but not persons; and who would readily dismantle the social institutions of generations in the name of the Individual, but who seem to give so little damn about individuals.

A professor who holds a university chair in political science named for one of the last of the old-time big-city Democrats spoke at Northwestern recently as part of a lecture series designed to spark student activism:

Using graphs she showed that children of educated parents tend to participate in politics twice as often as those of less educated parents. Schlozman said people avoid politics for three reasons, all rooted in education: "because they can't, because they won't or because no one asked them to." In addition, she said, the U.S. political structure might be prone to inequality because of relatively weaker unions and political parties. "In the U.S., we don't have any working class or peasant parties," she said.

America did have a workingman's party before the "educated" pushed a presidential primary system that has come to be dominated by extremists and special-interest groups – including, on the Democratic side, a plethora of over-educated college professors who purport to speak for the "peasants" but whose exposure to the lower classes is limited to nannies, custodians, and the picturesque villagers of Spring Break immersion junkets to Guatemala.

Zell Miller of Georgia, conservative Democrat and baseball fan, pictured appropriately enough on his website with a pair of Yellow Dogs, is this page's new hero. A compilation on the Georgia Senator has been posted by E. L. Core. Midwest Conservative Journal's Christopher Johnson astutely comments: If Zell Miller was the Democratic candidate for president in 2004, the Democrats could start planning the inauguration right now.

Missourian Johnson also takes his stand on the Southland:

When most people think of the American South, they think of ignorant, inbred bigots who drive pick-ups, listen to country music, kill blacks for sport and vote for George W. Bush. But the genius of the South is completely unappreciated.

The South produced the Revolutionary War's greatest general, Daniel Morgan. The greatest conservative mind America or just about anybody else has ever produced, John C. Calhoun, was from South Carolina. And every truly American music has its roots in the South, from jazz to blues to country to rock and roll.

I don't remember the exact quote but someone once said something to the effect that the South produces Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty while the North produces people who write about Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty.

Robert Frost commented along similar lines when he urged John F. Kennedy to be more Irish than Harvard.

The Confederate flag again is at the center of controversy. I liked the tack taken a few years back by some black entrepreneurs in South Carolina who began marketing clothing with the Confederate flag in Black Liberation colors. The idea was noted at Reason magazine in a brief article headlined "Civil Wardrobe":

The Confederate flag has many defenders and detractors, but few would merely like it to…evolve. But why not? In different contexts, the Southern Cross might represent racism, regional pride, or an enthusiasm for Lynyrd Skynyrd; there's no sense in branding everyone who waves it a closet Ku Kluxer. Meanwhile, the flag's partisans have made an almost identical mistake, claiming their Confederate relics bond them to a timeless tradition rather than a highly contingent, constantly changing bundle of meanings.

Best, then, to shake off those interpretive shackles and let these symbols evolve more freely. The NuSouth logo may be factitious, gimmicky, even crass, but it hints at more truths about Dixie than any bromides about the Old South or platitudes about the New. Fly it proudly.


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