Monthly Archives: November 2010

Nailbiting Time

It’s Advent, perhaps the most spiritual and most nervewracking season of the year!

Anticipation of celebration, and anticipation of death and the end of the world, are linked together. You are commanded to declutter your worldview and straighten up your ways. At the exact same time, you’re doing that physically, both in your house and at work.

But beyond the busy labor and the panicked realization that you’ve forgotten to do some important stuff, there is peace and a new beginning.

Via the Anchoress, Msgr. Charles Pope gives a nice thorough scriptural reflection on Advent readiness.


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North: A Little Anime about Where Not to Emigrate

Apparently, North Korea held a repatriation program for Japanese of Korean heritage back in the early 1960’s. Since it really stunk to live as a Korean in Japan and never be able to become a citizen without changing your name to something Japanese, and since there were a lot of gullible Communist-sympathizing Japanese, a lot of people took the North Korean offer and moved to Pyongyang.

is an anime about just how bad a decision this was. (The trailer’s in English.) Being sneered at is annoying, but it beats a concentration camp.

Via AintItCool.

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Annoying Westboro Tachmonites at Funeral in Fairborn

Yeppers, America’s least favorite non-Christian religious group, the Westboro “Baptist” Church, is coming to Fairborn, Ohio to spread the Tachmonite word of hatred and conspicuous immaturity. Since Fairborn includes one of the oldest and most important Air Force bases in the United States, this seems like a Bad Plan. But then, their previous appearance at the funeral of a murdered Vandalia Marine woman wasn’t a good plan, either. The Patriot Riders and other folks will probably just crowd them out, and that will be that.

Information on Jesse Snow Jr.’s funeral at Mary Help of Christians, and the previous day’s viewing at Fairborn High School, is included in the article linked.

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Sorry I’ve Been in Such a Rotten Mood This Week

I’ll try to adjust my attitude over Thanksgiving weekend. Luckily, I don’t have to fly. :)

Of course, if the North Korea situation blows up, turkey may not be the only thing that’s cooked…. But the TSA says radiation’s good for us, so extra-crispy us is nothing to worry about.

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Let Me Fix That for You

(Hide your eyes, kiddies. As with the TSA and condom controversy posts, there’s an adult word coming up.)

The New Liturgical Movement had some nice videos up today of the Dancing Procession of Echternach, Luxembourg — which is in honor of St. Willibrord. (A contemporary of St. Boniface, also from England.) So I looked up the saint’s Wikipedia article.

Somebody had been trying to write about St. Willibrord defiling a male pagan god’s sacred island, and had instead written, “He deflowered the god.”

“Anatomical impossibility” isn’t a justification for edits that you get to write very often. :)

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I Don’t Get Why Some Don’t Get This

One of the more shameful aspects of the whole TSA goatgrope is the active opposition to any sense of modesty or privacy. I’m sure that there are some people who really aren’t bothered by being treated like a plastic Kewpie doll that doesn’t have anything to show. But even if one lacks a visceral need for control of one’s body and how it is shown to others (and is it healthy if you don’t?), it’s still a fairly basic value in terms of human dignity in society.

So it’s disturbing to see bureaucrats not understand this, or pundits that support the TSA. It’s even more disturbing to see people who oppose the TSA not understand this. The querulous demand comes up again and again: “What’s so different about this? Why does this upset people?” How on earth can you even begin to respond, if ‘naked pictures’ and ‘groping and squeezing genitalia’ doesn’t say it all?

Commenters end up having to relate the most personal feelings of vulnerability and fear, things which one should never have to call to mind again. They’re things that shouldn’t even have to be said, because one assumes fellow feeling across a whole culture and is startled to find it not there. But even after people have poured out their souls (and in some cases, their tales of sexual assault), there’s still this total incomprehension. You see men limply conclude that women just have some kind of modesty thing (ignoring their manly male commenters who object on terms of their own modesty). Women pundits of this kind don’t seem to want to think about it at all, or make some kind of lame comment about body shame. I wouldn’t worry if this were a standard distribution, but a lot of people claim not to understand. (Though as people started to realize the full extent of the “patdowns”, some folks suddenly stopped talking about how they’d be perfectly fine with it.)

The interesting thing is that nudists, and neopagans used to going ‘skyclad’, seem to object as strongly to the TSA’s assault on common decency as the average person does. I saw one nudist comment that he would have no problem walking naked through an airport if it were his idea, but that being naked at government command was different and shameful. There’s a crucial difference between being allowing other people certain things, and being forced to allow something.

If the government wants to transgress the normal laws of social behavior in our society, it’s not the people who object who have a duty to defend their position.

(And if that Pistole guy doesn’t wipe the smirk off his face sometime soon, somebody will have to do it for him. Who the heck gave this guy management of anything? He’s a jerk who obviously gets a charge out of all this, as you can tell from the way his excrement-eating grin has slowly grown from a tiny deniable sneer to outright glee. I’d say he disrespects women, except that he treats the male interviewers with even more outright contempt.)


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Reading Comprehension Test II

The deliberate and continuous misreading of the Pope’s little pastoral talk about curing souls, as okaying condom use, when the man comes out and says they’re not — well, it’s not the first time.

Humanae Vitae was billed by wishful thinkers in the media and the Church as the encyclical that would allow birth control, and maybe even abortion.

(Pope Paul VI reiterated and explained basic Church teaching about various life issues, and got a firestorm of criticism from the wishful thinkers — for not writing what they’d promised themselves he’d write.)

Not eating meat on Fridays throughout the year was never dropped.

(The US bishops okayed doing “another penitential practice” instead, if you felt like it. American Catholics heard in the news that they didn’t have to do any penitential practices on Friday, and most still believe it.)

The “new Mass” was always supposed to be said ad orientem, toward the east, as a careful read of the rubrics reveals.

(American Catholics heard in the news that all the altars had to be turned around or destroyed or replaced with new altars, thanks to wishful thinking.)

And so on. Pretty much everything, that in actual Church documents was described as an option, has become an obligation somewhere. Pretty much everything that was described as the normal thing has been practically outlawed in the US. And why? All smoke and mirrors, with no theological or legal backing, and only kept in place by keeping both clergy and people ignorant of the primary sources.

And it still goes on, though it’s harder to make it work these days. Not impossible, though, as this story has shown. All sorts of things are supposed to be allowed any day now, and people repeatedly fall for it because it’s in print. Then people get mad at the pope for not making all their (creepy and un-Christian) magical unicorn wishes come true. (Or they oppose what’s supposedly being done, and make fools out of themselves by noisily blaming the popes for things they never actually said or did.) The media makes the message, and who cares whether it’s true.

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