Monthly Archives: October 2011

Horror Movie in Real Life

So you’re some idealistic young woman with plenty of student loans to repay, and you go to do something idealistic with your friends: camping out in New York City. And then you find out that some of your friends are getting raped, but that the other people are insisting that nobody report it to the cops or even find out who did it and commit some kind of mob justice. There are a few suggestions that rapists and men attempting sexual assault be counseled.

So then, the organizers turn up the heat on the authorities. You’re marching around in the dark, yelling at the police, and suddenly you realize that you don’t know who is even standing next to you. There’s a lot of talk of pushing the old, the disabled, and the women up front, to bear the brunt of the police, while people behind you throw things not far over your head. Some of the rocks and cans and smokebombs fall down among your part of the crowd instead of the police. People behind you put their hands on you, and sometimes somebody gropes you and you have to twist violently away. And then, off in the crowd, you catch a glimpse of a face that somebody thought might be the rapist….

And then, after nights and nights of this terror and confusion among people who are supposed to be your comrades (and after somebody steals your good sleeping bag and pad that you brought from home), you hear that there’s going to be a freak snowstorm. Everybody has to move in together with even more strangers than usual.

And then, in the middle of the howling storm and wind and snow, when every rightminded person knows that everyone has to take care of each other in order to survive instead of freezing to death, you find the rapist doing his best to rape you….

In a sudden desperate combat, our comrades come to your aid. Everyone fights together to beat the heck out of him. You sigh with relief, sure that the rapist will finally be handed over to the law.

And then, your comrades turn on you, and demand that nobody reports the incident to the police. The rapist is to be allowed to go his way, looking for easier prey, and free to return and take his revenge on you at any time.

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The Friar (Kids’ Show on EWTN)

I’m pretty sure they’ve run this show on EWTN before, but I’ve never actually watched it.

As with a lot of Catholic kids’ shows on EWTN, it’s apparently a redubbed Spanish or Italian TV show. The format is that “Friar John” is an adult host interacting with a puppet child, frog, and mouse to explain Bible stories. First they set up a frame story. Then the Bible story itself is presented as a puppet story with independent characters and sets. Then the friar discusses the Bible study with the kid and animal puppets, which leads into more frame story. Then there’s a “music box” with a picture recapping the Bible story, followed by a song recapping the Bible story with a cartoon video. Then there’s more frame story, following the theme of the Bible story. (In the episode I saw, this included Marian prayer. Prayer and action were shown to interact.) Then there’s a saint story, presented with painted slideshow pictures, which also relates to the Bible story. Then the framing story is resolved happily. Finally, they recap the story puppets and song with new verses, with the friar and the puppets singing along. (Recaps are good for kids’ memory.) In the episode I saw, the story puppets even show up in the “real world” of the framing story, singing through the window of the friar’s house.

The episode I saw was about the Good Shepherd, and was apparently the pilot episode. It was strikingly done. First off, most retellings don’t talk about the sheep’s motivations for wandering off! Second, most don’t show a sheepfold keeping the other 99 sheep safe. (Or one of the safe sheep suggesting that the Shepherd not go after such a bad sheep as the straying one.) Third, most don’t assume that the wolf was engaged in a deeplaid plot to catch and eat the sheep through both deception and undermining the sheep’s faith in the shepherd. Fourth, most retellings don’t end with a life or death puppet struggle between the Good Shepherd and the bad wolf! (“Take that! And that!”) But all this goes along with various sheep/shepherd stories and verses in the NT, and was also full of charming details. The song video did more of the same. They even included and explained a statue of Mary as a shepherdess, helping find lost sheep (very popular in Spain).


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A Serious Post about Waiting to Have Kids

The Other McCain points out an obvious, but increasingly forgotten, fact: if a woman doesn’t decide fairly early that she’s ready for pregnancy and kids, she’s fairly likely to be out of luck. Men can drag their feet a bit, though not forever; but women can’t.

I didn’t ever want to live in anything other than blessed singleness and chastity. But sheesh, even I felt the biological clock ticking. At several points in my life, I could hardly avoid the thought that I was probably never going to have kids.

But then, I never messed up my hormones with birth control in an attempt to ignore nature, much less put my metaphorical fingers in my ears while chanting La La La, in some bizarre attempt to drown out my body.

I feel sorry for people like this, though. They just believed what they were told, and believed that they were smart and wise.


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Man Enough to Wear a Pony Patch

Equestria Daily posted a picture of a genuine US Navy brony (that’s a male fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) wearing a very unofficial Rainbow Dash patch. (Scroll down through the news roundup post.)

In the comments, Navy Brony himself turns up. It turns out that he’s a rescue swimmer. Anybody willing to get out of a perfectly good helicopter, in order to jump into the ocean to save people, is apparently tough enough to be a fan of whatever he wants. Even a teenage girl pegasus. (Uniform issues are also explained.)

A much older unofficial pegasus patch was also linked in the comments….


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“Breuddwyd Mair” (Mary’s Dream)

Up until late Victorian times, it was common for the Welsh to recite the Our Father, the Creed, and the Hail Mary every day, a faint memory of their Catholic past. Up in the mountains, they also recited a sort of devotional poem called “Mary’s Dream,” which was found in all sorts of variants.

Here’s a sort of munged together verse translation of it:

Blest mother Mary, are you sleeping?

I am not, my dear Son, I’m dreaming.

Blest mother Mary, what is your dream?

They catch You and crown You with thorn, I’ve seen,
Nailed to the cross, white rod in hand.
Lied to by Satan, one blind man
Pierces your side, and Your dear blood streaming
Is wine to drink, cleansing water gleaming.

Blest mother Mary, true is the dreaming.


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Praise Report

Monday afternoon, I got some unexpected money in the mail.

Today, I was walking home and feeling sad when I suddenly saw a huge chunk of rainbow. It lasted on and off for a good ten minutes, lighting up one of our main roads and bringing joy to a lot of beholders.

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New Junk in the Mail

I got a message from the post office telling me that they had a certified letter for me. Naturally, I was very annoyed, because this meant I’d have to get to a certain physical post office somehow, while it was open, to sign paperwork. Fortunately, I was taking a day off anyway, so after a week and a half of worrying about what it might be, I finally got down to the post office.

Do you know what it was?

A single sheet of junk mail. They told me I had unclaimed money and wanted my personal info and a finder’s fee. They also didn’t have my name right, so obviously there was never any unclaimed money for me. They just wanted to mine my data.

For this, I wasted a bus ride, twenty minutes’ walk on a cold damp windy day, and then waiting for the bus afterward. If I hadn’t been able to do other errands afterward, I would have been even more angry than I was.

So I’m not sure that it’s technically a scam, but I hereby name and shame “Smart Venture Investing LLC” as a bunch of timewasting jerks with mush for brains.

Also, everyone else out there, please bear in mind that certified mail and any kind of signature delivery is only good for business addresses which are constantly occupied during delivery hours. For everyone else, it means losing the lunch hour at best, and losing work hours or whole days if the facility is more difficult to reach. So be reasonable. Don’t punish the recipient of your mail.

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