Monthly Archives: November 2014

Chefs I Like on TV

Julia Child. Thank you, Amazon Prime, for running old eps of The French Chef for free for a while. Very big on teaching the basics, not snobby, not afraid to enjoy food.

Ming and his mom and dad. Because they are from my hometown. A chef who understands that what you really want is a dish you can get done in time for dinner, and one that everybody in the family will eat.

Jacques Pepin. Because he’s also a family guy who cooks his mother’s recipes, tells you what the restaurant makes a lot of profit off, and has his granddaughter on the air getting scolded for breaking restaurant cleanliness rules on breaking eggs. (It was pretty funny, because he acknowledged that it was just fine to do it that way at home, but that she needs to do it the other way on TV as a good example, and because it was such a big batch of food.)

That guy from Argentina who does nothing but cook meat over fire, five zillion ways. (He was a guest on a show, and is now my camping hero forever.)


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Do the Rite Thing

This week, the Pope took an important step towards protecting the rights of various Eastern rite churches that are part of Catholicism.

In their traditional territories, many non-Latin Rite Catholic rites (churches with their own patriarchs, bishops, canon law, and Mass formats, but which acknowledge the Pope as being in charge) ordain either celibate laymen who will never marry, celibate monks who will never marry, or married men (who traditionally have certain special rules for their conduct and that of their wives). These days in Eastern rites, a previously married priest usually cannot ever become a bishop, although this was not true in early Christian times. (Dynasties of hereditary bishops have turned out to be able to happen, and they are Not a Good Thing.)

Because Protestants were constantly attacking Latin Rite Catholics for having celibate priests, a lot of Latin Rite bishops were uncomfortable with even having married priests of other Rites in the same territory as their flocks (and the Protestants), much less having seminaries of other Rites that would ordain married priests. There was also fear that young men who wanted to be priests but dropped out over girls would switch rites and go over to the other rite’s seminaries. (Although of course most Eastern rites are not at all interested in having some other rite’s sloppy seconds.) Ordinary Catholics and Protestants who heard about these “married priests” had a hard time getting it through their heads that it’s before seminary that Eastern men of these rites have to decide to marry or not.There were already a lot of ethnic conflicts in US parishes. Catechisms for kids were written under the assumption that Latin Rite Catholicism was the only Catholicism. Change would be difficult, and priests would have to do a lot of explanation and diplomacy.

It was a big ball of mess, and the Latin Rite US bishops often decided to handle the problem by cutting off the Easterners and whining to Rome a lot. One US bishop was so nasty that he drove all the local Eastern rite fellow Catholics into the arms of the Greek and Eastern Orthodox churches, and is called “the founding father” of the US version of one whole denomination.

In a less than satisfactory attempt to control the chaos, Rome set groundrules for places like the US, the UK, and Australia that basically said, “Fine, you whiners. In exchange for not being able to keep messing up the poor Easterners, we’ll tell the Easterners not to send married priests over for their people. Whiners.” This was not exactly encouraging to the Easterners, though, and a bunch more became Orthodox. Oooooops.

Nowadays, people are better catechised, and it never really was a good idea to penalize the innocent for being normal and keeping their lawful traditions. So this week the Pope has removed the regs set in place “because of the hardness of their hearts.” Good. It’s been time for a long time.

Next, let’s stop penalizing people in the Latin Rite for following our own legit traditions, and we’ll be getting someplace!

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Space Battleship Yamato Themesong! Now with Violin Virtuoso!

If you ever wanted to hear THE anime themesong, except with more Stradivarius… now is your time!

Clips of Hakase Taro playing for the new Yamato soundtrack album.

Shivers… so lovely. The other clips are well worth listening to, for more virtuosi doing their thing.

Btw, the iconic male “choral” version of the theme played for the American dub, Star Blazers?

Yeah, that was actually a totally USA only idea. I don’t know what the producers were thinking – maybe they were copying the likes of Gigantor – but it really was pretty darned cool. (It sounded a lot more like a chorus on our TV than it does in the remastered version, where you can clearly hear that it’s just one guy.)

OTOH, the female crooning on the soundtrack is actually original Japanese stuff. (Handy that it was wordless crooning.) A wonderful example of how to sing high without pushing.

However, there are Japanese lyrics to the themesong. It’s very popular at karaoke places, I understand. Here’s Isao Sasaki, the  singer; the lyrics are subtitled in English. You’ll notice that the overall idea of both the US and Japanese songs are pretty similar, but the Japanese one was trying harder not to be “militaristic.” (For obvious 1970’s reasons – there were some crazy Japanese militarists around, and the show is basically redoing WWII as if this time the Japanese were helping the rest of the world and fighting the bad guys.)

Actual history of the Yamato, with footage of her on the ocean floor. Absolutely no secret refit into a spaceship, we swear. Basically points out the giant waste of the stupid kamikaze mission for the ship, and the horrible loss of life. Interviews with survivors.

Part of the mystique is connected with the name; Yamato was the name of the most ancient kingdom known in Japan, and it’s a poetic way of naming today’s country.

Every other anime TV show is okay… but my true ur-fandom will always be Yamato. Before I came to Star Trek, before Sherlock Holmes, before I came to Madeleine L’Engle even… Yamato. That’s it. Sorry, Gundam fans, but that’s just how it is.

Our Star Blazers.

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Erik Gnupsson, Bishop of Greenland and Vinland

Erik Gnupsson was the first bishop of a North American diocese. He was named bishop of Garda, aka Gardar, a see with jurisdiction over Greenland and Vinland, in 1121, under Pope Paschal II. He was consecrated by Archbishop Adzar. The diocese went out of business when the Greenland colony did, but it is currently a titular diocese being used by Bishop Clark.

Man, I love the Internet.

Ignore the bit in the article where they think Vinland is Newport, Rhode Island. Although that does explain some Lovecraft stuff.

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St. Beefhand???

St. Mainboeuf (or Mainbeuf, or Maimbod) is better known in non-French sources as St. Magnobodus, bishop of Angers, France from 610-660. He was chosen bishop by acclaim (ie, by voice vote of the people of the city).

He built a church of St. Saturninus, and established houses for the care of foundlings. He wrote the Vita S. Licinii (Life of St. Licinius/Lezin) in honor of the bishop who was his predecessor, and the Vita S. Maurilii (Life of St. Maurilius), a fifth century bishop of Angers who was a disciple of St. Martin of Tours.

His feast is October 16.

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Takayama Ukon to Be Beatified Next Year?

The story is in the English language version of Asahi Shimbun, and was praised by Get Religion.

Currently, he’s Venerable Justo (or Justus) Takayama Ukon.

His Christian name was Justo, and Western Christian sources called him “Dom” (Portuguese for lord). Takayama is his family name, and Ukon was his office name that he went by as an adult. Other names are Hikogoro (his baby name, which Japanese back then usually changed upon becoming boys or adults) and Shigetomo (his young man name).

He was a great general, but also waged peace. He loved Japan but died in exile. His life story is full of twists and turns, but he seems to have lived it all with honor and good sense.

The man has his own “Dom Justo Takayama Ukon” TV Tropes page. It’s a good explanation page. Just don’t follow the links if you want to do anything else today.

He has appeared as a character in various anime and manga, including Hyouge Mono (which is about a fellow disciple in the Way of Tea) and The Ambition of Oda Nobunaga (an alternate universe history/time travel anime).

I previously covered Blessed Diego Kagayama Hayato, the faithful samurai retainer who gave pro tips to his executioner; the blind biwa player, Jesuit brother Lourenço Ryousai; and the possible ninja-clan martyrs, Blessed Joannis Hattori Jingoro and Blessed Petrus Hattori.

Christian Samurai inventor and lord of Fukuwara, Juan Goto (aka Iwabuchi Matagoro), whose memory is celebrated with local festivals. His fate is unknown.

More stories of the Japanese martyrs. “They were killed and they conquered.”


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Pancho Barnes, Thou Shouldst Be Living at This Hour…

… because when they tweeted about this kind of crap, she’d put the Happy Bottom Riding Club in their face.

Meanwhile, hobby T-shirt maker and professional artist Elly Prizeman is hanging tough and continuing to support her shirt and her choice of fabric.


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