16 Responses to Hollywood Glitterati: We Hate You! We Really Hate You!

  • I have no idea who these Hollywood people are. Never heard of any of them.

  • They are conservative journalists doing a parody of the Hollywood political videos where the Glitterati tell us lesser breeds how to vote and think.

  • OOOPS

    “You would need a heart of stone not to laugh like a hyena.” Instapundit

    “Hear the lamentations of their women.” Conan the Barbarian

  • I wish that the Hollywood actors and actresses who made the previous political videos against voting for Donald Trump would be compelled to watch this one. These people really need to be put in their rightful places: “You’re actors and actresses. You pretend on TV and in film to be engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, police officers, soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, etc. But you’re NOT. You know no science. No engineering. No medicine. No law. No history. No religion. Everything you do and everything you are is fake by virtue of your occupation where you pretend to be that which are NOT. So stop telling those of us who truly are engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, police officers, soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, etc. how to think and act true to our vocations. We are the goal, the end that you emulate, that you pretend to be in your acting. Never tell us to emulate you.”

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    Damn straight!
    Great point.

  • We must remember that actors are hypocrites by definition.

  • I am convinced (eight plus decades of experience with a tad of psych training) that these people, as well as the petulant Obama and spouse, really hate themselves, badly, and must spend their entire life gaming celebrity power to take down everyone else.

  • In response to what Mike Dowd says : I laughed so hard I nearly spilled coffee all over myself ! You’re right.
    Who cares if Bon Jovi hates us ? Err, whoever, or whatever that is. Is it a real person ?
    Timothy R.

  • Klavan shared a clip–probably the same video, too much noise in here for me to listen/watch– and did a very funny riff on the “repeating, repeating, REPEATING” thing.

  • They are performing propaganda in a manner that would make Joseph Goebbels proud. Here are a few recommendations of Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda:
    A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth
    If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth.
    There is no need for propaganda to be rich in intellectual content.
    …the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.
    The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.

  • I refer to the Hollywood propagandists, not the parody.

  • Mr. Walsh, did you copy that from the DNC manifesto ?
    Timothy R.

  • If you liked that one here is another. This time from Stalin and he seems to define the Democratic Party policy for welfare: The way to handle people is to treat them like chickens. Take away everything they have by plucking all their feathers and then throw them a few bread crumbs. They will then follow you forever. My source is: http://www.azquotes.com/
    Very Interesting!

  • In the 80’s movie, 16 Candles, Anthony Hall tells a guy, “I’m the king of the dipshi—-“. Kind of made me think of Chuck Schumer.
    Timothy R.

  • Chuck Schumer… Head Clown.
    Donald Trump

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An E-Mail Going Around Catholic Theological Circles

Friday, October 30, AD 2015

2015-10-28-fitz-c

 

Colleagues, it is time for us to take a stand.  It has come to our attention that some of our members have come under attack from a group of right-wing Catholics who have no academic credentials:  not a theological degree among them.  As far as we can tell, none of them are even college graduates.  They are all white (of course) and all male (of course).  Some of them have produced texts that have been used against our fellow Catholic academics, often resulting in cries of heresy being raised by people who share their narrow, blinkered view of Catholicism.  This is intolerable in the twenty-first century for brilliant scholars to be held to account by ignorant yahoos.  We therefore ask you to append your names to the attached open letter and e-mail it back to us for future publication.  United, we can prevail over this assault of anti-intellectualism masquerading as Catholicism!

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37 Responses to An E-Mail Going Around Catholic Theological Circles

  • Time for the Schism?

    These self-inflated, egotistical buffoons would not know mercy if they experienced it!

  • 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

    Who does this Paul character think he is anyway?

    As for the letter, it is to laugh. Maureen Dowd writes about the Church all the time, where’s the letter citing her lack of a degree in theology?

  • It is amazing that this James Martin can condemn his critics for not having a theological degree when most the the disciples of Christ were themselves unlearned men.

  • “Colleagues, . . . . United, we can prevail over this assault of anti-intellectualism masquerading as Catholicism!”
    .
    .

    I can’t tell if that’s satire or not.

  • Credentials! I don’t need no stinking credentials.
    .
    I can discern errata in post-modern heterodox opinions and rank speculations, which lack Scriptural or Magisterial bases.

  • Sounds like the result of bad potty training ,

  • Heresy is a serious charge. And if the shoe fits, you need to wear it.

    “Hater” on the other hand is an unserious charge. When Fr. Martin results to categories employed by Taylor Swift, he proves how lightly we should take his protests.

  • The opinions of theologians outside their own area of expertise, like those of scientists, are entitled to no particular respect.

    When they talk about the D, E, J and P sources in the Pentateuch, the priority of Mark, the authorship of the Pastorals or the Comma Johanneum, the speak as experts on topics where an non-expert’s opinion is worthless. But on political and ethical questions, their erudition gives them no special advantage.

    Indeed, it is remarkable how seldom they apply those talents that made them first-class palaeographers, textual critics or comparative philologists – assiduity and minute and painstaking accuracy – to questions that lie outside their own field.

  • “I agree with this letter[.] Heresy is a grave charge.”

    Unlike hate I suppose. Or suggesting Cardinal Burke is a schismatic, for that matter.

  • “When Fr. Martin results to categories employed by Taylor Swift, he proves how lightly we should take his protests.”

    Now I wish I had said that.

  • “Sounds like the result of bad potty training.”
    .
    Hank, when I read that comment of yours, I laughed so hard
    I frightened the dog. As for Fr. Martin, perhaps he could
    remind us where St Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church,
    got her theology degree?

  • Michael P-S I love you like a rock but I’m sticking to my autodidact opinion on JDEP junque hypothesis. 🙂

  • Saint Tarcisius pray for us.

    “Anxious to view the Christian mysteries, the Mob turned upon young Tarcisius with fury,He went down under the blows and it is believed that a fellow Christian drove off the Mob to rescue the young acolyte.”

    The boy died on his way back to the catacombs.

    Why is this relevant?

    Because a boy of twelve in the third century had more respect and love for God and neighbor than many so-called learned men of theology of today. This boy paid the price with his life. Learn from him Fr. M.

  • What kind of commie leftist is this guy, Martin.
    When one smears his opponent one should do it right.
    Just defining one’s opponent as a hateful person isn’t enough.
    There is the racist, misogynistic, homophobic smear or the
    truther or birther or conspiracy theorist smear or returning
    to the evil bigoted ‘50s smear, or the climate change deniers
    smear. And the ultimate smear used by every fanatical
    commie leftist, the Nazi and KKK smear. This Jacobin is
    arguing to replace the truth with intellectualism.

    Was watching Raymond Arroyo this evening with Cardinal
    Wuerl who explained the synod’s approach to divorce and
    remarried Catholics. Of course the teachings of the Church
    will not change, nor will the statements made by God on the
    indissolubility of marriage. However, the approach to Catholics
    in difficult situations by the Church will be change. They
    must be brought to God’s love and mercy where a solution
    to their difficulties can be achieved (no mention of repentance)
    God’s love is free and for all. Everyone has a right to God’s love
    and mercy. Or in other words everyone has a right to the sacraments
    no matter the difficulties they may find themselves in. So Wuerl
    is saying a Catholic living in sin can receive Communion, because
    his has a right to God’s love and mercy. Yet somehow this will not
    alter the teachings of the Church.

  • The story goes as such.

    So the bridge fell into the river bed.

    The local peasants reported this to the capital.

    The Engineers in said “what do a bunch of peasants know” and made no effort to fix it.

    The local governor sent a protest to the capitol, You idiots, “a bunch of peasants” may not know how to rebuild it; but hey are perfectly qualified to say it is in the river”.

    Some of the blogger is question may not know how to put the truth kn proper academic form – but they certainly know enough to recognize heresy when they see or hear it.

  • What ?! from the letter signed by catholics and academics ” … We therefore urge all Catholics to reject these men: Simon (who is called Peter), his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; and Simon the Zealot. There is also a Saul who goes under the alias of Paul. Too many Catholics read what these men have written, and, ignorant of the latest Catholic … ”
    .
    There’ s inclusiveness in the short piece for the above signers. ‘h’ is for humor, too.
    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2015/10/satire.html

  • Patricia.

    Good find!
    Thanks for the link. 🙂

  • “Heresy is a serious charge.”

    Yup, but it’s an even far more serious behavior.

  • Check out Ann Barnhardt on Fr. James Martin below. Pope Francis should defrock him immediately. Maybe someone will start a petition asking the Pope to take care of this.

    http://whatisupwiththesynod.com/index.php/2015/10/28/wherein-ann-barnhardt-justly-discriminates-against-fr-james-martin-essjay-who-is-a-raging-flaming-queen/

  • Arrogant, haughty, conceited, elitist….. aka Liberal.

  • Poor, Ann. She is so meek.

  • “Poor, Ann. She is so meek.”

    There does come a point when even Christ “loses it” and cleans our the temple area of vermin.

  • Karl.

    Meek Ann, the “call ’em like you see ’em,” Catholic. As for me, I like her. Her distaste for fraudulent speakers of TRUTH is not a hindrance to her spirit, rather a complementary asset in this, a cloud of witnesses we call the body of Christ.
    Mercy is lost enabling the disordered soul.
    Clear teaching and abstinence from sinful actions is Mercy.

  • “Check out Ann Barnhardt on Fr. James Martin below. Pope Francis should defrock him immediately. Maybe someone will start a petition asking the Pope to take care of this.”

    “http://whatisupwiththesynod.com/index.php/2015/10/28/wherein-ann-barnhardt-justly-discriminates-against-fr-james-martin-essjay-who-is-a-raging-flaming-queen/”

    Where has this woman been all my life?!? This is freaking awesome!

    It is best she not reveal where she lives–the LGBT Mafia would put a contract out on her.

  • That should read “Douthat.” Autocorrect strikes.

  • Thanks Phillip.
    I made a comment on Ross’s rebuttal:

    Michael Dowd Venicel

    Ross is right! It is common sense and not liberal academic mumbo-jumbo designed to obscure the truth. Of course, liberal academics unfortunately no longer can even recognize the truth. Pity.

  • “2 + 2 = 4.” Excuse me, but you cannot say that publicly unless you have at least an MA in Math. And not just an MA-you also have to be on the approved list of progressive mathematicians. Without doubt, whether or not you have a BA. MA, Or PhD in theology, you can know and understand heresy when you hear it and see it. Tell a believing Catholic sophomore at a truly Catholic university that “Jesus is not divine,” and they will know you are a heretic – even without completing a degree. Thomas Aquinas said that he who says fornication is not a sin is a heretic. These current “mercy bullies” who say Jesus got it wrong, St. Paul writing the inspired words of God got it wrong, and they – bless their hearts, flaunting degrees like a modern-day inquisition-have it right when they say “Go and sin on more” – these who call themselves “theologians” are heretics. Note: 1 Cor 6:9 includes “men who have sex with men”. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

    CATECHETICAL INSTRUCTIONS OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS
    “THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
    WHY ADULTERY AND FORNICATION MUST BE AVOIDED

    Thus, God forbids adultery both to men and women. Now, it must be known that, although some believe that adultery is a sin, yet they do not believe that simple fornication is a mortal sin. Against them stand the words of St. Paul: “For fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” And: “Do not err: neither fornicators, . . . nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind shall possess the kingdom of God.”[12] But one is not excluded from the kingdom of God except by mortal sin; therefore, fornication is a mortal sin.

    But one might say that there is no reason why fornication should be a mortal sin, since the body of the wife is not given, as in adultery. I say,however, if the body of the wife is not given, nevertheless, there is given the body of Christ which was given to the husband when he was sanctified in Baptism. If, then, one must not betray his wife, with much more reason must he not be unfaithful to Christ: “Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid!”[13] It is heretical to say that fornication is not a mortal sin.”

  • Guy McClung.

    Mercy bullies…spot on description!

    Hell is a fabrication of ancient writers… at least that’s what they must believe, these mercy bullies. If they only realized that the doctrine of hell is real, they might “straighten up and fly right.”

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  • An inside look at our theologians. Not pretty:

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/4333/two_years_among_the_liberal_theologians.aspx

    But the money quote to counter Fr. Martin is near the beginning:

    “All believing Catholics who seek to understand what it is they believe are Catholic theologians, which means that Ross Douthat is a Catholic theologian.”

  • “Nooooobody expects the Theological Inquisition!!!”

  • Philip-And one of those “ancient writers” they are correcting happens to be . . .drum roll, angels bow, devils cringe, . . .God Himself!

  • Am I wrong in thinking that the U. S. bishops are mistaken in their interpreting of the motto they are using for supporting “comprehensive immigration reform” – Mt 25; 35? “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.”

    See the following footnote in my Catholic bible, The New American Bible 1989-1990 Edition, from which the bishops’ quote comes from.

    “Mt. 25; 31-46 : The conclusion of the discourse, which is peculiar to Mt, portrays the final judgment that will accompany the parousia. Although often called a ‘parable,’ it is not really such, for the only parabolic elements are the depiction of the ‘Son of Man’ as ‘a shepherd’ and of ‘the righteous’ and the wicked as ‘sheep and goats’ respectively (32-33). The criterion of judgment will be the deeds of mercy that have been done for the ‘least of Jesus’ ‘brothers’ (40). A DIFFICULT AND IMPORTANT QUESTION IS THE IDENTIFICATION OF THESE ‘LEAST BROTHERS.’ ARE THEY ALL PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED HUNGER, THIRST, ETC. (35,36) OR A PARTICULAR GROUP OF SUCH SUFFERERS? (my emphasis) Scholars are divided in their response and arguments can be made for either side. BUT leaving aside the problem of what the traditional material that Mathew edited may have meant, IT SEEMS THAT A STRONGER CASE CAN BE MADE FOR THE VIEW THAT IN THE EVANGELIST’S SENSE THE SUFFERS ARE CHRISTIANS; PROBABLY CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES WHOSE SUFFERINGS WERE BROUGHT UPON THEM BY THEIR PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL. THE CRITERION OF JUDGMENT FOR ‘ALL THE NATIONS’ IS THEIR TREATMENT OF THOSE WHO HAVE BORNE TO THE WORLD THE MESSAGE OF JESUS, AND THIS MEANS ULTIMATELY THEIR ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF JESUS HIM SELF; cf10, 40, ‘WHOEVER RECEIVES YOU, RECEIVES ME.'” (my emphasis. Phrases set off by ‘ marks were words italicized in the footnote.

    “Illegal aliens,” their legal name in the law, are not Christian missionaries coming to spread the word of God. How in the world could the bishops be so wrong in using that bible verse on this issue? And why?

    I think one of several other biblical supports for the footnote interpretation above besides the one given (Mt. 10, 40) is Lk. Chapter 10 – “The Mission of the Seventy-two.” Lk 10; 1: “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. v4 Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. v5. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.” v6 If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. v7 Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you….” Jesus sent out 72 in pairs telling them to take no supplies with them, therefore depending on people in places Jesus sent them to, to show care for their coming to witness to them, care they give in response to God’s touching them.

  • I’m all in favor of feeding and clothing illegals until we deport them back from whence they came.

4 Responses to Saint Thomas More As the Most Interesting Man Not in the World

One Term More!

Wednesday, August 15, AD 2012

This is one of the greatest spoofs of the left that I have ever seen.

Wait a second, that’s not a spoof. These people are deadly serious, as their website would indicate. Although the video is not nearly as unintentionally hilarious as the open letter attached to the video.

Amazingly, they aren’t even up to the standards of the previous time this was tried four years ago (h/t: Blackadder).

Anyway, my deepest apologies for inflicting those videos upon you. Here’s a classic rock song to cleanse the palate. 

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23 Responses to One Term More!

  • “Raise the flag of FREEDOM”. If only Barack Obama would say the word: FREEDOM, we the people might hold Barack to his promise of FREEDOM.

  • All three videos were rather cruel….

  • Two thoughts:

    “‘Getting Gay With Kids’ is here!”

    and:

    You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at that.

  • Here’s a real palete cleanser.

  • The “Stand Your Ground -Trayvon” reference is bewildering. I assume the point is that the GOP is ultimately responsible for the actions of a wanna-be-cop who jumped out of his car looking for trouble and got more than he bargained for. I’m guessing that, by supporting a less restrictive reading of the Second Amendment, we created the conditions for Athe shooting and, therefore, are responsible for the outcome.

    That is as far into the video as I could stand so I can’t say if it gets better or worse.

  • I had to stop at “contraception’s now a sin.”

    Yeah, we just invented that one, just to stick it to women. We used to be fine with it until we decided, recently and arbitrarily, that we weren’t.

  • With supporters like these, who needs opponents?

  • When they’re not lying, they’re citing the wrong facts.

    Public schools! I love it when a plan comes together.

  • The “Stand Your Ground -Trayvon” reference is bewildering. I assume the point is that the GOP is ultimately responsible for the actions of a wanna-be-cop who jumped out of his car looking for trouble and got more than he bargained for.

    The man worked in an insurance office. He got out of his car to keep track of a local youth behaving peculiarly and to check an address. He was not demonstrably looking for trouble, just walking around his own neighborhood. Eyewitnesses and his injuries demonstrate he was attacked by said youth. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  • With respect, the facts suggest, as they often do, that there is plenty of blame to go around.

    From what I see, it looks like it was a good shoot – hence his defense shift from “hold your ground” to self defense. However, if he had followed the 911 dispatcher’s instructions, he would have stayed in the car and would never have been assaulted. My guess is that he asks himself dozens of times a day why he didn’t stay in the car.

    The drive to be a cop, for those who think of being cops, can be quite strong and can lead to dumb hero stunts. I think this was one of those that went awry.

    I understand your visceral reaction to my comments. I was responding to the misuse of a tragedy to score cheep political points and my flippedness about the tragedy was uncalled for. For that I am sorry.

  • I think this was one of those that went awry.

    You are not doing much informed thinking. He got out of his truck, went down a walkway, checked an address on the next block, walked around a bit, and was headed back to his truck. The recording of his entire conversation with the police dispatcher is available online. It is perfectly banal. Nothing heroic in either his acts or his conversation.

  • I went back and re-read the timelines and reviewed the articles. I do not agree and it is unfair to suggest that my views of the matter is unreasonable.

    There is insufficient information released to state anything with certainty.

    It is clear that the first 911 call includes specific instructions by the didpatcher to stay in the car and that he decided to strike out on his own and follow the boy. The girlfriend’s testimony suggests that Martin knew he was being followed immediately before the shooting.

    My analysis is as reasonable as yours.

    We’ll know more when we have all of the evidence. I’m willing to be proved wrong with evidence.

  • Well, the seas stopped rising, a trillion jobs were saved and the most transparent administration in history is in power, so why not four more years…?

    I think the parallels are enlightening considering that the June Rebellion that Les Mis was based upon was caused by by harvest failures, food shortages, and increases in the cost of living which created malcontent through all classes.

    Missed by these bright academic types in this “parody” is that the June rebellion was a rebellion against those in power, by the “Republicans…”

  • It is clear that the first 911 call includes specific instructions by the didpatcher to stay in the car and that he decided to strike out on his own and follow the boy

    No, that is not clear, and you have not listened to the recording properly. He was given no instruction to remain in his vehicle, and, in any case, the dispatcher had no authority to instruct him to do anything. He was advised while jogging along a particular pathway attempting to get Martin back in eyeshot that “we don’t need you to do that”, to which he replied “OK”. The call concluded with a discussion of how the police officer dispatched to the complex was to make contact with Zimmerman at the time he arrived. He never caught site of Martin again during the duration of the call.

    And you are forgetting the context. The geography of the complex was such that Martin had ample time to return home at an ordinary loping pace during the interval in which Zimmerman was conversing with the dispatcher. Martin had abruptly run out of sight a propos of nothing in particular and could have arrived at the back door of where he was staying in an interval measured in seconds. That he was wandering around the complex several minutes later suggests he had other objects in mind than returning home from the convenience store, but what these objects were has not been properly identified.

  • Well, I’m not sure how to respond.

    I have conceeded that your analysis may be proved right and have stated that I am willing to be persuaded by the evidence when it is released. What will satisfy you in this discussion?

    I maintain that my analysis is reasonable, given the facts available. Yours is too. The dispute between us, as I see it, is not about which analysis is right but about whether my analysis is unreasonable. I maintain that it is not, that there are enough facts to demonstrate my view of the affair is reasonable.

    You offer an analysis of the calls and seem to suggest that there is no other reasonable view. Were that true, the State would be violating the rules of ehics in prosecuting him. Now prosecutors ave one such foolish things on high profile cases in the past – the Duke rape case comes immediately to mind – but I see nothing here to suggest that the charges are groundless.

    If you are looking for an admission that you are right and that I am wrong, you will have to wit for the evidence to be released and then make our case. I promise that I will humbly admit my error if you call me on it then. Perhaps we can kick the can down the street until then?

  • Okay, this thread just took an even greater detour. Let’s try to keep things on track.

  • Were that true, the State would be violating the rules of ehics in prosecuting him.

    It has been remarked by Alan Dershowitz, Jerilyn Merritt, and others.

    Your analysis is not reasonable.

  • We shall see. Call me on it when we have evidence. In the meantime, God Bless.

  • “Okay, this thread just took an even greater detour.”

    Good thing that’s never happened before. 🙂

  • We shall see. Call me on it when we have evidence. In the meantime, God Bless.

    Just about all the salient evidence has been released to the public – recordings of the phone calls, witness statements, Zimmerman’s interrogation, Martin’s autopsy report, photographs and treatment records documenting Zimmerman’s injuries, the security camera footage at the convenience store Martin patronized, &c. Maps of the complex are also available online. There have been some redactions so the names of local residents who called the police and gave statements were not published.

  • And thus is the unity of we who oppose tyranny solidified and brought to bear.

    Or not.

  • I really hoped we could just let this rest until we knew more but, since you called me out:

    The most readable summary that I was able to find is here:

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/05/18/new-trayvon-martin-evidence-10-things-you-should-know/

    This is a sample of the kind of documented behavior that suggests to me that George Zimmerman behaved unreasonably in his conduct that night. (Note what I am not saying. I am NOT saying that he intended to shoot Trayvon Martin or that there was any other motive than self defense for his shooting Mr. Martin. I have said before that it seems like it was a good shoot.)

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-12/zimmerman-trayvon-martin-shooting/56166884/1

    It is merely my opinion that the most likely explanation for Mr. Zimmerman’s behavior that night was a latent desire to act like a cop. He certainly took his neighborhood watch duties quite seriously and, without any training or authority, followed Mr. Martin that night. It may be that Mr. Zimmerman is just a good guy out to help his community. If so, I’m sorry that it ended as it did. However, it is reasonable to question the propriety and the ethics of his actions that night. I offer this:

    http://thegrio.com/2012/03/21/zimmerman-not-a-member-of-recognized-neighborhood-watch-organization/

    as some evidence that neighborhood watches are not some willy-nilly, do as you please, kind of thing. George Zimmerman took this burden on himself and he got burned. Again, had he done as the 911 dispatcher advised – stayed in the car and waited for the police – he wouldn’t be facing a trial for killing Trayvon Martin and that messed-up youth would be alive.

    I don’t claim any expertise in these matters. I am not a prosecutor and have no coursework in crime scene investigation but the lead investigator, Chris Serino, spared no kind words for Mr. Zimmerman’s behavior.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/17/2804442/law-officers-set-to-release-evidence.html

    One last thing: I listened to the tapes and viewed the video. Nothing there does more than flesh out the matter. We see a youth buying stuff from a store, nothing more. We hear a neighborhood watchman being told that he ought to stop following a kid and refusing to do so. We then hear cries for help.

    There are no known witnesses of the moments leading up to the altercation. There is no evidence I can see that supports or refutes Mr. Zimmerman’s version of the story. His story is “reasonable.” I concede the point. However, I maintain that the prosecution’s case is substantial and am unable to share your confidence that this was an entirely one-sided affair in which George Zimmerman behaved like a good citizen should have and that Trayvon Martin was wholly responsible for what happened.

    Trayvon Martin may have caused George Zimmerman to shoot him but Zimmerman should have stayed in the car. This was an avoidable tragedy.

  • “HUSH!” YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! (please visualize rock horns)

    There, Paul; is that back enough on track?

One Response to The Martians are Coming! The Martians are Coming!

  • You’re touched, Donald, truly touched!

    😉

    PS, Can we send the liberal Demokrat Catholic politicians to those two sites on Mars? I am sure Pelosi, Biden and Cuomo would look just fine in the tin foil shield caps!

Waterboarding is for pansies.

Sunday, May 22, AD 2011

‘You asked me once,’ said O’Brien, ‘what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.’

The door opened again. A guard came in, carrying something made of wire, a box or basket of some kind. He set it down on the further table. Because of the position in which O’Brien was standing. Winston could not see what the thing was.

‘The worst thing in the world,’ said O’Brien, ‘varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths. There are cases where it is some quite trivial thing, not even fatal.’

He had moved a little to one side, so that Winston had a better view of the thing on the table. It was an oblong wire cage with a handle on top for carrying it by. Fixed to the front of it was something that looked like a fencing mask, with the concave side outwards. Although it was three or four metres away from him, he could see that the cage was divided lengthways into two compartments, and that there was some kind of creature in each. They were rats.

‘In your case,’ said O’Brien, ‘the worst thing in the world happens to be rats.’ [George Orwell’s 1984 Part III, Chapter 5.]

Those familiar with Orwell’s 1984 know what happens next. And if you haven’t, here’s the final scene of the movie adaptation (embedding disabled).

* * *

A scene which struck me, appropos of the following remarks from a recent exchange here at @ American Catholic:

“What John McCain suffered actually was torture. His bones were broken, for example. Induced panic isn’t torture.”

“I don’t base the definition of torture on subjective determinations. Clearly it’s an issue of prudential judgment and it is certainly clear to me, someone who has severe panic attacks, that panic is not torture.”

“If we cannot induce panic in our enemies with the intention of saving millions of lives, we can’t go to war at all. It’s as simple as that.”

Waterboarding is for pansies. If Ab? Zubaydah could withstand being waterboarded 83 times during August 2002, we’re clearly not doing it right. Let’s turn up the panic a few notches. Let’s take it one step further. Let’s put the fear of God almighty in these pathetic excuses for humanity.

Let’s go Orwellian — “Room 101” style.

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11 Responses to Waterboarding is for pansies.

  • Uh-oh Chris, you just made Mark Shea very, very, angry! When Shea get mad, Shea smash! However, unlike the Hulk, Mark turns purple instead of green!

  • Stephen, I think you failed to detect some major sarcasm in Chris’s post.

  • I think Jesus did take it up a few notches with Jezebel at the Church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:20-23, for verse 22 states quite clearly:

    “So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works.”

    All those now condemning our defense forces and CIA for using water boarding will be the very first to wail and whine and moan and cry about why more water boarding and similar coercive techniques were not used once Al Qaeda succeeds in detonating a fission or fusion weapon in a major metropolitan area.

    The Prophet Elijah was no pansie. When he was confronted with men as evil as these Islamic fanatics, he took them down to the Kishon Brook – all 450 of them – and didn’t bother with the small talk or the water boarding. He slit their throats where theyu stood. True, he got scared of another Jezebel after that. But the dogs made short work of her a little later on.

    Oh for men of God willing to stand up. Where are the Christian fighting men who stood at Tours of France and pushed back the Moors? Where are the Christian fighting men who with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary defeated the Islamic fleet of the Ottoman Turks. The Muslim infidels are back at the door of Vienna again. The day grows short and night approaches while we hear arm-chair theologians waxing eloquently from the safety of their living room about why water boarding is prohibited torture. Meanwhile, half a world away these demonic men of iniquity train little girls to be suicide bombers on Israeli school buses. Pulllleeeeaaasssseeeeee, Lord Jesus, deliver me from such insanity!

  • Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
    Quia non est alius
    Qui pugnet pro nobis
    Nisi tu Deus noster.

    Give peace, o Lord, in our time
    Because there is no one else
    Who will fight for us
    If not You, our God.

    http://www.gloria.tv/media/45526/

  • John McCain is a wonderful patriot and an American hero. It is completely understandable why he has an exceptional opposition to torture…but understanding his point of view does not require complete agreement with it. Remember what the enemy was trying to get out of him – not the truth, but a lie. At no time in Gitmo have we ever attempted to get one of them to deny their religion – to deny what is most precious to them. No, all we ever wanted out of them was the truth of what they knew. There is a world of difference between a man trying to elicit a lie and a man trying to find the truth. A man trying to get another to lie is much worse than the man trying to get at the truth – even if the former never touches so much as a hair on a head, while the other uses waterboarding.

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  • I’m with you, Chris, but the danger of this kind of dark parody is that some people actually think that way! (And others can’t tell the difference.)

  • I’m with you, Chris, but the danger of this kind of dark parody is that some people actually think that way! (And others can’t tell the difference.)

    It’s kind of a sad commentary on the state of things that this is true, but it is.

  • But Mark, you are only looking at half the equation – the end sought. You completely ignore the means.

    So as long as you are looking for the truth, rather than trying to get someone to lie, anything goes?

  • Christopher, thank you for this.

  • You cannot have a moral good when the either the object, the intension or the circumstance is evil. I know this slaps into the face of the idea that to torture one could save hundreds of lives later, but in this case the intension is an evil in order to produce a good. Regardless of the outcome, it is an immoral act. Actually there is a word for this called Proportionalism. What makes this more interesting is that we have free-choice to make this act and this is where being human is key and what God wants us to understand. God will not prevent us from committing an evil act, we make this choice on our own, what we need to better understand is that when you commit evil you must therefore accept the circumstances of that immoral act. This is something we rarely do. We act immorally, refuse to accept the act as immoral and therefore refuse to accept responsibility when the circumstances start to reveal themselves.

Trouble in Tubbyland

Sunday, May 22, AD 2011

Hattip to Hank at Eclectic Meanderings.

One of the more obscure Victorian military campaigns, the British conquest of Tubbyland was notable for a fair amount of ineptitude among the British commanders, redeemed by the usual courage shown by the “Tommy Atkins” in the ranks.  For a small war, a fair amount has been written on it, and here are some of my thoughts on the more useful works that I have found in my own research into this “savage war of peace”.

Report of Operations of Tubbyland Field Force, three volumes, Captain Gilbert Bryant-Norris, editor in chief,  Her Majesty’s Stationery Office,  (1888).  The official history, these three volumes go into extensive detail and are essential reading for any serious student of this conflict.  Unfortunately, the various authors are at pains to save the reputations of the commanders involved, and therefore the conclusions set forth should be taken with a boulder of salt.  The volumes do have excellent maps, and the texts of letters and telegrams are of great use in piecing together the somewhat convulted operations.

A Child’s History of the Tubbyland War, Winston Churchill, Longmans Green, (1899).  Leave it to Winston Churchill to write a kids’ book about the conflict!  He softens the rough edges of the War for his young readers, but gives a fairly accurate retelling.  The book of course emphasizes British patriotism and the grandeur of the Empire, but not without some criticism of the British commanders and a fair amount of sympathy for the Tubbies.  This passage is indicative of the style of the work:

 “There was plenty of work here for our brave soldiers and Tubbyland was well worth the cost in blood and money.  Were the gentlemen of England all out fox hunting?  No!  For the sake of our manhood, our devoted colonists and our dead soldiers, we perserved and won our War against a brave, albeit soft and cuddly, adversary”.

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6 Responses to Trouble in Tubbyland

The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Whatever Vermin of the Apocalypse

Sunday, May 1, AD 2011

 

The sixth in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin,  here the Pierced Vermin , here the F-Bomb Vermin, here the Texting Vermin and here the Trashy Vermin.   The sixth of the Hamsters is the Whatever Vermin.

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10 Responses to The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Whatever Vermin of the Apocalypse

  • Well and truly said, O Donald, but don’t neglect that other Hamster of the Apocalypse, the one on Prince Harry’s head during the recent wedding — one suspects that Harry is channeling the hair of the False Donald, the Last Trump.

    Life is good.

  • My kids rarely would end the discussion/flip me off with that one.

    Methinks “whatever” might be the F-bomb aimed at whomever ye varmint realizes he/she can’t hurl an F-bomb.

    RE: F-bombs. Taking (outside of prayer) in vain the Lord’s Name is never licit. However, (my twisted world here) some have earned the right to prodigious strings of expletives (an art form in certain circles). That “some” would be combat veterans. Most are virtuous and don’t.

  • True Mack. The Donald (Trump) is the standard by which we judge all bad toupes. In my next series which will be rants on the Seven Modern Deadly Sins, I assure you that the Trump that Roared will be a featured player.

  • Love those strolls down memory lane, Don. Here’s a blog I did some months ago:
    ========================================
    I’m constantly reminded of the generation gap – make those gaps. I am somewhat surprised to learn that the teaching of penmanship, also known as cursive, is all but gone from the curricula of public schools and it saddens me, especially when I look at fine old hand-written letters. The art of the writing beautiful words is disappearing as the machines take over the world.

    Most of the kids today can talk, type or text on their thingamabobs, for want of an all-inclusive term for high-tech communication devices – who can keep up with iPods, iPhones, Blackberries and all the other names? – but many young people can barely write their names legibly. Well, some can, but most can’t emulate the beautiful scripts that our literate and expressive ancestors could create with fine writing instruments.

    Another reminder of the yawning chasm between today’s generation and mine (call it roughly 40 years) is exemplified in the following exchange I had with a young clerk at a store who was around 25 years old. (Do the math to figure my approximate age):

    “Say, would you have any dungaree patches?” I asked.

    A blank stare and silence, then a response: “What’s a dungaree?”

    “Dungarees, you know what dungarees are, don’t you?”

    “No, I don’t have a clue.”

    “Blue jeans,” I say, somewhat taken aback that she is unfamiliar with my original term.

    “Oh, no, we don’t have any of those.”

    It was quiet at the time in the store and inasmuch as I was her only customer and she wasn’t busy and appeared willing to indulge my curiosity as to knowledge of my generation; I said, “Tell me something. Have you ever heard of James Cagney?”

    “No,” she replied. “Who’s he?”

    “He was a famous actor, one of biggest stars in Hollywood. He was in Yankee Doodle Dandy and White Heat and Public Enemy. Ever heard of those movies?”

    “Nope,” she said. “I don’t watch any black-and-white movies. I heard of Cagney and Lacey. It was a TV show, I think.”

    I nodded, but then tried a few more names. “How about Gary Cooper? Ever heard of him?”

    “No,” she said.

    I pressed on with Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and kept getting a shake of the head until I got to Humphrey Bogart.

    “Yeah, I think I heard of him.”

    Then she turned the tables on me and asked me if I heard of a series of current pop singers, whom everyone under 30 seems to know, and I shook my head in ignorance.

    “How about Britney Spears?” she asked.

    “Yes, I’ve heard of her, along with Lindsay Lohan. They seem to be in the news practically every day.”

    “How about Lady Gaga?”

    “That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it” I joked lamely.

    She didn’t get it.

    A middle-aged woman, closer to me in years than the store clerk, overheard part of our conversation and jumped in with a remark directed at the youngster:

    “Don’t you remember Clark Gable from ‘Gone With The Wind’?” she asked. “He was the one that said, ‘Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.’”

    “Oh, him!” the clerk said, her face lighting up with recognition. “Yeah, I kinda remember that.”

    I couldn’t resist pointing out the film was in color.

    We had some more fun, the three of us, batting around generational differences and laughing at our ignorance of the other’s, and I began to think of many of the terms we used a half-century ago that have just about disappeared: “going steady,” “juvenile delinquency” and “balderdash,” for example, to be replaced with the likes of “Bollywood, “ginormous,” and “DVD.”

    I arrived in this world before the post-World War II Baby boomers, and subsequent generations X and Y or whatever they’re called nowadays. Why is it that I feel such a cultural and social divide between the time I grew up and today? Why do I feel such a sense of alienation from today’s youth and perhaps them from me? J.B. Priestly, the English writer, who died in 1984 at the age of 89, wrote: “There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age – I missed it coming and going.”

    Lately, still in the throes of nostalgia and the “good old days,” I began to compile a list of things and people from my childhood years that few kids would know about today but could easily find out thanks to Google: “Howdy Doody,” “The Lone Ranger,” television sets that took 10 seconds to warm up and then you got only 3 channels, including the Dumont network, Admiral TV’s and Motorola radios, street games like hide ‘n seek, Johnny-ride-a-pony, I declare war, stick ball, ball tag, red light/green light and hopscotch; the Good Humor man, peashooters and Wham-O’s, Green Stamps, Barnum & Bailey, Alfred E. Neuman, Estes Kefauver, Hula hoops, poodle skirts, pegged pants, sideburns, egg creams.

    Amos and Andy, The Hit Parade, Oxydol, mahjong, carbon paper, sneakers (either P.F. Flyers or Keds), Laurel & Hardy, Bishop Sheen and Milton Berle, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, John Cameron Swayze, Huntley-Brinkley, I Like Ike, full-service gas stations that gave out free road maps, Sinclair, Flying A and Esso, the five-and-ten, Pez, when being sent to the principal’s office was the worst thing that could happen to you in school next to going home with a bad report card. And something was either “nifty” or “boss” instead of “cool,” and dude referred to a ranch and pot to something you cooked in.

    Speaking of school, 50 years ago the worst offenses you could commit were “talking, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls, getting out of turn in line, wearing improper clothes, and not putting paper in wastebaskets.“

    Contrast to today’s main problems — “drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, robbery, assault and guns in the schools.”

    In those days, there was no Internet, no texting, no computer dating, no day care centers, no group therapy, no word processors, no credit cards, no ATM machines, no talking back to your parents or teachers, no TV talking heads and no reality shows.

    These trips down memory lane are enjoyable, but a sobering reminder comes from cartoonist Al Capp, who said, “Today’s younger generation is no worse than my own. We were just as ignorant and repulsive as they are, but nobody listened to us.”

    So while I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy lost in a wistful haze, I am going to cut the young folks a break and grant them the same number of years to repeat the same mistakes of the past and in 40 years complain about the new generation that they raised.

  • Three hundred years ago, the royal barber would be chained to the wall in the dungeon of the Tower of London . . .

    My wife and I each own a Hermes portable typewriter.

    I have a cell phone with an antenna. It doesn’t fold. My lawyer, our age: seasoned citizen, laughed when he saw it.

  • Dear Giuseppe Verdi,

    I too thought “gi-normous” was recent slang, but in William Shawcross’s excellent biography of The Queen Mother we find it used in a letter Prince Charles wrote to QM in 1966 (p. 816).

    Now I really feel old.

  • Mack, actually its first use is traceable to 1948 but it wasn’t until very recently that it made it into Webster’s.

    How perceptive you are. Verdi is my favorite composer.

  • Oh, I was an expert at the bored eye-roll and exasperated sigh when I was 16. If “whatever” had been in use at the time, I am certain I would have said “whatEVER, mom” 10 thousand times a day.

    I have very little patience with lippy adolescents, precisely because I was once a major pain myself. I knew absolutely everything when I was in high school, but I was amazed by how wise my parents had become by the time I turned 20 🙂

  • There is a play in Britain Donna written by John Osborne, one of the “angry young men” playwrights of the Fifties, called “Look Back in Anger”. When I recall some of my actions during my teen years and young adulthood, I “Look Back in Embarrassment.”

  • C.S. Lewis also wrote about how, when we’re confronted about our wrong actions, we try to explain them as legitimate exceptions to the standards; the one thing we don’t do is deny the truth of the standards. I wonder if we haven’t changed in that regard.

The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Trashy Vermin of the Apocalypse

Sunday, October 17, AD 2010

The  fifth in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin,  here the Pierced Vermin , here the F-Bomb Vermin and here the Texting Vermin.  The fifth of the Hamsters is the Trashy Vermin.

I grew up in a blue collar family in which money was never plentiful.  ( I loved the old Jackie Gleason show The Honeymooners.  It was a howlingly funny show and they were more broke than we were.)   However, my parents always found money in our budget to make sure that all of us had good clothes to wear for Church and special occasions.  “Good clothes” meant a suit and tie for Dad, a nice dress for Mom, and sports jackets and ties for myself and my brother.  Now I know those of you born after 1980 will find this hard to credit, but we were not uncommon in that regard.  At Mass virtually every one was dressed that way.  (I still dress that way, and it is uncommon enough today that a visiting priest brought how I was dressed to my attention as I entered Church with my family a few weeks ago.)  Evidence of this is clear in the movies from the period.  For example, we have the film Blackboard Jungle (1955), which at the time was thought to be a shocking look at juvenile delinquency.

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20 Responses to The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Trashy Vermin of the Apocalypse

  • “I was going to say something in this category about the distaff offenses against aesthetics, but my survival instinct has just kicked in”

    As regards offenses against modesty, I touched on that in a previous post on “The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere”. With regard to simple sloppiness, however, the most annoying and baffling trend I have seen is women wearing what appear to be pajama bottoms and plastic clog shoes in public. I would hesistate to go to my mailbox dressed like that, but some women go shopping, pick up their kids from school, etc. so attired.

  • Just so. In my little mission (happily full every Sunday) only two men wear coats and ties. In a too-informal age I suppose slacks and a nice shirt would be acceptable, but not shorts and tees and rotting tattoos.

  • O tempora o mores! – Cicero

  • The public high school where I teach has a dress code, so the students look nice (however, no ties or jackets).

    But, I do occassionally – two or three times per year – bring up how students dress outside of school. I bring them from the “Blackboard Jungle” days to the present, showing them the trend.

    Then, I ask what – if the seemingly unstoppable trend continues – will their children wear.

    There is always a pause for reflection, and the students understand the point that I’m making. Many of them even agree. However, few (none?) want to make personal changes to try to reverse the trend.

  • I am going to make an unconscionable statement: For the life of me, I can’t understand why people are facsinated with how others dress. No, I don’t mean that modesty in dress is no concern, nor that those Communist propagandist Che and Mao depictions don’t make me want to spank the punks that wear them; It’s just, what is the moral implication of wearing sweats in public? Granted, a church requires attention to appearance, so that we may show God our reverence, but what’s the problem if I go to the market ill-shaven and with unkempt hair? I cannot beleive that God really cares if I wear plaid and stripes, or if my socks match.

  • “I cannot beleive that God really cares if I wear plaid and stripes, or if my socks match.”

    Considering that He marks the sparrow’s fall Ike, I have never been comfortable predicting what God cares about or does not care about. Reasonable concern for one’s personal appearance is a sign often as to whether a person is just as neat or slovenly in other areas of life. It doesn’t always work that way, but I’d say it is usally a fair assumption. Neurotic concern about one’s appearance is taking things too far in the other direction.

  • I cannot beleive that God really cares if I wear plaid and stripes, or if my socks match.

    “Thou shalt not wear white after Labor Day, nor stripes with plaid, nor mismatched socks with our without sandals; for to do these things would bring shame upon yourself and your family.”

    Leviticus, page 129.

    😀

  • “I used to care about what I wore to church or wherever. That was before I had a completely incontinent unable-to-walk messy-eater father with dementia to care for alone.”

    Your dilemma, plus that of the family with young children still in diapers, are one of the reasons why I personally do not believe the “dress for church as you would if you were going to meet the pope/queen/president/etc.” standard should be strictly enforced on everyone. Modest and non-distracting dress, yes; but not 100 percent insistence on Sunday best.

    While the sentiment behind it is laudable and I admire anyone who chooses to and can adhere to it, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect it of everyone for two reasons:

    1. For most people other than celebrities and heads of state, meeting a pope, queen, president, etc. would be a once-in-a-lifetime event, while Sunday Mass is not.

    2. One does not normally have to bring infants, screaming hyperactive toddlers, sullen teenagers, or (in EMS’ case) elderly parents with dementia to an audience with a head of state AND keep them clean, changed, supervised and under control for 45-60 minutes at a stretch.

  • The rant is still good! Thanks.

    As Roger Scruton would put it:

    “Much that is said about beauty and its importance in our lives ignores the minimal beauty of an unpretentious street, a nice pair of shoes or a tasteful piece of wrapping paper, as though those things belonged to a different order of value from a church by Bramante or a Shakespeare sonnet. Yet these minimal beauties are far more important to our daily lives, and far more intricately involved in our own rational decisions, than the great works of art which (if we are lucky) occupy our leisure hours. They are part of the context in which we live our lives, and our desire for harmony, fittingness and civility is both expressed and confirmed in them. Moreover, the great works of architecture often depend for their beauty on the humble context that these lesser beauties provide.”

  • A secondary puzzlement: how do you go about dressing yourself, in general, as a Christian, this day and age? I mean, you have to dress decently, but not too nice, because that’s vain, and not too fashionably, because that means you’re paying too much attention like the gentiles do, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, because that’s stealing from the needy, but in order not to spend too much money and still look reasonably sharp, you have to pay enough attention to catch the good sales, and not just buy what you need when you need it, because spending more on clothes than necessary is stealing from the needy, unless your time really is so valuable that paying any attention to sales is a criminal waste of it, and then there’s the trial-and-error of dressing yourself, which means mistakes will be made, but is that wasting money, or is it okay to experiment because mistakes are given away in charity, and speaking of giving away clothes, is it more charitable to give away clothes while they are still in good shape and passably fashionable, or is it better to hang on to your closet like a terrier with a dead rat, which saves money which then can be diverted to other charitable causes, but also reduces the reusable aspects of a wardrobe down the road.

    But, on topic, my dad’s jeans look just like those $400 paint-spattered, grease-marked, dirty-rinsed, torn, patched, and re-torn jeans marketed to college kids, and he seems to feel no more compunction about wearing them out and and about than the youngsterlings do. How can you win this battle when you’re bookended by custom-destroyed jeans on the (hapless quasi-rebel) kiddies and honestly-destroyed jeans on the (upright conservative) septuagenarians? Sheesh.

  • “How can you win this battle when you’re bookended by custom-destroyed jeans on the (hapless quasi-rebel) kiddies and honestly-destroyed jeans on the (upright conservative) septuagenarians? Sheesh.”

    My Mom, God rest her soul, used to stop my brother and me from appearing in public in hideous garb with the command, “You are not going out in public like that!” As for my Dad, she would throw out his clothes when she determined they had reached the rag stage, and were no longer fit to be seen around the house. My Dad knew better than to dispute my Mom in this area, where she was the benevolent dictatrix of our household.

  • Offensive slogans on shirts? I remember a time when any slogans, corporate logos, et cetera on shirts would be looked down upon. The old line was “You paid for those clothes? Nike should be paying you to walk around like a billboard.”

    To EMS, I understand. I often attend 5pm Mass, where the average outfit is far more casual than I’d wear, but I wouldn’t judge the people so attired. Many people are there because the day didn’t go as planned. Moms with newborns, teenagers on their way home from a shift at McDonald’s, and people in your situation can all be reasonably exempt from the rules of fashion.

  • As for immodest clothing, well, I think that’s just fantastic. I shouldn’t, and in a work or worship setting I recognize that it’s inappropriate, but I’m just not inclined to get upset over it.

  • I wish somebody would start talking about “tattooed vermin” in my immediate physical presence, or that of many men I served with in the military. That would be funny.

  • Not half as funny as the Marine I know who has “ghost” tattooes of the names of five former girlfriends visible on his chest. As he explained to me, “Don, it is curious what can seem like a good idea at the time when you are drunk.”

  • No, I actually I think it would be at least as funny as that.

    But I find perverse humor in smug, judgmental jackasses being physically assaulted, so maybe it’s just me.

  • It’s just you Linus. What I really find hilarious is banning jackasses who threaten me with physical assault. Have fun making jokes at other websites Linus since you are now banned at this one.

  • “My Dad knew better than to dispute my Mom in this area, where she was the benevolent dictatrix of our household.”

    Thank God for Moms! (She gets the jeans, and I grab the matches…)

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The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Texting Vermin of the Apocalypse

Sunday, October 3, AD 2010

The  fourth in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin,  here the Pierced Vermin and here the F-Bomb Vermin.  The fourth of the Hamsters is the Texting Vermin.

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13 Responses to The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Texting Vermin of the Apocalypse

  • As an old fogey myself, I feel exactly the same way about all of this stuff. Amen and Amen!

  • We OFs have to stick together Mark!

  • Thunderous applause (which of course you can’t hear). But it is ironic — I visit AMERICAN CATHOLIC every day when I could be solitudinous (is that a real word?).

    Life is good.

  • As usual: 100% correct.

    We OF’s need to hang together, or we’ll hang separately (B. Franklin, the archetypical OF).

    If only: we pray 1/10th as much as they text.

  • I must be grateful for my ability to text our children, since they all live far from me. I go back into the days of DA’s and Packs of Lucky’s in the rolled up sleeves of shirts, although I was far too young to smoke(and still do not).
    You failed to mention “party lines”, but that does not mean the “talking point
    memos” of todays political propoganda and their sychphant followers.

    So, I guess I am one of those cheesy texters! Although I do it at a snails pace.

  • Remember that there were a solid core of phone numbers that everyone had memorized – their own, of course, the numbers of close relatives and friends, one’s work number and emergency numbers. Nobody has to remember numbers any more – I can still rattle off my parents’ phone number 21 years after I last dialed it, but I can’t remember my sister’s cell phone number, although I call her almost daily.

    But the ability to make a phone call just about anywhere can be a blessing. Last winter, I was on a city street after dark. It wasn’t too far from my place but the block was deserted. A rather dubious character called to me from across the street and asked me to help him change his tire. All sorts of alarms went off in my head. I continued to walk away, but held up my cell phone and offered to call AAA if he needed help. He said “forget it” and then cursed me. If cell phones did not exist, I still would not have been so stupid as to ignore my instincts and put myself in potential danger, but having the cell phone certainly provided an extra measure of security.

  • I find telephones dreadful objects, and flinch whenever the household phone rings. It’s obtrusive and invasive. Hand-lettered faxes, emails and text messages offer a certain graceful silence to communication, and also time to compose one’s thoughts.

    I mean, if you use them that way. Which naturally excludes the Vermin.

    And, good gravy, the one-sided cell phone conversations trumpeted up and down the aisles of stores, not excluding furious disputes, the berating of remote children, and, uh, pitching pretty serious woo—is this the new party line? Where we are ALL forced to eavesdrop?

  • As someone who absolutely hates talking on the phone, I find texting to be a great improvement. You can leave someone a message and let him respond at his leisure, without having to interrupt him and exchange pleasantries first.

    Also, if you text very often, you can do it without looking at the phone, just like a decent typist can type without looking at the keyboard. So I actually find it safer while driving than talking on the phone, which really does take one’s attention away (much like having an engaging conversation with a passenger).

  • I think it is an absolute blessing to be able to be able to make a phone call from just about any location, but like most everything, moderation is the key. As a frequent rider on mass Transit, I find the loud talkies to be absolutely infuriating. It’s one thing to have a brief “I’m on my way home” conversation with one’s spouse, but there are people who seem intent on having rather loud conversations for the entire duration of a bus ride. The snowball effect is that I am prompted to put on my headphones, which is probably going to be part six in Don’s series. 🙂

  • The snowball effect is that I am prompted to put on my headphones, which is probably going to be part six in Don’s series.

    LOL

  • Funny… accurate… sad. Very good commentary! I wonder if it’s a generational response? I am old enough to remember rotary phones and even manual typewriters.

  • I am old enough to remember rotary phones and even manual typewriters.

    So am I, though I don’t know if I’d qualify as an old fogey at the age of 33. But even my niece, who is 23, might be symbolic of the new generation. Try prying her cell phone/text message machine away from her. I dare you. You didn’t really need that hand, did you?

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The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The F-Bomb Vermin of the Apocalypse

Sunday, September 12, AD 2010

The  third in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin and here the Pierced Vermin.  The third of the Hamsters is the F-Bomb Vermin.

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27 Responses to The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The F-Bomb Vermin of the Apocalypse

  • And now there is the almost universal employment of “d****e-bag” on ‘blogs, even on purportedly Catholic ones.

  • When I hear the F-bomb burst from the lips of a beautiful young lady I only see black stains on her soul. From a young man I see dark times in his life.

  • I don’t think this should be listed among the minor vermin. It debases us more than we realize.

  • I’d agree with you Pinky except that most of the people who engage in frequent swearing truly are clueless as to its harmfulness. I regard this as a sign of debasement in modern life and not a cause of the underlying debasement.

  • Pinky & Don.

    It’s cyclical. The F bomb has become so commonplace b/c the sexual act to which it refers has become vulgar rather than sacred, yet the use of the F bomb to refer to that act further trivializes and moves our understand of the sexual act farther from its sacred nature.

  • I think the biggest problem you have is that people using such words are considered “cool”. Therefore, cinema and singers use such words, which reinforces the trend.

    You’d be surprised at how little Germans swear compared to Anglo-Saxons. Not because they don’t know how to do it, but because there is a social sanction associalted with that in most situations.

    I think another reason is the way people DRESS. You’ll find it stupid but I think that a lot people tend to speak better when they are better dressed. To be dressed properly often gives them a sense of their own dignity, and they tend to want to live up to that. People going around in shorts and flip flops as if they were in their own garten will tend not to pay any attention to social conventions in other areas as well. The age of ubiquitous jeans, unkempt hair and the like was also the age where swearing became common usage.

    M

  • “The age of ubiquitous jeans, unkempt hair and the like was also the age where swearing became common usage.”
    The slobbification of America.

  • On Joan of Arc: A common French term of endearment for English soldiers in her day was “les goddams,” for their frequent–ubiquitous–use of that term.

    My father was a career soldier with extensive combat experience in World War II, and he was more than liberal in the use of that phrase (but it was not tolerated among us children: apparently like smoking and drinking, for adults only, and then only for men). I never heard him use the f-word. He would not have used it around women or children, and I doubt he used it among his cronies. I don’t think many educated people of his generation would have (and that is why the Nixon tapes were so shocking).

    Coarse language by beautiful young ladies is depressing and off-putting, but may not indicate stains on their soul. Custom is very powerful, and the customs of recent times have not been helpful in reinforcing our innate sense of propriety.

  • Stan-
    Could you rephrase that to be clearer? The it reads right now seems to say that a cursing woman is sinful, and a cursing man is sinned against…. It could also be read as a lovely poetic way of saying “they have been hurt, stained, torn, battered, afflicted by a life that has not done them as it should.” (Yay, English; so many shades of meaning.)

    Can’t argue against this stance; I would suggest that a large part of why cursing is more common is because folks are ruder, making for more heartache and pain on emotional/mental levels, and there are fewer ways to defuse it. (This is also my theory behind “road rage.”)

  • Thank you Foxfier, I was trying to be brief.

    First off, male or female the use of this word does show a lack of respect for others and very much a lack of a Christian attitude. The F-bomb is neither loving nor kind. That is where an otherwise lovely looking young lady becomes stained to me. I would not have dated such when younger or appreciate my son from dating one with such language now.

    As far as a dark future for the men, most of them that I have meet who use this language in public are already racking up arrests, convictions and jail time.

    Have I ever used language like this, well maybe. When my head was almost taken off by a sheet of plywood dropped from the roof, or my 700 pound motorcycle was laying on me supported only by a folded up foot, even then it was said in a whispering scream. But never in conversation private or public since I found Christ.

  • “When my head was almost taken off by a sheet of plywood dropped from the roof, or my 700 pound motorcycle was laying on me supported only by a folded up foot, even then it was said in a whispering scream”

    Stan, I sympathize. During my first kidney stone a few years ago, if I had the presence of mind, I might have let lose with a few choice epithets. As it was, I writhed on the floor and whimpered with the pain, when I wasn’t making my painfully slow way to the bathroom to vomit up the shrimp gumbo that I had just before the kidney stone decided to makes its agonizing presence felt. I think God makes allowances for the weakness of the flesh at such times. 🙂

  • The F-bomb has been a pretty common expletive down here for as long as I can remember. I must agree though, that in the late 50’s when I was a teenager, and lad-about-town in that great decade, the 60’s, mainly used only by men including myself too lazy to select a more appropriate adjective, or as an encouragement for someone to leave your presence hurriedly. 😉
    In those days it was unusual to hear it coming from a woman. Nowadays it is commonplace. Then, one did not use that language in front of a woman – nowadays, it is a part of everyday casual conversation.
    I call it “building site language” (being a builder) where I still sometimes resort to the expletive, but that is usually where it stays.
    I do think that as with many things in society, it has been used so much that society in general has become desensitised to the shock effect, so it has become part of everyday language.

  • My other excuse is that I spent 11 years of my life in Australia. 🙂

  • I actually blame the Dutch for this blight on the English language 😉
    The Dutch and the English have always had a close relationship – why even a dutchman, William of Orange was king of England in the 17th century.
    As you may guess, this is a lead in to a rather humorous anecdote.
    In 1990 after I returned from Australia, I was doing a job with my wife’s cousin for a dutchman, Jack van Dungen (I think was his name) who had emigrated to NZ in the 1950’s. He had a brother, Joss who still lived in Holland, but visited every few years. Now Jack, who lived on a farm had built a pig pen and was starting to breed his own pigs. In Dutch, the word for a breeder is a – yes, you guessed it, – a “f**ker”.
    Joss had arrived from Holland late the previous night, and as we were all sitting down to morning tea, Joss who had just risen shortly before,came out from his room, greeted us, and looked out the window and saw the pig pen. Joss did not speak English too well, so he combined Dutch words with his English words. He said, ” Ah Yack, (dutch pronounce “J” as “Y”) I see you have become a pig f****er.”
    You can imagine our huge mirth – poor Joss did not really understand what the hilarity was about until Jack explained it to him.
    Over the past hundred and fifty years, we have had a lot of Dutch migration to NZ. After all, the country’s first european discoverer was a dutchman, Abel Tasman. So the dutch word “to breed” became a common word in the local English language.

    Well, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

  • I am always willing Don to blame as many ills of the world as I can on the Dutch. 🙂

  • While talking to a Catholic Chaplain who traveled to all of the FOBs in the South, he lamented to me that many of the soldiers have lost the ability to use adjectives and adverbs thanks to the F-bomb.

    What have we become?

  • Don the Kiwi,
    I’m visualizing the scene as featuring copious amounts of expectorated tea! Translation fiascoes always tickle me!

  • My dog, who, if possible, gets out even less than I do, appeared quite shocked by the cheerfully crass language flying between two college-aged canoeists passing close to the dock recently; he was too occupied with cocking his head back and forth, listening in astonishment, even to bark. I assume it was the tone and volume of the banter rather than the words, but it looked funny nonetheless.
    The kids (male and female; one shies away from “gentleman” and “lady” in such a situation) were entirely jolly in their loud, brash, crude, and very public discourtesy.
    Since I err in curbing my own tongue when injured or infuriated, but not so much when blithesome, or out canoeing, I was unsure whether to be offended, disapproving, or amused.
    An angry outburst may be far more unpleasant to hear, but casual cursing like this is actually harder to sympathize with, due to its utter meaninglessness.

  • Everything I’ve ever studied on demonology and deliverance confirms that the use of curse words–which really do curse the person, place or thing–is almost always the way that demonic infestations begin.

    Fr. Amorth said he dealt with a whole family–two boys were outright possessed, and all the family were experiencing some level of extraordinary demonic influence/attack–and the root cause was the grandfather. In his senility, he hardly ever said anything but “G– D—” because that’s the habit he built up in his life.

  • I don’t think the particular words matter. In England, f— is a casual word, but c— is the Most Profane Word (not that c— is trivial in the US). As common as f— has become in the US, it’s still our Most Profane Word. We may be seeing a transition toward it being a weak word, but for the time being, people use it frequently *because* they can’t think of a worse word.

    That’s the distinction I’m trying to make: it’s not that people who use it are immune to the power of the word; they’re unfamiliar with the idea of propriety.

  • I too watch reruns of the Welk show on TV. Another show that brings up wishes of long ago days are the Andy William Christmas shows. Innocence, family and faith joined in music and fun. The first time I used the f bomb my year older sister laughed at me. It was so ridiculous coming out of my 13 year old mouth. That cured me for a long, long time. The people who talk that way are clowns.

  • The fifth comment, made by Michael Denton has stuck in my mind.
    The F- word is of course, just a word, with a certain meaning……or is it?
    If we use the word “copulation” it has a certain context in biology, but with essentially the same meaning. Likewise, the word “fornication” which used to be often heard from the pulpit as a serious sin, but sadly nowadays is not – but we still read it in the scriptures.
    “Sexual intercourse” again, conveys the same meaning, but in the context of medical or educational areas.
    In all these situations, if the F- word simply had the same meaning, would it be acceptable as a substitute? Is it only because the word is socially unacceptable that it is not substituted? Definitely not.
    This is how I used to rationalise my occasional – in my younger day, casual – use of the word.

    I agree with you Michael. The commonplace use of the word has debased the act to which it refers, which should be held as sacred. So I want to thank you, and you too Don, for reminding me, and I’m sure some others, how the use of a word, irrespective of its innocent beginning, can be desensitising and trivialising and contribute to the debasement of our language, culture, and souls.

  • “The fifth comment, made by Michael Denton has stuck in my mind.”

    Likewise — good observation.

  • I have felt this way for years…! even as a college pagan back in the ’80s. Though there were things I (unfortunately) said or did, I felt there were zones of propriety. I never discussed certain things in front of women or children, for ex. Now that I’m an ex-pagan I only feel more strongly. I am unhappy that profanity and vulgarity worked its way into literature in the mid-20th c. and later into movies and finally TV. The fact that we had masterpieces of literature and drama for centuries without it shows just unecessary it is. Bad language/behavior was always there, but on the fringes. It was kept at bay.

  • When JFK was elected president one of his aides reportedly said, “this administration will do for sex what the last one (Ike’s) did for golf.”

    Had Blago ever realized his ambition of becoming president (shudder), his administration probably would have done the same thing for the F-bomb.

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The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Pierced Vermin of the Apocalypse

Sunday, August 29, AD 2010

The  second in my series of posts in which I give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We have started off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  We have already discussed here the Tattooed Vermin.  The  second of the Hamsters is the Pierced Vermin.

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22 Responses to The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Pierced Vermin of the Apocalypse

  • I like this series a lot, because I get the feeling you really want to write it with Caps Lock on. My one complaint is with your statement that “swollen tongues give a delightful slurred quality to speech even when the proud owner of the pierced tongue is not drunk or stoned”. Wouldn’t it have been better to say “on the rare occasions when the proud owner…”?

  • You just don’t like people who are holey-er than thou.

  • “I like this series a lot, because I get the feeling you really want to write it with Caps Lock on. My one complaint is with your statement that “swollen tongues give a delightful slurred quality to speech even when the proud owner of the pierced tongue is not drunk or stoned”. Wouldn’t it have been better to say “on the rare occasions when the proud owner…”?”

    WHATEVER WOULD GIVE YOU THAT IMPRESSION PINKY? A GOOD SUGGESTION AS TO THE SENTENCE REGARDING THE SLURRED SPEACH OF THE TONGUE-PIERCED, AND I HAVE ADOPTED IT.

  • Fie, fie, you modern-worshiping modern type fellow, my granny never did get her ears pierced– it Was Not Done when she was a girl! (not by Good Girls, anyways)

    A little research finds that women with pierced ears was popular rebellion-style in the 20s, then went unpopular again until the 60s.

    Barbaric practice!

    (…because this is the internet, I must label: HUMOR.)

  • Foxfier, my bride of 28 years standing has never had her ears pierced. On the other hand my sainted mother had her ears pierced. I never crossed my Mom, quite a formidable lady, while she lived, and I will not risk it now!

  • *grin* Was the good lady old enough to remember the 20s? Or perhaps had a rebellious streak in her?

  • Mom was born in 1936 and tended to march to her own drum and bugle corps.

  • *blink* Wow. My grandmothers were old enough to be her mother, just barely. I keep forgetting normal families had kids a lot earlier than mine.

  • I never cared for body piercings, or tatoos. I think the church is against it as well.

  • My wife of 32 years has not had her ears pierced. No tatoos, either. Jewelry is an easy gift for Christmas, etc.

    None of the sons have piercings.

    The sons have tats. I wouldn’t call any one, “vermin.” One is an airborne ranger combat vet, still on active duty playing rugby for the Army, too. One is a MSME and former nationally ranked/medalled (competed on US Junior National Team in Greece) Olympic style weightlifter. The third is co-captain of his U rugby team and dean’s list student.

    Not that I approved or they asked my permission.

    I’m too chicken. I thought about a red cross patte on the left chest and one on the left shoulder. Problem also I don’t look so good without a shirt camouflaging the 60 y.o. chassis.

    I think dudes with tats and girly arms are vermin. My sons don’t fit that.

    And, it’s probably against Church teaching. God gave you your body and you should keep it a Temple of the Holy Spirit.

    Jasper, I’m a Jasper, too.

  • Being a builder, the only body piercings I have had have been involuntary.
    I mean, nail guns aren’t very selective what they pierce if you have them directed at the wrong target.
    Lets see if I can recall.
    1986 – nailed 2 fingers to a ceilng joist. Blood everywhere, pulled the nail, band aids to the fingers, carry on.
    1998. Nailed through end of middle finger to a roof purlin, and while yanking hand away and yelling “OUCH’ split open end of finger. Band aids, wait till shaking stops, get up on roof and carry on.
    2008. While holding piece of timber, nail gun slipped and fired nail through wrist. Uummm….grap nail head and yank out of wrist – move fingers, no damaged bones or tendons. Check entry wound, very little blood, so veins/arteries OK.
    Asked the woman to get a band aid, and she fainted 🙂

    So yeah, Don.
    I really agree that body piercings are really not the GO.

  • Don, my experience along those lines was when as a boy I accidentally sent a nail through my left foot when I stepped on it. Interestingly enough the tetanus shot hurt worse than the nail.

  • I did not get my ears pierced until I was 21 — I was probably one of the few customers of the shopping mall jewelry store that did it, who was actually old enough to sign her own consent form! I wore pierced earrings regularly after that for about 10 years or so. (Clip earrings had become pretty hard to find by the mid 1980s and that was the main reason I got my ears pierced in the first place.) Then I gradually lost interest in wearing earrings at all. Now my piercings have healed over and the only earrings I can wear are clip-ons inherited from my late mother. (She was born in 1927 and never got her ears pierced either.) My husband served in the Navy for four years but never got a tattoo and never had the slightest interest in getting one. I guess our aversion to being poked with needles by persons other than trained medical professionals trumps any desire we might have to be fashionable!

  • I thought tongue piercing took the cake. Then I saw a young man wearing beer cans in his ears. Apparently simple pierced ears were not quite freaky enough for this goofy dude; he needed to stretch the holes out so he could fit Budweiser empties through them. Perhaps that will seem mundane to him after a while and he’ll yearn to fill the holes with dinner plates or hub caps or Frisbees.

    A person who gets nose or eyebrow or even tongue pierced has one advantage over the tattooed, when fashions change or one gets tired of the look, all a pierced person has to do is stop wearing the stud and the hole will eventually close up. But stretched out ear lobes are forever. If I had to interview a fellow with ears touching his collar, I would have a terrible time resisting breaking out into song: “Do your ears hang low? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?”

    The late, great Mike Royko came up with the best description of the pierced ones; he said they looked like they had fallen face first into a tackle box.

  • Many years ago, my nephew called to see me ( he was about 17 yrs old) with a friend of his. His friend had a spike inserted between his bottom lip and his chin.

    I asked, ” What’ve you been up to mate? Eating dog’s collars?”

  • On Facebook Family Feud, one of the clues that comes up is “Name an article cf clothing that both men and women can wear.” I’ve had the question a few times, and every time I’ve missed “Earrings,” which I don’t even think of as an article of clothing.

    In any case, I’m a strong believer in a strict interpretation of the Church’s condemnation of self-mutilation. It really isn’t a small sin. Tattoos and piercings represent a fundamental lack of respect and admiration for the human body, a lack of gratitude for God’s gift, a desire for novelty, and, most importantly, a reflection of the view that the body is just an accidental containeer for the soul, and therefore property.

    Even as I have my own Manichean tendencies resulting form my own severely defective body, I still honor my genetic defects as a unique gift of God and a form of His artistry.

    I get annoyed by those who abuse drugs for self-styled suffering when they don’t know the half of it, and I get annoyed by those who would intentionally mutilate my body, when my body has been unintentionally mutilated by surgery and IVs and needles and CT/X Ray radiation.

  • “The late, great Mike Royko came up with the best description of the pierced ones; he said they looked like they had fallen face first into a tackle box.”

    How I miss reading his acerbic observations, Donna!

    ”What’ve you been up to mate? Eating dog’s collars?”

    That one goes into my stolen quotes book Don!

    “I get annoyed by those who abuse drugs for self-styled suffering when they don’t know the half of it, and I get annoyed by those who would intentionally mutilate my body, when my body has been unintentionally mutilated by surgery and IVs and needles and CT/X Ray radiation.”

    You are in my prayers GodsGadfly.

  • Thanks.

    For the annoyance, the rotten body, or both? 🙂

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Over the Transom

Tuesday, August 24, AD 2010

Here at American Catholic we sometimes receive unsolicited material.  Most of it we ignore.  However, there occasionally comes across an item that we think our readers might find interesting.  Since blog parodies are all the rage, I guess that is whatever motivated whoever did this.  I honestly have no clue who put this together, but I think I would hate to be in their satirical cross-hairs.  At any rate go here to view a parody of a blog that is teaching a new participant the rules of the blog.

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38 Responses to Over the Transom

The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Tattooed Vermin of the Apocalypse

Sunday, August 15, AD 2010

 

In this series of posts I intend to give rants against trends that have developed in society since the days of my youth, the halcyon days of the seventies, when leisure suits and disco were sure signs that society was ready to be engulfed in a tide of ignorance, bad taste and general buffoonery.

We will start off the series with a look at seven developments that I view as intensely annoying and proof that many people lack the sense that God granted a goose.  I like to refer to these as  The Seven Hamsters of the Apocalypse, minor evils that collectively illustrate a society that has entered a slough of extreme stupidity.  Each of the Seven Hamsters will have a separate post.  The first of the Hamsters is the Tattooed Vermin.

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43 Responses to The Modern World is Going to Hell: A Continuing Series: The Tattooed Vermin of the Apocalypse

  • A beauty of a rant, Don. And how true!

  • The most ridiculous tattoo I’ve seen was at the wedding of a young co-worker several years ago. The bridesmaids wore halter top gowns with exposed backs and one of them had a big wolf head tattooed on her back. Apparently she was “into wolves” when she was 16 – 10 years later, she was no longer interested in them, but the souvenir of her adolescent tastes was still imprinted on her flesh. The juxtaposition of elegant satin dress with ugly tattoo was quite striking, and not in a good way. (As a friend of mine who is very “into” old films says, “Would Audrey Hepburn get a tattoo? Or Grace Kelly?”)

    It’s one thing for 16 year olds to imagine that their teenaged likes and dislikes are permanent (if tattoos had been popular when I was a teenybopper, I might still be walking around with my high school boyfriend’s name and a picture of the Osmond Brothers adorning my carcass.) It’s another thing to believe that when you are in your 20’s.

  • Ah well, perhaps I am taking this all too seriously.

    Actually, I think this is the truest statement in your post. 😉

  • There are other reasons to get tattoos– my mom has a shamrock over her heart, and my sister has two– a pair of tiny Jesus-feet, one on her shaking-hand, one on her first-foot-forward.

  • Et tu Foxfier?

  • Nah, I didn’t even want to get my ears pierced. (Sibling pressure is amazing– sis couldn’t until I did.)

  • Considering your nautical background I am somewhat surprised that you didn’t get tattooed while you were a member of Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club.

  • Celtic crosses– and most anything saint, Catholic or Celtic-related– were declared “gang related symbols” a week after I hit my first duty station.

  • Including Gothic script, and most Latin phrases.

  • Down under over here ;-), tatoos are a part of the indigenous culture. Certain tatoos on the face of men for example, used to indicate his rank and seniority in his tribe.. Women who were looked on as being wise, ahd their own style of ‘moko’, or tattoo, mainly on their chin area.
    Samoans also have tattoo as a definer of rank. Their culture goes a step further with full body tattoo, which is the ultimate indicator of manhood.
    Many of our football players, whether of Maori, Samoan or Pacific Island descent or of European descent have tats, mainly on arms, occassionly facial.

    The problem is that now, much of the tats are done as ‘body adornment’ and have no bearing to rank. Many of the gangs now adopt strong tats as sign of intimidation – trying to indicate how tough they are.

    Many of the older Maori and Samoans are annoyed and insulted at the way traditional tattoos have become so fashionable, and the significance of the art is dumbed down and demeans their culture.

    On another note from another time, I also had mates in the navy back in the 60’s and 70’s who had a variety of tats – some of the more interesting included a fox tail down the back, with the fox obviously hiding in the ‘fox hole’. 🙂

  • Quite a few American Indian tribes used tattoos in similar ways Don. Tattoos that are part and parcel of an entire culture I have no problem with. As for sailors and their tatoos, I believe the fashion started in the Royal Navy when it came into contact with Polynesia in the Eighteenth Century.

  • As a woman, I thank God that I didn’t ever get drunk, lose my mind, and get a tattoo. I really don’t get the fascination with them.

  • Enjoyed the rant, Don. As the survey numbers suggest, there are different generational perspectives on this, but there’s something to be said for the artistry of a well done rant. What fun is griping if you can’t do it with style?

  • I was just warming up John Henry for the one on body piercing!

  • When I was in the Navy, the Boiler Tech Chief advised that, if you wanted a tat, don’t get one until you have settled on the exact image. Once you have decided, sleep on it, look through the books again, and, if you you still can’t imagine a tat other than the one you settled on the day before, get it.

    I didn’t get ink until about three years after leaving the Navy. I was hiking the AT and took a hitch-hiking detour to West Point. There, in that boneyard, among those monuments to generals I had never heard of, was a simple Celtic cross. There was something so sublime that I took a picture. The image stuck with me and I kept returning to the picture over the next few months. During the summer, I found a parlor with the right creds and had the image inked on my upper-arm.

    Not all ink is pathetic, my friend.

  • Think of it like marriage…but with the “massively bad idea, poorly thought out and entered with no reasonable notion of what they were getting into” statistics going the opposite way.

  • “Not all ink is pathetic, my friend.”

    Get back to me in three decades G-Veg, assuming I am still around.

  • If I don’t get up off of my settled rump and exercise a bit… there will undoubtably be serious “sagging”… Not buxom blond sagging, but, still…

  • Best tat ever:
    one of my grandfather’s Army buddies.

    A little lawnmower on his arm.

    Each morning, he’d shave his face, then a strip of hair on his arm, behind the mower……

  • You might consider that there’s some selection bias going on in the tats you observe.

    Perhaps there are a large number of perfectly ordinary-looking people around you who have tattoos that you don’t get outraged by, because the tattoos are small and unobtrusive or concealed by everyday clothing.

  • “Perhaps there are a large number of perfectly ordinary-looking people around you who have tattoos that you don’t get outraged by, because the tattoos are small and unobtrusive or concealed by everyday clothing.”

    What I don’t know obviously can’t outrage me bearing. I wish all tattoos were like that, and that people didn’t inflict their body pictures for me and the world to be forced to observe.

  • There was a psych study back in the 80’s that showed that people with more than one tattoo had increased behavioral/psych problems. I don’t know if anyone ever reproduced their results. Don’t know if anyone even bothered to try.

  • What I don’t know obviously can’t outrage me bearing. I wish all tattoos were like that, and that people didn’t inflict their body pictures for me and the world to be forced to observe

    I guess that ties back to Don the Kiwi’s point about the tattoo culture down under…

  • Phillip-
    Sounds like a “no, duh” study– just because so many folks with behavioral problems get tattoos. Given that they’re illegal in some countries, and disapproved of by many religions here in the US, and that it can easily be boiled down to a form of self-damage… same thing as with major piercing, or scarification. Shoot, if you assume one in a hundred of the sample were in gangs, that would blow the stats out of the water! (Actually…I don’t know if gangs did tats in the 80s. I was frankly more interested in Sat morning cartoons at the time.)

  • Don’t remember the details of the study after 25 years, so your critiques may be valid. Just pointing out that if a person has more than one tattoo there is likely to be more psych problems. That would go along with Don’s observation that more of his clients having tattoos.

    I don’t know if its obvious either that having one tattoo is not so big an issue (the drunken sailor not repeating his mistake) but having more than one tatto is a problem. But working back to Don’s point, if more people are having tattoos these days, is that because more people are having psych problems, or has the image in society of the body and its use/dignity changed over the years? I might say the latter.

  • I agree– when my mom was a girl, she was allowed to wear jeans to do the morning chores…but only under her skirt. When she got to college, it was a big deal that she was wearing slacks and jeans and not a lot of skirts.

    Now, it’s odd for a girl to wear skirts all the time. (Odd as in comment-worthy, not odd as in freaky.)

  • As a member of a younger generation, I disagree. Tattoos are cool!

    Back when I had piercings, my parents made me take them out in church. Parents don’t seem to care about that anymore. I don’t mind either. The only thing that bothers me are the girls at Mass in what looks like underwear. I always tell them that they forgot to wear their pants again.

  • “Tattoos are cool!”

    That you have fallen to the blandishments of the tattooed vermin of the seven hamsters of the apocalypse surprises me not one whit restrainedradical!

    “Parents don’t seem to care about that anymore.”

    This parent certainly does! Piercings do function as a useful idiot detector however, present company excepted I am sure.

    Now you’ve got me curious restrainedradical. Do you have any kids, and if so, are they teenagers yet?

  • No surprise. Get back to me restrainedradical when and if you have kids and little restrainedradical is closing in on 14.

  • “…and little restrained radical is closing in on 14.”

    These days try ten.

  • I read somewhere that tattoos are popular with the young because it is a substitute for coming of age rituals that we no longer have or require our youth to attend…the pain associated with the process is part of this “ritual”…this actually makes some sense to me…my son’s first tattoo was self inflicted and must have been uber painful to boot – his second tat was a “mom” banner inside a heart….which made me go “awwww” even as I was freaked out that he was irrevocably marking his body …there are worse things I suppose and in his case those worse things came and broke both our hearts…so the tats in a way were prophecies of bad things coming down the road…hindsight is twenty twenty….sigh……

  • Okay, when do we get the second hamster?

  • The Pierced Vermin should slouch his way onto the blog in a week or two.

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  • I just read Pierced Vermin and had to return to read about the tattoos. I work as an RN with many younger nurses in a major metro hospital. Many of them have tattoos and most are covered by their clothing. Honestly, rarely do I see one that I think looks good or attractive. They get them on vacation in Vegas, Mexico. etc. I’m sure a few adult beverages were consumed before the decision was made. Some are creepy looking and randomly placed on ankles, rib cage (ouch), inside wrists and on and on. Also, I’ve cared for patients with tattoos on almost every inch of their skin. The themes were frightening and hellish. I felt like I should sprinkle a little holy water on them.

  • We live in a bizarre world Ruby, and it is getting more bizarre by the mmoment, and nurses and attorneys get to see more than their fair share.

  • Ruby – had I been Catholic at the time my son got his tats I would have sprinkled him with holy water if I had thought of it…His name is Janos…please pray for him….thanks…

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  • The thing I find odd is that, as fascinated as people are with tattoos, they’re equally contemptuous of any sort of temporary tattoo. Yet that seems like the perfect solution, especially in a society where everything else is temporary. Get “Ruby” painted on your chest with something that’ll wash off in 3 months, and you’ll probably be broken up with her by then anyway. Or keep adjusting the position of your dolphin tat as things sag.

    It’s just pretty weird that a society that accepts temporary marriage will call you a chicken if you don’t want your body art to be permanent.

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  • I have always had two reasons for not getting a tattoo: (1) I could not think of anything that I knew would be an absolutely permanent representation of who I was, save for signs of my faith which should have been lived, not just worn; and (2) I am a complete coward who loathes and fears needles.

    The degree to which Reason #1 is merely a rationalization of Reason #2 even I don’t know, so feel free to think your worst. 🙂

    But having married a woman who *did* find such permanent self-representations and chose to wear them as part of herself, I can say that there *are* those out there who adopt tattoos responsibly, meaningfully and unashamedly. My wife is a writer, and her largest tattoo (an upper-arm work which can be covered conveniently) comprises two quotes written in a spiral: “Be neat and orderly in your life, like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and creative in your work” (Flaubert), and “Listen to stories; it’s always polite, and sometimes it improves you” (The Ramayama). This permanent artwork is a vital touchstone of her memory and identity.

    As with all else, tattoos can be a symbol of something permanent and meaningful, or a record of one’s impulses and bad judgement; it takes knowing the person to know which, but judging by the mere appearance is not always the wisest course.

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