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Showing posts from August 23, 2015

Patience, Revisited

There's a parish near my house a little closer than the one where I attend Mass. I often liked to go there for Confession, because I had a very holy priest friend who served there. He's not there anymore, but it's a beautiful church in many ways, despite being new in construction, relatively speaking. It starts earlier in the day than our Reconciliation time, and that's nice, also. I saw ten or twelve folks ahead of me, so I didn't worry. I should have; it seemed to take forever. Their vigil Mass starts right after the time, and I thought I may miss out. Besides that, each one seemed to take a long time. I kept looking at the crucifix; I wanted the Lord to know that I was sorry, that my eyes of faith and my heart saw things clearly. I want to agree with the Lord about reality, and I always do, even if my walk tells me I have moments of doubt. That's what a sin is, ultimately: a freely chosen moment of unbelief, after a fashion. Suppose--and you may correct

Pay Attention, Zooey Deschanel (And Everybody Else)

I don't think casual sex empowers women; I don't think it empowers anyone. I don't begrudge anyone the use of the term, "feminist," per se, because a lot of ordinary people who use it aren't aware of how terrible real feminism actually is (or at least could be). They think it means the general uplift and improvement of women. Fine; let's use that definition. Does anyone care to actually make an argument that casual sex is or has been actually a positive force for women? I'll name fatherless children, shattered hearts, abortions (of living people, by the way) and poverty against it. All anyone can name in its favor is, "It's really pleasurable. Like, a lot." There are a lot of very pleasurable things I could do that would be wrong to do, like punching Donald Trump in the face. I'd really enjoy that. It doesn't mean I should. People say in reply, "Well, sex makes women start to celebrate their bodies! Maybe they have been s

Socialism Is...

State ownership of the means of production. That's what it is. Hoping and advocating for a more equal distribution of wealth could be socialist, depending on the means chosen, but simply expressing this desire is not socialist, or morally objectionable, in itself. There is a sloppy tendency on the political Right to label anything we don't like "socialist," and I understand that. All the great tragedies of working-class movements, when they've turned truly heinous, 1) were explicitly socialist in intention, or, 2) involved the excesses of a State which had already been empowered to enforce its vision of economic fairness, above all other goals. Why is socialism bad? It turns every human interaction into an economic one; it conceives of every human problem in exclusively economic terms; while claiming to lift the worker, it denies him or her self-determination, in favor of the whole. It turns the person into a mere instrument of the Ideal State, or the Ideal Ma

5 Snarky Thoughts For Today

5. Being a billionaire doesn't preclude someone from being stupid. 4. And I don't think stupid people should run for president. 3. When "Today's sacrifice to the Gun Cult" becomes your schtik, and hours after a tragic shooting, probably by an ill person, I don't listen to you anymore. You certainly haven't respectfully interacted with anyone who values those rights, and--without being callous toward any unnecessary losses--might disagree. If I were going to make the same point, I would say: "Without prejudice to those who exercise their Constitutional rights articulated in the Second Amendment responsibly and without malice, I believe the sheer number of unnecessary deaths caused by firearms should prompt people such as myself to revisit the structure of the regulatory apparatus as currently constituted." Yes, it takes longer, and I make certain people unhappy anyway, but I have adopted the posture--in the very choice of my words--of listenin

I Needed Some H20

I can't do subscripts here, I don't think. Anyway, "H20" is the title of the 1982 album by Daryl Hall & John Oates. I'm not a music critic, OK? So you're not going to get long, wordy descriptions about things the guy doesn't understand anyway. I really hate it when pop/rock critics make you feel like they know more than you, and more than they actually do. I just want to go, "Look, buddy, I may have heard one or two of these on the radio, and I need you to tell me if the album is worth it. Comprendo?" I especially liked "Go Solo." I looked it up; this magical track was never released as a single. Paging Tommy Mottola, or whomever! You messed up big time on that one. I may have listened to it 37 times, actually. What I mentally do is listen all the way through, and if some song grabs me, I'll come back to it. Consider me grabbed. Hall wrote that one by himself; good for you, Daryl! [You should remind everyone that you're

My Hope For The Mercy Of God Is Real

So what would be the point of fussing over whether any person is "saved" in this moment? That could change. I don't know whether I'm saved in this moment. If that bothers you, because Luther, Calvin, or "Jesus Loves Me" said so, get over it. Mother Church says moral certainty is really all we have. I don't want Benny Hinn to burn in the fires of Hell. I don't want anyone to end up there. Why is this shocking? Is there a point of doctrinal or moral error where we get to utter some pious version of, "We don't like you"? That's not how this works; that's not how any of this works. I'm all about drawing lines in the sand, as it were. If you don't believe me, check the archives. But I'm going to talk incessantly about the mercy of God, the unyielding, unchanging, unquenchable fire that is Love. Judgment is all the more terrible when you begin to understand. I don't think anyone should dare to proclaim the gospe

...But I'm Out Of My Head When You're Not Around

As I told a friend on Facebook, I found a cassette of Daryl Hall & John Oates' "Big Bam Boom" album buried in my stuff. "Out Of Touch" might be my favorite, and that was the big single from that "record", as the pop musicians still say. I've decided that I like Recorded Young Daryl and Old Live Daryl just as well. I never have had this weird vendetta against electronic instruments, either, so I don't mind the recorded versions. I'm sure a critic somewhere said, "They are to be commended for adapting to the changing times, and the chart success has vindicated them." These guys are nearly 70, and they've still got it. Oates in the '80s looked a little like my Dad, sans mullet. I was recalling how huge they were back then. I was pretty young, but I remember. Guys like Daryl and John were close to 40 already, but big with the first MTV generation. I wonder if it surprised them? Jimmy Fallon had Daryl on The Tonight S

The Rosary: JK, Interrupted

I was too tired to do the last three decades last night, so I did them this morning. During the fourth mystery, I wanted to break someone's face. How fitting that the fourth Sorrowful Mystery is the carrying of the cross. The cross I carry is the heart-burden that someone is being unjust and unfair to someone close to me, and I can't really do anything about it. I have a friend named Douglas who once said, "Sometimes, men get angry when they should be sad, but they don't know how to be sad." That's right. I am really sad. I'm sad that people sometimes think unquestioned affirmation is the price of love. I'm sad when people who have the power to stand up and do better, to absolutely demand it, don't. There is a little pride in here, too, for good or ill. I carry my name very proudly; if someone says I've failed to honor it, they'd better bring the goods. If they don't, they dishonor me, but everyone who carries it. It's a shame t