Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Remind me never to visit this place

... in the unlikely event that I ever travel to Hobart, Tasmania. It's the (privately owned) Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), and it sounds like a barrel of fun:

Featured on the opposite wall is a display of human ashes (into which anyone can have themselves incinerated and mixed if they so wish). The first painting is Le Grand Macabre – three dark threatening dancing figures, a welcome to the underworld. From then on, it is one relentless splattering of sex, death, decay and defecation relieved only by the usual atheistic assaults on anything hinting of the religious, contemplative or spiritual.
Among the highlights are paeans to defecation. Cloaca is a machine that simulates all functions of the human digestive system, including producing excrement. Locus Focus is a toilet with cleverly arranged mirrors for viewing everything that happens there. [...]
MONA is not so much an art museum as a tentative answer to the question: Where does art go, bereft of ideality? It tends towards what is left, the bare fact of materiality, brutal, ephemeral, uninhibited: art as solipsistic manipulation of whatever decays and rots and orgasms and screams and stinks and dies.
Atheism leads to death and nothingness, because atheism is death and nothingness. In artistic terms, by its own logic, an atheistic worldview will end up dispensing with any ideality in art and will simply proclaim an art of what remains – life as decay, depredation, animal chaos and death.
Article by Steven Jacks, MercatorNet.

I'm so glad that places like this exist, where you can learn about what Art really is and what it does, and even how to do it. Living Water College of the Arts (and located in the province right next door to me!)

I am so adding this lady to our blogroll

Erin Manning at "And Sometimes Tea". How could you possibly resist posts with titles like this or  this? And she's a homeschool mom. And a member (nay, founder!) of the Coalition for Clarity. Because torture is instrinsically evil.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Internet may possibly be evil

We (western "civilization") have come to a sorry pass indeed when some people think phrases of this ilk constitute persuasive argument:

a) Shut up.
b) You're stupid.
c) F*** off.
d) Variations thereof.

Go to any website, any combox, and you will see this sort of thing. Anonymity makes it infinitely worse. It rather makes one despair for the state of the mind and soul of post-modern man. And it very nearly almost wants to make one give up blogging and/or writing, and instead spend time on activities that are infinitely more productive and God-glorifying, like reading a story to your child or perfecting the art of the pie crust.


From our "All Cultures are Equal" Files

My post over at MercatorNet on India's disposable girls has sparked a bit of heated exchange in the combox. Maybe western feminists need to get their noses out of church hymnbooks (to change the language of course, not to worship God) and go start a women's lib movement in Asia. Oh, that's right, I forgot. They've already tried and succeeded (in one of the very few spheres that seems to interest them in other parts of the globe): universal access to abortion. Not working out so well, I'm afraid. If only there was a culture or a religion that promoted the intrinsic worth of life and human dignity! I agree with one commentor: please pray for India (and indeed any nation that routinely kills its unborn).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The seniors triumph again

There is hope for me. A 59-year old lady (and mom of 8!) takes the "at-home" (consolation) prize in the Biggest Loser. I think I would find $100,000 fairly consoling too.

Will this finally deep-six Development and Peace?

One could only hope, but then, North American "Catholic" institutions are not exactly known for toeing the line when it comes to Vatican pronouncements. But it's a good story.

ROME, May 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an address to the General Assembly of Caritas International today, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican dicastery dealing with the church’s charitable institutions, stressed that the main mission of all Church groups, charitable groups included, was to bring people to Christ.  “Today, dear Friends, the tragedy of modern mankind is not lacking clothing and housing. The most tragic hunger and the most terrible anguish is not lack of food,” he said. “It’s much more about the absence of God and the lack of true love, the love that was revealed to us on the Cross.”

Friday, May 20, 2011

Canadian Culture, with a Cherry on top

Only in Canada could Don Cherry be the subject of an academic study. (Surprise! Conclusion: he's bad for our nation. Your tax dollars at work!)

This is one of the funniest interviews I have yet seen (heard) on SUN. All hail Don Cherry! (I'm willing to bet that Mr. Cherry now holds the record for the number of times the phrase "left-wing pinkos" has been used in an interview on Canadian media--ie. greater than zero.)
Incidentally,  I wonder how many CBC execs regularly soil themselves in sheer unadulterated hatred and frustration at being unable to muzzle or fire this guy.

"...and I'm worried about some professor who never worked a day in his life...are you kidding me?"


Out of LSD?

Don't have any hallucinogenic drugs on hand, but still want a surreal experience? Watch this Brian Lilley interview with Luam Kidane from immigrants' rights group "No One Is Illegal". I wish I could tell you what this group stands for, but I don't know because despite Brian's best efforts, he could not get a straight answer out of this person. It was unbelievable. She is destined for greatness (a job in high political office or some other big-salary government bureaucracy) because she is able to talk without actually saying anything. I really can't blame Brian for getting testy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Honesty is the best policy

“Recruiting children? You bet we are,” he said.
“I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT,” he wrote.
[...] While gay activists usually deny that they want to indoctrinate children, said Villarreal, “let’s face it—that’s a lie.” “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it,” he wrote.

Hmmm... why does their future depend on it, if homosexuality is genetic/inherent and much more common than anyone wants to admit? (story via LSN)

Big Brother is Watching You...eat your lunch

This is so creepy, I can't believe parents haven't (metaphorically) lynched the school board.  Check out this story (h/t Mark Steyn) about a Texas school that has hidden cameras to scan the nutrition content of children's lunches. I posted on this for MercatorNet.

The moral of the story is: No matter how pretty or plausible or scientific or even socially/morally acceptable (it's for the children! to stamp out childhood obesity!) the arguments might be, never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever believe someone who says they are spying on you for your own good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trying not to hyperventilate

I just found out who's speaking at the Catholic Family Life Conference this summer. Mrs. Beazly, you'd better sit down and repeat to yourself: "I have a MacBook Air, a dishwasher, and a husband who watches period drama with me, and Mrs. P doesn't," because I'm totally going to this conference, and (unless you plan to fly to Edmonton this summer) you're probably not. (But it would sure be great if you could!)
Mrs. Beazly says:
"Your heart like a kick drum!"
(Do say hi to Mr. Shea for me.)

To the hard of hearing you shout

More Flannery.
 "The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural .... When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock – to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."

Bonus:  Walker Percy, a writer I should like to know better. I've read nothing of his besides The Moviegoer, and I liked that. I haven't read it in a couple of years - time for a repetition.

  What is a repetition? A repetition is the re-enactment of past experience toward the end of isolating the time segment which has lapsed in order that it, the lapsed time, can be savored of itself and without the usual adulteration of events that clog time like peanuts in brittle. Last week, for example, I experienced an accidental repetition. I picked up a German-language weekly in the library. In it I noticed an advertisement for Nivea Creme, showing a woman with a grainy face turned up to the sun. Then I remembered that twenty years ago I saw the same advertisement in a magazine on my father's desk, the same woman, the same grainy face, the same Nivea Creme. The events of the intervening twenty years were neutralized, the thirty million deaths, the countless torturings, uprootings and wanderings to and fro. Nothing of consequence could have happened because Nivea Creme was exactly as it was before. There remained only time itself, like a yard of smooth peanut brittle.
                                                                                                             from The Moviegoer

Fess up, Theo!

STATE BROADCASTER HANKERING AFTER SUN JOURNALIST...and not for his communication skills.

Someone at the CBC in Toronto has a crush on Theo Caldwell. Check out the DOH Sitemeter stats page for hits to this blog (it's linked to a lighthearted piece I wrote about Theo a few weeks ago).

Seems some gal at the CBC (or maybe this is a mancrush, who knows?) wants to know Theo’s marital status. Check out the “search words” (scroll down).

is theo caldwell married

So is he? Go ahead, Theo, tell us. We can take it. Disappoint all the young ladies out there (or the moms like me who would like to introduce you to our single and gorgeous daughters).

Two of my fave media guys

Wow. This is really strange. I tried to edit this post (from last week) because there was something terribly wonky about the formatting of the labels. But instead of appearing on its correct date (May 11), it re-posted here. Sorry about that, DOH readers.

Coren and Caldwell (hey, I like the ring of that--maybe they would consider becoming a comedy team) discuss the story about the Quebec judge who is persecuting homeschoolers, for not having abused their children or broken any laws.

Only on SUN! (video by SDAMatt; h/t to BCF)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Case Against Tortuous Reasoning

Well, some promising stuff so far on the Sun TV website - their not ignoring the March for Life, for example. It's nice to encounter opinions there with which one can agree. This is not one of them.
The idea that using torture degrades us all and reduces individuals to something less than human, is one of those fallacies that pleases the vanity of those who cannot contemplate or justify its use.
I don't see how it is false to say that torture is degrading and dehumanizing. Isn't that why it is used - to break the person down to the point where he will reveal information? I also don't see where vanity enters into the assertion that we are sinful creatures, prone to seek revenge rather than justice, and that we cannot practice evil in pursuit of good.
Yet the British and others have maintained civilized and humane behaviour, without being morally corrupted by having used [torture].
The use of torture is the "moral corruption". Yet it is continually defended  within "the thing that used to be conservatism", in the words of Mr. Shea.

It gets better:
Suppose torturing his child is the only way to get him to reveal information that would save countless lives.
Is it acceptable to torture an innocent child?
That's something most people cannot contemplate, much less answer.
Hey, I can answer! NO. And I'm pretty sure most other civilized non-psychopaths can give that answer, too. Terrorists count human life as nothing - why would you want to be more like them? What are we defending from their barbarous attacks if we abandon truth?

Mrs. P chimes in: There is only one case for torture: the "basket" variety. In that you have to be one in order to justify or defend the practice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simply amazing

The world can once again put a face to the name Dallas Wiens. (Previous post here.)

God bless him and his caregivers on the road to recovery.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A mother in a million million

Out of tragedy comes a shining example of love, devotion and sacrifice.

Happy Mother's Day!

Mrs. Pinkerton's Excellent Riverdance Adventure

Riverdance - riverdance photo
My girls surprised me earlier in the week with tickets to Riverdance for Mother's Day and I attended the matinee performance Saturday afternoon in Saskatoon. Suffice it to say that it received the DOH "VF" Seal of Approval (Very Fantastic). Having only two tickets, I could not decide which daughter to take; all seven of them wanted to attend it. In retrospect, I really wish we'd taken ALL of them to see it; they would have loved it.

But I took Mr. Pinkerton; that is to say, he did not object too vociferously. He too gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. In other words, he dozed off only twice. I know he watched and enjoyed some of it; he remarked later how long the legs of the female lead dancer were. We also went out for Greek ribs later, which sweetened the deal considerably and made the day a truly international event.

There must have been some other couples in our situation (wife coercing husband to attend cultural event): I noticed a 60-something farmer-type guy there, all gussied up in his jeans, plaid shirt, and large satellite-dish-like cowboy belt buckle. Didn't exactly look the type who likes Celtic music or dance. I hope he too enjoyed the lead dancer's long legs.

And there were kids there. Lots of kids. I love kids, and I even think they should come to cultural events. But the thing about Riverdance is, don't bring anyone under 4, especially if he's a boy. Consider that the cost of a ticket will buy quite a few hours of quality babysitting at the going rate, and you'll get to see the entire show.

Anyway, a good time was had by (almost) all. It was a very fantastic day. I would go see Riverdance again in a heartbeat, and take all the girls.

Friday, May 6, 2011

From our bulging "Beyond Satire" files

Quebec judge orders Roman Catholic homeschooled children to attend public school; orders 3 and 5 year olds from same family into daycare for "socialization".
In her ruling, Judge Bernier called the mother’s teaching approach “outdated,” saying it emphasized repetition exercises and acquisition of knowledge rather than the Ministry’s preferred approach of teaching learning skills.
Translation: instead of memorizing the multiplication tables ("acquisition of knowledge"), learn how to use a calculator (skill).

Just one more

The Anchoress comments on the Vatican blog meeting. This is an excerpt from remarks she was invited to deliver. (Brave lady! That's one speaking engagement I would not have taken on for the world).
In a sense the church is as wide and deep as the Internet, but wisely constrained by the boundaries of 2000 years of well-wrought reason, and the Truth of Christ, which overcomes all of our illusions and pretenses.
Understanding that, bloggers and social media entrepreneurs have a duty to avoid the sort of narrowness of thought that is endemic to the echo chamber; we are fortunate to have a pope who has proved himself, in his book-length interviews with Peter Seewald and elsewhere, to be willing to put any idea throughout the wringer of Catholic analysis, because he is confident that a thorough discussion, rooted on the truth of Christ, will always lead us to the ends of Catholic orthodoxy, and so Pope Benedict is fearless and open, and in Christ’s truth, we can afford to be, too!
[...] Let’s face it, when the ego is ignited and the passions are galloping, we all too easily ignore our own better angels, and sacrifice charity for the satisfaction of a what we consider to be a well-deserved jab at some poor misguided other.
[...] The church needs us, to assist in evangelization; she needs us to disseminate information and especially to correct information which can often become distorted in the press [...] The church needs us to be where the sheep are grazing, so that we may help them find the better pastures.

But you here in Rome, we need you, too — to keep reminding us that there is a wideness in God’s mercy; that conformity, if and when it comes, must always begin first from a place of freedom, because Christ freely died for us, and that faith wrought without freedom is worthless in the face of his gift, freely given. We need you to remind us that we are called, ultimately, to oneness, as Christ prayed that all may be one.

More on Catholic bloggers

And the Vatican meeting. From the Ironic Catholic:
 Elizabeth Scalia, in my opinion, brought down the house with her presentation on the spiritual battlefield of the heart that bloggers must push through, and how the dark side of blogging is seen in using the medium to feed your ego and convince yourself that your self-selected friends speak for the whole world and are the '"true" Catholics.
[...] A lot of good is done through blogging, and the potential is enormous. It is a medium with limits (brevity, speed of output, misreadings of written intentions), but with incredible strength as well (brevity!, outreach, worldwide engagement, access to information). I think we need to remember that hope and humility attract, and pride and hypocrisy drive people away—and away from more than your blog, away from the Church. Ultimately away from God.
Mea culpa!

How will you celebrate Mother's Day?

Flowers? Dinner out? Breast implants? My latest article (main page, woohoo!) at MercatorNet.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vatican friendly to bloggers

Who says the Church is behind the times? LSN

The officials recognized the role of the Catholic bloggers who have worked to defend the Church. Fr. Lombardi complimented the bloggers for their help, alluding to their role in clarifying Church teaching during the controversy over remarks made by Pope Benedict on condoms in the book, Light of the World. Lombardi thanked bloggers for offering quick clarification in the case.
For the bloggers present who focus on the Church, these interventions illustrated perhaps the most important message of the evening: that the institutional Church and the Catholic blogosphere are not, in fact, in an adversarial relationship. The Vatican said, in essence, let us figure out a way to work together because we are all on the same side.
Except for the times we're not on the same side (as in, when we believe we're defending the Church or the faith against some who might be employed by the church, but who are nevertheless contradicting, misrepresenting, or dissing her teaching...) The toughest part is trying to walk the fine line between that ubiquitous "lack of charity" and the legitimate use of satire in order to make a point or highlight falsehood. When to be meek and mild, and when to get out the whip and upset the money-changers in the temple?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who knew?

That people could be so passionate about cursive handwriting? My new post at Merc went up only yesterday and it's garnered 8 comments so far (frankly, I didn't expect any). And thank you, Mrs. Schmaltz (may she rest in peace). She taught me cursive in grade 2, and a fine job she did of it.

An idea that's out to lunch

Mark Shea on The Miracle of Caring and Sharing.

It was upon just this point that I gave a thumbs down to  "Millions".  It had a promising start - a lonely little boy who sees and talks to the saints finds a suitcase full of money - but I just rolled my eyes when St. Peter began a rapturous explanation of how Jesus didn't really multiply the loaves and fishes -  he just inspired everyone there to get out their lunch boxes.

Yeah, St. Peter of all people can tell you - he was crucified upside down for someone who once managed to talk a bunch of people into having a picnic.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

For Flannery lovers everywhere.

A review of The Abbess of Andalusia.

Mrs. P chimes in: Dang, Mrs. B! You beat me to posting about this. Oh well, at least I can post a quotation from the review:
On writing itself, O’Connor was candid and amusing. For her, two daily hours spent at a manual typewriter felt like pushing a stone uphill with her nose. Regularly reading sentimental gobbledygook in Catholic magazines, or enduring interminable money-raising campaigns led by local bishops unconcerned about the more weighty spiritual realities ...did not help.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mystery and Melody

"Put Your Dreams Away" was on a Sinatra cassette I had in high school, and I haven't heard the song since I wore that tape out more than 20 years ago. But as soon as I started reading Mr. Steyn's latest "Song of the Week" installment, the lyrics came into my head as though I'd heard the song yesterday. Memory is a mysterious and wonderful thing.

This installment of "Song of the Week" is wonderful, too.

"I'll Never Smile Again" is new to me. What a gem! I find that great songs, even the first time you hear them, have a way of making you feel you've known them all your life.


And speaking of great songs

 I love the three Avett Brothers albums which now grace my collection. ("The Gleam", "The Second Gleam", "I and Love and You") Sometimes you buy an album and find you don't like anything but the song that made you want to buy it. Sometimes you like most of the songs but have to skip a couple each time you listen the album. Not so with the Avetts. These guys hit it out of the park on every single song on these three albums.  I can hardly wait to get the rest of their music.

Their talents don't stop at beautiful melodies and brilliant lyrics. Go here for a short article about Scott Avett's other talents and influences.

It's Election Day, Canada!

That is all.
Mrs. Beazly adds...

Throw the bums out!
(No matter what party they belong to.)

"Here comes baby, there goes the marriage"

Variation on a well-worn theme (or meme). And my response. Mercator Net. The comments so far are good too.

Royal wedding

I hadn't planned to write anything about this, or even to watch it, but when my Merc editor asked if I might, I admit that royal fever got the best of me, if only temporarily (ironically, it was a PBS documentary --ie. an American program-- that made me finally determine to stay up and watch it live). It was the usual stuff: hype about dresses and silly hats (Princess Beatrice? Come on, this isn't Wonderland), and I felt as sad and cynical as anyone at seeing this long-time cohabiting couple do their church wedding. But there were some positives too. MercatorNet's Family Edge.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Santo Subito!


"John Paul II is blessed!"

And so are we for having lived in his time.

Welcomed into the company of the Saints