Monday, November 19, 2007

Head of Dreads

It is just past midterms at Cal and papers are due the day before thanksgiving.

The preacher from ye former post had something to add:

"Do your homework and you will be saved..."
"Study hard and Jesus will love you..."

Your neighbor is not t'eh earth

"Love mother earth!"

...just don't honor your pater and mater.

"Save the environment!"

But just forget saving souls!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mackerel Snappingly Yours

I bought a "Papist" sweatshirt, purchased through this fellow's blog (though an advertisement, to be precise), and wore it today for the first time on the UC Berkeley campus - and got my first reaction as well! I was rummaging for my backpack in my car, and hence, my back with the bold "Papist" lettering was presented to the world. I'd noticed two Asians walking down the street, talking, but as they passed me I heard a hiss like the sound an angered cat would make and then the audible whisper: "she's a PAPIST."

That was fun!

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Young Woman, You Need A Savior"

Almost every afternoon, from the hours of 12-1, a man in a loose pink collared shirt and blue suspenders will stand in central campus and do his "fsck Bush!" routine which involves just that: saying "fsck Bush!" every so often, pointing to students wandering by and ridiculing them ("HAAAAHAH! YOU SEE THAT MAN THERE WITH THE SWEATER!? THAT SWEATER IS TOO SHORT FOR THAT MAN! HAAAHAAAAH!" or of the random freshman that wanders by "LOOK at THAT! You SEE what the problem in America is!?! HAHAAHAHAA"), and occasionally blowing on a tin whistle for emphasis.

I'm not sure why he's allowed to stay - probably something to do with free speech.

Yesterday, there was a man vying for the lunch-goers' attention. He was an old African American dressed in a dark tan flannel shirt, with white-grey dreadlocks that cascaded down to his chest. He preached in cave-like tones about the need for repentance, turning to Christ, the evils of promiscuity, and the lamentable state of the soul of the typical college student.

This made the fsck Bush man angry: earlier, he'd stormed over to a student playing rap music and demanded that he turn it down - presumably because it was distracting the fsck Bush man. "HAHAAhHHHHH!!!!" he screamed, palpably incensed that someone was encroaching on his spot, and then screamed something like: "A JESUS FREAK. JESUS AIN'T GOING TO SAVE YOU!!!"

The preacher stood there silently for a moment, then tranquilly continued preaching about the goodness of the Lord.

Honestly, it was such a Flannery O'Connor moment. Which isn't good, since - at least in her short stories - over 70% of her characters are mutilated or maimed.

So where does that leave me?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Whaaat

the hell?

To borrow from Keilholtz: stock up on that there 'baccy before it's deemed illegal.

Friday, October 05, 2007

E-nun-ci-ate

This afternoon a man called the business I work at:

Him: Hello, I'm calling (for/from) mumble mumble mumble youth charity organization?
Me: Excuse me, could you repeat that? Who are you calling for?
Him: I'm calling (for [from??]) mumble mumble charity mumble.
Me (in austere tones): I am sorry, but I believe you have the wrong number. This is a business, not a charity.
Him: Oh... I... um...
Me: Goodbye! *click*

Afterwards, it occurred to me that he was probably calling from the organization and not asking for it. I took it to be the former, not the latter. He probably thought such replies as mine only happened in movies and had his faith in the goodness of humanity shaken.

This illustrates the necessity for proper enunciation.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A provocation

Just in case you missed it, this laughable article was published on Friday and is currently listed as the most popular news item on TIME.

Consider yourself forewarned. And forearm yourself with scoff.

I Think Not

Dawn Eden recently spoke at Cal. In her talk, she stressed that relationships oriented towards sexual gratification damage our ability to sustain a loving and lasting relationship. An acquaintance brought up the fact that the average marriage-age has been increasing. Coincidence?

Now I am going to have my wonderfully nutritious lunch of microwavable popcorn. It is healthy because I am also drinking lemon-infused green tea, which has *antioxidants*. Which are just like *electrolytes*, yes?

Friday, September 21, 2007

What!?

You're *STILL* here?

Good things come to those who wait.

See?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

say what?

(Correction) Bezerkleans complaining about the Vagina Monologues!?

...naaah. Couldn't be.

(Not safe for little siblings [nsfls] - this means you.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Corpus

Scene 2
God speketh.
God.
I perceyue, here in my maieste,
How that all creatures be to me vnkynde,
Lyuynge without drede in worldly prosperyte.
Of ghostly syght the people be so blynde,
Drowned in synne, they know me not for theyr God.
In worldely ryches is all theyr mynde;
They fere not my ryghtwysnes, the sharpe rod.
My lawe that I shewed, whan I for them dyed,
They forget clene / and shedynge of my blode rede. [signature A.ii]
I hanged bytwene two theues, it can not be denyed;
To gete them lyfe I suffred to be deed;
I heled theyr fete / with thornes hurt was my heed.
I coude do no more than I dyde, truely;
And nowe I se the people do clene for-sake me.
They vse the seuen deedly synnes dampnable,
As pryde, coueytyse, wrath, and lechery
Now in the worlde be made commendable;
And thus they leue of aungelles the heuenly company.

Source


News link.

Awesome?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More on the Philosophy Department

Undergraduate philosophy papers aren't supposed to be particularly politically correct. Graders don't mark you down if you use words like 'mankind,' in my experience. They are more concerned with the way your argument plays out, whether the premises are correct and the conclusion follows from the premises, whether its valid, etc. However, you have to be very careful when writing a philosophical paper on identity and use number-neutral, rather than gender-neutral, language. For example: instead of saying 'the identity of this one is the same as that one,' you say: 'f is g, and f's being g consists in...and is indicated by...' Etc. You also can't use words like 'soul' or 'person,' until you've established what identity is and how it relates to the soul. So. Yes. I was told to use number-neutral language, rather than gender-neutral language. Heeeh!

Also, remember what I said about people being honest in the philosophy department? In a class that has to do with epistemology, Berkeley was brought up along with his notion that God perceives everything and so, when one leaves the room, the things perceived remain in being. A student raised his hand and asked "In this atheistic...or agnostic era, do eminent philosophers still...believe in God?" The answer the professor gave ran along the lines of "Yes, but I think there is pressure on theistic philosophers to hide their beliefs. If you read them, you get the idea that God plays a very small part - but actually, He's [Notice the 'He'] really big in the background."

Another student raised her hand. "Do you think they (theistic philosophers) are trying to hide their arguments because they realize they are seriously flawed?"

The professor responded emphatically: "No. Actually, their arguments are quite compelling. I've sat down in bars with some of these creationists and chatted late into the night - these are highly intelligent people and they know what they're doing...I've gone to conferences at Notre Dame thinking I would hear one thing, and heard something completely different. Sometimes I wish I didn't know so much about God...There is just pressure on them to not mention God, and I think that's a bad thing. It would be a lot more productive if we were actually honest and said what we meant. But don't worry - we'll come back to God later in the class. God will come back."

...I like this professor.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Don't Give Up on the Jesuits

So you've heard about the antics of the Jesuits and their neo-modernism over and over again - and you may have all but given up on their order (I'm referring more to the comments-section in this link), considering the few orthodox ones to be a dying breed.

Don't be so sure.

Snip
On this feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, we, the leadership of the Jesuits in the United States, fervently renew our opposition to abortion and our support for the unborn.

Snip
When early Christians began to reflect on their faith in Jesus of Nazareth as Christ and Lord, they concluded that abortion was a grave sin. To believe in the mystery of the Incarnation, in God’s wondrous decision to become human and take on the life of our natural existence of conception, birth, maturation, and death, commits one to affirm the dignity and sacredness of human life from conception to death.

This is a sign of hope. Or a hopeful sign. I've also met several Jesuit seminarians, and they have impressed me as being solid young men, faithful to the Church and our Holy Father.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Comrade Don Camillo

It was a gray autumn morning. Women in men's coveralls were washing and sweeping the streets, running the trolley cars, tarring a paved square and doing construction work on a new building. In front of a Gastronom a long line of women, in simple but more feminine clothes, was patiently waiting. Don Camillo leaned toward Peppone and whispered in his ear:
"These women not only have men's rights; they have women's rights as well!"

On the Poor

Recently, there have been a large number of stories concerning the neglect of children. The public has responded by voicing resentment and horror - first horror, and then (more strongly it seems to me) resentment at the fact that the parents who neglect their children are using our tax-dollars to support themselves and thus we thus, unwillingly, facilitate continued neglect. *1

The solution to all these problems? Sterilize the poor women, who are probably also *stupid* poor women (this is not my correlation), so that they can't have children and fob our money off of us. These sentiments are echoed in at least one news source (albiet, in a rather veiled manner): "There's just some kind of a lack of awareness of the size of your family versus your income, your ability to live," Hannan said.*2

Chesterton addressed something along these lines in What's Wrong with the World - this isn't directly pertinent, as cases of neglect are, many times, cases of willful neglect (though there may be a variety of circumstances - the usurious landlord - which may absolve one from cases of alleged neglect), but what Chesterton said may be broadly applied.

The solution is not to sterilize the poor women - but to spread God's love and not to kill the offspring or to stem the number of children born. You don't attack the symptom, you attack the disease.

I'm rather afraid I got into a heated debate with one of the organizers of a local Catholic young-adult's group. He proposed that better sexual education would lead to less children born to the poor people who were ignorant and whose offspring were prone to be wild and dangerous. I countered that this was not the proper solution - sexual education does not magically solve problems but exacerbates them by encouraging promiscuity and less respect for the dignity of the other (though I did not phrase it so eloquently during the actual speech). He asked me what my solution was. I replied that we should do good, help others, here and now in the ways we could, love them, show them God's love - and voting, of course, in line with what the Church teaches. The man asked me what good that would do when the problems of this world were spread over such a great area. What good could one person do?

Well, what's the point if doing and being good don't DO anything? What good couldn't it do? The saints moved mountains and while I may be no saint, I can follow their example. Referring to Chesterton again - God told St. Francis to build His Church. An by gum, St. Francis built it with his own hands, "stone by stone." He did what he could, because God willed that he should do so, and because Francis willed that it should be so. If God wills that good may come, and man cooperates, then good cannot but come and the world cannot but be affected if only a little in our terms.

Despite trying to get on the mailing list, twice, for this young-adult group, I um. Didn't get on it. Somehow.

Source:
1. http://obscurestore.typepad.com/obscure_store_and_reading/2007/01/toddler_in_diap.html#comments
2. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061226/lf_nm/usa_poverty_newyork_dc

(I don't directly link, because I don't want this to be tracked back and have a flame-war established with people from the first link.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Rrright --- or no?

Ahhhhh. School has started - and already I have a paper/writing assignment/thing due on Monday for a class that started today. Where is the sense in that? True, this is a class dedicated to the improvement of students' philosophical writing, but the mind must first assimilate and sort the material before spewing it out in such wise as to satisfy the academic standards at Berkeley!

My sister's wedding went off without a hitch - that is to say she was married to John without problems that leaped into the foreground and gnashed their teeth in a baleful manner at the then-hopeful bride and groom. Hurrah hurrah! A wedding! The wrestling masks were a great success - at least three young homeschooled men (ages 13-17) retired to a corner of the room and menaced each other in their best manner(s?), jumping up and down and gesticulating wildly while, unbeknowest to them, homeschooling mothers singled them out and brought them to the notice of the general public (in a nice way). The young girls (of ages 2-7), meanwhile, collected the masks in a pile and sat around them playing games - patty cake, I think. What I mean to say is: the masks were appreciated and will probably be better remembered by the children than the actual marriage. John and Aletheia 4e-ver!

For the curious - the actual wedding was gorgeous. The choir was beautiful, the ceremony simple and dignified. The food at the reception - which Erik and another friend spent more than three days in preparing - turned out to be so scrumptious.

Hume was an ass. Carry on.

One laudable aspect of the Philosophy department is that the professors and graduate students can be quite honest (and are - anyone can be honest, not everyone is) - in my ethics class, the professor advanced the notion that what is right is roughly equivalent to what results in the greatest happiness for all individuals concerned. Then he brought up a particular case - suppose there is a hospital, and in one ward of this hospital there is a patient who is recovering and will be completely well by the end of the week. In the other ward, there are five patients who need organ transplants - or else they die. So the person who holds the notion that the greatest overall happiness should obtain says to himself: "I'll just hack up this one patient and distribute her organs - that will result in MORE happiness than if that one patient lived. That is what is RIGHT."

At this point, the professor glanced at the class for reactions. I was giggling along with another person or two, the rest of the class sat in fascination. It all sounded so nice - we want the most people who can be happy to be happy! But this poor woman who gets hacked up for the sake of the other five!

Of course, this is all loosely phrased, but the gist of it was - there are basic rights of human beings which cannot be violated. To do so would be wrong even if it benefited a great number of people.

Be excellent to each other.