A full week with the flu. Sure, the bad parts are over, but I’m still dragging and this *&(&#)@ cough won’t go away. I think my staff is getting ready to toss me out of my own firm.
But hey, I’ve been totally sober for 2018. Ten days in a row. I’m tempted to try to go the entire month, but January has 31 days so, you know, it’s not really possible.
Now, if this were September 1752, I’d go for teetotalling broke, just to say I did it. That month had only 19 days in it. “Six and a half million Britons went to bed on September 2, 1752, and woke up on September 14. The reason? The Calendar (New Style) Act of 1750, of course.”
I could never understand the lyrics. Maybe they were singing about 1752:
I’ve always been a fan of Albert Camus, albeit a fan with a short attention span. I know people speculated that he was heading back to the Catholic Church before his life was tragically cut short at age 46 in a car accident. But was it an accident? It’s apparently been rumored since his death that the Soviets killed him. “In 2011, the media were abuzz with a report out of Italy that, rather than an accident, Camus may have been assassinated by the Soviet KGB for his powerful criticism of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, their massacre of Hungarian freedom fighters, and for his defense and advocacy of Boris Pasternak and his novel, Doctor Zhivago, among other things.”
Are the Democrats giving up on conventional politics? Oprah? Seriously? Sure, it’s no more improbable than the Donald, and it would certainly get them even for the Donald, but really? The left is actually galvanized at the prospect?
Trump continues to set the pace of the world. It’s not a good thing, but hey, it’s not an Oprah thing.
Jack and Michael attended the annual FOCUS conference in Chicago last week. I’d heard of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students but didn’t know much about it. From what I gather, FOCUS is hired [by university parishes?] to evangelize the university’s Catholic students. I’m greatly impressed by what I see. If you don’t want to lose your Catholic kid to the secularist idiots, pick a public university with a FOCUS presence or a strong Newman Center, then encourage them to get involved. They’re more likely to keep their Catholic identity at such a place than they would at, say, Georgetown or Boston College.
I listened to a ton of podcasts during my flu convalescence. Well, “listen” might be a bit exaggerated. I had them running non-stop, figuring it might bode well for me if I were listening to a priest when the angel of death came for me. Relevant Radio really came through with its great app.
I also watched a lot of TV. By Friday evening, I was sick and tired of TV, but I did discover that Netflix currently has the entire modern Father Brown series among its offerings. I’ll be checking out some of those episodes during the coming months.
I also made headway into the new season of Peaky Blinders, which might be my favorite TV show of all time. Great stuff. The family featured in the show are part Romani (gypsy). I didn’t know much about gypsies. My only exposure to them was in 1983, when I was working at K-Mart. The manager called an emergency meeting to inform everyone that a neighboring K-Mart called to warn them that they had just been hit by gypsies and that, if the caravan came to our store, no one could take lunch or breaks until the threat was over. A large group of gypsies, it was explained to me, would descend on K-Marts, create disturbances (customer complaints, mock fist fights, etc.), then rob the store blind while staff tried to deal with the disturbances. I’ll never forget the absolute disdain on my managers’ faces. It was obvious they had seen it before and/or been trained to deal with a well-known problem. So anyway, I checked out the Wikipedia entry about them. It’s fairly interesting.
I never appreciated how severe the flu can be. When I would read that it could be “life threatening,” I didn’t really get it. Of course, if the flu came with stomach issues that lead to dehydration, that was understandable, but to go into life-threatening mode from body aches and fever under 104? I never understood it . . . until last week. I went into full-blown flu Wednesday evening and didn’t come out of the severest part until Saturday morning. As of this typing (Sunday), I’m still sore all over, am battling residual headaches, am still coughing and holding my stomach because I apparently pulled a stomach muscle during the battle, and am finding ordinary tasks (like composing this post) a bit difficult and “off-pace.”
I’m not looking for sympathy, btw. I’ll be fine. But if you hear of someone battling a real flu (and not the minor bouts I’ve dealt with in previous years that I thought were the real flu), see what you can do, especially if they live alone.
And yes, I got a flu shot. I’ve heard through the medical community that the people who create the shot really botched it this year (and that it’s mostly guess work anyway). I have a message for those people, but I can’t find the middle finger symbol on my keyboard.
Tonight is traditionally known as “The Twelfth Night.” I’d never heard of it, but it was apparently a pretty raucous celebration by people who kept the Christmas season alive for the entire twelve days . . . although, I’m willing to conjecture, in an occasionally debauched form.
I often get a bit a nervous when I’m criticizing Pope Francis. Needless to say, a person can’t toss the words “Pope” and “heretic” together without flat-out contradicting the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church, so I’m never tempted to push it that far, but lesser criticism can be out of line as well, since we need to show loyalty. I’m glad John Zmirak apparently has no such compunctions: “Pope Francis is pushing an “anti-American” and “anti-American worldview” via “hysterical leftist agitprop,” said The Stream’s Senior Editor John Zmirak on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.” Link.
Of course, that line above comes from a Breitbart article. Maybe they sensationalized it a bit. . . . Nope: “[Pope Francis] talks a good game about humility in discourse and openness, but that’s a bit like when Venezuela speaks about people’s democracy. It seems to be an empty slogan for a very angry, not exceptionally bright or subtle South American politician who happens to have found himself in a position with a huge bully pulpit which allows him to express an anti-American, anti-free market, really anti-Western worldview that seems to make a fetish out of poverty and loves the idea of global government overruling the wishes of voters. . . . He gave a talk in 2013 where he compared Europeans who didn’t want to accept Muslim migrants, he compared them to Cain who killed his brother in the Garden of Eden and Herod who slaughtered the children of Bethlehem. This is not rational discourse. This is not theology. This is hysterical leftist agitprop of the kind that you read in Venezuelan government newspapers.”
This Zmirak book, incidentally, is a classic that deserves a much wider audience. I and my two oldest boys both read and loved it.
You can indirectly support TDE by buying your vegetable and flower seeds from the MAXimum Greens website. We have a nice assortment: flowers, vegetables. Our prices match the prices charged by the company whose products we sell. If you want something that isn’t listed at the store, email me and I will see if I can get it. I can probably can. Seed orders normally ship within 48 hours.
It’s hard to think of Copts without thinking of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and events surrounding it. Man, talk about acrimony. I had forgotten how bitter it was: quarreling, monks rioting in the streets, murder. Those folks took their theology seriously. It’s absurd that theology should ever erupt into violence, but at least theology is worth fighting over. And if people don’t fight over religious dogma, they’ll fight over secular dogma.
Whenever I get on the subject of early Church council, I remember Robert Payne’s excellent The Holy Fire. It doesn’t talk much about Chalcedon, but I looked it up on Amazon last night anyway while composing this post. For the first time ever, I took time to read the biographical information about Payne. I had no idea I was reading a genius (though I’m not surprised): “Robert Payne (1911-1983) was acclaimed as a “literary phenomenon of astounding industry and versatility” by Orville Prescott of The New York Times. During his lifetime he had over 100 books published on an extraordinarily wide range of subjects. He was known chiefly for his biographies and histories, but he also wrote novels, poetry and was a multi-lingual translator.”
I saw a headline link about Pope Francis’ New Year Day Mass, so I clicked on it. I liked what I saw: “Pope Francis on Monday recommended jettisoning life’s ‘useless baggage’ in 2018, including what he called ’empty chatter’ and banal consumerism, and focusing instead on building a peaceful and welcoming world . . .”. Good, good, good, I thought to myself. And then, “particularly for refugees and migrants.” Dang, politics again. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say anything that doesn’t devolve into a political message. I’m sure he has, but I haven’t seen it.
“Colgate frozen beef lasagna (1982); Harley-Davidson “Hot Road” Eau de Toilette (1996-2005); “Rejuvenique” (1999), an electricity-zapping facial mask, hawked by Dynasty star Linda Evans, which looked exactly like the one worn by the mad doctor’s hideously disfigured daughter in the 1960 horror classic Eyes Without a Face.” What are those things? Actual products that (for obvious reasons) failed miserably. They’re also on display in a new museum dedicated to failure.
Rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains, Alcazar Castle is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in #Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. pic.twitter.com/8czqFJhqfW
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