Cleverness is scarce, but compliments are up. So we plow forward, a glass of merlot in one hand, a flagon of ale in the other, a keyboard in the third. Welcome to Issue III of TWE.
I'm Glad My Dad Didn't Play Darth Vader
"When Dario D'Ambrosio, the 45-year-old Italian actor who had the part [of mercilessly flogging Jesus], took his family to see The Passion in Rome, everyone in the theater turned to glare at him; his two daughters cried. The girls told his mother not to see it, and she took their advice. People on the street shoved and cursed at him, and students confronted his daughters, 12 and 14, at school. Mr. D'Ambrosio, a Roman Catholic, says he still has dreams in which Jesus - with the face of Mel Gibson - assures him that it was all worth it." The New York Times.
Screw the Poor, American Style
The Rockefellers have always been keen on limiting the number of births, especially among the poor, as evidenced by their heavy funding of American eugenics during the first third of the twentieth century. They continued the same spirit into the latter part of the century. John D. Rockefeller contributed mightily to contraceptive efforts, especially in the third world, and even offered to write Humane Vitae for Pope Paul VI. In the mid-1960s, Trey's Population Council funded a series of secret conferences at the University of Notre Dame that were designed to give the impression that the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception was no longer intellectually plausible. The Rockefeller Foundation today continues to fund third world population control.
Around the turn of the century, the first John D. Rockefeller also donated large sums to the Anti-Saloon League. It's no coincidence. If you can't keep the poor from being born, you can at least keep them from having fun.
“Away with the world's opinion of you–it's always unsettled and divided.” Seneca
A Queer Childhood
Some believe that homosexuality stems from a dysfunctional relationship with the homosexual's father. If a boy lacks the natural love of a father, the desideratum surfaces in a warped way later. I ran across the following piece of supporting anecdotal evidence in a recent review by Joseph Epstein of Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote:
"Truman Capote was of course gayer than a leap year Mardi Gras. Small, delicately featured, with a famously high and piping voice, he would have had a tough time passing, to use the old-fashioned phrase. Not that it often occurred to him to do so. He appears to have been perfectly at ease with his homosexuality.
"In a letter to Perry Smith, Capote provided a quick sketch of his childhood: 'I was an only child, and very small for my age--and always the smallest boy in school. When I was three, my mother and father were divorced. . . . My father (who has been married five times) was a traveling salesman, and I spent much of my childhood wandering around the South with him. He was not unkind to me, but I disliked him and still do. My mother was only sixteen when I was born and was very beautiful. She married a fairly rich man, a Cuban, and after I was 10 I lived with them (mostly in New York). Unfortunately, my mother, who had several miscarriages and as a result developed mental problems, became an alcoholic and made my life miserable. Subsequently she killed herself (sleeping pills)."'
In honor of Issue III and in remembrance of the NHL, we present a couple of hat tricks.
A Wilde Hat Trick
"The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy."
"Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest of motives."
"When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
Lucky Hat Trick
"What men want to be is often even more important than what they are."
"While it is easier to wrestle with a weak body than with a strong one, it is more difficult to wrestle with a weak mind than with a strong one."
"A great division among the American people has begun–gradually, slowly–to take shape: not between 'conservatives' and 'liberals,' but between people who are still unthinking believers in technology and in economic determinism and people who are not." John Lukacs
Semitic Hat Trick
"They who are modest will not easily sin."
"Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot."
"Adversity is the true school of the mind." The Talmud
Helpless he came to us, helpless he left us. Accountants might call it LILO: Lowly in, lowly out. He came to us as a baby and we took him in. He left us tortured and crucified and we helped lash him. Mary's "yes" is our glory; Pilate's nod is our shame. Let us celebrate now and cry later. And in both events, let us be thankful for a God that cares enough to send His Son to die for our two faces.
Christmas Corner 2
I can't say I always agree with the man, but Charles Krauthammer recently raised a nice point about The Annual December Religious Persecution that occurs in America: "To insist that the overwhelming majority of this country stifle its religious impulses in public so that minorities can feel 'comfortable' not only understandably enrages the majority but commits [the sin of] profound ungenerosity toward a majority of fellow citizens who have shown such generosity of spirit toward minority religions."
Battologist: someone who repeats the same thing needlessly. "It would appear that most four year olds are battologists."
Due to the excellent exigencies of the Christmas celebration, next Wednesday will feature an abbreviated TWE.