Month: April 2011



Man, if I’m ever cool again, I’m going to buy a beverage refrigerator. Two of my neighbors have ’em in their garage, but with seven kids, my garage is devoted to a regular fridge (with top freezer) and an extra freezer. I’m lucky to have three cold boxes, of course, but I am a spoiled American so I waaaaant a beverage fridge. Go here to see what got my mouth watering. * * * * * * * I guess Scotland is getting drunker and drunker. This writer laments the decline of his besotted country. He says he was forced to listen to loud and filthy and juvenile talk by two drunken morons on a train. It sounds pretty bad. But is it much worse than being around parents with younger children, who always seem to instruct in a voice loud enough so everyone else can here them, thereby comprehending what conscientious parents they are? * * * * * * * “Beer used to be easy,” writes Eric Asimov. “You were a Bud guy or Miller guy, maybe even a Schlitz or Ballantine guy. Not that it mattered much, since they tasted virtually the same.” Link. He then goes on to describe the various beer categories in American culture today. Quite useful and informative. Sample:

The most basic division of beers is into ales and lagers. The two differ by the type of yeast that begins fermentation, which transforms sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Ales, older by far, are generally fermented at ambient temperatures and tend to be rounder, fruitier and more complex.

Lagers were discovered almost by accident. Bavarian

Read the rest


LANDRibeMaking Land

“They ain’t makin’ more of it.” I hear that statement at least twice a year, usually when a client is buying real estate. I normally nod in sage agreement. Which has always been an ingenuous thing to do, since I agreed with the obvious observation. But then yesterday, Dan Bourdreaux pointed out that we do, indeed, make more land all the time. We can quibble philologically, but from the pragmatic standpoint (i.e., from the standpoint of “What is land good for?”), his point is spot on: “Some of the following phenomena increase the volume of land physically, and all of the following phenomena increase the volume of land economically: Draining or filling-in swamps and other areas currently submerged beneath water for some or all of the year; Multi-storied buildings and advances in architectural design that reduce the amount of land necessary for any given number of people to work and reside; Agricultural advances that reduce the amount of land required to produce any given amount of food.” * * * * * * * I also found the post fascinating because I learned that there are still Georgists out there. I would’ve thought there were about as many Georgists out there as William Cobbett fans. I’m mostly interested in Henry George because he was one of the four thinkers who most influenced Albert Jay Nock (along with Matthew Arnold, Herbert Spencer, and Franz Oppenheimer). If there are Georgists out there, maybe there’s hope we can revive The Nockian Society. Its patrons: Francis Rabelais, Artemus Ward, and H.L. Mencken. It had no officers, no dues, and no meetings. In the age of BabbittryRead the rest


literatureCatholic Arts and Letters Weekly

Gasoline has significantly dropped in price. When priced in silver. Not a bad way to think about prices, according to the Founding Fathers . . . more

Mainlining? Is that when heroin selling goes mainstream? No, but you can get it on Craigslist now. . . . more

Afraid of neither civilization nor wealth. A new book praises both. . . . more

The odd and sad life and times of Kiki Kannibal: a teenage online phenom born of bad luck and bad parenting decisions. . . . more

More than you wanted to know about Harold Bloom, but interesting stuff. . . . moreRead the rest


“When the disciples saw the risen Christ, they beheld “him as a reality in the world, though no longer of it, respecting the order of the world, but Lord of its laws. To behold such reality was different and more than to see a tree or watch a man step through a doorway. To behold the risen Christ was an experience that burst the bounds of the ordinary. This explains the extraordinary wording of the texts: the strangeness of Christ’s ‘appearing,’ ‘vanishing,’ suddenly standing in the middle of a room or at someone’s side. Hence the abruptness, fragmentariness, oscillation, contradictoriness of the writing–the only true form for content so dynamic that no existing form can contain it.”

Romano Guardini… Read the rest

Holy Saturday

Devil at the End of the PassionNyssa, Tolkien, and Gibson

By killing Jesus, Satan had swallowed God’s bait. He didn’t know he had swallowed the Godhead, thereby inviting Full Being into his fortress of nothingness and bringing about the ontological fall of his nothingness. In the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa: “The Godhead hid under the covering of our human nature so as to offer an easy bait to him who sought to exchange us for a more precious prize. And the aim was that just like a greedy fish he would swallow the hook of divinity together with the bait of the flesh. Thus life would come to dwell in death, light would appear in darkness, and thus light and life would achieve the destruction of all that stood against them.”

You can imagine Satan’s smile as Jesus was sucked into the abyss. After watching Jesus enter hell, Satan was probably about to turn his attention back toward earth. But according to an ancient homily from Holy Saturday, Jesus, upon entering hell, met Adam, took his hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper and rise from the dead, and Jesus will give you light. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.”

Thus the terror was reversed: The tormentor, Satan, became the tormented; the tormented, Jesus, became the tormentor; hate, the weapon of the first tormentor, was replaced with love, the weapon of the second tormentor.

It’s difficult to … Read the rest

Good Friday

“The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.” George MacDonald

“The cross cannot be defeated. . . For it is Defeat.” G.K. Chesterton

On those who hate Christianity: “They do not dislike the Cross because it is a dead symbol; but because it is a live symbol.” G.K. Chesterton

“[A]s long as sin remains on earth, still will the Cross remain.” Fulton Sheen

“God has given us our lives as wheat and grapes. It is our duty to consecrate them and bring them back to God as bread and wine–transubstaniated, divinized, and spiritualized. There must be harvest in our hands after the springtime of the earthly pilgrimage. That is why Calvary is erected in the midst of us, and we are on its sacred hill. We were not made to be mere on-lookers . . . but rather to be participants in the mystery of the Cross.” Fulton Sheen.

“Since the symbols of baptism and the eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam.” St. John Chrysostom

“His Cross has put its due value upon every thing which we see, upon all fortunes, all advantages, all ranks, all dignities, all pleasures; upon the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It has set a price upon the excitements, the rivalries, the hopes, the fears, the desires, the efforts, the triumphs of mortal man. It has given a meaning to the various, shifting course, the trials, the … Read the rest

Holy Thursday


“[I]n the agony of Gethsemane the ultimate consequences of our sin had their hour. . . . God permitted his Son to taste the human agony of rejection and plunge towards the abyss. . . Gethsemane was the hour in which Jesus’ human heart and mind experienced the ultimate odium of the sin he was to bear as his own . . .”. Romano Guardini, The Lord. … Read the rest


Mark ZonaLethal Occupation and Other

The fatal-accident rate for fishermen and related fishing workers is 200 per 100,000 full-time workers . . . compared with a rate of 13.1 for police and 4.4 for firefighters. Farming is also more dangerous: 38.5 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time workers. Source: Bottom Line Personal, April 15, 2011, p. 11. * * * * * * * No PC? You notice that prohibited word, “fishermen“? I lifted that directly from Bottom Line. Of course, the term “fisher people” is ridiculous, but no matter. I gotta believe BL is going to receive some reprimands. A few years ago, I was at a legal seminar and the speaker used the term “fisher people.” It really threw me. I was thinking, “What did I miss? Who are the Fishers? I’m lost.” I then realized he was merely a PC-nerd. * * * * * * * Cars and Love? Detroit used to be called “The Paris of the Midwest”? It makes sense, if Paris is seen as dingy and smelly (which, I’m told, it is), but I don’t think that’s what was meant. I think people meant it in the romantic sense. Sigh. Detroit is a wreck and getting worse. American Thinker ran a good reflection about Detroit earlier this week. * * * * * * * Triduum Notice. For the most part, I don’t blog during the Triduum. Those three days are reserved for prayer. And although I won’t spend all of the time on my knees, I like to shake myself from my normal routine. I will post some meditations on each of … Read the rest