Month: August 2011

Making Its Way Around the Catholic Blogosphere

Flannery on Ayn:

I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you. The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.”

Link.

But hey, I went through a Spillane reading spree in my late teens, and I greatly enjoyed it. … Read the rest

Wednesday

Email picReceived in an Email

I received a slew of emails this week regarding Chesterton. If you’re a GKC fan, you’ll find it interesting. For everyone else, you may want to check back on Thursday.

First, Chuck Colson gives a favorable review of the Father Brown stories that Nancy Brown adapted for children: Excerpt: “The kids will meet a rotund, bumbling man of the cloth who has the uncanny ability to solve even the most puzzling crimes. Why? Because his faith gives him insight into the human heart — and its capacity for evil. For instance, in a story titled ‘The Secret of Father Brown,’ the priest explains that the reason he is able to identify sinners is because he himself a sinner. ‘I try to get inside the murderer…think his thoughts, wrestle with his passion,’ Father Brown explains. And he adds: ‘When I am quite sure that I feel exactly like the murderer myself, [then] I know who he is.‘”

Next, Criminal Element Dot Com recently ran an essay about Chesterton’s Father Brown stories. Link. Excerpt: “As P. D. James wrote in her Introduction to Father Brown, the Essential Tales, ‘We read the Father Brown stories for a variety pleasures, including their ingenuity, their wit and intelligence, and for the brilliance of the writing. But they provide more. Chesterton was concerned with the greatest of all problems, the vagaries of the human heart.’ And Chesterton’s legion of fans keep him in their hearts through organizations like the American Chesterton Society.”

Finally, one Chesterton fan (and accomplished actor) says the stage production of GKC’s Magic in Nashville is one of the best things he’s ever seen. Link. … Read the rest

Tuesday

Email picReceived in an Email

I guess it’s from 2003, but the link is making its email rounds and the Catholic Online published it earlier this year: Treatment of Catholic Church ‘Kangaroo Journalism’. It’s by a prominent Jewish businessman in Cleveland, Sam Miller. My apologies if you’ve already seen it a dozen times, but I figure that, if this is the first I’ve seen it, there must be others out there who haven’t seen it. Excerpt: “In a 1990 study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8% of clergywomen reported unwanted sexual behavior by a colleague; 17% of laywomen said that their own pastors had sexually harassed them. Phillip Jenkins concludes in his book “Pedophiles and Priests” that while 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia, 10% of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic problem. This is a problem of pure prejudice. Why the papers, day after day, week after week, month after month, see fit to do nothing but come out with these scurrilous stories?

Drinking Corner: First Review

Michelle at Rosetta Stone has published the (to my knowledge) first review of The Adventures of Beer Man. It’s a favorable review, for which I’m grateful, and it’s insightful. Heck, she may have grasped the book’s meaning better than I did. Excerpt:

This is not a message in favor of hedonism, a self-gratifying indulgence. Rather, Beer Man shows that the art of drinking leads to good for others as well. Drinking a few beers will make you more charitable, less likely to quarrel with your neighbor, more likely to sit a spell and have a pleasant conversation, and more likely to be friendly with strangers you would otherwise ignore. In other words, proper drinking makes you more

Read the rest

Monday

New Book

Many years ago, I was drawn to Martin Buber and Max Picard. Buber, I met in an Alpena, Michigan, bookstore, picking up his I and Thou for fifty cents and reading it on the cottage’s couch the rest of vacation. Knowing nothing about Buber at the time, I didn’t understand all (much) of it, but I knew I was reading something beautiful. Picard, I met through Russell Kirk. I knew what to expect, but again, like my experience with Buber, I had difficulty understanding him, though I knew I was reading beauty.

“Poetic philosophy” is what I think some people call books like Buber’s and Picard’s: books that are more concerned with beautiful turns than with technical precision. Truth can never be captured precisely, so poetic philosophy isn’t less truthful than ordinary prose. It just “attacks” truth from a different angle.

Anyway, it was about probably 15-20 years ago that I was drawn to Buber and Picard. In my youthful ambition, I decided to imitate their books. The result was Two Men. It was never a completed work. Heck, it was never even a consistent work, since my approach frequently lapsed into straight prose and anecdotes and analysis, with no poetry and even less philosophy.

But it’s not bad for an early work, especially if you like quotes and anecdotes by and about the saints and philosophers. I never tried to have it published, but I have formatted it into an ebook and posted it to Amazon (Link) and Smashwords (Link), where you can download it in whatever form you want (pdf, Nook, Kindle, etc.).

Unlike Beer Man, this is a book you can browse. Pick it up, read some from the middle, jump to the end. Whatever. It’s a light … Read the rest

Friday

Useful Beer

I’ve said it many times: Don’t drink for the health of it. Drink for the hell of it. But that doesn’t mean beer can’t be useful. It turns out that beer can be used for more than just drinking and shampooing. This nifty list of 14 possibilities is great, especially if you have some old beer in your fridge that you’re going to throw out. My two favorite tips:

Distract bees and wasps from your outdoor gathering: Beer placed in cups around the outskirts of your picnic or barbeque will attract bees and wasps. It’s not a long-term wasp control tactic; it’s more like placing difficult relatives at the furthest table.

Fertilize your gardens: The sugars in beer are also enjoyed by your garden vegetables and flowers.

Too Funky

Two new beers coming out soon:

Mother’s Foggy Notion Barleywine: Not quite English. Not quite American. Foggy Noggin is a big ole, 100% Ozarks-born barleywine ale.

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Porter: To be released in 750s. Made with maple syrup, apple-smoked bacon and vanilla beans.

I think I’ll just order a Pabst.

Damn Reds Win Again

The Telegraph reports that Chinese Snow Beer, a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprise, scored the global number one sales for the past three years. It sold 16.5 billion pints last year alone, twice as much as Bud Light, which had kept first place until 2008.

Link.

Reminder

Your patronage is greatly appreciated. You can access Amazon through this site or download a copy of Beer Man for just 99 cents. You can find the Kindle Beer Man at Amazon or you can download a pdf version at Smashwords. Thanks!

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Blurb Thursday

Badger Beer Man

The Badger Catholic articulates some deeply Beer-Manish thoughts:

The problem with the modern man is that he thinks there is a disconnect from drinking and family. Look at the drunks in college now. They never learned what enjoying a beer was when they were growing up. The bar was “bad” and now because they find themselves in a bar they are being “bad” so they might as well be as “bad” as they feel inclined to.

Link.

PETA Pornographers

I love PETA. It’s rare that you run into a person or organization that has absolutely no redeeming qualities.

The attention-hungry activists at PETA want to launch a pornography site that combines “a lot of girl and boy next door content” with pictures of animals being mistreated. Pending their application to the the operators of the .xxx domain, the animal rights organization wants to spread their message as widely as possible and isn’t shy about the power of sex appeal. “We try to use absolutely every outlet to stick up for animals,” PETA spokesperson Linsay Rijt told The Huffington Post, a site that’s also known for manipulating the power of sex appeal. “We live in a 24 hour news cycle world, and we learn the racy things we do are sometimes the most effective way that we can reach particular individuals.”

Link.

Go Mongolia, Young Man

From one of my investment newsletters:

“There are huge deposits of gold, coal, copper, crude oil, iron ore and more,” says Chris, determined to keep our minds focused on the investing angle. “Last year, this country exported about $2 billion worth of minerals. But based on mining project startups, exports ought to grow to $20-80 billion per year.”

“That’s a 10-40-fold increase in a just a couple of years! Some

Read the rest

Wednesday

Rise of the Zombies

In Monsters from the Id, E. Michael Jones advanced an interesting theory: a culture’s horror films reflect its sub-conscious. Frankenstein was fear of the unknown energy known as “electricity.” Dracula was fear of syphilis. The rise of slasher movies in the 1960s reflected our culture’s disgust with (and horror of) the sexual revolution. Borrowing from Jones, I wrote the following for “Busted Halo” many years ago (go here for full article):

When sexual freedom rose, horror rose with it. Deep Throat came out in 1973 and Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1975. Both were low-budget long shots that brought its producers millions of dollars. Maybe it was coincidence.

Maybe it was also coincidence that Blood Feast, a movie that signaled the official birth of the gore film, came out in 1965, just as America was beginning its full-scale tumble into the sexual revolution.

But you ever notice how it seems that the pretty and promiscuous girls are always the victims in the horror movies? David Hogan noticed it in his book, Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film, criticizing horror films for working “from a surprisingly Puritan morality” that punishes fornication.

What’s the big horror genre today (if you put aside the “horror” represented by Twilight and knock-offs)? It’s zombies. Zombie movies and zombie sites have become so common that my twenty-something nephew wouldn’t go see Zombieland because he’d grown tired of zombies.

And what is on the rise in our culture? Zombies: the zombie corporations that Japan’s central bank has propped up for the past two decades, the zombie banks and automakers that the Federal Reserve is propping up, and the zombie underclass that requires public assistance and is growing at an alarming pace. We have zombies everywhere and the culture … Read the rest