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First Friday of Lent, and the Catholic blogosphere has quieted down a bit. Every year, more than a handful of Catholic bloggers give up blogging for Lent. It’s interesting. I figure blogging is (i) art (akin to literature), (ii) recreation (akin to video games), or (iii) self-indulgent (akin to gossiping). If bloggers are giving it up for Lent, I’m guessing their pursuit of it is more self-indulging, possibly recreational, but definitely not art. People typically don’t give up things that are good for them during Lent.

Or maybe they just think blogging is a hassle and they want to get away from it for awhile. There are some days I don’t feel like posting, but I think the exercise is good for me. I recently jumped back into writing regular pieces and noticed that my prose had grown sharper yet relaxed, “effortless” was the word my surprised wife used. Maybe blog writing is like the Arena Football of writers: it gets you used to throwing laser-like passes on a small field, and those skills give you an advantage when you move to the big NFL fields. Heck if I know for sure, but I think this self-indulgent blogging thing has been good for me.

Alright, this is blasphemous, but I can see why some jokers who don’t appreciate the gravity of it would think it’s funny:

The Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was evacuated during noon Mass on Ash Wednesday when three CD players duct-taped to the bottom of pews began blaring sexually explicit language.

The players were set to turn on at 12:22 p.m. as parishioners were in the middle of Mass, police Capt. Gary Johnson said.

Sounds like the scene got a little surreal:

Church staff personnel removed the CD players, took them to the basement and called police, who sent a bomb squad, Johnson said.

The bomb squad blew up two of the players on a grassy area near the church, then kept the third one for analysis after determining the players were not dangerous.

I assume they’re looking for a militant group of homosexuals, some pro-abortion feminists, or fifteen-year-olds with disposable income.

Important observations from the editors of Touchstone. Excerpt:

The rich can afford their vices, for a time anyway; the poor have no such margin for comfort. They are, in fact, endangered by the vices of the rich. I don’t simply mean that the rich man can extort his will from the poor, or wield the law as a club to keep the poor man in his place. He can do worse: He can infect the poor man with his vice, and that may be the quicker way to destroy him.

That’s because the rich set the example for the poor. Their vices attain celebrity; a Casanova or a Don Juan sets the petty rakes of a nation to school. Now the rich can buy their way out of entanglements. They can raise a bastard child, or bribe an offended lady.

Their powdered periwigs and snuffboxes and civet can cast the sweet air of civilization over their ruffian ways; their very debaucheries can sparkle. But when the poor emulate them in vice, as they emulate them in most things, the result is disaster: not a man at the club, mooching a claret from his friends, but a man in the ditch, or behind bars.

Brews You Can Use

Man, this sounds nasty:

You’ll probably know about Guinness, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with Marmite, it’s a nutritious, vegan-friendly, British foodstuff originally made from the yeast left over by the beer-brewing process. Usually, it’s spread thinly on toast, and for those who like it, it has a salty, almost meaty flavor. For those who don’t, the flavor is more akin to that of earwax.

In time for St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness yeast extract will be used to make a special spread, limited to 300,000 jars.

Can you say, “Lighten up, Francis”:

Twenty-three attorneys general have written to Anheuser-Busch Cos., asking the brewer for better tools to make sure underaged viewers aren’t accessing its new Bud.TV site.

It reminds me of a Detroit Tigers game last summer. They were handing out free Detroit Tigers ball hats, but they wouldn’t give one to my boys. “You have to be 21,” they explained, “because Budweiser paid for them.” There was a small Budweiser logo inside the hat at the back, but other than that, you wouldn’t know it was a Bud product. America and its relationship with alcohol: schizophrenic.