Monday, December 31, 2007

Alice for a Marymas Eve

Below is the first film adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland directed by Cecil Hepworth in 1903. The print is decayed, and the deterioration adds an amazing creepiness to the silent piece. The music is Debussy's musical rendition of Mallarme's poem L'apres midi d'un faun. Another version, with a very interesting commentary instead of music, can be found here. Also of interest is this collection of early films and another one here.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sagrada Familia

"God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you."
The First reading (Sirach)
Holy Family Coptic Icon

The Holy Family, Martin Schongauer

The Couple (A Holy Family), Marc Chagall

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


From the Pope's Urbi et Orbi message

"Neither individuals nor nations should be afraid to recognize and welcome him: With him 'a shining light' brightens the horizon of humanity; in him 'a holy day' dawns that knows no sunset. May this Christmas truly be for all people a day of joy, hope and peace!"

"Allow the light of this day to spread everywhere: May it enter our hearts, may it brighten and warm our homes, may it bring serenity and hope to our cities, and may it give peace to the world."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Advent 4

God Help Us, Joey Garcia

"do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
from the gospel (Matthew)

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Our Lady of Sorrows, from the book of Kells

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
"and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee."
from the first reading (Isaiah)

"the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
from the gospel (Matthew)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Advent 2

"On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom."
from the first reading (Isaiah)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Best Quote of the Year?

--Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ (Vatican Astronomer)

How Music Looks

Michel Gondry devises a way to paint music and has Bjork paint a song using a piano.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Advent of Advent

Avenging Angel, Jeff Jordan

"He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!"
from the first reading(Isaiah)

"Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep."
from the second reading (Romans)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Convenience is convenient

Kings of Convenience are super cool. Here is why: Erland Oye, one half of the duo, is the absolute geekiest person alive, and secondly they are amazing. (I feel I throw up a lot of music, but I've been listening to this, the cure, and morrisey/smiths non stop as the year has been winding down)

Super cool Video

Them apparently doing an impromptu set on Ipanema Beach

Erland Oye singing the Cure's "Boys don't Cry" on the set of another of their videos

And finally Erland Oye's techno version of The Smith's "There's a Light That Never Goes Out"

Monday, November 26, 2007


Recently I have been finding Vogue to be rather pedestrian (Ads for Dillards?), however it does prove its worth every so often, as is the case in the most recent issue. There is one article on James Thiérrée , who's great grandfather is Eugene O'Neill and grandfather is Charlie Chaplin, who creates theatrical circus dada pieces, which achieve visual effects that are more amazing than the things that are done with CG. You can see much of his Bright Abysses here, below is a bit from that and a sampler from his new work the Goodbye Umbrella:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Feast of Christ the King, the death of another liturgical year

Then he said,
"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him,
"Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise."
from the gospel (Luke)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I am sorry, dear paris is burning after all

My Brother found a really amazing site of live Parisian music videos found here. And I really really liked them.

Elysian Fields sing Jezebel

St. Vincent singing Paris is Burning on the streets of Paris

And some Nebraskans in Paris, Eagle*Seagull Death could be....

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jesus Christ for King: a pro theomonarchic approach

The statue of Cristo-Rei in Almada Lisbon

Close up of the statue

"In those days there was no king in Israel, and everyone did as he saw fit."
last line of Judges

Soon the church will be celebrating the feast of Christ the King, and I thought this was an interesting reflecting point for the newly released piece from the USCCB on voting, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship".

I have read many "news" articles that state that the document is anything from a condemnation of your soul should you choose to vote incorrectly, to some sort of moral gymnastics so that Catholics may vote for Guiliani. Whilst the former is a dubious if slightly correct interpretation, the later is not: no Catholic could vote for Guiliani, dare I say, even if he was running against the devil himself.

The actual point of the document is to try to get Catholics to "form their conscience" so that they can make well informed judgments. This is applicable for all things in life, not simply voting. One should be informed on moral issues so that they know what is right and what is wrong, because what may seem right or wrong is often wrong... This document looks at how complex voting can be, and all the issues that a Catholic voter must weigh: abortion, marriage, charity, peace, capital punishment, etc.

Why, as someone who has tried to form their conscience well, do I see the only valid option as not voting at all? By choosing not to vote I am, in fact, voting against the entire system, I choose not to cooperate with democracy. My loyalties are with the Vatican alone, which is a rightful theocratic monarchy. Saint Aquinas ever so nicely analyzes all things politik in his work De Regno (here), and says Monarchy is far preferable to democracy. My conscience has a hard time going against Aquinas (and Augustine and nearly every other saint who speaks on such matters), therefore I choose a non-vote in alignment with him.

So unless Jesus runs for president with the intent to institute monarchy with a feudalist economy, I choose, in good conscience, not to vote. As Woody Guthrie wrote and Billy Bragg sung:

Let's have Christ our President
Let us have him for our king
Cast your vote for the Carpenter
That they call the Nazarene

The only way
We could ever beat
These crooked politician men

Is to cast the moneychangers
Out of the temple
Put the Carpenter in

Oh it's Jesus Christ our President
God above our king
With a job and pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring

Every year we waste enough
To feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
And we shoot it down with wars

But with the Carpenter
On the seat
Way up in the capitol town

Be on the way
Prosperity bound

Sunday, November 18, 2007

33, come armageddon come armageddon come

"Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts."
from the first reading (Malachi)

As the liturgical year draws to a close the focus is on all things eschatological, and so I thought Morrissey's great tune "Everyday is like Sunday" was a appropriate accompaniment. The original video is straight out of the eighties, so great. Everything is silent and gray.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a 32nd sunday

Maccabees, Wojciech Korneli Stattler

"It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law. ...
After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
"It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again."
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing."
from the first reading (2nd Maccabees)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

funny monks and buddhist hell

Here are some interesting vintage photos of some Benedictines:

Also interesting are these pictures from a theme park about what it seems they're calling Buddhist hell, though that seems like the wrong way to word it, seeing as the western conception of hell is really only captured in Buddhism by existence itself, not some inter-existential punishment. However the pictures are interesting, and highly disturbing, none the less.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Grain of Sand, Mati Klarwein

"Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people's sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?"
from the first reading (Wisdom)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

heaven and earth in ashes burning!

Here is the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) as Mozart composed for it, the Hymn of the Requiem, which following the annual all soul's requiem yesterday seems appropriate.

And a cool accompaniment would be Oscar Wilde's sonnet:

Sonnet on Hearing the Dies Irae Sung in the Sistine Chapel

Nay, Lord, not thus! white lilies in the spring,
Sad olive-groves, or silver-breasted dove,
Teach me more clearly of Thy life and love
Than terrors of red flame and thundering.
The hillside vines dear memories of Thee bring:
A bird at evening flying to its nest
Tells me of One who had no place of rest:
I think it is of Thee the sparrows sing.
Come rather on some autumn afternoon,
When red and brown are burnished on the leaves,
And the fields echo to the gleaner's song,
Come when the splendid fullness of the moon
Looks down upon the rows of golden sheaves,
And reap Thy harvest: we have waited long

Thursday, November 01, 2007

That which is in Baudrillard is reducable to All Saints

"The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is."
from the second reading (1 John)

"To be at the beginning of the world would have been fantastic.But we arrived too late. Only the end remains. Let us therefore apply ourselves to seeing things - values, concepts, institutions - perish, seeing them disappear. This is the only issue worth fighting for."
Cool Memories III, Jean Baudrillard

I have been reading Jean Baudrillard's Cool Memories III, I skip over any political parts because politics are admittedly stupid. However, once one cuts off the politiking, we are left with some great brilliance. Granted much is the tongue and cheek approach of Nietzsche which I so adore, but when you say the most absurd things in earnest there is a certain kind of genius that can be born. There are the generally enlightening and amusing, such as:

"Can you devote your existence to an idea which is not yours, or a woman you do not love?"

"The conspiracy of imbeciles is total."

And then there are the truely profound, such as the seeming sophistry of the following four lines which are in isolation within the text:

"That which in the object is irreducible to objectivity.
That which in sex is irreducible to sexuality.
That which in language is irreducible to signification.
That which in the event is irreducible to history."

How is it that things have attributes which are not of the things? In order for an attribute to be of a thing, it must be of a thing, right? This seems obvious, this seems essential. And yet there are attributes of everything which are not of the thing. There is that which is beyond, that which is indescribably identifiable to a thing, but which is not of the thing in itself. Kant, if you will, was mistaken. Things are not in themselves.

So what does this have to do with All Saints? Ahhhh. "What we shall be has not yet been revealed." That which in a human is irreducible to humanity. The Pope today called on us all to become saints, it is not the task of the few. It is an attribute within us all which is outside of our humanity. Our most important attribute is that which is ineffable, the things which make us rise beyond our humanity and brings us closer to saintliness.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

cover me up, run for the covers, cover cover

Whilst relistening to old Ricky Gervais I came across Stephan Merchant's old bit on their XFM show which was basically Smerch picking a cover song he liked. So in that vein here are some cool covers I found when looking:

John Meyer does Kid A

Ben Folds does Such Great Heights

Bjork and PJ Harvey do I Can't Get No Satisfaction

Nelly Furtado doing Crazy

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The Pharisee and the Publican, Christian Dare

The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --
greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
from today's Gospel (Luke)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Joshua Slaughters Amalek, Nicolas Poussin

"As long as Moses kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage; when he let his arms fall, the advantage went to Amalek. But Moses’ arms grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and on this he sat, Aaron and Hur supporting his arms, one on one side, one on the other; and his arms remained firm till sunset. With the edge of the sword Joshua cut down Amalek and his people."
from the first reading (Exodus)

Friday, October 19, 2007

god's gonna cut you down

From JC's last album, the video includes a very wide array of people: Johnny Depp, Chris Rock, Bono, Jay Z, Chris Martin, Owen Wilson, Kanye, Kate Moss....and the list goes on, its a sweet video:

Sunday, October 14, 2007


"If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself."
from the second reading (2 Timothy)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

All Hail Radiohead

I've been living in Rainbows lately.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Job and his friends, Guy Rowe

"How long, O Lord,
am I to cry for help
while you will not listen"
from the first reading (Habakkuk)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

the man in brown

St. Francis, Francisco de Zurbarán

"What we are looking for is what is looking."
--St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis' tomb below the church in Assisi

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Angel of God, my gaurdian dear

A ghosted Caravaggio (a lot of ghosted art here)

Though odd, I shall wish happy birthday to all guardian angels who happen to read this, who also happen to have a birthday (are angels born?) on this their feast.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

ordinary 26

"Thus says the LORD the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory,
stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
like David, they devise their own accompaniment."
From the first reading (Amos)

Friday, September 28, 2007

on the continued decay of the sciences

Mere days after the fall of calculus, it appears that Evolution may be on the ropes, though at least this occurred 40 years ago and not 400. There was a great mathematician, Marcel-Paul Schützenberger, whose main contributions were to the fields of combinatorics and formal language theory; he is credited with the codification of grammars, along with Chomsky, which is called the Chomsky-Schützenberger Heirarchy. While this is very interesting, and how I stumbled upon him, it is his rather staunch attacks on current neo-Darwinism that were most interesting. Apparently he proved that the current notions of evolution, e.g. that held by the smug Dawkins, is a mathematical impossibility that has been foisted up with laughable sophistry. Seeing as his specialty is combinatorics it seems highly likely that his mathematical abilities are far greater than Dawkins, who I find lacking even in the area of biology at times. And yet again I'm left to wonder why academia sees fit to not mention the fact that evolution, as it is currently formulated, is false.

Here is a very interesting interview with Schützenberger before his death in 1996, in which he states:

"Speaking ironically, I might say that all we can hear at the present time is the great anthropic hymnal, with even a number of mathematically sophisticated scholars keeping time as the great hymn is intoned by tapping their feet. The rest of us should, of course, practice a certain suspension of judgment."

Also one of the oddest obituary I've read, all the math makes it seem so strange: here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

on the gleeful demise of the calculus

(from a history of adding machines)

Is Calculus broken? If so, how long have we known? This was how I arrived at Berkeley's argument against Newton and his dubious Calculus, to be honest I've always been suspicious. Data Mining->Decision Trees->Neural Networks->Bayesian Networks->Thomas Bayes->Bayes Argument in Defense of Newton->George Berkeley->Berkeley's The Analyst. It was a long and winding road. Why haven't I ever heard of this after years of Calculus? Did the Ivory Tower not see fit to tell me that a very influential philosopher wrote and entire work against Calculus?

"A Point may be the limit of a Line: A Line may be the limit of a Surface: A Moment may terminate Time. But how can we conceive a Velocity by the help of such Limits? It necessarily implies both Time and Space, and cannot be conceived without them."

Yeah! ...... Anyways, what follows is funny:

Nationality: Irish

Group Alliances:
"Brutal" British Empiricists
"Infamous" Idealists
Catholic Church

AKA: Shark-ley Berkeley
No Holds Barred-keley
Da Bishop
George "You're Berking Up the Wrong Tree" Berkeley

Powers: God on his side (not a unique power among Moderns), ninja stealth skills

Weaknesses: eye-closing defense is vulnerable to Samuel Johnson's™ Rock-Kicking® attack.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"everything dies, baby that's a fact"

I've developed a belief, though somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that everything should be destroyed. This most likely stems from my delight in the Buddha's fire sermon. However there's always hope, one man can save a nation, I try to keep the sotierology christological. For instance Sweden is saved by Ingmar Bergman, China by Wong Kar Wai, and as for Finland....can Christ even help them?

So I come to the real topic at hand, why my current desolate surroundings aren't burning; for which I have The Boss himself to thank, for his grand album: Nebraska. Here's a video for the fantastic Atlantic City:

"but maybe everything that dies someday comes back"

The title track which recounts Starkweather's murder rampage ends with the haunting lines:
"They want to know why I did what I did.
Sir, I guess there's just a meanness in this world."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

O.T. 25

"Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;"
from the first reading (Amos)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"A dream is a scripture, and many scriptures are nothing but dreams"

Umberto Eco eating Airline Food, Frank Stockton

Those not acquainted with Mr. Eco should become acquainted. I stumbled, somehow, on his very interesting analysis of Microsoft vs. Mac, which he concludes that Mac is Catholic and DOS protestant. Never have I liked Mac, but now I find myself oddly wanting to have one...

In 1995 he and Cardinal Martini held a little back an forth in the local Italian newspaper, Eco the side of the non-believer (though lapsed Catholic in the vein of Joyce) and Martini as the believer. It has since been translated, and is a very interesting and mutually respectful dialogue. Eco makes many grand points about how religion shows the humanist nature of mankind, and that secular humanist morality is developed not from a sense of the absolute, which is where Catholicism draws it, but rather from the recognition of the other (which I would argue is the same thing, for what in the other is it that deems that they have worth, to which I would answer the spark of divinity within). If more secular humanist were as erudite and respectful as Eco perhaps we would come to see that , dare I say, we (Catholics) have more in common with the Eco-type secularist than we do the evangelical Christians... You can read parts of the book online via the goodness of Google, here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

St. Matthew feasts atoningly

Yom Kippur, Maurycy Gottlieb

This day is rumbling:
It's my namesake's feast, and the High Holiday's are in full swing with the advent of Yom Kippur.
So bust out your Shofar and start atoning......

Matthew and the Angel, Simone Cantarini da Pesaro

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

mallarméan love revisted

"must sleep now, must forget the blasphemy and blame,
spread on thirsty sands; and as I love to do
open my mouth to the wines potent star!
Both of you, farewell; I'm going to see the shadow you become"

l'apres-midi d'un faune

My love for Mallarmé knows no bounds. Not so unlike today, the late nineteenth century literary establishment was very fearful of what they could not clearly "understand", and so when being attacked by the established critics of his day, even Proust apparently slide him some barbs, he replied "My one response to aggression is to retort that some contemporaries don't know how to read---except newspapers, that is."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday 24 Ordinary

The Prodigal Son, John Collier

"He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
from the gospel (Luke)

An Angel Approaches God, John Collier

Saturday, September 15, 2007

alphabeautiful mathemagical

I had never heard of the Phantom Tollbooth until rather recently, so I proceeded to get a copy and am enjoying it very much. Here's a very nice bit from the first half of the book:

"We're not interested in making sense; it's not our job ," scolded the first.
"Besides," explained the second, "one word is as good as another--so why not use them all?"
"Then you don't have to choose which one is right," advised the third.
"Besides," said the fourth," if one is right then ten are ten times as right."
"for as long as they mean what they mean to mean we don't care if they make sense or nonsense."

It has been adapted into a stage musical by the author, for example here. Also it has been adapted into a film by the man who made the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and here is a rather cool poster from when it was in theaters, hopefully I'll be able to find a copy somewhere:

Friday, September 14, 2007

motu proprio proper

Today is the day the Motu Proprio takes effect.
Long Live The Dead Language!
Put on a favorite lacy veil and Ave Maria until your fingertips bleed. :)

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