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.

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