18 November 2014

Here and there

Everyone here is sick. Again. I'm on my fourth cold since September. In between colds one and two I had a round of the flu. Frodo has missed at least half of his school days. I don't know what cold he is on by now, but yesterday Puff took him to the doctor and the kid scored a hat trick. He has a cold, pink eye, and an ear infection. Everyone else is coughing like they're trying to barf up a lung. At least they're not literally barfing like last time.


Anyone wonder when 'literally' went from meaning, y'know, literally to meaning, y'know, figuratively. These days it's a modifier, essentially a variation of 'very'.


I'm wondering if feminism has finally jumped the shark.

I thought of this first when I heard that people are voting for the word feminism to be banned from the language in 2015 in the Time magazine poll. I thought of this again when I heard the news about Matt Taylor, the man behind the project to land a probe on a comet.  He announced the success of the mission, and was promptly attacked by feminists for wearing a shirt that-get this- was offensive to women. The shirt was a birthday present to him made by a female friend out of material featuring fifties style pin up girls with lasers. Let me put that into context for you: a nerd wore his new favourite nerd shirt. Dozens shocked and offended.

Let me put that into another context for you: A group of feminists- you know, the same people who have claimed repeatedly that a woman should be allowed to wear whatever she wants, wherever she wants, whenever she wants and not be harassed- yea, even to the point that a woman should be able to walk buck naked into a biker bar and not be in any way objectified or harassed- are harassing a man over his shirt.  The group that claims a woman she be regarded as a person and respected for her accomplishments have completely ignored the literally astronomical accomplishments of this man to heap abuse on his shirt.  This transcends mere irony: it is mere rank hypocrisy.

On the blogs I've been reading I've seen more and more people coming out and saying this is just plain stupid. Feminism, and all these other isms along with their hordes of the perpetually outraged, are constantly looking for offence and taking it where none is intended. They have become the boy who cried wolf and people are starting to tune them out and flat out dismiss them. They have no one but themselves to blame, although they will blame someone else. And that blame will be another cry of wolf, and yet one more reason to dismiss them. In other words, go for it.


The advent recital at my church got cancelled. The school choir is busy with other things and other problems, and several members of the adult choir would not be able to make it that night. Unfortunate. Though the last one was not that well attended, I was hoping we might be able to build upon it. As I said in the brief history, for the, Oh, half dozen or so who read it, I believe that one of the things we need to do is rebuild the community and make the church- by which I mean the building itself- a a more prominent part of the people's lives, and not just a place people go for an hour on Sunday. Churches need regular events to help build and solidify the community.

Incidentally, the music I was preparing to sing were the last two O Antiphons and Alma Redemptoris Mater chant.


I was at St Michael's Cathedral the other night. Renovations are still underway so the entire interior is filled with scaffolding. It isn't a place for the claustrophobic these days. I think all those vertical and horizontal lines of the pipework of the scaffolding makes for some really neat perspective. If I were a photographer, I think some interesting photos could be taken.

At any rate, the main altar still has the Benedictine arrangement of six candles -three to a side- and a crucifix in between. For the communion hymn they sang a responsorial psalm, which I thought interesting. My impression- probably wrong- from the cathedral and other places I have seen is that the regional church always seems to be one Pope behind. I'm seeing more of Benedict in the parishes during Francis' pontificate than I did during Benedict's. Which means we will not feel the full effects of Francis until after he is gone.


Going back to colds: I always seem to get smacked around by disease right on the weekends when I will be singing at Mass. I ws sick the last two Sundays I sang as well. I'm up again for Christ the King and the First Sunday of Advent. Christ the King is sort of typical of the days I get. When they want loud and bombastic, they come for me. Hopefully I'll have enough voice to be able to growl out the music.

My wife says she likes my voice when I'm slightly ill. It gives it an interesting resonance and edge. It certainly improves my Lou Rawls and Barry White Impression. Hey, baby.

As a bonus for Advent, I won't have to sing the sea shanty Gloria. Yay.


Recently there was a spate of hits on an old post I did on the Basics of Western Literature, where I argued that there are some basic books one has to read in order to understand most of Western Lit. It reminded me that I started a series of posts on those basic works, and only completed the first one in which I briefly discussed the Iliad. Perhaps I should continue on to do the Odyssey, but I never liked that one much. It read like an endlass barbecue. Everywhere Odysseus and Telemachus go someone kills a cow, has a feast, and then "when they had put aside their need for eating and drinking" they ask questions to get the story from the stranger who showed up on their doorstep. Then Odysseus comes home and slaughters people. And has sex with his wife. The end. The whole thing is done with repetitions and formulaic phrases like "when they had put aside their need for eating and drinking" which begin to grate after the fifth or sixth feast, though I should add Aristotle thought it one of the perfect works of art. If you have to choose between the opinion of Aristotle or myself, go with Aristotle.


Any questions?

No comments: