Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Feast of Christ the King

Thrice-blessed is that happy state
Where Christ's own laws acceptance find,
Which hastens to fulfil commands
Enjoined divinely on mankind.
-Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of the Kingship of Christ the King
(translation from Fr Theo Stallaert's Little Breviary)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Election Day in Half a Week

Election Day is within sight. All Souls Day, to be precise. El Día de los muertos. Do we have an omen here? Nothing much to vote for on the statewide level. The Republicans true to form have decided on candidates whose qualifications are that they are incomprehensibly wealthy. Beyond the dreams of avarice. The Democrats have plumped for the insane and the breathtakingly evil. We have some decent folks running on the local level. They don't, of course, have the chance of a popsicle in hell (google "gerrymander" for an explanation) but I shall enjoy voting for them all the same. And there are a few jolly propositions to vote for this time, one of which may do something about that gerrymandering. And a few crackpot schemes to enjoy voting against.

I have ticked most of the boxes in my sample ballot - many of them with a great deal of reluctance. But this year will probably not vote for some of my perennially favorite write-in candidates; Al Smith, Jefferson Davis, and Frank Skeffington.

You don't know Frank Skeffington? You've never read Edwin O'Connor's The Last Hurrah? Haven't even seen John Ford's movie version? I'm astonished. You need to remedy that ASAP. I've been avoiding political ads on radio and television by re-reading The Last Hurrah. What a delight. A primer on big-city politics in the first half of the last century. A sample (almost) at random:

[His candidate's political broadcast] had had a remarkably tonic effect on him; he was in that state of phenomenal good humor into which he could be lifted only by the ingeniously reprehensible behavior of an ally. His quarrelsome little features had softened, and were now set in a grotesque pattern of intended benignity; his normal truculence, while not entirely shed, had been made less manifest. It was a time of satisfaction for Festus Garvey; he felt that now, for the first time in years, there was truly a chance of defeating Skeffington. He was satisfied by the progress of the campaign. He was satisfied by the coalition of which he was a part, satisfied by the funds it had collected, satisfied by the fact that none of its members, with whom he worked day after day, appeared to suspect his duplicitous attentions towards them all the minute the election was over. But most of all, he was satisfied by his candidate. Not by his ability, but by his remarkable, unlooked-for plasticity. In the beginning; Garvey had had some fears that McCluskey might prove intractable. As an old politician he had more than once observed, in otherwise-promising young politicians, a fatal obstinacy: a reluctance to jettison promises and ideals, a refusal to respond to the little suggestions of older, wiser, and more flexible men, men who understood the ways of indirection. (He himself, for example, over the span of many years, had had a little trick he liked to use on his political broadcasts, when he was all alone in the radio studio, and nobody could see what he was doing. He would stop, all of a sudden, in the midst of a sentence, maybe, and drop his penknife or a few coins on the floor, just to make a little clatter that the radio audience could hear. Then, after a bit, he would start up the old gab again, saying, "Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience. I beg your pardon for breakin' off so sudden in ·our little chat together, but my rosary beads slipped out of my fingers and dropped to the floor and I had to stop and pick them up. I know you understand my feelin's!" Oh, it had been a grand trick - one that had worked like a charm; it had been all the better because it had been thought up by his own lovely mother. May God have mercy on the Ma, he murmured with silent piety, as he reflected upon all that he owed to her training. Until the very day she died, he went to her for advice: you could always get some good out of a few minutes gab with the Ma.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Musical Wars

Old joke:

Q. What's the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?
A. You can negotiate with a terrorist.

But should you have to negotiate with a liturgical committee when your Mass has been commissioned by the bishops for the Pope? Composer James MacMillan finds you do. And you still come within a hair's breadth of losing.

[The committee complained that the Mass needed "a competent organist". Seriously.]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Old Cincinnati

Pictures of old, i.e., 19th century, Cincinnati. Lovely stuff. Have a look especially at Old St Mary's, founded circa 1841.

Tip of the caubeen to Bud at CTNMusic for the cite.


Speaking of reconciliation. . . .

. . . .which we were yesterday, even if in a completely different context, The Remnant has an interesting piece here on the relations between the Vatican and the SSPX. More complex than it appears on the surface.

English as she is spoke

It occurred to me while reading this morning's paper - the comics, in fact; the only reliable portion left, outside of the box scores - that one never hears of a blithering moron or a blithering fool. It seems always limited to idiots. But sitting down to the pc, Google said otherwise. The web one finds is filled to bursting with blithering morons and even blithering geniuses.

But can one blither without an accompanying noun? One would think so. The definition refers to babbling incoherently. I've been known to do a bit of that. A short scroll through The Inn should uncover instances. But one doesn't see "He stood there blithering" or "Don't blither, Senator; the microphones are on" does one? One does if one googles. Google claims to reveal 35,000 instances. I looked at 3. But, aha! Some of them are not blĭther but blīther, e.g., "Her blithe spirit is blither than yours."

Up next: when did kil-OM-eters become KIL-o-MEET-ers?


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Some Piping for (the very end of) the Weekend

The RCMP Division E Pipe Band. Why them? Well, the piping is sound. But the dark kilts, white horse-hair sporrans, and scarlet jackets is a really sharp look. Every pipe band should look that good.

Anglicanorum Coetibus in Scotland

Plans for the Anglican Ordinariates have been progressing slowly but they have been progressing. Rome has appointed Cardinal Wuerl of Washington as the delegate for organizing the Ordinariates in the United States. In England and Wales Bishop Alan Hope has been appointed. Various groups and individuals have announced their intention to join. And now some news of a start in Scotland. Small, but as one of the commentators says, Scotland is a small place. And certainly better than no start at all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Evening at last. . . . .

Posting has been rather sparse this past week or two. Two weeks ago we were at the Seaside Highland Games taking in the piping and some dancing and getting re-acquainted with old friends. Otherwise, no real excuse. Well, there is the annual clean-out of the office. A larger task than those of you with a tidy turn of mind might think. In fact, it is still in progress. A real clean-out requires a more brutal mind-set than I can always muster. No matter how useful it might be one day, if it hasn't been used in the past three years. . . .out it goes.

But I should have made time for mention of the Highland Games. The Seaside Games had only G-IV and G-III competitions but still a pretty good number of bands turned out. I believe there were 10 G-IV's and 3 G-III's, with two G-V bands (the L.A. Police Emerald Society Band and who else?) playing up in the G-IV comp. Good music; not enough seating.

Danced a little bit; the feet are definitely on the mend.

And for the first time we attended the traditional Mass at San Buenaventura Mission. The mission is only a couple of blocks away from the games site. It was a low Mass, reverently celebrated, with a small choir and organ provided two or three hymns in one of the most beautiful venues in California. There's a good picture of it here. (The fellow who took the photo is selling prints of it, so it doesn't seem quite fair to copy it here.) The reality isn't nearly as well-lit as the picture, which actually adds a wonderful sense of mystery to the Mass. The Sunday we were there was warm - in the 80's. Probably wasn't a good idea to wear the tweed kilt jacket. But I needed the pockets. And traditionalists do not remove their jackets to get comfy at Mass. But it did cross my mind.

No more catching up tonight it appears. Herself has peeked around the door and she is ready for our evening walk. As it isn't raining at the moment, we are off.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tap dancing his way into. . . .

. . . .prison. If there's any justice in Italy.

One of our separated brethren from the Religion of Peace decided the other day to try out his dancing moves on the altar of the cathedral in Florence.

There's more here, including a video of the blasphemy.

[Tip of the caubeen to Eloise for the cite.]

McClintock for President

You have a better choice?

His speech to the WCPAC last Friday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some Piping and Trad Dancing for the Weekend

An unnamed Northumbrian piper plays for a sword dance. I recognize the tune "Tripping Upstairs" but not much else. And the dancing is a delight.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Irony Dept.

"Postal Union Election Delayed after Ballots Lost in the Mail" says the headline.

And so it was.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Catholic Bagpipe

The paraliturgical Catholic Bagpipe.

I was actually looking for something quite different when I ran across this text from a 19th century publication - 'The Quarterly Review' - quoting John Knox. Poor old Dr John is on the verge of bursting a blood vessel describing Edinburgh's pre-reformation procession in honour of her patron St Giles on his feast day. The statue of St Giles borne in procession is "the marmoset idol"; those in the procession are "the generation of Antichrist". And he's only getting warmed up. Ecumenism was not his strong suit.

But this bit of text was interesting for other reasons:

Yet would not the priests and friars cease to have that great solemnity and manifest abomination which they accustomably had upon St Gile's day; – to wit, they would have that idol borne, and therefore was all preparation necessary duly made. . . .There assembled priests, friars, canons, and rotten papists with tabours and trumpets, banners and bagpipes; and who was there to lead the ring but the Queen Regent herself with all her shavelings for honour of that feast!

It appears you can't have a proper Catholic religious procession without your " priests, friars, canons, and rotten papists with tabours and trumpets, banners and bagpipes".

As both a rotten papist and a bagpiper, I may get precedence.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Some Piping for the Weekend

The great uillean piper Leo Rowsome playing Boulavogue and The Old Bog Road.