Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
February 28, 2005 - February 21, 2005

Monday, February 28, 2005

Things Happen a Little Bit at a Time
What do you know, Paul Krugman was right. Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ did stir anti-semetic ideas -- last night, when it was completely ignored by "The Academy" (people actually say that with a straight face, all night when they get their statues).

Well, not ignored completely. Chris Rock noticed that nobody wanted to make Passion of the Christ -- Police Academy 6?, "Yes," but Passion of the Christ?, "No." We thought it odd and thought we'd mention it. Not a big deal, but it seems like it's just another point on which Americans are picking sides, and not in a friendly, kind of intramural way, either.

Look Out for Your Corporate Culture -- Follow-Up
Prof. Bainbridge is sounding more like a distributist than he did before . . .

One error he makes in the post is saying that a Max Sawicky made "one of the most interesting responses," when clearly that was us. Perhaps he meant to say, "most interestingly wrong responses."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Little Sunday Reading
I go through the mail over the weekend. And, one thing that caught my eye was a lengthy article by a Prof. Reno on why he became a Catholic. No one around here will read it, so I thought I would make it available for your Sunday visit. It is available -- HERE.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Look Out for Your Corporate Culture
Prof. Bainbridge takes off after Hugh Hewitt today regarding the problem, or from Mr. Hewitt's point of view -- the lack of a problem, with WalMart. WalMart makes us uncomfortable. Its size, those low prices, and that indescribable amount of stuff just seems wrong. But, what is wrong with it? If you're a free market kind of a guy, isn't WalMart what the free market is all about? And, like Mr. Hewitt says/asks, "Isn't it just great?!"

Not to give you more to read, but it might be worth your while to examine something called, "distributism." Especially if you find yourself as an anti-communist, anti-socialist sort, but still find something irksome about overblown success, like WalMart, or, say, Microsoft. You can do a web search for the term and there is even a Our favorite book on the topic is The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc.

Early in the 20th century, proponents of distributism argued against both unbridled capitalism and socialism/communism. Convinced that both systems were going to bring about a state of affairs where everyone was an employee, or "worker," and thus sapping the entreprenurial spirit of the community. Everyone working jobs they hate to buy stuff they don't need -- cleaned up from Fight Club. It is like the difference between the local dry cleaner and that WalMart greeter that says, "Hello" to you when you go inside. It is a subjective difference and one a community should have the right to choose between. In fact, should very self-consciously choose.

For now, distributism is right up there with a geo-centric earth view of the universe. But, if enough people are getting tired of the communities we're building with complete laissez faire, it may be worth bringing it up again for another look.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Some Highlights
for those who will one day be responsible for art and literature and
poetry and other forms of serious creative expression . . .

Some highlights from an interesting article in First Things about a great poet, curiously not usually referred to as a Catholic or Christian poet. You can decide if you want to read the whole thing.

[Czeslaw Milosz] was relentless in his criticism of those who despised faith as an anachronism: "I am not afraid to say that a devout and God-fearing man is superior as a human specimen to a restless mocker who is glad to style himself an 'intellectual,' proud of his cleverness in using ideas which he claims as his own though he acquired them in a pawnshop in exchange for simplicity of heart . . . The sacred exists and is stronger than all our rebellions."
"To write on literature or art was considered an honorable occupation, whereas any time notions taken from the language of religion appeared, the one who brought them up was immediately treated as lacking in tact, as if a silent pact had been broken. Yet I lived at a time when a huge change in the contents of the human imagination was occurring. In my lifetime Heaven and Hell disappeared, the belief in life after death was considerably weakened. How could I not think of this? And is it not surprising that my preoccupation was a rare case?"
"Religion, opium for the people. To those suffering pain, humiliation, illness, and serfdom, it promised a reward in an afterlife. And now we are witnessing a transformation. A true opium for the people is a belief in nothingness after death -- the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murder we are not going to be judged."
"To put it very simply and bluntly, I must ask if I believe that the four Gospels tell the truth. My answer to this is: Yes. So I believe in an absurdity, that Jesus rose from the dead? Just answer without any of those evasions and artful tricks employed by theologians: Yes or No? I answer: Yes, and by that response I nullify death's omnipotence. If I am mistaken in my faith, I offer it as a challenge to the Spirit of the Earth."
"Ought I to try to explain 'why I believe'? I don't think so. It should suffice if I attempt to convey the coloring or tone. If I believed that man can do good with his own powers, I would have no interest in Christianity. But he cannot, because he is enslaved to his own predatory, domineering instincts . . . Evil grows and bears fruit, which is understandable, because it has logic and probability on its side and also, of course, strength. The resistance of tiny kernels of good, to which no one grants the power of causing far-reaching consequences, is entirely mysterious, however. Such seeming nothingness not only lasts but contains within itself enormous energy which is revealed gradually. One can draw momentous conclusions from this."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hockey -- which is an excellent way . . .
Sorry so late with the Puck Punk post. I had the one where the anyshell started the hockey on March 1 for a 28-game dash to the Stanley Cup games and parts about me sorry to leave the InstaPunk and thanks to all the guys at InstaPunk and thanks to faithful reader. But, NO!

I can not believe.

Then, a few days of thinking about writing for InstaPunk for the next six months. Oh no. Writing. I didn't realize how the writers are so nuts. Sit down. Think of words. Write the words. Move the words around. Then one of the guys says it's not right. I go to call my agent everybody sits down again. Move their own words around. Why? People read this stuff? Why? No money. At least people pay to see even the hockey. No one pays to read. But, there seems to be lots of writers, lots more than hockey players.

Very depressing.

I think a guy caught the idea -- about the hockey -- not about the writing of the InstaPunk. And, even without the hockey in North America -- I love America! -- at least you can get into the Russian Hockey. Although, I still get a little nervous when I hear the Russian.

Anyway, the guys at InstaPunk says I can keep putting up my posts, even if the anyshell misses all of next season too. But, no more money.

Oh, yea, I almost forget the reader that said somebody took up my idea, the same, kinda.

Puck Punk covers the NHL for --
  here are his previous posts
2/1/2005 -- Money Problems; Looking for more $
1/6/2005 -- Christmas and a trip to the bank
12/13/2004 -- The NHL can learn from NASCAR
12/2/2004 -- President Bush gets involved
11/15/2004 -- The Bender
10/21/2004 -- World Series, big deal
10/12/2004 -- Lockout, not Strike
10/5/2004 -- First Post

Monday, February 21, 2005

Zair Weel Be a Revolution Een Art
As consummately appropriate an appraisal of the Central Park disfiguration as we have seen so far . . . crackers and cheesey -- "The Crackers."

Death of a Salesman Cannot Reinvigorate the Dream Life of Balso Snell
Whilst this is not precisely in the spirit of "de mortuis nil nisi bonum," it does raise some interesting questions about a greatly celebrated poseur of our times . . . from The Weekly Standard.

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