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 Distributism.org.
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
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
[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
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.
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
Puck Punk covers the NHL for InstaPunk.com --
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."
of a Salesman Cannot Reinvigorate the Dream Life of Balso Snell
Back to Archive Index
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