Monday, July 07, 2008

I don't think I had heard about what happened in Phoenix until I read this post by Fabius Maximus, Stratfor: the Mexican cartels stike at Phoenix, AZ, but it does give some basis for the conerns outlined in this earlier post.

On second thought, maybe I did come across the news before--I remember speculation about some gunmen being former members of the Mexican military.
This was mentioned on Coast-to-Coast Am Radio tonight on Talk 560. The guest--Dr. Steven Greer is an emergency physician, not a physicist. So when he started talking about flying saucers that the US gov't had developed, anti-gravity, and so on...

The Orion Project
The Disclosure Project - Home Page

Dr. Steven Greer Interview
Reaching Disclosure: An Interview with Stephen Greer - UFO Evidence
UFOs: What the U.S. Government Really Knows; Dr. Steven M. Greer ...
global artist village news: RADIO INTERVIEW Dr. Steven Greer ...
Steven Greer Interview, page 1

I can't take it seriously.

Tonight I had dinner with xiao Jimmy and his girlfriend and the OD, at Thien Long (Tin Long), a Vietnamese restaurant near the Target on Capitol. They all commented that it resembled Tung Kee, but maybe more upscale. I had the sliced beef rice plate--it was quite good, even if the quantity was average. I guess I'm too mouch of an American. Clemens told my mother that there are a lot of good Vietnamese Catholics--it has been hard for him to find a good Chinese Catholic girl. He is supposed to get married to his Vietnamese girlfriend soon. (I don't know if my mother will be invited.) He also mentioned that Vietnamese immigrants tend not to be as well off as Chinese immigrants. He was trying to make another point, but I can't remember what it is at the moment. Jimmy's girlfriend claimed I was too picky, and Jimmy agreed. I protested, but I didn't want to explain my position, though they do know at least that I'm not looking for an airhead. There was an attractive Vietnamese woman at the restaurant, but she has a boyfriend... Jimmy remarked that she was wearing a lot of makeup (too much unnecessary rouge perhaps). The OD claimed my standards had fallen, whatever that means.

And then an older woman came in with some bling.

At any rate maybe I should spend more time in San Jose. Hah.
First Principles Journal: Bill Kauffman, The Regionalist: Ray Bradbury of Illinois
Twitch: A Proper Nine Minutes Promo Reel and New Trailer for John Woo’s RED CLIFF

Chef Alice Waters

She is mentioned in the John Schwenkler essay in The American Conservative. She insists on fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.

Welcome to
The Edible Schoolyard People
Alice Waters - Slow Food, Slow Schools
CEL Alice Waters
Cafe Fanny by Alice Waters
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters - Hardcover - Random House

Alice Waters's new book is a simple guide to making superb food ... The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes ... Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic ...

Youtube: Charlie Rose Greenroom - Alice Waters

Lunch With Alice Waters, Food Revolutionary - New York Times
Alice Waters: Women of the Year 2007: WOTY:
Chez Alice Waters - March 28, 2007 - The New York Sun
The Food Revolution of Alice Waters' Chez Panisse : NPR
American Masters . Alice Waters PBS
America's green goddess Food and drink Life and Health Interviews - Alice Waters
Interview with Alice Waters Salon Life
Salon Brilliant Careers Alice Waters
Lunch With Alice Waters, Food Revolutionary - New York Times
Slow Food Nation
Interview with Alice Waters
Michael Bauer: Between Meals : The passion of Alice Waters
Real Food Pioneer: Alice Waters - Times Online
Learning Curves: Alice Waters Edutopia
ENCORE JOURNEY: Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard Encore: Work ...
Mother Jones: Alice Waters
Metropolis Mag: Alice Waters
The Ethicurean: Chew the right thing. » Blog Archive » Alice ...
On Meeting Alice Waters Chew On That
Crunchy Con thread on that stone tablet.

Israel Knohl on the messiah before Jesus: New research backs his case - (18/05/2008)
the actual article by Israel Knohl (pdf)

June 30 issue of American Conservative: Eating Right

Food for Thought By John Schwenkler Localism, the family table, and sustainability are conservative virtues. So why should food culture be left to liberal activists?

Table Talk Concern for community as well as good eating animates Crunchy Con Rod Dreher and bestselling food writer Michael Pollan.

DREHER: Last question: do you see any potential in our fast evolving political environment for Left-Right coalitions based around food, farming, and environmental issues?
POLLAN: I do, but you have to scrape a little bit and get past these class signifiers—words like “arugula” that in our culture signify a social formation characterized by the sort of East Coast, Ivy League cultural baggage that David Brooks is so good at chronicling.
“Arugula,” we should remember, is a marketing term invented by somebody who thought that this very common green, known by farmers all over the Midwest for many years as “rocket,” needed to be tuned up and given new appeal. It’s a complete marketing creation, and it’s completely ruined a very healthy green—at least from a political point of view.
I think there is an enormous amount of political power lying around on the food issue, and I am just waiting for the right politician to realize that this is a great family issue. If that politician is on the Right, all the better. I think that would be terrific, and I will support him or her.

Burning Dinner By Timothy P. Carney Ethanol doesn’t reduce the cost of fuel, but it does drive up the prices of corn, beef, and beer.

Zenit: Cardinal Bertone: Bishops Need Christ's Conquering
"Summorum Pontificum" One Year Later (Part 1)
Aide: Pauline Year a Chance for Unity
Kathy McMahon, Three types of doomers and fantasy collapse
Kurt Cobb, Which future should we prepare for, industrial or agrarian?


A review of Johnnie To's Sparrow, @ AICN.

Monkey Peaches has links to trailers and such.

A trailer @ YouTube:

George Strait & Allan Jackson-Murder on Music Row

alt; another

Wiki: Neotraditional Country

A first follow-up to the post on Nashville Star--the song laments what has happened to country music.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Nashville Star

Even though it features Jewel as a judge and has some appeal to me for that reason, the show is representative of much (all?) that is wrong with contemporary country music. As for Billy Ray Cyrus being the show's host... my perhaps extreme reaction is that he should spend more time parenting--a lot of people are worried that Miley Cyrus will follow in the footsteps of Lindsay Lohan. I remember when his Achy Breaky Heart was first released, there were a lot of complaints about the dumbing down of country and the promotion of image over substance; this was in addition to the older crticism of its transformation through the influence of pop and rock (both with respect to the music and also to its performance). I suppose some of the same criticisms could be made with respect to Taylor Swift, whose rise and popularity baffles fans of traditional country music. (Her MySpace.)

on taylor swift and the death of country music « (insert name here)

A lot of the contestants on the show just can't sing well... sometimes the judges make comments about it, sometimes there is the Paula Abdul sort of praise on American Idol that makes you wonder if they were listening to the same performance, or if there is something about the acoustics in the theater that changes the sound.

I'm partial to Pearl Heart -- Sarge might be too. But Melissa is probably the best in the group of contestants. Some photos of Pearl Heart:

Pearl Heart {Who Says You Cant Go Home} NBC's Nashville Star

They're performing a song written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora (who have recently crossed over into country). And so the line between country and rock has been blurred, to the deteriment of country I believe. I remember having a conversation with another seminarian about this more than 10 years ago--he's now a priest, Fr. PW. The use of electric instruments, a heavy focus on the beat, and a lot of noise--music should not destroy one's hearing, whether it's played on the radio or live, and then there is the problem of music that unleashes passion without guidance from reason, through the emphasis on rhythm.

Country music's reflection of traditional mores has been lost to an extent; we can hear this in the lyrics and see it in oversexualized music videos. Undoubtedly there has always been a 'darker' side to country (someone who has been a long-time follower of country music can speak about this, I'm too young and new to country to say much but give my impressions), but it was more of an acknowledgement of human sin and frailty, than an endorsement or rationalization of bad behavior? And the rest had a clean, wholesome quality, with songs about devotion to one's wife and family and so on? I like the melody for a certain Leann Womack song (and her voice, even though it is rather limited), but I think there si a bit too much morose delectation with respect to fornication and 'love' in the lyrics.

What is the audience for country music like in the Bay Area? Who are the fans that go to the concerts? (Alan Jackson is performing in San Jose in August.) Perhaps the biggest country station is 95.7 The Wolf, but I find that its male hosts and djs are lacking 'something'. Country music remains popular in mainstream America (I think pop is dying a faster death)--but doesn't it say something about country music when its popularity has become separate from the culture that gave birth to it? Is its mainstreaming or assimilation into 'American culture' just another example of traditional culture being destroyed when it is 'nationalized' through the work of merchants? And can there be any other result when music is reduced to mass entertainment?
There is another, smaller radio station, 95.3 KRTY , but there seems to be more variety (although this afternoon they did play the Alan Jackson song "Good Times" twice within two hours.

What can be said about Nashville and the record companies there? Is talent really being groomed? Or are pretty faces with some singing ability just being marketed for dollars? Perhaps country music had been commercialized even in the 'good old days' -- but I would like to think that it had lagged behind other genres a bit?

(How would God apportion talent in a healthy society? Who has resources and talent to learn how to play an instrument (as opposed to singing)? Perhaps only a few would have the talent and skills to play instruments, but shouldn't the community nuture their development, so that they can contribute to the life of the local community?)

At this point I would like to see singers just sing good folk songs and covers of classics, instead of adding to the incessant drive for novelty and originality. But I suppose this is out of their control, and really something imposed by the record companies?

I don't know if I like all of 'classic' country; at this point I'm favoring more traditional forms of folk music and alternatives to mainstream country. Maybe it has to do with the quality of the recordings, but much of 'classic' coutnry strikes me as being quaint. I should give it more attention though, if I get a chance. More about my listening to country music in another post. As for consuming alternate forms of music, even traditional forms... that is still problematic, but I don't think local community life and culture is going to be restored on a wide scale in the Bay Area any time soon, though there are events here and there. If I have the opportunity to attend some of those, I'll try to write about it.

Too bad you can't havea house party with salon music, Pete Takeshi. I'd like to be there for that.

Country Music On The Decline? « Newscoma
The Decline of Country Radio -- The 9513

Academy of Country Music
Country Music Association

For the Love of Polyphony: COMMENT: The Decline of the Music Business.
I couldn't find a website for the Pontifical Korean College, but there was this news article from 2001: Catholic World News : Korean Pontifical College Opens in Rome.

More on the meaning of Wall-E

Wall-E and Sex

Now, do we want to say Pixar is endorsing a pro-life message, or the complementarity of the sexes (as well as sex being between man and woman)? Or is this a manifestation of how what one might call the "analogy of being" is not readily apparent at once--one can realize truths at one level and yet be ignorant of how they parallel truths at another (or even deny those truths)?

Interview with director Andrew Stanton.
As much as I am a fan of Chesterton, maybe he wasn't critical enough in accepting the idea of a proposition nation being fundamental to American identity and the 'founding.' After all, he visited America after the work of destroying the Constitution had already been in process for quite some time, and who knows where he got this notion from. Would he have had a different opinion of the founding if he had visited the South?

It's a reminder that we shouldn't give writers more authority than they merit.

Chesterton, What Is America?

How would traditional conservatives respond to what Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have said about the founding? Are they merely relying on what the audience believes about the founding? Or are they passing on a view of the founding that does not have a historical basis, but has been put forth by certain parties seeking to replace a federation with a centralized national state? (I suppose this description applies even to Straussians like Jaffa.)

(We see the central place given to the Declaration of Independence, neglecting all other arguments and statements by the various state legislatures and their representatives, and should begin to realize how problematic this is.)

(At any rate, such statements are proper to (secular) history and consequently infallibility could not apply to them.)

Zenit: Sacred Music That Serves the Word of God (Part 2)

Sacred Music That Serves the Word of God (Part 2)

Father Samuel Weber on Sacred Music Institute

By Annamarie Adkins

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, JULY 6, 2008 ( Although learning Gregorian Chant might imply a little effort from parishioners, the end result is worth it, says the director of the Institute for Sacred Music in St. Louis.

Archbishop Burke, who has since been named to head the Apostolic Signature, the Church's supreme court, appointed Benedictine Father Samuel Weber as the first director of the new institute earlier this year.

Father Weber is a professor in the divinity school of Wake Forest University in North Carolina and also a monk of the St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.

In Part 2 of this interview with ZENIT, Father Weber discusses why he thinks chant is "the song that [God] wants to hear from our lips and our hearts."

Part 1 of this interview appeared Friday.

Q: Why did the Second Vatican Council state that Gregorian chant should be given "pride of place" in the Church's liturgy?

Father Weber: The Second Vatican Council's constitution on the liturgy, "Sacrosanctum Concilium," as well as numerous statements of the Popes and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM], teach us that Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony -- that is, sacred music sung in harmony -- such as compositions of Palestrina, are to enjoy "pride of place" in sacred worship.

This means that chant is not only to be in common use in the liturgy, but it is also to provide examples and inspirations for new compositions.

The reason for this is to assure a genuine organic development in the sacred music Catholics experience in worship -- in continuity with the Church's history, and transcending limitations of time and cultures.

Understanding and appreciating this universality in Catholic music for worship might be seen as one facet of the obedience of faith.

We need to remember, of course, that the Council teaches under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God is telling us both how he wants to be worshiped, and what best serves the religious needs of those gathered for sacred rites.

Before all else, worship is about God. It is the duty of the creature to know, love and serve the Creator, and to render to God the service of prayer, praise and thanksgiving that is his due.

Worship is about us, the creatures, only insofar as we desire with all our hearts to serve God as he tells us he wants to be served.

Historically, Gregorian chant is in direct, organic development with ancient cantilation -- chanting -- patterns of the psalms in temple and synagogue. This was the background and experience of the first Christians. So our chanting today is in direct relationship with theirs.

One can see, then, that when we sing the chant, we are truly "in connection" with our fathers and mothers in the faith.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph heard and sang many of these patterns of sacred chant in synagogue and temple worship. The apostles, the martyrs, the great saints whose witness continues to inspire us today, were all nourished on these traditions of sacred chanting.

Even the saints and blesseds of our own day -- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, for example -- all sang, heard and knew the chant and the traditions of sacred music inspired by the chant.

They were formed in this "school of sacred music" that is the chant, and, to borrow a phrase from St. Athanasius, the "gymnasium of spiritual exercises" that is the Psalter -- the Psalms of David.

I think, too, of my grandparents and parents, so many beloved family members, teachers and friends, who have gone before us "marked with the sign of faith."

How they loved the sacred chants, and passed them on to me with piety, devotion and reverence. What an opportunity to participate in the Communion of Saints. What could be richer or more spiritually satisfying?

Gregorian chant serves the word of God. It has no other purpose than to draw us to the sacred text, especially the Psalms, and to enable us to treasure God's word ever more deeply in our hearts.

It is entirely free of anything that is contrary to the faith, free of purely human agendas or experiences that lead us away from God's will and plan for us. To use the language of our computer age: The chant is "safe and secure." No viruses can enter.

Q: Benedict XVI has given a number of speeches discussing the importance of preserving the Church's heritage of sacred music, and a number of documents have been issued by the Holy See calling the universal Church back to that grand tradition, yet little seems to have changed on the ground. Why is there resistance to what should be seen as a form of Vatican II's concept of "ressourcement," that is, return to the sources?

Father Weber: Perhaps it is not so much resistance as a lack of communication and ineffective teaching that stalled things.

Pope Benedict is tireless in his teaching -- even before he became Pope -- for example, "A New Song for the Lord." An accomplished musician himself, he fully understands the power of music on the human heart, thus the central role of music in the liturgy.

Clearly, part of our task is to help "get the word out." I think we can already see many positive results of the recent actions of the Holy See concerning the liturgy.

For one thing, there is a growing interest among Catholic people in reviving their immensely rich heritage of music and art, and a real desire for greater beauty, reverence and solemnity in worship.

But when there is actual resistance? In the end, I believe that this comes down to the perpetual struggle between good and evil. God is constantly giving us all the grace we need to know, love and serve him.

But we are tempted by the devil, and suffer under the effects of original sin, so we sometimes make choices that, sadly, draw us away from God our Creator, and even extinguish the fire of love in our hearts.

It is the duty of all the pastors -- that God in his love has given us -- to call people back to that which will bring us true peace and blessedness. With great wisdom, over the centuries the popes, the Councils, have understood the importance of sacred music, art, architecture and ritual in the spiritual formation of the human person.

As a result, they have never ceased to teach us about the care that must be exercised in cultivating all sacred arts that serve divine worship.

Now it is our job to receive this teaching and implement it in our lives for our spiritual good.

Q: The book "Why Catholics Can't Sing" highlighted the abysmal state of congregational singing present in most American parishes. Why do you think parishes will be able to handle Gregorian chant? Isn't that harder to sing?

Father Weber: The author, Thomas Day, suggested -- among other things -- that people don't sing because the music they often encounter at Mass is not really worth the effort. Silence is one response to music that is inappropriate -- whether from the standpoint of aesthetics or theology.

Another factor is the disappearance of choirs from parishes, since choirs can effectively lead and encourage congregational singing.

It's encouraging to know that many people who are discovering chant for the first time are so strongly attracted by its beauty and solemnity that they want to become a part of its revival.

Speaking from experience, I would agree that Gregorian chant may require a greater discipline, more attention and sacrifice of time and energy in order to "make it happen" in our parishes.

But difficulty is not a real impediment.

In our American society we greatly value sports. I'm a Green Bay Packers fan myself, rabid, actually. I'm really grateful to the Packers for all the hours they spend in practice and preparation for their games. All the sacrifices they make. It's worth it.

The payoff is really something awesome. We, the fans, would settle for no less. Doesn't this same expectation apply to the things of God? It really isn't that hard to understand, is it?

St. Augustine taught the people of Hippo: "Cantare amantis est." Singing is characteristic of a lover. If the supreme love is, as we believe, between Christ, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his Bride -- can any effort be spared to express this love in true beauty? Is any sacrifice too much?

We don't have to guess at the song. This tremendous Lover of ours tells us the song that he wants to hear from our lips and our hearts.

This is our Catholic faith. What more need be said? Let us begin!
Archdiocese of St. Louis opens sacred music institute, reknowned ...
(not to be confused with the Institute of Sacred Music at CUA)

Misc JPop vids

There's a kind of hush / 見つめあう恋, 森口博子

Kind of Hush- The Carpenters

森口博子 - You'd be so nice to come home to

The Carpenters - There's a kind of hush

Urusei Yatsura - Hiroko Moriguchi


Lum no Love Song

森口博子 - 夜もヒッパレ・メドレーライブ

深田恭子 夜もヒッパレ 華原朋美登場で感激の涙!


華原朋美 Secret Base -君がくれたもの- 

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Stuff from Boundless

Our One-Track Mind by John Thomas
Settling by Scott Croft

Bowing to Convenience by Krishana Kraft
The easy access and comforts of our culture have seeped from retail stores and fast-food restaurants and become a way of life.

Perfect Happy Bubble by Candice Watters
Many of the answers to your questions are highly unrealistic. How are we, as young adults, to realistically put what you advise into practice?
Global Public Media: Airbus And Boeing Face A Dark And Painful Future

Song Hye Gyo on MBC Section TV

Thanks to
NY Times: Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection
via NOR

Of course there are the academics who, with the tablet as evidence (of what, it is not yet clear), speculate about its contents in such a way as to contradict the divine origin of Christ and the Gospel. Richard Dawkins has a link. Could there be one or several oral traditions regarding the coming of the Messiah, one separate from expectations of a political savior? Could not such traditions (even if they were misunderstood because the words were understood incorrectly -- Israel referring to the nation instead of the 'new' people of God, the Church, and so on) be a preparation for the coming of Christ?

Edit: photo here

Dominic Buettner for The New York Times
When David Jeselsohn bought an ancient tablet, above, he was unaware of its significance.

Department of Archaeology - Prof. Yuval Goren
An Alternative Interpretation of the Stone Tablet with Ancient ...
Professor Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley, Near ...
Israel Knohl (wiki) BCE tablet: Messiah to rise in three days!
Free Internet Press :: Tablet Ignites Debate On Messiah, Resurrection

First learned of it in reference to actor David Morrissey. (Not sure if he is speaking with the accent in Sense and Sensibility.) Tom Baker and Paul McGann are also mentioned as being Scouse actors.


Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade
The eighth Doctor Who - Paul McGann
Paul McGann Page
gallery for the TV movie

Making No-Knead Bread

Mark Bittman, the Minimalist -- his blog, Bitten

How to Cook Everything :: Home


Interview | Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat | Video on
The Best Recipes In The World

Culture in Macross Frontier

How will music save the human fleet in Macross Frontier? Music is the embodiment of culture (and also of emotion and love) in the Macross universe. Intelligent (or rational) creatures aren't the only ones who appreciate or are affected by it, as Macross Zero shows--there's a very strong connection between music and the spirit, what animates or gives life in all its forms (spiritia energy!).

The warrior races, the Zentrans and Meltrans, are converted through their exposure to music, having known only war-making prior to their contact with the humans. In a sense the Zentraedi are like the Spartans, priding themselves on their excellence in war (and missing out on everything important), while the humans are the Athenians, in so far as they have an appreciation for the fine arts. It must be remarked, though, that there is not much philosophizing in the Macross universe, and no religion. This is another story in which humans were created not by God, but by an alien intelligence.

One would prefer to think of culture as a tool and transmitter of intelligence, but how rational can culture in the Macross universe be when the warring Zentrans and Meltrans are turned into lovesick idol fans? (To witness Meltrans becoming giddy fans like high school teens, see the "Fleet of the Strongest Women" and the results of Basara Nekki's work.) Hence, their conversion is more an emotional one than a spiritual one; it is the suppression of their appetite for violence through the use of other emotions, rather than through reason and the will. Those who have a strong appetite for violence come to acquire other strong desires, particularly lust. (As we see in the original Macross series, with Quamzin Kravshera [Khyron]). But what sci-fi story these days does not reduce reason to feeling, human nature to a competition between different emotions?

The Vajra are apparently some sort of bio-weapon--whether they were created by the humans or by the Protoculture or developed on their own has not yet been revealed, though there is a hint that the humans had a hand in some sort of experimentation upon them. The drones are said to have no intelligence of their own, being directed by something else. Would this be the queen, or some other entity? Are they sentient? It is difficult to see how they could not be, if they are able to construct ships.

Fans have been pointing out how the scene with the Vajra queen recalls Aliens. The struggle between the humans and the Vajra is similar to the Starship Troopers movie (and cartoon), Starcraft, and a host of other science-fiction stories and games.

Are the Vajra lifeforms native to foldspace? Have they been genetically engineered or manipulated? By whom? Can there be harmony between sentient beings? This seems to be a sci-fi version of the Fall: subrational creatures turning against their creators, usually because they have a legitimate grude--being mistreated by their creators and masters, and so on. Does this part of the plot serve as a warning against genetic manipulation and the abuse of technology through human pride? Are the humans following the footsteps of Protoculture, whose creations also turned against it?

Will music once again transform enemies by re-establishing the harmony that should exist between all living things? Is Macross more consonant with a Buddhist worldview than one proper to Western sci-fi? Perhaps these questions will be answered in time, along with the following:

What is the connection between Ranka, the purple crystals, and the strange aura that glows in her abdominal region?

What did Grace mean in episode 13, "The hate grows." She is fostering hate between whom? All factions involved? The humans and the Zentraedi?

Macross Zero: Arkan

Macross Mecha Manual
Mecha Profiles
Macross 7 | Nekki Basara | Mylene Jenius | Fire Bomber | Spiritia
Macross 7 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brian Mershon: GUEST CONTRIBUTION: Q&A with the Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei about SSPX, schism and sacraments

Zenit: Sacred Music that Serves the Word of God (Part 1)

Sacred Music that Serves the Word of God (Part 1)

Father Samuel Weber on Sacred Music Institute

By Annamarie Adkins
ST. LOUIS, Missouri, JULY 4, 2008 ( Parish music directors -- and congregations -- in the Archdiocese of St. Louis soon will benefit from Archbishop Raymond Burke’s recent initiative: The Institute for Sacred Music.

Archbishop Burke, who has since been named to head the Apostolic Signature, the Church's supreme court, appointed Benedictine Father Samuel Weber as the first director of the new institute earlier this year.

Father Weber is a professor in the divinity school of Wake Forest University in North Carolina and also a monk of the St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.

In Part 1 of this interview with ZENIT, Father Weber discusses how the Institute for Sacred Music will try to restore Gregorian chant’s “pride of place” in the liturgy.

Part 2 of this interview will appear Sunday.

Q: Why did Archbishop Burke found the Institute for Sacred Music? What is its mission?

Father Weber: As Archbishop Burke explained, he established the institute to help him to cultivate more fully sacred music in the celebration of the complete Roman Rite.

The Institute will have many activities. First, it will form programs of sacred music, especially Gregorian chant, for parish musicians, musicians of other archdiocesan institutions and interested individuals.

Second, it will assist parishes with the singing of the Mass in English, for example, the entrance antiphon, the responsorial psalm and the Communion antiphon. Third, it hopes to foster the singing the Liturgy of the Hours.

A fourth activity of the institute is assisting parishes that wish to develop a "schola cantorum" for singing Gregorian chant; a fifth goal is aiding the full implementation of the English translation of the Roman Missal in the archdiocese.

Lastly, the institute aims to give particular assistance to the programs of sacred music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Q: Is there a difference between sacred music and religious music?

Father Weber: Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, we can make a distinction.

Sacred music, properly speaking, is music that is united to a sacred text -- especially psalms and other scriptural texts and texts of the Mass, such as the Introit, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc., and it includes certain traditional hymns that are -- or have been -- part of the official liturgical books.

The authority of the Church must confirm all the liturgical texts; these sacred words are not to be altered in setting them to music.

All sacred music is “religious music,” obviously. But religious music would encompass everything from classic hymns to contemporary songs with a religious theme in a wide variety of styles and varying quality. Not all religious music is suitable for sacred worship, certainly.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of competent authority -- i.e., the bishop or the Holy See -- to determine the suitability of all religious music for sacred worship, even though parish musicians will usually choose the music for a parish Mass and other liturgical celebrations.

All Church musicians need to be able to make truly informed choices about appropriate music for use in the liturgy, based on authentic Church teaching. This is not always easy, nor is the choice simply a matter of taste.

Q: Many complain about popular or secular forms of music creeping into the liturgy, but this has been a perennial problem for the Church. What causes this recurring problem, and how have the great renaissances in sacred music such as those fostered by Palestrina and Pope St. Pius X turned the tide?

Father Weber: Yes, you could say that the concern about secular -- or frankly anti-Christian -- musical styles supplanting sacred music in worship is perennial -- though it may manifest itself differently in different cultures and historical periods.

For example, in early centuries, all music other than chanting was strictly forbidden by Church authorities, because use of musical instruments had strongly pagan associations.

In the 19th century, the style of opera had so greatly influenced Church music that Pope St. Pius X warned strongly against this “profane” music, and forbade composing music imitating operatic styles. He initiated the 20th Century Liturgical Movement by his 1903 document, “Tra le Sollecitudini.”

In particular he encouraged Gregorian chant, which he said in the third paragraph of the document, “has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music,” thus “it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: The more closely a composition for Church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.”

It was Pope Pius X, also, who coined the phrase “active participation” of the people. And he also said in paragraph five of the document that “modern music is also admitted to the Church, since it, too, furnishes compositions of such excellence, sobriety and gravity, that they are in no way unworthy of the liturgical functions.”

After the Second Vatican Council it was the pop and folk style music of the late 1960s and 1970s that dominated newly composed music for worship -- Catholic and Protestant. Despite the Constitution on the Liturgy’s emphasis on the “pride of place” for Gregorian chant in the liturgy, the council’s teaching was ignored, and chant virtually disappeared.

The reasons for this are many and complex. But one major element was plain confusion and misunderstanding. The liturgical reform following the Council was astoundingly rapid, and serious upheavals in the secular world of those times also affected the anti-authoritarian mood within the Church.

This was played out dramatically in the liturgy. Changes were made precipitously with too little consultation with the bishops.

During the papacy of Pope John Paul II, we began to see a sober reassessment of the post-conciliar liturgical changes, culminating in his last encyclical, “Ecclesia de Eucharistia.”

The present “renaissance” in liturgical music we are now seeing is in large part due to Pope Benedict XVI and his many scholarly works on the subject even before he became pope.

The historic heritage of sacred music, then, always serves as an indispensable teacher and model of what best serves the celebration of sacred worship, and leads worshipers to greater holiness.
Twitch: Mutant Chronicles trailer

Rod Dreher on the Aristotelianism of Wall-E

"Wall-E": Aristotelian, crunchy con

the movie's official site

At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to pay the price of a theater ticket to watch the movie (and what man wants to be watching the movie alone, in a movie full of children?); then I discovered that it is also being distributed by Disney. (Did the nieces enjoyed Disneyland?) So I will probably wait until it's out on DVD.

The Nation: Profile of Bill McKibben

The Creep of Things by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

via EB

Rosalind Creasy, More food, less lawn - save money with an edible landscaping plan

Rosalind Creasy, Organic To Be
I’ve seen it happen time and time again. People who are on a tight budget think they cannot afford to spend a lot of money on the landscaping; so they go to the nursery, buy a package of grass seed, and turn most of their yard into a large lawn. There are few things you can do, particularly in the West, that will cost you more over the long run.


George Jones & Ricky Skaggs' One Woman Man

George Jones & Ricky Skaggs' One Woman Man

George Jones- One Woman Man
George Jones - One Woman Man

Johnny Horton ~ I'm A One Woman Man

Rhonda Vincent at Clinchfest 2008

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage play Clinchfest 08. (song 1)

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage play Clinchfest 08. (song 2)

Clinch Mountain Music Festival - June 13-15, 2008
AT&T Blue Room: Rhonda Vincent interview (part 1 of 4)

Rhonda, Rage and Rounder Artists Round up at 2008 SPBGMA awards
Rhonda Vincent ~ I Gotta Start Somewhere

Edit: Via the Bluegrass Blog--Rhonda live online--her performance and interviews on Unplugged at Studio 330.

Andrew Davies interview

Adapting Austen: Interview w/ Andrew Davies on S&S Part 1/3
Adapting Austen: Interview w/ Andrew Davies on S&S Part 2/3
Adapting Austen: Interview w/ Andrew Davies on S&S Part 3/3
Austen Blog: Songs and Music of Jane Austen CD set available at BBC America Shop

the link

'Daddy' vs 'Papa'

I prefer the latter for myself (because of its presence in Latin and other Romance languages, and its link to pater), though it would appear that in Latin there is a similar-sounding diminutive for the former-- from Wiki: tata, tatae (m) -- but first declension! I have heard da in movies about the Irish, but I did not know that dad is Welsh.

Father is one of those words that has clear cognates in other Indo-European languages. (The replacement of p with f for the word appears to be common to all Germanic languages?)

Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology)

Wiki for PIE and Indo-European languages
Proto-Indo-European Language Demonstration and Exploration Website
Indo-European and the Comparative Method
Indo-European Documentation Center: What is (Proto-)Indo-European?
Indo-European Language Family Tree
Lynch, Indo-European Language Family Tree
Indo-European Home Page
Indo-European Etymological Dictionary (IEED)
Wordgumbo: Comparative Indo-European
Indo-European Language Resources
UCLA Program in Indo-European Studies
Proto-Indo-European verbs conjugation
Journal of Indo-European Studies

Characterization of the Germanic Language Family


Kow Yokoyama, Maschinen Krieger

For Pete Takeshi:

Kow Yokoyama has done models and pictures of armored suits and such.

Jason Eaton:
Kow Yokoyama
Kow Yokoyama
roboterkampf's photostream

Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kow Yokoyama
Maschinen Krieger
Ma.K In Action
Mecha Art and Design
toybot studios: Maschinen Krieger: The Art of Kow Yokoyama ...
Krueger's Krieger SF3D/MaK Zbv3000 Models and Tips
ZbV3000 Ma.K. Maschinen Krieger
3D WIP of two of Sensei KOW YOKOYAMA's design - Forums
Mecha Modeling Websites - powered by vBulletin
Kow Yokoyama's Sketch

ESP Visuals: Ma.K Update

Books: KOW Yokoyama
Very Cool Things: Kow Yokoyama Ma.K. Sketchbook (Maschinen Krieger ...
Mecha Art and Design
Kow Yokoyama - Ma.K. Sketch Book Vol.01 (Dai Nippon Kaiga ...
Ma.K. Modeling Book

Kinokuniya SF has at least 3 of his books on sale. In case you come out to CA for a visit, PT.

More Trish Thuy Trang

Trish Thuy Trang - Stay Awhile

Trish Thuy Trang - The day you went away

Trish Thuy Trang - Big Big World

Trish Thuy Trang - Too Little Too Late

Trish Thuy Trang - Up and Down

Trish Thuy Trang-Like No Other

Trish Thuy Trang-Lie To Me [MV]

Friday, July 04, 2008


I don't think I imagined this while I was half-asleep, but this afternoon Sean Hannity mentioned on the radio that the last line uttered by William Wallace in Mel Gibon's Braveheart was the cry of "Freedom!" And then he proceeded to relate this to a "libertarian" conception of freedom, what one might associate with license, but the individual right to determine one's actions for one's self and choose accordingly. But the freedom that the fictional Wallace was striving for in the movie [and the real historical person as well] was "political freedom" -- liberation from a occupying power (or a tyrannical government). Political liberty as opposed to differing notions of individual liberty; there isn't a necessary connection between the two, unless one rejects both subjection from without and from within (as being unjust). More on this in a bit.

BBC - History - Scottish History
Wallace: A Biography - Google Books Result
Braveheart @ MacBraveHeart - Homepage

One friend liked the movie to an extent, which was a surprise when I first heard him talking about it since he usually avoids movies. But he wished that instead of "Freedom," Gibson's Wallace had shouted instead something like "Scotland!" Catholic traditionalists and reactionaries tend to mistrust any talk about liberty, since it is often tied up with some form of liberalism or bad conceptions of freedom, authority, and community. But is talk of liberty always necessarily tainted or wrong? Can there be a proper Catholic understanding of political liberty?

Traditionally, it has been taught that if the ruler is ruling justly, for the sake of the common good, then his rule is legitimate and should be obeyed. So one question is what is to be done if his rule or his laws are unjust. The other question is whether those conditions are enough. It has also been traditionally taught that those who obtain rule through conquest may have their rule legitimated with time, provided that they meet the other conditions for just rule. If, despite the way they came into power, they rule justly, one cannot disobey their laws or start a rebellion.

Still, we would do well to question whether there is a divine mandate for one world government. I can see how the desire for self-rule in the medieval republics (and autonomy on the part of kings in their states) would lead to discussions about the various claims to authority (especially by the Holy Roman Empire) and reactions by some to attempts by others to gain power over them. Other than a claim to having inherited some imperial authority from the past, what legitimate claim did the Holy Roman Emperor have over others?

If communities should be of an appropriate size (in accordance with natural limits), then most attempts to gain control over them by larger entities would probably be not only wrong-headed but unjust as well. Only in extreme cases should such authority be assumed (for example, if a community is incapable of self-rule, realizes it, and asks for outside help--but is that likely to happen?), and ideally authority should be returned to that community as soon as it is possible. (Once it becomes capable of self-rule, and this is a goal that the outside power should seek to bring about, if it is truly 'benevolent'.)

I could envision someone using Aquinas' argument concerning the best form of government to press for a unified world government over all, but I think this is too much to ask for, in a world marred by sin. And, it would go again reason. (Once again, the question of limits -- size and being able to understand local circumstances -- and the proper political participation of the citizens.)

Quentin Skinner has written about republican government and conceptions of liberty during the middle ages and afterwards. He has traced various understandings of political liberty through European history, focusing on the classical notion as being the best(?). According to the classical notion of [political] liberty, only those who participate in self-rule are free; those who are subject to the authority of another are not really free.

Even if we accept that there is a "classical" conception of political liberty to be found in Republican Rome and in the Greek poleis, is it necessarily always the best? Or do we follow Aristotle, who differentiates between the different good constitutions? Aristotle maintains that polity (or 'rule by the many') is not the best constitution for all societies. Is a right violated if one does not participate in rule? Or is this only when one is qualified to rule? What are the qualifications for rule? 'Civic humanism' or republicanism does not always involve the egalitarian assumption that one is qualified to rule merely in virtue of being a(n) [adult] member of a community. But is the many's possession of the requisite virtue for a polity sufficient to entail that taking political participation away from them is unjust and a violation of their liberty? One need not to accept this to avoid such an action--the prudential judgment that the taking away of political power from them will cause resentment and other adverse effects on the common good would be enough.

This sort of political liberty is not opposed to, or does not do away with, the virtue of obedience, since self-rule is attributed to the whole and not to each member of the community taken individually. There is no place in authentic republicanism for an exaggerated notion of freedom -- that I be able to do what I want, and not have to follow the commands of others, since this would be destructive to the common good. The question is whether others outside of the community can claim to have authority over me. God and the Church, yes. But what of another human temporal authority, in which we do not participate?

Just as one cannot licitly disobey an usurper if he is ruling in accordance with the common good, so political liberty cannot be the highest good within the political order--the common good (and by extension obedience to the law) take precedence. (Which isn't to say that one shouldn't strive to regain or strengthen self-rule, so long as it the intended outcome is likely and it does not destroy the common good, respect for the law, and so on.)

I should try to skim through Professor Skinner's Liberty Before Liberalism and Hobbes and Republican Liberty; they are probably worth getting. I've read through his The Foundations of Modern Political Thought; while it is informative I'm not entirely convinced by the narrative that he puts forth. I do think that links between republicanism of the middle ages and of the classical period need to be explored further and judged in accordance with something normative, even if medieval rhetoric appealed to liberty and republicanism to justify certain political actions. ("Following the example of our ancestors" would not be enough?)

Google Books: The Foundations of Modern Political Thought

As for "American independence," and whether it really was a case of secession or rebellion--I have yet to study the constitutional case of the loyalists. Was it a case of tyrannical rule being rejected? Or the violation of a contract between sovereign communities and a higher authority being violated? Hence, my present ambivalence about celebrating the 4th of July.

I'm surprised none of the networks is broadcasting The Patriot tonight. Is it being shown on cable?

Yahoo Movies; Rotten Tomatoes
Extended version

More on Quentin Skinner

Quentin Skinner on concepts of liberty (mp3)
A summary: Cambridge historian lectures on concepts of liberty - Podcast ...

Content-TV: Quentin Skinner - Three Concepts of Liberty - video
LRB · Quentin Skinner: A Third Concept of Liberty
Rethinking Political Liberty -- Skinner 61 (1): 156 -- History ...
Quentin Skinner - Rethinking Political Liberty - History Workshop ...
Google Books: Equal Freedom: Selected Tanner Lectures on Human Values
The Social Affairs Unit - Web Review: David Womersley
The place of history in public life, by Quentin Skinner
Quentin Skinner on civic humanism
Professor Quentin Skinner on Hobbes | The Early Modern Intelligencer

DSpace at Cambridge: Interview of Quentin Skinner
On Encountering the Past – Interview with Quentin Skinner (pdf)
Philosophy Bites interview with Quentin Skinner (mp3, transcript)

Cambridge University Press: Rethinking the Foundations of Modern Political Thought - Cambridge
Republicanism - vol. 1, 2; Visions of Politics - vol. 1, 2, 3
States and Citizens
An Approach to Political Philosophy

P. Pettit, KEEPING REPUBLICAN FREEDOM SIMPLE On a Difference with Quentin Skinner (pdf)
Samuel Moyn - Intellectual History and Democracy: An Interview ...
Traditional uniforms for cross-Strait flights (Xinhua)

Four flight attendants from China Eastern Airlines model new colorful uniforms, which were unveiled Tuesday. The uniform, made from a traditional southern Chinese silk called yunjin, cost about 10,000 yuan each. This traditional uniform will be worn for charter flights from the Chinese mainland to Taipei, which begin on July 4.

China Daily showbiz gallery
Leon Lai-2005北京演唱會@最後的戀愛、甜蜜蜜

Leon Lai-2005中華小姐表演嘉賓

Miss Chinese International 2008 國際中華小姐競選
2007 年度中華小姐競選OP

see sryaxiius and TVBFrance and cantonril

Miss China Tiffany Ning Lei Interview part 1, 2, 3

2008国际旅游小姐中国总决Miss Tourism Queen China 2008 Xitang Beijing
2008滑铁卢春节晚会(university of waterloo) 7
2008纽约华裔小姐选美专访(9) [Duowei]