Saturday, March 21, 2009

A difference between Asian and American cultures?

When an American parent reprimands a child., he expects the child to look him in the eye, as a sign of respect. In E. Asia, if a child were to do this instead of looking down, it would be a sign of contempt or pride?

FNL is a letdown...

So Coach Eric Taylor finds his daughter in bed with her bf--what does he do? You don't hear him say anything; he storms out of the bf's house back to his SUV and waits for her to get dressed and to get in the car as well. No lecture from Coach, apparently. Was he waiting for a discussion with his wife? I don't think he or his wife were aware that their daughter was having sex. Maybe they were living in la la land and pretending that this wasn't happening or possible.

I suspected that the Coach would be a good male figure with respect to football team, but somewhat weak at home. While he was able to persuade his wife that they couldn't afford to purchase a house she was looking at, he was unable to "do the right thing" with his daughter right away. No lecture for the boyfriend about respect and why sex should be reserved for the marital covenant.

The daughter said to Lyla (who was spending the night because her father was in jail), "It seems like everything's different now. Like I'm not daddy's little girl any more."

The wife, the principal of the high school, said she was going to have a talk with her--but Coach warned her not to, unless she knew what she was going to say. She admitted that she had no idea. Is this an abdication of the father's authority? Shouldn't he be saying something to her? And why wouldn't the mom know what to say? Call Dr. Laura!

The next morning... mom: "Is there anything you want to say?"
Julie: "[He] should have knocked."

Julie was expecting a punishment. But they're just going to have a "conversation" about it. Julie protested that she was 17. With that kind of attitude, she can move out of the house and support herself. Did Coach and his wife ever teach that premarital sex was a no-no?

How does the convo start off?
"So, um, do you love Matt?"
"I love Matt."
"Does he love you?"
"Matt loves me."
"He does. Now, what about birth control?"

And then they go into detail about what kind of birth control is being used, and how it should be used properly.

Mom: "And you know that, you know just 'cause you're having sex this one time, doesn't mean that you have to all the time, and you know, if it ever starts to feel he's taking it for granted or you're not having, you're not enjoying it, you can stop it any time [Don't get raped or exploited! This is how she protects her daughter.], and if you ever break up with Matt, it's not like, you know, you have to have sex with the next boy necessarily."

"Why are you crying?"

"Because I wanted you to wait. That's just because I want to protect you, cause I love you, and I wanna make sure nothing bad ever happens to you. And I want you to always be able to talk to me, even if it's something so hard, like this."

"I didn't want to disappoint you."

Capitulation. So is this what passes for sex ed in the typical American household nowadays? Probably. Pathetic. Hollywood does its best to reinforce it.

Later, Coach has a talk with Matt Saracen -- "Women are to be respected." That's it? There's an angry tone, a hint of a threat. But nothing substantial.

At least Landry stood up to Tyra and told her that she was selfish, realizing that they didn't have a real friendship.

There's also a cute redhead:

more photos
The OD called me this afternoon and offered to arrange a meeting with a friend of one of his friends... I think he meant that it would be a group date involving him and his wife. He even said that we could just meet for pearl drinks, and that if I was interested I could drink slowly and if I wasn't, I could drink quickly...

"She's a nice girl."

Aren't they all?

I don't know if she is a member of his church [that is, ecclesial community*] or not. I'll probably call him to find out more about her, but I wouldn't want to waste her time, if I'm really looking for a Catholic wife...


Fr Urbano Navarrete, S.J.
American Papist: Robby George challenges Doug Kmiec to Public Debate on Cloning

via Dan Gilgoff:
Did Obama Allow Human Cloning? Part 1 of an E-mail Debate
Did Obama Allow Human Cloning? Part 2 of an E-mail Debate
Did Obama Allow Human Cloning? Part 3 of an E-mail Debate
Did Obama Allow Human Cloning? Part 4 of an E-mail Debate
Did Obama Allow Human Cloning? Part 5 of an E-mail Debate

And more on ND: Omnicoverage: President Obama invited to give Notre Dame Commencement
So, Sarge, what do you think of Roslin's sisters in the first part of the series finale to BSG?

*spoiler warning*

Apparently the spy footage released last year was of Caprica, and not the new homeworld. So who knows how it will end?

It was a good set-up for part 2: it's too bad there weren't more action-filled episodes. Richard Hatch's or Glen Larson's relaunched BSG might have had more action--but would fans of this BSG be satisfied with the quality of the drama?
Photos of the Solemn High Mass at Mission Santa Clara last month at San Francisco Photo Journal. There is a category dedicated to the Institute of Christ the King. (Take a look Sarge) I thought Mr. Wang looked familiar--he also took photos of Fr. Augustine Thompson last year.

I expect he will have photos of today's Mass at Mission San Jose soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

TJF, Religio Philologi II: Greed

Paul’s original Greek is a bit more precise than his translators have been. In Ephesians the word is pleonexia, while in I Thessalonians 6 we have the related verb form pleonktein. The Greek echein is the simplest verb meaning “to have,” while pleon means more. So pleonektein means having or getting more and pleonexia a condition or process of getting or trying to get more. The verb, which is not necessarily pejorative, thus can be used to mean “to have more than others” or “to claim more than one is due.” A person who is a pleonektes, then, claims more than he has or more than he is due, and the derived noun pleonexia refers to the character of the pleonektes or the process by which he gets more and more.

There is a range of meanings and implications, not all of which are obviously moral faults. Medical writers use pleonexia to mean surfeit or excess, e.g. of liquid or heat, while Xenophon applies it to the superior extent of the Spartan empire. The comic poet Menander says that pleonexia is an evil, but only because those who plot to gain their neighbor’s goods fail in their attempt.

Though a moralist will generally condemn the desire for more, he may not actually restrict this desire to what we would regard as immoderate. When Stoics or Neoplatonists or Christians stigmatize pleonexia, it is because the pleonektes wants more than he needs, in other words, more than bare necessities. The pleonektes’ desire leads him into injustice, because he desires what he does not have, and into luxury, because he acquires material things he does not need and which cloud his mind and will. Thus, Plutarch, who couples the word with with strife and contention and cruelty, and Demosthenes, who pairs it with wantonness, both use pleonexia in a negative sense.

Aristotle disapproves of economic pleonexia, because while wealth is a natural necessity, a man seeking higher things should not wallow in the possession of more and more material wealth, especially in the form of money, which is artificial.
Paul Craig Roberts, When Things Fall Apart
Launching Life Dinghies in the Maelstrom
Crunchy Con: Alber Elbaz and the power of fashion

I'm not really interested in finding the issue of New Yorker to read the whole article--can someone summarize Elbaz's philosophy? I do think that one should wear clothing that is tailored for his or her body--it is certainly batter than the mass-produced, off-the-rack clothing that comes in generic sizes. But how much innovation is really necessary? And what role, if any, does tradition play in fashion?

Related links:
New York Look: Spring 2008 - The Show of the Season
Alber Elbaz - The TIME 100 - TIME
ALBER ELBAZ - On the Runway Blog -
Alber Elbaz Momentarily Ponders Leaving Fashion
How I get dressed: Alber Elbaz
American Papist: Breaking: Obama to give commencement at Notre Dame!

First alerted of this by Nathan Contra Mundi on FB. Unbelievable. Fr. Jenkins continues to be a disappointment. Do I smell Americanism? Or perhaps it's the Catholic inferiority complex raising its head, one century later.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. - University of Notre Dame
Asia Times: CHINA A soldier’s story about the Tiananmen Square massacre
His unit was supposed “to clear” the square. Now he wants the government to tell the truth. Jiang Yangyong, a medical doctor who helped the wounded and the dying on that night, has been fighting for years to have justice for the dead.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Asia Times: China's corruption goes from covert to overt
China's already graft-weary public is outraged by the attempts of local governments to effectively "legitimize" corruption. At least dubious deals traditionally took place behind doors, now allowances for massages and spa visits are being openly discussed. - Stephanie Wang
ICAC I Corrupt All Cops - Trailer
Twitch: Toki o Kakeru Shōjo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) scores another live adaptation! and English subtitled trailer for Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai!!!
THE FOUNDERS’ SECOND AMENDMENT Origins of the Right to Bear Arms by Stephen P. Halbrook has its own website asking for a "book bomb," that is, for people to buy the book and help it make it on top of various top 10 lists.

Stephen Halbrook Testifies Against Confirmation of Eric Holder for Attorney General
YouTube - Stephen Halbrook on Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder

Stephen Halbrook with CNN's Lou Dobbs on Gun Control
Transition Culture: A Wealth of Transition Audio

The Humane Economy: Slow Money: where capital and culture collide (via Rod Dreher)

Slow Money Alliance

I haven't watched the video, but can local businesses survive where there is no customer base interested in supporting local businesses?

This post at Design21 has more links to youtube videos.

Related Links:
Author profile page for Woody Tasch--Chelsea Green: The Politics and Practice of Sustainable Living

He'll be in Sausalito next week--
Woody Tasch at Food & Farming on the Urban Edge
Cavallo Point, the Lodge at the Golden Gate, 601 Murray Circle, Sausalito CA 94965
March 24, 2009, 6:00 pm

Slow Money - Encouraging Ethical and Sustainable Investing
Q&A: Woody Tasch MNN - Mother Nature Network
Woody Tasch: Slow Money Interview P&P
Woody Tasch: Slow Money = Compost for Growing New Economy (mp3)
Investing Local: Woody Tasch
Slow Money with Woody Tasch
Woody Tasch: Slower, Smaller and Local dotSUB
The Santa Barbara Independent Woody Tasch
Amherst Magazine Winter 2005
American Papist: Report: LC "town hall meeting" with vocations director

A blog by a LC priest? And then there's this...

So in the comic book prequel to the upcoming Star Trek movie...

*spoiler warning*

the planet Romulus is destroyed.

Why doesn't Nero go into the past to prevent that from happening, instead of exacting his revenge? Even if the Vulcans were too slow in acting to save Romulus, would destroying their planet be of any help to Romulus? Perhaps his ship is not equipped with the material to do this, but he has plenty of time to acquire it, and who in the 23rd century can stop him?

If this happens in the prime timeline, what are the consequences of its homeworld's destruction on the Romulan Star Empire?

I don't really see it as a fitting end to the Romulans as a Federation threat, though the destruction of Romulus might make reunification with Vulcan more possible. First there was the shabby treatment of the Romulans in Nemesis. Now the comic book does this...

What impact will the comic book have on Star Trek Online?

Reliance on time travel + quantum mechanics = bad 'in-house' explanation of the place of the new movie in Star Trek canon.
四季歌 天涯歌女 周璇 张柏芝

Asia Times: From the burqa to the catwalk
When an Afghan television station announced plans for Afghan Model, it hoped to attract a few hundred contestants. Instead, more than 2,000 aspiring models, many of them men, rushed to sign up. Most Afghans are still not keen on young people showing off their bodies, but this has done little to slow the show's popularity or the dreams of its contestants. (Mar 18,'09)
Daniel McCarthy, “Terror Begins at Home”, which links to Philip Jenkins's Terror Begins at Home: Will the Obama years see another militia scare?

It's not just Democrats, but statists and nationalist-consolidationists of every stripe -- see John Yoo's memos to Bush.

So is a police state our future?
Review: Future Scenarios by David Holmgren
Carolyn Baker, Speaking Truth to Power
This new book by the co-originator of permaculture offers fascinating and fertile challenges for engaging Peak Oil and climate change. It confronts us with the question that will not die: Will our journey to a post-petroleum world be a transition or a trauma? The longer we wait to make the profoundly radical choices necessary at this juncture of history, the greater the certainty that choices we would not prefer will be made for us.

Future Scenarios - Introduction
Future Scenarios by David Holmgren - Chelsea Green
Google Books: Future Scenarios
How many Jews (and believing Christians) were involved with getting Kings on to the air? Don't they find this adaptation of sacred history offensive? Jack, Silas's son, is the typical spoiled rich brat, who happens to be in the military--probably modelled in some way after Princes Harry and William. Did Jonathan lack virtue? Or was he righteous before God? 24 minutes into the first episode, and I don't think I'll finish the rest.

(And the transformation of the combat between David and Goliath into a confrontation between an infantryman and a tank was just stupid. It was obviously written by someone who didn't think it was necessary to depict contemporary warfare realistically.)


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trailer for Little Ashes -- it is about Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca. I am guessing that it supports revolution rather than the traditional Christian order. Does the film deal with Dalí's Catholicism?

unofficial blog
Salvador Dali Biography
Salvador Dali Museum
The Salvador Dali Gallery
Salvador Dali Art Gallery
Virtual Dali
Fundació Gala - Salvador Dalí

Federico García Lorca -
Federico García Lorca
Garcia Lorca

This Past Weekend

Friday, March 13, 2009.
S and I met up after I got out of school, and we took a look at his hotel room over at the Beverly Heritage Hotel. It seemed to be much better than the Hyatt in Santa Clara, and there was free Internet. I tried to persuade S to go to a performance of Monteverdi's Venetian Vespers at the Stanford Memorial Church. But he really wanted to go to San Francisco and hang around North Beach, and he had a craving for beef chow fun. I was thinking of taking him to T28 after midnight. I think his favorite food must be Italian, and we looked up some Italian restaurants serving decent seafood dishes, using both the computer and his Iphone, which he enjoys using.

So, we started driving towards San Francisco. But he hadn't eaten all day, and we ended up going to Palo Alto for dinner. We walked around a while, looking at the various restaurants. I don't think I would want to try Madison & 5th. S hadn't tried the Cheesecake Factory yet, but we decided not to go there. We ended up picking Strada in downtown Palo Alto. The food was fine, but the grilled salmon seemed overpriced. Grilled salmon? It was fresh at least. But how hard can it be to grill salmon well? Café Rosso & Bianco is out of business--someone at the table next to ours was talking about it and the reasons why, but I didn't catch all of them. There is Mr. Coppola's Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco, which I have not visited yet.

Afterwards, we walked around downtown Palo Alto, and saw Red Mango, which was opened by Yul from Survivor. They offer frozen yogurt (2 or 3 flavors) with various toppings. Is it better than the frozen yogurt place at Vallco? I have no idea. I'd rather have sorbert or sherbert than frozen yogurt. We dropped by the Apple Store, too. Plenty of customers there.

Then we went by car to the concert over at Stanford. It was being performed by the Stanford Early Music Singers, under the direction of Dr. William Mahrt, along with Whole Noyse
and guests. I was glad to have the opportunity to hear Monteverdi, but I don't understand how his music can be considered appropriate for the liturgy (like Bach or even Mozart). We were listening to the Heiligenkreuz Cistercian chant on the Chant: Music for the Soul cd while we were driving to Palo Alto-- what a difference!

S remarked after seeing some of the students there that Stanford University felt like HS. It was the same way at Berkeley for me, except that I was of one of those who still had a HS mentality, since I matured late. Christendom, too? That's how the school, at which I enrolled 3 years after I left Cal, seemed to me. Is TAC any different?

The university also has its own Sheriff's Department? Instead of the normal campus police? Is there an actual difference with regards to the department? It seems to be a part of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. Not inspiring, but perhaps Sarge's friend Bridge can get a job there.

We didn't have any luck looking for a nearby Cold Stone on the Iphone and drove back to Milpitas. S had heard about In and Out, so we went to the one in Milpitas at 11:50, to give them some time to prepare the hamburgers so we could eat them after 12. S could not enjoy the meal though because of the other patrons at the restaurant.

We were feeling rather tired, but S had wanted to go to downtown San Jose to see his friend Herb, who was on duty. I've been missing out on all the fun there! Well, I must admit that there were a lot of attractive Latinas and Asians (mostly Vietnamese?) walking around--most with their boyfriends, but some with just their female friends. We managed to drive by Herb's patrol car, and we were loitering for a while, waiting for Herb to look up from his map. His FTO noticed us, and eventually S was able to get his attention. We snapped a photo with Herb, and then went back to the hotel. (That photo will be up on FB.) S isn't much into clubbing, but maybe I'll drag him down to downtown San Jose next time.

The Whole Noyse
The Office for Religious Life at Stanford University
The Catholic Community at Stanford

I believe the Dominicans have charge of the Catholic community at the university.

The Tudor Consort

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Today we drove up to Lodi to see S's friend Bridge, who is a LEO for a nearby department. It was my first time in the city--traffic stopped near Tracy for some reason, possibly because of an accident. There are a lot of wind farms in the area. Fairfield, Sacramento, Modesto aren't far...

Lunch was at Strings (I didn't know it was a chain!) The cafe salad was quite good, and I liked the chicken lombardy. Was it worth the price? I'm not sure. Italian restaurants tend to be somewhat expensive, and the portion sizes are not very big. That doesn't mean that Bucca di Beppo would be a good choice for Italian, though. We chatted with Bridge for a while; he may be laid off, but let us pray that it does not happen. S told me that Bridge was Catholic, which surprised me. He is also rather apathetic with respect to politics, which wasn't a surprise--he's a good guy, and we should keep him in our prayers.

Afterwards, we drove down to San Francisco, so we could go to North Beach and Chinatown. We passed by The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi in San Francisco, but it was closed by the time we got out of the car. (We did find a parking spot in North Beach though, so the 10-minute wait until 6 P.M. was worth it.) The young people were celebrating St. Patrick's Day early in San Francisco. Some must have started in the afternoon, before we had gotten there, given their state of inebriation. S was rather disgusted by the drunkeness he witnessed that afternoon and evening. There were a lot of dumb girls walking around; how many walk of shames on Sunday morning? We even saw two people fall on the street. (puk gai!) The scene made us appreciate virtuous Catholic women more. Why look for anything else? It is almost an obligation, for serious Catholic men to only consider serious Catholic women--don't they deserve to make good match? Why deprive them of a scarce resource by dating and marrying a non-Catholic or a lukewarm Catholic?

S had a craving for Chinese food, and so we stayed in Chinatown--we settled on Man Dzai for dinner. Unfortunately, the beef chow fun was overcooked, and tasted burnt. I won't be ordering that again at Man Dzai. Next time I'll have to take S to T28. The Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area are rather disappointing.

On the way back to Milpitas, we stopped by the Cold Stone on San Antonio Road in Mountain View. We could have gone to the Krispy Kreme in Daly City, but S wasn't that interested in it. (Are there any other locations in the Bay Area?)

Misc. Links:
St. Antonius Coptic Orthodox Church
St. Anthony's Monastery
St. Antony Coptic Orthodox Monastery, California
Welcome to St. Anthony Monastery Website

Sunday, March 15, 2009
This morning we attended Mass at the oratory, though later than we had expected. This was followed by lunch at Bombay Garden. I enjoyed the fried bread once again, but the lamb sausage was spicier than usual. S liked the buffet lunch, so it was a good choice.

After lunch, we visited a school since it was having an open house. The office staff seemed rather nice. I met the principal briefly, and then talked with some of the middle school teachers. My impressions? First of all, the school is associated with a certain order (about which various blog posts and articles have appeared on this blog).

The school is not a perfect match -- their curriculum is very much like that of a diocesan school, with the main difference being the religion classes, which involve more material being covered at this school. I'd prefer a school with a classical liberal arts approach--and I don't think I could in good consciene teach elementary or secondary science. It would be indoctrination through memorization, but not perfective of the intellect, and wrong to let the students think otherwise.

It was rather discouraging to hear that the diocese expects its teachers to have a credential, or to be enrolled in a program at least, before it considers them for employment. (Though this was not necessarily the case 12 years ago, if a school was desperately seeking to fill a vacant position.) Is this also true of the high schools? After all, what useful learning does a M. Ed. add to a Master's degree in the subject?

So what sort of lesson can be drawn from this? That our society lacks a proper division of labor and allocation of human resources, and that people cannot find the work that is suited for them, because of the sins of others? But that would involve ascribing too much importance to myself, and estimating my abilities too highly. Undoubtedly there is some sort of punishment involved, and I can't say that I am exempt. Exploiting one's Faith to find work, as opposed to making the best decisions and living out one's vocation, does not appear to yield any success, and it is likely the wrong thing to do--my priority should be something else. I'll still fill out the HS application, but I don't expect anything to come out of it. I'd like to stay local, but it is difficult to see what I can do locally that would make use of what meager talents I have.

I wanted to take S to see Santana Row and Valley Fair so we drove to Santana Row next. When we arrived, we passed by CineArts, so we looked at what was showing. I wasn't in the mood to watch The Wrestler, so we picked Crossing Over instead, the immigration movie with Harrison Ford. We got tickets for the 10:05 showing, and then left to see the rest of Santana Row.

There was a mariachi band performing at the end of the street. Interesting--do they ever have bluegrass musicians performing there? Patrons were enjoying the music, but is this just another example of the consumption of entertainment, rather than a true cultural enrichment?

We made our way to Valley Fair, and watching the people doing their shopping, I thought about our political economy--the division of labor, all for the sake of conspicuous consumption for the sake of being entertained. There were even more people visiting the Apple Store. If we did not have cheap energy, would all of our advanced technology be of any use? Without our political and military superiority, could we secure supplies of cheap energy? And how could we obtain our wealth without that energy? If we pursued a more sustainable and agrarian way of life, would as many people still want to immigrate here?

As we had some time to kill, we strolled around the mall for a while, but my back was giving me problems so we left for Milpitas.

We took a peek at Target Masters in Milpitas. S couldn't believe the prices there. He continued to encourage me to move to North Carolina, or to the South at least... the People's Republic of California, really.

After a short break at the hotel, we went to Red Robin in San Jose for dinner -- we should have gone to Counter instead? The mozarella cheese sticks were overcooked, and the hamburgers were not that spectacular, though better than the burgers we had at In and Out. I had the monster burger but it wasn't that good. After dinner we headed back to Santana Row. It was rather deserted; many of the restaurants were closed. Straits was still open, but there weren't many customers. We went inside Borders, which was open until 11--does the store get that many customers that late? Any local residents?

My review of Crossing Over.

Monday, March 16, 2009
We had lunch with S's friend Herb, who is with SJPD, at the Macaroni Grill in Milpitas. While we were waiting for Herb to arrive, we drove over to the nearby Jamba Juice for some smoothies. S enjoyed his. Herb had some good stories to tell about work. The day shift is usually uneventful... I don't think I will be going back to Macaroni Grill--the portion is just small for the price, both for the entree and the salad... at least at Carino's you can have unlimited salad or soup.
I saw HCK's gf there, she was at the table next to ours. I didn't notice her until after we had sat down for some time. I said hi to her as she was leaving.

All in all, it was a very good weekend, and I was glad that S could come out. We'll try to get him to come out again this Summer.

Julianne Hough Fan Q&A

Julianne Hough @ GacTV
Julianne Hough Cover Shoot
"About Life" performed by Julianne Hough
Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Commercial Julianne Hough
An announcement from NLM:

Help needed from a deacon/priest on Saturday, March 21st at 10am for a Solemn High Mass to be celebrated by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest: Mission San Jose in Fremont, California, USA. This Mass is for the Feast of St. Benedict, the co-patron saint of the ICKSP. Contact email:
So it may not be a Solemn High Mass, if they cannot find a deacon--in that case, it would probably be a Sung Mass.

Chore time
Gene Logsdon, Dave Smith,

As far back into childhood as I can remember, every morning and every evening I went to the barn to “do chores.” “Chores” on the farm then (and now) meant feeding the chickens and livestock, gathering the eggs, and milking the cows. This work must be done every day come hell or high water---- especially come hell or high water. I did chores even in seminary college--- I much preferred being in the barn than in chapel. That's how it finally dawned on me that the priestly life was not for me, so I can say with all honesty that doing chores guided me to my true place in life.


A jeremiad against cell phones: Reach Out and Text Someone by Jason Peters.
Paul Gottfried, The Fight for States’ Rights

Twitch: Mac-Mullet Coming To The Big Screen!

There have been rumors of a MacGyver movie floating around for a while... does the show really need to be turned into a movie? I liked watching it when I was in 7 grade--a pacficist who refused to used guns, but relied on his intellect and ingenuity to find or create a way out of a tough situation. You can watch episodes at AOL and CBS. There are also the SNL spoofs, one of which features Richard Dean Anderson: Hulu - Saturday Night Live: MacGruber w/ MacGyver.

Richard Dean Anderson: MacGyver
MacGyver Online: The complete MacGyver resource and community
The Original MacGyver's Homepage
Dino De Laurentiis Brings Us: The MacGYVER Movie!!
'MacGyver' movie? Are they trying to kill him?
'MacGyver' getting revived as feature film

More from Twitch: Miki Satoshi’s INSTANT NUMA Cast Go Hunting For A Kappa ... and One Last Adventure For Blind Swordsman ZATOICHI.
A link given in this comment to a post by Dr. Wilson: eBooks: American Revolution: Loyalists
Last Things: Civility by James V. Schall, S.J.
“Why are American kids so much more susceptible to binge drinking than Europeans?” George Lesser asks in the Washington Times. American students studying abroad often bring their unruly behavior with them, but their incivility is not merely born of ignorance. Incivility, or the lack of respect for local custom, stems from something deeper. .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Constitutional Coalition Episode 3
I had Dr. Kevin R.C. Gutzman, an American historian and New York Times bestselling author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution,” “Virginia’s American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic,” and “Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush” (Co-authored with Thomas E. Woods), on as a guest and he helped explain what a truly constitutionalist approach to modern day America would look like.
John Médaille mentions this Meetup group: State of Jefferson Committee (Alameda County/Bay Area). The next meeting is on April 7. Hmm...

State of Jefferson Project

There's also a South Bay Catholic Meetup Group.
Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America (pdf) (link via We Told You So by Robert Weissman)

More from Counterpunch: Michael Hudson, Mr. Bernanke Spreads the Fire and Alan Farago, The National Ponzi Scheme
Twitch: Chow Yun Fat is CONFUCIUS
Confronting the Hook-Up Culture by Robert P. George and John B. Londregan
(via Mere Comments)

Solemn High Mass at Mission Santa Clara

I started this post the same day of the Mass, February 21, 2009...

There was a special Solemn High Mass celebrated today at Mission Santa Clara by Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz of the Institute of Christ the King in honor of his visit to the Institute's apostolates in the area.

3 choirs were present (St. Athanasius School, scholas from St. Margaret Mary and the oratory)--there were some rough spots, but in general they sang quite well, and I was considering visiting Oakland as a result.

Fr. Moreau was acting as Deacon. I do not know who was subdeacon, but he was Asian.

There were a lot of white chapel veils among the faithful, but not many nubile women (except those who were in choir).

The reception was rather packed, so I took off... I didn't talk to Msgr. Schmitz as a result, but what would I really have to say to him?

Next month [now: next Saturday] the Institute is sponsoring a pilgrimage to Mission San Jose, up in Fremont, which will include a Solemn High Mass. I may attend. From the California Catholic Daily calendar:

Fremont: Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated at Mission San Jose, 43300 Mission Blvd. (at Washington Blvd.) on Sat., Mar. 21, 10 a.m., in honor of St. Benedict, co-patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Celebrant, Canon Jean Marie Moreau, Episcopal Delegate for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Diocese of Oakland.

I did not know that the missions of Alta and Baja California were originally entrusted to the Jesuits. Did they lose the missions because of the political difficulties of the time and the hostiliy of certain members of the political elites in the various kingdoms, including Spain? (Which ultimately led to the expulsion/suppression of the order?)

I imagine photos of the Mass will eventually be posted. One of the photographers mentioned a website to someone who asked, but I cannot remember what the url is. There are probably more photos posted there. Some photos of the Mass at the Institute's official American website.

The Institute's international website.

Some thoughts on the usus antiquior and the reform of the reform:

Over at Mere Comments a while back someone (an Eastern Catholic) had stated that the Missal of Pius V had been taken from the practices and rubrics of the Mass as it was celebrated by the Roman Curia? I think this point was also made by somoone in his book--either Lazslo Dobzsay or Alcuin Reid. I'll have to verify this piece of history. But if it is the case, what modifications or even abbreviations were introduced in the Missal of Pius V? How did celebration of the Roman Rite outside the Curia, before the Council of Trent, differ?

I like how the movements of the ministers of the alter and the servers in Eastern-rite liturgies seem more fluid, relaxed, and yet are still dignified. Often, the movements Roman-rite clerics and servers seem to be too stiff. How much of this custom is due to true Latin restraint and sobriety, and how much of it is due to a strict adherence to rubrics?

Is it the case that no instructions were given for what the laity were supposed to be doing during the liturgy until only recently? (Where do instructions in hand missals come from?) It is still common to see the laity acting the same way during a Solemn High Mass as they would for a low Mass, even though they should be standing for the Introit, and so on.

And if the prayers at the foot of the altar are really for the priest and the altar servers alone, it is understandable why there would be a "second" confiteor before communion, as the laity would not have been required to say the "first" one. While one can understand why the laity would be encouraged to follow the prayers at the foot of the altar, so that they could participate more in the liturgy, does this not add to the confusion over what the laity should be doing? E.g. singing, or at least meditating upon, the Introit?

I am reminded of the comment made by Joseph II in Amadeus: "Too many notes." There are times when I listen to polyphony and I think it is too ornate, distracting, and ultimately limiting to the participation of the faithful, who should be singing the Ordinary of the Mass (Gloria, Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) as much as possible. It should not be a surprise then that there was some debate over whether it should be permitted during the liturgy or not.

I appreciated Msgr. Schmitz's chanting of the prayers, but while I am still torn between Latin and some hieratic version of the vernacular as the language of the liturgy, I continue to lean towards the latter.

I still need to a side-by-side comparison of the traditional Roman rite and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. What else gives the impression that the laity are singing (and praying out loud) more in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, besides the various litanies? As for the propers in the Roman rite, should these be limited to the schola only? Or should the people be encouraged to sing these as well?

I had thought that all Sundays in the old calendar were first class feasts. I was wrong. Why are some Sundays higher than others? And why aren't all Sundays first class feasts? Are all Sundays on the new calendar Solemnities?

Google Books: Alcuin Reid, The Organic Development of the Liturgy: The The Principles of Liturgical Reform and Their Relation to the Twenthieth-Century Liturgical Movement Prior to the Second Vatican Council

The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform, by Lazslo Dobzsay
Critical Reflections on the Bugnini Liturgy: The Divine Office

NBC's retelling of the story of David

Kings. Premiere is on Hulu. How will it translate the Jewishness of the original? Can NBC do religion? From the first 3 minutes, it would seem not, as the talk about G*d by the king's advisors sounds forced and fake, as if they do not believe in Him. It almost sounds like they are taking the Lord's name in vain. Was this a problem with Saul's real court? I doubt it. How will the storytellers explain the religion? Any references to the promised land, or to the one who liberated his people? And how does one become a member of this people?
The show is like those attempts to update Shakespeare by transposing the characters and setting to a contemporary period--ultimately, it doesn't work--how can a contemporary megapolis be possible as the capital without the political economy that gives birth to it? And what if that politicla economy is mostly or completely antithetical to the religion?

More old school anime...

Voltron is now up at Hulu.

I did watch this as a kid, though I preferred... what was the designation? Universe 1? Voltron 1? The Voltron with the various spaceships, not Voltron 3, with the lions. And more importantly, there were the girl characters, and the princess for Voltron 3 was rather cute to this little boy.

Crossing Over

More photos.

I have not seen the movie Crash, but I suspect Crossing Over is very much like it, in terms of its narrative structure. Indeed, many reviews have pointed this similarity out. There are many characters in the story, whose lives intersect at some point. What ties these arcs together? It seems to me that the overall point of the movie, which is to show current immigration policies and the instrument of that policy, the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), in a bad light. Even the ICE agents themselves (Max Brogan, played by Harrison Ford) do not like the policies.

Is it a liberal movie? Does it advocate an open borders policy? Not quite. I would not be surprised though if "liberal" Catholic websites were to support the movie. Does it offer a balanced portrayal of the ICE? Not really--there are two good agents, both believers in what "America" stands for--Max Brogan and Hamid Baraheri. As for the villains, there is the corrupt ICE adjudicator, played by Ray Liotta (who looks rather creepy in this movie--is it his performance? Or just the effect of age on his face?). And the FBI Special Agent who wrongly (unjustly?) goes after a Muslim teenager as a potential suicide bomber. In general, the ICE is shown to be an impersonal (and even corrupt) bureaucracy that holds the lives of innocent people in their hands. Even the U.S. Border Patrol is shown to be more humane, when it finds the body of someone trying to cross the border but killed by an evil coyote. Is it SOP for the ICE to not check on the welfare of those who have been arrested and detained, and on their family situations? The movie makes it seem that this is so--Max Brogan is depicted as an irritant, constantly check up on various people, despite the objections and complaints of co-workers.

Does Crossing Over, like Brokeback Mountain, undermine its own message? (This does not mean that I think the purpose of the film and the book is to show the destructive aspects of same-sex relationships, like Victor Morton. It is that in choosing to represent reality, the artists are unable to do away with it when it works against the message they are trying to impose upon it.)

1. In its attempt to be PC, it shows one Caucasian illegal and one Jewish illegal who were involved with one another (and both were originally from Australia?). Both are staying here illegally and are trying various forms of fraud in order to be able to stay here longer so that they can break into the entertainment industry. There is the Australian actress who eventually is blackmailed into whoring herself out to Ray Liotta's character, and the Jewish atheist musician. Of course the actress didn't have to prostitute herself for a green card--she could have returned to Australia (voluntary departure) -- but becoming a star was more important to her. Similarly, the atheist feigns being a Jew in order to get a religious worker visa. They are the least sympathetic characters in the movie. (And in the end, it is even hinted that he has a new potential love interest with one of the Jewish teachers at his Jewish school where he is employed. It is interesting how many people in the movie are willing to break the law by helping with fraud, when they have something to benefit from it, like the rabbi who wants the musician to be a cantor at his synagogue, or the school principal, who believes the musician will be successful and either wants some sort of reward, or is doing it for the sake of Jewish nationalism.)

2. Another example: the ghetto culture that is adopted by the Korean American gangsters. (Is this an accurate depiction of Korean gangs in LA?) Is that the best the United States has to offer?

Not all immigrant children feel at home in the United States, and they feel alienated from "white" culture. Why do the Korean teens adopt ghetto culture? Is it because it belongs an "oppressed" minority? Or because the culture is perceived to be cool? Or associated with the gangs? Or is it done out of a rebellious spirit?

What does this say about the ability and desire of immigrants in general to assimilate, that is to not merely enter a different community, but to adopt its customs and culture as well? And why is Anglo-American culture rejected? Because it is the culture of the powerful or the dominant or the oppressor? Some may say that the solution is to create a new "neutral" culture which everyone shares. But maybe it is for Anglo-Americans to be more accepting of those who are not Anglo, and to understand that the maintenance and handing on of a common culture is more important than race or color. (And who says that this solution hadn't been working in the past, in various areas? But what do those in power want to bring about?)

3. Then there was the essay/speech by the Bengali teenager Taslima. Was there a problem with what she said? Ron Paul and others have already said it -- we should understand why terrorists who declare themselves to be our enemies have done so, and what motivates their actions. But the way she said it -- teenage indignation and self-righteousness, was grating and galling, not only to her classmates, but to me. It was not an attempt to persuade but to be provocative, and came off as a way to rub the faces of her classmates in it?

If American culture has its roots in Christianity, should we be admitting Muslims to the country? How can they be assimilated without being converted? The liberal multiculturalist project may try to assimilate them, by reminding them that they must subscribe to liberal values now that they are living in this country. Certainly, in the movie there is a nod to the conflict between 'traditional' Islam and liberal values -- Islamic honor killings are opposed to liberal justice (traditional justice as well?) and strict religious norms are stifling to individualism.

3. The movie also shows that the proposition nation and multiculturalism go together, hand in hand, both being ultimately ordered to economic opportunity and the gospel of wealth, because that is what America is about, is it not? The land of opportunity? (And the freedom to pursue that opportunity?) Why is it great to be American? Because you can make something of yourself, and be someone. What is that even supposed to mean, if not success according to some materialistic standard? Certainly, it is not about virtue, because one can be virtuous anywhere.

The "naturalization" ceremony

Many (such as the illegals working in the factories) come here for the sake of earning money, not because they want to be Americans. The same could be said of the Australian actress and musician in Crossing Over, as well as Alice Braga's character. Yes, the two Australians want fame and celebrity, but it is likely that they would also want the wealth that goes with it...

4. The movie also highlights the problem with giving people citizenship simply because they are born here -- ius soli (as opposed to ius sanguinis or some other criteria). Should Taslima's siblings have been conferred citizenship while the parents were not citizens?

If people do not show sufficient evidence of assimilation (and the naturalization test may be enough for the nation-state centralizers and the proposition nation adherents, it is not for anyone who has a real appreciation of Anglo-American culture), then they should not be given citizenship. They should be content with permanent resident status, and it is just that they have obligations to the community of which they are a part, even if they do not have the benefits of 'full' citizenship.

Further Reflections
What is a people? Is it merely determined by biological descent? That and the history of the people are important components of their identity, but there is also their culture. What do we do when we lose sight of what authentic freedom is? And how it is linked to self-rule? Can those who have no conception of self-rule and past a certain age be made real citizens?
Who should be determining what people should be allowed to live and work in an area? It should not really be the nation-state but the states and local communities. This is more than a question of culture, it is also linked to the issue of sustainability.

Also, we may think that we are free to dispose of money as we please, but for the sake of autarky, should not money be staying in the community as much as possible? The work being done in the community should be for the benefit of the community, and not for outsiders. However, is the money being sent to families living outside of the United States insignificant compared to the destruction of local economies being done by American corporations? We have grown accustomed to imagining a world without limits, and planning accordingly. How can we have a just immigration policy if so many other features of our political economy are unjust and unaddressed?

I don't recommend the movie. S and I ended up watching it because there wasn't anything else really worth watching, except, perhaps The Wrestler, but I had enough to make me feel down. I didn't need a movie to add to it. As far as drama goes--there weren't enough sympathetic characters to keep me interested in their stories. Does the movie persuade us that something needs to be done about immigration policy and its enforcement? Yes. But I do not think that it successfully persuades those who have a critical mind to adopt the stance of the filmmakers, only those who are already sharing the same 'liberal' viewpoint.

Well, at least Sarah Shahi is in the movie in a minor role. And Alice Braga (who is Brazilian) looks good in her imitation of a plain Mexican. (I learned only last week that Sarah Shahi is Persian/Iranian.)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 20: Actor Sarah Shahi arrives at DETAILS magazine "Mavericks 2008" issue cocktail party on March 20, 2008 at a private location in Beverly Hills, California.
My Foreword to ‘The Transition Timeline’
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
Shaun Chamberlin’s masterwork, ‘The Transition Timeline’, is now complete and available for order. As someone who has been intimately involved in its conception and its production, I don’t think that a review from me would be of much use. It is of course brilliant, I love it.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Not so good news, Sarge: Cold Stone Broke Creamery

The Distribust Review posts something by the prior of Clear Creek Monastery: Learning from the Land: In the School of Saint Benedict.

Sandro Magister:
The Pope Speaks His Mind. A Cardinal Explains Him

In the letter in which he defended lifting the excommunication from the Lefebvrists, Benedict XVI has confirmed the indispensable aims of his pontificate. Cardinal Ruini has analyzed these one by one. Here's what they are, and why

"If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another"

The complete text of the letter written by pope Joseph Ratzinger to the Catholic bishops, in reply to the "avalanche of protests" against his decision to lift the excommunication from the Lefebvrists
Caleb Stegall, Political Friendship in a Facebook World

In a society that has rejected the historical function of meaningful grouping, people begin to confuse the possession of discreet, material objects or opinions (a “book,” a “diploma,” “faith,” or a “political ideology”) with the accomplishment, esteem, and belonging they really desire. As this breakdown occurs it is driven by a resentment that perceives “faith” or “authorship” or “politics” or even “family” as a kind of exclusive club which they either no longer know how to enter or do not have the chops to do so. And they certainly cannot accept that they might not be allowed in under any circumstances.

Trading on this confusion layered over with generalized idiocy and low self-esteem, the credentialing industry–including the massive political credentialing industry (this is what Limbaugh really is)–seeks to remedy existential unrest with a set of opinions or beliefs that require anything but hard work and wisdom. Worse yet, this is how many people view even formerly legitimate communities, faiths, diplomas, citizenships or other indices of human struggle to come to terms with existence. Legitimate and illegitimate accomplishments and identities collapse in on each other. Americans do not now know what the fixed standards are for quality, competency, membership, and real achievement in any area of life (certainly not in the area of faith or politics), except maybe facebook. If you tell them they will deride you as an elitist.

This is now endemic and in fact fundamental to the nation: our citizens habitually dislike and rail against established institutions that are necessarily particularist and exclusive. When these institutions are healthy they don’t care what outsiders think of them. They put big demands on those who want in and they remain unapologetically “elitist.” Well-founded traditional institutions including the Christian church, the family, and the major political parties float in this corrosive ooze which threatens and erodes those institutions bit by bit and has already destroyed many of them.
Pam Martens, Has a Comedian Just Saved America?
Mike Whitney, Bernanke's Witness Protection Program
Ralph Nader, Americans Want Justice for Wall Street Crooks
Twitch: Sky Crawlers DVD and BLU and THIRST-y? The trailer for Park Chan Wook’s latest delivers the goods.
Zenit: Papal Address to Rome's Politicians
"Christianity Brings a Luminous Message on the Truth About Man and the Church"
Apparently there are some companies making HK416 knockoffs... Plenty of sites for the HK45... another, another... Sarge's friend Bridge likes both the 416 and the 45.

Another reason to hate Disney...

I was at CineArts tonight to watch Crossing Over (some thoughts to come), and they showed a commercial for a new comedy about 4 twenty-somethings living together in an apartment, two male and two female. An obvious rip-off of How I Met Your Mother? A lot of the comedy revolves around [casual] sex and the hook-up culture. So I was expecting to see this comedy on one of the networks. But, it turns out that it will be shown on ABC FAMILY. Unbelievable. This is considered to be appropriate programming for a channel that is supposed to be family-friendly? The executives running ABC and Disney really deserve some serious punishment for this kind of corruption...

ABC Family's Roommates

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Zenit: Father Cantalamessa's 1st Lenten Sermon
"We Are Born 'Old Men' and We Must Become 'New Men'"