Friday, April 27, 2007

REPUBLIC OF LETTERS: Stuff from the ethereal mailbag. Thanks to all who have written, including those to whom I still owe replies....

From James A., and from weeks and weeks ago, sorry!:
...Re: year-old comments on Theology of the Body seminar that you linked t'other day: 'All the platypus has to do to fulfill its telos is, like, be its weird-ass mammal egg-laying self, whereas humans can't get away with just being "human, all-too-human." We actually have a task which we can either accept or refuse.'

This reminded me a lot of Epictetus the Stoic's comments on praising God (from the Moral Discourses of Epictetus): 'For what else can I do, a lame old man, than sing hymns to God? If then I was a nightingale, I would do the part of a nightingale; if I were a swan, I would do like a swan. But now I am a rational creature, and I ought to praise God. This is my work; I do it, nor will I desert this post, so long as I am allowed to keep it, and I exhort you to join in this same song.'

A reader who may want anonymity, on the missing pants:
...[W]hy hasn't the judge hearing the case found a way to dismiss it? If I were the judge (or the clerk) on this case, I would be working feverishly to see if the law allowed me to somehow cap the amount of damages or dismiss the whole thing. Maybe the lawyer -- who is an administrative law judge, by the way -- could be given onerous sanctions.

From Bill Loughlin, on Dali:
Until a year or two ago I just thoght Dali ... was just another self-
indulgent artist. Then while I was in St Petersburg FL my wife and I went to the Dali museum there. Now, having seen a broad spectrum of his work, and learned so much more about him, I think he is one of the great artists of history. His religious works are incredible, reminiscent of El Greco, and have to be seen in person to be appreciated--you could never see everything in one of his huge canvases by looking at it in a book or online. He converted from atheism and communism rather late in life, and it really seemed to cause a creative explosion.

Now I have to figure out how much to save to be able to buy an edition...
THE EARTH LOOKS BETTER FROM A STARLET: A couple reader responses to my posts on "Ana Ng" and woman-as-icon.

From Dean Abbott:

...In your latest post these sentences drew my attention: "...don't marry a girl just because the sunlight caught in her hair one afternoon and you thought suddenly of God. You'll still have to live with her and do the washing-up, you know."

I can see where you're coming from, but as a married man I can tell you there's another side to it. If a man really thinks this woman has ever served as an icon, then he doesn't think the light in her merely caused him to think of God, the way seeing a priest in the street might. Instead, he believes her beauty actually served as a portal through which he truly saw into some realm
mysterious and celestial.

The memory of that vision is sometimes what makes the mundane details of marriage, the "washing-up" as you put it, bearable. The iconic moment reassures the soul of the promises of scripture and theology. It makes faithfulness a little easier when we remember not just what we have read and heard, but what we have see with our own eyes.

This is especially true, I think, if we know that what we saw in the iconic moment was a glimpse of the permanent reality of the person. As we get to know a specific concrete human being, what we encounter is her sin. Having had an inkling of the glory that will remain when that is all burned away by grace makes living with the reality of a spouse a lighter load to bear.

From Jeremy:
Eve, your post about woman-as-icon reminds me of Richard Wright’s novel The Outsider where the protagonist Cross is sexually attracted to women because they represent “woman as image of woman”. (I think I have that quote right. It’s something like that.)

Of course, Wright is talking here about a sort of existential lust, which is different than what you’re discussing. But the concept is interesting in that Cross lusts after that “iconic woman” and only has desire for the actual women in his life in as much as they embody that icon. Because he fails to ever personalize his conception of his wife or mistress or landlady, and only desires something beyond them that they imperfectly represent, he is constantly treating them with terrible cruelty in an almost offhand way.

Slightly off topic, but interesting.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Although he smiled, the tears in his eyes kept blogwatching...

Alias Clio: John Betjeman on evil and childhood.

Holy Whapping: More HWTV!!! House, O.P. and much much more. This is really awesomely awesome. "Meanwhile, Christina Rossetti concocts an elaborate scheme to falsify her street-address so she can order Supreme Flounder from the local Chinese take-away." Plus making fun of Veronica Mars; Baron Corvo refs; "The Knights of Poverty"; and lots more. Via Amy Welborn.

A restaurant without a cash register:

...Pay what you think is fair, the Birkys tell their customers. Pay what you can afford. Those who have a bit more are encouraged to drop a little extra in the donations box upfront. Those who can't pay at all are asked to work in the kitchen, dicing onions, scrubbing pots, giving back any way they can.

The Birkys could probably feed more hungry people, with far less effort, by donating the cash they spend on groceries to a homeless shelter.

That's not the point.

"It's not just the food," Libby says. "Often, homeless people, people in need, don't receive the same attention and care. Here, someone recognizes them, looks them in the eye, talks to them like they're just as valuable as the next person in line. That's why we do this."

more (via Thunderstruck)

"Lawyer's Price for Missing Pants: $65 Million." This is really terrifying, you know--that someone could plunge you into this kind of nightmare. Via SERD and Ratty.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

If you don't watch what you blog about your mirror is gonna find out...

Lots of really excellent stuff here, of all different kinds.

Salvador Dali's Sacra Biblia. Phenomenally ace. Go look at these!!! You can surf around here and here. Via Disputations.

Ebert: We spend too much time hiding illness:
...I was told photos of me in this condition would attract the gossip papers. So what?

I have been very sick, am getting better and this is how it looks.
more (via Amy Welborn)

David Kaiser on prison rape:
...DeParle writes, "Since 1980 the murder rate inside prisons has fallen more than 90 percent, which should give pause to those inclined to think that prisons are impossible to reform." We could similarly reduce the incidence of rape in prison.

We know how. To some extent, stopping prisoner rape is simply an issue of better prison management. In facilities where the chief official cares about it, and ensures that his or her subordinates take it seriously, rates of sexual abuse go down dramatically. This is accomplished by, for example, providing vulnerable inmates with nonpunitive protective housing at their request, and establishing confidential complaint systems that encourage inmates to report sexual violence without increasing their risk of future assault or retaliation, from any party.

Perhaps the most important thing detention facilities can do is employ classification systems that effectively separate likely rape victims from likely sexual predators. ... But no matter what the architecture, effective surveillance of inmates is essential, and meaningful rehabilitative programs such as GED courses—leading to the equivalent of a high school diploma—which used to be much more common in American prisons than they are now, have been shown to reduce all sorts of violence.

more--please read (via The Corner)

British dialect and accent map, with sound links. Also via The Corner.

Cultural Revolution kitsch. Also via TC. It's like a cookie jar of evil.

Ravens play wild boar rodeo. That is not a metaphor! Via Ratty.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

...THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR: Casting actors to do the voices for the New Testament. They're having some trouble casting Satan, apparently. (Via Ratty.) I totally can't help myself, so I'm going to have some fun here and do my own casting (in utter innocence of the laws of time and space). Keep in mind that I really liked Edward G. Robinson in "The Ten Commandments," and I don't care what you say!

Satan: actual possibility: John Malkovich. He has the ability to sound really frighteningly elsewhere, like there's nothing going on behind his eyes: chalky and dissociated.
crack-addled possibility: Jennifer Saunders.

Peter: Edward G. Robinson. You heard me.

Paul: Cary Grant? I mean, Paul does keep telling you he's a Roman citizen.... He'd be a decent Herod though, too. I could also see Lee Marvin as a very different take on Paul.

Judas: Tony Curtis. "Match me, Sidney."

Herodias: Katharine Hepburn. (I know, she has one line in the actual Bible. Still!)

John the Baptist: ...Johnny Cash?

Mary: I... I have no idea. Candace Hilligoss???

Narrator: I'd want either someone light-voiced, intimidated, in-over-his-head (Danny Kaye???), or passionate and I-don't-care-what-you-think (Joanna Lumley?? Spike Lee???).

Your suggestions?
...Hulin’s mother, Linda Bruntmeyer, says that her own complaint to the warden was brushed aside with a matter-of-fact statement that rapes in prison happen and her son needed to grow up.

In an email exchange, I asked Fleisher whether enough was being done to address the prison rape problem and what further steps could be taken. His reply: “Correctional administrators are serious about all aspects of prison administration and management.” This optimistic assessment is undermined by much evidence that correctional staff too often see sexual coercion as a part of the prison culture that inmates have to either accept or handle on their own.

Changing this culture will take more than federally mandated posters reminding inmates that sexual assault is a crime and urging them to break the code of silence. At present, it is very difficult—virtually impossible in some states—for inmates who have been raped to collect damages from the prison system. Guards who neglect or even condone inmate-on-inmate assaults run virtually no risk of punishment. Other serious measures to combat prison rape would include both “conservative” solutions (stricter prisoner supervision) and “liberal” ones (less overcrowding).

Even lower-end estimates given by correctional organizations suggest that 20,000 to 40,000 inmates are sexually assaulted in American prisons every year. Those are figures no civilized society should accept.

Mind you, I can hardly blame them;
These are probably the worst pies in Blogwatch...

Hit & Run: Good, basic post on drug prohibition, alcohol prohibition, and trade-offs.

Virginia Postrel: "...I guess that makes Tom Simon and me kidney sluts, since we didn't even charge. Having gone through the process, I can in fact imagine that selling a kidney would be for many people, especially the young and healthy, a far more desirable option than, say, giving up a home and certainly better than becoming a hooker. Within the U.S. transplant system, where laparoscopic surgery is the norm and malpractice and financial protections are in place, paying for organs would not mean exploitation of donors--any more than paying firefighters means exploitation of desperate men with a taste for danger and doing good."

And Mark Shea's "New Catholic" Wish List.
Baby Blogwatch feels the best...

Disputed Mutability watches Peterson Toscano's "Doin' Time at the Homo No Mo' Halfway House."

Holy Heroes!!--I will be contributing, at some point, to this Christian comics blog. (I will be playing the Villain.)

The American Scene guys and Jane Galt (Megan McArdle) are blogging at Andrew Sullivan's site, hooray! Megan is also profiled here.

I promise I will post your emails re woman-as-icon soon. Sorry....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's coming up roses,
every blog you watch, red roses...

Daniel Mitsui: The broken spears of the sea; and an introduction to the artist.

The cartoon killed from Killed Cartoons:
...Even "Killed Cartoons" faced its own bout of censorship. An editorial cartoon by Doug Marlette, entitled "What Would Mohammed Drive?" and featuring an Arab man driving a van packed with a nuclear warhead, was removed from the book by the publisher for what Wallis calls "fear of fatwa."

surprise, surprise (via Journalista; and, I hope obviously, not meant to suggest that the Marlette cartoon is some kind of brilliant incisive hilarious talented sensitive troubled Mr. Ripley, because that's completely not the point.)

Friday, April 13, 2007

The arrow tells the target:
Be my light.

The target answers the arrow:
Love me.
--Aleksander Wat; whole poem here

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is "the woman-as-icon moment" the same as "the across-a-crowded-room thing"?

Ha, good catch! He's referring to one of my problems with the "Goblet of Fire" movie. But yeah, I think it is different. Let me try to marshal theology to defend my aesthetic preferences!

The first, most obvious difference is that in the woman-as-icon moments, the seeker usually doesn't attain the lady. The aching absence and sense of persistent lack helps to give those moments their spiritual heft.

Moreover, "he saw her across a crowded room" IMO substitutes iconicity for individuality, in situations where individuality is required. I mean, to date an actual human female, you should probably be interested in her as something other than an icon. Actually, my biggest problem with the Stephen Fry thing mentioned in the previous post is precisely that it's "he saw him across a crowded room"--the personality of the beloved is both unknown and irrelevant, and yet that doesn't suggest to the lover that perhaps something other than this particular human individual is what's really being sought.

If you fall in love with an icon seen standing at her window, you might be "in love with love," or you might be in love with something you see through the window of this woman. But you definitely aren't in love with that particular woman, because you don't actually know anything about her other than how she looks. So attempts to write a realist romance based on the iconic vision, rather than e.g. a psalm, are going to fail because you... get stuck in the window (to carry this metaphor well past where it should stop), instead of moving through it to a deeper desire.

Or in other words, don't marry a girl just because the sunlight caught in her hair one afternoon and you thought suddenly of God. You'll still have to live with her and do the washing-up, you know.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

THE POLITICS OF DANCING: ALL ALONE AT THE '64 WORLD'S FAIR. It's been a while since we've done this thing, where I hijack pop music for my own nefarious agenda. Previous examples include: The Cramps, "Eyeball in My Martini"; Cat Power, "Say"; Queen, "Princes of the Universe"; and They Might Be Giants, "Where Your Eyes Don't Go." Here we have TMBG again, with "Ana Ng."

This song seems like a direct translation of the story of the round people. And you guys know that I have a big problem with the round people, right?

But this post isn't about the weird self-centricity of that story, or of the "soulmate" mythology generally. Instead, I want to talk about the really compelling aspects of the myth, which "Ana Ng" draws out beautifully.

First, the sense that the yearning we feel is not for an abstraction but for a particular person. The keyhole in our soul has a shape; we didn't make it up, it isn't formless, and we can try to trace its contours. All of philosophy, I think, is the equivalent of the episode in The Great Brain at the Academy where the Great Brain uses a bar of soap to make a duplicate key so he can sneak into the academy's kitchen. We know the soap key, being human-made, isn't quite as strong as the original key; but we hope it can get us where we need to go anyway.

Second, that this keyhole is not only in our soul but in our flesh. Our longing is romantic and even erotic, while also bearing the shadow of a hidden, shy, spiritual meaning.

Third, that the entire world (represented by the World's Fair? or am I trying too hard for a "close reading" here??) is filled with signs that love was here, but has gone away. Who was at the DuPont Pavilion? Why was the bench still warm--who had been there?

Fourth, I note that the longing of a man for a woman is one of the most common representations of spiritual yearning in Western culture. Dante looking at Beatrice is only the most famous example. Woman-as-icon, in the Eastern Orthodox terminology of an icon as a window to the Divine, is a consistently recurring trope in our culture.

I don't entirely know what to make of that. I sympathize with it greatly--not least because it so perfectly reflects my own experience! And I end up writing about this woman-as-icon moment a lot, in my fiction.

But I wonder if my readers have any thoughts on variants on this moment. I can think of moments when a man sees another man as in some way both erotic and revelatory (Stephen Fry's autobiography is the most obvious example I can think of at the moment, even though I have a lot of problems with the way he presents love in that book, and if he were to draw the eros/religious awe parallel his theology would be turbo-skewed), or a man to a boy (Death in Venice is the most obvious example here--are there examples where the boy isn't an anti-icon, an image or expression or target of thanatos?), though none of a woman to a woman. I don't raise this as a polemical point, but as a request: Are there Great Moments in the Iconic Gaze that I'm forgetting, or never knew?

But yes: "Ana Ng" is a terrific pop-music representation of that intense, personal, erotic and spiritual loneliness. This, despite also rocking quite a bit. There's hope for us all!
Ana Ng and I are getting old, and we still haven't watched
in the blog of each other's majestic presence...

Daniel Mitsui: Oh wow. St. Michael, looking kind of intergalactic.

MCNS/Irish Elk: Dismas, who is (predictably!) one of my favorite saints:
...Newsman MacMurphy's fortunes advanced. Finally he became the News's business manager. Every March 25 his St. Dismas piece crept a little nearer the front page. And on that day MacMurphy would write again the homely praises of his favorite saint: "There are so many better advertised saints, all specialists, that few mortals bother much with this hoodlum saint, who roams the outfield of eternity, making shoestring catches of souls—a saint who has no following to speak of, no medals, no propaganda. There's nothing to recommend him, really, except the fact that to no other saint in the calendar did the Son of God make the witnessed statement: 'You fill the bill.' Which helps explain why those who do believe in Dismas believe in him all the way."

more (via Mark Shea)
NEW BLOG!: "Alias Clio," from someone who's written in to this site before. "[B]ooks, history, God, and Catholicism." Hie thee thither.
KITCHEN ADVENTURES: FEAST!: This is what I've been eating to celebrate Easter. Ridiculously, it includes none of the food I gave up for Lent (meat and artichoke hearts); but it is much fancier and pricier than my usual fare, and definitely more so than the very simple food I ate during Lent. And yes, I know that actually you're supposed to give the money you save during Lent as alms, rather than using it to buy Camembert. I will do that too. Anyway--onward to the adventures!

Warm Camembert with Wild Mushroom Fricassee: This, like most of the following recipes, was based on a recipe from Food and Wine's 2007 cookbook. I made changes to the ingredients (they want you to use walnuts and walnut oil, and different herbs) and the preparation (they omit the aluminum foil, which I just don't understand). Still, I never would have thought to do this without F&W, so they receive much of the credit for this really delicious dish.

what: one 8-oz wheel of ripe Camembert in its wooden box; most of a package, or however much looks good to you, of mixed wild mushrooms, chopped into big pieces; s&p; olive oil, chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh Thai basil, aluminum foil.

how: Heat oven to 300. Take Camembert out of its wrapping, and then put it back all naked in the bottom half of its box. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and put the box on the sheet, then bake for ten minutes, or until soft. Unless you time it better than I did, the cheese will melt out of its box a bit, hence the foil.

Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms, garlic, s&p, and fresh herbs in the olive oil.

When the cheese is ready, dump it out (or as F&W says, "invert" it) onto a platter and spoon/pour the mushrooms over it. Serve with sourdough toasts. (I used a toasted French roll, because I stupidly forgot that I'd bought sourdough bread for exactly this purpose; the roll was fine, but I think sourdough would have been better.)

why: This was so good! Equal parts messy and classy. The herbs really worked: I used a fork to scrape cheese from a big rosemary sprig, then spread the cheese and some 'shrooms on toast, and was shocked at how delicious it was. No kidding, this is some great food. It's supposed to serve four as an appetizer, but... I just had it for dinner. Mmmmm.

Squid Ceviche: what: 1/2-lb. cleaned squid, bodies cut into rings, tentacles left whole; two thin chili peppers (I'm not sure what they were--they were red and green respectively, and long and thin, but only about as hot as a jalapeno), diced; chopped ripe tomato (I used two baby Roma tomatoes because that's what I happened to have on hand); a lemon; sliced red onion; half a diced avocado (you could totally use more--I saved the other half for the queso fundido, see below); chopped fresh cilantro.

how: Bring a pot or large pan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Cook the squid for 30 seconds in the boiling water, then drain the squid and put it in the ice water. Note: I screwed this up kind of a lot, due to failures of equipment (my freezer doesn't work, so no ice water for me) and imagination (didn't figure out how to manage the pan properly). So I ended up cooking the squid for maybe 45 seconds in water that was coming back to the boil, rather than actually at a rolling boil, and then once the water was starting to boil again rinsing the squid under cold water in the colander. This seemed to work okay.

In a dish, combine the squid, a bit of salt, and the diced peppers, and refrigerate for 30 mins. Then add the juice of the lemon, cilantro, and red onion to the ceviche, mix well, and refrigerate for two hours, stirring twice. Add the avocado and tomato, and serve.

why: This was good! I'd never made ceviche before. It's very easy, or at least this version is. I will say that I underestimated how much of a very powerful-tasting dish this would make: I was eating ceviche for breakfast the next day, and for snacks, etc. I ate the first round of ceviche with...

Queso Fundido a la Leftovers: what: olive oil, chopped tomato, two of those mystery chilis diced, chopped red onion, leftover chipotle corn bisque from a box, leftover "Mexican blend" cheese (actually quite bland--Monterey Jack, colby, and something else--I would have preferred my favorite, Sargento's Mexican blend), chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 (or more) a diced avocado, toasted French roll.

how: Saute the tomato, chilis, and onion until they're about how you want 'em. Add everything else, stir, cookity, decant, serve with toasts.

why: Simple, filling, delicious, and uses up leftovers. It shouldn't be hard to find ingredients to substitute for the bisque: a splash of tequila, various sauces or marinades, etc. I'm guessing that the Trader Joe's mojito simmer sauce I praised in this space would work very well.

Panko-Crusted Mushrooms: Okay, for this one I followed the F&W recipe more or less to the letter, so here it is. I acknowledge that my kitchen sk1llz are limited, so the fact that I did not love these should not reflect poorly on F&W. For whatever reason, I thought the panko coating was kind of bland (maybe next time I will mix it with peppers and/or spices?) and it was hard to get the larger mushrooms to cook through. I ended up dumping the leftover egg mix into the pan and having a kind of bizarre mushroom omelet, which was actually not a bad idea. Other people could probably make these better than I did.

Savory Banana Split!: I'm so proud of this idea, even though the recipe is still a work in progress. This started out as a plan to make F&W's recipe for goat cheese-stuffed roasted figs, but it... evolved.

what: a big ripe plantain, spreadable goat cheese, fresh Thai basil, sliced red onion, a toaster oven.

how: Peel the plantain and slice it in half crosswise, then lengthwise. Spread the cut sides with goat cheese. Cover your toaster-oven tray with aluminum foil and make sandwiches, like so: plantain, cheese, basil, onion, cheese, plantain. Toast the sandwiches until you think they're done. (I think I did about ten minutes at 375, but I could be misremembering--I was judging by smell, mostly.) Eat with a knife and fork.

why: OK, this was not as savory as I'd like: Plantains are sweeter than I'd thought. More goat cheese next time, to cut the sweetness, I think; and maybe black pepper, cayenne, and/or some other herbs and spices. Nonetheless, this was very tasty. The creamy textures of the cheese and toasted plantain worked really well with the tart crunch of the red onion. And seriously: It's a banana split! If I can think of ways to incorporate other banana-split items, I will be even happier with this fun, wiggy snack--sliced baby Roma tomatoes instead of sliced strawberries, for example. Mole sauce??

Now I go back to eating leftovers and pinching pennies. But I had a lot of fun making and eating this stuff, and I hope some of you will also enjoy them!

Monday, April 09, 2007

"Boys call up girls and say, 'Would you like to go to a blogwatch?'
And the girls say, 'Yes, I would like that very much.'
Have you come to take me to a blogwatch, Linus?"
"Good grief, no!"
"...Isn't he the cutest thing."

Amy Welborn: Amazing Easter pictures from around the world. And the same for Good Friday. And:
"I didn't want to be a Catholic, but I couldn't get away from it. It was a feeling that when I went against it, it didn't feel right."


...Once I had arrived to this "safer" prison, I had met an inmate who strongly encouraged me that I needed to read and study my way out of prison. He strongly encouraged me to read the classics and study Philosophy. To which, I fell in love with the written word and the quest for truth and meaning in my life.

more (every now and then I remember I wasn't worthy of the philosophy degree)

Daniel Mitsui:

...The story of first millennium Christianity is one of continuous failure and attrition; the Church suffered from Christological and Trinitarian heresies in steady succession, and as easy as it may be to distance the Church from them after the anathemas have been read, all of these heresies arose within the Church. There was a time before the anathemas were read, when each had not yet been condemned, when it was openly professed at all levels of the Church. To live as a Christian in the first millennium, especially in any of the eastern patriarchies, as often as not meant having Christological or Trinitarian heretics for bishops and priests, and most of the faithful either themselves professing the errors or too cowardly or indifferent to oppose them. ...

There is no refuge in the Church Militant.



...We think of Jesus' word, "Woman, behold thy son," as proof of His loving care for His mother, who would otherwise be alone in the world, and it is that. But I'd suggest that it is also an instruction to her, that she must now reach out to others with that very love she had for Jesus; given at a moment when all she "would have" wanted to do is look to her Son, it may even have caused her some pain.

But no one, not even the Blessed Virgin, gets to set their own terms as a disciple of Christ. We may wish to remain at the foot of the Cross, our eyes never leaving Jesus. But that grace was not even given to those who physically were at the foot of the Cross. We must take all that we gain from the Cross to others; that's the only way for us to love Him now as Mary did then.


Mark Shea: What has Easter changed?:
A reader recently wrote me to say, “I have Jewish friends who ask, ‘How can Jesus be the New Adam and the Messiah when it is painfully clear that everyone is still suffering from original sin? How can he have conquered death when the penalty for Adam’s sin — death — is still being inflicted on everybody?’ Is this a common issue for Jewish people? How do I respond to it?” ...

We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners “in Adam” as Paul put it. We can’t save ourselves. We need the help of Christ’s Spirit.

Curiously, this notion of “corporate personality,” of being “in Adam” (and, for the Christian, “in Christ”) is deeply Jewish. The prophets are full of the notion that the nation of Israel and the man Jacob are somehow bound up with one another. Likewise, other figures from the patriarchal period (Ishmael, Esau, Ham, Ephraim, Judah, etc.) are somehow “summed up” in their descendants.

So the concept of original sin, while not a feature of modern Judaism, is deeply rooted in this peculiarly Old Testament way of seeing the human family. Christianity simply elaborates on it and holds that we are bound up, not only with the primordial tasks of Adam (marriage, fruitfulness, rule, work and worship) but in his fall as well. ...

Christianity is not about the cancellation of death, but about the transformation of death. It has likewise always insisted that the main thing Adam suffered was spiritual death: the loss of God.


Mixolydian Mode: Lilacs and frost.

[edited because I wasn't sure what I wanted to say]

Unqualified Offerings: I haven't read the entire post from which this is taken. But I will sign on to this part:
I have this rule of thumb, which I recommend to everyone: if Solzhenitsyn recounts some practice as one employed in coercive interrogations at Lubyanka, it’s torture.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I HAVE DRIFTED OUT OF THE ARENA OF THE UNWELL, but into the arena of the Triduum, so expect no further posts until Easter Monday. At that point, I should have movie reviews, a blogwatch, a fast-breaking kitchen adventure, and Something Unexpected, as well as whatever else shuffles across my keyboard. Until then: the Anima Christi.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

TWO LINKS: Unqualified Offerings looks at his March 2003 archives; and Disputed Mutability begins a series on "Why I Forsook Gay Identity." DM is extremely forthright, and always worth reading. I'm grateful that a kind of obnoxiously short and elliptical post from me spurred her to put her own thoughts down at length. Plus, c'mon--how can you resist "forsook"?