Friday, December 30, 2011

Medium: Brush Pen

Medium: Pencils HB, 2B and maybe others

Thursday, December 29, 2011

He would be angry

"I am afraid I have been far too casual about 'magic' and especially the use of the word; though Galadriel and others show by the criticism of the 'mortal' use of the word, that the thought about it is not altogether casual. But it is a v. large question, and difficult; and a story which, as you so rightly say, is largely about motives (choice, temptations etc.) and the intentions for using whatever is found in the world, could hardly be burdened with a pseudo-philosophic disquisition! I do not intend to involve myself in any debate whether 'magic' in any sense is real or really possible in the world. But I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that there is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction between magia and goeteia. Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the Enemy'. Well enough, but magia could be, was, held good (per se), and goeteia bad. Neither is, in this tale, good or bad (per se), but only by motive or purpose or use. Both sides use both, but with different motives. The supremely bad motive is (for this tale, since it is specially about it) domination of other 'free' wills. The Enemy's operations are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia, producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'.

Both sides live mainly by 'ordinary' means. The Enemy, or those who have become like him, go in for 'machinery' – with destructive and evil effects — because 'magicians', who have become chiefly concerned to use magia for their own power, would do so (do do so). The basic motive for magia – quite apart from any philosophic consideration of how it would work – is immediacy: speed, reduction of labour, and reduction also to a minimum (or vanishing point) of the gap between the idea or desire and the result or effect. But the magia may not be easy to come by, and at any rate if you have command of abundant slave-labour or machinery (often only the same thing concealed), it may be as quick or quick enough to push mountains over, wreck forests, or build pyramids by such means. Of course another factor then comes in, a moral or pathological one: the tyrants lose sight of objects, become cruel, and like smashing, hurting, and defiling as such. It would no doubt be possible to defend poor Lotho's introduction of more efficient mills; but not of Sharkey and Sandyman's use of them.

Anyway, a difference in the use of 'magic' in this story is that it is not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such. Aragorn's 'healing' might be regarded as 'magical', or at least a blend of magic with pharmacy and 'hypnotic' processes. But it is (in theory) reported by hobbits who have very little notions of philosophy and science; while A. is not a pure 'Man', but at long remove one of the 'children of Luthien'."
--J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter # 155, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Bold italics mine)

"Of course The L.R. does not belong to me. It has been brought forth and must now go its appointed way in the world, though naturally I take a deep interest in its fortunes, as a parent would of a child. I am comforted to know that it has good friends to defend it against the malice of its enemies. (But all the fools are not in the other camp.)"
--J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #328, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Bold italics mine)

Yep, I wonder sometimes what Beren himself would have to say (were he alive today) about the present-day neo-conservative, mechanistic flattening of Middle-earth - and the consequent denigration thereof - to fit with Potterworld as a means of justifying Potterworld and its occult practices represented as a good.

Medium: Pencils F and B

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Medium: Pencils HB, 3H and 2B

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Why do the heathen rage? Why do the nations rage?

-The Lord hath said to me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.

-Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?

-Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

-The Lord hath said to me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tarkovsky Tuesday

"Some critics are terribly anxious to see a filmic spectacle shown simultaneously on several--even on six--screens. But the movement of the film frame has its own nature, which is not that of the musical note; 'polyscreen' cinema should be compared not with a chord, or harmony, or polyphony, but rather with the sound produced by several orchestras playing different pieces of music at the same time.

The only result would be chaos, the laws of perception would be broken, and the author of the polyscreen film would inevitably be faced with the task of somehow reducing simultaneity to sequence, in other words of thinking up for each instance an elaborate system of conventions. And it would be rather like putting one's right arm all the way round one's left ear in order to touch the right nostril with the right hand. Is it not better to accept, once and for all, the simple and binding condition of cinema as a succession of visuals, and to work from that starting-point? A person is quite simply not capable of watching several actions at once; it is beyond his psychophysiology."
--Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

I think those words could be applied, in a way, to modern life.

Sequence from Solaris

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Medium: Pencils 3H, HB and I might have used 2B

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coloured Pictures

This is the sort of book we like
(For you and I are very small),
With pictures stuck in anyhow,
And hardly any words at all.

You will not understand a word
Of all the words, including mine;
Never you trouble; you can see,
And all directness is divine—

Stand up and keep your childishness:
Read all the pedants’ screeds and strictures;
But don’t believe in anything
That can’t be told in coloured pictures.


A poem that G.K.C. wrote in a Randolph Caldecott picture book that he presented to a young friend.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Medium: HB Pencil

A World of Good

"Mind you, the most perfect steersman that you can have, and the best helm, lie in the triumphal gateway of copying from nature. And this outdoes all other models; and always rely on this with a stout heart, especially as you begin to gain some judgment in draftsmanship. Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is it will be well worth while, and will do you a world of good."
--Cennino d'Andrea Cennini, The Craftsman's Handbook

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Some dumpsters at the unenclosed - and thus publicly viewable - backs of various stores and marketplaces now get painted with bright, flowery, folksy types of pictures. This is relatively new (and up to the decision of the store owners), the intention being to eradicate, or gloss over, the dreary sight of ponderous garbage bins and thus the awareness of uncleanliness standing near. It shares a similarity with the phenomenon of guerrilla gardening. Except that whoever is painting them is obviously getting paid.

This has also been done for some years now - with sophisticated digital realism - over utility boxes, to blend them into their surroundings more, or just to take that hard utilitarian edge off of them. Though with these, it is an initiative of city councils; and is, in effect, actually more artificial than if the utility boxes were left in their stark original state. For at least the dumpsters' folksy paintings require the hand of a living person, being clearly recognizable. The utility boxes are coated, using some laminate technology, as mentioned, with pre-made photo-realistic images.

The dichotomy this creates is strange: which is more hateful - a dumpsterish dumpster or an Easter-egg dumpster; a utilitarian utility box or a screen-saver-image utility box? As much as beauty can be seen in utilitarian surroundings - and even have a certain angular clarity because of the contrast made by nature that demarks itself always in spite of urban sprawl - such surroundings are still hateful. Metal dumpsters, traffic lights, stark steel streetlamps, telephone poles, endless asphalt are all ugly and so are utility boxes. The collective presence of such artifacts of convenience and utility cause an oppression that we have assimilated ourselves to - way too much.

But what is equally hateful - maybe even more - is the prettification of something that pretty much stinks all the time. It's a more benign parallel to, say, an abortion clinic all clean and brightly-lit with happy pictures on the walls: come on in and have your child dismembered - it's happy hour.

Part of us wants to say: if you are going to have a dumpster there, then let it be an honest dumpster, with nothing but rust stains and mounds of bird shit for its decoration. Another part likes the colourful change, the human stamp (which is most unlike a stamp) of cheer, flare, communication, beauty. But the latter is the part that ought not to be satisfied with dumpsters as its material; much as it ought not to be satisfied with beauty as the great "anti-pornography".


At the grocery store that was my previous employment, someone one morning threw a litter of newly born kittens into the back dumpster, and I went in there and fetched them out one by one: tiny mewlings that my palm could almost entirely enclose, their little mews piped out here and there from the trash.

The man who originally spied them came back and, putting them into another box, intended to take them to the SPCA to save them. I don't know if he was able to save them. He was so indignant. He kept expressing his indignation, and I wondered if he agreed with abortion.


Another time some lady had her dog tied up outside the front of the store and the dog kept yelping and yelping. It was cold outside. Maybe the dog just wanted the owner to come back. This other lady came in, vocalizing her indignation that a dog was tied up outside and yelping. After having it explained to her that the owner was finishing her shopping and would be outside shortly, she kept pronouncing how much it disturbed her to see the dog tied up and how much she did not like seeing it. Quite vocal, but in sanctimonious and pleading tones, she expressed disturbance several times until it became apparent she cared only about herself coming across as a compassionate woman.

What a drama queen you are, I thought. And I wondered if she agreed with abortion.


The latest Dappled Things is out, along with a new website. If you haven't subscribed to them, do, go for it. I eagerly await each issue in the mail. I wonder if I got knocked off the mailing list, as I haven't yet received the latest email about the new issue.


The other day I went to Elizabeth Scalia's blog, The Anchoress, which I don't go to very often, and glanced over a small post she did on Dorothy Day - probably one in a gazillion billion posts she's done on Dorothy Day if I were to make a wild guess - and noticed she posted an "icon" by Robert Lentz of Dorothy Day to go along with the post.

I don't cruise peoples sites going tut-tut over things they've posted, but my general rule of thumb on the interwebs is: if a thought occurs to you then mention it for its own sake; express ideas singularly without IMHO's; and try not to assimilate to the unspoken club atmosphere that so often prevails; that is, in short, do not assimilate to the atmosphere that is perpetual high school.

So, I commented in a state of complete detachment:

Why post an “icon” by Robert Lentz? She hasn’t been canonized, therefore depicting her in the iconographic tradition (though that “icon” is by no means iconographic) with a halo is denigrating of the sacredness of real icons.

She replied:

[I posted it because I likes it. Your mileage may vary. You don't have to like it. That's what freedom is all about. And once upon a time, someone would say, "well, meh, I don't like it, but it's a free country and there's no accounting for taste." Then the internet happened, and everyone decided they had to comment on everyone else's choices, all the time! :-) -admin]

Then I replied:

But you see Mrs. Scalia, it's goes beyond what you "likes", or what I like. It was pretty obvious by the fact that you posted the "icon" that you likes it. Nor am I impinging on your freedom by asking what I asked.

I asked a simple question that brought up the fact that the "icon" - aside from being the work of one who blasphemes God, degrades the saints, and the iconographic tradition all together - uses a halo for Dorothy Day (just like he uses a halo for Thomas Merton, Martin Luther [King Jr.] etc.) when she has not been canonized.

You are perhaps aware of iconographic language and symbol. Using the halo in iconography is veritably, literally the same as writing "Saint" - officially. It is the exact same as if you were to write, "Saint Dorothy Day" in total seriousness as though that is what the Church has declared.

This sort of willy-nilly use of iconographic language is denigrating of the sacredness of icons. You post it because you like it. That's nice. There are some things that require one's consideration to go beyond "likes".

Yes, the internet happened, which is where you post your writings on a public blog (which also happens to garner you financial support just by me clicking on your blog). So yeah, me asking you that question is not exactly the same as me nosing into your personal likes. I don't care about that.

But thanks for your patronizing response.


This thought of having consideration for objective realities beyond one's own likes has made me think I should probably read Pope John Paul II's encyclical on freedom and responsibility. I should probably finish The Splendour of Truth first. I believe in freedom of speech, but always with a certain nameless disbelief in the sovereignty that seems to go along with that phrase.

I've seen it a lot; people appeal to freedom of speech in order to shut down discussion, to shut down speech. Americans seem especially susceptible to this virus. In fact, in this matter they can be grossly arrogant. What's interesting is that this is one of the big things that conservative Christians criticize enemies of the Church for: they decry enemies of the Church who, appealing to free speech, cause eternal harm to souls through the culture.

When you have a public blog, what you post on it is inherently open to public question (otherwise your blog would be privatized). You can set the rules of play and conduct, such as no anonymous comments are allowed, no ad hominem attacks, you can ban people left and right according to your whim's content and so forth, but to appeal absolutely to the hilt that your public blog, in all of the things you choose to post to the world, is somehow your personal private home beyond all questioning is ridiculous. That whole internet thing, that is your public blog's inherent ontology, kind of renders that majorly inaccurate metaphorical appeal, well, stupid.


Hilary Jane Margaret White has this article in The Remnant about the definition of neo-Catholic.

"In brief then, neo-Catholics, or neo-conservative Catholics are people who like to think of themselves as conservatives both politically and religiously, who are terrified by the idea of looking like a fanatic, who like to talk a great deal about how the Church has "a place in the public debate". Though they object to being called "moderate", they secretly love the term to be applied to them, and feel like they are at last being taken seriously by The Big Kids at the New York Times, the BBC and CNN when they are invited to comment on debate programmes. In general they are mostly an American phenomenon, with a bit of spillage over the Canadian border."

That part about being terrified of looking like a fanatic caught my eye especially, as one of the thoughts that has occurred to me over and over again through the years of reading various sites on the web has been, namely, that many, or some, seem to be overruled by a fanatical desire to not appear fanatical - The Great Normal is the title we should attain to with fanatical ferocity - like certain Potterheads for instance.


Take any quote, heck, this quote, from any thoughtful critic. Here's one from Dr. Edoardo Rialti, as quoted in Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture by Michael O' Brien:

"[Although] on the surface there may apparently be many points in common, the imaginative source and the educational proposal as the base of Rowling's novels is very different from that of Tolkien and Lewis, and communicates a vision of the world and of man that is full of errors and deeply dangerous suggestions; and these are all the more seductive because they are interposed with half-truths and enthralling writing. But as Lewis warned, "poisons, as they become sweeter, do not stop killing." The truly great fantasies in healthy Western tradition have always been a window opened on the profound order of the created universe and on mankind. Tolkien, in his major essay on fairy tales, recalls that the narrator of fairy tales can move away from the physically-created universe, but not its moral order: we can imagine a universe illuminated by a green sun, but we must not succumb to the temptation to present as a positive reality the situation where spiritual and moral structures are reversed or confused: a world where evil is good.

This is exactly what happens in Harry Potter. Although single positive values can be found in the story, at the heart of this tale witchcraft is proposed as a positive ideal, including the violent manipulation of things and persons thanks to occult knowledge and the prerogative of the few, and ends justifying the means, since the wise, the chosen, the intellectual know how to control the dark powers and turn them into good, isn't it so? This is the "civilisation of the machines" against which Lewis warned us. Bernanos and John Paul II have discussed this as well.

This is a deep and serious lie, the ancient Gnostic temptation to unite salvation and the truth with secret knowledge. ... Harry Potter is nevertheless rich in Christian values, but they are detached from the real source that makes them be, the true order of things."

See now the Potterhead's face burning red like a tomato and steam blowing out of his ears, which are presently whistling like a kettle, upon his hero The Potter being criticized in terms that adhere to the unchangeable reality that Christian symbology manifests and which cannot be mutated without harm to persons. See him fume and guffaw as though his grandfather had just shuffled by and made thuddish-sounding criticisms that he could not allow even an inch to, for it would mean that he has been - God forbid - impressionable, worst of all faults to the neo-con soldier! Look how they then seem to release - without meaning to, because their kneejerk thrashing conniption fits can't help it - curses and spells against their enemy critics that their subconscious learned from the series' subtext of symbolic inversions and corruptions. See him now casting his spell into his google account's password box [Horcrux666] as he prepares to unleash in answer a torrent of horribly banal neo-conservative logic on the internet, and lo, the account obeys his very command!

See him now precisely begin to resemble those fanatical Lila Rose supporters when they said things like, "Oh! Oh! So you want babies to be killed then! Oh, oh! So you think police should not do sting operations on sexual predators and drug dealers! Oh, oh! So you think telling your children about Santa Claus is a lying sin! Oh, oh! So you think we should no longer read The Odyssey! Oh, oh! So you think we shouldn't read any classical pagan work! Oh, oh, So you think that St. Paul should not have appealed to the Unknown God! Oh, oh! and you think we should do away with the Bible!"

See him now, gleefully satisfied that his glaring superficiality is somehow the Great Normal of the day (which of course it is), as he then lights upon his broomstick and, showing his supreme disdain for all the stupid Muggles of the world, up, up, up and aways into the air, going, "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Nah nah nah nah boo boo, stick your head in horse poo!"


What you see before you is called the Silky Zubat:

A Japanese pull saw. Those Japanese know how to make saws. This side of a chainsaw, something like the Silky Zubat is as close as you will get to cutting through tree branches and trunks like butter.

Of course, I'm sure those old-time hand saws, such as a team of two would use in the lumber industry before chainsaws and such, are just as good.


I will make Christstollen again this year for Christmas. It appeals to me. I've never had Christmas pudding, like Father Z. makes. I'm sure it's great. But my German ancestry, however little it may be, has a staid, firm foot in the door. Christstollen is for the quiet night all muffled in the snow and warm fruits found nicely stowed under it. Christmas pudding is all a blazing glory of richness with the lighting it on fire and everybody going, "Ooo-la-la" - very Dickens.


"Thank you very much for the instructive book. It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly."
--Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, March 7, 2003, letter to Gabriele Kuby

"Thank you very much for your courageous engagement against occultism and magic."
--Josef Ratzinger, December 2003, hand-written Christmas card sent to Gabriele Kuby




Ho! Ho! Ho!


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Medium: F Pencil

Friday, December 9, 2011

Medium: HB pencil and some other ones I can't quite remember

Medium: Brush Pen

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Icon - Mother of God

The latest icon.

For those who do not know, the three stars (shoulders and head) represent her perpetual virginity: before, during and after birth of Christ.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Medium: Pencils HB, 2B, 3H and maybe B

Friday, November 25, 2011

Medium: Pencils 6B and 2B

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tarkovsky Tuesday

"It was no accident that at the beginning of this chapter I applied the word 'capital' to the responsibility borne by the cinema author. By pointing up the idea like that -- even if the result is an exaggeration -- I wanted to emphasise the fact that the most convincing of the arts demands a special responsibility on the part of those who work in it: the methods by which cinema affects audiences can be used far more easily and rapidly for their moral decomposition, for the destruction of their spiritual defences, than the means of the old, traditional art forms. Actually providing spiritual weapons, of course, and directing people towards good, must always be difficult...

The director's task is to recreate life: its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of truth he has seen -- even if not everyone finds that truth acceptable..."

--Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

Medium: HB Pencil

Medium: B Pencil

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Medium: Pencils 3H, B, HB

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Medium: Pencils, 3H, B and HB

Monday, November 14, 2011

Medium: Pencils B, 2B, 3H and HB

Max Monday

Max Beckmann - Die Landschaft, Cannes

Max Beckmann - Harbor by Bandol (Gray) and Palms

Max Beckmann - Beaulieu

Max Beckmann - Promenade des Anglais à Nice

Medium: Pencils HB, 2B and probably other ones

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Medium: Pencils B, 2B, HB and 3H

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

In the Fourth Age

"I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall [of Sauron], but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless - while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors - like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going round doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about the plot and its discovery and overthrow - but it would be just that. Not worth doing." --J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #256, Letters of Tolkien

"I have written nothing beyond the first few years of the Fourth Age. (Except the beginning of a tale supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldarion about 100 years after the death of Aragorn. Then I of course discovered that the King's Peace would contain no tales worth recounting; and his wars would have little interest after the overthrow of Sauron; but that almost certainly a restlessness would appear about then, owing to the (it seems) inevitable boredom of Men with the good: there would be secret societies practising dark cults, and 'orc-cults' among adolescents.)" --J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #338; Letters of Tolkien

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Departed

After work this evening I went to the cemetery for All Souls' Day and prayed a decade of the rosary in the rain.

All this month is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Isn't it neat how the Church calls them holy souls? They have the hope of the assurance of Heaven. Where there's hope there's ascension; where there's ascension there's holiness.

During work today two great blue herons flew over the hedge above me, side by side, flying low; their masterful wings working in that slow, strong sort of langour that makes me think of the way giant manta rays swim in the ocean.

Nature abounds with signs.

Pray for the holy souls in purgatory. They help us in turn. You know how people make sure to get into a person's intentions when that person has stated he is going on a pilgrimage to a holy place? You know, you're going to the tomb of Padre Pio? Oh, can you remember to pray for ______ when you're there please? We want something of ourselves to go along with them.

The ones in purgatory are on their way to the ultimate Holy of Holies. Wouldn't you want to make sure they have some trinket of your remembrance, that you helped them along the way?

They're going through the gates and you want to leave a note or something in their pockets to take out before the throne of God. Hey, what's this here in my pocket? Oh yeah, it's whatshisname - he helped me here Lord!

Cemeteries are so silent.

"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." --1 Corinthians 2:9

"Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." --Steve Jobs' last words

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The origin of Christmas is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The origin of Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ - as the origin of Good Friday is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

These are origins that are absolutely historical and absolutely supernatural. They are, in a more real sense, origins that are historical because they are supernatural - being neither merely historical nor merely supernatural. They are origins based in singular events.

Halloween has no such origin. This obvious statement is not made to the severely normal who already know it, but to the professional online Catholic apologists who, in their obsessive eagerness to show through a collation of factoids that Halloween is sooooooooo Catholic, end up doing nothing but make it look like Halloween is the third most important celebration in the Catholic Church after Easter and Christmas. Which, to be even more obvious, does nothing but denigrate Easter and Christmas into relativistic culture pie and culturally relativistic mish-mash. Like, everything's Catholic man; pass the bong.

As they all well understand, it's not even on the Catholic celebration roster. It's just the eve of a feast day - a feast day that used to be regarded with more importance than it is now. In Canada, All Saints Day is not even a holy day of obligation, which is sad.

One could even say that Halloween as we know it does not have an origin in any sense of the word. Definitely not in the sense of having an origin in an event. Certainly not an event as those originating Christmas and Easter; but neither an event that is merely historical, for any event that went into the Halloween weave through the years (such as Guy Fawkes) was no event of origin. It's just this kind of open-ended cultural phenomenon coming together, and yet coming together in no fully realized form or meaning, through strange meeting points in history.

It's more a long mutating string, or coalescing strings, of various practices, from various continents, from various times, all of them purely cultural, without any one event of origin; but the apologists point to them as though it were as definitively - nay, dogmatically - Catholic as the Apostolic line. (And God forbid you apostatize on the dogma of Halloween.) Their final, solid, resounding claim of the Catholic "origin" of Halloween, through pointing to the patchwork of past historical currents, is actually just as tenuous and hybridized today as it was back then.

The so-called puritanical person who suspects Halloween as so much ingratiation towards evil has in fact just as much a say (as much as one may disagree with him), based on the evidence of his eyes, as those who say that Halloween is soooooooo Catholic, without nary a one of them being any less Catholic or any more heretical than the other (though I'll put my money on the latter as the heretic). Why? Because they are both purely cultural appraisals about something that is, in its "origins" (which, again, are not origins really but meeting points between running historical developments), purely cultural.

I have fond memories of Halloween as a kid. I think it's great for kids to dress in costumes and trick-or-treat, and for adults to dress in costumes and to blow off fireworks and to party. Do I feel the need to defend it as being soooooooo Catholic? No. That it is merely All Hallows Eve (which just happens to be very culturally open-ended) is good enough for me. It's also a pretty good way of not becoming attached to it. It seems there are some though, like certain Potterheads, who simply cannot stand it for a second to have their entertainments questioned, even remotely. It's quite sad and pathetic.

At the end of the day there will still be seasoned Veterans who don't like watching war films, and Holocaust survivors who can't stand the sight of firearms, and people who have been awash in the occult, or been in contact with serious demonic infestation, who have reservations about what they see going on on Halloween. The day I would say to any of them that their suspicions make them puritanical and that they are just sooooooooo not Catholic and need to get more with it would be the day you find me at a big jubilant tent revival, jumping around and shouting, "Alleluia! I've seen the light!"

There are some things where it's better to just say that it's fun, and that that is the reason. Let the Catholic cards fall where they may.

Because, as it is, I just don't really believe that the neighbours down the street with their front plastic graveyard sets and polyester spider webs that they purchased at Wal-mart are exercising the same cathartic impulse to face the inevitability of death as those who painted scenes of the dance macabre during the Bubonic Plague. Just a hunch I have.

(But for fun? Good enough for me.)

And because I don't like the dictatorship of relativism that's being pawned off as Catholicism.

Hey, I just said 'Catholicism'!

I deserve a candy bar for that!

Hey! I just said 'candy bar'!

I'm so highfalutin.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Medium: Pencils 2B, B, HB and 3H

Friday, October 28, 2011

Medium: Pencils B, 2B and 3H

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Medium: Pencils HB and B

Medium: 2B Pencil

Sorry, had to do something with that single stroke "2-2-2 drawing" below...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Medium: Pencils 2B and B

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Van Gogh Mystery

Go here to read about what most likely really happened to bring about Vincent Van Gogh's death by gunshot.

It makes sense to me. I don't think he would have shot himself. It never did strike me as true.

Medium: 2B Pencil

Hey! This is this blog's two hundredth and twenty second drawing post!

That's 2-2-2!

And what does that mean?

The next celebration is 333! And if I make it to the number of the beast there will be no celebration and I'll make sure to have two drawings ready to bump it over!

Max Monday

Max Beckmann, Still Life with Candles

"Here again, black is the dominant color and sets the tragic mood. In contrast to the Cubists who would transform a woman with a guitar into a still life, Beckmann endows his still lifes with human qualities. The table here has become a stage and no shadows are allowed to obscure the austere integrity of the mysterious event. This simple still life, like Cezanne's Black Clock, is a memento mori: the two largest candles are fallen heroes, while the other two stand in mourning, guarding against the "dark black hole" of space and infinity behind them. Indeed, a year later he painted a similar composition on a larger scale and introduced a book - a script as it were - with the word "Eternity" on its title page." --Peter Selz

Max Beckmann, Still Life with Candles and Mirror

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Medium: Soft oil base black pencil and 2B pencil

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What's Wrong with Canada - in short sum

I remember one man in a group conversation who admitted that he voted for Pierre Trudeau back in the day simply because he thought he was cool. Heh.

Basically the same reason why many voted for that Kenyan-born liar down south.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I Don't Know

Since the satellite hasn't been getting used much at all, and it's typically dvds that get played here, it was cancelled; but one of the last things I caught while flipping channels was a double Richard Dreyfuss feature of Stand By Me and Jaws. I caught the latter half of Stand By Me while watching all of Jaws. While Stand By Me wasn't my favourite growing up, I liked it back then; I found it fascinating; it seemed to express something I couldn't articulate, while the ending sort of depressed me. And I still like the film, more than I did before.

It's intriguing, isn't it, how many popular films in the 80's were about father/son issues.

The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, Field of Dreams, The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Stand By Me...(my mind is at a blank right now, so feel free to add any others in combox)

Even The Princess Bride is quite literally book-ended by the relationship of the grandfather and his grandson.

In all of them the father/son theme is quite different from the other, exploring different aspects, and different in the ways they go about it; some archetypal and dramatic, like the two latter Star Wars films, intimate and underplayed like in Field of Dreams. In The Karate Kid it's very subtle, almost invisible, but ultimately the film's unspoken backbone. In Ferris Bueller's Day Off it's more of an appendage near the end, but the film's most serious note. In Back to the Future the theme actually runs quite deep. The way the comedy suddenly lands one in the heart of the familial and its universal consequences is moving. When George McFly decks Biff, it has all the cathartic import of Darth Vader giving the Emperor the heave-ho.

And I think Stand By Me is about father/son issues sort of the way the ocean is about the water: there's a lot of other things in it, but don't overlook the water.

Oh, there's E.T. and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade...

But then there's also a kind of subset of films to this; films not necessarily about father/son issues but extensions of, and therefore connected to, them. Movies about men - this is going to sound lame - finding the man inside them, like Innerspace: about a daring man literally inside of an unadventurous man who makes him brave and courageous. Top Gun and Iron Eagle (which one is worse? LOL) I know there's others here too, but I can't think of them now...

It just seems to me this was the general current of popular (and maybe not so popular) 80's movies. Was the 80's taking revenge on the 70's and 60's?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Whatcott

"A limited limit." That's a good one. Bureaucrat speak and weasel words.

Censorship: part of the official homosexual agenda.

But if you're a Muslim loon who wants to come here and incite violence against various groups, no problem.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two Things

You may notice this caption on the sidebar:

I got it from Dymphna's Road. Thanks Dymphna's Road!

I recently watched the film The Tree of Wooden Clogs. It was made in the seventies, and I watched it in two parts on youtube. The film is around three hours - a decent length for a film. It could have been longer; I wouldn't have noticed.

I'm hesitant to say the film is "hypnotic" or "mesmerizing", for the superficial connotations of those words. But the film channels that aspect of cinema which is one of its most potent - that of rhythm.

It works on you like a solid wooden high-backed chair, putting your back straight; not luxuriously comfortable, but not discomforting either. The nimble quickness with which the labour of the land is carried out, the efforts that go into keeping a home sanitary (and warm), the proper way of slaughtering a pig, the poetics that go into growing early tomatoes: peasant life is by no means sentimentalized, not because the film has the ambition of realism, but because the film itself is speaking in the rhythms it chronicles.

And by the end, the film can also be said to be a protest. I don't know many films that can be called protests against injustice; I'm sure there are lots. But the "protest", the cry at the end of this film has absolutely no whiff of propaganda.

I really recommend watching it. (Again, it's in two parts.)

Update: third thing. I wrote a lame post several days back about using the word, "Catholicism". I didn't think of those who use the word as the very header of their blogs. My apologies to them. I wasn't thinking. I deleted the post, though I still think that when it's possible to use the words "Catholic Church", one shouldn't substitute "Catholicism" instead. And of course there are times when one can only use "Catholicism" and not anything else. I guess it doesn't matter.

Oh, and if anyone writes a blog and wants to delete a blog post, but doesn't like the fact that the post still remains on google reader after you delete it, the solution is simple: before deleting your post, go into your post to edit. Then delete all the words of the post in the box. Then publish your post again. It will now publish in google reader as a blank. Then you can delete it from your blog.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tarkovsky Tuesday

"The cinema image, then, is basically observation of life's facts within time, organised according to the pattern of life itself, and observing its time laws. Observations are selective: we leave on film only what is justified as integral to the image. Not that the cinematic image can be divided and segmented against its time-nature, current time cannot be removed from it. The image becomes authentically cinematic when (amongst other things) not only does it live within time, but time lives within it, even within each separate frame.

No 'dead' object - table, chair, glass - taken in a frame in isolation from everything else, can be presented as it were outside passing time, as if from the point of view of an absence of time.

You only have to by-pass this condition to make it possible to take over any number of properties from one of the neighbour arts. And with their help you can indeed make very effective films; only from the point of view of cinematic form these will be incompatible with the true development of the nature, essence and potential of cinema.

No other art can compare with cinema in the force, precision and starkness with which it conveys awareness of facts and aesthetic structures existing and changing within time. I therefore find particularly irritating the pretensions of modern 'poetic cinema', which involves breaking off contact with fact and with time realism, and makes for preciousness and affectation."

--Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

Monday, October 10, 2011

Max Monday

Max Beckmann, Riviera-Landschaft

Max Beckmann, Blick auf Vorstädte am Meer bei Marseille

Max Beckmann, Seascape with Agaves and Old Castle

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bloody Hell

I think we should excise all those passages from The Divine Comedy in which Dante violently condemns various bishops and clergy by name who were living and/or dead during his lifetime, because people are converted by beauty and those who are newly looking into the Faith will read such vitriolic ugliness and decide that they want nothing to do with the Catholic Church. After we excise those passages, we should then put Michael Voris in some kind of penitentiary - maybe headed by authors from the Patheos Club.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Medium: Pencils 2B and H

Friday, October 7, 2011

Garden Sprawl Friday

Appaloosa beans (dry beans). Bought one small pack from a seed company at a Vancouver seed sale. Will plant these ones that were shelled next year. It's about half of the harvest. The others weren't dried enough yet, so left them on the pants for now. Should probably pull up the plants. The outsides of the shells look terrible, but they're perfectly clean on the insides.

They filled up that bowl when they were all shelled.

They're on the oven trays for convenience, not because I put them in the oven. Obviously they dry faster when they're spread out and not on top of each other.

Next maybe I'll show chickpeas.


Fr. Longenecker from Standing on my Head touches on some aspects of art in this poem, which I liked:

A Secret Language
By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

We wrestle with the mystery of words,
hammering from the vast inchoate
universe, the pointed spears and sharp swords
with which we marshal the inarticulate
chaos of the soul. With precision
we discuss, dissect and delineate;
then define and decide. Each decision
is set in stone—not open to debate.

But beneath the dogma something rebels.
We sense lost treasure buried in a field,
or secret meanings glimmering like jewels
in the dark caverns of the soul. They yield
their bright reward only to those who mine
with the pick and spade of symbol and sign.
In this underground struggle we soon learn:
only the work and liturgy of art
can unlock the secret language of the heart.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Medium: Micron pens on bristol board

Section 13

Whiny Lawyerville

Lawyers of Fortune

Shakedown artists


Professional Complaining Class

Highly paid grievance-mongers

Complaining Left

Self-serving lawyers and ethnocrats

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wild Bill

I once stayed overnight with a friend of mine at the house of a man who is the best friend of Whatcott. His wife made us a lovely spaghetti dinner and we talked into the night. I could not imagine a more polar opposite - in terms of approach to controversial subjects - of Whatcott than this man at whose house we stayed. At one time he lived in a place that runs as a crisis pregnancy centre beside an abortion clinic, and he spent his days approaching women (broaching the dreaded "bubble zone") who were on their way in. He used no signage; he just talked with them. In the front office of this pregnancy centre the walls are plastered with photos of mothers holding their children - mothers who were on their way into the abortion clinic, when this man approached them.

This man and Whatcott are best friends. Whatcott is the kind of pro-lifer whose antics make the other pro-lifers pack up and go home. The point being, if such apparent opposites can abide each other in friendship (Whatcott has even been banned from the Free Dominion website), what is the problem of people whose main contact with Whatcott would be printed material on paper - or digital words? I do not mean what is their problem generally; I mean what is going on that they want the government to silence and punish him?

You have no right to not be offended. You have a right to debate with somebody how what they say offends you. You have a right to utilize the power of the public square to try and shun somebody, without slander.

There's a lot of things that offend me: tailgaters, tabloids, New Atheists, SpongeBob SquarePants, people who throw trash out their vehicle, well-dressed and well-nourished young males posing as beggars and asking for money...but I don't go running and whining to the government or any other legal body looking to censor others.

But you see, that's part of the homosexual agenda.

Tarkovsky Tuesday

"Who has not written about Raphael and his Sistine Madonna? The idea of man, who had attained at last his own personality in flesh and blood, who had discovered the world and God in himself and around him after centuries of worshipping the medieval Lord, on whom his gaze had been fixed so steadily as to sap his moral strength -- all of this is said to have found its perfect, coherent and ultimate embodiment in that canvas by the genius of Urbino. In a way, perhaps, it has. For the Virgin Mary, in the artist's representation is an ordinary citizen, whose psychological state as reflected in the canvas has its foundation in real life: she is fearful of the fate of her son, given for people in sacrifice. Even though it is in the name of their salvation, he himself is being surrendered in the fight against the temptation to defend him from them.

All of this is indeed vividly written into the picture -- from my point of view, too vividly, for the artist's thought is there for the reading: all too unambiguous and well-defined. One is irritated by the painter's sickly allegorical tendentiousness hanging over the form and overshadowing all the purely painterly qualities of the picture. The artist has concentrated his will on clarity of thought, on the intellectual concept of his work, and paid the price: the painting is flabby and insipid."
--Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

Monday, October 3, 2011

Medium: 2B Pencil and maybe another

Max Monday

View of Genoa - Max Beckmann

NachtGarten - Max Beckmann

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Priests in the Pulpit

What's the grand global total of times in the last 43 years that a priest said in the homily, without preceding his words with any qualifier, something to the effect of: "The use of artificial contraception is a mortal sin. Mortal sin is an offense of grave matter committed with full knowledge and consent, and if a soul dies in it, that soul goes directly to hell after going to God." And then, of course, speaking of God's mercy and the creation of every soul for Heaven.

What, maybe a thousand? Maybe that's being generous?

You have to think, Padre, something like ninety whatever percent of the parish's couples are contracepting, and you spend your priesthood's homilies on the most profound articulations, and then you die - and oh, I didn't mention anything about artificial contraception being a mortal sin, not once; whoops.

Maybe you think it will be taken as stating the obvious in order to be controversial, or something. But the real reason is that you want your parishioners to like you.

And yeah, there's a ton of hypocritical hand-wringers on the web who would read the above words that run, "...and if a soul dies in it, that soul goes directly to hell after going to God." and say, "But that's not for us to decide! Who knows if a soul that practiced artificial contraception went to hell or not; we're not to be that soul's judge and blah blah blah..."

Yes, pantheist, yes; and that means that Pastors shouldn't pastor their flocks. Sin is not sin just because it makes a person miserable.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Word & Question

Leave all gardens unguarded, all woods yielding,
but put a circuit round the gutted mall:
a last surveyor, turning, in the night,
like one to watch a ship that's done with sail days,
now yarded in the weedy dark - hulled, unpraised,
waiting to be water-sealed, out of star-sight.

One witness, pert, this official vacancy
beside the zoning fence, make midnight strides,
that none may have the fun of breaking panes,
and wrest from demolitioners their first dig-in,
ruining what projected contract ruin
stands, as stood for years, now its fallow claim:

Beams to be bitten, walls to give way
to further sight; the roof no more a roof.
Rain, birds, air and light, making of the refuse-
the sudden letting of the elements,
water down the sliced front in many singing threads-
a song of a momentary end to use.

Whatever palpitates is for plough's harrowing.
Even hectic creatures as we, draw the stars
together of infinity, size them to suit
the rotting pages of an earthbound book.
How much more our pulsing lots, for plough, who look
in at zones, up at slate, map out routes;

our lots brought low: all world's a homeless sea.
Vast messengers above our heads wage war,
we trust through breakage, though not seeing far.
Cling to waking anguish, relinquish bed's drowse,
for the home of your heart is a falling house:
turn out - leap from the grave in your own heart.

Word: Turning

Question: What is the one thing needful? (At least I think that was the question.)

Was it love at first sight?

Word and Question

Alternate words for lines: Hoisted for yarded, and 'Have him witness' for 'One witness, pert'.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Medium: Pencil crayons and there might be 2B and 2H pencils