Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oil Painting

Title: Summer evening 

 Medium: Oil on canvas 

Size: 6 in. x 8in.

Oil Painting - Landscape

Title: Bose Hill

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 6 inches x 8 inches

Price: 50 smackers

Gold, silver and Bitcoin not accepted


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2H and 2B pencils 

2B, 2H and 6B pencils

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Michael Hudson

"Despite the fact that you have productivity risings since World War II, the real economy and your wages have become an S curve, tapering off. What has grown, in keeping with productivity, is the magic of compound interest. This growth in compound interest has absorbed all of the increase in productivity, and it's accrued to the 1%, not to the 99%." --Michael Hudson in the above talk

"Rapacious usury has increased the evil which, more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different form but in the same way, practiced by avaricious and grasping men." --Pope Leo XIII, encyclical Rerum Novarum

"...under a different form..."

Hm, how about that?

Under a different form.

I wonder what that could be.

Under a different form.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our economy is founded on usury

There is an interesting thing to notice in past condemnations of usury by the Church and state rulers. For instance, during the reigns of Edward the Confessor and Henry II, the penalty against usury was extended not just to the usurer himself - who would face exile from the country among other punishments - but, in a way, to his heirs, his children. The usurer's estate was forfeited and his will was made invalid.

The penalty was directed to the usurer and then went further by enforcing disinheritance upon his heirs.

It was not just about ridding money and assets that were attained unjustly. They knew and understood that because it is in essence tethered to money, which only and ever transfers hands, the corruption of usury is totally uninterrupted along its course from generation to generation; that where money was increased by usury, the same money will bring the same incentive to increase at usury, such that you can remove the usurer, but his money goes on into the future bringing the same sinful incentive to those who have inherited it; and you can remove his money, but the indebtedness of those to whom he lent remains after he is gone, and with the payment of their debts, the same increase begins all over again.

Indebtedness, being future tense, has no conceivable end, unless it is broken in certain ways.

And that's not to mention the craft of employing usury - the tricks of the trade - that was passed along from father to son. The corruption of the activities of man starts all over again. That is why usury is so vile: it is attached to that which inherently flows speedily and uninterruptedly from person to person.

This is also why the poison craft of usury - which is the very foundation of our monetary system today, and thus by extension, our economy - is wielded from families, passed down the generations: the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Morgans, etc.

Why do you think the people of the Old Testament declared a jubilee every fifty years? It wasn't only to exemplify mercy. It was because the people of those times - to whom the sin of usury and the knowledge of its far-reaching corruption was already ancient news - understood that if bankers (in those days known by other names) had more than fifty years in which to continually practice their lending, they could overthrow the ruling king completely and bring the civilization to total ruin and total enslavement.

History ancient and not so ancient is filled with many examples of just such ruin happening to nations.

With this year 2013, we have the 100th. "anniversary" of the institution of the federal reserve system, which is the same system basically that every country, more or less, around the world has been enslaved with.

Bill Still has done a documentary - I believe his forth - on the secret inception of the Fed. The documentary is called Jekyll Island. It's in post-production right now, and the release is aimed for the end of February.

“Bankers own the earth; take it away from them but leave them with the power to create credit; and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again...If you want to be slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers control money and control credit.” --Sir Josiah Stamp, Director, Bank of England, 1940

"Permit me to issue and control the money of the nation and I care not who makes its laws." --Mayer Amsched Rothschild

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pornography Questions

This is to anyone who either did not see anything wrong with the CNA second-look-at-porn article or who agreed with whatever it was that it was saying - that it was about the so-called "how and why".

Since it's all about the "how and why" can you please answer me two questions? Please be specific.

1. Why is the production of pornography wrong?

2. Why is viewing pornography wrong?

No comments will be posted that are not direct, specific answers to these two questions.

Monetary Reform

I would be interested to see a country made up of nice little local co-ops, all very Shire-like, starting without any mega-corporations at all, no Wal-marts or anything, but just local co-ops and such things - but that country were to use the same money-as-debt that we use right now (only from nice local banks).

I would be immensely interested to see how quickly "Wal-mart" would spring up and all the co-ops get nationalized or federalized or some such thing in the above scenario.

Monetary reform is that part of the economics discussion where a few rather eccentric people find they cannot get very far past some very basic principles, and they say that if you do not fix the money itself (the "life-blood" of an economy) then there's no point in talking about the other stuff; but if you do fix the money itself (which is to say, the principles behind its creation and issuance), then a great deal of all that other stuff will start taking care of itself.

Many other people believe the opposite of this. They say that if we fix all this other stuff, then the money will fix itself - and that we shouldn't idolize money. In short, they treat it as it is treated in the market where, naturally, what it is does not need to be thought about.

We did not arrive at money the way one arrives at something at a remove - such as, say, a man will come upon a woodpile or a lake, or a mine of gold. There is no such thing as a static wealth object. Money comes from man, and it is corrupted by man. The very purpose of money is to benefit the common good. That's not a fancy or a welfare notion. That is the very reason man came up with money.

When it is corrupted, such as its very creation and issuance being the instrument of private profit (usury), it does not just cease to benefit the common good, but becomes the working device that drains and robs the productions and labours of man. Money as debt: for every amount that goes out, there is a back-syphoning.

We have to pay for our money? How absurd is that?

As James Roberston said,

If we were starting for a people just at the beginning of the constitution of a society, and someone suggested, 'Well, the best way of creating the money, and putting it in, is to combine it with the function of providing a competitive profit-making market for borrowing and lending' - it would be regarded as idiotic!

And that's just what we have.

"The good news is that the solution isn't new or radical. America used to do it...throughout American history politicians have fought with big bankers over it. But this aspect of our history has now been erased from history books." --Bill Still

Seriously, take the time to watch this phenomenal documentary, then come back to it later and watch it again.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Arvo Pärt - Creator Spiritus

Been listening to this album when painting (and drawing). Typically work in silence.

Oil Painting - Still Life

Title: Suffering

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 24 in x 20 in.

Price: 800 000 rupees

or a six pack and a bag of Cheetos

Terms negotiable

Gold and silver not accepted

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thought Experiment

So yeah, the "thought experiment" of that CNA article. Ever hear of Rasputin?

“Sin is also from God. The more you sin, the stronger is your repentance, the closer to God you become.” --the filthy "monk" Rasputin

Here's a little anecdote from Rasputin's life:

Rasputin's first recognized appearance among Orthodox Churchmen was at a Siberian Academy of Theology. He was in a discussion with a group of seminarians when their teacher and the academy's rector Father Feofan entered the room unnoticed. The seminarians had already recognized how easily Rasputin grasped the Holy Scriptures while they toiled over their books studying their meanings.

Soon, with all the students eagerly listening, Father Feofan and Rasputin were discussing sin. Father Feofan mentioned that Rasputin had said that "sin is indispensable before God." Then the priest inquired how could that be when the Savior and the saints of the Orthodox Church had denounced sin as the Devil's work.

Rasputin replied, addressing the priest as "little father", "Our Savior and the church fathers did denounce sin as being the work of the Evil One, but," Rasputin went on to ask, "how can sin be erased without sincere repentance? And, sincere repentance only comes after one has sinned."

Rasputin paused a minute and then continued in a thundering voice of an angered peasant to say: "Take away your Scriptures and your useless pondering over them. Accept life as it is, as God gave it to us. Stop worrying about where sin comes from, and how many prayers a man must say to escape it, or how long he must fast. Sin, and then you can truly repent. But, if after doing all these things sin still lurks in your heart, prayers do no good. You still remain a hypocrite. The filth must be gotten rid of. you hear, little father? Only then will your savour be well pleasing to the Lord." --from here

Here's something from Wikipedia:

"He [Rasputin] also maintained that sin and repentance were interdependent and necessary to salvation. Thus, he claimed that yielding to temptation (and, for him personally, this meant sex and alcohol), even for the purposes of humiliation (so as to dispel the sin of vanity), was needed to proceed to repentance and salvation."

Hmmm...there's the Khlysty doctrine...


6B Pencil 


This is this blog's three hundred and thirty third drawing post.

That's 3-3-3.

And what does that mean?

Everyone who looked at that drawing was like:

Anyways, since this post will receive more hits than any of the others, I thought I would take this opportunity to draw your attention to some artists that I like to keep updated on:











Of course there's a bunch more of them. You can find all of them on the sidebar under "Artist Studios and Blogs".

And if you know of other artists that aren't there please let me know in the combox so I might add them. Thanks.

Pencils 2H and 2B

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2H and 2B pencils

Masturbating your way to reality. Good luck.

Would you say that a heroin addict coming down from a high and experiencing the desultory crash is experiencing reality?

Of course not. He is going through just as a distorted experience as that which he experienced when he was high on heroin.

Which is one of the reasons he will turn back to the drug.

Now it's been scientifically proven that pornography releases chemicals in the brain either equally as addictive or more addictive than heroin.

Would you say the person coming down from that high is going to experience anything like real reality in the crash?

And what is the viewer of porn going to do about it? That's right, turn to more porn - and more explicit and evil forms of it.

So, according to the "thought experiment" of this CNA article, a person should continue in his evil habit in order to experience the desultory crash of the heroin addict that makes him turn further to the drug.

Yeah. Real smart.

Why, of course! Masturbate your way to reality! Now why didn't I think of that?

Because I'm not deep enough. I don't reach after the "deeper" issues.

Problem with me is I just don't know how to go "deep enough".

Yeah. Because pornography has something deep about it. Well, I suppose hell's abysses are deep.

I just don't have enough "thought experiments".

Dawn Eden writes in response to this article here.

Kevin O'Brien writes in response to the article in a number of posts under the label Christopher West.

Fr. Angelo writes in response to the article here.


Alice von Hildebrand

Kevin Tierney

Bill Still

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Paul Hellyer

Westian Porn

There is always a subjective aspect to beauty merely by dint of the existence of a beholder. Yet this subjectivity reinforces the recognition that beauty is objective. For that is a recognition to which one's subjectivity is called in beholding it. Beauty draws a person out of himself, for instance.

Part of the power or authority of the objectivity of beauty is that it is made manifest in the transformation of the subjective - without making the transformation of the subjective its object. In such an encounter of beauty, the subjective undergoes a purification which is not felt as one's object, but in a freedom in which it encounters infinity, and sweetness and pain are as one. This could not be so if beauty were entirely subjective.

Our experience of beauty is limited. Our ability to love is limited. We are limited creatures. This is not a statement of capitulation or resignation, but a beginning fact. If one thinks otherwise, then one may want to take one's Pelagian illusion up with Jesus Christ crucified on the cross.

For therein lies our transcendence. Answer me this: how is it that we, finite and limited creatures, can have mercy on God?

But so it is. Jesus on the cross gives to the repentant a staggering role reversal in which we are given the ability to exercise mercy. That is not at all to say this mercy He begets from us removes our sins - He alone does that; nor does it alter the Deicide of the crucifixion, which each one of us has personally done and does; but it is to say that the way under which Christ comes to us in our repentance, and even in the midst of our sins, is that He gives Himself to us and says, "Do with Me what you will." It should be noted, this is how He gives Himself to us; it does not mean He is indifferent to what we do with Him or that He does not make commandments of us.

He blossoms tenderness from us that is in fact the potency the sinner desires. This is how He masters the sinner: "Do with Me what you will".

The evil of viewing pornography does not at all consist in that the viewer objectifies the model/actor in the photograph or film, or "limits" the model/actor, or "uses up" the model/actor in that or any instance of viewing pornography, but that the viewer in the act of viewing gives acquiescence to being completely subjective - infinitely subjective - towards himself, sealed with all the "authority" and insistence of the intoxicating pleasure; the means of obtaining the pleasure/feeling/connectedness is the inevitable objectification of himself. The fact that he is beginning with a photo or film of people as the means of his object - pleasure, feeling, connectedness - rather than with actual people, bears this out.

Let's repeat: the primary and paramount evil in viewing pornography is not that you are limiting the infinite worth of the model/actor you are looking at, but that you are abusing yourself. Right from the get-go, this is the dominant key in the evil of the entire business of viewing it. Even if there is no physical impurity, called masturbation or Onanism, just by purposely viewing pornography you are abusing yourself - very much in the same sense that one is abusing himself by inviting impure thoughts through the abuse of the imagination (except that viewing porn is way worse). Just by aligning one's gaze with pornography on purpose constitutes self-abuse, and this self-abuse, which inevitably will seek to drag others down to its own reduction, is the very impetus and final object of pornography, of what has been termed "pornovision".

How this later transpires in real encounters with real people is of course naturally proven, scientifically and historically, that the person will objectify others, out of the opaque deadness of his spirit; that person who, in accessing that empty fruit which never gives what it promises, has objectified himself, bending himself more and more in that emptiness as a pleasure/satisfaction-receiving object. The person will act accordingly from the same logic by which he derived the intoxicating pleasure, and under which "authority" he now abdicates himself. It is a sort of natural law that as a person acts towards himself, so he acts towards others.

The person (model/actor) that was photographed or filmed was already objectified in the photographing and filming. You are looking at the end-product (photo/film), the finalized/unchanging stamp and distillation of that past objectification, and now you are the one being objectified - by you. In the squelching softness of your infinite subjectivity, you are abusing yourself, via the end-product of a past act of objectification, and this is the primary evil of pornography. And what a sad and empty evil that is.

Moreover, to emphasize that a person who views pornography is objectifying the person in the photo/film, and to hold this as the primary evil of viewing pornography, is to de-emphasize the actual, real objectification that took place when the person was photographed or filmed.

This, by the way, is what Christopher West does when he talks about pornography as having something good behind it - the body - and that the problem is the vision which objectifies the person in the photo. But that person in the photo was objectified in the photographing, and not only objectified by the pornographers, but objectified by herself or himself as well, in posing.

So when Christopher West uses the speculated woman or man in the porn photo as that which has something good behind it and that which the viewer should not objectify with his lust, West is in fact giving acquiescence to the objectification of the person as it is set in the porn photo. That is the locus in which he is referring to the person: as that person has had his or her objectification frozen in time by the photo. That is the locus in which we are to refer to their "totality": as though that person was not objectified in the photographing or filming, when in fact the best declaration of that person's totality as regards the porn photo would be to destroy the image.

And what if the person in the photo was an unwilling sex slave? The possibility is not unlikely, of one being forced into poses and forced to put on come-hither looks, either totally unwillingly or because of the need for money. Then the photo has in it something that is good and it's the viewer who is doing the objectifying? Huh?

Pornography is a lie not in the sense of "blinders that need to be removed"; it is not a "skewed vision" about sex and the body; it is a falsehood from seed to root to tip to fruition, and that which is a falsehood through and through has a driving force of evil behind it that cannot be simply relegated to those areas of anthropology. In its beginning and in its end it is empty death. And what did Jesus say about thorns bearing figs?

The falsehood of pornography is inextricable from its visual; and it is a falsehood that takes root in that which is most inextricable within our being - one's sexuality. And the ways in which one's sexuality bears upon the decisions we make is not simple; it is fundamentally complex. And to recognize that fact is an essential simplicity. Our sexuality is not primarily a sign; it is primarily a concrete reality unto itself.

It is not one single bit "puritanical" to regard pornography as something to be destroyed and shunned: such a stance is on the side of liberation and the first ability to be unafraid of feeling, bearing, and facing one's wounds.

So I guess here's a big let-down for you Westians: when you view pornography you are not "using up" the person's beauty in the photograph or film. But nice try. You are not even accessing that person's beauty. Not even in any remote sense. You are, with every second, closing yourself within your infinite subjectivity, whether realized or not.

The progeny of lust is blindness.

Lust is not a progeny of blindness.

Lust is not a progeny of skewed, stilted, or distorted vision.

Lust is a capital vice.

In the renewal of our baptism we renounce sin and Satan, and we use the words, "empty promises".

Of all the sinful things one can think of that so immediately and roundly encapsulates this notion of "empty promises", in our age pornography takes the cake. It is an out and out fantasy that is utterly empty and will do nothing but capsize a person's life. Murderers and rapists have proven what that capsizing can look like, for their hell-bound journeys often get their start in viewing pornography. It is absolutely deadly and entirely empty.

Yet Christopher West points to pornography as having something good in it, using this as the preoccupation and basic starting point for his "catechesis". Among his many examples of normalizing porn by its use in analogy for his "catechesis", he recounts how before the Blessed Sacrament, he resuscitated pornographic images he had viewed in the past, to have them redeemed.

What a fraud.

Why is this fraud receiving the accolades of certain bishops?

James Robertson

Monday, January 14, 2013

Byron Dale

Irony? I don't even know what that is anymore.

"After fifty years of the progressive/modernist hijacking of Vatican II, the persistence of the papal magisterium has payed off. The Holy Father has the controls and is promoting effectively his teaching on “reform in continuity.” This period is critical because the traditionalists have revamped the modernist myth that the Council was a rupture with Tradition and are attempting to co-opt Pope Benedict’s reform and turn the Church into a little elitist sect."

--Fr. Angelo in his post Caught in the Vortex of his own Making at Mary Victrix

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christopher Tolkien's Interview

"Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.""

--From the first ever press interview of Christopher Tolkien by Le Monde

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pencils H, 2B and 6B


Daniel Mitsui at The Lion and the Cardinal posts this wonderful altarpiece, called the Mill Altar:

Click to enlarge

"The Four Evangelists stand at the centre of the altarpiece and are pouring the contents of four great bags into a grinder. From the left to right: Mark (with the lion's head), Matthew (in angel form), John (eagle's head) and Luke (bull's head). They are grinding quotes from the Gospels (on the white strips) that refer to man's creation from the Word -- 'In the beginning was the Word.' Symbolically, the apostles' words undergo a transformation -- the four strips become one, and this one strip joins with the figure of the Christ Child in a chalice. the mill, normally used for the manufacture of food, points to the scene's meaning: through the grinding stone the Word becomes flesh, from the grinding stone comes the food of life, and in the grinding stone Christ is sacrificed." -- Edward Norman, The Roman Catholic Church: An Illustrated History

I love that sort of condensing of vision, that ordered conflation; it's something only art does.

More Hobbit

"Coxon reminds me of a former friend of mine who couldn't understand why people would spend hours arguing about some obscure (to her) plot point, such as "Who is John Connor's real father?" (That question was answered on this blog, by the way.) But the catch was that she perceived our discussions as something we would do instead of "just enjoying the movie." So she was taken aback when we replied, practically in chorus, "What do you think we're doing???"

Discussing a movie, even to the point of heated argument, has become a legitimate way to enjoy that movie. And filming a live concert and uploading it later for others' comments has become a legitimate way to enjoy that concert." --Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar who should post more Catholic punk thoughts.

I totally agree with, "Discussing a movie, even to the point of heated argument, has become a legitimate way to enjoy that movie".

I'm not so sure about, "And filming a live concert and uploading it later for others' comments has become a legitimate way to enjoy that concert."

But that's just me.

Which reminds me. I have not fully exhausted my wrath concerning The Hobbit. What a horrendous piece of hack work.

The city of Dale in the days before the coming of the dragon in the prologue looks ridiculous. A compacted CGI set jostling with way too many extras.

The halls of the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain look ridiculous. Cold, Vulcan and alien. The treasure hoard looks ridiculous: it's supposed to be a great huge treasure hoard - not freaking CGI infinity.

There's one point in the film when the dwarves are sitting around Baggins table and it's painfully clear that you're watching some actors not even trying to act like dwarves. They look and feel like some guys who have been partying it up because they're in a big Peter Jackson film.

Did I mention that Thorin does not have a beard? Oh, what's that? No, that's not a beard, sorry. Big beards are synonymous with dwarves, and Thorin in the film does not even have a beard.

Galadriel - that is, the true Galadriel - does not use telepathy. People have their minds "read" by her because of her humility. To the transparent, others will be transparent. I'm too lazy to open up The Fellowship of the Ring right now, but there are a number of evocative references to this about Galadriel.

Other writers have said Galadriel in The Hobbit is more akin to the Mary figure of the book than previously seen in the The Fellowship. I disagree.

The riddling scene between Bilbo and Gollum is just so...I don't know. It brings to mind what bugs me most about Jackson's LOTR work: there's no sense of an inner dynamic, an inner logic that unfolds something of the book, which is not concerned only with plot and characters. The Fellowship had a sense of it. For all of its foreshortening, it spoke something of the inner logic of the story.

Then with the next two they became self-aware.

So yeah, I'll go to see the next installment of The Hobbit.

Our Lady of Land's End

In these dark times of vainglory and unbelief, Our Lady of Land's End keeps vigil, By
Georges Rouault

"There are other places
Which also are the world's end, some at the sea jaws,
Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city—
But this is the nearest, in place and time,..."

--T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Little Gidding

2B and 6B pencils

Monday, January 7, 2013

Little Denethors

People who haven't bothered to check their ignorance, nor ever will, are enmeshed in the belief that Big Government is the main thing that ails us, and the unreality of their monomania can be gauged by the fact that they actually end up sloughing in the insanity that cryptography is some kind of answer.

And put your hope in guns too.

And canned food.

Because it's the Government.

Little Denethors.

BTW, when that government breaks down, you will not end up with some kind of benevolent blank slate, nor even a wild and chaotic blank slate; what you will have is rule by what is presently the invisible government, only it will no longer be invisible. It will be Belloc's Servile State.

The main problem with government today is not that it is big. The government in many ways is too big; but that's not the main problem. The main problem with government today is that it is bought.

They answer only to their financiers. When the government "bailed out" the banks all what the government did was borrow tons from the banks. That's what the banks were saying to the government when they said to bail them out: borrow more money from us.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Earth Rejects

On the death shores
are made fires
you do not know.

You grasp life you lose it.
If you die you live.
If you know, you do not know.

All comes to you
from the brink of death.
Back from the brink, steep
and pit of death
countless conceptions

making births. All births.
Else there is no birth.

On the death shores
are made fires,
and the life of the earth.

Kings walk them,
the shores of death,
freely chained and open-handed

giving blessings
the earth rejects.

Three favourite Pärt pieces

This is the best version of Annum per Annum that I've listened to. There's either fast versions, or there are slower ones. I don't know, but it seems to me the slow way is the way it's meant to be played. Volume has to be turned up.

This is the best version of Mein Weg hat Gipfel und Wellentaler that I've listened to. Volume has to be up.

This is the best version of Fratres that I've listened to.

Happy Epiphany!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Watch your preoccupation

Christ did not even go into the centurion's house and touch the centurion's servant to heal him. His word from a distance was absolutely sufficient, and even then, we get the gist that the healing was done just silently, before Christ gave the affirmative to the centurion that his servant was healed.

Surely this just won't do. We must do away with this incident, for it emphasizes a Docetist influence when considering Christ the God-Man. That healing was not very enfleshed. It's not Catholic. Catholicism is sensuous. It has touching and tasting and smelling.

Maybe if the people of the centurion's household had said the healing was scandalous, then maybe it would be good.

And then there's the Incarnation. It's not incarnational enough. Too conceptual.

Oh yeah, and then there's that transubstantiation.

Christ slept.

Now, if everybody were insomniacs who were deeply scandalized by sleep, then Christ sleeping in the boat during the storm is very enfleshed and incarnational and very, very Catholic.

The shedding of His blood as an infant in the old covenant of circumcision that prefigures the shedding of His blood in His passion that is the new covenent: this must be only a footnote to the more enfleshed incarnationality of a subject now having to do with penises that hopefully people will find "scandalous".

Yaaaaawwwwn...ah yes, that Zeno talk. The destruction of dissimilarity in analogy.

Just so you know the truth: the circumcision of our Lord is a prefiguration only insofar as the shedding of blood. Everything else about that prefiguration, when it comes to prefiguring, is, as they say, in a sense, circumstantial. He, Jesus, is replacing the old with the new. Indeed, as with every moment from the moment of His conception, the circumcision is not only prefiguration of the passion, but part of it, redeeming us from sin, just as propitious to the Father as His first cries in the manger.

But that's not incarnational enough. No, the foreskin must be a veil like the veil of the holy temple that was torn aside to reveal...what you say?

Wait a minute. Who's the Docetist? Who's the Manichee? Who's the Dualist?

Terry has a recipe for fried calamari.

I hope the Word on Fire post starts up blogger mommies debating again about circumcision. Because that's always so pleasant to behold.

Friday, January 4, 2013


"One of the social rights and duties most under threat today is the right to work. The reason for this is that labour and the rightful recognition of workers’ juridical status are increasingly undervalued, since economic development is thought to depend principally on completely free markets. Labour is thus regarded as a variable dependent on economic and financial mechanisms." --Pope Benedict XVI in his New Year Day Message for 2013

Maybe "free market" is sort of Orwellian ain't it?

Financial mechanisms are the idols given the burnt offering of our dignity, a dignity which is supposed to find expression in economic development undivided from that inherent dignity - meaning that dignity must be evident, given translation in economic development that follows?

We must give these burnt offerings instead because man is totally depraved and for him to regard economic development as so important as to make the beneficence of the common good its foundation under God is to make of it an idol?

No, no, we can't have that. We must leave it to the "free market". We must stop thinking about this economy stuff; it's obsessive. Leave it to the "free market". Because otherwise you're making of it an idol. And then God no longer has any place in our lives. So leave it to the "free market". Give your burnt offering.

Money is a law of man

If the scarcity of gold and the labour and time required to dig more of it out of the earth is what makes for the magical quantitative control of money, then why the more commonplace silver as gold's magical toady - the two making "sound money" and "hard money"?

And if silver, then why not bronze and copper?

Why not just control the quantity ourselves instead? Because that's all what's being done the whole time with the magical gold and silver: with gold and silver you're just saying that you would prefer the quantity of money be controlled by the rich people - that's all.

So you see, it is a question of who controls the quantity, not what backs the money.

Because when you are talking about what backs the money, you are talking about nothing but controlling its quantity.

And there is always a who.

So you cannot get away from that question - who controls the quantity - not with all the appra-ca-dabbra-alla-cazam let-the-magical-free-market-decide-and-it-will-all-sort-itself-out magic spells in the world.


H, 2B and 6B pencils

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thinking about an artist I like

I love Michelangelo. He took sculpture out of the stiff, remote enclosures of the Gothic and gave birth in marble to a warm Christian humanism, unprecedented and unsurpassed.

That the holy warmth of his inner vision found its full expression in cold hard stone is consonant with the living paradox of the Gospel message, the Incarnation, surpassing the understanding of the proud.

I know I could sit in front of any one of his Pietàs all day contemplating, and then some.

A mentally disturbed geologist who made messianic claims to himself took a hammer to Michelangelo's most well known Pietà in 1972. The sculpture, one of the greatest Christian masterpieces, endured significant damage.

Venerable Pope Paul VI, upon being notified of the horrific act of vandalism, said, "...Satan is entered in the rooms of the holy buildings. He hides himself, he dissimulates, he seduces, divides, slanders. But it's him, ever him: the prince of darkness, the impoverished angel, the first and last cause of evil in the world."

Source for quote.

The Pope's New Year Message

Did the Pope attack Capitalism as we know it? Yep.

Pope Benedict's New Year's Day message can be read in full here.

Here are some things he said (my emphasis in bold):

"It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism....

".... Peacemakers must also bear in mind that, in growing sectors of public opinion, the ideologies of radical liberalism and technocracy are spreading the conviction that economic growth should be pursued even to the detriment of the state’s social responsibilities and civil society’s networks of solidarity, together with social rights and duties. It should be remembered that these rights and duties are fundamental for the full realization of other rights and duties, starting with those which are civil and political

"One of the social rights and duties most under threat today is the right to work. The reason for this is that labour and the rightful recognition of workers’ juridical status are increasingly undervalued, since economic development is thought to depend principally on completely free markets. Labour is thus regarded as a variable dependent on economic and financial mechanisms. In this regard, I would reaffirm that human dignity and economic, social and political factors, demand that we continue “to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.” If this ambitious goal is to be realized, one prior condition is a fresh outlook on work, based on ethical principles and spiritual values that reinforce the notion of work as a fundamental good for the individual, for the family and for society. Corresponding to this good are a duty and a right that demand courageous new policies of universal employment."

Uh oh. How about that, eh? The Pope also said this at the beginning of his message (my bold):

"Fifty years after the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, which helped to strengthen the Church’s mission in the world, it is heartening to realize that Christians, as the People of God in fellowship with him and sojourning among mankind, are committed within history to sharing humanity’s joys and hopes, grief and anguish, as they proclaim the salvation of Christ and promote peace for all."

Thank God for the Second Vatican Council. If it was not for the Church's mission in the world, perhaps we would have lost the liturgy.

Also, thank God for Venerable Pope Paul VI.

Here is some more of what the Pope said (my bold):

"In many quarters it is now recognized that a new model of development is needed, as well as a new approach to the economy. Both integral, sustainable development in solidarity and the common good require a correct scale of goods and values which can be structured with God as the ultimate point of reference. It is not enough to have many different means and choices at one’s disposal, however good these may be. Both the wide variety of goods fostering development and the presence of a wide range of choices must be employed against the horizon of a good life, an upright conduct that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual and the call to work for the common good. Otherwise they lose their real value, and end up becoming new idols.
"In order to emerge from the present financial and economic crisis – which has engendered ever greater inequalities – we need people, groups and institutions which will promote life by fostering human creativity, in order to draw from the crisis itself an opportunity for discernment and for a new economic model. The predominant model of recent decades called for seeking maximum profit and consumption, on the basis of an individualistic and selfish mindset, aimed at considering individuals solely in terms of their ability to meet the demands of competitiveness. Yet, from another standpoint, true and lasting success is attained through the gift of ourselves, our intellectual abilities and our entrepreneurial skills, since a “liveable” or truly human economic development requires the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity and the logic of gift. Concretely, in economic activity, peacemakers are those who establish bonds of fairness and reciprocity with their colleagues, workers, clients and consumers. They engage in economic activity for the sake of the common good and they experience this commitment as something transcending their self-interest, for the benefit of present and future generations. Thus they work not only for themselves, but also to ensure for others a future and a dignified employment. 

"In the economic sector, states in particular need to articulate policies of industrial and agricultural development concerned with social progress and the growth everywhere of constitutional and democratic states. The creation of ethical structures for currency, financial and commercial markets is also fundamental and indispensable; these must be stabilized and better coordinated and controlled so as not to prove harmful to the very poor. With greater resolve than has hitherto been the case, the concern of peacemakers must also focus upon the food crisis, which is graver than the financial crisis. The issue of food security is once more central to the international political agenda, as a result of interrelated crises, including sudden shifts in the price of basic foodstuffs, irresponsible behaviour by some economic actors and insufficient control on the part of governments and the international community. To face this crisis, peacemakers are called to work together in a spirit of solidarity, from the local to the international level, with the aim of enabling farmers, especially in small rural holdings, to carry out their activity in a dignified and sustainable way from the social, environmental and economic points of view."


There is a silence of paramount importance to being, and being cannot but sicken when that silence is destroyed. I think the internet along with all the technocratic devices is the ultimate silent destroyer of this silence.


I think it's hilarious that every single one of us is going to die.


I know an old world Italian Salesian priest. He told me that when he was a child there was one telephone - for the entire village. This was two generations ago. And then he said, "Now everyone has his own that he carries with him."

He also said once: "Receive, receive, receive. That's all we do is receive, and we never exercise the intellect."

He also said to me once: "It's all so confusing."


Money is nothing but a law of man, a gift, really, that man realizes through his nature, through natural law. The gift, like the law, can be corrupted. It's funny that Anarcho-Capitalists (Anarcho-Capitalism in practice meaning rule by a very few ruling Anarcho-Capitalists, or "Sharkies") regard the regaining of this recognition as idolatry.


It's funny how when you say something ultimately true, like, "No one is pure", a Westian will let fly his dualist mindset by responding, "You must be teaching the heresy of total depravity!"


Behold how muddled is the mindset of the Westian dualist, always going from one pole to the other, and neither of those poles actually pertaining to the argument at hand.

It is the same mindset behind the comments that came after Marc Barnes post about the "intentional celibacy" of Andy Warhol. People would say in response to naysayers, "Well, no one is saying he was a saint!"

But what do you think a saint is? Someone somehow magically free from all the potential falls of the greatest sinners? Their statements, which contain in themselves implicit pietistic platitudes, are driven by a false dualism that makes of both sinner and saint platitudinous parodies.

Thus, "no one is pure": oh, you must mean "total depravity!"


Capitalism enslaves through the heresy of total depravity. Capitalism loves the heresy of total depravity.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pencils H, 2B and 6B