Monday, September 30, 2013

can't remember

Max Monday

I came across this painting by Max Beckmann some time ago online,

and there was no title with it. I assumed it was Christ expelling the demons from Mary Magdalene.

I came across the title recently on a site. It is Christ in Limbo.

Funny how an image can do that - receive multiple interpretations. Though really, it better explains the crown of thorns that Christ is wearing.

Anyways, you know what I like to think about?

I like to think about how this painting,

is conducive to a church setting, or to a sacred space, and more conducive to a sacred space than this painting:

Decadent mannerism. Bronzino's Christ in Limbo in a sacred setting (in any setting for that matter) would be spiritually erosive, but not Beckmann's.

Because Bronzino's is absolutely vacuous it is detrimental to any sort of contemplation on the subject depicted, and thus a kind of blockage, a kind of lie, is set up nice and fashionable-like. Well, fashionable for its time, which is precisely the problem. That's all the painting is. Fashionable for its time, and thus even for its time it was erosive and vacuous.

Beckmann's is crackling with intensity - a coarse intensity, yes - but, to put it shortly, it reveals an invisible reality. He is not doing a "take" on the subject; rather the subject as a painted image has become a channel for the real. As such, the subject becomes real on a visceral level.

Oh and if you're thinking I'm saying this because of the nude on the right side of Bronzino's image, you don't get what I'm saying.

But it is good to think about, isn't it? The truth that this painting by Max Beckmann,

is very much conducive to a sacred space, to a church, and far more conducive than this painting:

can't remember

Saturday, September 28, 2013

can't remember
When autumn appears, I get a subtle yet almost overwhelming desire to read The Lord of the Rings.

Every Fall without fail. I'm certain it has to do with Frodo leaving the Shire at the same time. Also, coinciding with that is a particular Fall feeling I've often had, as when considering a tree with a quarter area of its foliage going deep yellow while the rest is yet green; and then later while all the leaves have turned deep yellow that quarter area from before is gapingly bereft, showing sky: a feeling of urgency. It is a feeling in contradistinction to the one of "mellow fruitfulness" that one normally associates with autumn. The animals who store food feel this urgency much more than modern man.

I've read the book enough times to have stopped counting the times. And once I read the entire "trilogy" out loud.

Yet here is Fall and the desire comes upon me again.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Jesus is bigger and deeper than our knowledge of the Church.

Knowledge of the Church flows from Him. To have knowledge of the Church is to share in Jesus' knowledge of His Church.

In other words, the founder Christ knowing His Church is from where our knowledge of the Church springs.

Our knowing comes from His knowing. As such, it is an immense gift, a part of His loving us.

In other words, our knowledge of the Church is not static, not "the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently", because it shares in the eternal and relational knowing that Christ has of His own bride.

If none of this is so, well then, hey, good luck with your new-found gnosticism.

Jesus is smaller than our exaggerated projections on man.

Jesus is the weakest and the most vulnerable, bypassing and escaping every single one of our hindrances as Charity itself.

As such, man is a wondrous being - never a quantifiable product to be imbedded in a doctrinal institution we call the Church.

The power of the Church is shown in that the Church can go out of herself and make the proposal of Christ to man. Man comes into the Church as one coming into his real family, his Mother.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The sunflower discs are pitch with seed
looking downward, haggard with drooping
wilted leaves, their flaming halos mouldering
dun like embers spent; the rod stems bent,
faltering from their straight-raised places.

So fructifying, given over to giving
what you had not thought of ever giving;
under yoke sweeter than the autumn air,
and to have the lightest birds alighting,
to feed from your stricken face: would you dare

account the world's pleasures to compare?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Technological Butting

Only now is this a vacant lot
that once was thriving with human negligence:
a feral over-brimming world, that made neighbours
of the bird and cottonwood, tansy splash and berry thorn,
height-of-human-breaching, last-light-catching grass,
pitched Christmas trees and browning cloudhead seeds.

One working day the gentle realm was ripped
from the sleeping strata up. Two great backhoes
perch, ton-weight tilted on raw dirt mounds.
One takes dirt and drops the load around
a sump of cement sunk deep and plumb,
while the other pounds with a giant tamper

the naked clay, shaking the foundations
of the surrounding houses. This day rumbling
promises through floors, the future home foundations
will be assured. As with a pressure sprayer's
laser of tight water that fine tunes the filth
into powdering everything else with silt

while making a pavement immaculately clean;
and what permits the condominum's weathered walls'
repair, but the five-ton hoist that churns the garden paths
to mud, makes the concrete snap; same, bowel-quaking
bases of homes begets the home-to-be a steady base;

this technological butting always seems to be the case.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Catholic Brights

"The gnostic impulse is always latent in human nature, ever ready to surface whenever man loses his confidence in the value of life and his reverence for divine principles and divine authority over creation. Because these principles reveal to us the true worth and relationship of things, their loss culminates in a culture saturated in habits of disrespect - and ultimately of contempt for others, for life, and for existence itself. The evil nature of contempt can remain hidden from the eyes of the contemptuous by pleasurable rewards for the habit, and of course, by the "peer pressure" of like-minded people, and by the reinforcement provided by powerful cultural messages. In our times it manifests itself in a thousand different ways, ranging from demonic and anarchic expressions to sophisticated, disguised forms that are no less parasitical. Both the lurid and the subtle forms of revolt against the divine order erode the foundations of Western civilization even as they live off the gifts bequeathed it." --Michael O'Brien, Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture (bold italics mine)

At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones. Yea, Father; for so hath it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light. --Matthew 11:25-30

You see, it is not because they are actually keepers of the deposit of faith, but because the light reveals to them that they have their priorities wrong. They are not naturally confused; rather, they do not want to understand, because they do not want to re-prioritize: they have lost reverence for the divine authority over creation and confidence in the value of life. Because they have enjoyed not seeing the true relationship of things; they have enjoyed too much being an elite. They would have it that they attained to their states of grace by their own strengths. They are the Catholic Brights.

Nowhere do they reveal so much their gnostic underbelly as when they say they are confused and begin to apply their code templates over his words like his words required their interpretations. They will use traditional-speak as a way of excusing themselves from actually keeping the faith in the concrete, in the here and now.

Gnostics speak in code and they therefore naturally assume everyone else must be speaking in code.

And nowhere is there more obvious irony to contradict their pseudo positions of conservative traditionalism as when they give the atheists a run for their money in openly mocking our Holy Father.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013


By Pavel Chichikov

The little vernal pond has died,
A black sea small as some back gardens,
One small bucket lifted up
Contains the wilderness of Eden

Protozoans, water bears
Rotifers, unhurried snails,
Peepers, toads and salamanders
Leaving silent bubble trails

Once a rat snake on a log
Thickly sunning, somnolent
Engorged before with one fat frog,
Too thick to have a frog-shaped dent

And then a jewel of the pond
Disclosed when it had nearly dried,
A salamander black and gold
Which estivating had not died

Now a dusty crater, gray
As if it were a human town,
Prosperity a vernal pond
                       That will dry up and then sink down 

The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

Saturday, September 14, 2013

8B, 3H and I think HB

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A U.K. Artist

Have you seen the artwork of Tazia Fawley?

She just had one of her paintings accepted by Will and Kate for their son's nursery.

I think her work rocks the Group of Seven.

Bah, the Group of Seven were way too simplistic anyways. Bunch of aesthete Theosophists who didn't rock their own canoes enough. Fawley shares something similar with their "patterning", but it's ultimately very different - more of a penetrating depth, whereas the Group of Seven tended to be shallow.


Some of Tazia's work:

Land's End in Winter, By Tazia Fawley

Sunset Over The Sea, By Tazia Fawley

The Twelve Apostles Australia-1, By Tazia Fawley

More artwork at her blog.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

pencils, probably 6B, HB and 3H

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Musical Genius

In Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2 there is this wonderful sort of "drop off" from the main theme into this quiet, deep, shadowy, stirring episode.

These sorts of drop offs or veerings in melody are typical of Rachmaninoff.

This is the part:

And then it comes again:

When you're listening to the entire concerto...that part gets under the skin.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Still Report

"So the real problem is how can you get truly effective regulations through legislatures when banks are lending to legislatures? It's impossible." --Bill Still

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Rant

The defense of marriage - that is to say, the defense of marriage which is by dint of the societal context of its being assailed, intrinsically political - is not the reality of the institution of marriage itself. The defense of marriage is political not as an extension of the "project" of marriage, but only insofar as those seeking to attack it use politics (not to mention culture). Thus, defending marriage is not "putting one's hopes in politics". To say that is to place the institution of marriage into the realm of politics as its home, as though it came from there.

The very definition of marriage as articulated by our political forefathers goes to prove that marriage did not come from politics. That's precisely why they defined it - to state that this institution is not subject to politics, but that politics is subject to it; otherwise they would have no reason to define it. They were not making the measure for what marriage is; rather they were stating the timeless measure to which they aligned themselves. And that measure is self-evidently the timeless underpinning of all societies.

Yet those seeking to destroy the definition of marriage - that is to say, bring about government sanctioning according to a negation of what even gives government sanctioning a basis in the first place - are assumed into the narrative as non-political and the epitome of the natural. They are not on the offense. To say they are on the offense - which they are on - is to be "political". Thus, the cliche "gay friend". But though they use politics (and other means) to destroy marriage, their plans are not at all reducible to politics - by dint of the fact that marriage is not political, but is the underpinning of civilization.

Marriage is not a "project" of the Church. That is what is meant in saying that the defense of marriage is not the reality of marriage itself. This is not about Church and State. Those who begin with Church and State are beginning from an entirely false preposition.

And this has nothing to do with "gay rights" or "gay equality" - nothing to do with homosexuality or homosexuals, per se. Those who begin with their gay friends are beginning from an entirely false preposition.

This is precisely what the Church has been saying in defending marriage: that marriage existed before even the Church did, and certainly before any government or any society did. That is because marriage is the very underpinning of society, and its perpetuation. It is timeless. It did not just come before in some historical time-sequential way such that it would be available for accommodation or evolution: it is the one human institution that transcends all time bounds, all cultural bounds. It not only came before, in the past, but comes before, in the now. You cannot tinker, redefine, undefine or do anything to it without perverting the very basis by which you arrived to where you are and by which you are arriving.

You are sanctioning the violation of all things upon its negation. That is how fundamental and self-evident an objective truth is the institution of marriage: it gives us the very precedence to say the word "institution" at all. Indeed, it gives one the very precedence to be a destroyer of definitions - if that is what one chooses. One man and one woman, to the exclusion of anyone else, and this gives way to procreation; and procreation to child-rearing, child-rearing to understanding of right relationships, right relationships to the ordering of society. These things are all born out of each other. The very fact that they are born out of each other - something we are literally born into and which is born out of us - is self-evident inviolable ground. Some would call it inviolable mystery - the negation of which intrinsically means the sanctioning of the violation of everything. That which is perpetuated from marriage, that which is preserved by marriage, cannot be replicated.

It does not matter that you are caring and kind and smile at puppies. We did not bring it about ourselves. It is not our pet neo-gnostic project.

All the divorce rates and all the broken homes and all the childlessness do not disprove the concrete timelessness of marriage and its preserving and fundamental ordering virtues (which are impossible to replicate) one iota. Rather they actually go to show that in spite of all the destruction and brokenness, marriage still manages even as an apparent "vestige" to keep things from entire and utter chaos. Indeed, recognizing broken homes is to implicitly give voice to the reality of marriage, to its fundamental goodness. It is simply that in our cynical culture we take all that for granted - a mark of people who are not intellectual but who are sophists and have some kind of stake in novel acclimation and compromise.

By having the government deny the definition to make accommodation for a minority does not merely mean saying that it is denied - in which case it would be the state merely stating a denial, or stating a redefinition (and letting people then have their little ceremonies accordingly). This is what they would like us to think, mainly because they want to think that themselves.

What it actually means is bringing about a sanctioning according to the definition's negation. The sanctioning and the negation inherent in that sanctioning are forever bound together, such that the sanctioning must always work according to how it negates what it negated in the first place.

In other words, that which they sanction is sanctioned according to the denial of the definition of marriage. To put it more simply, the redefinition of marriage is not "pluralistic": it is a forceful denial which must consequently afterwards be forever re-confirmed. How will it be forever re-confirmed? Exactly according to the force (and deception) with which the definition was denied in the first place.

For an institution that is timeless and transcendent, that is going to be one hell of a lot of denial to keep up, via a very fast progression into the violation of all things - literally, all things. The "pluralism" of one man and one woman is impossible to "add to". It is the one human institution of creative ground - the institution that gives birth to humans. We did not bring it about ourselves.

The actual purposeful end of "same-sex marriage" is not happy gay couples being equally free in some pluralistic society where there is always a magical public square available and unassailable for the re-enchantment of the world.

Are you people stupid?

This end, and no other end, is that to which "same-sex marriage" is aimed: state-sanctioned pedophilia.

I do not mean that as a possible "wild synopsis". I do not mean that as some vague doom-saying prophecy thirty or sixty years into the future. I do not mean it in some hysterical fit, like I was saying, "Oh! So you remove the traditional definition of marriage and then what?! Huh! What then! Next there's going to be bestiality! and incest! and yadda yadda!" I do not mean it as making a correlation between homosexuals and pedophilia, as though state-sanctioned pedophilia were to be a result of practicing homosexuals.

That is not what I am saying - none of those things.

What I am saying is just this: the direct next step, which will not actually be a "step" but the goal to which same-sex marriage is just the preceding step, the actual end which is the concrete incarnation of same-sex marriage legislation, beside which there are no other ends - no "unforeseen ways the project could possibly go" - the end of same-sex marriage, the aim which has all the narrowing purpose of a telescopic sniper rifle, is state-sanctioned pedophilia.

How is that, you ask.

Well, let's talk about this: the initiation of children into adulthood by adults.

This is where we come to the meat of the matter. Again, when you hear "same-sex marriage", understand that it has nothing to do with "gay equality" or any other synonymous mixture of nice sounding words you may hear.

This is the one constant that remains to prove the timelessness of the institution of marriage after it has been "redefined": the initiation of children into adulthood by adults.

Recall how the ordering virtues of the institution of marriage are self-evident: in that they are born out of each other, such that we see it is inviolable ground which cannot be replicated.

The initiation of children into adulthood by adults has been one of non-sexual protectiveness by virtue of the existence of marriage. The initiation of children into adulthood by adults in the context of marriage is born out of procreation, which is born out of the conjugal union, which is born out of committed matrimony which requires one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. And the adulthood into which they are being initiated is likewise born out of the inviolable ground of marriage.

But now you have just "redefined" that: just as being married is now an arbitrary "right", so it goes for everything that marriage engenders, for everything that is born out of marriage. You have a "right" to have children. It is not something born out of an inviolable precedence. It is merely a "right". So the initiation of children into adulthood by adults will be a "right".

But who are these adults, and what is this adulthood? As mentioned, that too has always had its precedence in marriage.

Whoops, you just "redefined" that. What is our cultural climate today? Well, for one, people are identified according to their "sexual orientation". What happens when this "adulthood" is known and related to in sexual terms? This isn't even hitting the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

So then, what is the nature of the initiation when what they are being initiated into is devoted to, and known by, the sexual - across the entire spectrum?

Oh yeah, those laws that protect children from sexual predation. Yeah, that too has its precedence in marriage, because it is in marriage that the non-sexual relationships of father and mother to their children are the primary home from which originates the sense of the protection of the innocent. When you remove mother and father you remove the innocence of children as something to be protected and turn it into something merely waiting to be broken in. If "mother" and "father" are the ends to which the understanding and incorporation of sex and sexuality leads, then initiation by mother and father is also protection from violation.

Oh, but mother and father - whoops, you "redefined" that. And numbers of children of the age of ten, eleven, twelve are accessing porn on the internet. Children are becoming educated about sex at earlier and earlier ages - thanks to our wonderful public school system. If children are going to be experimenting then they need a "safe environment" where they won't be exploited. They need "initiators". The initiation of children into "adulthood" by adults is now a "right".

Recall how in ancient Greece and in ancient Rome they called it "initiation rites".

Yeah, so what do you neo-cons think of that? How's that "pluralistic" society looking for you now?

Remember this quote from Cardinal Bergoglio?

“Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Yeah, guess he actually knew what he was saying, didn't he.

He's not stupid. He knows exactly what's going on.

UPDATE: Bat writes lucidly about what it is we are actually defending in "defending marriage", HERE.

Thursday, September 5, 2013