Thursday, October 31, 2013

Time stamped





LOL! The crown, oh no, the crown! See the shoe that stepped on the crown? That was the most frightening part of this movie. Man, what an ugly shoe! And all that 70's stuff they're wearing! Gah! Well, fortunately there's a snowbeast to put an end to all this horror! LOL!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Still scary




Some aspects of the film - both in content and style - are quite dated, but that tanker truck...man, it's still scary as ever.

The menacing aura of the truck throughout the film has to do largely with it having that aura from the very first frame in which we see it. The subtlety and quiet understatement of the truck's appearance is disquieting; you know it forebodes ill. From there it gets worse and worse.

Spielberg introduces it slickly at the end of a five minute sequence of Dennis Weaver driving and listening to the radio. First he does this short leftwards pan towards Weaver's face in the mirror:






Then after a few other shots the next time we see the road ahead is via pan to the right (sort of reverse echo of the previous pan):





and there's the truck.

Then quickly it goes to this:







I'm not sure, but I think there is a technical term for that kind of shot, the name of which I forget. I'm pretty sure it's one in which they do something with the lens to close off the space between a foreground object and whatever is in front of the foreground object. It achieves a kind of super depth that makes whatever is in front of the foreground object appear looming and towering.


Irvin Kershner does it right here with Darth Vader:





I might be mistaken in thinking them the same. Anyways it's probably employed to the point of hack cliche in the horror genre, just like Hitchcock's infamous simultaneous zoom-in/zoom-out device for Vertigo (which of course Spielberg took to another level in Jaws - after which point it was basically open season on the device. LOL!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For beer too!

Who do we think we are?


"The question is, who do we think we are? Bloggers, arm-chair theologians, canon-lawyers, historians and politicians. What possesses us to offer an opinion on the acts of the pope?...

...When you don't assume the best it is because you assume you know better, which means you do not think very highly of the person in question, or, even worse, you think quite highly of yourself."

--Colin Kerr in his post Piety towards the Pope


Just a friendly reminder: Rorate Caeli is the "Traditional" blog that on the very heels of the election of Pope Francis posted "The Horror" as their reaction. They thought it was funny or witty or something. To my knowledge they never made any public apology stating their filial obedience and charity towards our Holy Father. Therefore, anything they write, post, disseminate, can be immediately dismissed out of hand by faithful Catholics as unworthy of trust whatsoever without second thought or any self-recrimination.

Colin Kerr's post articulates stuff that I have been thinking about. I remember reading sarcastic caustic comments from priests about Pope Francis in the comment boxes of certain blogs. I think to myself, what's going through your mind during Mass when during consecration you say the words "together with ______ our Bishop and Francis our Pope..."?

Gives me the creeps.

If as a Catholic, layperson or religious, your primary stance towards the Pope is one of questioning suspicion which you then use as the basis for articulating what constitutes real orthodoxy and traditionalism...yeah, you might want to take that to confession.

That is, take it to confession - not take it to Fr. Z after hyperventilating into a paper bag.

People writing to Fr. Z after every single thing Pope Francis says or does...it's like Fr. Z is their little pope.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why are people so obsessed with pointing out that what Pope Francis said is non-magisterial?

Are they immanentizing the eschaton by disincarnating the pontificacy?

This is not raw organic cane sugar


Friday, October 18, 2013

I know a place where the birds are used to humans, trusting them as bringers of food and not arrows or cages. As with the most trusting, they are the littlest - the smallest birds. If you hold out your hand in a cusp, even if your hand has naught in it, the birds will alight on your fingertips. Their clawed feet of leather are so delicate; they perch so delicately that it goes straight to your heart. One time when a bird was on the tips of my fingers, I imagined that Jesus had put His sacred heart into my hand. Is this the way He wants us to be - soul to soul? this gazing empty-handed, this meeting that is to say, I give you nothing and everything.

Some real things to consider

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Max Monday



"...I would meander through all the sewers of the world, through degradations and humiliations, in order to paint. I have to do this. Until the last drop every vision that exists in my being must be purged; then it will be a pleasure for me to be rid of this damned torture." --Max Beckmann


Photo: Max teaching in Brooklyn. My favourite photo of him.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Mother watching through the night,
prepare us for the morning light;
seclude us with your vigil flame
until the sounding of our names
upon the lips of Son you bore,
whose wounds and face we'll then adore,
and with glad oil running down
our brows, we'll run upon the roads to sound
new mornings in the furthest bounds:
Christ growing with us, as a flame
elongates at the draught of air:
Mother watching through the night
be our air, breach our bounds with air
and feed the flame of Christ our light.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Open for business



I'm proof against there being a Universalist heaven - that is to say, one in which everyone, everyone, will eventually get there, and that therefore there is no eternal hell, and that it's nuts to think that anyone would choose to refuse to go to [Universalist] heaven.

How am I proof? Because I refuse to go to the Universalist heaven.

There. I just proved it doesn't exist.

By my refusal to go there, I prove there is no such thing as a heaven in which everyone will be saved.

But why do I not want to go to the Universalist heaven? What am I, nuts or something?

Well, I don't want to go there because in the Universalist heaven there is a group of men who gang-raped a nine year old girl to death and then threw her body to ravenous dogs to be torn into pieces and eaten. And they did not have to personally repent of their horrible sins. Their gang-raping of the nine year old girl was merely a stage in their getting to heaven.

It's too bad the nine year old girl happened to be in their way while the men were making their journey to heaven, but it's all good. She didn't need to forgive them. And if she did forgive them, it was quite meaningless, for there was no need.

They went through automatic purgation in spite of their not repenting (which is of course an impossibility, but let's just go along with this fantasy for the time being.)

And in this Universalist heaven these men who gang-raped the nine year old girl and did not repent encounter the nine year old girl, and they say to her, "Oh, hey there. It was too bad you were in our way when we lived out hell on earth. But it appears we went through the automatic purgation. It was kind of like a drive-through car wash. We heard you did a neat little thing called "forgiving us". Looks like all that "forgiveness" you did was really just a bunch of huff and puff; it was for all of us! and well, they always did say God has a sense of humour - since we all got here anyways! Ha ha! Now old Bob who was in our group, he went and "repented" as they say, confessed and fasted and wore a nail belt and the whole nine yards, and that, it was all for naught; oh, what a look on his face when he saw us here. Boy we had a good laugh! Anyways, I guess we'll be seeing a lot of each other around here. See you later!"







charcoal

Time stamped





B pencil

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How it's done

What exactly is the point of the ministry of Peter if it does not at some point demand submission to Peter in faith?

He's basically a breathing statue? something a little better than a mannequin to show the ermine and red shoes? a CEO?

We need to understand what faith is - and hence what "submission to Peter in faith" means. You cannot proceed without it. Faith and reason. You can't have reason without faith - and faith submits. Not just intellectually giving assent to the mysteries, the dogmas, the doctrines, but we have been given a visible, personified extension of that faith - by having a Pontiff to submit to - so it can flourish in the real world, in the unfolding of time. Or else reason will no longer resemble itself, and you will start going starkers. Hence, Peter: the Rock - not the quicksand.

To the degree that your faith does not include - and more and more begins to refuse to include "submission to Peter in faith" - is the degree to which your faith is all talk, all a mere recipe but no cooking, all sizzle but no steak.

Did you know that you can be all up to snuff in doctrinal orthodoxy but if you hold to it and yet will not submit to Peter, you are no better than anathema? That in fact your doctrinal orthodoxy will be turned against you and become that which it was never meant to be - your own little world?

Not one jot of doctrine or dogma is being jettisoned. It appears that we are simply being asked for more: the reason why all of it exists at all. If you choose to take the "reason why all of it exists at all" and pit it against doctrinal orthodoxy, realize that it is because you have refused the opportunity for faith.

What is more, the Peter we have right now has made the first move. Will you see it? Will you listen? And will you submit?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013





B, 6B, 8B, 3H




can't remember
What if a government agency were to stage an alien invasion using aviation technology that has been kept under wraps? Could there be any other better mind control?

A staged "alien invasion" done during a pivotal crisis would gain absolute control. If one considers that all forms of totalitarian-state control utilize the cultural narratives (for instance, Adolf Hitler used the Norse narrative and the moneyed Jew narrative) in order to gain power, this becomes an interesting topic to think on, if only because it begs one to think about the assumptions that one is standing on.

What do I mean by "assumptions that one is standing on"? Well, basically, "you don't know what you don't know". For instance, the issue of GMOs - especially as it pertains to food - only came to be public, discussed publicly, fairly recently. Yet the first genetically modified plant was done in 1983 while you were playing Pac Man on Atari. GMOs were in full development at that point; they only needed to be introduced into foods - or marketed.

Was there anything in the public news, culture, media, about GMOs at the time - or even into the 90's?

So what's going on while you're playing Call of Duty on your desktop with people on the other end of the globe?

What is one narrative today which we have unconsciously imbibed over the decades, to which we are vulnerable? And we are extremely vulnerable to manipulation, more so than any other generation. That's a fact. Just look around you to figure that out. We know that the earth rotates around the sun, yet we are more vulnerable to manipulation than any mule-kicked medieval peasant drooling at the dinner table.

It is scientifically proven that television and computer viewing renders the mind into a passive state. Of course, that in and of itself is neither good nor bad. It could be either good or bad. But, you know, by habit our minds are probably like sieves, or like play-dough.

Why is it that a person can say that he believes in "extra terrestrials", or is open to the possibility, and he is regarded as having an open mind, but if you entertain out loud the speculation that a government - or some higher ups - could stage an alien invasion using secret technology, utilizing the cultural narratives (like "Ancient Aliens"), during a period of crisis, thus gaining great mind control through shock, through trauma, through catharsis, that you would be in most cases immediately written off as a kook?

What are you standing on? Whence came it?

Why am I writing this? Well, because I like thinking about it; not so much for its content, but for shaking up routine rote assumptions.

Also, because I want to see if I "lose" any "followers". Losing those people who just have too much common sense.

Just picture it for a minute, just for its own sake: how would you react (aside from trying not to pee yourself), what would you feel, what would be going through your mind, if after a series of devastating events, or a series of bad events happening very close to each other, you were to see flying discs, speeding through the air, stopping on a dime in mid-air, emitting riot-control sound vibrations, paralyzing people and other such things. You were seeing this with your very own eyes.

How malleable are you at that point?

Anyways, I've had some beers. Anyways, what if people in the not-too-distant past were already devising such schemes as staging an alien invasion? Like the Soviets. Maybe they really did subject human beings to genetic experimentation to make them look like aliens according to Orson Welles' famous broadcast and sent them over to the U.S. to render the public...er, malleable, and the scheme ended up failing because they crashed and were taken to Area 51, and what we know of as the Roswell folk narrative is in a sense kind of true, only that it is the tail end of a fractured and failed narrative that was attempted on the American public.

Anyways, I don't really care. I just find so much "intellectual" talk far more ridiculous than the above talk. Like when people talk about "capitalism vs. socialism". LOL. It's especially funny when they take up these terms at the very outset of a discussion on the economy. LOL.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

A comment I wrote

 in response to a post by Joseph Pearce at St. Austin Review (The Ink Desk):

As long as a government borrows its country's money into existence as an interest-bearing debt, that government is not answerable to its people but only to those from whom it borrows.

Government is too big, yes - but government is also not exercising the sovereign power that is proper to it. That's the paradox of why government is too big.

The power and constitutional right of government to issue its own money, debt free, to the good produced, for the common good, and transparently controlling its quantity, is a power that makes a government vulnerable (and answerable) to its people.

But the government only answers to its financiers - the banks from whom it borrows at compounding interest.

As long as a government is allowed to borrow, it will be as big and ruthless as those that finance it.

You want smaller government, then let's start talking about outlawing government from borrowing and outlawing fractional reserve lending (which is really only counterfeiting); and let's talk about having the government issue its own currency, debt free, to the good produced, for the common good.


Somewhat unrelated: while I believe we need economists, absolutely need economists, I do not believe that seeing the problems and solutions of the global economy requires one to be an economist. In fact, the notion of having to refer to experts on the economy when talking about the problems and solutions of the economy is a very, very, very recent aberration. The debt slavery of today is so vastly woven that schools exist to convince us that the root cause of the problem is so absolute, so real, so untouchable, so the opposite of a lie, that we need to make ourselves as complex - and ever more complex - as the webs that have been spun.




pencil crayons




can't remember

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pope Francis like Gandalf

Last night I read that latest interview of Pope Francis, which is really more like a dialogue. Before reading this interview/dialogue I always had a mild aversion to the word "dialogue". Not anymore.

Pope Francis is like Gandalf - Gandalf the Grey. I found myself inclining my ear to his words, just listening, and listening, and listening. Inclining the ear. And I thought: how many of us actually listen? For I realized how little I myself actually listen.

It's like people are completely occupied with the echoes reverberating in their own echo chambers.

He is like Gandalf:


"I was always struck by a saying that describes the vision of Ignatius: non coerceri a maximo, sed contineri a minimo divinum est (“not to be limited by the greatest and yet to be contained in the tiniest—this is the divine”). I thought a lot about this phrase in connection with the issue of different roles in the government of the church, about becoming the superior of somebody else: it is important not to be restricted by a larger space, and it is important to be able to stay in restricted spaces. This virtue of the large and small is magnanimity. Thanks to magnanimity, we can always look at the horizon from the position where we are. That means being able to do the little things of every day with a big heart open to God and to others. That means being able to appreciate the small things inside large horizons, those of the kingdom of God."  

"Only in narrative form do you discern, not in a philosophical or theological explanation, which allows you rather to discuss." 

"The mystical dimension of discernment never defines its edges and does not complete the thought. The Jesuit must be a person whose thought is incomplete, in the sense of open-ended thinking."

“No, the Jesuit always thinks, again and again, looking at the horizon toward which he must go, with Christ at the center. This is his real strength. And that pushes the Society to be searching, creative and generous." 

“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes." 

“We must not focus on occupying the spaces where power is exercised, but rather on starting long-run historical processes. We must initiate processes rather than occupy spaces. God manifests himself in time and is present in the processes of history. This gives priority to actions that give birth to new historical dynamics. And it requires patience, waiting."  

"You cannot bring home the frontier, but you have to live on the border and be audacious."

--Lines taken from Pope Francis' interview in America Magazine




Like Gandalf, Pope Francis sees the approaching far horizon, sees the vistas, working to bring their denouement in the present - working as one who knows his task and who lives so well on the ground running, on his feet, initiating historical processes.

Like Gandalf, he speaks with a forthrightness and plainness that is met with the fuzzy thinking of other people who respond only to reveal the fact that they did not really listen.

And, like Gandalf, in response to someone's quizzical questioning of his wisdom, he surprises you with a keen insistence on the subtlety of what he said, showing his absolute faith in the reality of that which he speaks of. Which can come across to various ears as both alternately jarring and foolish, which is of course people only seeing themselves and the shallowness and fickleness of their faith and belief. Which they then project onto him.

Like Gandalf, he finds himself in this position: "Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later. And that is what has happened to me in recent months."

Like Gandalf, he is derided and slandered for being foolishly occupied with the little people, the Hobbits, for being an opportunist, for being an ambitious usurper, for being a deserter, for going behind people's backs, for being a storm-bringer, for his weather-stained homely grey raiment (by the superior and condemning Saruman, who dresses with far greater decorum, who also mocks and derides Radagast - somewhat of a "Francis" figure amongst the Istari).

He is like Gandalf.





But this is a picture of Denethor looking into the palantir



"You have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of—well, Gandalf, of wizards." —Sam to Faramir

Faramir is, as far as Men go, the epitome of discernment. Pope Francis is like Faramir.

"Maybe Sam sensed the same character traits like pity, understanding, and wisdom of heart in both Gandalf and Faramir." --One going by the moniker "Thorin Oakenshield" in a Tolkien forum

Tuesday, October 1, 2013





can't remember

Quote

"HEAR YE! I'm tired of orthodox Catholics bitchin' about Pope Francis. I'm sure the Devil loves hearing the self-righteous wailing of Catholics who think that they know the faith better than the Vicar of Christ.

Francis isn't interested in America's culture war. . .he has an international Church to run. The Church in the US is NOT the center of the Catholic universe.

BOTTOM-LINE: He's the Pope, or he isn't. Choose."

--Fr. Philip Powell at Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!

(Emphasis mine)