Wednesday, January 22, 2014

B, 6B, 3H

Chip on shoulder

Not meaning any harm, but I do not really understand poutine. I don't hate poutine per se; I can eat it well enough; but when I do eat it I kind of say, "Why? Are the chips broken?"

That, by the way, is the proper term for what Americans (and certain other modern day Canadians) call "french fries". They are called chips.

And chips are not broken and they do not need fixing.

Poutine is supposed to be wonderfully decadent and homey at the same time. I find that mozza and gravy just really aren't a match made in heaven. They do not compliment so much as cancel each other.

And the chips - the poor chips, drowned in the white and brown goo! No, no, no!

Let me tell you something about chips. This is the way chips are supposed to be: you take potatoes, see. You can peel the taters if you want or you can leave the skins. It does not matter. You cut the taters accordingly to look like chips, neither too thick and neither too thin. You have a deep fryer with good fresh oil in it all hot. The best of the best is beef tallow, but that's more expensive. You fry the chips just enough. You take them out of the oil. I've heard of doubled-fried. Never tried it. Anyways, you have your hot chips drained. You salt them neither too liberally nor too lightly. And then - and this is the most fundamental part - and then you dash the chips with good healthy lashings of vinegar. Eat them with no ketchup. And don't call them french fries. If you have fried fish to go with it, then you have a meal. Hamburgers work even better.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tarkovsky Tuesday

Life, Life

By Arseny Tarkovsky



I don't believe in omens or fear
Forebodings. I flee from neither slander
Nor from poison. Death does not exist.
Everyone's immortal. Everything is too.
No point in fearing death at seventeen,
Or seventy. There's only here and now, and light;
Neither death, nor darkness, exists.
We're all already on the seashore;
I'm one of those who'll be hauling in the nets
When a shoal of immortality swims by.


If you live in a house - the house will not fall.
I'll summon any of the centuries,
Then enter one and build a house in it.
That's why your children and your wives
Sit with me at one table, -
The same for ancestor and grandson:
The future is being accomplished now,
If I raise my hand a little,
All five beams of light will stay with you.
Each day I used my collar bones
For shoring up the past, as though with timber,
I measured time with geodetic chains
And marched across it, as though it were the Urals.


I tailored the age to fit me.
We walked to the south, raising dust above the steppe;
The tall weeds fumed; the grasshopper danced,
Touching its antenna to the horse-shoes - and it prophesied,
Threatening me with destruction, like a monk.
I strapped my fate to the saddle;
And even now, in these coming times,
I stand up in the stirrups like a child.

I'm satisfied with deathlessness,
For my blood to flow from age to age.
Yet for a corner whose warmth I could rely on
I'd willingly have given all my life,
Whenever her flying needle
Tugged me, like a thread, around the globe.


Arseny Tarkovsky was Andrei Tarkovsky's father. Some more of his poems can be found here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

6B, 4B, maybe B

Max Monday

Still Life with Three Skulls - By Max Beckmann, 1945

Sunday, January 19, 2014


By Pavel Chichikov

When you run with the wolves
You must howl with the wolves
Or they will know you are not one of them

And when they know you are not a wolf
They will fix their yellow eyes on you
And bare their yellow fangs

When you hunt with the wolves
You must eat what they eat
And be pitiless as they are pitiless

You must disown your human form
And your human heart
And your human spirit

They will give you instead
The heart of a wolf
And the soul of a wolf

When you run with the wolves
You will die as a wolf
And they will howl twice and go on

Your carcass will lie on the ground
And the dogs will tear it
As once they ripped at Jezebel

Or be a lamb instead
The one Christ ate at the Last Supper
With a dish of bitter herbs

The lamb He ate with unleavened bread
That became His flesh
Washed down with blood 

By Pavel Chichikov

My Lord, why do You take Your time?
The peace of these old hills
Is like the prospect of the peaceful Kingdom

You wear them out by rain and frost
And my old life by now
Would not so much of precious rainfall cost

My child, how can immortal souls compare
These ridges with the light I give
Which is alive, opposing and aware?

Hills of granite rise and fall supine
Graze on rain
They are the chattels I call Mine

For you, My child, the task I set
Has been a deeper metaphor
Love’s inevitable failure, therefore your regret

But you are My aroused topography
And ages are to come
When you will walk with Me

We will follow riverbeds and streams
Climb the sleeping hills 
Behold this world I made of waking dreams

The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Théodore Thursday

Three Skulls - By Théodore Géricault (some say "attributed" to Géricault)

2H, B, 6B

The Isle

This is such a beautiful piece of music.

I want to go to the isle of the dead. I think it would be rather nice.

Rachmaninoff sometimes makes me think of an old black and white film with some guy and his girlfriend walking along white picket fences in some pristine suburban neighbourhood on a fine spring night and they're both wearing cashmere sweaters and suddenly they see a fireball shooting through the sky and crashing a few blocks away and they go to see what it is and behold the alien invasion is just beginning. I like that.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Painting - Holy Face of Jesus

Title: The Holy Face of Jesus

Medium: Oil on canvas paper

Size 16 in. x 12 in.

Losing your first love

Mark Mallett has an excellent post First Love Lost on Revelation 2:1--5:

I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors. Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

and how Pope Francis is turning us towards our first love. Here's a quote from his post:

But many Catholics today are upset because the Holy Father isn’t emphasizing the culture war as much, or has reached out to atheists and gays, the poor and disenfranchised, the divorced and re-married Catholic. But he has done so “while losing none” of the depth and truth of our Catholic Tradition, which he has time and again affirmed must be preserved in whole. In truth, some are beginning to sound an awful lot like the Pharisees who wanted the law stressed; who have distilled Catholicism to a “collection of prohibitions” and rehearsed apologetics; who feel it is scandalous for the Pope to reach out to the peripheries in such a way that has diminished the dignity of his office (such as washing the feet of a Muslim woman!). I am amazed at how quickly some Catholics are ready to throw the Holy Father overboard the Barque of Peter.

If we aren’t careful, Jesus will weep over us as He did Jerusalem.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A great documentary

The breathtaking thing about this documentary - whatever else one may have to say about it - is how it shows that the disputes over economy (let's just say "the issue of the economy") is not something that has arisen from being a relatively background issue to becoming the front and center of the Great Talked About Issues of Our Times. It has not arisen at all. Not at all.

The funny thing is that it has been, and is presently, receding from our grasp and from our real attention. The grasp of the core of the issue has been undone. The terms remain, and are indeed made louder and louder - a sort of endless speculation and school of derivatives, if you will, of economic terms that at one point used to actually mean something, or at least mean something else.

For the issue of the economy was historically consistently and continually being hashed out in the front and center of the lives of people across the U.S. geographical map, with the aid of a media that had not yet been bought. And everything essential about the issue was well understood by the common people. That is to say, they understood how essentially the issue of the economy is tied to everything else.

The American century previous to the 20th, as well as the American century previous to the 19th, is absolutely astonishingly freaking rife with loud and bold and clear parallels to the here and now, even brutally clear parallels. Not just parallels in some distant disconnected sense, but of being the whole-cloth story that has been cut off from the memory of the people.

Monkey Puzzle!

Yesterday found eight at Redwood.

All snug

 Will keep posted as they rise.

Monday, January 13, 2014

B and 4B

For Book Lovers

For book readers, and anyone really, there's this new quarterly out started by Colin Kerr called The Catholic Review of Books.

Check it out! Subscribe and/or submit!

4B and 2H

Sunday, January 12, 2014

B, 4B...maybe F and 2H

Saturday, January 11, 2014

4B, F and might be 2H

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Bittern

The Bittern
By Arthur Stilwell

In the slow shallows of a shallow pool,
Surrounded by the fall of bare, grey rain,
Gauntly the bittern stands, stiff as a stool,
Alone with his thoughts like an outcast Cain.

Or from lonesome lair far-off in the marsh,
He hollowly tolls out the dead-march beat
Of post-whumping hammer. Poor, austere harsh
Bird, unblessed with colour, friend or voice sweet.

But he calls to the heart of prairie men,
Who also know unending field and sky,
Who too know space stretching beyond all ken,
And in its great loneliness also lie.

Published Onward Magazine 1962 or 3

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

B, 3H and there might be 6B

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Boo Hoo

The priest bears his irrevocable identity as sacrificial priest, as alter Christus, with him into eternity. He is already a sacramental sign.

What's a mere honorific title in comparison to that?

Boo hoo.

A friend told me of how when a priest we both know received the title Monsignor, she congratulated him, and the priest growled and snapped, "It just means more work!"

By which he meant the bureaucratic type of busybody work.

There are perhaps priests who pant after this type of bureaucratic type of busybody work. This would relieve them of a greater portion of their ordinary duties as priest.

Maybe when dioceses are no longer run like businesses then the bishops will no longer have a heap of bureaucratic busybody work to divvy out to other priests, by which divvying out process the title Monsignor is conferred, and by which process bureaucratic busybody work is mutually reinforced.

In which case the title Monsignor would cease by default.

Priests are not there for us to lavish with gifts and donations and honorific titles.

People should pray for priests, starting with their particular local parish priest.

Sure, give gifts and donations to your priests - or priests you have never met - but your gift isn't much good if you don't pray for the priest.

Your calling him Monsignor means precisely jack if you don't pray for him.

Just as honorific titles mean precisely jack without the performance of ordinary duties performed extraordinarily well.

Ordinary duties never cease.

It is in the "ordinary" that we are sanctified and that we help to sanctify others.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

B and 6B

B, 6B, 3H and a tiny bit of white charcoal

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Deified (Free) Market

It's funny.

People note that Pope Francis is coming from the experience of economic devastation in Argentina - and then choose to say that it limits or blinds him from seeing the American ExperienceTM.

Rather than choosing to say that it might give him some clear prophetic insight. Not to mention just plain sight.


Say, where's this bus heading?

I don't know. We're exceptional. Raise the debt ceiling! Argentina didn't have a Free Market - oh, but wait, we don't have a Free Market either; after all, where exactly is this unregulated Free Market? What we have is too much Government interference, and in Argentina they had Socialism, but we don't have Socialism, oh but wait, we do have Socialism because we have too much Government interference, but you know, we have Capitalism, except when it's "Crony Capitalism", and do you have any idea how it freed the world from grinding poverty? but, freeing the world from poverty is Marxism and wealth distribution should be done by trickling down, trickling down from the ever-expanding singular glass of Capital where the only sin is Government Interference, well, you know, you need to be a Specialist in order to understand what I'm saying - we're just not like those undeveloped savages in South America.

Yeah, that's nice. So anyways, it will likely happen overnight. Just like it did over there.

Just remember. There's no such thing as monetary "collapse". It's just a transfer of wealth. That's what the "collapse" was in 1929.

The transfer has been going on for some time now - it's a vast pyramid scheme. The transfer - from the hands of the many to the hands of the few - is getting more and more intense, more contracted, more, how shall we say - more exclusionary. It's a pyramid scheme.

Any economy that requires you to be a specialist in order to have any say in the matter is a pyramid scheme built upon excluding certain numbers of people from making transactions - that is, excluding certain numbers of people from the meeting of needs with goods - so that a select few can not just "get rich" but gain total power and total control.