Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Clean Fifth

Adrian Thomas and Andrey Boreyko talk about Henryk Górecki's Fourth Symphony, The Tansman Episodes, and about Górecki himself. These two talks are very interesting. Listening to Andrey Boreyko talk about the fourth symphony I wanted to weep.

"The eternal battle in the soul of every human being, between good and bad, between God and the devil, between light and darkness."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Of the Stain of Sin

"Now man's soul has a twofold comeliness; one from the refulgence of the natural light of reason, whereby he is directed in his actions; the other, from the refulgence of the Divine light, viz. of wisdom and grace, whereby man is also perfected for the purpose of doing good and fitting actions. Now, when the soul cleaves to things by love, there is a kind of contact in the soul: and when man sins, he cleaves to certain things, against the light of reason and of the Divine law... . Wherefore the loss of comeliness occasioned by this contact, is metaphorically called a stain on the soul." --St. Thomas Aquinas, Of the Stain of Sin, from the first article

That will settle the Manichees

"You know, Chesterton, if we opened your head, we would not find a brain but only a lump of white fat."  --Elementary school teacher to the future genius G.K. Chesterton

“We call this man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world.” --St. Albert on St. Thomas Aquinas

Ah, bellissimo. I always knew Chesterton was a Thomist and St. Thomas Aquinas was a Chestertonian.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News

I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God...

"The overflowing mercy of God is the sole reason upon which Paul’s ministry is based and at the same time it is that which the Apostle must announce to everyone. ...

..."Here we touch the mystery of mercy and of God’s choice. The Father loves us all and wants to save us all, and for this reason He calls some people conquering them through His grace, so that through them His love can reach all people. The mission of the whole people of God is to announce the marvelous works of the Lord, first and foremost the Paschal mystery of Christ, through which we have passed from the darkness of sin and death to the splendor of His new and eternal life. " --Pope Francis' homily for Christian Unity Vespers

"We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God's judgment will always be in the light of his mercy." --Pope Francis' homily for Holy Mass and Opening of the Holy Door

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. --1 Corinthians 1,2:1-5

He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” --Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21

"...they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong."

Image source

Sunday, January 24, 2016


When it pools at the flame's root
wax is most itself - yielding topmost
aglow; bee walls to new creation.

As hexagonal honey poured
from the primary ward, is the light astride
cord soot giving, open and ovoid.

When the smoking crown by breath is bared
with a rim fang and fetal wick, entrails
spilled and stiff, it will go for eons

uneaten by decay, unburning, simple wax;
highest of nature we burn to stub before
the tomb-springing life from rolled, stone door.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Title: Summer Moonrise over Bose Hill

Medium: Oil on canvas board

Size: 9in x 12in

A painting I previously posted wasn't where it needed to be (as is often the case) and so I changed it quite a bit, which is now the image here.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Icon - Mother of God

Mother of God Glykophilousa "Most Honourable"

Friday, January 15, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

Gorecki's Fourth!

Gorecki's fourth symphony, entitled, Tansman Episodes:

Holy mackerel. Funny how when I was listening to this for the first time I thought "Last Things" before I knew any of the following, which is all rather very recent news.

I really like this fourth symphony. Very much reminded me of the Second (which is not only one of my favourites in Gorecki's opus but among symphonies in general) and Beatus Vir. As with those works, it is the kind of deep "like" that you know will become more so upon further acquaintance.

And this from another site:

Today, Górecki’s son, composer Mikolaj, who completed the Symphony No. 4 after his father’s death, discusses their relationship, as both father and son and teacher and pupil, and relates his efforts to complete the piece after the precise indications for orchestration his father had left in the score. Mikolaj Górecki also explores the wide range and contrast among the different movements of the Fourth Symphony, and the influence of Henryk’s earlier works in each one.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Damnatio Memoriae

"Controversial to whom? Well that's obvious." LOL.

"These people we're bringing in are not in desperate need of help...Out of ten families they approached, seven declined the invitation to come to Canada. Well, if you fear for your life, you'll go to Iceland; you'll go to anywhere...but that's not the case, because only three out of ten are accepting Canada's offer. And that's because we're fishing in the wrong pond. That's the only reason." --Guidy Mamann

"We're trying to gin up numbers to meet that political sport." --Ezra Levant
I really don't like criticizing movies because I feel like I'm ruining other peoples' enjoyment of them. If someone said to me, "You know, I really enjoyed #TheForceAwakens until I read your review, but now I've changed my mind about it", I would be absolutely horrified. I don't want to change anyone's mind or steal anyone's enjoyment. Just "FYI".

That being said, I finally got around to seeing Interstellar the other night, and oh my Lord, what a big steaming pile that movie is. I didn't hate it as much as I hated Birdman, though I hated it more than I hated The Tree of Life, which means the hatred was fairly significant.

I was so thankful when the movie was over because once it was over I felt that I was waking up from a nightmare. Not a nightmare with bogey men and rabid dogs; but one of those nightmares that involves you in a million strands of amorphous complexity but after which, upon waking, you immediately release everything from its hold on you in a great breath of gratitude for the dewfall grace of waking up. Sweet, sweet waking up. For solid ground under your feet and simple tasks to perform. For truth and reality and sobriety and homely wonder. For the Eucharistic Lord loving you in the simple here and now, in the very depths of your own dumb self. His loving you changing you.

The love that moves the sun and the other stars is not an immanent evolutionary consciousness - oh thank God!

Love did not become cosmic consciousness, but became a man. And to reach me, he didn't become the whole human species, taking up time-space relativity; but he took up a cross made of wood and laid himself upon it. Love is not just love. Oh thank God!

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar was structurally interesting at the beginning. But he's too tendentious. He's too portentous.

"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." --2 Timothy 4:3

Actually, I really do like criticizing movies.

More amazing Gorecki

Image source


In falsehood mired!
Spring to soul's bulb: truth, light starved.
Clods break, the darts start.

Title: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Medium: Oil on canvas paper

Size: 12in. x 9in.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Only a Sith deals in absolutes

We love you Ren!

There is absolutely not a shred of dramatic development in The Force Awakens, and to be honest, I actually prefer Lucas's first three episodes (I, II, III) with all of their annoying aspects to this boring bag of hashtags. At least even the boring aspects of the first three episodes were embedded in a story that had substantial things and meaning going on and thus were fluid. But this new thing is pure junk: the insider fanbase event of a totally undeveloped, lukewarm porridge of references; the more stocked up it becomes with fan pleasures the more piddling it gets. Even the key revelations and plot points feel like nothing more than baseless references, and play out as such. This is the first major blockbuster to be entirely built out of a hashtag. Or perhaps the first was Jurassic World. George Lucas is absolutely right when he criticizes this movie for its attempt to be retro.

The Force Awakens #TheForceAwakens commits the same sin of Peter Jackson's continuity schemes in the Hobbit movies, which instead of completing, continuing, developing or adding to what previously occurred (in the LOTR films) rather acted as forms of violence to what previously occurred. For instance, Darth Vader's half melted helmet that Ren keeps as a sort of heirloom centerpiece for his meditating on the dark side of the force. Leaving aside the fact that Luke Skywalker would have seen to it that the helmet along with any other metal articles was destroyed, since that would logically go along with the whole purpose of cremating his father's remains - what stands out from this is the fact that - you know - Darth Vader was redeemed, you idiots. In the villains' parlance, you might say he was a traitor to the dark side of the force. Word would have been spread through the republic how Vader threw Emperor Palpatine over the rails. Which one could say is pretty significant in terms of being a traitor to the dark side. Even if one would argue - argue very poorly I should add - that Ren wasn't made aware of this, which would be impossible, or that still knowing this he claimed the remains to help channel, if only to serve as a soothing trinket, the dark side from when Vader was strong with the dark side of the force, it still doesn't work. Why? Well, because, in a word, the movie is using the visage of Darth Vader as a symbolic emblem for the continuation of the dark side into the present story, when Vader was a distinctive player in the discontinuation of the dark side. It's not only baseless. It's stupid. It feels like some dad whose kids are big Star Wars fans but who himself never watched the films but was acquainted with certain facts about the films - such as Luke Skywalker is a Jedi knight and Darth Vader is the big bad villain and so forth - was called upon to write the script.

Of course, that "dad" is Disney. LOL. Some would call this "fan fiction". Well, I just call it profiteering by huge corporations who gear the projected "event" of the movie into the making of the art (in which case it is very poor art) in order to make money. This is why I say it is entirely built out of a hashtag. Even the title of the movie doesn't make much sense. The force awakens? Huh? But I thought the force is everywhere and in everything. You mean the dark side of force awakens? Or the light side of the force awakens? Both? But it was never really asleep, clearly. The title is baseless, in that it derives entirely from the "event" of the Star Wars movie being released. The new Star Wars Movie Awakens. That's basically what the title means.

This is Star Wars Disnified. It's actually kind of hitting the nail on the head for George Lucas to have made the “I sold them to the white slavers that takes these things, and…” remark, what with Disney's very obvious thumb marks of political correctness all over this film, which is a form of ideological colonization. You might say Disney is the new ideological colonizer, and the release of this movie is a sort of ideological colonization? Is it only me who felt that the "breaking the box office records" was totally fake? By that I don't mean the box office records weren't for real, but that that was the entire point of the making of the film and, moreover, that people kind of knew it? If one could consider the artist-filmmakers of yore, like Lucas, as the "shrinking middle class" of the film world (LOL), the corporations are enslaving us through films that are utterly politically correct, and which are pre-written as film events, before they are actually written, for us to fill in and break that box office record. It gives me the creeps.

I agree with the late Sir Alec Guinness's remark about the Force being "fairytale rubbish", but even then, in the first six episodes there was still this notion of "graduation". It was an entire story arch completed before Luke could even get that light saber out of the snow/ice on Hroth in The Empire Strikes Back, and only then after really having to apply himself. His first significant foray into harnessing the force was a mere deflection of a little laser blast from a hovering mini droid with the eye shield down.

This notion of graduation was only reinforced by the moral danger of getting ahead of oneself and how it can, and will, lead to the dark side; such as we saw with Anakin Skywalker. Here in #TheForceAwakens we have the young girl self-discovering that she has Jedi abilities, on the spot as it were, and in a matter of minutes is doing the same inimitable feats that the wizened Obi-Wan Kenobi does in episode IV, where he tells the storm troopers you don't need to see our identification and we can move along and so forth. She does this after a couple of tries. Not to mention earlier deflecting Ren's psychic interrogations. Uhm, okeedokee then. Watching these scenes I was like, "What is this, freaking Harry Potter or something? Because it's certainly not Star Wars". Absolutely ridiculous.

And the humour: some of it was funny, but not in the spirit of Star Wars. The humour is more in the spirit of Spaceballs.

Something else I did not like was the light sabers. Ren's is more like a "fire saber"?

Some may say, "Paul, you hate CGI; then surely you would love #TheForceAwakens?" Well, I would love to love it, but I didn't. It only goes to show that the essence of any art does not lie in its object end, but in its subject.

People talk way too much about art as an object to be attained, rather than as a subject to be occupied.

This harpsichord concerto is absolutely awesome

Marvelous and brilliant.

I love the violinist's face at 5:07. He's like, "Shit, you have the tough part." LOL.

Or perhaps you need to listen to the finale of The Copernican:

Or just listen to the entire symphony.

Astonishingly beautiful.

As one youtube comment put it for Songs are Sung:

"gorecki s music excellent!!!! the 3rd symphony has been over played this is excellent!!!!"


Friday, January 1, 2016