See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sorry I'm late with these.



New Year Resolutions.

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I'm going to lose weight, get a hair transplant, a nose job, an eye lift, and breast reduction surgery.

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I'm going to find a way to be always drunk without weight gain.

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I'm going to start an online talk show called "Up Your Street" - after I heal from the surgery of course.

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I'm going to finish my tell-all book about my life, including details of my torrid affair with Gilbert Gottfried.

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I'm going to sell my Mercedes and buy a Honda - out of concern for the poor who have to take the bus.

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And most importantly, I will never tell a lie again - ever.

Eat dung...



Remember the controversy over the "Dung Madonna" shown at the Brooklyn Museum a few years ago?
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For the most part, the only thing most Catholic defenders knew about the painting is what media reported... And all they needed to hear was an image of Mary was covered in elephant-dung - then it hit the fan. Everyone went ballistic, even the pro-abortion Catholic mayor registered his protest - No doubt with an eye to the Catholic vote down the road.
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As is usually the case, the controversy quickly died down. Although today I have to wonder if the same people would get all bent out of shape over this news; "Out of food, Zimbabweans eating cow dung"? I find that revolting.
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Our Lady, Protectress of the Poor and Starving, pray for us.
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Image: Ethiopian Madonna, 17th century. I removed the Dung Madonna from the original post so as not to offend anyone or show any disrespect to Our Lady - I replaced it with this detail of an Ethiopian icon. However, I personally found the original image interesting and inoffensive, noting similarities with more primitive images of the Virgin painted centuries ago. But more importantly, in light of recent news from Zimbabwe, the controversial image took on greater significance for me today.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Lagerfeld lets the fur fly.



"The animals would eat us if we didn't kill them." Karl Lagerfeld

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Brains and talent, a good combination for someone who looks like Michael Jackson's mortician. In an interview, German born fashion designer for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, discusses wearing fur and eating meat.

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"Animals should be killed "nicely" if at all possible, said Lagerfeld, who admitted to being queasy about eating meat.

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"I can hardly eat meat because it has to look like something what it was not when it was alive," he said.

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He concluded: "In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish." - Telegraph

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When is the last time baby seals, little foxes, and minks attacked people? For me the problem of wearing fur is the problem of cruelty as well as harvesting animals simply to satisfy vanity and greed. Lagerfeld should be reminded that the market for fur grows proportionately as designers use (misuse) it. Inciting countries such as China to skin dogs and cats alive to supply fur to the clothing industry.

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On size 0 models.

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In an interview on the Radio 4 Today programme, Lagerfeld also said the issue of size zero models was insignificant compared to the "zillions" of fat people.

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But he said: "In France there are, I think, less than one per cent of people who are too skinny.

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"There are nearly 30 per cent of young people who are too fat. So let's take care of the zillions of the too fat before we talk about the percentage that's left." - Telegraph

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Lagerfeld's take on the recession.

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In further questions Lagerfeld said he viewed the global recession as "more like a cleaning up."
"It was too rotten anyway, so it had to be cleaned up," he said.
- Telegraph

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Someone needs a makeover.


Doubt


Well Barbara hasn't bothered to review the film yet, even though she gets all the new releases sent to her, so I had to look elsewhere for an opinion, and I found a wonderful review at Architect Design. He loved it.
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I finally saw the film yesterday. I have to admit I found it rather tedious to sit through for the first half - the story only picks up steam as we become more involved in the crux of the matter: Is the priest a pederast or is he simply a progressive, compassionate associate-pastor whose responsibility happens to be the altar boys and the parochial school attached to the parish? To be sure, both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep play their roles beautifully.

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In fact, Streep's Sr. Aloysius is so good, on first take, her apparent lack of empathy makes her entirely uninteresting, albeit the plot seeks to demonstrate the mean nun syndrome through her character. It rings true, don't get me wrong. However, watch her closely; as superior of the community, she discreetly reveals genuine charity and concern for the women under her charge - that sort of sensibility is often an indication of sanctity in the common life. On the other hand, I'm convinced Aloysius' preference for no nonsense, severe discipline as regards students was simply the way things were done in those days - not just in parochial schools either. Public schools could be just as severe - slaps and punches, slams up against lockers, or paddles in gym, not withholding. (I attended both private and public schools - so I know.) Sr. Aloysius was tough, and though it sounds sentimental - an emotion she evidently had little tolerance for - she really cared for the school children, although she knew from experience how manipulative students could be.

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I think to really understand Sr. Aloysius, one should recall Sr. Vauzou from "The Song of Bernadette" - without giving away the ending - the viewer will thus understand Streep's character - not confusing her final confession with the conclusion non-religious people might assume regarding the issue of doubt.

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At first the film is deceptive in its portrayal of a type of religious monotony frequently associated with conservative Catholicism - which may account for my initial boredom - although I found that the story, along with the superb acting, continued to captivate my imagination hours after viewing it. In my opinion, the film does a fair job in capturing the mood of the Catholic Church in America at the time. But since I was rather bored in the beginning, I occupied myself with picking out styling mistakes - a few of which I couldn't wait to comment on.

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For instance, Hoffman's Fr. Flynn wears vestments that probably were not around at the time - too modern - but even if they had been around - the stole would never have been worn on the outside. In addition, Fr. Flynn's alb was definitely a modern alb - I doubt it was even available back then. He also uses a modern breviary - you can see he has the contemporary Liturgy of the Hours - something that did not exist at the time. Also, I doubt the tabernacle in the church would not have been veiled in the manner shown - with some odd handkerchief thing laying over the top. It would have been veiled in liturgical colors to match the priests vestments.

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Then we watch Sr. Aloysius slapping kids on the back of the head at Sunday Mass. Nuns did do that - but only at school Masses - the daily Mass before classes began. Sundays the kids would have been with their family and the nuns would be up front in the first pew, sitting together as a community. That stuff never happened at Sunday Mass unless a fervent parishioner took it upon herself to correct stray children misbehaving. Another detail I found interesting is when Aloysius makes a subtle complaint about how cumbersome the habits were. Not more than a year or two later, the sisters were out of the traditional habit and into skirts and blouses. But who could fault them for that, the Seton habits were farmer-in-the-dell ugly.

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As for the school culture, in one scene the girls and boys are shown dancing together during music class in the auditorium. The song was Eydie Gorme singing, "Blame it on the Bossa Nova". That would never have happened in Sr. Aloyisius' school - they may have danced the Virginia Reel - but never the Bossa Nova - the "dance of love". Although the song did offer a momentary break in the somber tone of the film - for a moment.

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All in all, the film is fairly accurate as regards Catholic culture of the time, and it never impressed me as being the least bit anti-Catholic, as some people feared. Critics have suggested the ending leaves the viewer in doubt - not so much. I know what happened - most Catholics will too.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Rudi and Peggy

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Peggy Moffit was one of the most famous fashion models in the 1960's. She was best known as fashion designer Rudi Gernreich's lead mannequin and muse. She epitomized the '60's look, sensationalizing the label when she modelled Gernreich's topless swim suit. The suit wouldn't even raise an eyebrow today - as it was, the piece was unattractively asexual - much like Moffit's look - not that she was unattractive - her look was decidedly asexual. I believe the era pioneered much of the gender-neutral trends, both in fashion and politics, we have lived with since; although, I would guess Chanel initiated gender-neutral fashion long before the 1960's, when she introduced pants for women.
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Miss Moffit, who turns 70 this year, was also a collaborator in Gernreich's designs, and retained label and design rights to the firm after the designer's death.

What I did for New Years Eve.


I got all dressed up again and went out night-clubbing.
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I am laughing so hard - I did not do that! I just love the photo however - and so does Mrs. Parkes.
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This is what I really did. I went to the vigil Mass for the Octave of Christmas. Then I went grocery shopping because Lund's was open until midnight. After that I went to Target and bought some movies. I came home and watched one of them, The Queen, showcasing Helen Mirren's astonishing portrayal of Her Majesty. I had never seen the film before, except for trailers and clips amid interviews. I'm a johnny-come-lately as the film was released a couple of years ago, but who cares.
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I know some of the British did not appreciate the public outcry for honors to be shown Princess Diana by the Royals, but these folks were very much in the minority. (I'm quite sure Mrs. Boggle had some problems with it.) I followed all the events surrounding the death of Princess Diana rather closely; I too was angry with the Queen for her silence and indifference to what was going on outside Buckingham Palace, indeed around the globe. Yet when she turned up outside the palace to review the floral tributes and acknowledge the massive crowds of her subjects, I distinctly recall my immediate change of heart towards her, saying, "That's all you had to do dear - just show up."
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I repeated those words during the film last night.
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The film treated Her Majesty quite well, and Tony Blair was also shown in a better light than what my opinion of him happens to be today. The bad guys in the film turned out to be the consort, Prince Philip, and Mrs Blair - I have a particular dislike for Mrs. B. Prince Charles came off a bit of a weakling - but hopefully he will never be King. I think the Queen Mum would have played better with Joan Plowright in the role, but it is over and done with.
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My favorite scene? The Queen's encounter with the stag - although I'm sure if that incident had really happened, Her Majesty would have shot it.
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Happy New Year everyone.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Failed to notice.


Or take seriously.
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Since the demolition of AR2, I haven't really posted a great deal of serious stuff, things like massacres and terrorist attacks and other assorted "little murders" - like dad coming over for Christmas dressed like Santa, killing the family and torching the in-laws house. (Yes, the holidays can be stressful.)
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It isn't that I failed to note these things, I just didn't know how to respond to them, one can become a bit numb to such events occurring in rapid succession, as they are wont to do lately. It is less a problem of apathy as it is shell-shock, at least in my case.
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For instance, I found it absolutely incredible, astonishing, shocking - what have you - that the world went into fits of horror over the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, yet said nary a word about the Hindu-extremist terrorist attacks on Christians elsewhere in India. Just so, the media ignores the recent massacre of Christians a day or two ago in the Congo. It seems the only black people media is interested in is the Obama family and Barry's abs, or Oprah who just can't manage to keep the weight off, God bless her generous little heart.
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Don't get me started on the Israeli war against Hamas. It is certainly being reported, but not as accurately as it could be, and some important players seem to be missing from the public eye while all of it has been unfolding: Bush and Obama. Obviously, the U.S. has no clear leader in this time of transition - so it could be an excellent moment for Russia to emerge as the new global power, what with their warships trawling around America's seas.
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But back to the Israelis and the Arabs - neither one of them give a damn about the Palestinian Christians - in fact, Hamas just re-instituted crucifixion for capital crimes - that kinda, sorta carries a message about Christendom, don't you agree? And don't forget they started the current conflict over Christmas - no significance in that, I'm sure. I'm not pretending to put forth any political analysis here, but it seems to me many people are not paying attention to what is going on - and they should be. Below is an excerpt from Caroline Glick's column, "The 'realist' fantasy" - a good read if you are interested in world peace and that kind of crap:
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Hamas's endorsement of nailing enemies of Islam to crosses came at the same time it renewed its jihad. Here, too, Hamas wanted to make sure that Christians didn't feel neglected as its fighters launched missiles at Jewish day care centers and schools. So on Wednesday, Hamas lobbed a mortar shell at the Erez crossing point into Israel just as a group of Gazan Christians were standing on line waiting to travel to Bethlehem for Christmas. - Jerusalem Post
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Oh. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nicely put.




What painters do...
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I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. - Mark Rothko
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And something I do as well...
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Whether I'm painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity. Even if I'm not working, I'm still analyzing people. - Alice Neel

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So my point is...
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I simply attempt to document what I see and experience, and if I am lucky, someone may call it art. - Terrance J. Nelson



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Image: Mark Rothko

Monday, December 29, 2008

Charity


Telling the truth.



What really happened to Abbey-Roads2.

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I was dropped - cut off - eliminated - kicked out. All because of the following post:

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I’ve had it!

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I’m switching back to Blogger - this site is far too much trouble. Please visit
Abbey-Roads and add it to your blogroll if you like what I write. I was going to wait until after Christmas - but I can’t even post on this site any longer. I try to publish what I write and lose half the text. I’m outta here… nothing works here! (Wow! - Maybe this is what they wanted?!)

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Whatever - I’ll leave the site up for awhile - at least until my Neo-Counter account expires.

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Truth be told, the administrator of stblogs.com was offended by that post - which I thoughtlessly wrote out of frustration because of the problems I was experiencing. He was especially insulted with my last line: "I own the banner here, as well as the content - so watch out." He took it as a legal threat - it wasn't.

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The very sad thing about all of this is that I lost my work. That said, I realize it was my own fault. At least I learned a very important lesson, I do not own anything, so no one needs to watch out.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tony Blair, Syncretist


"Faith is vital to understand the Middle East."
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Ah. Tony Blair.
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"I regularly read the Koran, practically every day," Blair told an interviewer. He said the Prophet Mohammed had been "an enormously civilizing force." - Source
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I just love British comedy, although Basil Faulty remains my favorite character.

Fourth Day of Christmas: Inaccuracies



The Twelve Days of Christmas.
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Liturgically the whole concept of the 12 days has been screwed up, pretty much because Epiphany is kept on the second Sunday after Christmas. Today is the 4th day in my calculations, although others would say it is the 3rd. I calculate from Christmas Day to January 5th, which I observe as 12th Night - January 6th being Epiphany. I'm probably wrong.
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Anyway. The Twelve Days of Christmas is one Christmas carol I do not like. There happens to be some debate concerning the origins of the song as well as its meaning. Some people say it was used as a way to catechize during the English Reformation, when Catholics were persecuted. As if the Protestants couldn't hear the singing, much less understand the meaning of the song - since they kept the same fundamentals of the faith.
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No, I think the song developed as a means to remind Catholics, and sympathetic members of the Church of England, that Christmas is not just a day, but lasts for twelve days. Liturgically there always has been the Octave, the eight days following, while the 4 days leading up to Epiphany equalled the full twelve days. But I'm getting over my head here.
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My point is this. In Cromwell's England, Christmas was for the most part banned, and if it was celebrated at all, it was done so privately, and it would probably not go beyond the day itself - just like modern times. Therefore, I believe the song was composed to encourage people to continue the tradition of celebrating Christmas for the full 12 days - even if everyone was saying the day after Christmas, "Whew! I'm glad that is over!"

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Ho, ho, ho!
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For more information on the Twelve Days of Christmas, click here.
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Did Oliver Cromwell personally ban Christmass in England? Click here to find out.