Sunday, February 26, 2006

Shades of Schadenfreude

British court battle over 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing their own publishers, Random House, claiming Dan Brown's book draws heavily on their 1982 bestseller "Holy Blood, Holy Grail".

Brown's 2003 book has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and earned the American $78.5 million.

Baigent's and Leigh's book tackles theories that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married, had a child, and the blood line continues to the present day -- with the Catholic Church aware of the discovery and trying to suppress it.

Heretics being sued by other heretics. They say that there are no new heresies, just recycled ones. Apparently, there is a collolary to this. There are no new heretical books, just successive waves of plagerism. The sickest part of this heresy is the denial of the Cross, that's what really disturbs me.
Schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others.
So, this gets a double schadenfreude. Either Random House gets sued and loses millions or Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh get ripped off and never see a dime. Either way, both will incur huge legal fees.

And there's a movie, starring Tom Hanks no less. I guess this is Hollyweird, once again, trying to capitalize on devotion to our Lord and Savior. Methinks there's room for a triple boycott here: Hollywood, Tom Hanks and Random House.

Roman Catholics have been reading this crap. I once got in a quick conversation with an acquaintance and I mentioned that I do a lot of reading on religious stuff. She replied, "Oh, I do too, have you read the Da Vinci Code?"

"No", I replied, "I didn't get much of a formation so I stick with the Catechism and the writings of saints." I couldn't tell if she read it as a means to refute it and help warn her friends or what.

"Oh well", she observed, "The Da Vinci code is not for you if your Faith is not strong."

My first instinct was to say something like, "Go to Hell, heretic witch." But I just went silent. Someday I'll be able to muster a quick response that'll shake people up but not threaten them. I'm not there yet.

This is like Jews taking up reading Hitler's Mein Kampf for enjoyment. I suppose when Jews completely forget the Holocaust then they will. Roman Catholics seem to have had their own theological Holocaust in form of "The Spirit of Vatican II " or as a eminent blogger has termed it "Wittenberg II." And they deny it! The basics are not getting taught so people are turning to Dan Brown for catechetics/general enjoyment.

I'll only be reading this book from Ignatius Press.

Quinquagesima Sunday. Feast day of St Alexander.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Even the socialists are starting to get "it"

How the baby shortage threatens our future. Read this article from the Guardian which is Britain's premier socialist rag. (Socialist is not a perjoritve term, it is what Democrats in the United States are.)

The article has all sorts of tidbits that more and more Generation X women are starting to understand:
"It's just that the problems of juggling motherhood and a career are becoming intolerable."
Motherhood is a career. Women can have two careers, just not two at the same time. I am a quality assurance analyst at a manufacturing company. I cannot be a a financial analyst at a bank, too.

"The couple started trying when she was 30 and by 36, after years of struggling to conceive, had embarked on IVF. Two painful attempts later, they conceded defeat. Childless at 47, Kendall now hugely regrets focusing on her career: 'It's not worth giving up something like having children for the sake of a job. My advice to any woman or man is to put having a family first.' "

Sage advice, honey. If you had had children in your twenties and then done a little grad school as the youngest went off to kindergarden, you could have slid nicely back into the work force at 30. At 40, you'd be a great manager because you had kids and your employees would respect you and you'd be a great example for young men and women. At 50, you'd make quite a general Manager as you looked back and laughed at your worries when you were 24 and pregnant. Your kids would be going off to college and you'd be young enough to take up a new sport, sell the big house and buy that place by the sea shore for romantic weekends with your hubby.

The article goes off course by arguing that there may be financial wisdom in delaying having children but maybe IVF in Britian is cheap, maybe incurring the higher rates of birth defects is acceptable to Britains. How much does that breast cancer cost after years on the "Pill"...hmm somebody forgot to add that up.

Middle-class mothers in France get a £675-a-month tax break for a third child, Italian parliamentarians recently debated paying women not to have abortions, and in Singapore married couples who have children before the age of 28 get a £7,000 tax break. The Japanese government, fearful of its workaholic culture killing romance, funds a dating service for singles.....
George Bush introduced a $1000 per child tax credit for people who make less than $60,000. Guess who voted against it? Senator John Kerry, who did not let his support for the culture of death get trumped by relief for working class families. (In New England, <$60,000 is working class money.)

There may be some natural selection is all this. Liberals, athiests, careerists and abortion supporters tend to have fewer children. Conservatives, the religiously inclined and the poor tend to have more children. I expect more people like me in the future.

Have a 'Gansett

Naragansett Beer is back! My local newspaper had a whole feature article about the return of a real New England institution. My grandfather used to drink Naragansett. He used to let us take a sip of it out of shot glasses and, man, even at 5 years old I loved the tatse!

Apparently a young entrepreneur has bought the rights to the beer and they have actually found one of the original brew masters to make sure they got it just right. One of my most candid memories as a child was sitting with my grandfather. He spilled his beer and my grandmother started wiping it up. She marveled at how the Naragansett beer did such a fine job at removing the wax build-up from the wood floors. She grabbed his can and poored more on the floor and my grandfather let loose some explitives....oh well, that was Bob and Connie.

I'm psyched. A visit to the website will reveal packies and bars near you where this fine IPA can purchased. I wonder if it is still going to be $2.60 for a six pack? There's a bar just 200 feet from my house that serves it on tap! Now that is motivation to go out with the misses and leave the tykes with a sitter.

Friday, February 10, 2006

First Lady meets Pope Bendict wearing a mantilla!

credit: Reuters Photo

The first lady, Mrs. Laura Bush, met with Pope Benedict XVI this week. It is unclear whether she was seeking protection under the Swiss Guard from hostile Italian communists protesting the Olympics, whether she was planning on ditching silly Methodism or whether this was just a plain ole social call.

The big news was that she was wearing a mantilla! It is not certain whether she had just attended a Tridentine Mass with the Holy Father or just figured that that was appropriate dress for hanging with the successor of St. Peter.

Mantillas are not just for elderly old Latino women. They are standard wear for women attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. In ancient traditions dating back even thousands of years, the “veil” represented purity and modesty in many religions and cultures. I have a hunch that even in Protestantism (invented in the 1500s) women wore something or other before the global radicalization of humanity in the 1960s.

You can buy one today here: Modesty

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jihad in the Philippines

I was kinda stumped as far as my first real post on this blog but this headline caught my eye:

Philippines: terrorists massacre Christians

The Philippines can be a dangerous place but so can Boston. It all depends on the neighborhood you're in. A quick check shows me that the town of Patikul is on Sulu Island which is extreme southwestern Mindanao. I've been to northern, north-central and southeastern Mindanao. Sulu and Zamboanga have heavy concentrations of Muslim Filipinos while the Philippines as a whole is somewhere around 90% Roman Catholic.

Certain Muslim para-milirary groups have laid claim to all of Mindanao as some sort of Muslim homeland. Mindanao is an area of great agricultural and aquacultural resources which seem to get sucked up by argi-corporations.

The Roman Catholics in Sulu and Zamboanga already knew they had it tough but this makes things for all peace loving people including Filipino Muslims who just want to go about their business.

I'm going to pray for the people in this most Roman Catholic nation.

5th Sunday after Epiphany, feast day of Saint Agatha.