Saturday, June 04, 2005 +

Hold Fast That Which Is Good

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
—1 Thessalonians 5:21

Caryl Johnston remembers from a New Yorker article: it is not that so much of American culture is bad that we should worry about, but that so little of it is good.

Therefore collecting Eyesores of the Month, while useful, is less benificent than finding and praising what is good.

Against Quizzes and Memes

They go against the dignity of man. Imagine Jesus participating in one.

Leave This Blog!

Why waste time here when you can read “Catholic Convivium”, by Caryl Johnston?

Notes 110

Many opine; few think.

Protestantism came with the Modern Age and will leave with it.

Our Catholic Church, always in need of Reform.

If we are God’s people, then we shall suffer God’s judgement.

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Friday, June 03, 2005 +

Animal Artists

From Richard Heinberg, “The Nature of Art”, MuseLetter.

Is art uniquely human? Certainly not. Of nonhuman animals, birds are among the most creative. During the 1940s, English musicologist Len Howard devoted herself to studying the music of wild birds. According to Theodore Barber's account of her work (published in his marvelous book, The Human Nature of Birds, 1993), she became personally acquainted with many and knew some for their entire lives. . . . Her intimate study of bird songs led to four surprising conclusions:

Birds, like humans, enjoy their songs. They take pleasure in singing, and they enjoy hearing even their territorial rivals sing.

Birds not only convey messages and express feelings and emotions in their songs, but at times they sing simply because they are happy.

Conspecific birds can be reliably identified by their unique variations of the species' song. In fact, conspecific birds apparently differ in musical talent as much as humans. This unexpected variability is due to the individual bird's interpretation of the theme, his technical ability in executing it, his "style" of delivery, and the quality or timbre of his voice. Some very poor singers are found in every songbird species. . . . There are also very superior musicians among songbirds. For instance, over a period of a few days, a talented blackbird creatively and spontaneously composed the opening phrase of the Rondo in Beethoven's violin concerto. (He had not previously heard it.) During the remainder of the season he varied the interpretation of the phrase; "the pace was quickened toward the end . . . a rubato effect that added brilliance to the performance." Birds produce beautiful songs, not by robotically carrying out a preset program but by individual talent, creativity, practice, and experience.

Birds are also capable of visual artistry. Consider the bowerbird, as observed by Heinz Sielman (and quoted by Barber):

Every time the bird returns from one of his collecting forays, he studies the over-all color effect. He seems to wonder how he could improve on it and at once sets out to do so. He picks up a flower in his beak, places it into the mosaic, and retreats to an optimum viewing distance. He behaves exactly like a painter critically reviewing his own canvas. He paints with flowers; that is the only way I can put it. A yellow orchid does not seem to him to be in the right place. He moves it slightly to the left and puts it in between some blue flowers. With his head on one side he then contemplates the general effect once more, and seems satisfied.


The Earth Is Where It Is Happening

”In reading [Rare Earth, by Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee], the daring thought arises that maybe what is happening on Earth is the only place where it—where anything—is happening. Maybe our human task is to develop historical consciousness for the Earth itself. To accept that this Earth is the uniques habitat of life is the essential first step in gaining a new appreciation as well for human life.”
Caryl Johnston, “An Earth-Centered Universe—Again?”

Reproduction Vs. Conception

“Unless we confront the issue of reproduction vs. conception the real meaning of the generations will remain forever an enigma to us.”
Caryl Johnston, “The Generations ... until the Baby Boomers?”

The Long Emergency

“The whole system of continental-scale big box discount and chain store shopping is headed for extinction, and sooner than you might think. It will go down fast and hard. Americans will be astonished when it happens.”
James Howard Kunstler, “Remarks in Hudson, NY“

Mary Murphy at Clearwater

Mary will perform at the Clearwater Festival on Saturday, June 18. The festival continues into Sunday.

Host 5

Last in a series.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005 +

Notes 109

If I do only what I can do alone, I do less than I can do.

Morality is True Resistance

“Morality, doing good, is true resistance, and only what is good can be the preparation for a dramatic change to what is better.”
—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Biblical Aspects of the Question of Faith and Politics,” (1981).

Thanks to Caryl Johnston.

Better Bibles Blog

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005 +

Caryl Johnston

“There is, inescapably, an historical dimension in any truthtelling. . . . It is not that ‘history’ tells the truth (or disguises or determines the truth) as it is that we are ineluctably involved with history in any attempt to tell the truth.”
Caryl Johnston, quoted in Lukacs, Remembered Past, p. 17.


A blog by Keir.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 +

Two Architects


Monday, May 30, 2005 +

Swap Blog

Host 2

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Sunday, May 29, 2005 +

From the back pew

E-mail from Bob Dawson

Sun, 29 May 2005 12:14:19 -0400


I visited your blog. So many interesting and diverse subjects. I enjoyed Circle of Circles, Sign of Peace, definitions, Hinduism, and the interesting phrase about the thought cliché on music not being a universal language. He may be right. Problem is with "universal." Universe is a big place.

Thank you for listing my site.

You are quite the computer programmer. So many levels. You are very talented and quite unique.

Thank you for sharing.

Bob Dawson, pianist, 212.877.6996
Breaking the Rules with Bob Dawson


It's really such an interesting site, I learned something, I was moved, entertained. I'm walking around the house thinking about things I saw on your blog.

Please give my regards to your wife.



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