Saturday, June 11, 2005 +

Barnabas, Son of Consolation

Barnabas, Son of Consolation

For Brother Barnabas.

Friday, June 10, 2005 +

02005 06 10 +

One complaint I have against Catholic education is that it provides its students hardly any resistance to popular culture.

Notes 113

The natural world is not only beautiful, it experiences beauty.

The builders are rejecting many good stones.

I shall be happy if certain people I know go to hell, and happier if they go to heaven.

Luther was wrong, but he was a greater blogger than any blogger blogging today.

Most writing is done not for the reader but for the writer.

If this is “A Time of Desert for Theology,” what does it mean for anyone to be “one of our best living theologians”?

Beauty is not Truth, but if it is not beautiful, it is not true.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 +

City 6

City 1 2 3 4 5 6

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 +

E-mail from Planet Vleeptron

From: Robert Merkin []
Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005 10:10 PM
To: Leo Wong
Subject: RE: Help Wanted: Man in Amherst

No. Not until you come back to Vleeptron.

If you promise to come back to Vleeptron, and leave Comments, I will make this easy quest tomorrow or the next day. How many benches can the Jones Library have?

(btw the Jones is a Very Important public library as public libraries go. Important special collections, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost. My wife loves it so much, and hates our own Forbes, that she schleps the extra 17 miles to the Jones to do her library stuff. Architecturally Jones is also quite remarkable. And yadda yadda yadda. The more you know about the Jones, the more rich and interesting a place it is. They give free or cheap rent to an upstairs office to a free community service that Helps the Clueless in a remarkable way, "First Call for Help" -- you call them when you have Any Conceivable Problem, however weird or embarrassing, but don't know whom to call. They tell you whom to call. They know Everything. [in the Tri-County Area]! .)

Leo I have not sufficiently told you how meeting you and your J4J cybernetically has given me such enormous pleasure. It is unlikely that the Planet Vleeptron will convert to your Faith any time soon -- mostly we worship peanut butter on Vleeptron, with a small Swedenborgian community in East Ciudad Vleep -- but Leo, you rawk. It has been so sincerely moving to walk the Chartres Labyrinths with you. Not to mention educational. Learning new things is a magnificent pleasure for the Superannuated.

I sincerely worry about this -- I hope Vleeptron is not too Salty for you, or Irreverent, or yaddaeu yaddaeu. You are such a remarkable C-Space neighbor, I would not want my Planet to smash into your Saab and annoy you.

I am serious about someday soon driving to Boston to walk Boston College's 9/11 Alumni Memorial Chartres (outdoor) Labyrinth. Wanna go? Meet? Wanna take the Albany-Springfield-Boston Amtrak? My legs suck, I may horrify you with a taxicab or two, but I'll pay for the cabs. If we take our cars, no such problem. And my legs don't suck to walk a Labyrinth. If they do, I can slow down. And you can be behind me impatiently screaming at me to walk faster.

Oh. I just thought of this. And if we meet at the BC Labyrinth ... we could meet one another in Realityland! What a concept! And then have lunch or dinner in Boston!

Conditional Bob

and pls say HI to Mary! My swell wife (SWMBO) is outta town for a week. So my first night unsupervised, I invited The Entire Population of Earth, I posted the invitation on Vleeptron, over to my house for an unruly party featuring dead Gypsy jazz guitarists, dead French jazz violinists, jazz musicians, and other assorted Bohemians.

Alas, nobody showed up. Fooey.

Posted on the World Wide Web for six hours last night:

Due to an extremely rare Astrological Convergence

1. Ghosts of Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli

4 blocks from My House

2. Wife out of town for entire weekend

3. Obscure minor critically well-regarded American novelist

having Major Bipolar UP episode

& profound erosion of Judgment Center

which occurs only once every 12,345 solar years,

you are cordially invited to an


for the Musicians, Retro, Wannabe, Brilliantly Gifted,

or Dead, associated with

le Hot Club du France

and no more than 50 of their

Close Friends & acquaintances

True Love of Mssrs. Reinhardt & Grapelli


door bouncer will require

you play instrument, sing, or hum

a Hot Club standard

absolutely nobody under 21

not handcuffed to parent or guardian

serious about this

Massachusetts laws




no exceptions

all jazz bums out by Noon

Party can begin any time

Saturday Night

after DjangoFest ends

Host will order Free Solid Food (pizza, etc.)

and Harmony Springs Soda Pop.

4. High School Graduation across street from Party

Party Host sincerely hopes they do not make too much noise

Graduation Rehearsals promise some lovely renditions

by NHS marching band of Rogers & Hammerstein love ballads

also female graduate canary sings "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Absolutely no HS recent graduates or their family members

will be permitted into Hot Club Party.


COST of PARTY:Musicians Must Bring Instruments, and jam.

Play what you want.

No axe? Beat feet, get axe, return, play music.

Rom/Romany Gypsies or their Ghosts or Impersonators

especially welcome. Please speak Romany if you can.

French conversations (Parisienne jazz vocab) encouraged.

French & Romany conversations, and music jam, may be taped for Host's Personal Enjoyment.

of DjangoFest itself --

Merci Merci Beaucoups for coming to my neighborhood.

It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood. Wow. Whodathunkit?

BIPOLAR BOB (last name on polite request)

or via my spiffy new blog:

77 Whistful Vista / BEechwood 4-5789

Walk west on Rte 219A

Everyone Must Walk

High School Graduation Tonite!

No Parking Possible.

take LEFT at/to front doors, West Vleep Regional High School

Go down short hill

At crosswalk intersection,

take Sharpest Left onto Xrrq� Street

(hug HS athletic field fence on left)

Drive to first T intersection

(HS stadium parking lot)

Right on ZhaZha Drive

(sorry, not my idea) corner cottage

~ ~ many beautiful tulips & flora in yard ~ ~

Blue Toyota pickup in driveway

Use back/kitchen door.

4 Cats, none for eating

Priscilla might bite if you touch her

Please do not discard invitation

carelessly around house

> [Original Message]
> From: Leo Wong <>
> To: <>
> Date: 6/5/2005 5:47:24 PM
> Subject: Help Wanted: Man in Amherst
> Dear Bob,
> I wonder if you would do me a favor.  A few years ago
>; a fellow in the Amherst area asked my wife to let him
> put a quotation from one of her stories on a bench
> commemorating his wife.  The bench was supposed to be
> put on the grounds of the Amherst Public Library.  We
> lost touch with this fellow, and don't know if the
> bench was ever placed, and if so, whether it included
> the quotation.
> We don't know the man's name.  The quotation may have
> been something like "She slept and dreamed of tiny
> hands and the singing of birds." Not exactly,
> because he was going to change some of the wording.
> may have been changed.
> On your next visit to the library, would you try to
> find out if there is such a bench?  If there is, for
> extra credit (if you have a digital camera or a
> scanner), could you send us a photo?
> All best,
> Leo

See also Vleeptron’s Labyrinth.
and Vleeptron’s Labyrinth with Slave Ship.

02005 06 08 +

I have not forgotten you.

Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.
—Psalm 99:8

Forgive us, even if you punish us.

“The saints are the true theologians.”
—Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna

“Speaking only for himself on an issue that has created much controversy over the last 30 years, Cardinal Schönborn said he believes the tabernacle—‘this marvelous place where Jesus is present’—should be placed ‘in the center of the church. I come from a country where baroque is very widespread. A baroque church is entirely oriented to the altar and the tabernacle, and the reality of his presence on the altar and in the tabernacle is inseparable.’” Peter Finney Jr., “Eucharist ‘deepest mystery of our faith’”. See also Notes 4.

No More Models!

Posted to St. Blog’s Parish Hall:

Compared with the beautiful Schönborn, Dulles seemed dull. I am reminded of Robert K. Greenleaf's observation: Much intellection is just noise. I'm glad to learn that Models of the Church appeared more than 40 years ago. Perhaps the "later Avery Dulles" that Robert Royal refers to is more tuneful?

Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, “A TIME OF DESERT FOR THEOLOGY: Ressourcement versus Models of the Church”

See also la nouvelle théologie.

City 5

City 1 2 3 4 5 6

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 +


Notes 112

When conservatives are not conservative and liberals are not liberal, history must speak.

That’s the Spirit!

E. Michael Jones wrote:

Vaughan Williams proposed a five-year ban on German music in England. We can propose something similar: a five year ban on recorded music. “What I want to see in England,” Vaughan Williams tells us, “is everybody making music-however badly.” It is better to play “The Kesh Jig” badly than to listen to an exquisite recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, because “even at some immediate sacrifice of good we must develop our own culture to suit our own needs.” What I want to see is the same thing—everyone playing ethnic [not folk] music, even if they play it badly—in the new ethnic America freed from the bad dream of global hegemony.

Mr. Jones edits the magazine Culture Wars.

Safely Daring

Le Sabot Post-Moderne writes:

Imagine the Outrage! if someone had put a crescent in a vat of pee and called it "Crescent in Piss." Or if someone smeared feces on a representation of Mohammad. Or if someone wore a Muslim holy symbol in a music video with lots of un-Muslim-like behavior going on. . . Or if someone referred to American Muslims in a prestigious American newspaper as "poor, undereducated, and easily led." Imagine Dead Like Me using Mohammad's name as a curse at least once an episode, and treating F-ing like his middle name.

It is probably true that most artists and art brokers are only safely daring.

Monday, June 06, 2005 +

City 4

“A rose-red city—‘half as old as Time’!”
—John William Burgon, Petra

According to Bergan Evans, Dictionary of Quotations,

Petra is a rock city in a deep gorge on the NE slope of Mt. Hor. Its temples and dwellings are carved from rose, crimson and purple limestone. It was a great commerical city for several centruries, captured by the Moslems in the 7th century and by the Crusaders in the 12th. Its ruins were discovered in 1812.

Petra was a prize poem, recited and published in Oxford in 1845. The phrase “half as old as Time” is set off with quotation marks and was probably borrowed from the 1838 revision of Samuel Rogers’s Italy (ii.5).

Familiarity with Burgon’s line is regarded as a touchstone of academic literary elegance. The knowledge that it is taken from Rogers offers a splendid opportunity for one-upmanship, especially the knowledge that it was an addition to the original form of Rogers’s poem. However, even further vistas of triumph have been opened with the discovery that Rogers probably borrowed the phrase from a satirical poem entitled Heroic Epistle to Burke, published anonymously in 1791. Therein we are told that

. . . awful grandeur guards the Gothic hall,
And crests and mantles dignify the wall;
Ensigns armorial, pedigrees sublime,
And wax and parchment half as old as time.

This would seem to take the phrase back to its origin were it not that the anonymous author states that there is in his poem “scarcely as single image which is not extracted from Mr. Burke’s celebrated Reflections.” No one has yet found the phrase in Burke, but it may be lurking somewhere—and Burke may have borrowed it; he was a widely-read man!

See also DLS MoM X.

City 1 2 3 4 5 6

Whose Body?

Caryl Johnston quotes Cardinal Ratzinger: “. . . obeying Christ means obeying his body, obeying him in his body . . . .” I do not have the original text, from Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion. It seems that here “his body” means the Church, Christ’s mystical body, not his physical body or the Eucharist. Cardinal Ratzinger must not be writing of personal obedience to Jesus; otherwise he would have said ”obeying his body, obeying him in our [or one’s] body.” Or so I think without consulting the text.


02005 06 06 +

O and her classmates are spending today at Father Girzone's. Mary is one of the drivers.

Decide for you.

City 3

City 1 2 3 4 5 6

Sunday, June 05, 2005 +

Who Are the Church?

“In the superbly edited Vatican documents on World War II we may find a very large amount of significant information on the relationship of the Holy See to the government of the Third Reich; we may find much important material about the relationship of the German hierarchy to either; we may even find much that is interesting and intriguing about the relationship of certain German prelates to each other—and yet there is amazingly little about the attitudes, the currents of opinion, about the very behavior of German Catholics themselves. I say ‘amazingly,’ since every serious historian, weighing the evidence of the relationship of the papacy to the Third Reich during those burdensome years, will agree that the existence of German Catholics was the principal concern of the Pope at the time. One the other hand, perhaps this is not so amazing, after all. Fragile, friable, unreliable, and incomplete as they are, the surviving records reflect the principal concern of people at a given time. After all, history is a reflection of what people actually did and thought. In a despairing letter, on January 23, 1943, the aristocratic bishop of Berlin, Konrad von Preysing, cited the recent words of the nuncio, Cesare Orsenigo: ‘Christian love, it is all very fine, but the most important duty is not to make difficulties for the Church.’ Is it going far to suggest that the regrettable narrowness with which this unduly cautious prelate conceived the duties of the hierarchy of the Church during those tragic years corresponds, in one way or another, with the undue narrowness with which certain historians of the Church are wont to conceive their own tasks; and that, conversely, the broadening recognition of the wider challenge before historians may correspond to a recognition of the wider concerns of a truly catholic Church?”
—John Lukacs, Remembered Past, p. 124.

“An Inevitable Minimum of Originality”

“In the deepest sense what we must keep in mind is the paradox that no human idea is entirely original and wholly independent—while, on the other hand, the personal perception and the expression of even the most ephemeral platitude lends (lends rather than gives) the latter an inevitable minimum of originality.
—John Lukacs, Remembered Past, p. 72.

Notes 111

Art, music, liturgy, once reasons to enter the Church, are now reasons to stay out.

“Please teach our children to follow the rules.”

Received this form our daughter’s school:

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

There are many wonderful events for our eighth graders these last few weeks of school, and everyone is looking forward to celebration and good times.

It has come to my attention that a number of parents do not yet have Virtus training. If you do not, this does mean that you may not be with the children at the field trip at the dude ranch. Please teach our children to follow the rules. Even though not everyone agrees with the requirements, they are the Diocesan rules and we will adhere to them.

Please do not put Mrs. Q— or I in the difficult position of enforcing this rule for adults.

Virtus training is not required for Class Night or Graduation!

Peace and prayers,

Mrs. E—


City 2

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge
September 3, 1802

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

—William Wordsworth

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