Welcome to EWTN 24/7 Week. Lots of good stuff out there. Take advantage of it. * * * * * * * Speaking of good stuff, if you haven't checked out the Fr. John Riccardo podcasts, you need to. He's probably the best Catholic speaker since Corapi. That's probably not the greatest comparison, but the guy is great. His grandfather was the President of the Detroit Lions in the 1950s (the great era of multiple championships and Bobby Layne) and his father was President of Ford (a not-so-great era of motor cars). He went to the University of Michigan, graduating just a year ahead of me. I probably bumped into him at some parties or bars, based on the way he describes his early twenties. If you check him out, use the fast forward button at the beginning to get past the preliminary stuff. Each podcast is a recording of a live speech he gave and starts with other stuff of uneven quality (one podcast featured a prayer by a woman that was probably the longest prayer I've ever heard; one of the only times a prayer almost prompted me to mutter the f-bomb). * * * * * * * Speaking of muttering the f-bomb, Netflix's House of Cards has prompted me to mutter it a few times with its season three. I've now stopped watching, in the middle of episode 32. The writers are more concerned about advancing their homosexual agenda than telling a compelling story. I could stomach the queer line if the show were good, but it simply drags. How the writers could write two great seasons and then completely crap all over the page in season three, is beyond me. * * * * * * * As always, very little, if any, original blogging will appear at TDE during the Triduum. There will be quotes, Guardini and others, but that's about it.
Congratulations to Michigan State University, which has plowed into the Elite 8 . . . as a seven seed.
It makes you wonder: What was the selection committee thinking? Why in the world would you give MSU, which almost always turns into a Top 10 team in March, a 7 seed?
I might have the answer: The team selection and seeding don't depend on what the committee thinks a team will do. It's based on what a team did during the regular season.
And Michigan State lost 11 games in the regular season, going 26-11. Can you blame the selection committee for seeding them 7th?
Actually, you probably can. Most of those 11 losses came against powerhouse teams: ND, Duke, Kansas, Maryland, Wisconsin. And the AP voters were impressed enough to rank MSU 23rd in the nation at the end of the regular season . . . which should translate to, at a minimum, a sixth seed. And to the extent the committee takes into account late-season performance (which pundits say it does, which would, incidentally, imply that a projection for how a team will do plays into the committee's analysis), the committee shouldn't have ignored MSU's late season surge: winning four straight before losing to Wisconsin in over-time in the Big Ten championship game.
I'm reminded about how well the Big Ten did in the football bowl games this year . . . and reminded that Ohio State won the national championship:
Ohio State 42, Alabama 35
Michigan State 42, Baylor 41
Wisconsin 34, Auburn 31 (OT)
Missouri 33, Minnesota 17
Stanford 45, Maryland 21
Pedophile State 31, Boston College 30 (OT)
USC 45, Nebraska 42
Louisiana Tech 35, Illinois 18
Rutgers 40, North Carolina 21
That's 5-4 . . . and 2-1 against the SEC, which, commentators repeatedly tell the nation, is light years ahead of the Big Ten in football. This performance was with Michigan football in the tank and a full season of non-stop disparagement about Big Ten football.
So why all the disrespect for the Big Ten? Is it because Michigan is often seen as the Big Ten flagship school, with the result that, when it's down, there's a general perception that the Big Ten is down? Or is it (and this is my guess) that the SEC is tied in with ESPN and ESPN drives the nation's athletic discourse, with the result that its agenda controls things like the selection committee?
It's a testament to the need for another sports station in this country, so we can get disinformation from at least two sources. It's why I had such high hopes for Fox Sports One. Maybe someday it can get its act together and give us something besides car racing and dog shows.
When I self-diagnosed myself with gluten intolerance, I swore off beer. I tried a few gluten-free beers, but only one of them tasted like a "real" beer. I'd been drinking beer for over thirty years, but I haven't gone back. It's all vodka all the time, with some gin and perhaps rum now and then.
That might have to change. According to The Telegraph, people besides eunuchs, gays, and gluten-intolerants are drinking the stuff: "How we all went crazy for gluten-free beer: Brewers and shops are reporting increasing demand for gluten-free beer - and it's not just the coeliacs who are drinking it." Excerpts:
"Normal beers are generally made using barley and wheat, both of which contain gluten. Gluten-free beers tend to use alternative grains and grasses such as millet, rice, corn, buckwheat or sorghum in place of these during the brewing process. . . . Flavour-wise, gluten-free beers are often described as crisp and cider-like with fruity accents. . . . Thirsty coeliacs as well as people following the popular paleo eating plan, which restricts all types of grains. Going gluten-free is also a general lifestyle choice for the heath-conscious, who associate it with better digestion and general gut health . . .".
Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the "Tremendous Trifles" column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y'all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.
In April of 1924, the Queen's Doll House was unveiled at the British Empire Exhibit, complete with crown jewels, wine cellar, a working gramophone, pianos, and a two-thousand book library. A number of authors, including Chesterton, Maugham, Housman, and others, contributed handwritten volumes, each the size of a postage stamp. [Ted Morgan, Maugham, New York, 1980, p. 274]
Kontent from the Kindle
"Among the worst aspects of the collapse of traditional conservatism is that my children will grow up in a world in which vulgar and belligerent nationalism will be presented to them as the alternative to leftism." Thomas Woods.
"Economic historians have determined that on average, Northern farmers worked four hundred more hours per year than did slaves." Thaddeus Russell
"Bodies are mutually attracted by nearness, knowledge, and pleasure but souls by distance, mystery, and suffering." Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
"Third-rate men, of course, exist in all countries, but it is only here that they are in full control of the state, and with it of all the national standards." H.L. Mencken
"[T]he historic anarchist movement has consistently preached abstention from conventional politics. Hence the popular slogans: ‘Whoever you vote for, the government always gets in’, or better still, ‘If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.'" Peter Marshall
I finally made it back to Detroit's Greektown. It was my nephew's bachelor party. I picked up my son in Ann Arbor then walked around downtown Detroit for awhile (he was still trying to clear his head from the party his house threw the night before . . . I chucklingly picked my way past the empties on my way up the steps when I picked him up). We took the People Mover, which, for just 75 cents, gives passengers a great view of Canada, Joe Louis Arena, and Grand Circus Park (which ain't so grand these days); a glimpse of Comerica Park and Ford Field, a nice overview of downtown Woodward Avenue; and other Detroit landmarks. We then met the group of revelers at Buffalo Wild Wings, then went to the Old Shillelagh, then the New Parthenon, and then gambled the rest of the evening while watching basketball. All in all, a good evening. * * * * * * * Sunday morning, Alex and I caught Mass at Old St. Mary's, which is situated right across the street from the casino. Funny, it wasn't nearly as crowded as the casino the night before. Heck, it wasn't even as crowded as the casino was at 8:00 that morning. * * * * * * * Gorgeous church, though. If you find yourself in Greektown, you gotta check it out. I'm a little (but just a little) surprised Detroit doesn't promote it more as a tourist attraction. * * * * * * * I was not grealty impressed by downtown Detroit, incidentally. It basically looks the same as it looked when I worked there in the early 1990s. It's a cool place to hang out, with lots of people, but other than the addition of the casinos, nothing looked much different . . . and the aggressive panhandlers are still an annoyance.
Good, clean short jokes:
"I have the heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the Toronto zoo."
"I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised."
"A termite walks into the bar and asks, 'Is the bar tender here?'"
"The Buddhist chips a tooth on a mint and so he goes to the dentist. The dentist goes to give him Novacaine but the Buddhist declines because he wants to transcend dental medication."
"Why don't blind people skydive? Because it scares the crap out of their dogs."
"You know why you never see elephants hiding up in trees? Because they're really good at it."
"What did the cowboy say at the German auto show? 'Audi.'"
"Where does the General keep his armies? In his sleevies."
"Two Buck Chuck" (now "Three Buck Chuck") is a Trader Joe phenomenon. Its formal name is Charles Shaw, but even though I've purchased no fewer than 100 bottles of the stuff over the course of my life, I had to Google "Three Buck Chuck" to remember its real name. My Mom really likes the stuff and I occasionally drink it. It's definitely worth the price, though a few friends think it leads to nastier hangovers. Could be. When I drink much red wine, I always wake up feeling like a took ten sudafed the night before. Ample doses of the water during the evening help but not enough.
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
"The Daily Eudemon is the sort of thing
that Chesterton or Mencken would be doing, if they were
alive today. It's what, in saner times, was called journalism.
In the writing and in the reading, it's exactly the sort
of leisure we should want at the basis of culture."Mike
Aquilina, Author of The Fathers of the Church
and TV Talk Show Host.
Catholicism-urbane, witty, engaged-is alive and well!
If you can read, you should be reading The Daily Eudemon!"David
Scott, author of A Revolution of Love: The Meaning
of Mother Teresa
you like your blogs pithy, nimble, pointed, high-spirited,
and waggish, then bookmmark Eric Scheske's The Daily
Eudemon. Ooops! You want prolixity, density, meandering,
dull, and sober? Then run (do not walk!) to the blogs
of the major news outlets. They have just what you want.
Honestly they do." John
Peterson, Editor, G.K. Chesterton: Collected Works,
Volumes 12 and 13.
Scheske's web site is full of information and insight.
Always worth a read."James
V. Schall, Author of Another Sort of Learning.