Kontent from the Kindle
I was pleased to see an Oscar Wilde crack the Top 25 of most-highlighted passages on Kindle. Here's the passage: "I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects." The Picture of Dorian Gray.
I realize it's not exactly an edifying passage, and it was written well before Wilde's deathbed conversion to Catholicism, but when you consider that 19 of the remaining Top 25 highlighted passage come from The Hunger Games series, it was good to see Wilde sneak into the Number 25 slot. * * * * * * * Number Two, incidentally, comes from Jane Austen. You can probably guess what it is: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." But I attribute the popularity of that passage to Keira Knightley more than a love for the classics. * * * * * * * Opening line from a spoof of the Austen classic: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
From the Notebooks
“Our lives as philosophers cannot be radically divorced from what we do when we are not doing philosophy.” Gerard Casey.
Indeed, I have heard the same thing said about theologians: theologians must be saints.
Nassim Taleb makes a similar point in Antifragile when he writes, “Never listen to a leftist who does not give away his fortune or does not live the exact lifestyle he wants others to follow. . . . It is not too different from the womanizing popes, such as John XII, or the Borgias.”
“Saints,” Taleb points out in the same passage, “have soul in their game.”
Amen to that. Quite frankly, if you don’t have your own house in order, you have no business suggesting, much less requiring, people to put their own house in order or how to go about doing it.
If our voting electorate applied such premises to their elected representatives, our country would leap forward in virtue. It’s fitting that the NFL be filled with reprobates and criminals. It is, after all, a game of violence. But for our statesmen to be rogues, such as the rogues that fill the Congress? Truly disturbing.
Unless, of course, government action is violence, in which case it’d made sense that rogues run the government, just as rogues run the football field.
And there, I fear, we really put our finger on the crux of today’s political problem. Government has grown to a size that makes everything it does tinged with the touch of violence, with the result that we just expect rogues to run that field.
A Random Passage
"In the hall outside the Rothschild offices in nineteenth-century Paris, it was claimed that a man took off his hat when the Baron de Rothschild's chamber pot went past. Prestige can have that kind of effect on people." Joseph Epstein, Snobbery.
Body and Soul
"Bodies are mutually attracted by nearness, knowledge, and pleasure but souls by distance, mystery, and suffering."
Such thinking could trend into Cartesian dualism, which undermines the sacramental nature of existence, but it's always important to reassert that the soul and body are not the same. They're friends. They're even allies . . . in the war against the flesh and the devil. But the body is the weaker ally, so it's important to nourish the soul so it can do its job of strengthening the person.
It's interesting to think about what KL's words imply about modern forms of "worship," which emphasize nearness ("come together and hold hands"), knowledge ("make sure everything is 100% accessible to the average guy in the pew"), and pleasure ("we must entertain the congregation and make it more fun").
Even though both Israel and Hamas fired on one another during the five-hour humanitarian period yesterday, the U.N. secretary general said both sides "mostly respected" the cease-fire. That's like leaving the house without pants and saying you're "mostly dressed."
"Cider is made just like wine, but you drink it by the pint," said Richard Read of Griffin Cider Works, based in Westlake. "You perceive it like a wine; you drink it like a beer. Cider is the other white meat of the drinking world."
The British-born Read – who operates out of the basement of J.W. Dover Beer and Wine Making Supplies on Detroit Avenue – keeps a passionate optimism about what he sees as cider's resurgence in the market.
"Cider is new for a lot of people," he said. "We're getting there. Our sales continue to grow."
I tried an Angry Orchard cider last summer, and I dang near gagged. I vowed never to drink another hard cider, but I bumped into a gluten-intolerant drinking friend at the liquor store last weekend, and he was buying a six-pack of it. I said, "Do you like that stuff?" He said it's delicious and gave it a ringing endorsement. I told him about my experience, and he said he can practically guarantee me that I just got a bad one.
I'm gonna give it another try. I'll let y'all know what I think.
After Nigeria was eliminated from the world cup, the Nigerian captain personally offered to refund all the expenses of fans that traveled to Brazil.
He said he just needs their bank details and pin numbers to complete the transaction.
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 Frederick Wilhelmson's Hilaire Belloc: No Alienated Man there is a judicious comparison of Chesterton and Belloc that bears reprinting:
Belloc's attack seems to have been less effective than Chesterton's, because Chesterton brought to the battle an amazing good humour and charity for the enemy. Belloc could rarely accept the good will of men who opposed his judgments. They were either fools or liars. [Chapter 2, Sheed and Ward, 1954].
And savor this: "Today Belloc remains a writer who has not been tried and found wanting, but who has simply not been tried at all."
Not just interesting, but stunning. I can't believe these stats saw the light of the mainstream media's day:
This year's National Health Interview Survey was the first to ask about sexual orientation in addition to health habits in its 57-year history, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Bisexual women were twice as likely to experience serious anxiety while bisexual men were more likely to indulge in binge drinking than others, according to the survey.
In the survey of more than 34,500 Americans age 18 and above, 1.6 percent reported that they were gay and 0.7 percent reported that they were bisexual. A total of 96.6 percent reported being straight and 1.1 percent either said they were "something else," did not know or declined to answer.
Roughly twice as many women than men identified as bisexual, with 0.9 percent of female respondents saying they were attracted to both sexes. Bisexual women were twice as likely to report having serious anxiety than any other group, with almost 11 percent saying they had been distressed in the past month.
Among bisexual men, almost 52 percent said they had five drinks or more in a night during the past year compared with only 31 percent of straight men.
Alfred Kinsey's 10% figure has been discredited for decades now, but I still run into people who think it's the case. Maybe stuff like this will get the reality to sink in.
Many years ago, I read that T.S. Eliot wouldn't read Flannery O'Connor's fiction because he found the violence too unsettling. The idea of avoiding a mode of entertaining for such a reason had never occurred to me (in my arrogance, I probably figured nothing could affect me), but I figured that if a man of Eliot's caliber would eschew a writer as tame (by today's standards) as O'Connor, I should at least consider it.
I started looking at my state of mind following horror flicks and intensely violent films ("Natural Born Killers" was the movie I remember using as a test), and decided Eliot was right. Since then, I've done a decent job of avoiding things that revolve around pain and horror, but this list at Listverse yesterday drew me in. 10 Crazy Facts About Charles Manson. It's fascinating, and after you get past the first paragraph, it's not too-terribly graphic. Excerpt:
Charlie didn’t even much care for the Beatles. He was older than most of his followers and stated in several interviews that he, like other members of his generation, preferred Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and cowboy balladeers like Frankie Laine.
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.