If you're like me and enjoy sports but only marginally like baseball, you might want to get a Roku and check out some of the lesser-known sports. ESPN3 shows a lot of great stuff: cricket, Arena Football, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee. I only watch on Saturday nights when I'm winding down the week and occasionally on Friday nights when I'm winding down my drinking, but I've seen enough to endorse these off-beat sports.
Of these, Arena Football is probably my favorite, unless ESPN is doing a bad camera job (which happens; these productions are pretty low-budget). I attended a handful of Arena Football games, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Detroit Drive dominated the league. Those games were a lot of fun to watch, so watching today's Arena Football brings back some of those memories.
I've enjoyed watching cricket enough to consider learning the rules. Granted, I've watched a total of 15 minutes of cricket this summer, but that's a lot for me (I can't get through an NFL football game without multi-tasking or turning it off in the late second quarter and doing something else during half-time and the early third quarter . . . unless I'm drinking). Based on what I've seen, I'd probably be better off not trying to analogize to baseball. I think it'll just confuse me.
I really like lacrosse in person, but the television coverage isn't very good. The camera is too far away from the ball. You can't really tell what's going on. I used to attend Detroit Turbos games, of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. Those games were great to watch: Small arena (Joe Louis, where the Drive played), fast action. I thought I'd like lacrosse on TV, but I simply don't. You might.
Finally, there's ultimate frisbee. I love to throw around the frisbee with the kids. It's good casual caveman exercise, so I can partially appreciate what these players are doing. And when you see an insane catched like this, it tells me this is a sport that, though it'll never "catch" on big time, ought to.
I think Fr. Schall would endorse these lesser sports. He was a big proponent of the idea that, when we do something for its own sake, we are doing something good. When you watch a sport, especially these lesser sports when absolutely nothing important (monetarily) is on the line, you're flirting with the act of contemplation, albeit at the lowest and basest level.
Nice holiday weekend. Unfortunately, I did my celebrating Friday night, with the result that I wasn't terribly inclined to celebrate Saturday night, so I laid in bed and read while my town had fireworks going off all over the place. * * * * * * * Michigan has an insane law regarding fireworks. It Fireworks Safety Act prohibits local ordinances that restrict usage on the day before, of and after a national holiday. The result? People can shoot off fireworks at 3:00 AM. They amended the statute in 2013 to give local municipalities the authority to ban fireworks after 1:00 AM, so that's good, but a state-wide fireworks law simply makes no sense. Michigan's communities are among the most diverse in the nation: densely-populated areas in the Detroit area to rural areas of the Upper Peninsula where you can drive for a hundred miles and not see any signs of human life. The proper fireworks law is obvious: No fireworks law, period. Let the local communities enact whatever works best for them. If they ban it, let them ban it. If they want to permit fireworks but with a permit fee, let them do that, too. The state and federal governments' obsession with the "one size fits all" approach is just one of many signs that our political discourse is terribly, terribly upside down and needs to be completely overhauled. * * * * * * * But here's one good thing from Michigan: "On June 23, an intact Roman Catholic rosary was dug from an excavation site at Colonial Michilimackinac, an 18th-century fort and fur trading village that's been reconstructed . . . The rosary — rare for being found intact — is approximately 250 years old, estimated Lynn Evans, curator of archaeology for Mackinac State Historic Parks." Link. * * * * * * * My oldest son is gainfully employed. I reaped the benefits of his employment on Father's Day. He got me the Bug-A-Salt Original Salt Gun. You put salt into the ammo chamber and shoot flies with it. It works really well, though the price is a bit, ahem, salty.
Brews You Can Use
This is a pretty neat article, though it's depressing that the subject matter even exists: Ten Places in the USA You Can Legally Drink on the Street.
Since most people are on holiday today, I'm not going to comment much on the piece, but as a public service, here are the ten spots. I'd like to check them all out, even though most of the cities below don't allow drinking on their streets, but rather allow drinking on certain streets. I've marked with asterisks the places where drinking (according to the article) is truly allowed on all streets:
Kansas City, Missouri
New Orleans, Louisiana*
Las Vegas, Nevada*
I've long been fascinated by Nietzsche, in the sense that I've always found him wildly wrong and wildly right, wildly reckless and wildly insightful. That being said, he's enough of a nut that I've taken the time to read only one of his books (and I can't recall which) and various excerpts from my Viking Portable Nietzsche. An extensive reading in Nietzsche is on my intellectual bucket list, but alas, that list is so long, it's more of an intellectual idiot list. Most of my knowledge of Nietzsche comes through the lens of real scholars, mostly de Lubac and his (excellent) Drama of Atheist Humanism.
I've long felt a bit guilty that I'm drawn to Nietzsche's ideas. It turns out I'm not alone. In this piece, Bradley Birzer also identifies Nietzsche as one of his "guilty pleasures." He then, in the form of a primer, goes on to explain three of Nietzsche’s most important ideas:
1. "All modern drama in western civilization stemmed from the conflict found in the mythology of Apollo (order) and Dionysius (chaos)."
2. "Nietzsche considered Catholicism to be the greatest enemy yet invented and imposed upon the nobility of man. Its most important representative, he feared, was Pascal. . . . Catholicism, he believed, represented the only true Christianity. Lutheranism and Protestantism were merely halfway houses between Catholicism and full-blown paganism."
3. "Nietzsche himself believed that his ideas had taken him, mystically, into another universe or plane of existence, confirmed later, at least as he believed it, by a vision of Zarathustra, a pre-Christian Persian priest and prophet, within and next to him. Henri de Lubac has done the best job of exploring this side of Nietzsche in his Drama of Atheist Humanism. And though he despised Catholicism, Nietzsche even believed his collected writings to be a fifth Gospel, obviating those of Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John."
I don't know enough about Nietzsche to form an opinion about whether Birzer's primer is right or wrong, but it looks accurate enough. And I trust the good professor in such matters.
Petty good piece at the Imaginative Conservative on GKC and Norman Rockwell.
"Humility is particularly necessary in the case of Norman Rockwell, because his work itself has become trite. We think we know the pictures, so we do not ever bother to look. If they are to do their work of prompting us to a fresh perspective, and helping us to recover the things that have become trite, we will need to actually attend to them.
"Once we start to look at the pictures, we can see that they do give us a fresh perspective on the world. Another quick turn to Chesterton is called for. Consider how Chesterton describes Charles Dickens:
Herein is the whole secret of that eerie realism with which Dickens could always vitalize some dark or dull corner of London. There are details in the Dickens descriptions—a window, or a railing, or the keyhole of a door—which he endows with demoniac life. The things seem more actual than things really are. Indeed, that degree of realism does not exist in reality: it is the unbearable realism of a dream (Charles Dickens, 65)."
Dosoyevsky, Brownson’s junior by eighteen years, would write on a theme similar to Brownson’s concerns about humanitarian democracy. Just as Brownson worried that North American progressives would sacrifice men on the altar of the abstractions known as “Man” and “The Rights of Man,” Dostoyevsky feared that the European progressive’s equivalent idealism, “Reason,” would demand bloodshed and the trampling of individual’s natural rights. Dostoyevsky was always concerned about the individual man—his real sufferings, his real relationship to Christ, his intimate friends and families—as opposed to the radicals of his day who derided such things as secondary to the creed of progress. In his masterpiece The Brothers Karamazov, for instance, his character of penetrating intellectual insight, Ivan Karamazov, says of the progressive dreams to build an earthly paradise for man, “I don’t want my body, with its sufferings and shortcomings, to serve simply as manure for the future harmony.” Likewise, in The Possessed, Dostoyevsky pokes fun at a progressive named Kirilov and others of his progressive ilk: “Mr. Kirilov has already demanded that more than one hundred million heads roll so that reason may be introduced in Europe, and that considerably exceeds the figure proposed at the last peace conference. In that sense, Alexei Kirilov is ahead of everyone.”
Strange days indeed: Detroit casino sponsors garden to produce seedlings for Detroiters to replant throughout the city. * * * * * * * I'm stunned at the growth of urban gardening. Last week while driving home from northern Michigan, I saw a billboard for a "rural urban agriculture" tradeshow. It's a great development, with absolutely no downsides that I can discern. * * * * * * * No matter how discouraged I get at the federal government, a significant part of me says you can't keep the American spirit down. Urban farming is just one symptom of that relentless spirit that de Tocqueville marvelled at. * * * * * * * The New Evangelization, I suppose: Fraternitas, a Catholic online pub. * * * * * * * The Patient Will See You Now. The transforming business of health care. One of the best Econtalk podcasts of the past few years. Fascinating. Based on some online research after listening to this podcast, I think I can get my cholesterol checked for under $40. * * * * * * * Have breast cancer concerns? Pay $249 for some peace of mind . . . or notice that you need to be extra vigilant. It beats the $4,000 that the mainstream medical establishment charges for such tests. * * * * * * * Tell Congress: Pass a Constitutional Amendment defending traditional marriage (sign the petition). Quixotic? Probably, but no more so than voting every four years and thinking it makes a difference.
Related to yesterday's rant: “Children are creating their own black markets to trade and sell salt due to First Lady Michelle Obama’s school lunch rules." Link.
It's a good article, highlighting the folly that is the free lunch (which reminds me of something I should've mention yesterday: even the time-honored cliche "There's no free lunch" has been turned on its head).
Marie has seen first-hand the enormous waste at those free lunches. She has occasionally gone to them with the kids (all kids in our town get free lunches during the summer) and seen garbage cans filled with the discarded food. Under the regulations, the workers must give the kids everything on the menu, even if the kids don't want it, with the result that the healthier items just get thrown away in piles.
It's shameless, it really is, the wasted opulence that is 21st-century America. If there's not a big business interest benefiting handsomely from this big government benefit, I'll eat my underwear. If Pope Francis really wanted to make a contribution, he should dispatch Vatican sources to investigate the waste that is the Socialistic free lunch in America today. He would immediately re-think his criticisms of the free market and begin to realize that the enemy is, as Chesterton pointed out, Hudge and Gudge.
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.