The Fish, Out of Matter: R.I.P.

Yes bassist Chris Squire passed away last night at age 67. I don’t usually pay too much attention to what goes on in the entertainment world, as I don’t have much personal investment in it, and never really have. But there have been some exceptions to that. Chris Squire would be pretty close to the top of that exception list. Squire had noted on Facepalm® last month that he had fallen victim to a brutal disease, so today’s news was not entirely surprising, but it was disturbing nonetheless, and I’m feeling as if I lost a friend. That’s a silly sentiment,...

On a Nationalized American Religious Disposition

I don’t take many calls that come in from 800- or similar area codes, but I took one this morning, because I am expecting a call-back from HP regarding a warranty replacement hard drive for Ezra, my Windows 7 desktop computer (which I had prematurely identified last week as suffering from software problems, but which were being caused by a failing hard drive). The call was from an organization looking to add my name to a petition supposedly being submitted somewhere or another as a token of protest against the legal successes of a militant atheist group ...

It is by their gods that human beings are shaped and known

Quote of the Day for Monday, May 9th, 2011: A second helping from the wonderful essay by David Bentley Hart: John Paul II Against the Nihilists: For the late pope, divine humanity is not something that in a simple sense lies beyond the human; it does not reside in some future, post-human race to which the good of the present must be offered up; it is instead a glory hidden in the depths of every person, even the least of us – even "defectives" and "morons" and "genetic inferiors," if you will – waiting to be rev...

Inaugural Symbolism & Real Power

All the fawning that’s fit to publish… It’s been a rather surreal two days, focused around the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of these United States. The people around me all seemed to be grounded rather normally, but every time I’ve braved the elements and exposed myself to the mainstream media, it’s as if somebody (me? them?) has entered another world. I’ve stayed far away from TV for the most part, but I was walking through the living room last night while Joyce had MSNBC playing, and I heard popular historian Ken Burns tell Keith...

Turning Aside from the Way Ordained

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Matt 7:21 (NAB) 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Deut 11.18, 26-28, 32 Rom 3.21-25, 28 Matt 7.21-27 (view the readings at the USCCB site) Very interesting how the two reading cycles converge in today’s liturgy – which they certainly don’t always do. The first reading is not on a cycle, but is usually an Old Testament reading that somehow typifies, or at least contextualizes, the reading ...