Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tribeless, Lawless, Hearthless Ones

STORIES AND PHOTOS of 'uncontacted' Amazonian Indian Tribesmen standing around their hut are floating around the net. Whatever the legitimacy, I don't know what's worse: tormenting these people with helicopter flyovers (The Gods Must Be Crazy!), or speaking of them as if they were polar bears:

"These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist...the world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct."

Just as in the abortion issue, it's easy to deny someone's claim to human dignity when you deny them any real personhood or human nature. Interestingly, the denial of dignity to the unborn is so that we can kill them without guilt, which is the ultimate selfish move, but in the case of these Indians, the denial of their dignity is, while still selfish, so that we can preserve them exactly as they are. It is selfish precisely because the scientific community wants to keep them as a snapshot of a previous time in human development in order to help explain where modern man came from before he was born, thus relieving the pressure of dealing with where he might be going after he's dead.

Actually, it seems there are two realistic explanations for the international community implying that these unconnected people ought not be disturbed. Either scientists believe that these people are to be classified amongst the lower animals, not having developed into a fully human species, or uber-men untainted by the fallen human nature that the rest of humanity is corrupted by. It all depends on your point of view of human nature. Some people think that everything other than the norm is disgusting. Others think everything is beautiful except for the norm. The one group thinks these Indians don't share humanity's collective guilt for sins such as destroying the planet any more than an insect shares, while the other group thinks these Indians are the only pure sample of true humanity: a purity that exempts them from law and therefore lawlessness as well.

This kind of distinction is vaguely reminiscent of ARISTOTLE'S VIEW of men outside of the rule of law: "[H]e who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state." I realize Aristotle is actually speaking of individuals who have no societal impulse, and this is obviously not true of these Indians, for they are tribal, but still, the idea is applicable by extension: as parts not within a whole.

Whatever the international community thinks of the taxonometric status of these people, it is so, so sad that they are afraid of sharing the Truth with them. They are men just like you and me. Reminds me to pray for God's mercy and that they have an implicit DESIRE for Baptism.

Oh, and also for ALL THE LITTLE GREEN MEN. Silly Jesuit Astronomers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Post of Relative Importance

Happy Birthday Giuseppe! For your seventh birthday, Mommy has a very special present for you!!!

Isabella Maria was born at 5:30 am, on 5/30 (Well, a few minutes past then, but at least it was before the sons had risen), weighing 8lbs. 8oz. and was 21 inches long.

My beautiful wife had an excruciatingly long pregnancy (10+ days overdue THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS TO THE MADONNA DEL PARTO BY THE WAY), but her labor of love was relatively short-you could say it was ova before it began. Nonetheless, I always knew she had it in her, and that it would all work out in the end. Isabella certainly didn't quit when she was a head.

Of course, we now have two children in diapers and one in pull-ups, so I suppose our lives will be full of changes in the near future. We can't wait for the end of diapers. And while we don't want to act rashly, we also don't want to be accosted by the high cost of too many cloths. Hopefully Bella trains better than her brothers.

Surely, this will be another heir raising experience, with hopefully more to come!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Wild Place

My good friend Fr. Barry has finally posted to youtube this wonderful little short film he made a couple of years ago. I cannot express how much I love it, nor how much I've grown to appreciate the vast wisdom of G.K. Chesterton. I can only hope Fr. Barry finds the time to pick up the camera again and start putting to work the obvious artistic ability he has.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Everybody Should Pray their Parto

UPDATE: Thanks for the prayers! The baby came!

Please pray for my suffering wife. She's now 9 days overdue. Please invoke the intercession of the Madonna del Parto. (Madonna of the Delivery). For more on the painting and the Madonna del Parto, see HERE

Additionally, there's the Madonna del Parto at the church of San Agostino in Rome, by Jacopo Sansovino: one of my favorite Renaissance Italian architects. Palladio even wrote in his Quatro Libri that Sansovino had erected the best building since antiquity-- with the exception of Palladio's own works. Until today, when a friend told me he did this version of the Madonna del Parto, I didn't even know he was responsible for such great sculpture as well. Although, in this case, the Christ child is already on the outside, so we could jokingly name it Madonna del Postparto.

Anyways, this statue is venerated by Romans who are having children. Nowadays, this means the 6 or 7 Italian women who actually have children per year. At any rate, if you want to get pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, or a quick and painless delivery, you pray in front of this statue and leave behind a memento. Not surprisingly, this statue has been surrounded by hundreds of little baby booties over the years. You can see them to the right of the statue above. So, It's the quick and painless delivery that I'd like to ask for you to pray for at this time.

For those outside of Rome, a visit to the church of Madonna del Parto may be in order. This little church was built in the remnants of an Etruscan tomb in Sutri, about 30 miles from the eternal city.

So if you can, please go to the Etruscan tomb and pray to His trusted womb so my wife's thrusts can bloom.

Quod Erat Infacetium

We have MATHEMATICAL PROOF that it's not our fault, no matter how hard we tri.

What does it mean?
It means the centroid of attention for any well proportioned figure is located pretty much at its cleavage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Smells Like Conservative Teen Spirit

I never thought I'd actually like Courtney Love. In fact, I've spent my adult life arguing against the kind of philosophy and moral system she and Kurt Cobain presented and represented to my generation--a philosophy I myself lived until I began to think. But that she FOUGHT COERCED ABORTION from friends and doctors has quickly moved her up to near the top of my list of celebrities. I guess you could say she's my heroin heroine.

The irony of it all is that many women are coerced into abortions because they might suffer abuse if they don't kill their baby. In order to avoid a potential harm to child or mother, they actually harm both child and mother? So planned parenthood is fighting for the woman's right to choose by taking away her right to choose? 'You have a choice, but you may only choose abortion'.

Animals don't trick eachother into killing their own young. But man, beautiful and hideous man, has perfected the ability to lower himself below the beasts. And that very thing that separates us from the beasts--our rationality--is the machine we use to surpass the lower animals even in their irrationality.

Monday, May 26, 2008

He's Out of the Woods Now,

But yesterday my brother was shafted. You see, the poster child for anger management himself was playing golf with a couple of buddies, and during a particularly poor round he hit a particularly poor 5 iron on a particularly easy par 3. Turning around in a furor, he axe-chopped the sign marking the hole and the distance. While in this state of heightened reason, he nevertheless failed to foresee that the sign was metal, and that his club would snap in half, whipping downward, lodging the shaft in his leg, and puncturing a vein: leaving the pinhead spurting blood national lampoon style. (UPDATE: it was actually a 6 iron, which makes for a loftier story, but only to a degree)

In short, he was really teed off after teeing off, and lodged his head after he lost his head.

After a trip to the hospital, they deemed him to be iron deficient, and although many stitches were required, a skin graphite was not necessary. He's a little embarrassed about it all, but apparently felt well enough to go clubbing last night.

Dude, sorry I laughed so hard on the phone. Glad you're ok.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

One Hitler Wonder

I hope this doesn't inführeriate anyone. I certainly laughed my S.S. off.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chewbacca is Our Savior

According to George Lucas, CHEWBACCA was part dog and part man. This of course meant that Chewie was his own best friend, but nevertheless decided to be loyal to Hans. Hans surely would have had cloned Chewie had he had the option, as WE NOW DO. Best friends again. And again. Yes, we were all glad the dog/man mix was so well thought through by geniuses like Lucas, although I certainly wished as a child that I could have my own dog that could talk. I mean how great would that be. Thankfully, my childhood dream might just come true!!! You see, today we're one big step further from fiction and closer to medical reality.

Yippee, right?

The truth is, I had read THIS article about the U.K. passing legislation dismembering fatherhood from parenthood, and like most of you want to do (but probably don't because you have a better sense of propriety than I), I began long series of cuss words that my friends and co-workers have grown accustomed to when I read such things.

What's that got to do with Chewbacca? Well, I then did a little research and found out that hidden inside that bill was another, much MORE EVIL BIT that supports scientists gone mad and the society that blindly supports them: human/animal hybrid testing is now to be completely allowed. Not just any admixture, mind you. Cybrids are already being experimented with (Cybrids are about 99% human, 1% cow) But now were talking 50% animal, 50% man. Anything you want to do. Do it. Please. In the name of science and saving life. Don't forget your S.S. pin!

Oh, and by the way, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill also included a section on allowing 'savior siblings'. A savior sibling is a child whose clinical creation is for the sole purpose of harvesting parts so that they might be able to save the life of another child who may be sick or have defective parts.

God please be merciful. They know not what they do.

At least I hope they don't.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ready For a Nice, Stiff Drink

Perhaps THESE kind of events will help modern biology realize that it really doesn't know what constitutes 'life' and 'death'. I mean, as materialists, scientists must recognize that the empirical data shows they need to re-evaluate their theory, right?

Oh wait. But they take it on faith that they know better than nature. They won't learn a thing. This woman's happening was an anomaly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Life in the Pitts

True, many people are LEAVING PITTSBURGH and other great and historic cities because there just isn't that much happening there economically. But, the reality is that if the same Baby Boomers who are complaining about the changing demographics had not murdered so many of their children, they wouldn't be in this mess. By the numbers, 2500 innocent children have been legally murdered each year in Pittsburgh since January 1973, let alone the ones not counted from unrecorded yet equally intentional deaths caused by abortifacients like the Pill. While this doesn't explain away all of the demographic changes, it does when combined with the reality that with many less children comes less school choices, which gives people impetus to move. This is just the beginning of so many cities dying because there are no young people in them, and the elderly are at fault-they've literally killed the current working class generation of America.

Bill Clinton was, unfortunately, right about this: it's the economy, stupid. So, lets use that to our advantage! There should be a stiff tax assessed for abortions that covers the costs of caring for the elderly when they get old. They should be carrying the economic weight of all of those precious tax dollars not earned because they have 'chosen' to eliminate many a future taxpayer that would have done his civic duty adding to the Social Security coffers. That would cut the abortion rate pretty fast, eh?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Deriving My Advocates Nuts

As a matter of habit, the very first thing I do when I hear a new word is to look it up in the dictionary, check its etymology at THE ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY, and then cross-reference its origins through various lexica at THE PERSEUS PROJECT, if it has Greek or Latin roots. As nerdy as it may sound, this is not only fun, but incredibly useful in remembering the definition, deeper meanings, and syntactical potential for any word. You should bookmark both sites right now. NOW.

However, when a major literary figure mocks this approach, one ought to really think about one's attachment to said approach. Such is the case with the 20th century's greatest writer: G.K. Chesterton. According to Gilbert:
"The people who trust to derivations are always wrong: for they ignore the life and adventures of a word, and all that it has done since it was born. People of that sort would say that every man who lives in a villa is a villain. They would say that being chivalrous is the same as being horsey."
An example I thought of this morning on my drive to work is that not all members of cults are cultured.

Interestingly enough, the etymology of the word 'etymology' reveals that it implies quite the opposite of Mr. Chesterton's understanding. from Gk. etymologia, from etymon "true sense" (neut. of etymos "true," related to eteos "true") + logos "word." In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium. Thus, looking to the etymology will help you get to the 'true sense of the word'.

But turning to the etymology of 'etymology' to prove the worth of either etymology or philology is a lame argument. Kind of a self-fulfilling progeny. In reality, I think G.K., in fashion typical to his style, is over exaggerating his dislike for the reliance on etymology in order to emphasize another, more minor point: that he doesn't like editors screwing with the titles of his books. CLICK HERE FOR CONTEXT.

So then, I would still say that etymology is very useful, and can even enliven the word in ways greater than by mere conventional use. Perhaps this BEGS THE QUESTION of proscriptive vs. descriptive language analysis, but we'll save that for another day.

For your bar-fact enjoyment, I submit to you three of my favorite contentiously contented etymologies:

n. a coarse, dark, slightly sour bread made of unbolted rye.

Originally an abusive nickname for a stupid person, from pumpern "to break wind" + Nickel "goblin, lout, rascal, demon, Devil," from proper name Niklaus. Pumpernickel was said to be so hard to digest, that it even gave the Devil a difficult time in the digestive process. So, it literally means 'Devil's fart'. Alternatively, the other etymology of the word is not from German, but from French into German. Apparently, a french nobleman was served the dark rye bread and exclaimed: "C'est bon pour Nicole!" His horse, being named Nicol, was the only one this Frenchman saw fit to dine on such hard, inedible bread. This was then returned to Germany as Pumpernickel.

n. Murderer, generally somewhat professional; esp. one who murders a prominent figure.

During the time of the Crusades, members of the Ismā'īlī sect of Shia Muslims engaged people to terrorize their Christian enemies by performing murders as a religious duty. These acts were carried out under the influence of hashish, and so the killers became known as hashshashin, meaning eaters or smokers of hashish. Hashshashin evolved into the word assassin.

n. Pear-shaped fruit with dark green, leathery skin, a large stony seed, and greenish-yellow edible pulp. Also the topical American tree on which this fruit grows.

Originally the Aztecs called this fruit ahucatl after their word for testicle. This is may be partly due to the fruit's resemblance to a testicle, but also because it was supposedly believed to be an aphrodisiac. To the Spaniards ahucatl sounded like avocado (=advocate, Spanish), and so the fruit came to Europe, via Spain, under that name. Avocado pears are also sometimes called Alligator pears. The etymology of this is far more obvious; the skin of these fruits is dark green, thick, leathery, and knobbly, rather like that of an alligator, not to mention the paronomasial qualities between Avocado and Alligator.

For further knowledge: the translational error from 'ahucatl' to 'avocado' and 'pumpernickel' from 'bon pour Nicol' is called folk etymology. This process frequently occurs when users of one language, in virtue of their inability to pronounce certain sounds in other languages, are forced to represent those sounds with similar but completely unrelated sounds from their own. While this is sometimes very unscientific, it can certainly provide for some of the more colorful derivations of words. And I find myself contented with this.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

She Did It On Porpoise

I had thought that it was bad enough with this week's CA subreme court ruling, until I found THIS ARTICLE about a woman marrying a dolphin. Yes. That's what I flippin' said.

So when she gets a Dear Jane letter, will it say: "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Please, You First.

A growing sentiment amongst the environmental mentals is the idea that we should eliminate our species from the Earth in order to save Her. While we can thank Paul Ehrlich for the BOMB he planted in the modern mind back in 1968, we are nevertheless seeing an explosion of viscerally constructed arguments that are not merely about zero population growth, but zero population.

Now I'M TOLD by Time magazine that if I want to be sure to wreck the environment, I should have a baby. According to this OTHER BUFFOON, we should actively promote our own extinction. But don't worry: "It's really the best way because the people we don't create don't exist, and so there's no impact on them."

Oh isn't that thoughtful. Thank you for your insightful metaphysical distinction. Straight out of Margaret Sanger's playbook, no?

"Everything that we like, including clean air and clean water and wilderness to go and visit, all of those will increase as there become fewer of us."

In the words of Mugatu: "Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!!" The same people who are fighting for the natural reproductivity of the beasts are telling me that although they'll put their life on the line to save a species of bug in the Amazon, they still want my species to undergo an unnatural stoppage of breeding? Aren't I just as much an member of the same Nature as that bug to them? Apparently not. I'm a disease.

According to radical environmentalist PAUL WATSON: "The planet's ecosystem is a collective living organism and operates very much like the human body...humans are presently acting upon this body in the same manner as an invasive virus with the result that we are eroding the ecological immune system. ...Human beings are the AIDS of the Earth".

Your reasoning skills are elementary, my dear Watson. Perhaps you can be the first to AID us by being the first to die for the sake of the species and your BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Thankfully, his and other population control nazis have reproductive rates much, much lower than mine. My kind will win by attrition.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Communist Community Comps Union Communion

Another HORRIBLE DAY to be a Californian. Can we please stop calling them gays? Working in the design world, I have to every day deal with homosexuals. They are almost always the least gay, the least happy, people I know. Allowing them to marry will only cause more unhappy gaity when divorce happens.

But of course, I can't possibly say this in public. I'd be crucified. I am simply not allowed to have that opinion because it's not the opinion of 2.9% of the population. But apparently, they can say WHATEVER THEY CHOOSE TO at the expense of others. EXPELLED can be about any number of free speech and free thought violations.

I am so angry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

Hat tip to my brother:

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then -- just to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's. I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Plato, Aquinas,
Bacon and Kant. I would return to the office dizzied and confused,
asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my
conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confess, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as
college professors and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Pascal. I roared into
the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Aristotle, a poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.

This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Farenheit 911", and next week it'll be "Porky's". Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed . . . easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I began my last step to help others with thinking problems. I joined the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Change Is in the Air

It has been said that the first item of business in the beginning of any inquiry is to define the terms, and posit the principles by which one is to proceed. 96% of erudition is not in actually knowing more than your foes, but in making them pick up a dictionary to understand what they themselves would say in common lingo. Thus, Kant was able to successfully keep a healthy distance from objectors by merely inventing a new philosophical language which disallowed readers to turn to the lexicon. In order to combat this problem while at the same time employing it, we must begin with defining terms.

Therefore, our study of wordplay will commence with a short discussion about change. More specifically, we must discuss what grammatical objects are being changed, how they are being changed, and where they are being changed. What. How. Where.

The best place to start is describing 'how' words are changed. There are four operations of change: addition, subtraction, transposition and substitution. In similar fashion to the four basic mathematical operations, transposition and substitution can be argued to be extensions of addition and subtraction in the same was as multiplication and division. I would, nonetheless, say that they are in fact different operations, as would any rightly thinking mathematician of his own operae.

The following are examples of the four operations of change.

Kidiot: On the way to becoming a dolt.
I avoid funerals because I'm not a mourning person.

Being shot at with a bow is an arrowing experience.
The pun is mightier than the word.

Feudalism: It's your Count that votes!
Alimony: The bounty of mutiny.

A pun is its own reword.
An ignoranus is both stupid and an asshole.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Little Portion of Inverse Proportion

An interesting factoid: As L.A. has become more of a metropolitan area, it has moved further and further away from its religious origins, to the point that it no longer has any religious remembrance or connotations at all.

It is hard to imagine, even for Angelinos, but the county of Los Angeles in 1860 had a population of only 11,000, while by the beginning of the Second World War it had reached nearly 2.6 million, and had surpassed 10 million by the end of 2006. Here is a photo of Santa Monica circa 1898, and I'm not bluffing:

Yet, amidst this growth in the number of people living here, the city has been reducing the number of letters in it's name. In 1860, the name was 'El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula', while by the middle of the 20th century the name had been reduced to Los Angeles, and now is merely referred to as 'L.A.'.

El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula, or literally 'The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the Little Portion of Land', was named by the Spanish Govenor Felipe de Neve under the guidance of Franciscan Missionaries settling the land near the eponymous Porciuncula River. The river, in turn, refers to the little chapel of the PORZIUNCOLA, where St. Francis often heard the singing of Angels after having rebuilt the chapel given to him on 'this little portion of land' for his Friars Minor. The Porziuncola is now inside the BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI, the latter having been built around the former to protect the sacred building that St. Francis rebuilt with his own hands.

Granted, the number of letters in a name is usually unimportant (unless you're the devil), but in this case, the reduction of the name from 55 letters down to 2 has two interesting consequences, of diverse significance:

Firstly, 55 letters would have put the city name as the 4th longest city name in the world, while as L.A., it is the shortest. And, well, it would be cool to be right up there with cities such as 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch' in Wales; or Bangkok, which as the world's longest city name, is known locally as:

Secondly, referring to El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula, at least in formal settings, recalls the religious and historical origins of the city. Referring to L.A. reduces it to an historically indeterminate and theologically insignificant hebetude, and is representative of our society's fear of all things religious, and a lack of understanding of the First Ammendment to the United States Constitution. This is a much greater problem than where we rank in the list of longest city names. We humans need to have reminders of the spiritual realities around us. We shouldn't be afraid to build our cities on hills, to keep our lights out, to be reminded of the cross He bore for us, and that we are not in paradise yet. This is, of course, all the more important in beautiful Southern California, as it is easy to think that we are already in paradise.

Los Angeles is not a unique situation in this regard...cities all over the country that were originally founded by Spanish Missionaries or even laymen with devotions are suffering the same secularization of nomenclature, such as San Buenaventura being reduced to 'Ventura', or San Francisco being reduced to 'Frisco'.

And so marches the secularization of our culture, and the loss of the richly historical and theologically relevant origins that make our places what they are.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

That is One Impressive Stat

There is very little about THIS story that is funny, with the exception of the following, which is absolutely hilarious:

"At least three women I dated in college subsequently declared themselves gay."

Wow. "At least"? Who would admit that for any reason? This went from ethos to pathos to pathological in 2 seconds flat. This guy is trying so hard to sound accepting, that he only succeeds in sounding like an idiot.

For extra reading:
Eminent Psychiatrist Says Homosexuality is a Disorder that Can be Cured

Search for "Gay Gene" Is "Bad Science" Says Nebraska Professor

"Homosexuality Is Not Hardwired," Concludes Head of The Human Genome Project

Friday, May 9, 2008


My (almost) two year old, in his favorite pastime.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Witches Exhumed at Berkeley Lockedown

CODE PINK must have some kind of ties to the official MONSTER RAVING LOONEY PARTY, except that Code Pink isn't nearly as cool, and far too illogical. Oh wait. I think I mean 'sophisticated'.
Better commentary than mine HERE.

Silly Rabbi, Trix are for Catholics

I hate to make you have to watch all of THIS LITURGY. At 6 minutes or so, it's a lot to actually sit through, and well, very aggravating. Not to mention I'm violating a personal belief that the Real Presence should not be filmed. Or am I? There's nothing particularly sacrilegious, but validity can be questioned. Well, the dancing is also funny in a very disturbing way, so it's worth it if nothing else than to help you realize your parish isn't the worst out there.

For those of you who choose to not watch it, following a particularly gender-neutered homily by the black woman, the 'priest' ended the 'Mass' with his own version of the sign of the cross: 'In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier'.

The funny thing is, those words are among the very few in English that are gender specific-they are particularly masculine loanwords. In fact, one could argue they are more masculine than 'father' or 'son'- words that are not themselves gender specific, but signify and emphasize masculinity by their meaning and intrinsic gender.

Words often have a grammatical gender that is not tied to their significant gender. This is easy to see in other languages, where masculine objects are signified by feminine or neutral words and vice versa. (such as in Gaelic, where cailín 'girl' is grammatically masculine, yet obviously feminine in significance). Even in English, which is almost completely neutral, we use grammatically gendered words such as actor/actress. Catholic English takes this to the next level, with words such as Co-Redemptrix, which is only used in the Catholic sense.

The point is that in English, when a word has grammatical gender, it is significant to the the actual gender of the object signified, and is usually used for the effect of emphasis. When speaking of Nicole Kidman, if we say 'actress' rather than 'actor', we are choosing to emphasize the femininity of the person, rather than merely the occupation of the person, when we could have just said 'actor'.

So, back to the priest changing the Sign of the Cross: the idiot intended to undermine the actual gender of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and ended up reinforcing and emphasizing their masculinity through the use of particularly masculine grammar.

This is what happens when priests and lame-men try to play -trix on the language of the Church-- they end up making sacerdolts of themselves.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Humor is a Funny Thing

Way back in time, when I was a freshman in college (for the first time) and still tinkering with the idea that I might want to become a doctor, I took a biology course that basically focused on the dissection of various critters. This was merely an extension of my childhood activities, as I grew up in a family of hunting and fishing guides in Wyoming, so I had cut up just about every single animal I got my hands on. Anyway, the climax of the course was the vivisection of a turtle. After the basic inspection and harmless preliminary tests on the turtle, we drilled a 2" hole through the underside of its shell, and watched its heart beating. And watched its heart rate slow. And watched its heart stop completely.

Then, we currently shocked it back to pulsing. And let it die again. Shock, beat, stop. Shock, beat, stop. Every student, even the most repulsed by the idea of vivisection, had left behind any notion of even scientific endeavor for the awesome curiosity of playing God. No matter how many times I did it, that little heart started back up again. And even though I knew metaphysically that that turtle was no longer a turtle, it was an almighty feeling of power to pretend that physically, that turtle's life was in my hands.

Death Zap Life. Death Zap Life.

Some years later, I was struck by the powerful metaphor this event could represent, although in consistent fashion with my usual thinking, the metaphor was nowhere near as significant as the original, but I digress.

It has been said, and yet needs not be uttered, that the most surefire way to kill a joke is to analyze what it is that makes it funny. Humor is a funny thing. Those that are best at it, are usually unable, or at least unwilling, to describe what it is that makes their jokes funny. They know, as should I, that in analyzing a joke, its life is easily removed. Those of us with kids are particularly keen on this, as it's horribly and excruciatingly painful to explain to a 5 year old why it is that their knock knock jokes aren't funny, and yet even more painful realizing you must laugh at them.

With that in mind, I will now begin a long and arduous journey to vivisect as many jokes as necessary in order to classify, codify, and semper fi all species of wordplay. Therefore, with Ray Gunner at my side, I will over the coming months be looking at the various figures of speech that govern wordplay. (Not all wordplays are intended to be humorous, mind you, but all are figures of speech and are ordered to pathos: like it or not.)

Have you ever wondered how a Tom Swifty is different than a Wellerism? What are the particular forms and uses of palindromes? Why are some tongue twisters harder to say than others? What is a pun, anyway?

Yes, I will kill some of our favorite jokes in the process. It is nobly under the guise of academic inquiry and scientific knowledge that we will proceed, as if anyone really cares. Hopefully, you will find a shockingly new way to bring those jokes back to life in your own everyday usage.

Le Calembour est mort. Vive le Calembour!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Turn of the 21st Century...

...was made by a feminist driver.

This ad is another (although dated) gem from Salvo Magazine, tied to the article: GIRLY MEN: The Media's Attack on Masculinity.

I would add to the Salvo argument the following thoughts: Feminine women used to be portrayed with babes in arms. Now, feminist women are betrayed as babes with arms.

For those interested in more of this subject, I highly recommend getting lectures by FR. PHILIP CHAVEZ on cd. If you can hear him in person, even better.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Obtained Zenn and Nothing to Chauffer It

Living in California, designing buildings in California, all I hear about nowadays is 'Green Design'. We're just about at the point where buildings are only being judged on the merits of their LEED points, while there's almost no mention of whether they're beautiful or if they add to the overall quality life of the people who use them. Over the next couple of months, I'm going to be sounding off about this subject frequently enough, mostly concerning myself with the architectural implications of this new fad.

Today, I READ THIS ARTICLE about a yet another little 'green car'. "The Zenn, or 'Zero Emission, No Noise' vehicle, is a three door hatchback with a range of up to 35 miles and an 80 percent recharge time of 4 hours."

Are you kidding me?. Only 35 miles? I guess that goes to show you that Buddhism doesn't get you very far.

From the ZENN WEBSITE, (sorry,it's Flash...when I rule the world it will be illegal to have a flash driven site.) we learn that the purely electrical Zenn is "designed to meet neighborhood and urban transportation needs, the regulated maximum 25mph. As such its intended use is busy urban areas, lower speed roads and places like gated communities and campuses where speed is neither necessary, desirable or safe."

The real question is: where the hell are you driving within a gated community, anyway? To the tennis court? Oh that's saving the earth, alright. Are you supposed to drive one from your dorm room to your classroom rather than walking? You betcha, that 'conserves energy'. Someone in the Zenn marketing department needs to learn that something is always more than nothing.

There are a lot of these little electric vehicles in California, especially in Santa Barbara where it has become quite chic to drive environmentally friendly cars around town and then leave your 18 fireplaces running 24/7 just so your little toe-sies don't chill when you arrive home from 2 months at your other mansion. I'm not exaggerating. It happens. A lot.

In urban areas (as they are now), I almost see the purpose. Currently, we have to drive to everything. But if cities were designed well, there would be no need to drive at all to get to the necessities of life, because neighborhoods would be walkable, and would contain within them the schools, groceries, police stations, health clinics, etc. that are requisite for the health, safety and wellbeing of residents.

I am not advocating that we get rid of cars, but rather that we should get rid of our utter dependence upon them. Then, these little glorified golf carts like the Zenn would be totally unnecessary. Vehicular emissions problems are not caused by our travel on interstates and highways. The vast majority of superfluous emissions come from our 4 mile trips to the grocery store to buy milk. Eliminate the need for that trip by designing mixed-use neighborhoods and cities, and all those emissions will disappear, not to mention we'll live in nicer neighborhoods and actually get to know our neighbors.

That would be a truly 'green' move.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Not All Lesbians are Lesbos

In an interesting example of pathos in Greek argumentation, the residents of the Greek island of Lesbos have LAUNCHED LEGAL ACTION that aims at blocking homosexual women from using the word 'lesbian' to describe themselves.

I guess this means that Lesbians are claiming Demotic is demonic when lesbians Koine new term.

I would be very happy if they also filed suit contending that 'gay' should be returned to its rightful signification.

In like Flynt

There are two things I can't believe about THE D.C. MADAM STORY, (that politicians were her clients is not one of them): that the conspiracy theorists took a whole day and a half after her suicide to bombard mainstream media; and that I actually agree with Larry Flynt about this whole suicide thing being highly doubtful.

I feel dirty just saying it.

And in an bizarre yet opportunistic prayer for what is in all likelihood a sad but true and inevitable fact, I find myself paralyzed with the thought that Flynt is right when he hints at privy knowledge of the whore's little black book:

"Let me put it this way, there were more Democrats on it than Republicans..."

At the same time, I can't help but noting a gaping hole in the logic of the article: Flynt purports that the only reason the story was of interest was "because of the number of Democrats who could be targeted by the Bush administration." Yet just before this claim, the article notes that

"Flynt was an integral part in keeping Palfrey's story public and worked with her and investigative reporter Dan Moldea to break the story that the phone number of Sen. David Vitter, R-La., was among those numbers in Palfrey's client list. Flynt targeted Vitter because he had campaigned for office on a family-values platform."

Um, those are mutually exclusive, Dufus. Are you the one who kept it alive in the media, or was it the Bush republicans? Oh my God. The other logical possibility is that both statements are equally true, which means that Larry Flynt is a Bush republican. In the words of Luke Skywalker: "Noooooooooooooooooooooo..."

Ok, I badmouthed him. I feel better.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

In case you haven't felt the news, there's currently a very interesting geological event going on in Reno right now. HERE'S the mass-media story. But cute stories about kids knowing more about earthquakes than their teachers don't really relay the import of the situation, and Reno is only part of the story.

An earthquake “swarm” is an episode with many earthquakes in which the largest earthquake does not occur at the beginning of the episode and in which the largest earthquake is not substantially larger than other earthquakes of the episode. Earthquake swarms generally continue for weeks, months, or even longer, without the occurrence of a substantially larger event. This distinguishes a swarm from a sole event with aftershocks. Earthquake swarms occur in a variety of geologic and tectonic settings. Swarms are rare, and usually (but not always) tied to volcanic activity.

But Swarms of Earthquake Swarms are unheard-of. Here are the important swarms all happening within the last couple of months:

Reno's swarm is currently at 350+ events. Reno is currently moving (Thanks to the North American Plate movement) to the Northwest at the rate of 11mm per year. This is causing a great deal of pressure at the junction of the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate: they are SWALLOWING the Juan de Fuca Plate and the Cocos Plate, to the North and South, respectively.

Cerro Prieto Volcano and Geothermal Field: The meeting point of the East Pacific Rise and the slip-strike of the San Andreas Fault, at the Northern Edge of the Cocos Plate. Swarm of 250 events over 3 weeks in February 2008. If a major quake is triggered here, pretty much all of the Colorado River delta will flood, up to and including the Salton Sea, which is below sea level.

Oregon Coastal Zone: Unique swarm of 600+ EVENTS occured OVER THE LAST MONTH, just east of the Cascadia Subduction zone at the boundary of the Juan de Fuca Plate, which has the potential for a mega quake greater than that of the New Madrid Fault in Missouri (Side note: the new madrid fault is responsible for the 3 of the 5 largest quakes in the contiguous United States. Read more HERE.) The last mega-quake at the Cascadia Subduction Zone (January 26th, 1700) was a ~9.0 and dropped the coastline in some parts of Washington by 5 feet. Yes. I said 5 feet. Estimates and Pattern studies put cycle periods on mega-quakes in the area at 400-600 years.

This is great news for guys like me who have been waiting for a major earthquake to lower house values in California. I just hope that a mega-quake doesn't lower house heights in California to the point that we end up living in THIS FLOATING DEVELOPMENT.

That would really suck.

Holy Sheet!

There are very few things that keep me at a loss for words. THIS is one.