Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bonus! Song o' the Lenten Fast


"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Grapefruit Diet" from Running with Scissors (The Last Angry Fatso)

The Rebel Black Dot Irish Song o' the Day


Dropkick Murphys, "(F)lannigan's Ball" from The Meanest of Times (The Last Angry Irishman)

Commentary: "(F)lannigan's Ball" is an updated adaptation of the tradition folk song "Lanigan's Ball." The degeneration of the celebratory ball into an indiscriminate brawl is the very core of the song, in every era.
"Boy, oh boy, now this was a rumble,
Meself took a lick from mean Richard Green,
But I soon replied to that fine introduction
And gave him a terrible kick in the spleen.

"Talent the piper nearly got strangled,
They squeezed on his bellows, chanters, and all,
The girls in the middle nearly got trampled
And that put an end to Flannigan's Ball…"

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


Sarah Blasko, "Spanish Ladies" via iTunes (from the Turn: Washington's Spies—Original Soundtrack, Season 1 E.P.) (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: The bonnie lass pictured above is the actress Rachel Keller, an American maiden not a Spanish lady, but the intention behind the choice of "Spanish Ladies" is applicable all the same.
"Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain…"

Bonus! Song of Fat Tuesday


"Weird Al" Yankovic, "The White Stuff" from Off the Deep End (The Last Angry Fatso)

Commentary:
"The first one was a sweet one,
Second one was a blast,
Soon I finished off the bag—ate 'em up real fast!
You can see 'em in my teeth,
Tell it when I talk,
Had so many my pancreas just went into shock…"

Bonus! Song of Taco Tuesday


"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Taco Grande" from Off the Deep End (The Last Angry Hombre)

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the festival of Saint Hilarius, Pope (died 468), forty-sixth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Oswald of Worchester, Bishop, O.S.B. (died 992): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine Leap Year.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Daniel Brottier, Priest, C.S.Sp. (1876-1936): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine Non-leap. Bl. Daniel Brottier is an especially relevant saint to us in these years of the First World War's centenary.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter thirty-five, verses one thru twelve;
Psalm Fifty, verses five thru eight, fourteen, & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-one.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DXXXVIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
23 February 1917: The Second Battle of Kut—British & Imperial forces, advancing up both banks of the Tigris River since December 1916, outflanked the Ottoman defenses at Kut-al-Amara; the Turks withdrew, avoiding the fate of the Anglo-Indian forces they had starved into surrendering Kut just ten months earlier; the British commander, Sir Frederick Stanley, gained the nickname "Systematic Joe."






Lest we forget.

Commentary: The Wayback Machine Tour of the Siege of Kut, 1915-1916: № CDXCV.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition, Part II

Sunday, 26 February was the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 26 February would have been the festival of Saint Porphyry of Gaza, Bishop (circa 347-420): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Blessed Robert Drury, Priest & Martyr, O.S.B. (1567-1607), martyred in the reign of the king James VI & I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Paula of Saint Joseph Calasanz, Religious (1799-1889, A.K.A. Paula Montal Fornés), foundress of the Sisters of the Pious Schools: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Isaiah, chapter forty-nine, verses fourteen & fifteen;
Psalm Sixty-two, verses two & three, six & seven, eight & nine;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter four, verses one thru five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses twenty-four thru thirty-four.

Mass Journal: Week Nine
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
I believe God wants us to be happy. I believe God gave us this yearning for happiness that constantly preoccupies our hearts. It seems He has placed this yearning within each human heart as a spiritual navigational instrument designed to lead us to our destiny. God himself is the author of our desire for happiness. The philosophy of Christ is one of self-donation. This is the great paradox of God's teaching. In our misguided adventures, we may catch glimpses of happiness as we live outside of the philosophy of Christ. You may even taste happiness for a moment living contrary to the philosophy of Christ, but these are stolen moments. They may seem real, but they are just shadows of something infinitely greater.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition, Part I

Saturday, 25 February was the festival of Saint Wulpurga, Abbess, O.S.B. (circa 710-779, A.K.A. Valderburg, et al.): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine '16. Born & raised in a family of saints, St. Walpurga's father was St. Richard the Pilgrim (7 February) & her uncle was St. Boniface (5 June), among others.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio, Religious, O.F.M. (1502-1600), nicknamed the "Angel of Mexico:" Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saints Luigi Versiglia, Bishop, & Callistus Caravario, Priest, Martyrs, S.D.B. (1873-1930 & 1893-1930), martyred at the hands of Bolshevik pirates, two of the one hundred twenty Martyrs Saints of China (A.K.A. Saint Augustine Zhao Rong & Companions): Martyr-link Lima Victor, Martyr-link Charlie Charlie, & Wikipedia-link CXX.

Commentary: Wayback Machine '15. Within the list of Martyr Saints of China, which oddly does not number the earliest martyrs, Ss. Luigi & Callistus are numbers one hundred fifteen & one hundred sixteen.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter seventeen, verses one thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses thirteen thru sixteen.

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the festival of Saint Anne Line, Martyr (circa 1563-1601), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XL.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Roger Filcock, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (circa 1570-1601), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Religious, C.P. (1838-1862): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-four;
Psalm Thirty-two, verses one, two, five, six, & seven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-seven.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


William Shatner, "You'll Have Time" from Has Been (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Live life!
Live life like you're gonna die,
Because you're gonna.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news,
But you're gonna die…"

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day

Audrey Assad, "How Can I Keep from Singing" from Inheritance (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Seriously, how can I keep from singing?
"Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?…"

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

They Might Be Giants, "I Don't Understand You" from Apollo 18 (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Twenty-seven seconds of not understanding. Fingertips!
"I don't understand you,
(I don't understand you)
I just don't understand you,
(I don't understand you)
I don't understand the things you say,
I can't understand a single word.

"I don't understand you,
(I don't understand you)
I just don't understand you,
(I don't understand you)
I cannot understand you,
(I don't understand you)
I don't understand you,
(I don't understand you)."

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition

Friday, 24 February was the festival of Saint Liudhard, Bishop (died circa 600, A.K.A. Letard): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Æthelberht of Kent, Confessor (circa 552-616), King of Kent: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Cumméne Find, Abbot (died 669, A.K.A. Cumméne the White): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter six, verses five thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses twelve, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty-four, & thirty-five;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses one thru twelve.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hollywoodland


Iron Fist, the fourth Marvel/Netflix television series, debuts in three weeks, on Friday, 17 March, far-famed as St. Patrick's Day (though most of the revelers will care not a wit for the missionary bishop & the Almighty he served). Having thoroughly enjoyed both seasons of the television series Daredevil & the first season of Luke Cage (& tolerated Jessica Jones), as well as the comic book series The Immortal Iron Fist, I'm very excited. The Lord alone knows when I'll have time to watch Iron Fist, especially given a new obligation that just landed on me like a ton of bricks in the midst of an already overbooked March, but I'm still very excited.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Fountains of Wayne, "Leave the Biker" from Fountains of Wayne (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"He's got his arm around every man's dream
And crumbs in his beard from the seafood special.
Oh, can't you see my world is fallin' apart?
Baby, please, leave the biker, leave the biker, break his heart,
Baby, please, leave the biker, leave the biker, break his heart…"

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Queue

Sturgeon's Revelation ("ninety per cent of everything is crap") was on ruthless display in Lady Bullseye & Return of the King, two collections from Ed Brubaker's tenure as the writer of Daredevil. These were the first comics I'd read in years, other than The Adventures of Tintin & Scott Pilgrim, reminding me that the inevitability of Sturgeon's Revelation played a large role in why I stopped reading comics, especially superhero comics, in the first place. Ten years ago, I was of the opinion that Brubaker was a talented comic-book writer; either I was very mistaken, or these two collections are profoundly unrepresentative samples of his body of work.

Don't blame Sturgeon for his revelation; it's not his fault he's right.

My plan is to read Resisting Happiness as part of my Lenten devotions, approximately one chapter a day (there are thirty-seven chapters), exempting Sundays & allowing for a missed day here & there.

Recently
Matthew Kelly, Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation
Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark, et al., Daredevil: Lady Bullseye
Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark with David Aja, et al., Daredevil: Return of the King

Currently
Pope Francis, Amoris Lætitia (The Joy of Love)
Andy Diggle with Antony Johnston & Roberto De La Torre with Marco Checchetto, et al., Daredevil: The Devil's Hand

Presently
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***paused***
Mark Waid & Chris Samnee, Daredevil: The Autobiography of Matt Murdock
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness
Hilaire Belloc, How the Reformation Happened
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Polycarp, Bishop & Martyr (circa 69-155), martyred in the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Polycarp was a second-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound & burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, disciple of Saint John the Apostle (27 December), & friend of Saint Ignatius of Antioch (17 October), was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century. Saint Ignatius, on his way to Rome to be martyred, visited Polycarp at Smyrna, & later at Troas wrote him a personal letter. The Asian Minor Churches recognized Polycarp's leadership by choosing him as a representative to discuss with Pope (St.) Anicetus (20 April) the date of the Easter celebration in Rome—a major controversy in the early Church. Only one of the many letters written by Polycarp has been preserved, the one he wrote to the Church of Philippi in Macedonia. At (age) eighty-six, Polycarp was led into the crowded Smyrna stadium to be burned alive. The flames did not harm him & he was finally killed by a dagger.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Serenus the Gardener, Martyr (died circa 305), martyred in the reign of the emperor Maximian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Ludwik Mzyk, Priest & Martyr, S.V.D. (1905-1940), martyred in the reign of the Führer Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Martyrs of World War II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Book of Sirach, chapter five, verses one thru eight;
Psalm One, verses one thru four & six;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses forty-one thru fifty;

or, for St. Polycarp:
The Book of Revelation, chapter two, verses eight thru eleven;
Psalm Thirty-one, verse six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses eighteen thru twenty-one.

Individual Reading
The Book of Wisdom, chapter three, verses one thru twelve.

Commentary: The Hidden Counsels of God: A. On Suffering.

Urbi et Orbi
As is par for the course, Eye of the Tiber is funniest when it hits a little too close to home: Tiber-link.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, "Brazil" via iTunes (from Walkin') (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Is anyone else already itching for SKApril '17?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA


'Tis the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle: Cathedra-link ūnus, Cathedra-link duo, Cathedra-link trēs, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
(The Chair of St. Peter) is a physical object—an ancient, ornamented chair—located in the apse of St. Peter's Basilica. On the other hand, there is the spiritual authority that this chair represents. Although the pope's infallible pronouncements are called ex cathedra (Latin, "from the chair") statements, he does not have to be sitting in the physical chair (which is rather high off the ground in any case). Use of the full extent of the Pope's teaching authority is referred to figuratively as him speaking "from the chair" of St. Peter.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Margaret of Cortona, Religious, T.O.S.F. (1247-1297): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Émilie d'Oultremont, Religious, S.M.R. (1818-1878, A.K.A. Marie of Jesus), foundress of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.M.R.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter five, verses one thru four;
Psalm Twenty-three, verses one, two, three(a), four, five, & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter sixteen, verses thirteen thru nineteen.

Carnival!
Lent begins one week from today, with the observance of Ash Wednesday on 1 March. Lent is an annual period of fasting, penance, & alms-giving, in commemoration of our Lord Jesus Christ's forty days of fasting & praying in the desert in preparation for His earthly ministry, that precedes the holiest days of the year, the Easter Triduum. Take some time over the next seven days prayerfully to contemplate what distractions from the narrow path of righteousness you might cut out of your life this Lent, what pleasures you might forsake for the sake of your sisters & brothers in the Kingdom.

In the meantime, Carnival! Smoke if you got 'em.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition

Tuesday, 21 February was the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (circa 1007-1073): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Saint Peter Damian was a reforming Benedictine monk & cardinal in the circle of Pope (St.) Leo IX (19 April). Dante placed him in one of the highest circles of Paradiso as a great predecessor of Saint Francis of Assisi (4 October).
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Peter escaped poverty & the neglect of his own brother when his other brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took him under his wing. His brother sent him to good schools & Peter became a professor. Soon, he decided to leave his teaching & give himself completely to prayer with the Benedictines of the reform of Saint Romuald (19 June) at Fonte Avellana. They lived two monks to a heritage. Peter as so eager to pray & slept so little that he soon sufered from severe insomnia. He found he had to use some prudence in taking care of himself. When he was not praying, he studied the Bible. The abbot commanded that when he died Peter should succeed him. Abbot Peter found five other heritages. He wrote many letters; some one hundred seventy survive. We also have fifty-three of his sermons & seven lives, or biographies, that he wrote. He preferred examples & stories rather than theory in his writings. The liturgical offices he wrote are evidence of his talent as a stylist in Latin.
'Twas also the festival of Blessed Pepin of Landen, Confessor (circa 580-646), ancestor of Blessed Charlemagne, the inaugural Holy Roman Emperor (28 January): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Blessed Noël Pinot, Priest & Martyr (1747-1794), martyred in the reign of the National Convention: Martyr-link, Wikipedia-link List, & Wikipedia-link Oath.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Book of Sirach, chapter two, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm Thirty-seven, verses three & four, eighteen & nineteen, twenty-seven & twenty-eight, & thirty-nine & forty;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses thirty thru thirty-seven;

or, for St. Peter Damian:
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter four, verses one thru five;
Psalm Sixteen, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses one thru eight.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Mustard Plug, "What Does She Know?" from Can't Contain It (The Last Angry Man)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra featuring Asian Kung-Fu Generation, "Wake Up!" from Ska Me Forever (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: With the exception of the words "Wake up" & the closely related "So, wake up," the lyrics of "Wake Up!" are in Japanese, so I have only a vague notion of what the song is about. Surprising perhaps, given how verbal a fellow I am, but this lack of clarity does nothing to diminish my fondness for "Wake Up!" Anyone care to entertain any claptrap about music being a universal language?

Liberty & Union: From Obamboozled to Trumped


I was opposed to the politics & pomposity of Barack Obama from the moment he first rose to national prominence as the junior United States Senator from Illinois & candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential campaign. The '08 campaign was a triumph of style over substance, with citizens from all across the political spectrum projecting their hopes, beliefs, & ideals onto Obama, who welcomed the nigh-messianic fervor, referring to himself as "the change we've been waiting for." I foresaw a parade of horrors & was proven right, time & time again, to my great sorrow.

Instead of seeking to unify a fractious body politic, President Obama governed in a narrow, intensely partisan manner, eschewing input from even the most center-left Republicans, such as Senators Snowe & Collins from Maine. The nation became more divided & debate less civil; race relations grew more contentious & instances of violent crime, including murder, rose for the first time in decades. Freedom of speech was curtailed, as I.R.S. agents conducted targeted audits against organizations from only one side of the political spectrum; local prosecutors, following the federal government's lead, launched S.W.A.T.-style raids against the law-abiding, loyal opposition. Defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory in Iraq, giving rise to the "caliphate" of Daesh (I.S.I.S.), the "Islamic State" that is even more violent & expansionist than the bin Laden affiliate, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, from which it spawned. Russia invaded & annexed the Crimean Peninsula, facing only trifling sanctions in response, & is conducting on ongoing insurgency in Ukraine, designed to break the eastern provinces away from the national government in Kiev. Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, was given massive quantities of cash & precious metals in exchange for intentionally unverifiable promises of suspending the atom-bomb program it never admitted to operating. I could go on, & on, & on & on & on about the horrors of the Obama administration's parade of horrors.

For years, I looked forward to 20 January 2017 as an auspicious day, a day of national redemption & reconciliation. So much for that hopelessly naïve notion.


The 2016 presidential campaign proved ever more fractious than the preceding eight years. The Democrats nominated for president Hillary Clinton, former United States Senator from New York & Secretary of State, whose viciousness; callousness; & sleazy conflation of the State Department with her personal charity-cum-slush fund, the Clinton Foundation, made even her most ardent supporters lukewarm & dissatisfied. The Republicans nominated for president Donald Trump, real-estate mogul & reality-T.V. star, who had previously donated to both Mrs. Clinton's Senate campaigns & the Democratic Congressional Committee, who pettiness; nativism; & sleazy personal & business dealings made even Mr. Obama & Mrs. Clinton's most ardent opponents lukewarm & dissatisfied. Such is my personal & political animosity toward Secretary Clinton that I would have been willing to hold my nose & vote for the despicable likes of libertarian demagogue Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), but Mr. Trump was a bridge too far. I could not in good conscience vote for him—& I did not. Such is my personal & political animosity toward now-President Trump that I left the Republican party over his nomination; my politics have not changed since this time last year, but I simply will not countenance Trump. I awoke on Wednesday, 9 November 2016, assuming that Mrs. Clinton had been elected president, as all the news anchors & pundits had been saying she would for months & months. I freely confess that I smiled when I learned that she had conceded defeat the previous night. I was not happy that Mr. Trump was to be president, but I was thrilled that Mrs. Clinton was not. As of this writing, I'm still stuck, stranded 'twixt the Devil & the deep blue sea.

I oppose President Trump's crony capitalism (Carrier, Boeing) & blunderbuss conflation of border security with anti-terrorism: cracking down on visa overstays & lone wolf radicalization within immigrant communities has nothing to do with closing the border to refugees fleeing from persecution by Daesh in Iraq. But it's not as if I can make common cause with the left, those who say all are welcome at the Women's March & then exclusive explicitly feminist groups that happen to be pro-life, those who denounced as racist anyone who dared voice even the smallest objection to President Obama's policy agenda (saying nothing at all against the man himself) & yet who proudly declare Trump #notmypresident. It is an interesting illustration of the difference 'twist conservatives & progressives; I remember seeing many a T-shirt that also declared the second President Bush "Not My President," yet no similar widespread phenomenon ever existed denying President Obama's status as president of the United States, even by those who gleefully worked to thwart his agenda &, in the first term, deny him a second. Conservatives believe in representative democracy even when we disagree with the outcome of elections; progressives only agree with the principle of "government of the people, by the people, for the people" when it produces outcomes they like.

As I wrote, I'm stuck. I'm no longer a Republican & I can't be a Democratic. In the nearly two centuries that have passed since the end of the single-party "Era of Good Feelings," third parties in the American republic have only served to ensure electoral victory for the faction to which they are most stridently opposed. Disengagement is not an option, since the Church's clear social teaching is that Catholics must be good citizens, using politics to promote justice & solidarity. Kobayashi Maru.


Operation AXIOM: Presidents Day/Washington's Birthday (Observed)
After Inauguration Day came & went unremarked, I saved the skeletal framework of this post for publication on 20 February, figuring one month's distance would make perspective & reflection easier & thus comment more illuminating. I did not realize at the time that 20 February was the third Monday of the month, & thus the observance of the federal holiday of Washington's Birthday & the similar state holiday, known by a variety of names in the several states. (In sacred Michigan, 'tis neither Presidents' Day nor President's Day, but Presidents Day. I find the lack of an apostrophe puzzling & disappointing.) Spooky timing, that.

About the only good news is that, once again, we had a peaceful transition of power. A quick glance around the globe should remind us that this is still a far from universal experience, & we Americans should not take it for granted. We must always honor General Washington for the priceless, peerless example he set by relinquishing his office after two terms, thereby setting a precedent all future presidents honored, save one—& the Constitution has since been amended to prevent anyone else from vainly, cynically clinging to power as did the second President Roosevelt.

Bonus! Songs of the Day
Big D & the Kids Table, "President" from How It Goes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: A ska-punk song that has a proper punk cynicism about politics & politicians.

Fitz & the Tantrums, "Dear Mr. President" from Pickin' Up the Pieces (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: A far more earnest cry for political action to solve social & economic problems.

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Olcán, Bishop (died circa 480, A.K.A. Bolcan): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Wulfric of Haselbury, Priest (circa 1080-1154): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Blesseds Jacinta & Francisco Marto (1910-1920 & 1908-1919), two of the three to whom were revealed the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima, in 1917: Blesseds-link, Blessed-link Juliett Mike, Blessed-link Foxtrot Mike, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Our Lady.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter one, verses one thru ten;
Psalm Ninety-three, verses one, two, & five;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses fourteen thru twenty-nine.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DXXXVII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
17 February 1917: H.M.S. Farnborough (Q-5), a British Q-ship—a merchant ship armed with concealed weaponry, intended to lure U-boats into surfacing, & thus to their doom—ambushed & sank the German Unterseeboot S.M. U-83 off the Irish coast; Farnborough's captain Gordon Campbell was awarded the Victoria Cross; the heavily damaged Q-5 was deliberately beached.





Lest we forget.

Project BLACK MAMBA: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

'Tis the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 19 February would be the feast of Saint Odran, Martyr (died circa 450), martyred by pagans attempting to murder the bishop Saint Patrick: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Boniface of Brussels, Bishop, O.Cist. (1183-1260, A.K.A. of Lausanne): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Conrad of Piacenza, Hermit, T.O.S.F. (circa 1290-1351): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Leviticus, chapter nineteen, verses one, two, seventeen, & eighteen;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one thru four, eight, ten, twelve, & thirteen;
The First Latter to the Corinthians, chapter three, verses sixteen thru twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-eight thru forty-eight.

Mass Matters
On this fiftieth day of 2017 I partook of my fiftieth Mass. Life is good.

Mass Journal: Week Eight
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
The human heart is on a quest for happiness. Every person yearns for happiness like the desert yearns for rain. You have a desire for happiness; I have a desire for happiness. This desire is universal, common to every member of the human family. We simply desire to be happy, & we act from this desire. We often do things that we think will make us happy, only to discover that they end up making us miserable. This is often because we confuse pleasure with happiness. And sometimes long-term misery comes disguised as short-term pleasure.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition


Saturday, 18 February was the feast of Blessed John of Fiesole, Religious, O.P. (circa 1395-1455, A.K.A. Fra Angelico): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the feast of Blessed John Pibush, Priest & Martyr (died 1601), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter eleven, verses one thru seven;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses two thru five, ten, & eleven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses two thru thirteen.

Mass Journal: Week Seven
Reflections by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Now is a time when we all need to rediscover Catholicism. I try to rediscover it every day, & when I seek in earnest to do so I am never disappointed. When I am able to set my ego & personal agenda aside, more often than not I am left in awe. Catholicism is old. But let me ask you a question. If you had an ancient treasure map, would you throw it away because it was old? No. The age of the map doesn't matter. What matters is whether or not it leads to treasure. Catholicism is a treasure map: It may be old, but it still leads to treasure. Let's rediscover it together, & help others to do the same.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day

Flogging Molly, "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" from Drunken Lullabies (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" is more about cultural Catholicism than religious Catholicism, but that is appropriate to it's selection. The Friday before last, I was wearing the "Enjoy Being Catholic" T-shirt gifted me by Brother & Mrs. Nacho (A.K.A. Brother & Mrs. Envy) when a priest asked me, "How long have you been Catholic?" Without taking any offense, I read into his question the implication that I am an adult convert to the faith. Of course, that is true, from Obi-Wan Kenobi's famous "certain point of view."

I replied, "My whole life. But until five years ago I was a bad Catholic. Well, I'm still a bad Catholic, but I used to be a lazy Catholic. I was just a pew potato." The question was asked in the context of jail ministry, of preaching the gospel to the inmates of the Genesee County Jail, trying to introduce them to the Lord & to show them there is a better way than the cycle of violence & drug abuse that typifies most of their lives.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


Bobby Darin, "Beyond the Sea" via iTunes (from The Ultimate Bobby Darin) (The Last Angry Man)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order, formally the Order of Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Saints-link ūnus, Saints-link duo, & Wikipedia-link O.S.M.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The Servite Order was found in 1233… when a group of cloth merchants of Florence, Italy, left their city, families, & professions to retire to Monte Senario, a mountain outside the city, for a life of poverty & penance. These men are known as the Seven Holy Founders. The order's purposes are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, & the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer & direct service to God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married & two were widowers. Their aim was to lead a life of penance & prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario. In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P. (6 April), this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine & adopting the name of the servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic orders.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Evermode of Ratzeburg, Bishop, O.Praem. (circa 1100-1178): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Luke Belludi, Religious, O.F.M. (circa 1200-1285): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duae, & Wikipedia-link (list).

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
Psalm Thirty-three, verses ten thru fifteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eight, verse thirty-four thru chapter nine, verse one;

or, for the Seven Holy Founders:
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-six thru thirty;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Raphael Saadiq, "Good Man" from Luke Cage: Original Soundtrack Album (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: I woke up with "Good Man" running through my head, which is of course my favorite method for selecting the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. I do so love it when my mind is quiet enough to hear the unknown muses singing.
"I'm a good man, food on the table,
Working two jobs, ready, willing, and able,
Check, a good man, love having fun,
And got no kids and I love the Lord,
Check, a good man, I'm monogamous,
Never did time, well, maybe just once,
Check, a good man, and I puts it down,
Wanna say it twice, brother puts it down,
Check…"

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Juliana of Nicomedia, Martyr (died circa 304, A.K.A. of Cumae), martyred in the reign of the emperor Maximian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Saint John Scholasticus, Bishop (died 577, A.K.A. John III), Patriarch of Constantinople: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Philippa Mareri, Abbess, O.S.C. (circa 1195-1236): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Nicola Paglia, Priest, O.P. (1197-1256): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: The contemporaneous lives of Bls. Philippa Mareri & Nicola Paglia—both religious, both Italians (not that Italy was a united polity at the time)—remind me that the Franciscan Order & the Dominican Order were both founded at the same period—1209 & 1216, respectively—in the same moment when the Church was in desperate need of renewal.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter nine, verses one thru thirteen;
Psalm One Hundred Two, verses sixteen thru twenty-three & twenty-nine;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eight, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-three.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

"Weird Al" Yankovic, "I'll Sue Ya" from Straight Outta Lynnwood (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: The train of thought behind today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D.: My father watches twenty-four-hour cable news, alternating 'twixt Fox News & M.S.N.B.C. throughout the day. This morning, while I was in the kitchen (where I could not avoid the televised poison of twenty-four-hour cable news), I saw a commercial from one of those super sleazy law firms trolling for clients, looking to cash in on human misery, in this instance on botched hip replacement surgeries/recalled surgical implants. My father recently had hip-replacement surgery, which to this point in his recover appears to have gone very well, praise God. I grinned as "I'll Sue Ya" came to mind.
"I sued Ben Affleck—
Ah, do I even need a reason?…"

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Berach, Bishop & Martyr (died 595): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saints Sunaman, Unaman, & Winaman, Martyrs, O.S.B. (died circa 1040), martyred by pagan Swedes in the reign of the king Arund Jacob: Martyr-link Sierra, Martyr-link Uniform, Martyr-link Whiskey, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Nephews of & fellow missionaries with St. Sigfrid.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Sigfrid of Sweden, Bishop, O.S.B. (died 1045): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Claude de la Colombière, Priest, S.J. (1641-1682): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter eight, verses six thru thirteen, twenty, twenty-one, & twenty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Sixteen, verses twelve thru fifteen, eighteen, & nineteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-six.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Fountains of Wayne, "Red Dragon Tattoo" from Utopia Parkway (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: As I do every year, I've had so much fun bashing Valentine's Day that I'm tempted to keep it up indefinitely, much like the SKAfter Party that followed SKApril '16. I'm not going to do that, just as I'm not going to follow the inverse temptation: to showcase songs that glorify the manifold splendors of love. That said, today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. could easily be featured in some future year as a R.B.D.A.V.S.O.T.D., if one were so inclined. That's just the nature of the beast.
"Red dragon tattoo is just about on me,
I got it for you, so now do you want me?
With nothing to prove, will you be my honey? Oh yeah!
In you I confide, red dragon tattoo,
I'm fit to be dyed, am I fit to have you?…"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Operation AXIOM: Be My Anti-Valentine


I received the following text message this afternoon, out of the blue, as they say:
Happy Valentine's Day, dude! I'm trying to focus on the origins of today with St. Valentine and his legacy. It's more meaningful than what it's become.
The conversation flowed back & forth, including the following:
Haha. And it's not like I'd be mad if someone sent me flowers. But that stuff is even more special on days not commercialized, in my opinion
Long-time readers of The Secret Base might remember my interlocutor by her old Project PANDORA code name, Miss Mozart. We met through a dating website in the summer of 2012 & had one bad date that fall.* Per her request, we "remained" friends after that, but didn't really reconnect 'til this past summer (2016), shortly before she moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area to work for Major League Baseball. We shared one super fun evening at Ypsilanti's Wurst Bar, a much better evening than our single date lo those many years ago.

It is gratifying to see the good work of denouncing Valentine's Day spread. I would have no issue with Valentine's Day, no need to carry on with this yearly polemic, if Valentine's Day was merely a farce. But it is not a farce, Valentine's Day is a fraud. There is nothing inherently wrong with giving gifts as tokens of one's love, be it eros, philia, storge, or agape. The fraud occurs, the harm results when a relentless drumbeats of sights & sounds insists that love must be expressed through purchasing power, that any love not so expressed cannot be "real." Yes, gemstones are pretty, but wouldn't it be better if a fellow didn't work as many nights & weekends so that he could afford the shiny baubles & instead spent that time with his ladylove? Is it not fraudulent to pressure children into writing insincere Valentines to every one of their classmates? To Miss Mozart's point, wouldn't all the gestures associated with Valentine's Day—the dinners, the candy, the shiny baubles—be seen as more sincere, as more genuine reflections of affection rather than acts of societal obligations, if they were made outside of the commercial maelstrom of Valentine's Day?

This Valentine's Day, & every Valentine's Day hereafter, fight against cheap counterfeit love, which carries a very hefty price tag—financially, emotionally, & psychologically. Fight against the commercialization of affection. We were not created to be consumers of love, but givers of love, partakers of love. Fight for authentic, self-sacrificing love, in all of your relationships. All those we love, & we ourselves, deserve better than this paper moon we've been sold.

Be my Anti-Valentine.

The Wayback Machine Tour of Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day '16 | Valentine's Day '15

Valentine's Day '14, Part I, Part II, & Part III

Valentine's Day '13 | Valentine's Day '12

Valentine's Day '11 | Valentine's Day '10

Valentine's Day '09 | Valentine's Day '08

Valentine's Day '07 | Valentine's Day '06

Valentine's Day '05 | Valentine's Day '04

*I didn't tag my posts back then (this post is tagged "Kith & Culture," "Love Stinks," & "W.A.B.A.C."), so you'll have to go back & search the old-fashioned way for PANDORA posts, as I shan't be furnishing any Wayback Machine hyperlinks. I was not as kind to Miss Mozart as I could have been.

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, & Methodius, Bishop (circa 827-869 & circa 815-885), co-patrons of Europe: Saints-link, Saint-link Charlie, Saint-link Mike, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
They were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians & Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs." They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Because their father was an officer in a part of Greece inhabited by many Slavs, these two Greek brothers ultimately became missionaries, teachers, & patronsof the Slavic peoples. A decisive change in their lives occurred when the Duke of Moravia asked the eastern Emperor Michael (III) for political independence from German rule & ecclesiastical autonomy (having their own clergy & liturgy). Cyril & Methodius undertook the missionary task. Cyril's first work was to invent an alphabet, still used in some Eastern liturgies. His followers probably formed the Cyrillic alphabet. Together they translated the Gospels, the Psalter, Paul's letters, & the liturgical books into Slavonic, & composed a Slavonic liturgy, highly irregular then.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Valentine of Rome, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 273, A.K.A of Terni), martyred in the reign of the emperor Aurelian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Abraham of Cyrrhus, Bishop (died circa 422, A.K.A. of Harran, of Charres): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Auxentius of Bithynia, Hermit (circa 400-473): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Book of Genesis, chapter six, verses five thru eight & chapter seven, verses one thru five & ten;
Psalm Twenty-nine, verses one(a), two, three, four, & nine(c) thru ten;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eight, verses fourteen thru twenty-one;

or, for Ss. Cyril & Methodius:
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses forty-six thru forty-nine;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verse fifteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses one thru nine.

Individual Reading
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter three (verses one thru nineteen);
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter four (verses one thru sixteen);
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter five, verses one thru ten.

Commentary: III. Jesus, Faithful & Compassionate High Priest: Jesus, Superior to Moses (3:1-6); Israel's Infidelity a Warning (3:7-19); the Sabbath Rest (4:1-13); & Jesus, Compassionate High Priest (4:14-5:10).

The Rebel Black Dot Song against Valentine's Day

The Ataris, "The Last Song I Will Ever Write about a Girl" from Blues Skies, Broken Hearts… Next 12 Exits (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Just in case this year's A.V.D.S.O.T.D. didn't seem angry enough or bitter enough, ladies & gentlemen, The Ataris. In The Ataris' prime, not even the Reel Big Fish were more cynical about relationships.
"Broken heart again today,
The flowers that I gave to you have withered all away,
Just when I opened up my heart,
The one you used to love came and ripped it all apart!

"Why do I never seem to learn that
Love is wrong and girls are fucking evil?
I guess I'll never figure out
What womankind is all about.

"I heard your voice again today,
I'm scarred by all the lies that were once promises you made,
I lie in bed awake at night,
I wonder what went wrong, or even more just what went right!

"Why do I never seem to learn that
Love is wrong and girls are fucking evil?
I guess I'll never figure out
What womankind is all about."
Full disclosure: "The Last Song I Will Ever Write about a Girl" was not the last song about a girl Ataris frontman Kris Roe ever wrote.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Anti-Valentine's Song of the Day

The Forces of Evil, "Independent" from Friend or Foe? (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: In your heart of hearts, you know you'll never feel more alone than when you're one half of a couple.
"Will you please hold my hand?
I can't, I'm independent!
I want to be your man.
You can't, I'm independent!…

"I'll call you on the phone.
You can't, I'm independent!
Let me know when you're home.
I can't, I'm independent!…

"I hate this game we're playing,
I can't hear what she's saying,
Telling me that she is right and I am always wrong,
Everything she does
Is only just because
She's clinically insane!…"

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Fulcran, Bishop (died 1006): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter four, verses one thru fifteen & twenty-five;
Psalm Fifty, verses one, eight, sixteen (b) thru seventeen, twenty, & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eight, verses eleven, twelve, & thirteen.

Individual Reading
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses fifteen thru twenty-six;
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter one (verses one thru fourteen);
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter two (verses one thru eighteen).

Commentary: The Choice of Judas's Successor (Acts, 1:15-26); I. Introduction (Hebrews, 1:1-4) & II. The Son Higher than the Angels: Messianic Enthronement (1:5-14), Exhortation to Faithfulness (2:1-4), & Exhortation through Abasement (2:5-18).

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DXXXVI

Operation AXIOM: The World War
Frederick Selous, D.S.O. (1851-1917), the explorer, naturalist, conservationist, author, & iconic big-game hunter; a founding member of the Shikar Club, friend of Lord Baden-Powell, recipient of the Royal Geographical Society's Founders' Medal, & the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard's character Allan Quatermain; still a soldier at age sixty-five, killed by a German sniper, 4 January 1917.





Commentary: Selous appeared on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, played by Paul Freeman, better known within the Indiana Jones franchise for playing Indy's unscrupulous rival, René Belloq, in Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Lest we forget.

Project BLACK MAMBA: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

'Tis the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 12 February would be the feast of Saint Sedulius, Priest (fifth century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Æthelwald of Lindisfarne, Bishop (died 740): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Benedict of Aniane, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 747-821): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Julian the Hospitaller, Confessor (possibly legendary): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter fifteen, verses fifteen thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses one, two, four, five, seventeen, eighteen, thirty-three, & thirty-four;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter two, verses six thru ten;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses seventeen thru thirty-seven;
(or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two[a], twenty-seven, twenty-eight, thirty-three, thirty-four[a], & thirty-seven).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day


The Daughters of Mary, "O Sacred Head Surrounded" from De Profundis (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Some think the Catholic use of the crucifix morbid. Not so! It is important that we are reminded of the Lord Christ on His Cross so as never to forget that we are the one who put Him there, that it was in reparation for our sins, not His own (of which there were none), that He offered Himself. The empty cross is good, the crucifix is better. I wear one like that pictured above, as a reminder of the debt I owe, a debt too great ever to repay. 'Tis also an outward sign for others, that they will help to hold me to the higher standard demanded by Christ of His disciples, yesterday, today, & tomorrow.
"I see Thy strength and vigor,
All fading in the strife,
And death with cruel rigor,
bereaving Thee of life,
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy Face on me…"

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (apparitions 1858): Our Lady-link ūna, Our Lady-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
This is the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honor of the Marian apparitions that reportedly occurred in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes. The first apparition of 11 February 1858, when fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubrious told her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (a mile from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister & a friend. Similar apparitions of the… "Lady" were reported on seventeen occasions that year.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Gregory II, Pope (669-731), eighty-ninth Bishop of Rome, opponent of the first Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Paschal I, Pope (775-824), ninety-eighth Bishop of Rome, opponent of the second Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Book of Genesis, chapter three, verses nine thru twenty-four;
Psalm Ninety, verses two thru four(c), five, six, twelve, & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eight, verses one thru ten;

or, for Our Lady:
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-six, verses ten thru fourteen(c);
The Book of Judith, chapter fifteen, verse nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter two, verses one thru eleven.

Bonus! Song of the Day
The Daughters of Mary, "Hail Holy Queen" from De Profundis (The Last Angry Man)

The Rebel Black Dot Anti-Valentine's Song of the Day

The Starting Line, "Saddest Girl Song" from Say It Like You Mean It (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: No matter how awful he/she is, never break up with your boyflesh/girlflesh, because no one else will ever love you & there is nothing in the world worse than being alone on Valentine's Day.
"So, it's safe to say that we've been here before:
Heart torn out, down for the count, and still come back for more.
This lesson is learned too well,
Though only unlearned by the time your wounds have healed.

"Have you had enough?
I guess not, 'cause you lips are stuck to his,
It's time to say enough is enough,
You'd be so better off,
You love him, but tough,
'Cause it's not coming back from him.
You can't win!

"Stop expecting change,
He's just a lost cause that you're waiting on…"

Friday, February 10, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Scholastica, Virgin, O.S.B. (circa 480-543): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Scholastica, based upon centuries of tradition, is considered the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia (11 July), founder of the monastic communities & compiler of the Rule of St. Benedict, a guide to common-sense living & monastic organization. Over the centuries, icons & other religious works have often depicted Scholastica & Benedict together.
'Tis also the feast of Blessed Clare of Rimini, Religious, O.S.C. (circa 1282-1346): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Bishop & Martyr (1898-1960), martyred in the reign of the president Josip Broz Tito: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Book of Genesis, chapter three, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Thirty-two, verses one, two, five, six, & seven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses thirty-one thru thirty-seven;

or, for St. Scholastica:
The Song of Songs, chapter eight, verses six & seven;
Palm One Hundred Forty-eight, verses twelve(a) & thirteen(a);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two.

The Rebel Black Dot Anti-Valentine's Song of the Day

Five Iron Frenzy, "Pre-Ex-Girlfriend" from Five Iron Frenzy 2: Elecric Boogaloo (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: It will never work. She's too good for you. Yes, you; she's too good for you. (Skalternately: It will never work. He's too good for you. Yes, you; he's too good for you.)
"…That girl is way too good for me,
We'll break up before it starts,
She'll only tear my world apart,
Da na na na na na na na na!

"Pre-ex-girlfriend,
That girl is just too fine!
Pre-ex-girlfriend,
Leaving me behind!

"You might say she's everything,
Just before everything goes wrong,
She's sunshine and lightning,
She pulls at my heartstrings,
She's stunning and then she's gone…

"Watch her on the floor tonight,
Feel the crush she will incite,
Sparkable, she will ignite,
A beautiful sight!
Softer than the lightest snows,
Watch her as the moment slows,
In my face a door will close,
And there she goes.

Boy: "Oh, um, hi."
Girl: "Hi."
Boy: "I um, I was across the room—"
Girl: "Uh-huh."
Boy: "And I just looked over, and I saw you, and—"
Girl: "Yeah?"
Boy: "Um, I was wondering if—"
Girl: "Uh-huh?"
Boy: "Maybe you wanted to, uh, go do something?"
Girl: Um—no."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Apollonia, Virgin & Martyr (died circa 249, of Alexandria), martyred in the reign of the emperor Philip the Arab: Martyr-link ūna, Martyr-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Marianus Scotus of Regensburg, Abbot, O.S.B. (died circa 1088, A.K.A. Muiredach mac Robartaig): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Virgin (1774-1824), stigmatist: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter two, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-eight, verses one thru five;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

Individual Reading
The Book of Job, chapter thirty-eight (verses one thru forty-one);
The Book of Job, chapter thirty-nine (verses one thru thirty).
The Book of Job, chapter forty (verses one thru thirty-two);
The Book of Job, chapter forty-one (verses one thru twenty-six);
The Book of Job, chapter forty-two (of forty-two; verses one thru seventeen);
Psalm One Hundred Ten (verses one thru seven);
Psalm One Hundred Twelve (verses one thru ten).

Commentary: VII: The Lord's Speech (Job, 38:1-42:6) & VIII: Epilogue—Job's Restoration (42:7-17), God Appoints the King both King & Priest (Psalm 110), & the Blessings of the Just (Psalm 112).

The Rebel Black Dot Anti-Valentine's Song of the Day


Blink-182, "The Party Song" from Enema of the State (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"And then I saw her standing there
With green eyes and long, blonde hair,
She wasn't wearing underwear,
At least I prayed that she might be the one,
Maybe we'd have some fun,
Maybe we'd watch the sunrise,
But that night I learned some girls try too hard!

Some girls try too hard,
And some girls try too hard to impress
With the way that they dress,
With those things on their chests,
And the things they suggest to me…

"Her volume of makeup, her fake tits were tasteless,
So I said I'd call her, but never would bother,
Until I got turned down by another girl at a party.

"So when you see her standing there
With green eyes and long, blonde hair,
She won't be wearing underwear
And you'll discover this girl's not the one,
And she'll never be fun,
You should just turn and run,
Because you'll find out that some girls try too hard…"

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Victors: Team 137, Game 12

Saturday, 26 November 2016 @ Ohio Stadium
(№ 2) Ohio State 30-27 Michigan (№ 3) (2 O.T.)
10-2, B1G 7-2

Ever since the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, the Impossible Unicorn of Our Dreams, to lead the valiant Wolverines back to the college football "Promised Land," there has been talk of the new Ten-Year War, the nigh-legendary decade of head-to-head competition betwixt Michigan head coach "Bo" Schembechler & Ohio State head coach "Woody" Hayes. So far, we are 0-2 in the Harbaugh-Urban Meyer Ten-Year War. Losing to the hated Buckeyes sucks. As much as we're lost in the last decade & a half (twelve out of the last thirteen games), it never gets any easier. The "agony of defeat" is the price all sports fans must be willing to chance in order to experience the "thrill of victory," but it is a steep price nonetheless.

The worst part, amidst all the terrible aspects of losing the the hated Buckeyes, is that we could have won. I'm not claiming that as any kind of moral victory, because it really did make the loss that much harder to swallow, but the valiant Wolverines could have, arguably should have won against the hated Buckeyes in their own awful house, the Horseshoe. The Ohio State offense, which had struggled all season, simply had no answer for Uncle Don's Murder Machine. The Scarlet & Gray goons couldn't pass, they couldn't run. Wherever they went, a swarm of Maize & Blue heroes thwarted them with extreme prejudice. The Michigan offense had its share of struggles against the Ohio State defense, but nothing like the annihilation the hated Buckeyes faced at the hands of the Murder Machine.

At which point, Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight threw the game away, all-but-literally. In regulation time, the hated Buckes scored seventeen points. Fourteen of those seventeen points came as a result of two Speight interceptions deep in Michigan territory. One was returned for an Ohio State touchdown & the other have the hated Buckeyes a very short field, an advantage that not even the Murder Machine could overcome in that instance. Without Speight, the Ohio State offense only mustered a paltry three points against the Michigan defense. Three points! Speight gave them fourteen! Adding insult to injury, Speight also fumbled a snap on the Ohio State goal line, when the valiant Wolverines were poised to score the points necessary for an insurmountable lead. One could see the bewilderment in Urban Meyer's eyes when he was interviewed heading into the locker room at halftime: Not only did Meyer & his staff have no answer for Uncle Don's Murder Machine, they couldn't even wrap their minds around the ferocity of the challenge confronting them. In four quarters of action, the Ohio State offense managed to score only three points without the direct assistance of Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight. Credit where it is due, Speight did throw two touchdown passes, but blame also where it is due, they were more than outweighed by his two interceptions & fumble. I am convinced, down to the marrow in my bones, that the Michigan Wolverines will never again win another game with Wilton Speight as our starting quarterback.

In two overtime times, we collapsed, overwhelmed by the toll of having snatched defeat from the jaws the victory. Each club scored a touchdown & extra point in the first overtime time, but in the second we could only managed a field goal, while the hated Buckeyes had their best offensive sequence by far, scoring the game-winning touchdown, no extra-point necessary.

In case I haven't mentioned it, losing to the hated Buckeyes sucks. It is the pits. The experience has absolutely nothing to recommend it to anyone. I am so very, very tired of losing to the hated Buckeyes. So tired that I am willing to entertain thoughts that are heresy in Ann Arbaugh: What is the point of paying Harbaugh, in whom I delight, all those millions & millions of dollars per year just to lose to Ohio State year-in & year-out? What is the point of "Who's get it better than us?" & "Building & attacking with an enthusiasm unknown to Mankind" & all the other, wonderful things that have made Michigan football feel like Michigan football again, if we lose to Ohio State every year? We all love Harbaugh. We all love what Harbaugh has already done. But all of that means nothing, none of it counts for anything, if the valiant Wolverines cannot defeat the hated Buckeyes at least half the time. Winning ten games a year is great, especially after the Lost Decade—after "The Horror" (Appalachian State) & losing to Rutgers & three losing season out of seven under Rich Rod & Hoke—but it simply is not enough if we cannot defeat them. "It is a tale told by an idiot, sound & fury signifying nothing," if we cannot win The Game.

Next: The Orange Bowl against the epithetless Seminoles of Florida State.

Go Blue!

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest, C.R.S. (1486-1537), founder of the Somaschi Fathers, formally the Order of Clerics Regular of Somascha: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.R.S.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Jerome was an Italian humanitarian, founder of the Somaschi fathers, & saint. He was canonized in 1767 & is the patron saint of orphans. In the year of plague & famine (1528), he seemed to be everywhere & showed his zeal, especially for the orphans, whose number had so greatly increased. Jerome began caring for the sick & feeding the hungry at his own expense.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin, F.D.C.C. (circa 1869-1947): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Josephine was a Sudanese-born former slave who became a Canossian Religious Sister in Italy, living & working there for forty-five years. Over the course of twelve years (1877-1889) she was resold again three more times & then given away.
In honor of St. Josephine, 8 February is the International Day of Prayer & Awareness against Human Trafficking: U.S.C.C.B.-link.


'Tis also the feast of Blessed Josephina Gabriella Bonino, Religious (1843-1906), foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Savigliano: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter two, verses four(b) thru nine, fifteen, sixteen, & seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one, two(a), twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine(b) thru thirty;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter seven, verses fourteen thru twenty-three;

or, for St. Jerome:
The Book of Tobit, chapter twelve, verses six thru thirteen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru thirty;
(or, the Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-seven).

or, for St. Josephine:
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter seven, verses twenty-five thru thirty-five;
Psalm Forty-five, verse eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-five, verses one thru thirteen.

Individual Reading
The Book of Job, chapter thirty-six (verses one thru thirty-three);
The Book of Job, chapter thirty-seven (verses one thru twenty-four).

Commentary: Elihu's Speeches (cont'd).

Christ Renews His Parish Readings
The Gospel according to John, chapter one, verses one thru eighteen;
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter three, verses fifteen, sixteen, & seventeen;
The First Letter to Timothy, chapter four, verse thirteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter five, verses thirty-nine & forty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verse sixty-three.

The Rebel Black Dot Anti-Valentine's Song of the Day

"Weird Al" Yankovic, "My Baby's In Love with Eddie Vedder" from Running with Scissors (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: One of the great tragedies of our culture's betrayal of authentic, self-sacrificing love is that we are now so profoundly dissatisfied that we will ignore the persons in front of us to pursue mythologized celebrities. We guffaw in the face of such pain & heartbreak. After we guffaw, we chuckle at our vain attempt to laugh off pain & heartbreak. Pain & heartbreak are inevitable, the constants of "love."
"Well, my baby, my baby, she don't want me no more,
Ever since she saw his poster in that record store,
She said the way he grinds his molars is really sexy,
She thinks he so darned dysfunctional & Generation X-y,
She likes his brooding angst and his wild-eyed stare,
Yeah, he's her very favorite slacker multimillionaire.

"Well, my baby's in love with Eddie Vedder,
She's all crazy 'bout that Eddie Vedder,
Once she was mine, but now I better just forget her,
'Cause my baby's in love with Eddie Vedder…

"Now she's got an unrequited adoration,
For the frustrated, agitated, designated, alienated, spokesman for the disaffected Grunge generation!

"Well, I don't wear Doc Martens and I don't wear flannel,
And I don't boycott the music video channel,
And I just can't compete with all that money and fame,
But I know two can play at this kind of game.
Yeah, let's just see how jealous she'll get
When I start stalking Alanis Morrissette!…

"I said, I said, I said, my baby's in love with Eddie Vedder,
Why'd she have to fall for that Eddie Vedder?
If she wants to leave me I guess I better let her,
'Cause my baby's in love with Eddie Vedder!"