Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Reel Big Fish, "We Care" from Why Do They Rock So Hard? (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The Reel Big Fish are one-hit wonders, their satirical song "Sell Out" having charted as high as 10 in the summer of 1997, the "Summer of Ska." Why Do They Rock So Hard?, their next album after Turn the Radio Off (which included "Sell Out" & is not to be confused for R.B.F.'s much later song, "Turn the Radio Off"), is about the perils of fame, fortune, & success. The album ends with a sort of mini concept album, the songs "Big Star," "The Kids Don't Like It," "Down in Flames," & "We Care" chronicling a band's mainstream success & the resentment directed against them by their original fan base. The whole thing is Reel Big Fish at their very best, uncommonly earnest about their vulnerability & bitterness.
"Thanks for the money,
Thanks for dancing,
Singing along, everything you do,
We just want you to know we care (We care).

"Thanks for calling us sellouts
And not taking a joke,
Talking shit, covering us with spit,
We're so glad to know you care (We care).

"And we're sorry that so many people
Got to enjoy our music
By hearing us on the radio!

"We love you, we love you,
Because you really understand.
We love you, we love you a lot,
How could we not? We say it again:
We love you, we love you,
Because you really understand.
We love you, we love you a lot,
We always thought you liked our band.
Hoo!

"We care!
We care!
We care!
We care!

"I'm not talking about everybody,
I'm sorry to waste
A song and your time like this,
We're so lucky to have you there (We care).

"And I know that some of you get it
And you're not ashamed to admit it,
That you're still with us after all!

"We love you, we love you,
Because you really understand.
We love you, we love you a lot,
How could we not?
We say it again:
We love you, we love you,
Because you really understand.
We love you, we love you a lot,
We always thought you liked our band.

"We love you, we love you,
We love you! (Ooo! Ooo!)
We love you, we love you,
We really, really do! (Ooo! Ooo!)
We love you, we love you,
We love you! (Ooo! Ooo!)
We love you, we love you,
We love you! (Ooo! Ooo!)
We love you!"

Friday, April 29, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin & Doctor of the Church, T.O.S.D. (1347-1380): Doctor-link ūna, Doctor-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Catherine… was given the stigmata, but it was visible only to herself. She is credited with composing over four hundred letters, her Dialogue, which is her definitive work, & her prayers. These works are so influential that St. Catherine would later be declared a Doctor of the Church.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Hugh of Cluny, Priest & Abbot, O.S.B. (1024-1109, A.K.A. the Great): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fifteen, verses twenty-two thru thirty-one;
Psalm Fifty-seven, verses eight thru ten & twelve;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses twelve thru seventeen;

or, for St. Catherine's Memorial
The First Letter of John, chapter one, verse five thru chapter two, verse two;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five thru thirty.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirteen (verses one thru thirty-three);
The Book of Numbers, chapter fourteen (verses one thru forty-five).

Commentary: The twelve scouts (13:1-24), their return (13:25-33), threats of revolt (14:1-10), the Lord's sentence (14:11-38), & unsuccessful invasion (14:39-45).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Hippos, "He Said" from Heads Are Gonna Roll (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The Hippos are SKApril all-stars, but also one of the first bands to break up, back in those halcyon years after the Summer of Ska. They were also the first band I knew to abandon the ska sound in favor of New Wave synthesizers. (The Aquabats! would later follow this same route, though with greater perseverance.) Front man Ariel Rechtshaid has gone on to be a Grammy Award-winning producer of some truly wretched music, from the likes of Adele, Madonna, & Usher. Thus, the cautionary tale of "He Said":
"I said, 'Hey, mister, why do you look so blue?'
He said, 'It's nothing, you just look like someone I once knew,'
I said, 'O really?,' as I looked into his eyes,
Right then and there I knew this man would tell no lies.
He said:

"I am a man of glory,
I've got a million stories,
If you would just listen to me!
I've sailed across this ocean,
Given so much devotion,
But just one thing has stayed with me,
Come here and see.

"We'd find a park with flowers,
We'd sit and talk for hours,
He taught me ancient history.
He said:
I used to be a great man,
I traveled 'cross this great land,
Until an old man came to me
And said:

"I am a man of glory,
I've got a million stories,
If you would just listen to me!
I've been around the world,
Been with all kinds of girls,
But just one thing has stayed with me,
Come here and see.

"But now I am much older,
My life has grown much colder,
I only care about one thing!
How can I make more money?
Life's empty without money!
And then a voice spoke out to me,
And said:

"I am a man of glory,
I've got a million stories,
If you would just listen to me!
I used to be a rich man,
Money can ruin a good man,
Just look what it has done to me!…"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Chanel, Priest & Martyr, S.M. (1803-1841), martyred under the pagan priest-king Niuliki: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Born Pierre Louis Maria Chanel, he was a... priest, missionary, & martyr. He was one of the first Marist priests working in Oceania.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest, T.O.S.D. (1673-1716), founder of the Company of Mary, the Daughters of Wisdom, & the Brothers of Christian Instruction of St. Gabriel: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Company, Wikipedia-link Daughters, & Wikipedia-link Brothers.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Louis was (a) French... priest & confessor. He was known as a preacher & was made a missionary. Montfort is considered as one of the early writers in the field of Mariology.
As a general principle of BLACK MAMBA, saints are listed in chronological order unless overridden by prominance (Solemnity, Feast, Memorial, Optional Memorial, "feast"). Both being Optional Memorials, St. Louis de Montfort should be listed ahead of St. Peter Chanel. Except that in both the Holy Redeemer bulletin &, somewhat more officially, the St. Matthew's Missal, St. Peter Chanel is listed ahead of St. Louis de Montfort. Why this is so I do not know, but I presume there is some official reason.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Laywoman (1922-1962): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fifteen, verses seven thru twenty-one;
Psalm Ninety-six, verses one thru three & ten;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses nine thru eleven;

or, for St. Peter's Memorial:
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verse fifteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter one, verses fourteen thru twenty;

or, for St. Louis's Memorial:
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm Forty, verses eight(a) & nine(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-eight, verses sixteen thru twenty.

Personal Reading
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fifteen, verses one, two, & twenty-two thru twenty-nine;
Psalm Sixty-seven, verses two, three, five, six, & eight;
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-one, verses ten thru fourteen, twenty-two, & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-three thru twenty-nine;
Commentary to the Mass Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Mustard Plug, "Aye Aye Aye" from Can't Contain it (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The last two R.B.D.S.O.T.D. were provided by Mustard Plug & Skankin' Pickle. Am I the only one who's hungry? Mustard Plug are both SKApril all-stars & sacred Michigan's most prominent ska band, though by no means the only one; other Michigander ska bands include The Loose Ties, the Insyderz, the Ninjas, Ich Bin Ein Berliner, Gunday Monday, & St. Thomas Boys Academy, et al.

I really have no idea what "Aye Aye Aye" is about, but this sounds a lot like me, at my advanced age & preposterous bulk, trying to keep pace in the pit.
"Keeping it up, but you wanna go,
Tearing it up, though you're moving slow,
Say what you want, but I know you believe (I believe!)
Keep up the pace though you're burning up,
I don't know how that I keep it up,
Everyone drops, but I know you can see (See the light!)

"And go,
Aye, aye, aye! I never let go,
Aye, aye, aye! Though you tell me so,
Aye, aye, aye! 'Cause I know we believe (I believe!)…"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKApril!


Mustard Plug, "Puddle of Blood" from In Black and White (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"Puddle of blood on the streets of gold,
Don't try to buy my soul, it's already sold…"

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Simeon of Jerusalem, Bishop & Martyr (died circa 107), martyred under the emperor Trajan: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Zita of Lucca, Virgin (circa 1212-1272): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fifteen, verses one thru six;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-two, verses one thru five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses one thru eight.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter ten, verses eleven thru thirty-six;
The Book of Numbers, chapter eleven (verses one thru thirty-five);
The Book of Numbers, chapter twelve (verses one thru sixteen).

Commentary: Part I was, "Preparation for the departure from Sinai." We now begin Part II: "From Sinai to the Plains of Moab." (That division is why I read only the first third of chapter ten yesterday.) Departure from Sinai (10:11-28a), Hobab as guide (10:28b-32), in the desert (10:33-36), discontent of the people (11:1-15), the seventy elders (11:16-23), the Spirit on the elders (11:24-30), the quail (11:31-35), jealousy of Aaron & Miriam (12:1-8), & Miriam's leprosy (12:9-16).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Skankin' Pickle, "Onyonghasayo" from Sing Along with Skankin' Pickle (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Of the four bands in which Mike Park is a part of my music library—Mike Park, the Bruce Lee Band, the Chinkees, & Skankin' Pickle—Skankin' Pickle is the least of the four, but that's like Temple of Doom being the least of the three original Indiana Jones movies. It's true, but it's not a condemnation. This gem of a ska song is brought to you by SKAffirmative Action; there are no unworthy bands & no unworthy songs in SKApril, some bands just need a helping hand.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Cletus, Pope & Martyr (died circa 92, A.K.A. Anacletus), third Bishop of Rome, martyred under the emperor Domitian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Marcellinus, Pope & Martyr (died 304), twenty-ninth Bishop of Rome, martyred under the emperor Diocletian: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel: Our Lady-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fourteen, verses nineteen thru twenty-eight;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses ten thru thirteen(b) & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-one(a).

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter nine (verses one thru twenty-three);
The Book of Numbers, chapter ten, verses one thru ten;
Introduction to the Book of Deuteronomy;
Introduction to the Book of Joshua;
Introduction to the Book of Judges;
Introduction to the Book of Ruth;
Introduction to the Books of Samuel;
Introduction to the Books of Kings;
Introduction to the First Book of Chronicles;
Introduction to the Second Book of Chronicles;
Introduction to the Book of Ezra;
Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah.

Commentary: Second Passover (9:1-14), the fiery cloud (9:15-23), & the silver trumpets (10:1-10).

This Week in Motorsport: Indy Rock, Backlog Edition

IndyCar Series
Round 1
Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg
Sunday, 13 March 2016

The season opener at St. Pete was a welcome beginning to this year in motorsport. 'Twas not the first race of the year, that honor belongs to the Dakar Rally, & 'twas not even the first race in Florida, that honor belongs to the I.M.S.A. SportsCar Championship's 24 Hours of Daytona, but with Daytona a bore since N.A.S.C.A.R. (as "I.M.S.A.") merged the American Le Mans Series & its own Grand-Am Sports Car Series into a combined championship that is less than the sum of its parts, worse than either of the old series, St. Pete was the first worthwhile on-track action of the year. This year's grand prix featured far fewer collisions & yellow-flag caution periods than did the previous year's visit to the temporary street circuit near the Tampa Bay, but had the same result: victory for double Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya ('00, '15), the most nonchalant driver in the paddock.

1st Place: Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd Place: Simon Pagenaud, Penske (Chevrolet)
3rd Place: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti (Honda)

Round 2
Phoenix Grand Prix
Saturday, 2 April 2016

Despite the name of the race, the Phoenix Grand Prix was run on an oval, marking IndyCar's return to the Phoenix International Raceway for the first time since '05. I've never been a fan of oval-track racing; it pales in comparison with the splendor of road-course racing. The random nature of crashes on oval tracks is deeply unsettling. On a road course, one can usually piece together how a certain shunt came to happen; on an oval, more often than not for no discernible reason, race cars suddenly turn & crash into the outer walls. Justin Wilson's death at the Pocono 500 last year made up my mind (Wayback Machine): with the exception of this year one hundredth running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, the world-famous Indy 500, I will never again watch an oval race. Phoenix was the first opportunity to see if I had the courage of my convictions, which I did, so I didn't see the results I now report.

1st Place: Scott Dixon, Ganassi (Chevrolet)
2nd Place: Simon Pagenaud, Penske (Chevrolet)
3rd Place: Will Power, Penske (Chevrolet)

Round 3
Grand Prix of Long Beach
Sunday, 17 April 2016

I prefer permanent road courses such as Road America & Laguna Seca to temporary streets circuits such as those at St. Pete & Long Beach, but only a hardened cynic wouldn't like the Long Beach Grand Prix, with its perpetual chamber-of-commerce weather & four-decade history that includes F5000, Formula One, & three decades of the several guises of Indy car racing (C.A.R.T., Champ Car, & the current IndyCar). I don't really buy the hyperbolic ephitet "America's Monaco," but I don't disagree with the compliment intended. In any event, the race itself was nigh-miraculous, clean, green-flag running from start to finish, all but impossible inside the concrete canyons of a street circuit. The biggest problem with IndyCar is that the rules are set up in such a way that most of the time the winner of a race is determined by neither merit nor qualifying position, but by the luck of the draw, how a driver & his car happen to be positioned when the inevitable yellow flags throw a monkeywrench into the proceedings. To see an IndyCar race, especially a street race, without a yellow flag is a rare & marvelous thing.

There was controversy, with eventual winner Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske cutting across a forbidden line during his exit from the pit lane after this final pit stop. The move put him ahead of quadruple & reigning series champion ('03, '08, '13, & '15) & '08 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon of Ganassi Racing. Dixon's crew screamed bloody murder when Pagenaud was given a warning instead of an actual penalty, but photographic evidence emerged after the race showing that Dixon had cut across the forbidden line in the exact same way on one of his pit stops. So, you know, those hypocrites can shut their filthy mouths. I wish that IndyCar would enforce its rules more strictly, but the teams & the drivers always say that all they ask from the stewards is consistency. In not penalizing Pagenaud for the exact same foul for which they'd also not penalized Dixon, the stewards were entirely consistent in their lax rule enforcement.

1st Place: Simon Pagenaud, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd Place: Scott Dixon, Ganassi (Chevrolet)
3rd Place: Helio Castroneves, Penske (Chevrolet)

Round 4
Grand Prix of Alabama
Sunday, 24 April 2016

Pinch me, I must be dreaming: the ninety-lap race around the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park was run entirely under green-flag conditions, the second consecutive clean (more or less) race! In qualifying, Pagenaud pipped his teammate, ace qualifier & '14 series champion Will Power, for the pole, & never looked back. The fleet Frenchman effectively lead every lap, occasionally falling to second purely due to the pit-stop cycle. In the closing laps, stuck behind backmarkers trying desperately not to be lapped, he was caught by hated Buckeye Graham Rahal (who has raced in a helmet painted to resemble a T.O.S.U. football helmet), who rammed him from behind, sending Pagenaud careening halfway off track. Now in the lead, Rahal then rammed one of the backmarkers, smashing Rahal's car's front-wing into so much carbon-fiber debris. With the villainous Rahal now crippled by his own impatient hand, Pagenaud cruised back into the lead & an eventual ten-second victory. These are the salad days for Pagenaud, with four podiums in the first four races, twice the victor & twice the runner-up.

1st Place: Simon Pagenaud, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd Place: Graham Rahal, R.L.L. (Honda)
3rd Place: Josef Newgarden, Carpenter (Chevrolet)

Next
The Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on Saturday, 14 May, run on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. May is all about Indy, first the G.P., then qualifying for the 100th Indy 500, then the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" itself on 29 May, the Sunday before Memorial Day. (Also the date of F1's Monaco Grand Prix, as has been the case for all of the seven years I've been watching motorsport.) As mentioned above, this year's Indy 500 will be my last-ever oval race.

Indy Lights Series
The official feeder series into IndyCar & the second-to-last step on the "Road to Indy" ladder system is seeing significant growth, increasing from an approximate average of twelve cars per race in 2015 to sixteen this year. The number of "refugees" from European open-wheel racing, including GP2, the official feeder series to F1, continues to grow, as drivers confront the paucity of open sets in the pinnacle of motorsport. Max Chilton, veteran of thirty-five Formula One starts with Manor (originally Virgin, later Marussia), contested the 2015 Indy Lights season, gaining experience with both America's road & street circuits & oval racing. This year, Chilton made the jump to IndyCar, replacing reckless & immature teenager Sage Karam on the prestigious Ganassi Racing squad. I am certain his path is one many of this year's Indy Lights contenders desire to follow.

Round 1
Streets of St. Pete, Race 1
Saturday, 12 March 2016

1st Place: Felix Serralles, Carlin
2nd Place: Scott Hargrove, Pelfrey
3rd Place: Kyle Kaiser, Juncos

Round 2
Streets of St. Pete, Race 2
Sunday, 13 March 2016

1st Place: Felix Rosenqvist, Belardi
2nd Place: Kyle Kaiser, Juncos
3rd Place: Zach Veach, Belardi

Round 3
Phoenix International Raceway
Saturday, 2 April 1016

1st Place: Kyle Kaiser, Juncos
2nd Place: Ed Jones, Carlin
3rd Place: R. C. Enerson, Schmidt Peterson

Round 4
Barber Motorsports Park, Race 1
Saturday, 23 April 2016

1st Place: Ed Jones, Carlin
2nd Place: Felix Serralles, Carlin
3rd Place: Zach Veach, Belardi

Round 5
Barber Motorsports Park, Race 2
Sunday, 24 April 2016

1st Place: Santiago Urritia, Schmidt Peterson
2nd Place: Ed Jones, Carlin
3rd Place: Dean Stoneman, Andretti

As a driver-development series, Indy Lights is a "spec series," all the drivers piloting identical chassis with identical engines & identical tires. The current Indy Lights car, the Dallara IL-15 with a Mazda-badged A.E.R engine & Cooper tires, is a sweet little package. I personally love the snap, crackle, & pop of the turbochargers' waste gates.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Catch 22, "San Francisco Payphone" from Alone in a Crowd (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: One can almost hear the Millennial asking, "What's a payphone?"

The relationship described in "San Francisco Payphone" was based on lies, so its probably best that it ended when it did, before even more harm was done. Have I mentioned that love rarely works out in ska-punk songs?

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!

Mad Caddies, "Betty" from Duck and Cover (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Mad Caddies are a SKAffirmative Action band, having not participated in SKApril since 2013. The rule that no band may contribute more than one song a year to SKApril is hard to follow, given my ardent fondness for so many ska bands & so much of their music, but a rule I firmly believe is necessary for a proper celebration of ska in all its diversity of time, space, & style.
"You're not a friend, you're just a thief,
It's time I open my eyes and see,
You, my darling, don't deserve my sympathy.

"You sold my sheets
And skinned my cat,
You stole my teeth
And you pawned my gat.
Before you waste more of my time,
I'll give you a little piece of my mind,
Well, I'll see you down the road and I'll be fine!…"
Why Betty Suarez (played by America Ferrara) from
Ugly Betty? Why not? I also considered Betty Cooper from Archie Comics after quickly dismissing Betty Boop & Betty Rubble. I miss Ugly Betty; 'twas a fun show, one gone too soon.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist (first century): Evangelist-link ūnus, Evangelist-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
When Jesus explained that his flesh was "real food" & his blood was "real drink," many disciples left him (John, 6:44-66), presumably including Mark. He was later restored to faith by the apostle Peter (29 June, et al.); he then became Peter's interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa, & became the Bishop of Alexandria.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Peter of Saint Joseph de Betancur, O.F.B. (1626-1667), founder of the Bethlehemite Brothers: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.F.B.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter five, verses five(b) thru fourteen;
Psalm Eighty-nine, verses two, three, six, seven, sixteen, & seventeen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verses fifteen thru twenty.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter six (verses one thru twenty-seven);
The Book of Numbers, chapter seven (verses one thru thirty-one);
The Book of Numbers, chapter eight (verses one thru twenty-six).

Commentary: Laws concerning Nazirites (6:1-21), the Priestly Blessing (6:22-27), offerings of princes (7:1-88), the Voice (7:89), the lamps set up (8:1-4), purification of the Levites (8:5-22), & age limits for Levitical service (8:22-26).

Chapter seven ends with a ellipsis. Odder still, there is no footnote commenting upon this peculiarity, much less offering an explanation for same. Chapter eight then begins with the LORD speaking to Moses in the meeting tent, & while that indicates what happened next after chapter seven, it still doesn't explain why that chapter ended with an ellipsis instead of, say a period. Obviously, the ellipsis is an English-language convention, not present in the original Hebrew, but what in the Hebrew is the English ellipsis means to convey? Vexing!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № CDXCIV

Operation AXIOM: The World War
24-29 April 1916: The Easter Rising—Irish nationalists in Dublin, in cahoots with & armed by the Germans, declared the whole of Ireland, then a constituent part of the United Kingdom, an independent republic; the Crown crushed the rebellion with overwhelming force, including bombarding the city with heavy artillery; the civilian death toll increased Irish popular support for independence.









Lest we forget.



Commentary: It is an idiosyncrasy of the modern Republic of Ireland that the Easter Rising is commemorated every year at Easter, a highly moveable feast, not on the dates 24-29 April.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Fifth Sunday of Easter

'Tis the Fourth Sunday of Easter: Paschal-link & Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 24 April would be the feast of Saint Diarmaid of Armagh, Bishop (died circa 852, A.K.A. Diarmait ua Tigernáin): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. Cap. (1577-1622), martyred by Swiss Calvinists: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fourteen, verse twenty-one thru twenty-seven;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses eight thru thirteen;
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru five(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter thirteen, verses thirty-one thru thirty-three (a), thirty-four, & thirty-five.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Mu330, "Ireland" from Crab Rangoon (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Crab Rangoon, & thus "Ireland," was published in 1997, before the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, which greatly reduced but did not completely end the civil violence known as "the Troubles."
"My heart was strong,
But I was wrong
To think that I could save her.
Her head was mixed
In politics
And I fell out of favor.
There was no trial,
No mercy mild,
And now I am forever exiled.

"Ireland's at war with herself,
Ireland's at war with herself,
Hopeless that I couldn't help
When Ireland's at war with herself…"

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Aquabats!, "Magic Chicken!" from The Fury of the Aquabats! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Skammentary: This afternoon, a kinsman visiting Kings Island amusement park sent to my mobile a photograph of the Chicken Shack (not the photo featured above). My first thought was of "Magic Chicken!"
"Well, I was born out back,
Behind the Chicken Shack,
I was raised in a cardboard box,
And before when I was single
I used to hear the chicken jingle,
That's how I learned the chicken rock…

"When I first met my baby
I was sipping chicken gravy,
And I thought I had to close up shop. Wing-bang!
Now we're wedding in the chapel,
Eating chicken, drinking Snapple,
Our chicken love you just can't stop!…"

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint George, Martyr (circa 280-303), martyred under the emperor Diocletian, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XIV.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Diocletian, who hated Christians, announced that every Christian the army passed would be arrested & every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods. George refused to abide by the order & told Diocletian, who was angry but valued his friendship with George's father. When George announced his belief before his peers, Diocletian ordered George's execution.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Adelbert, Bishop & Martyr (circa 956-997, A.K.A. of Prague), martyred by pagan priests of the Old Prussians: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Adalbert was the Bishop of Prague & a missionary to the Hungarians, Poles, & Prussians, whow as martyred in his efforts to convert the Baltic Prussians to Christianity. He is the composer of "Bogurodzica," the oldest known Polish hymn.
'Tis also the feast of Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross, Religious, O.C.D. (1846-1910, A.K.A. Teresa Maria Manetti): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses forty-four thru fifty-two;
Psalm Ninety-eight, verses one thru four;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses seven thru fourteen.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Aquabats!, "The Story of Nothing!" from The Fury of the Aquabats! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Skammentary!: The Aquabats! are so relentlessly positive that they wear Anti-Negativity Helmets. Yet, such are the bitter, heartbroken conventions of ska-punk, especially as it emerged from the Southern California ska scene in the '90s, that "The Story of Nothing!" is the story of heartache & loss.
"What's wrong? I'm standing over here,
It's just too weird that she can't see me,
It's like she waved her magic wand
And somehow turned me into—

"Nothing!
Let's talk about something else,
I'm starting not to see myself,
She went so far away,
But I still see her every day!
Nothing!
Let's talk about something else,
Can't see myself with anyone else,
Please, oh, please
Let's talk about something else
Before I cry: Waaaa! Waaaa! Waaaa!

"She can't see me, but I can,
I guess I am the invisible man!
She can't see what could be,
Nothing hurts worse than being nothing.
The invisible man!
Some things are hard to understand,
The invisible man!
Nothing's worse than—
She can't see me, but I can,
I guess I am the invisible man!
She can't see what could be,
Changed her mind and turned me into nothing!"

Friday, April 22, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Soter, Pope (died circa 174), twelfth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Caius, Pope (died 296, A.K.A. Gaius), twenty-eighth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Theodore of Sykeon, Bishop (died circa 613): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-six thru thirty-three;
Psalm Two, verses six thru eleven(b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses one thru six.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter four (verses one thru forty-eight);
The Book of Numbers, chapter five (verses one thru thirty-one);
The Book of Amos, chapter five (verses one thru twenty-seven);
The Book of Amos, chapter six (verses one thru fourteen).

Commentary: Duties further defined (Numbers, 4:1-33), number of adult Levites (4:34-48), the unclean expelled (5:1-4), unjust possessions (5:5-10), & ordeal for a suspected adulteress (5:11-31); third word (Amos, 5:1-6, 8-9), first woe (5:7, 10-17), second woe (5:18-27), & third woe (6 inclusive).

I confess I am having a hard time seeing the Hand of God in the expulsion of the "unclean," especially given the Christ's personal healing of & direct interaction with lepers & others denied their fundamental human dignity & justice under the Law as practiced in first century Judaism. The prophet Amos inveighs against the empty, cynical ritualism & the neglect of true justice for the poor that sealed the doom of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at the hands of warlike Assyria, much more in keeping with the Christian understanding of our Heavenly Father's Will for His children.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Soul Rebels, "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" via iTunes (Farr Afield)

Skammentary: Only by using an expansive definition of ska does The Soul Rebels' brassy cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" qualify for SKApril honors, but such is my prerogative as originator & chief evangelist of the R.B.D.S.O.T.D.'s festival of ska. Farr Afield—initial-based code name: Bravo Foxtrot—is a saxophist & vocalist in The Loose Ties, the Becca of "Becca's Song," which I have subtitled "(I Don't Love You Enough)."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Bishop & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (circa 1033-1109): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Anselm composed dialogues & treatises with a rational & philosophical approach, sometimes causing him to be credited as the founder of Scholasticism. Despite his lack of recognition in this field in how own time, Anselm is now famed as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God & of the satisfaction theory of atonement.
'Tis also the feast of Blessed Thomas Pilchard, Priest & Martyr (1557-1587, A.K.A. Pilcher), martyred under the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Conrad of Parzham, O.F.M. Cap. (1818-1894): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses thirteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm Eighty-nine, verses two, three, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-five, & twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter thirteen, verses sixteen thru twenty;

or, for St. Anselm's memorial:
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter three, verses fourteen thru nineteen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two, or nine;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, chapter twenty-one thru twenty-nine.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter two (verses one thru thirty-four);
The Book of Numbers, chapter three (verses one thru fifty-one);
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter fourteen, verse twenty-one thru twenty-seven;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-five, verses eight thru thirteen;
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru five(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter thirteen, verses thirty-one thru thirty-three (a), thirty-four, & thirty-five;
Commentary to the Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Commentary: Arrangement of the Tribes (Numbers, 2 inclusive), the sons of Aaron (3:1-4), Levites in place of the first-born (3:5-13), census of the Levites (3:14-20), duties of the Levitical clans (3:21-39), & census & ransom of the first-born (3:40-51).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: REGGAEpril


Magic!, "No Way No" from Don't Kill the Magic (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Reggae is entirely more earnest than Third Wave ska-punk, which is as bitterly sarcastic as Generation X & the 1990s. That, plus Magic!'s pop sensibilities, means that they write unironic love songs.
"Yeah, baby, baby,
Your heart's too big to be treated small,
So please don't blame me, blame me
For trying to be the one who could have it all,
I know that it's stupid, stupid,
Telling you its dark when you see the light,
And I know you ain't foolish, foolish,
Just give me one chance, I could treat you right.

"So I say,
Will I ever be too far away when you feel alone?
No way, no!
Will I ever back down my sword to protect our home?
No way, no!
Will I ever spend a day not telling you you're beautiful?
No way, no!
No way, no way, no,
No way, no way, no…"

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKApril!


Less Than Jake, "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" from Anthem (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Because someone just told me not to sell myself short, meaning I was just told not to use my most finely honed talent.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Cædwalla (circa 659-689), King of Wessex: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano, Abbess, O.P. (1268-1317): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Richard Sergeant, Priest & Martyr (circa 1558-1586, A.K.A. Richard Lea, Longe), martyred under the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-Five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twelve, verse twenty-four thru chapter thirteen, verse five(a);
Psalm Sixty-seven, verses two, three, five, six, & eight;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses forty-four thru fifty.

Personal Reading
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses one thru twenty-one;
The Book of Numbers, chapter one (verses one thru fifty-four).

Commentary: The Good Shepherd (John, 10:1-21), the census (Numbers, 1:1-3), Moses's assistants (1:4-19a), count of the Twelve Tribes (1:19b-46), Levites omitted from the census (1:47-54).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The A-OKs, "Jessiska" from Words Are Not for Eating (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Have I mentioned that most ska-punk songs about romance are bitter & resentful? If I haven't, they are. "Jessiska" is part & parcel of that convention.

Kudos to The A-OKs for the wordplay in the title, "Jessiaka" warming our black hearts alongside SKApril & skammentary. (All credit to the Skatalites, which I've always presumed is a misspelling of ska + satellite.) Anywho:
"Now I'm not saying she's wrong in her ways,
But she talks for days,
And it's never good.
And I'm not one to doubt that you're Don Juan,
But maybe you're wrong,
And it's her attitude.

"Well, she better be funnier and she better be quick,
'Cause she's first in line for the ugly stick,
And in the end the lesson's learned:
You fall in love and you're gonna get burned…"
The A-OKs were recommended to me during SKApril '15 by Professor Ragnarok. Keep those nominations coming, & don't stop skanking!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

Monday, 18 April was the feast of Saint Perfectus of Córdoba, Priest & Martyr (died 850), martyred under the emir Abd ar-Rahman II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the feast of Blessed Marie Anne Blondin, Religious, S.S.A. (1809-1890), foundress of the Sisters of Saint Anne: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.S.A.

Commentary: Bl. Marie Anne's life was a beautiful witness to one of the difficulties that all Christians face during this earthly pilgrimage, namely living in peace with other Christians. She was relentlessly persecuted within her own order by a priest-chaplain who was drunk on his own power & the satanic worship of self.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses one thru eighteen;
Psalm Forty-two, verses two & three & Psalm Forty-three, verses three & four;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses one thru ten.

* * * * *

Today, 19 April is the feast of Saint Alphege of Canterbury, Bishop & Martyr (circa 953-1012, A.K.A. Ælfheah), martyred by Danish vikings: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the the feast of Saint Leo IX, Pope (1002-1054), the one hundred fifty-first Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed James Duckett, Martyr (died 1601), martyred under the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses nineteen thru twenty-six;
Psalm Eighty-seven, verses one(b) thru seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses twenty-two thru thirty.

Personal Reading
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses fourteen & forty-three thru fifty-two;
Psalm One Hundred, verses one thru three & five;
The Book of Revelation, chapter seven, verses nine & fourteen(b) thru seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses twenty-seven thru thirty;
Commentary to the Mass readings from the Fourth Sunday of Easter.

Commentary: I was out of town from Thursday thru Sunday, my normal routines entirely disrupted. In the scramble to prepare the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. & Project BLACK MAMBA posts for the weekend, I did not have time to read Sunday's readings & the commentary to same ahead of time. I finally caught back up today.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day: SKApril!


Rude City Riot, "25 Years" from the Rude City Riot E.P. (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Crime & punishment loom large in ska, the term "rude boy" itself being 1950s Jamaican slang for "violent, discontented youth," since appropriated (misappropriated?) by ska kids in all places. "25 Years" is in the grand tradition of ska, a plea for those violent, discontented youths not to make a decision that could end another's life & permanent alter the course of their own.

Montag, 18. April

The Pietasters, "Night Before" from Oolooloo (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Most love in ska, like that "Night Before," is love gone wrong.
"I think I love you even more than I did the night before,
The night before we met…

"I think I love you even more than I did the night before,
The night before you left…"
The Pietasters are the unlikeliest of SKApril all-stars, because I have only one of their albums in my music library.
Oolooloo is surely the album to have contributed the most songs to SKApril, on both an absolute & a proportional basis. Every year, I think "This is the year The Pietasters" won't be part of SKApril, but every year their songs speak to my rude boy soul, saying quite the opposite.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № CDXCIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
27-29 April 1916: A pair of poison gas cloud attacks (chlorine & phosgene) near Hulluch, France typified the "Chemists' War"—in the first German attack, British gas masks proved inadequate to the concentration of the gas, though the high command lied, accusing the dead of poor gas discipline; in the second attack, the wind changed, & the Bavarians suffocated on their own poison gas.









Lest we forget.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Fourth Sunday of Easter

'Tis the Fourth Sunday of Easter: Paschal-link & Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 17 April would be the feast of Saint Anicetus, Pope (died circa 168), the eleventh Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Unusually for such an early pope, St. Anicetus does not appear to have been martyred.

'Twould also be the feast of Saint Kateri Tekawitha, Virgin (1656-1680): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. "The Lily of the Mohawks" was canonized in 2012.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter thirteen, verses fourteen & forty-three thru fifty-two;
Psalm One Hundred, verses one thru three & five;
The Book of Revelation, chapter seven, verses nine & fourteen(b) thru seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses twenty-seven thru thirty.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Everybody's Better" from A Jackknife to a Swan (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Your humble narrator sings all the time, especially when there is no one else (at least no one else human) in the room. "Everybody's Better" is sung most frequently, not because I believe everybody's better than I am, but because I used to. I used to buy into that lie hook, line, & sinker. Now I know better, in small part through the words of "Everybody's Better."
"Everybody's better than I am,
I think everybody's better than me,
And everybody's swell, I guess,
They're doing well, more or less,
And everybody's better than I am…

"Why you walk around with your head low down?
The true king rules without a crown!
If your boat's afloat after the typhoon
Row it safely back to the lagoon,
And never mind the green grass you won't mow
Or what it is you have or don't to show
Or what it is you can or can't afford,
The good are good without reward!…"

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Magnus Erlendsson, Martyr (circa 1075-1115, A.K.A. of Orkney), martyred by his cousin, the earl Haakon Paulsson: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link

'Tis also the feast of Saint Drogo, Hermit (circa 1105-1186, A.K.A. Dreux): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. St. Drogo was afflicted with an "unsightly bodily affliction" whilst on pilgrimage, thus driving him into hermitage. He is thus the patron saint of "unattractive persons," or put less euphemistically, "those whom others find repulsive." Chiefly for this reason, for a series of stories set around a fictional parish that I am developing with Brother Envy (A.K.A. November Victor) & Mrs. Brother Envy, we have chosen the name Saint Drogo's.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879, A.K.A. Bernadette Soubirous), to whom was revealed the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Our Lady.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine, verses thirty-one thru forty-two;
Psalm One Hundred Sixteen, verses twelve thru seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses sixty thru sixty-nine.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Desmond Dekker & the Aces, "Rudy Got Soul" from King of Ska (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Rude boys & rude girls, dance to the music!
"'Cause when I sing my song
You got to move along,
Because Rudy got, Rudy got soul…"

Friday, April 15, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Padarn, Bishop (died circa 550, A.K.A. Paternus): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed César de Bus, Priest (1544-1607), founder of the Fathers of Christian Doctrine & the Daughters of Christian Doctrine: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter nine, verses one thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Seventeen, verses one(b,c) & two;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses fifty-two thru fifty-nine.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Loose Ties, "Settle the Score" (live) from Live at The Machine Shop (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The Loose Ties—Flint's best band, long torn asunder by the demands of reality, the intertwined threads of education & career—are playing a reunion show tonight at the Flint Local 432. I, their lauded "Super Fan," will not be in attendance, due to a commitment made months before the reunion show was announced. Dratted timing! A week earlier & I would have been completely free to attend. A week later & you would find me in front of the stage ready to skank to exhaustion.

The Loose Ties are SKApril "all-stars," members of that elite cadre of bands to have a song featured in every celebration of SKApril. The timing of today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. was determined by their reunion show, but their inclusion in SKApril '16 was a foregone conclusion. I settled on "Settle the Score" purely on the song's merits; the fitting nature of the subject matter is just a bonus, to which I say, score! "Settle the Score's" chorus could be a rallying cry for all of SKApril, for being a ska kid (of any age) in these long years after the cresting of Third Wave ska-punk's popularity:
"Hey! You got to keep it together,
Stay true to your cause, always and forever..."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the feast of Saint Bénézet the Bridge Builder (circa 1163-1184): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the feast of Blessed Peter Gonzalez, Priest, O.P. (1190-1246): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eight, verses twenty-six thru forty;
Psalm Sixty-six, verses eight, nine, sixteen, seventeen, & twenty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses forty-four thru fifty-one.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Edna's Goldfish, "Eventually Anyway" from Before You Knew Better (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Edna's Goldfish were one of the first ska bands to break up in those halcyon years following the Summer of Ska, calling it quits in 2000. They have since reformed to play occasional reunion shows, which is neat on its own but especially since the lead singer's post-Goldfish band was called The Reunion Show. There's a lot of failure in ska, just as in life. I'm not referring to Edna's Goldfish's breakup, but to the unrequited love of "Eventually Anyway's" protagonist. Not a lot of romances go well in ska, amidst this life's myriad other failures & disappointments.
"And now I know that you aren't mine…

"Was it you or was it me,
That's making me feel so fucking empty?
Like the bottle I drank last night to ease that pain,
Without you I'll never be the same…"

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKApril!

Ska Cubano, "Jezebel (Instrumental)" from ¡Ay Caramba! (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Same song, sans words. I kind of wish more bands would follow Ska Cubano's lead.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide, Backlog Ed., Part II

Monday, 11 April was the Memorial of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr (1030-1079, A.K.A. Stanisław Szczepanowski), martyred by the king Bolesław II: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Stanislaus's major accomplishments included bringing papal legates to Poland, & (the) reestablishment of a metropolitan see in Gniezno. Patron of Poland, Kraków, (&) moral order.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Stanislaus was born in the town of Szczepanow in Poland around the year 1030. He studied in Paris & was ordained to the priesthood. In 1071 he succeed Bishop Lambert at Cracow. In this post he ruled as a good shepherd by helping the poor & visiting his clerics every year. He courageously rebuked King Boleslaus who killed him while he was saying Mass on 11 April 1079. St. Stanislaus is the first Polish saint to be officially recognized as a martyr.
'Twas also the feast of Saint Gemma Galgani, Virgin, C.P. (1878-1903), stigmatist: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter six, verses eight thru fifteen;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-nine, & thirty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses twenty-two thru twenty-nine;

or, for the Memorial:
The Book of Revelation, chapter twelve, verses ten thru twelve(a);
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

* * * * *

Tuesday, 12 April was the feast of Saint Julius I, Pope (died 352), the thirty-fifth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the feast of Saint Zeno of Verona, Bishop (circa 300-371): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link

'Twas also the feast of Saint Sabbas the Goth, Martyr (died 372, A.K.A. the Lector), martyred under the prince Atharid: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter seven, verse fifty-one thru chapter eight, verse one(a);
Psalm Thirty-one, verses three(c) thru four, six, seven(b), eight(a), & seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses thirty thru thirty-five.

Personal Reading
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-five (verses one thru thirty-five);
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-six (verses one thru thirty-eight).

Commentary: Sabbath regulations (35:1-3), collection of materials (35:4-9), call for artisans (35:10-19), the contribution (35:20-29), the artisans (35:30-36:7), the tent cloth & coverings (36:8-19), the boards (36:20-34), & the veil (36:35-38).

* * * * *

Today, 13 April is the Optional Memorial of Saint Martin I, Pope & Martyr (died 655), the seventy-fourth Bishop of Rome, martyred under the emperor Constans II: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Martin's pontificate occurred during an extensive controversy that had strained relations between the East & West churches, monothelitism, a heresy maintaining that Christ had only one will. To bring an end to the controversy, Martin convoked & presided over the Lateran Council of 649 that condemned monothelitism & the Typos, an order by the Byzantine emperor Constans II Pogonatus that forbade discussion of Christ's wills. Constans, who had not approved Martin's election, ordered the Pope's arrest, & the Pope was banished to the Crimean Peninsula.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Martin was born at Todi in Umbria. He became a member of the clergy of Rome & was elected pope in 649. He convened the council which condemned the heresy of the Monothelites, who denied that Christ had a human will. The council also condemned a document promulgated by the emperor Constans II. In 653 Martin was taken prisoner by Constans & detained in Constantinople where he was forced to suffer many indignities. Finally, having been exiled to Kherson, he died in 656. He is the last pope to be venerated as a martyr.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Caradoc, Priest (died 1124): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eight, verses one(b) thru eight;
Psalm Sixty-six, verses one thru three(a) & four thru seven(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses thirty-five thru forty;

or, for the Memorial:
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter two, verses eight thru thirteen & chapter three, verses ten thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses eighteen thru twenty-one.

Personal Reading
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-seven (verses one thru twenty-nine);
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-eight (verses one thru thirty-one);
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-nine (verses one thru forty-three);
The Book of Exodus, chapter forty (verses one thru thirty-eight);
Introduction to the Book of Numbers.

Commentary: The Ark (37:1-9), the table (37:10-16), the lampstand (37:17-24), the altar of incense (37:25-29), the altar of holocausts (38:1-8), the court (38:9-20), amount of metal used (38:21-31), the vestments (39:1-21), the other vestments (39:22-31), presentation of the work to Moses (39:32-43), erection of the Dwelling (40:1-33), & God's Presence in the Dwelling (40:34-38).

Thus ends the Book of Exodus. I'm not yet decided precisely where to go next. I'll either jaunt back to the New Testament to re-read the Acts of the Apostles (or the unified work Luke-Acts, re-reading the Gospel first) or skip over Leviticus to read the more narrative Book of Numbers. I am also interested in reading the Book of Revelation, the only portion of the New Testament I've not read in the last two years, though given the highly symbolic nature of the apocalyptic language I will only do so armed with a Bible study. I'm just not yet decided if I'll do so alone or wait to see if I can get the old Followers of the Way band back together to study the Apocalypse of John as a group.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Ska Cubano, "Jezebel" from ¡Ay Caramba! (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Yes, I acknowledge the incongruity 'twixt the lyrics of "Jezebel" & the accompanying image, but I consider the thematically complementary nature of the two of overriding importance.
"If ever the Devil was born
Without a pair of horns,
It was you,
Jezebel, it was you…

"If ever a pair of eyes
Promised paradise,
Deceiving me, grieving me, leaving me blue,
Jezebel, it was you.

"If ever the Devil's plan
Was made to torment man,
It was you,
Jezebel, it was you…

If ever the Devil's plan
Was made to torment man,
It was you,
Night and day, every way,
Jezebel!
Jezebel!
Jezebel!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Big D and the Kids Table, "The Sounds of Allston Village" from How It Goes (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: How It Goes is a very angry album, which makes the relaxed & largely instrumental "The Sounds of Allston Village" not terribly representative, but so what? It's the Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day, not the Rebel Black Dot Album of the Day. O.K., methinks that a suitably angry reply to a question no one asked, which takes us all the way back to being fairly representative of How It Goes.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide, Backlog Ed., Part I

Friday, 8 April was the feast of Saint Walter of Pontoise, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 1030-1099): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the feast of Saint Julie Billiart, S.N.D. de N. (1751-1816), foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.N.D. de N..

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter five, verses thirty-four thru forty-two;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses one, four, thirteen, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses one thru fifteen.

Personal Reading
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-three, verses seven thru twenty-three;
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-four (verses one thru thirty-five).

Commentary: Moses's intimacy with God (33:7-23), renewal of the tablets (34:1-9), religious laws (34:10-26), radiance of Moses's face (34:27-35).

* * * * *

Saturday, 9 April was the feast of Saint Waltrude, Religious (died circa 688): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the feast of Saint Casilda of Toledo, Anchoress (died circa 1050): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter six, verses one thru seven;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses one, four, thirteen, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter six, verses sixteen thru twenty-one.

* * * * *

Sunday, 10 April, was the Third Sunday of Easter: Paschal-link & Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 10 April would have been the feast of Saint Bademus, Martyr (died 376), martyred under the shah Shapur II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also have been the feast of Saint Magdalene of Canossa, Virgin, F.D.C.C. (1774-1835), foundress of the Canossians, a diverse family of religious institutes: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Canossians.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter five, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-two & forty(b) thru forty-one;
Psalm Thirty, verses two, four thru six, & eleven thru thirteen;
The Book of Revelation, chapter five, verses eleven thru fourteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru nineteen;
(or, the Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru fourteen).

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № CDXCII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Battle of Verdun, Part III
10 April-31 Mary 1916: The German offensive is caught between needing to go forward to reach more naturally defensible terrain, despite the difficulty of such advances in the face of fierce French resistance, or having to return to its 21 February jumping off points; the German commanders vote to continue the attack; the French rally around the motto, "On ne passe pas!" ("They shall not pass!")









Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Specials, "Doesn't Make It Alright" from The Specials (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Ska isn't folk music, but it does have much more of a social conscience than most rock & roll. Without having taken a precise tally, I am comfortable asserting that The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have more songs about street violence & social justice than about romance, Less Than Jake more songs about economic hardship than about chasing girls. In today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D., The Specials plead earnestly for tolerance & non-violence.
"Just because you're nobody
It doesn't mean that you're no good,
Just because there's a reason,
It doesn't mean its understood.

"It doesn't make it alright,
It doesn't make it alright,
It's the worst excuse in the world,
And it, it doesn't make it alright.

"Some people think they're really clever,
Smash your head against a wall,
Then they say, 'You got in my way,'
They really think they know it all.

"It doesn't make it alright,
It doesn't make it alright,
It's the worst excuse in the world,
And it, it doesn't make it alright.

"Just because you're a black boy,
Just because you're a white,
It doesn't mean you've got to hate him,
Doesn't mean you've got to fight.

"It doesn't make it alright,
It doesn't make it alright,
It's the worst excuse in the world,
And it, it doesn't make it alright.

"Just because you're nobody."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Be Like Max, "Sin City Rude Kids" from Against All Odds (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Be Like Max were recommended to me by my pal Professor Ragnarok, a tenured professor at Regis University & a dedicated rude boy. True to the theme of "Sin City Rude Kids," fans play a large part in the song's music video: YouTube-link.
"I would like to thank
Every boy and girl who made these moments great,
'Cause now we feel like we belong,
'Cause when the town bites back and something's got to give,
Give some respect to the Sin City rude kids!…"

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Toasters, "I Wasn't Going to Call You Anyway" (live) from Live in São Paulo, Brazil (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The Reel Big Fish do not have a monopoly on bitterness in ska. "I Wasn't Going to Call You Anyway" tells the tale of contact information lost in a taxicab, the protagonist's anguish over that loss, subsequent attacks on the protagonist in the press by the individual whose contact info had been lost, & the protagonist's realization that losing the contact info had been a stroke of good luck.
"I wasn't going to call you anyway,
I wasn't going to drop that dime,
I wasn't going to call you anyway,
I wasn't going to waste my time…"
The photograph of the professional pretty Karlie Kloss is par for the course, because what else would an embittered, aging ska kid say than that the girl he wasn't going to call anyway was an epic beauty?

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKApril!


Madness, "House of Fun" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The story of how the disparate elements of "House of Fun" were assembled into Madness's biggest U.K. hit is fascinating: Wikipedia-link. Continuing the vague discussion begun in yesterday's skammentary, just because I like a song doesn't mean I endorse it's content: If sixteen-year-old boys kept it in their pants, there would be no need to visit the chemist's to buy rubbers & thus the slang-based misunderstandings in "House of Fun" might have been avoided.
"Welcome to the House of Fun,
Now I've come of age,
Welcome to the House of Fun!
Welcome to the lion's den,
Temptation's on his way,
Welcome to the House of—!…"

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Memorial of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest, F.S.C. (1651-1719), founder of the Lasallian Brothers, formally the Brothers of the Christian Schools: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link F.S.C.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a French priest, educational reformer, & founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He is patron of teachers of youth, educators, (&) school principals…
'Tis also the feast of Saint Henry Walpole, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1558-1595), martyred under the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XL.

'Tis also the feast of Blesseds Edward Oldcorne, Priest, & Ralph Ashley, Martyrs, S.J. (died 1606), martyred under the king James VI & I: Martyr-link Echo Oscar & Wikipedia-link Echo Oscar, Martyr-link Romeo Alpha & Wikipedia-link Romeo Alpha.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter five, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-three;
Psalm Thirty-four, verses two, nine, & seventeen thru twenty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter three, verses thirty-one thru thirty-six.

Personal Reading
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty (verses one thru thirty-eight);
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-one (verses one thru eighteen);
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-two (verses one thru thirty-five);
The Book of Exodus, chapter thirty-three, verses one thru six;
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter five, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-two & forty(b) thru forty-one;
Psalm Thirty, verses two, four thru six, & eleven thru thirteen;
The Book of Revelation, chapter five, verses eleven thru fourteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru nineteen;
(or, the Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru fourteen).

Commentary: Altar of incense (30:1-10), census tax (30:11-16), the laver (30:17-21), the anointing oil (30:22-33), the incense (30:34-38), choice of artisans (31:1-11), Sabbath laws (31:12-18), the golden calf (32:1-29), & the atonement (32:30-33:6).

The readings from other than Exodus are next Sunday's Mass readings. My habit for the past year has been to read these on Saturday morning, during my 3:00-4:30 A.M. shift in the Adoration chapel. Tomorrow, I am bound for the county gaol (the archaic spelling I prefer to "jail") with a few other parishioners, to live out the corporal work of mercy to visit the imprisoned (historically, to ransom the captives). I was advised to read the following Sunday's readings in preparation for discussing them with the imprisoned. I feel called to do this, but until I've experienced it for myself I cannot say if this will become a regular part of my schedule.