Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition, Part I

Today, 31 May is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Lady-link ūna, Our Lady-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The visitation is the visit of (the Blessed Virgin) Mary with (St.) Elizabeth (5 November) as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, 1:39-56.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
This day remembers when Mary, nearing the Lord Jesus in her womb, visited her cousin Elizabeth, who was carrying (St.) John the Baptist (24 June & 29 August). Upon hearing Mary's voice Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out, "Most blessed are you among women, & blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled" (Luke, 1:42-45).
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Zephaniah, chapter three, verses fourteen thru eighteen(a);
or, the Letter to the Romans, chapter twelve, verses nine thru sixteen;
The Book of Isaiah, chapter twelve, verses two, three, four(b,c,d), five, & six;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter one, verses thirty-nine thru fifty-six.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-eight (verses one thru thirty-one);
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-nine (verses one thru thirty-nine);
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty (verses one thru seventeen);
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty-one (verses one thru fifty-four);
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty-two (verses one thru forty-two);
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty-three (verses one thru fifty-six);
Psalm Eight (verses one thru ten);
Psalm Fifty-one, verses eleven thru twenty-one;
Psalm Fifty-two (verses one thru eleven).

Commentary: I remain stumped by much of the Pentateuch, by the endless lists of how many bullocks, rams, & yearling lambs must be slaughtered on such & such a day; how is so much of this even remotely applicable to life here in the New World, in the twenty-first century of Christ? If the blood of animals could have atoned for man's sinfulness, the Crucifixion would not have been necessary. Is this all to be read simply as allegory? I'm struggling here. After Numbers, I'll need to take some time to renew & reinvigorate myself in the less opaque Scriptures of the New Testament.

General Sacrifices (Numbers, 28:1-2), Each Morning & Evening (28:3-8), On the Sabbath (28:9-10), At the New Moon Feast (28:11-15), At the Passover (28:16-25), At Pentecost (28:26-31), On New Year's Day (29:1-6), On the Day of Atonement (29:7-11), On the Feast of Booths (29:12-39), Validity & Annulment of Vows (30:2-17), Extermination of the Midianites (31:1-12), Treatment of the Captives (31:13-18), Purification after Combat (31:19-24), Division of the Booty (31:25-31), Amount of Booty (31:32-47), Gifts of the Officers (31:48-54), Request of Gad & Reuben (32:1-5), Moses's Rebuke (32:6-15), Counter Proposal (32:16-19), Agreement Reached (32:20-38), Other Conquests (32:39-42), Stages of the Journey (33:1-4), From Egypt to Sinai (33:5-15), From Sinai to Kadesh (33:16-30a), From Mount Hor to Ezion-geber (33:30b-36a), From Kadesh to Mount Hor (33:36b-41a), From Ezion-geber to the Plains of Moab (33:41b-49), & Conquest & Division of Canaan (33:50-56).

Divine Majesty & Human Dignity (Psalm 8), The Miserere: Prayer of Repentence (Psalm 51), & the Deceitful Tongue (Psalm 52).


* * * * *

Friday, 27 May was the Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop, O.S.B. (died circa 605): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
(St. Augustine) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" & a founder of the English Church.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Augustine was sent in 597 from St. Andrew's monastery in Rome by Pope St. Gregory the Great (3 September) to preach the Gospel in England. He was aided there by King Æthelbert & chosen bishop of Canterbury. He converted many to the faith & established many dioceses, especially in the Kingdom of Kent. He died on 26 May, about the year 605.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter four, verses seven thru thirteen;
Psalm Ninety-six, verses ten thru thirteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eleven, verses eleven thru twenty-six;

or, for St. Augustine:
The First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter two, verses two(b) thru eight;
Psalm Ninety-six, verse three;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nine, verses thirty-five thru thirty-eight.

* * * * *

Saturday, 28 May the feast of Blessed Lanfranc of Canterbury, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 1005-1089): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the feast of Blesseds Thomas Ford, Robert Johnson, & John Shert, Priests & Martyrs (died 1582), martyred under the queen Elizabeth I: Tango Foxtrot—Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link, Romeo Juliett—Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link, & Juliett Sierra—Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of Jude, verses seventeen & twenty(b) thru twenty-five;
Psalm Sixty-three, verses two thru six;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter eleven, verses eleven thru twenty-seven thru thirty-three.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Denis Leary, "Life's Gonna Suck" from Lock 'n Load (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: The title of Lock 'n Load is nonsensical. If 'n was meant to be a contraction of "and," as is commonly supposed, it would have to be written 'n', since both the "a" & the "d" have been contracted. As it is, 'n must be a contraction for either "an" or "in" (unless there is a two-letter word ending in "n" that has escaped my notice), yet neither "Lock an Load" nor "Lock in Load" makes any sense as a title. Would it really have been so onerous to title the album Lock 'n' Load?

Anyway, this weekend is the annual parish festival, a maelstrom of responsibilities that I never sought & would rather not have. This is the dark side of White & Corcoran's "churchworld" from
Rebuilt. This is the last time I'll whine about it, I promise.
"Life's gonna suck when you grow up,
When you grow up,
When you grow up,
Life's gonna suck when you grow up,
It sucks pretty bad right now…"

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Memorial Day


Fountains of Wayne, "Cemetery Guns" from Sky Full of Holes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Where evermore will restless sorrow sleep
In a broken heap.

"Cemetery guns go bang! Bang! Bang!
Shooting the whole sky full of holes,
Twenty-one times in a row,
For the blue war widow
In the gray raincoat
On the green grass down below…"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № CDXCIX

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Battle of Jutland, Part II
31 May-1 June 1916: The High Seas Fleet under Hipper & Scheer lured the British into their trap & the Grand Fleet under Beatty & Jellicoe lured the Germans into their counter-trap; only by superior seamanship & coordination did the Germans escape in the night; the British suffered twice as many casualties, but the German surface fleet remained bottled up in port for the remainder of the war.









Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day


Jim Cowan & Tony Melendez, "This Is Jesus" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"This is Jesus, Emmanuel,
God is with us, in this sacrament,
Come receive Him, adore Him,
This is Jesus, our Lord…

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party

#NeverTrump
Reel Big Fish, "Everything Sucks" from Turn the Radio Off (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: I selected "Everything Sucks" as today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. yesterday, thinking the message "everything sucks" to be the perfect companion to Less Than Jake's message that "everything is overrated." This decision was reached before the news broke that the odious Donald Trump had secured enough convention delegates to be the Republican nominee for president. Fascism has come to America, sporting a terrible haircut.

Also, the season finales of the television shows
The Flash & Arrow were both duds, casting doubt on the viability of those once-entertaining programs & the shared "Arrowverse." The movie Captain America: Civil War was a disappointment compared to both its predecessor & the premise's innate potential, leaving the distinct impression that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in irreversible decline toward creative exhaustion, if it's not already there.

So, of course not everything sucks: Defeatism is a lazy man's succor & despair is a serious sin. But it is a time-honored ska tradition to smile & dance in the face of seeming disaster, so here I go.
"She said she love me 'cause I play guitar,
That's O.K., I didn't love her at all,
And I sing: Giving up because:

"I know everything sucks, yeah!
I know everything suck, whoa-o-o!
I know everything sucks, yeah!
And this is gonna be the last time you hear me complain…

"And she said, "Someday, we'll get back together, maybe,'
And she said, 'Someday things will be much better, baby,'
But I don't believe her,
And I don't think I need her anymore,
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

"'Cause:
I know everything sucks, yeah!
I know everything suck, whoa-o-o!
I know everything sucks, yeah!
And this is gonna be the last time you hear me complain!"
The lyrics of "Everything Sucks" don't really apply, because this is far from the last time you'll hear me complain. Also, lest there be any confusion about my politics, let me add:

#NeverHillary

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest, Cong.Orat. (1515-1595), founder of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims & Convalescents & the Oratorians, formally the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Cong.Orat.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
(St. Philip) Neri founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims & Convalescents whose primary object was to minister to the needs of the thousands of poor pilgrims who flocked to Rome. Members met for prayer at the church of San Salvatore, where the devotion of the Forty Hours of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was introduced to Rome.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Philip Neri was born in Florence in 1515. He went to Rome & began to work with young men among whom he fostered Christian life & formed an association for the poor & the sick. Ordained to the priesthood in 1551, he founded the Oratory where spiritual reading, sings, & works of charity were practiced. He excelled in his love of neighbor & in evangelical simplicity along with a joyous service to God. St. Philip died in 1959.
The Thursday after Trinity Sunday is also the traditional date of the feast of Corpus Christi, but in most jurisdictions the observance has been moved to the following Sunday, completing a string of four powerhouse Sundays: Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, & Corpus Christi.

Commentary: There is a Traditional Latin Mass Community based at St. Matt's downtown, & they are celebrating a Corpus Christi Mass tonight.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter two, verses two thru five & nine thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred, verses two thru five;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses forty-six thru fifty-two;

or, for St. Philip Neri:
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter four, verses four thru nine;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
or, Psalm Thirty-four, verse nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-six (verses one thru sixty-five);
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-seven (verses one thru twenty-three).

Commentary: The Second Census (26:1-51), Allotment of the Land (26:52-56), Census of the Levites (26:57-65), Zelophehad's Daughters (27:1-4), Laws Concerning Heiresses (27:5-11), & Joshua to Succeed Moses (27:12-23).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Less Than Jake, "Overrated (Everything Is)" from In with the Out Crowd (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Yes, this is a test. This whole life is a test. You're taking it every moment of every day, whether you know it or not.
"Maybe I'm jaded and bored,
Always looking for more,
Waiting 'round for the next big fix, I know.
I'm a wreck, I'm a mess,
But I couldn't care less,
Don't know what it would take to change me.

"Everybody's so afraid to be different,
Please excuse me now if I don't get it.

"Having sex is overrated!
So is always getting wasted,
Designer drugs and dead-end jobs
And classic rock is so outdated!
I'm so sick of therapy
And all the things it's done to me,
How can I be satisfied
When everything is overrated?

"Maybe the problem is me,
But I won't make believe,
And I can't take this mediocrity.
What if this is a test
And I deserve what I get?
Will I wake up with all the answers?

"Everybody's too afraid to be different,
Please excuse me now if I don't listen…

"Having sex is overrated,
So is always getting wasted,
All my friends and family
They make my life so complicated.
I'm so sick of apathy
And T.V. show reality,
How can I be satisfied
When everything is overrated?
When everything is overrated?
When everything is overrated?"

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (circa 672-735): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Bede is well known as an author & scholar & moreover a skilled linguist & translator, & his work made the Latin & Greek more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Bede was born in the neighborhood of the Wearmouth monastery in 673. He was trained by St. Benedict Biscop (12 January) & later entered the monastery. Ordained to the priesthood, he spent his ministry in teaching & writing. St. Bede wrote theological & historical works in the patristic tradition & explained Sacred Scripture. he died in 735. He is a Doctor of the Church.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, Pope, O.S.B. (circa 1020-1085), one hundred fifty-seventh Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Gregory VII was the first pope in several centuries rigorously to enforce the policy of celibacy for the clergy & attacked the practice of simony. He also was a prominent champion of papal supremacy, causing political difficulties.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Gregory VII was born in Tuscany about the year 1028. he was elected pope in 1073. He instituted what became known as the "Gregorian Reform," abolishing simony, the immorality of the clergy, & lay investiture. He tried to end the schism of the Eastern Churches, & launch a crusade to free Jerusalem from the hands of the Turks. He was besieged by Henry IV (Holy Roman Emperor) & died in exile at Salerno in 1085.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, Virgin, O.Carm. (1566-1607): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Mary made her first Communion at the then-early age of ten, made a vow of virginity one month later, & experienced her first ecstasy when she was only twelve. She was also a Carmelite nun & mystic.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi was born at Florence in 1566 & after a religious upbringing she entered the Carmelites. She led a solitary life of prayer & self-denial, prayed fervently for Church reform, & directed her sisters on the road to perfection. She was blessed by many gifts from God & died in 1607.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-seven, verses twelve thru fifteen, nineteen, & twenty;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses thirty-two thru forty-five;

or, for St. Bede:
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter two, verses ten(b) thru sixteen;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verse twelve;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses twenty-one thru twenty-nine;

or, for St. Gregory VII:
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses seventeen, eighteen(a), twenty-eight thru thirty-two, & thirty-six;
Psalm One Hundred Ten, verse four(b);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter sixteen, verses thirteen thru nineteen;

or, for St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi:
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter seven, verses twenty-five thru thirty-five;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-eight, verses twelve(a) & thirteen(a);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter three, verses thirty-one thru thirty-five.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-five (verses one thru nineteen);
The Second Letter of Peter, chapter two, verses fourteen thru sixteen;
The Letter of Jude, verse eleven.

Commentary: Worship of Baal of Peor (25:1-5), Zeal of Phinehas (25:6-15), & Vengeance on the Midianites (25:16-19). The verses from both 2 Peter & Jude reference Balaam, who is featured heavily in Numbers, 22-24; the presentation of Balaam in these New Testament citations seems to conflict, or at least not entirely harmonize, with the Old Testament chapters. The footnotes in my Bible speculate that the newer authors referred to non-canonical Jewish texts or traditions, now lost to us.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Less Than Jake, "She's Gonna Break Soon" from Anthem (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: As these things go, the music video for "She's Gonna Break Soon," starring the actress Alexis Bledel (best known for playing Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls) as the eponymous girl, is reasonably famous. The lyrics of "She's Gonna Break Soon" are simply devastating.
"She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
With so many problems in her life,
It really comes as no surprise,
That she's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
She's gonna break.

"Welcome to her busy, dizzy life
Of going out and getting high,
And following all the latest trends
While shedding all her oldest friends,
It's been weeks worth of weekends
With fake I.D.s and fake passions of her best friends.

"She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon, etc.

"She's been thinkin', wishin' she could hide
From the girls with the comments passing by,
It's the boys in bars on Friday night
That replace the emptiness inside,
She'll be spending her whole weekend
Faking laughs and faking smiles with her fake friends.

"She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon, etc.

"Promises you made back home
Are crumpled like the goodbye notes,
And last night's dirty clothes
Are on the floor next to the phone,
And it's been disconnected months ago,
No calls from your friends back home.
You lost your point of view,
Now it's got the best of,
Got the best of,
Got the best of you!

"She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
With so many problems in her life,
It just comes as no surprise,
She's gonna break soon,
Gonna break soon,
She's gonna break…

"With so many problems in her life,
It just comes as no surprise,
She's gonna break."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

Monday, 23 May was the feast of Saint Michael of Synnada, Bishop (died circa 818): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the feast of Saint William of Perth, Martyr (died circa 1201, A.K.A. of Rochester): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses three thru nine;
Psalm One Hundred Eleven, verses one, two, five, six, nine, & ten;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-seven.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter seventeen, verses twenty-seven & twenty-eight;
The Book of Numbers, chapter eighteen (verses one thru thirty-two);
The Book of Numbers, chapter nineteen (verses one thru twenty-two);
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty (verses one thru twenty-nine);
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-one (verses one thru thirty-five);
The Book of Numbers, chapter twenty-two, verse one.

Commentary: It's good to be back. I still struggle to understand the importance to a latter-day Christian of all the closely-prescribed sacrifices & closely-parsed distinction 'twixt being ritually clean & ritually unclean, especially when we know from Hebrews that the blood of oxen & lambs could never take away men's sins, only the Blood of the Lamb, but I trust that in due time the Lord will make it clear to me if such is His purpose.

The subtitles provided by my Bible: Charge of the Sacred Things (17:27-18:7), the Priests' Share of the Sacrifice (18:8-20), Tithes Due to Levites (18:21-24), Tithes Paid by the Levites (18:25-32), Ashes of the Red Heifer (19:1-10), Uses of the Ashes (19:11-22), Death of Miriam (20:1), Water Famine at Kadesh (20:2-6a), Sin of Moses & Aaron (20:6b-13), Edom's Refusal (20:14-21), Death of Aaron (20:22-29), Victory over Arad (21:1-3), the Bronze Serpent (21:4-9), Journey around Moab (21:10-20), Victory over Sihon (21:21-32), & Victory over Og (21:33-22:1).


* * * * *

Today, 24 May is the feast of Saints Donatian & Rogatian, Martyrs (died circa 299), martyred under the emperor Diocletian: Martyr-link Delta, Martyr-link Romeo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger, Priest (521-597): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Not to be confused with St. Simeon Stylites the Elder (5 January): Wayback Machine.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses ten thru sixteen;
Psalm Ninety-eight, verses one thru four;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-one.

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

Commentary: Thus begins Part III: On the Plains of Moab. Balaam Summoned (22:2-14), Second Appeal to Balaam (22:15-21), the Talking Ass (22:22-40), the First Oracle (22:41-23:12), the Second Oracle (23:13-26), the Third Oracle (23:27-24:13), & the Fourth Oracle (24:14-25).

The Rebel Black Dot Narwhal Song of the Day


David Polansky, "Narwhal" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Way up north in the Beaufort Sea,
Beyond the Arctic Circle,
Is a small white whale that comes adorned
With a spiral horn like a unicorn.

Hey-ho! The narwhal!
Hey-ho! The narwhal!
With a bit of luck we'll see one
And we'll shout, 'There she blows!'
Hey-ho! The narwhal!
So very far from shore,
We'll be at sea through the winter snows!"

Monday, May 23, 2016

Narwhal Day

Fondest wishes for a happy & most sympathetic Narwhal Day to all, dear readers! Today we fête the narwhal, the oddest of whales, noted & celebrated for its "horn"—actually a tusk—which in times past was often featured in cabinets of curiosity as a unicorn's horn. In the spirit of "The Explorers' Club," I exhort you to explore the narwhal on your own & to share your enthusiasm for the narwhal with your kith & kin. The narwhal is transcendent proof that truth is strange than fiction.

The Ancient & Proper Observance of Narwhal Day is tripartite:
First, the recitation of "The Oath of Narwhal Day;"
Second, the wearing of gray clothing;
Third, the hearing of "Sympathy for the Narwhal" by D.J. Seaghost, an ally of The Aquabats!

The Oath, of my own device, sits squarely in the Mike Papa Whiskey butter zone, at the intersection of the absurd & the sublime. The Oath has no enforcement mechanism, it is only as binding on him who swears it as his conscience dictates. But I caution you against taking the Oath without sympathy for the narwhal in your heart: a man is only as good as his word. Whereas the Oath is an inward sign, the wearing of gray is an outward sign of one's sympathy for the narwhal. Anything as simple as gray socks or gray unmentionables will do, though others prefer to wear gray shirts or pants. "Sympathy for the Narwhal" is the original inspiration for Narwhal Day & a thoroughly delightful ditty. On Narwhal Day, I listen to "Sympathy for the Narwhal" early & often; it is playing on repeat as I type these lines & my head is bopping to the rhythm. (As the fellow shouts at the end o' the song, "Wow!")


The Oath of Narwhal Day
The narwhal is a noble, pitiable creature,
A magnificent, monstrous visage.
An asymmetrical tooth for a horn,
Or sometimes two, or sometimes none,
Half again as long as the beast.

I swear my sympathy for the narwhal.
I will not lie and convince it all is well,
But I will be a friend to the narwhal.
The mocking dolphins and snobby manatees
Will get their well-earned comeuppance,
And the narwhal will frolic all day.

I dream this dream of the narwhal
And celebrate it in all its oddball, improbable glory,
On this the sixteenth Narwhal Day.


the Narwhal (Monodon monoceros)—also narwal or narwhale


The Rebel Black Dot Song of Narwhal Day!
D.J. Seaghost, "Sympathy for the Narwhal" from The Aquabats! and Horchata Records Present Rice Capades Music Sampler, Vol. 1 (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Commentary:
"All I can get is static, variations on the central musical rhythm."

The Wayback Machine Tour of Narwhal Day
Narwhal Day '15 | Narwhal Day '14
Narwhal Day '13 | Narwhal Day '12
Narwhal Day '11 | Narwhal Day '10
Narwhal Day '09 | Narwhal Day '08
Narwhal Day '07a & Narwhal Day '07b
Narwhal Day '06 | Narwhal Day '05
Narwhal Day '04 | Narwhal Day '03

Sympathetic Narwhal Day!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № CDXCVIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Battle of Jutland, Part I
17-31 May 1916: The German High Seas Fleet (Hochseeflotte) schemed to lure a portion of the British Grand Fleet into decisive battle, though the plan to raid the British coast was repeatedly delayed & eventually changed to a raid on the Skagerrak; due to signals intelligence from the "Room 40" codebreakers, the Grand Fleet sailed early & in force to reverse the High Seas Fleet's trap.









Lest we forget.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Trinity Sunday

'Tis the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: Solemnity-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calender, & celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit.
Otherwise, 22 May would be the feast of Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious (1381-1457): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Proverbs, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru thirty-one;
Psalm Eight, verses four thru nine;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter five, verses one thru five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twelve thru fifteen.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day

Sufjan Stevens, "Holy, Holy, Holy" from Song for Christmas (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee!
There is a sign at the sight of Thee,
Merciful and mighty,
God in Three Persons,
God in Three Persons,
Blessed Trinity!…

"Only Thou art holy,
There is none besides Thee!
Perfect in power,
Perfect in power,
Love, and purity…"

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, Priest, & Companions, Martyrs (1869-1927): Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, Martyrs-link Companions, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Christopher Magallanes, along with twenty-oneother priests & three lay companions, were martyred between 1915 & 1937, bu shooting or hanging, through eight Mexican states, for their membership in the Cristero movement. Their slogan was: "Long live Christ the King & the Virgin of Guadalupe!"
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Christopher, twenty-one diocesan priests, & three lay faithful were martyred for being part of the Cristeros movement against the anti-Catholic Mexican government during the 1920s. St. Christopher had erected a seminary in Totatiche & ministered to the people secretly. When imprisoned, he was heard to shout from is cell: "I am innocent & I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, & I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico."
One of those companions is Saint Agustín Caloca Cortés, Priest & Martyr (1898-1927): Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of James, chapter five, verses thirteen thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-one, verses one, two, three, & eight;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses thirteen thru sixteen.

The Rebel Black Dot Narwhal Song of the Day


Aaron Burnett, "Narwhal" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: It's not all memes, internet popularity, & sight gags, being a narwhal.
"Feeds on squid and shellfish, seems to really like his shrimp,
But looking at his blubber you'd have to say he doesn't scrimp.
Must watch out for walruses or a hungry polar bear,
An orca will make a meal of him if he's caught unaware…"

Friday, May 20, 2016

This Week in Motorsport

Formula Fun!
Formula One World Championship
Round 5
Gran Premio de España
Sunday, 15 May 2016

The most exciting & engaging grand prix since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014, an era entirely dominated by the Mercedes-Benz factory team, was the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix. That weekend, for reasons that no one yet understands, the Mercedes "Silver Arrows" were uncharacteristically slow; the rest of the field, instead of racing for the third step on the podium (going for the bronze, as it were) were racing for the win. The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix was gifted a similar excitement: the Mercedes duo of reigning triple World Champion Lewis Hamilton ('08, '14, & '15) & Nico Rosberg qualified on the front row of the grid, to no one's surprise, but then collided with each other on the first lap of the race, knocking both cars out of the race! I laughed & laughed & laughed at each replay, watching Rosberg force Hamilton off the track, Hamilton lose control of his car on the slick grass, Hamilton's out-of-control car spin back onto the track into Rosberg, & then both Silver Arrows spin into the gravel trap. Bwa ha ha ha ha!

The race was thereafter dominated by a mighty duel twist Ferrari & Red Bull (T.A.G. Heuer-branded Renault). Quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel ('10, '11, '12, & '13) of Ferrari & Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull each made three pit stops for new tires, while '07 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen of Ferrari & Max Verstappen of Red Bull each made only two. Verstappen & Räikkönen raced for the lead, with the Finn just barely unable to pass the young Dutchman. Vettel & Ricciardo diced for third, witht he smiling Australian just barely unable to pass the German, his former Red Bull teammate. Lap after lap Räikkönen tried but just couldn't quite pass Verstappen & lap after lap Ricciardo tried but just couldn't quite pass Vettel. In the end, Verstappen's & Räikkönen's gamble worked, their tired stood the test of the time, & at just eighteen years of age Max Verstappen became the youngest race winner in F1's sixty-six year history. Wow!

Wait, doesn't Verstappen drive for Red Bull's "B-team," Toro Rosso (Ferrari)? Cast your mind back to the Russian Grand Prix, specifically to Daniil Kvyat's antics in this Red Bull: Wayback Machine. Though Kvyat was not given the race ban I advocated, his recklessness—which damaged the car of his teammate, Ricciardo—had consequences within the Red Bull organization. Kvyat, in his second season at Red Bull, was demoted to Toro Rosso, while Verstappen, in his second season at Toro Rosso (& in F1) was promoted to Red Bull. This was not all due to Kvyat's kamikaze racing, but I cannot believe that that did not factor heavily into the timing. The result? Kvyat finished tenth, in the points but behind his Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz Junior in sixth; Verstappen became the sport's youngest grand prix winner, ahead of his race-winning teammate Ricciardo in fourth. Odds are now being taken on how long Kvyat will remain in F1 & how many world championships Verstappen will win in his career.

1st Place: Max Verstappen, Red Bull (Renault)
2nd Place: Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
3rd Place: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

Next: The Grand Prix de Monaco—"the jewel in the F1 crown" & "the grandest Grand Prix of all"—on 29 May, the Sunday before Memorial Day. Monaco '09 was my first F1 race; I was smitten instantly, falling head over heels in love with the sport at first sight. Monaco! Monaco! Monaco!

Indy Rock
IndyCar Series
Round 5
Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Saturday, 14 May 2016

Simon Pagenaud of Penske (Chevrolet) is on fire, having finished second in the first two races of the year (St. Pete & Phoenix) & first in the two races preceding the G.P of Indy (Long Beach & Alabama); he started the fifth race from the pole & was never seriously challenged on the way to a third consecutive victory. He didn't lead every lap, principally because of the pit stop rotation & some creative strategy by rookie Conor Daly of Coyne (Honda) & fellow Penske driver & triple Indy 500 winner Hélio Castroneves ('01, '02, & '09).

Pagenaud's always been impressive, but this dominance—especially over his august Penske teammates Castroneves, '99 IndyCar Series champion & reigning double Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya ('00 & '15), & '14 IndyCar Series champion Will Power—is staggering.

1st Place: Simon Pagenaud, Penske (Chevrolet)
2nd Place: Hélio Castroneves, Penske (Chevrolet)
3rd Place: James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson (Honda)

Next: The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on 29 Mary, the Sunday before Memorial Day—& not just the race after which the whole sport is named, but the one hundredth running of the Indy 500, "the greatest spectacle in racing." (The race was first run in 1911, but was suspended for several years during the twentieth century's two World Wars.) The plan is for this to be my last ever oval race.

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, Priest, O.F.M. (1380-1444): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He is known… as "the Apostle of Italy" for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the fifteenth century. His preaching was frequently directed against gambling, witchcraft, sodomy, & usury.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Bernardine lost both his parents before the age of seven. At the age of twenty-two he entered the Friars Minor & spent the first twelve years devoted to prayer. In 1417, he began his ministry as a preacher. He was commissioned to reform the Franciscan Order & worked as a peacemaker between feuding cities. In 1427, Pope Martin V asked him to accept the bishopric of Siena, but he refused. St. Bernardine had a special love for the Holy Name of Jesus which he considered to be a compendium of Scripture & a symbol of unity. He invented the logo IHS which stands for Iesus Hominum Salvator* (Jesus, Savior of Mankind). St. Bernadine died on the vigil of the Ascension in 1444 & was canonized a saint six years later.
*Actually, IHS is a Latin rendering of the first three letters of the Holy Name of Jesus in Greek. Iesus Hominum Salvator is a so-called "backronym."


'Tis also the feast of Saint Lucifer of Calgiari, Bishop (died circa 370): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: There appears to be some wrangling over the status of Bishop Lucifer. If I am in error, it is in thinking charitably of such a steadfast opponent of the Arian heresy, & I intend no defiance of any of the authorities placed over me within the hierarchy Church.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of James, chapter five, verses nine thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one thru four, eight, nine, eleven, & twelve;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses one thru twelve.

Commentary: Lot of verses twelve today. What do you mean, I missed the point of today's readings?

The Rebel Black Dot Narwhal Song of the Day


Haberdashery, "The Narwhal Suite" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: And so it begins.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Operation AXIOM

Eighty-one years ago to the day, 19 May 1935, Colonel T. E. Lawrence perished in a motorcycle crash near his home in Dorset. Immortalized (& mythologized) as "Lawrence of Arabia" by the award-winning 1962 film of the same name, he was noted for his service in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire from 1916-1918, experiences recounted in his memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom, also published as Revolt in the Desert. Thomas Edward Lawrence died, eighty-one years ago today.


Requiescat in pace.

The Queue

Rebuilt was infuriating & challenging throughout; there is much wisdom within its pages, but also much pride & hubris, leading to folly. Most irksome at all were the repeated condemnations of the persons already in the pews (the churched, throughout derides as "churchpeople," the denizens of a toxic "churchworld") as "demanding consumers," followed almost immediately by sycophantic calls to meet the consumer demands, whatever they may be, of the unchurched. Father White & Mister Corcoran display an abiding disdain for those desperate souls struggling to live the faith, coupled with a great reverence for those complacent souls satisfied to live without any faith. Yes, the Good Shepard will do whatever it takes to find the one lost sheep, but I don't recall Him saying anything about ignoring, insulting, & condemning the ninety-nine already-found sheep the way Rebuilt's authors do. Rebuilt is the playbook for my parish's "ministry team." Here's hoping they continue to eschew the breathtaking double standard the book promotes.

Also, it's time to get serious about figuring out the Liturgy of the Hours, to give it another, more earnest try. Fortitudine vincimus, by endurance we conquer.

Recently
Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church
Rice Broocks, God's Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty ***postponed***
Father Michael White & Tom Corcoran, Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish

Currently
Edward P. Hahnenberg, A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II
Madeline Pecora Nugent, The Divine Office for Dodos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Praying the Liturgy of the Hours

Presently
Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)
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
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations
Hilaire Belloc, How the Reformation Happened
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Jon Baird, et alii, The Explorers Guild, Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
(A.K.A. Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War)

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Dunstan, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 909-988): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Celestine V, Pope (1215-1296), 192nd Bishop of Rome, founder of the Celestines (a branch of the Benedictines): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Celestines.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Theophilus of Corte, Priest, O.F.M. (1676-1740): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of James, chapter five, verses one thru six;
Psalm Forty-nine, verses fourteen thru twenty;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses forty-one thru fifty.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, "For the Goal" from Ska Me Forever (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Despite the name of the band, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, & the album, Ska Me Forever, one has to use a pretty expansive definition of ska to include "For the Goal" in the SKAfter Party. I have evidently used such an expansive definition.

There is yet no end in sight for the SKAfter Party, though there is a pause coming up for the joyous & sympathetic celebration of the sixteenth annual Narwhal Day, & as we have seen the SKAfter Party is not as rigorous an exercise as SKApril.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, Pope & Martyr (470-526), fifty-third Bishop of Rome: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He is the first pope known to have visited Constantinople during (his) papacy. As pope he was responsible for introducing the Alexandrian computation of the date of Easter; it came to be accepted throughout the West.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. John was born in Tuscany & elected Pope in 523. He went to Emperor Justin in Constantinople as an ambassador of the Arian King Theodoric. On his return he was captured by the king, who was displeased at the outcome of the embassy, & cast into prison at Ravenna where he died of starvation in 526. The inscription on his tomb read: "Victim for Christ because of a forced journey."
'Tis also the feast of Saint Felix of Cantalice, O.F.M. Cap. (1515-1587): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of James, chapter four, verses thirteen thru seventeen;
Psalm Forty-nine, verses two, three, & six thru eleven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses thirty-eight thru forty;

or, for St. John I:
The Book of Revelation, chapter three, verses fourteen(b) & twenty thru twenty-two;
Psalm Twenty-three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-two, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Slow Gherkin, "Trapped Like Rats in Myers Flats" from Shed Some Skin (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: So, Less Than Jake doesn't have a monopoly on songs about being stuck in place.
"They'll ask you which way to go,
Ask which sins to bear,
I'll tell you I don't know,
Our hearts are full of woe!

"Our heads are full of trash,
We better stop to get some gas,
(unintelligible) in the flats,
We're trapped like rats in Myers Flats…

"You know, I haven't slept in days,
But I never felt this giddy before,
I finish off another wounded soldier
And I pass out on the floor…"

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Ordinary Time

Monday, 16 May was the feast of Saint Brendan the Navigator, Priest & Abbot (circa 484-577, A.K.A. of Clonfert): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Isle.

'Twas also the feast of Saint John of Nepomuk, Priest & Martyr (circa 1340-1393), martyred under the king Wenceslaus IV: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twas also the feast of Blessed Vladimir Ghika, Priest & Martyr (1873-1954), martyred by the Romanian Communists: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of James, chapter three, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
Psalm Nineteen, verses eight thru ten & fifteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses fourteen thru twenty-nine.

* * * * *

Today, 17 May is the feast of Saint Pascal Baylon, O.F.M. (1540-1592): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Letter of James, chapter four, verses one thru ten;
Psalm Fifty-five, verses seven thru eleven(a) & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses thirty thru thirty-seven.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


The Toasters, "Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down" from Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Words by which to live, whether in English or dog Latin.
"Don't let the bastards grind you down!
Don't let them grind you down!
Don't let the bastards grind you down!
Don't let them grind you down!
Don't let the bastards grind you down,
Don't let them grind you down!
Don't let the bastards grind you down!
Don't let them grind you down!"

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


Rachel Platten, "Fight Song" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Who among us couldn't use a cheer—a cheerleader-style cheer—every now & again? This will never be a personal theme song for me, like "Bright Future in Sales" or "Everybody's Better," but there is a time & a place for unabashed, unironic rah-rah & the plucky, can-do spirit. This is such a time.
"Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep,
Everybody's worried about me,
In too deep, say I'm in too deep.
And it's been two years, I miss my home,
There's a fire burning in my bones,
Still believe, yeah, I still believe…

"Can you hear my voice this time?

"This is my fight song!
Take back my life song!
Prove I'm alright song!
My power's turned on!
Starting right now I'll be strong,
I'll play my fight song,
And I don't really care if nobody else believes,
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me…"

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № CDXCVII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
16 May 1916: The Sykes-Picot Agreement, officially the Asia Minor Agreement, was signed in secret by the British & the French, dividing up much of the Ottoman Empire into post-war zones of direct colonial rule & spheres of influence; the agreement would remain secret until November 1917.









Lest we forget.

Commentary: Not to get ahead of ourselves, but Sykes-Picot would have an enormous influence on the post-war League of Nations Mandates, which in turn largely set the national borders of the Middle East down unto the present day. One of the stated aims of Daesh (A.K.A. the "Islamic State," or I.S.I.S.) is to reverse the Sykes-Picot borders, reestablishing the transnational caliphate last exercised by the Ottoman sultans.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Pentecost

'Tis the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Pentecost-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Pentecost was the occasion of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles & other followers of Jsus Christ, as described in the Acts of the Apostles, 2:1-31, & therefore in the Christian liturgical year, it became a feast commemorating this occasion. For this reason, Pentecost is described by some Christians as the "Birthday of the Church."

Otherwise, 15 May would be the feast of Saint Isidore the Farmer (circa 1070-1130), husband of Bl. Maria Toriba: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Isisore was born in Madrid, Spain & was a farm laborer for his entire life. He married a poor girl who was as holy as himself. After their one son died in infancy, they lived the rest of their married lives in perfect chastity. Isidore was a man of intense prayer & his life was marked by numerous miracles & supernatural interventions. Both he & his wife are venerated as saints. He was formally canonized in 1622 along with St. Teresa of Ávila (15 October), St Ignatius (of Loyola, 31 July), & St. Philip Neri (26 May). The body of St. Isidore is still intact.
'Twould also be the feast of Blessed Maria Toriba (died circa 1175, A.K.A. de la Cabeza), widow of St. Isidore the Farmer: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Pentecost Sunday: Vigil
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
or, the Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses three thru eight(a) & sixteen thru twenty(b);
or, the Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses one thru fourteen;
or, the Book of Joel, chapter three, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one, two, twenty-four, thirty-five, & twenty-seven thru thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses thirty-seven thru thirty-nine.

Mass Readings—Pentecost Sunday: Day
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one, twenty-four, twenty-nine thru thirty-one, & thirty-four;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, verses three(b) thru seven, twelve, & thirteen;
or, the Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses eight thru seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen thru twenty-three;
or, the Gospel according to John, chapter fourteen, verses fifteen, sixteen, & twenty-three(b) thru twenty-six.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Pentecost Sunday


Francesca Battistelli, "Holy Spirit" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Holy Spirit, You are welcome here,
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere,
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord…"

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day: SKAfter Party

Suburban Legends, "Bright Spring Morning" from Rump Shaker (The Last Angry Man)

Freitag, 13. Mai
The A-OKs, "Re: Bellion" from Words Are Not for Eating (The Last Angry Man)

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

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

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Matthias was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, the apostle chosen by the believers to replace Judas Iscariot.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
The feast of St. Matthias is placed between the Ascension of the Lord & Pentecost because it was during this time Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the apostles. Acts, 1:15-26 tells how Matthias was numbered among the Twelve.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Daily: Feast of St. Matthias
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses fifteen thru seventeen & twenty thru twenty-six;
Psalm One Hundred Thirteen, verses one thru eight;
The Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses nine thru seventeen.

Mass Readings—Pentecost Sunday: Vigil
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
or, the Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses three thru eight(a) & sixteen thru twenty(b);
or, the Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses one thru fourteen;
or, the Book of Joel, chapter three, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one, two, twenty-four, thirty-five, & twenty-seven thru thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses thirty-seven thru thirty-nine.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fátima (apparitions 13 May-13 October 1917): Our Lady-link ūna, Our Lady-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima is based on apparitions reported to have been experienced in 1917 by three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal. (Lucia & her cousins Jacinta & Francisco.)
I daily pray the "Fátima Prayer":
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
It is because of the beauty of this prayer that I am glad the commentary in our first hyperlink mentions the offensive nuttiness that often masquerades under the name of "Fátima," delusions of apocalypses & apostasies about which Our Lady said nought to the three blessed visionaries. One of those superstitious souls leaves literature in Holy Redeemer's perpetual adoration chapel, terrifying nonsense that praises the murderous Vladimir Putin, president-cum-strongman of the Russian Federation, as the only hope for peace & justice in the world, as if the man himself was not a fount of war & injustice. These false "Fátima" doomsayers are probably enthusiastic Trumpkins.


'Tis also the feast of Saint Peter de Regelado, Priest, O.F.M. (1390-1456): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-five, verses thirteen(b) thru twenty-one;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one, two, eleven, twelve, nineteen, & twenty(a,b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses fifteen thru nineteen;

or, for Our Lady of Fátima:
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-one, verses nine thru eleven;
Psalm Forty-five, verses eleven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eleven, verses twenty-seven & twenty-eight.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This Week in Motorsport: By Endurance We Conquer

World Endurance Championship
The World Endurance Championship (W.E.C.) is awesome, in both the literal & figurative senses of the word. The L.M.P.1 machines, especially the factory hybrids boasting the equivalent of a thousand brake horsepower, seem for all the world like starships flying low to the ground, even more so than Formula One cars. The P2s are only a small step down, the principal difference being that they rely purely on internal-combustion power, as P1s did not so many years ago. The production-derived G.T.E.-specification cars in G.T.E. Pro & G.T.E. Am are the baddest, fastest G.T.s in the world, superior in both power & grip to the ubiquitous G.T.3-spec cars that run in lesser series. The W.E.C. runs on great, world-class circuits, seven of the nine also belonging to this year's F1 calendar, with the other two a former F1 circuit at the base of Mount Fuji & the Circuit de la Sarthe, the home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The W.E.C. is everything I want in a motor racing series.

After winning the World Endurance Championship in 2014, Toyota struggled mightily in 2015; for 2016, they have not only a brand-new car, the TS050, but a new power philosophy, having traded the old naturally-aspired V8 engine for a turbocharged one & a capacitor-based hybrid system for batteries. Porsche, riding high from their double championship in 2015—both the marquee 24 Hours of Le Mans & the broader W.E.C.—have made only incremental changes to their 919. Audi still calls their car the R18, but this is at least the third or fourth completely different R18; they used to change names when they introduced a new car—the all-conquering R8 gave way to the Diesel-powered R10 to the R15 to the first-generation R18—but no longer. In the pre-season "Prologue" at Circuit Paul Ricard, all three factory squads ran very similar times, promising an almighty battle for the W.E.C. crown. Hoorah!

Round 1
6 Hours of Silverstone
Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Audi of triple Le Mans champions André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler, & Benoît Tréluyer finished first, but was excluded (disqualified) in post-race technical inspection. The other Audi, of Loïc Duval, Lucas di Grassi, & Oliver Jarvis suffered a technical failure & did not finish the race. The Porsche 919 of Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, & Neel Jani thus inherited the victory, softening the blow of the sister car, driven by Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, & Timo Bernhard, crashing out in a shunt with a G.T.E. Am-class Porsche 911. The Toyota of Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, & Kamui Kobayashi finished third & inherited second; their teammates Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, & Kazuki Nakajima suffered mechanical woes, but did finish the race albeit far down the order; this gave Toyota a better day than either Audi or Porsche. The attrition in the factory P1s allowed the privateer P1s of Rebellion Racing to finish third & fourth with the non-hybrid Rebellion R-One, Dominik Kraihamer, Alexandre Imperatori, & Mathéo Tuscher standing on the podium.

L.M.P.1 (& overall)
1st Place: Lieb/Dumas/Jani, Porsche
2nd Place: Sarrazin/Conway/Kobayashi, Toyota
3rd Place: Kraihamer/Imperatori/Tuscher, Rebellion

Round 2
6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Audi of Duval, di Grassi, & Jarvis finished first & passed post-race inspection with flying colors; the sister car of Lotterer, Fässler, & Tréluyer lost time in the pits for repairs, but rallied to finish a valuable fifth. The Porsche of Lieb, Dumas, & Jani once again finished second, but this time stayed there; the 2015 World Championship trio of Webber, Hartley, & Bernhard suffered mechanical woes & finished behind most of the G.T.E. field. Toyota had it worst of all, with both cars finishing behind the trailing Porsche. The plucky privateers from Rebellion were once again in good form, finishing third & fourth for the second consecutive race.

L.M.P.1 (& overall)
1st Place: Duval/di Grassi/Jarvis, Audi
2nd Place: Lieb/Dumas/Jani, Porsche
3rd Place: Kraihamer/Imperatori/Tuscher, Rebellion

Next: The 84th 24 Heures du Mans, 18-19 June. Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans!

Unfortunately, here in America the television broadcast rights to the W.E.C. belong to Fox Sports. Fox broadcasts the races on their twenty-four-hours cable sports networks, Fox Sports 1 & Fox Sports 2. Approximately seventeen households in the United States receive F.S.2, & yet this is the channel on which most of Fox's coverage resides. Two of the six hours of the 6 Hours of Silverstone were aired on the widely-available F.S.1, but only a paltry half an hour of the six hours of the Spa round. This is all the more frustrating because Spa-Francorchamps is the greatest racing circuit in the whole world! I fear for my ability to watch this year's Le Mans.

I.M.S.A. SportsCar Championship
When N.A.S.C.A.R. bought the American Le Mans Series (A.L.M.S.) & merged it with their own, inferior Grand-Am Sports Car Series, they gave the unholy amalgamation the name United SportsCar Championship. I mocked this from the first, saying that "United" was only a reminder of the separate, glorious past & would be redundant withing two or three season. In this third season of the championship, the word "United" has been dropped. The initial title sponsor, a European luxury watch manufacturer, signed on to a five-year deal; for this third season, a new title sponsor is in place, an American automotive accessories manufacturer. I can only surmise that the initial title sponsor did not think they were getting their money's worth from the arrangement. I.M.S.A. is not that title sponsor, but the sanctioning body, a wholly-owned subsidiary of N.A.S.C.A.R. (The W.E.C. is a joint enterprise of the A.C.O., the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, & the F.I.A., the world's governing body for automobile racing.)

The SportsCar Championship is still haunted by its original sin, the handicapping of the A.L.M.S.'s fleet Le Mans Prototypes (P2s) so that they would not overshadow & easily outpace Grand-Am's plodding Daytona Prototypes (D.P.) in the combined Prototype class. Starting in 2017, the old-school D.P.s will be gone & the top category will be composed exclusively of P2s, modified from the A.C.O./F.I.A.'s revised P2 specification as D.P.I.s, for "Daytona Prototype International" (N.A.S.C.A.R.'s petulant way of conceding that they were wrong to favor D.P.s over P2s while admitting nothing of the sort.) I await the all-P2 future with trepidation, fearful that I.M.S.A. will find some way to bollocks up the whole shooting match. (They've merrily roasted & devoured the goose that lays the golden eggs before.)

With Prototype a shambles, the only real attraction is the G.T.L.M. class, imported whole & without modification from the A.L.M.S.'s old G.T. class. G.T.E. cars are a joy to watch, with works teams from Corvette, Porsche, B.M.W., & Ford, & a works-supported though technically privateer effort from Ferrari. The "victory yellow" C7.Rs from Corvette Racing won both the 24 Hours of Daytona & the 12 Hours of Sebring, but at Long Beach the lead 'Vette was spun in the dying laps by a works Porsche, clearing the way for the other works Porsche to claim the victory. I.M.S.A. being N.A.S.C.A.R. by another name, no penalty was imposed for the seemingly deliberate contact. At Laguna Seca, Henry Ford's Nazi-loving ghost won with an incredible fuel-saving display that saw the winning Ford make only one pit stop compared to all of its competitors' two.

Round 3
Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach
Saturday, 16 April 2016

P. (& overall)
1st Place: R. Taylor/J. Taylor, Taylor (Chevrolet)
2nd Place: Barbosa/Fittipaldi, Action Express (Chevrolet)
3rd Place: Cameron/Curran, Action Express (Chevrolet)

G.T.L.M.
1st Place: Pilet/Tandy, Porsche
2nd Place: Gavin/Milner, Corvette
3rd Place: Fischella/Vilander, Ferrari

Round 4
Monterey Grand Prix (Laguna Seca)
Sunday, 1 May 2016

P. (& overall)
1st Place: Pew/Negri, Shank (Honda)
2nd Place: Goosens/Dalziel, Visit Florida (Chevrolet)
3rd Place: Cameron/Curran, Action Express (Chevrolet)

G.T.L.M.
1st Place: Briscoe/Westbrook, Ford
2nd Place: Pier Guidi/Serra, Ferrari
3rd Place: Bamber/Makowiecki, Porsche

Next: Sports Car Classic on Belle Isle in Detroit on 4 June, in support of the post-Indy 500 IndyCar race. The G.T.L.M. cars will not be present (So what's the point of watching?), as several of them have more pressing commitments across the pond in France. Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans!

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide—Backlog, Part II

Tuesday, 10 May was the Optional Memorial of Saint Damien de Veuster, Priest, SS.CC. (1840-1889, A.K.A. of Molokai, Father Damien): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary, a missionary religious institute. He won recognition for his ministry from 1873 to 1889 in the Kingdom of Hawai'i to (persons) with leprosy who were required to live under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Moloka'i.
'Twas also the feast of Saint John of Ávila, Priest & Doctor of the Church (circa 1499-1569): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses seventeen thru twenty-seven;
Psalm Sixty-eight, verses ten, eleven, twenty, & twenty-one;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses one thru eleven(a);

or, for St. Damien:
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses seventeen thru eighteen(a), twenty-eight thru thirty-two, & thirty-six;
Psalm Forty, verses eight(a) & nine(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter ten, verses eleven thru sixteen.

Personal Reading
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter seven, verses fifty-five thru sixty;
Psalm Ninety-seven, verses one, two, six, seven, & nine;
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-two, verses twelve thru fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, & twenty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six;
Commentary to the Mass readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

* * * * *

Wednesday, 11 May was the feast of Saint Ignatius of Laconi, Religious, O.F.M. Cap. (circa 1701-1781): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-eight;
Psalm Sixty-eight, verses twenty-nine, thirty, & thirty-three thru thirty-six(b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

Personal Reading
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter five, verses one thru eleven.

Commentary: This reading from Luke was my delightful penance after making my confession.

* * * * *

Today, Thursday, 12 May is the Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus & Achilleus, Martyrs (died circa 98), martyred under the emperor Trajan: Martyrs-link, Martyr-link November, Martyr-link Alpha, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Historical mention of the two saints tells how Nereus & Achilleus as soldiers were obedient to the tyrant, but suddenly being converted to Christianity, joyfully resigned their commissions & died martyrs' deaths.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Ss. Nereus & Achilleus were at first enrolled in the military tribunal, but both left the military once they had converted to the faith. For this faith they were condemned to death... Their sepulcher is preserved in the cemetery on the Ardeatine Way were a basilica has been constructed in their honor.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, Martyr (died circa 304), martyred under the emperor Diocletian: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Pancras was a Syrian boy of pagan origin who went to Rome & was converted to Christianity.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Pancras died at Rome probably during the Diocletian(ic) persecution. He was beheaded at the age of fourteen. His tomb over which Pope (St.) Symmachus (19 July) built a church is preserved on the Aurelian Way.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-two, verse thirty & chapter twenty-three, verses six thru eleven;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one thru two(a), five, & seven thru eleven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six;

or, for Ss. Nereus & Achilleus:
The Book of Revelation, chapter seven, verses nine thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-two;

or, for St. Pancras:
The Book of Revelation, chapter nineteen, verses one & five thru nine(a);
Psalm One Hundred Three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five thru thirty.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Sister Mary" from Pin Points and Gin Joints (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Though of course in the motion picture The Nun's Story the eponymous nun played by Audrey Hepburn is named Sister Luke, not Sister Mary.
"Can you remember the school in the slums?
Can you hear the trombone, the guitar, and the drums?
Sure you remember, and you know which one,
You went to the one, my son, that's run by the nun.

"Hey, Sister Mary, can you teach me a song?…"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide—Backlog, Part I

Saturday, 7 May was the feast of Saint Rose Venerini, Religious, M.P.V. (1656-1728), foundress of the Religious Teachers Venerini: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link M.P.V.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eighteen, verses twenty-three thru twenty-eight;
Psalm Forty-seven, verses two, three, & eight thru ten;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twenty-three(b) thru twenty-eight.

* * * * *

Sunday, 8 May was the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord: Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
"So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, & sat down at the right hand of God."
In those dioceses wherein the observance of the Ascension of the Lord was not transferred from Thursday, 5 May (in those dioceses, a holy day of obligation), to the following Sunday, 8 May was the Seventh Sunday of Easter: Paschal-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: My personal preference would be for Ascension to be observed on Thursday, but I happily bow to the authority of the Bishop of Lansing, the Most Reverend Earl Boyea, & I can clearly see the logic of moving such an important feast as Ascension to a Sunday, when more of the faithful are likely to be in attendance to receive the message.

Otherwise, 8 May would have been the feast of Saint Peter of Tarentaise, Bishop, O.Cist. (1102-1174): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Ascension of the Lord
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm Forty-seven, verses two, three, & six thru nine;
The Letter to the Ephesians, chapter one, verses seventeen thru twenty-three;
or, the Letter to the Hebrews, chapter nine, verses twenty-four thru twenty-eight & chapter ten, verses nineteen thru twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-four, verses forty-six thru fifty-three.

Mass Readings—Seventh Sunday of Easter
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter seven, verses fifty-five thru sixty;
Psalm Ninety-seven, verses one, two, six, seven, & nine;
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-two, verses twelve thru fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, & twenty;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

* * * * *

Monday, 9 May was the feast of Saint Catherine of Bologna, Abbess, O.S.C. (1413-1463): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter nineteen, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Sixty-eight, verses two thru three(b), four, five(a,c,d), & six thru seven(b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twenty-nine thru thirty-three.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "They Will Need Music" from The Magic of Youth (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"The weight of the world at least,
That weight would only be increased
Beyond what mortal man would dare to bear.
Even though the weight was great,
They stormed the beach and then they crashed the gate
And after there was music in the air.

"They will need music to uplift,
It'll be a Godsend, it'll be a gift,
And hope and glory to coincide,
They'll need the strength and warmth and comfort
That the music will provide!…"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day: SKApril 2016


The sixth edition of SKApril featured thirty songs by thirty bands over the course of thirty days, plus five bonus! songs of the day by five bands, four of whom were also regular participants in SKApril '16. The nine SKApril all-stars were joined by seventeen returning ska bands; four bands made their SKApril debut in 2016: Be Like Max, Ich Bin Ein Berliner, the Soul Rebels, & the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. That is an absolutely average number of debutantes. Not counting 2011 (all thirty bands) & 2012 (eighteen who hadn't made the fierce 2012 cut), 2013 saw six new bands, 2014 only two, & four each in 2015 & 2016, for an average of four after the two premiere years. The only outside nomination of an R.B.D.S.O.T.D. came from, as in 2015, a member of The Loose Ties. SKApril '16 featured songs from original Jamaican ska, second-wave 2-Tone, third-wave ska-punk, & reggae.

In years past, something an embargo has been placed on ska music in the weeks before & after SKApril. This year, I cannot see the sense in such a policy & the skanking fun has continued as the "SKAfter Party," allowing me to focus on some of my very favorite bands, who are limited to a single contribution to the intentionally diverse SKApril. I'm having too much fun to stop anytime soon.

Embrace the message behind ska's familiar black & white color scheme. The things that unite us are greater than the things than divide us. Don't let the bastards grind you down, & don't stop skanking!


The Queue
I'm already more than two-fifths of the way through Rebuilt, scowling & coming this close to throwing the dratted thing across the room with almost every new page. This is good, frustrating as it is, because the Christian life isn't easy & we need to be challenged constantly to keep us from falling into complacency. (Plus, all the anger I've been venting will be the perfect impetus to get me to the confessional.) Man alive, I hate this book! I might also love it. The co-authors might just be right, in which case we all need to take this book to heart.