Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Summer Song of the Day


The Beach Boys, "Fun, Fun, Fun" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"And she'll have fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the T-bird away!…"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Summer Song of the Day


Fountains of Wayne, "The Summer Place" from Sky Full of Holes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Oh! At the summer place,
We've got the space if you've got the time,
And a summer place
Is so far away it's another state of mind…"

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Summer Song of the Day


Spike Jones & His City Slickers, "By the Beautiful Sea" from The Spike Jones Anthology (The Last Angry Man)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № DIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Brusilov Offensive, Part I
4 June-6 July 1916: Imperial Russian forces under attacked along the entire length of their Southwest Front, using short, sharp artillery barrages & specialized shock troops; the Austro-Hungarian defense collapsed & 200,000-plus of Franz Joseph's soldiers surrendered; the Central Powers rushed to shift reinforcements from the West, Germany from Verdun & Austria-Hungary from the Italian Alps.









Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Lord's Day

Matt Maher, "Deliverer" from Saints and Sinners (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Already a good song, "Deliverer" was amazing live.
"I was a drifter, I had nowhere to go,
I was hanging by threads of dust and bone,
Every angel I knew was singing, 'Son, come home,'
But the melody was hard to sing along…"
Freitag, 24. Juni

Louis Armstrong, "What a Wonderful World" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more
Than I'll ever know
And I think to myself:
What a wonderful world!
Yes, I think to myself:
What a wonderful world!"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Thomas Garnet, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (circa 1575-1608), martyred in the reign of the king James VI & I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XL.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Joseph Cafasso, Priest (1811-1860): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Second Book of Kings, chapter twenty-four, verses eight thru seventeen;
Psalm Seventy-nine, verses one(b) thru five, eight, & nine;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses twenty-one thru twenty-nine.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party!


The Aquabats!, "Pizza Day!" from Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 2 (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Skammentary: In the case of Vacation Bible School, pizza day is Thursday, not Friday, which is just as well since Catholics are expected to abstain from meat on Fridays, & what's pizza without pepperoni?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hollywoodland | Urbi et Orbi

Very fittingly on this feast of St. Thomas More, Turner Classic Movies is airing A Man for All Seasons, the 1966 motion picture based on the stage play of the same name, a biography of the martyr, specifically his principled struggle against the vain, cruel, & capricious King Henry VIII. I'd stay up to watch it, but I've got the last day of Vacation Bible School in the morning.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

Guster, "Happy Frappy" from Parachute (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: The lyrics of "Happy Frappy" don't particularly speak to me today, so it must be the gestalt, the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. I do love the title, "Happy Frappy."
"Not much of this makes sense to me…"

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of of Saint Paulinus of Nola, Bishop (circa 354-431): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
When Paulinus lost his only child eight days after birth & when he was threatened with the charge of having murdered his brother, he & his wife decided to withdraw from the world, & to enter the monastic life. About 409 Paulinus was chosen Bishop of Nola.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saints John Fisher, Bishop, & Thomas More, Martyrs (circa 1469-1535 & 1478-1535), martyred in the reign of the king Henry VIII: Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot ūnus, Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot duo, & Wikipedia-link Juliett Foxtrot; Martyr-link Tango Mike ūnus, Martyr-link Tango Mike duo, & Wikipedia-link Tango Mike.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
It's fitting that St. John Fisher & St. Thomas More hav the same feast day, because they were both Englishmen martyred within two weeks of each other, for the same cause (religious freedom), on the same occasion (defending the sanctity of marriage & Papal authority against State usurpation), & at the hands of the same man (Henry VIII).
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Second Book of Kings, chapter twenty-two, verses eight thru thirteen & chapter twenty-three, verses one thru three;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verses thirty-three thru thirty-seven & forty;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses fifteen thru twenty;

or, for St. Paulinus:
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter eight, verses nine thru fifteen;
Psalm Forty, verses eight(a) & nine(a);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twelve, verses thirty-two thru thirty-four;

or, for Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More:
The First Letter of Peter, chapter four, verses twelve thru nineteen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-six, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses thirty-four thru thirty-nine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious, S.J. (1568-1591): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
At the age of nine, he decided on a religious life, & made a vow of perpetual virginity. Aloysius received his first Holy Communion from St. Charles Borromeo (4 November). During his childhood, Aloysius taught Catechesis to the poor, & finally at the age of eighteen joined the Jesuit order. St. Aloysius died from the plague at the age of twenty-three. St. Aloysius is the patron of A.I.D.S. (patients & caregivers) & teenagers.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Second Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses nine(b) thru eleven, fourteen thru twenty-one, thirty-one thru thirty-five(a), & thirty-six;
Psalm Forty-eight, versed two thru four, ten, & eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses six & twelve thru fourteen;

or, for St. Aloysius:
The First Letter of John, chapter five, verses one thru five;
Psalm Sixteen, verse five(a);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-two, verses thirty-four thru forty.

* * * * *

Monday, 20 June was the feast of Blessed Dermot O'Hurley, Bishop & Martyr (circa 1530-1584), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the feast of Blessed John Fenwick, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1628-1679), martyred in the reign of the king Charles II, a victim of Titus Oates's fabricated "Popish Plot": Martyr-link, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Second Book of Kings, chapter seventeen, verses five thru eight, thirteen thru fifteen(a), & eighteen;
Psalm Sixty, versed three thru five, twelve, & thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses one thru five.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

MxPx, "Biting the Bullet (Is Bad for Business)" from Secret Weapon (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"She said, 'There's nothing you can say to me that hasn't been said,
'There's nothing you can do to me that hasn't been done inside my head,
'Done inside my head.'
He said, 'Well, what else do you have up there that isn't tied down?
'You make a lot of noise for a girl from south of town,
'South of town.'

"She's so calm yet so confused,
She don't know she's being used,
She tries so hard, but it makes no difference,
'Cause biting the bullet is bad for business.

"She pretends to be so interested in current affairs,
Pretends she doesn't notice when she sees so many people stare,
And the people stare.
She counted thirty-nine steps from the door to the car,
Thirty-nine thousand more just to get herself out of the dark,
And now she sees a spark.

"She's so calm yet so confused, etc.

"The pretty pictures she tired to find
Are only real inside her mind,
She broke a window inside her soul,
It hurts more than you'll ever know…"

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day

The Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra & cast, "Baa Ram Ewe" from Babe: Original Soundtrack (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School, this year's program being "Barnyard Roundup." I was going to choose a song about summer (this being the first official day of the season), but I spent the whole morning calling the kids, "My little sheep," in the context of the Good Shepherd narrative from Scripture, so this seemed more apropos.
"Baa ram ewe,
Baa ram ewe,
To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true,
Sheep be true,
Baa ram ewe."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № DII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Arab Revolt, Part I
June 1916: The Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire (which claimed caliphate authority over the worldwide Ummah) began when Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, backed by promises of Entente support, declared himself King of Hejaz (8 June) & besieged Medina (10 June); Hussein's Hashemite dynasty allied with the House of Saud, while the rival House of Rashid allied with the Ottomans.









Lest we forget.

24 HEURES DU MANS | +09:44:00

I've had a nap, so I'm not as bleary-eyed as I was during the eleven o'clock Mass, but this is not to say that I yet have enough distance from the race for sober reflection. I feel sick for Toyota. I can't even get a proper hatred going for Ford's hollow victory in G.T.E. Pro.—& you know how much I revel in hating Ford—such is the shocking, just plain unfair nature of Toyota's defeat. I know that Le Mans can be cruel, but this really is too much! In the post-race, one of the Radio Le Mans chaps put it well: "Porsche didn't win it, Toyota lost it." Or, as the A.C.O. titled it, "Toyota, the Cursed": A.C.O.-link.

Project BLACK MAMBA: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Otherwise, 19 June would be the feast of Saint Romuald, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 951-1027), founder of the Camaldolese tradition, originally a reform of the Benedictines: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Sacro Eremo.

Even though 7 June would be an altogether superior date, we would also commemorate Venerable Matt Talbot, O.F.S. (1856-1925): Venerable-link ūnus, Venerable-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: I know of the Venerable Mr. Talbot from that slim but eminently useful volume, Saints Behaving Badly by Thomas J. Craughwell.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Zechariah, chapter twelve, verses ten & eleven & chapter thirteen, verse one;
Psalm Sixty-three, verses two thru six, eight, & nine;
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter three, verses twenty-six thru twenty-nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses eighteen thru twenty-four.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day

Francesca Battistelli, "If We're Honest" from If We're Honest (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: As a wise, humble, & very funny man once told me, "Hurt people hurt people, & healed people heal people." He's studying to be a deacon, & I hope he makes it to ordination.
"Don't pretend to be something that you're not,
Living life afraid of getting caught,
There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down
At the Cross,
At the Cross.

"So bring your brokenness and I'll bring mine,
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides,
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest,
If we're honest.

"It would change our lives,
It would set us free,
It's what we need to be…"

24 HEURES DU MANS | +00:25:00

The podium ceremonies still have not taken place, because the crowd at the Circuit de la Sarthe seem unsure of what's just happened & how to respond.

24 HEURES DU MANS | +00:16:00

Hindhaugh: "Pardon us if we're in shock at the moment, we're in shock at the moment."

I know it is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, not the 23:57 Hours of Le Mans, but in this instance the racing gods are too cruel.

24 HEURES DU MANS | +00:02:00

The № 5 Toyota lost power & ground to a halt on the second-to-last lap, handing victory on a silver platter to the № 2 Porsche. This is unbelievable, simply unbelievable. An eighteenth overall victory for Porsche, a fifth second-place finish for Toyota. Unbelievable!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 00:19:00

I love John Hindhaugh, one of the chief voices of Radio Le Mans, but he is a hard fellow to figure out. On the one hand, he scolds fans like me for criticizing the Ford GT, since after all all the other G.T.E. competitors signed off on Ford's mockery of the regulations (I suppose to reap the benefits of the publicity the GT has generated). On the other hand, he's incensed now that the organizers, the A.C.O., appear to be selectively enforcing the rules in order to kneecap the second place-running № 82 Ferrari 488 & thus secure a Ford one-two-three finish in G.T.E. Pro. So, it's O.K. when the A.C.O. bends its own rules to allow Ford into the race, but it's a "travesty"—his word—when the A.C.O. bends its own rules to guarantee Ford a photo-op finish? Come on, John!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 01:00:00

One hours to glory. 'Tis not the 23 Hours of Le Mans, 'tis not the 1 Hour of Le Mans. The glory goes to him (them, this is a team sport, after all) who endures twice around the clock, who conquers a full day's racing. Neither Toyota nor Ford have yet won anything yet. Enjoy these last fleeting moments, for the "Grand Prix of Endurance" will not come again for a whole year.

Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 01:54:00

My objection to the Ford GT, which by this point is poised to win in G.T.E. Pro. is twofold. One, I despise Ford. Why do I despise Ford? It all starts with Henry Ford & The International Jew & things don't improve much from there. Two, the Ford GT violates the spirit of G.T.—Grand Tourer—racing. Grand Tourers start life as street cars, perhaps exotic, obscenely expensive street cars, but street cars nevertheless. The Ford GT is a race car, designed from the ground up as a race car, with a race car's engine straight out of a prototype race car. There is a hypothetical street-legal GT in the offing, but none are yet on the street, not at any price. Ford may have adhered to the letter of the A.C.O.'s Grand Tourer Endurance specification, but the GT is an absolute affront to the spirit of G.T.E. racing. Ford are such perfect villains, straight out of central casting. (I write that as a man who sports a cartoon villain's moustache, clearly indicating that I'm up to no good.)


In L.M.P.1, the Toyota TS050s are still sandwiching the sole competitive Porsche 919, running one-two-three, though they have switched places, the № 5 leading & the № 6 running third. The Audi R18s run fourth & fifth, the № 8 down thirteen laps & the № 7 down sixteen. The Radio Le Mans chaps describe this year's all-new, all-different R18 as a disaster, most "un-Audi-like" in that it made its competitive debut before it was ready for prime time. Once all the teething problems are overcome, however, it should go like greased lightning. Toyota have never won Le Mans, though they have finished second on two different four different occasions: in 1992 with the TS010, 1994 with the 94C-V, 1999 with the GT-One (TS020), & 2013 with the TS030 Hybrid. Mazda is the only Japanese manufacturer to win Le Mans overall, with the 787B in 1991.

Leaders
L.M.P.1 & overall: № 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid
L.M.P.2: № 36 Alpine A460 (Nissan)
G.T.E. Pro.: № 68 Ford GT
G.T.E. Am.: № 62 Ferrari 458

Hello, Kitty
I sat in the green chair in the living room, watching the truncated television coverage, for hours. For those hours, Diva dozed on the nearby rocking chair, nuzzled up to the green chair, flopped on her back for me to scratch her belly, did everything but hop up on the ottoman to sleep against my leg. Ten minutes before the end of the broadcast, before Fox Sports 1 unceremoniously kicked Le Mans to the unseen Fox Sports 2 in favor of U.S. Open golf coverage, Diva finally hopped up on the ottoman to sleep against my leg. Diva has the most uncanny timing.

24 HERUES DU MANS | 06:59:00

Just under seven hours to go, which is still one hour of white-knuckle racing more than any other race on the World Endurance Championship calendar. American T.V. should be up & running as I type. The D.V.R. has been set, so I'm not in any particular rush to get into the comfy green chair, which given my fatigue at this wee hour of the morning might just be too comfy to resist.

"We're been saying that the Porsches have an advantage of pace, but right now the Toyota is the quicker car." Ah, the joys of sports commentary!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 08:11:00

Disaster! The № 64 Corvette has crashed & it appears, from the commentary by the Radio Le Mans crew, that the car won't be going anywhere. Radio Le Mans does yeoman's work & the Audi streaming video feed (over which is streamed the Radio Le Mans audio feed) is great, but now is a moment when television coverage would be invaluable. The good news is that Tommy Milner has walked away from the wreck & seems to be uninjured.


Commentary: The photograph is of the sister Corvette, the № 63, not the № 64 that just wrecked, from the early hours of the race.

Update: Racer-link.

Poetry Smackdown
Excerpt from "If—"
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two importers just the same…

Saturday, June 18, 2016

24 HEURES DU MANS | 09:11:00

Here's a brief mid-race report from the A.C.O.'s & the F.I.A.'s World Endurance Championship (W.E.C.) website: W.E.C.-link. Here's a more recent update from Racer magazine's website: Racer-link.

Leaders
L.M.P.1 (& overall): № 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid
L.M.P.2: № 36 Alpine A460
G.T.E. Pro.: № 82 Ferrari 488
G.T.E. Am.: № 62 Ferrari 458

24 HEURES DU MANS | 10:07:00


'Tis a chilly night in the Sarthe (department, Pays de la Loire region), with temperatures in the fifties Fahrenheit. The race started under heavy rain, actually started behind the safety car, but after that there was bright sunshine. There are clouds in the sky, but not enough to retain the heat, to insulate the ground. Laps times are not as fast as had been anticipated, because the tires just aren't coming up to optimal operating temp., but the plus side of all this is that multi-stinting tires is eminently feasible. The Porsche 919s are quadruple stinting their tires. It was not so long ago at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, five years ago in the midst of the Audi/Peugeot duel, that double stinting tires was daring, some might say reckless. Endurance & efficiency, indeed.

The dawn is approaching. With the sunrise comes a renewed optimism down in the pitlane, a false hope that is dashed when the teams realize that for all the long hours behind, there are still ten grueling hours left to race.

24 HEURES DU MANS | 10:59:00

Next year, the good Lord willing, I'm not going to let church commitments keep me out of the house on Saturday morning, serene in the horribly mistaken hope that the devious tricksters at Fox Sports are true to their word. I'm going to cast a jaundiced eye at American television. I will be on-station before 9:00 A.M., awake & alert, prepared to spend the whole of the next day—with perhaps a few brief stints spent away in front of Philo Farnsworth's greatest invention—hunkered in front of my Macintosh clinging to Radio Le Mans. (I'm presenting listening to the YouTube "Studio Vision" feed, rather than listening to the streaming radio feed.) "This is classic, classic Le Mans…"

In L.M.P.1, the № 6 Toyota still leads from the № 2 Porsche, but the sole competitive Porsche appears to be slowly reeling in the leading Toyota, while the hopelessly-far-behind № 1 Porsche is engaging in psychological warfare via the radio. The № 5 Toyota runs in third, still on the lead lap, while the № 8 Audi run two laps down in fourth place, eight laps ahead of the fifth place P.1, the non-hybrid № 13 from Rebellion. The № 7 Audi is on the same lap as the Rebellion, having been plagued by problems all day, but fighting on resolutely.

In G.T.E. Pro., the Risi Competizione № 82 Ferrari 488 is leading the Chip Ganassi Ford GTs, № 69 & № 68. I'm no fan of Ferrari, but I am firmly in the "Anybody but Ford" camp. I regard the Ford Motor Company with a horror much akin to that with which I regard Il Duce. Anybody but Ford!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 11:58:00

Of course, with all of the shenanigans earlier, I haven't watched/listened to all of the first twelve hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans; so, it's hard to believe there's less ahead than there is behind. (Only by two minutes, but still.) Nevertheless, we're now into the second round of this twice-around-the-clock classic. Tempus fugit!

In L.M.P.1, the № 6 Toyota TS050 continues to lead from the № 2 Porsche 919 & the № 5 Toyota TS050. The № 8 Audi R18 soldiers along, not quite back in it but certainly not yet out of it.

In G.T.E. Pro., the № 91 & № 92 Porsche 911s, the factory cars that race in the American I.M.S.A. series (as № 911 & № 912), have both retired. Serves them right for their bushwhacking of the race-leading Corvette at Long Beach! The № 71 A.F. Corse Ferrari (a quasi factory effort) have also retired.

This is when the time displacement starts to get weird. 'Tis the wee small hours of the morning in Le Mans, while 'tis only dusk here. The sun will come up in France—the taunting, euphoric "happy hour"—in the dead of night in Michigan. The race will end in the middle of the afternoon at the Circuit de la Sarthe, while I'm facing a bright new morning without having been to bed since the previous bright new morning. 'Tis the middle of the night at Le Mans, when the drivers, the pit crews, the announcers, the pit reporters, & the fans all start to get a little punchy. Wheeeee!

24 HEURES DU MANS | 13:03:00

Despite all the problems & disappointments, despite the deceptions by Fox Sports, the grandeur of Le Mans remains. All the time that has past, all that has occurred, & this eighty-fourth running of the "Grand Prix of Endurance*" isn't even halfway over. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Le Mans!

In L.M.P.1, in the race for the overall win among the high-tech factory hybrids boasting over a thousand combined horsepower—ground-hugging starships, really—Toyota are giving reigning champions Porsche a real run for their money. The № 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid is leading, with the № 5 (the 2014 World Endurance Champions) running third, also on the lead lap. The № 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid is running second, splitting the Toyotas; the № 1, the reigning (2015) World Endurance Champions, has faced rough sledding, spending over two hours in the pits; now back on track, it is twenty-plus laps down, running forty-eighth overall. The № 8 Audi R18 runs in fourth, one lap down, while the № 7 has lost time in the pits, now running eight laps down in sixth place.

The huge swarm of L.M.P.2 cars appear to be having a spirited battle, with the Nissan-powered № 36 Alpine A460 (really, a modified Oreca 05) leading at this hour. As anyone who has visited my FaceSpace page in the last month knows, I have a soft spot for the Alpine, a Bleu de France car from the Dieppe-based outfit (once again a subsidiary of Renault). "Meanwhile, in France…"


In G.T.E. Pro., the four turbocharged Ford GTs & the three turbocharged Ferrari 488s qualified in the top seven spots, ahead of the three naturally-aspirated Porsche 911s, the two naturally-aspirated Aston Martin Vantages, & the two naturally-aspirated Chevrolet Corvettes in the bottom seven spots. The lead has been diced back & forth 'twixt the № 68 Ford, the № 82 Ferrari, & the № 69 Ford. My beloved Corvettes will not be able to win on pace this year—the pace of the Fords & the Ferraris is daunting— but might yet triumph through bullet-proof reliability & perfect execution. Never give up!

In G.T.E. Am., former Corvette Racing driver (& current Cadillac Racing driver) Johnny O'Connell, a quadruple class winner with Corvette at Le Mans, is campaigning a Corvette, meaning there are four C7.Rs in the field, as opposed to last year's three. Glad to have you back, "Johnny Red"!

*Of late, the great race has been styled the "Grand Prix of Endurance & Efficiency." I do not dispute that efficiency plays—& has long played—a crucial role in motor racing. Notice Alexander Rossi's improbable & absolutely delightful victory in last month's one hundredth running of the Indianapolis 500. (I still owe you that edition of "This Week in Motorsport.") It's just that "of Endurance & Efficiency" doesn't have the same romance about it as the "Grand Prix of Endurance."

24 HEURES DU MANS | 14:52:00


I'm now trying to cobble together a picture of the race based on purely online resources. Thanks heavens for Radio Le Mans! This better than nothing, but this is still awful, awful, awful. F.S.1's television coverage is great—all eight hours of it. (Which of course generously assumes they won't cut back those paltry hours in favor of more golf.)

24 HEURES DU MANS | 15:03:00

This is the worst 24 Heures du Mans of my life, because Fox Sports is nothing but a giant lie. Originally, eleven & a half hours of the race were to be broadcast on the Fox Sports 1 (F.S.1) cable channel, with much but by no means all of the missing twelve & a half hours on Fox Sorts 2 (F.S.2), which is available in approximately zero per cent of American households. In the hours leading up to the race, & during the race itself, Fox has cut back coverage on F.S.1 by four hours, including cutting coverage of both the start of the race, 'twas just announced, the end of the race. The finale will now be available only on F.S.2. BY LUCIFER'S BEARD! ***EXPLETIVE DELETED***

It should also be noted that the Fox Sports GO app (for mobile devices & whatnot) is a giant lie. ***EXPLETIVE DELETED***EXPLETIVE DELETED***EXPLETIVE DELETED***

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saints Mark & Marcellian, Martyrs (died circa 286), twin brothers, martyred in the reign of the emperor Maximian: Martyr-link Mike-Kilo, Martyr-link Mike-Charlie, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Second Book of Chronicles, chapter twenty-four, verses seventeen thru twenty-five;
Psalm Eighty-nine, verses four, five, & twenty-nine thru thirty-four;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses twenty-four thru thirty-four.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Next 24 Hours


Michel Legrand, "Le Mans: The Race, First Laps" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: "Magique" would certainly describe the spell the 24 Heures du Mans casts over your humble narrator. There are two similar posters that I'm sure I'll post over the next twenty-four hours, "Mythique" & "Unique."

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "He's Back" from More Noise and Other Disturbances (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"When he was gone, he slept out on my couch,
In the daytime he was always out,
I never knew where he went
Or how his afternoons were spent,
He said he had to slay a dragon,
Kill a giant and fix a wagon,
Wage a war, feed the world, and stamp out sin,
In the daytime he was never in…"

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Theresa of Portugal, Religious, O.Cist. (1178-1250), the Queen of Léon: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the feast of Saint Albert Chmielowski, Religious, C.F.A.P.U. (1845-1916), founder of the Albertine Brothers, formally the Servants of the Poor, a congregation of the Third Order of Saint Francis: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.F.A.P.U.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Second Book of Kings, chapter eleven, verses one thru four, nine thru eighteen, & twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty-two, verses eleven thru fourteen, seventeen, & eighteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses nineteen thru twenty-three.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Less Than Jake, "24 Hours in Paramus" from Losers, Kings, and Things We Don't Understand (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: I thought "24 Hours in Paramus" a decent enough way to spend the twenty-four hours before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Le Mans! Le Mans! Le Mans!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What's Eating The Last Angry Man?

Excerpt from Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
by Herman Melville
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato threw himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. I should quietly take to the ship. I'm so blinding angry that I can hardly see past the red mist. I'm thinking of doing something rash—of doing many rash things. (I'm looking up parish boundaries. I've discovered that I reside within Holy Family's parish boundaries, not Holy Redeemer's; so, really, I'd just be an obedient son of the Church to switch.) It is all I can do not to do any of those rash things without first sleeping on the matter. My hypos have gotten such an upper hand of me that strong moral principle is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

Today held such promise, such potential!

Bonus! Song of the Day
Dropkick Murphys, "World Full of Hate" from Blackout (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: "Correcting mistakes in a world full of hate never changes anything…"

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Ismael, Bishop (sixth century, A.K.A. Isfael): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Sirach, chapter forty-eight, verses one thru fourteen;
Psalm Ninety-seven, verses one thru seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses seven thru fifteen.

Commentary: Today's reading from Sirach speaks of the prophet Elijah, star of the last fortnight's reading from 1 Kings, & the prophet Elisha, Elijah's successor. This year, my parish is running a program called the Alpha Course, developed & hosted by the Anglican "priest" Nicky Gumbel. One of my objections is that we, an at least nominally Catholic parish, are distributing literature that affirms the Protestant culling of the Bible & denies that the deuterocanonical books are rightly part of Sacred Scripture. Sirach is one of the books that we, through the distribution of the Alpha literature, have been denying is divinely revealed, & yet here it is in the daily readings, in the official teaching of Holy Mother Church, affirmed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Whose teaching ought I trust as being true & authoritative, the bishops, very the successors of the Apostles, or Nicky Gumbel? That is a rhetorical question, of course.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


MxPx, "Top of the Charts" from Secret Weapon (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: After the Reel Big Fish, MxPx are the band in my library with the most songs about the music industry & the vainglorious pursuit of fame & celebrity. Being Christians in a band (distinct from a Christian band), MxPx can't bring themselves quite to R.B.F.'s depths of bitterness, but that doesn't make the punk trio from Bremerton naïve.
"They said, we need to kick it harder,
They said, 'Rewrite the lyrics smarter,
'We can't quite smell platinum yet.'

"'Cause everybody wants to be
A big celebrity,
Everybody wants to win the lottery.

"From the bottom of our hearts
To the top of the charts!

"They said, 'You need to play it better,'
They said, 'Just sing like Eddie Vedder,
'And bring us something we can sell.'

"'Cause everybody wants to be
A big celebrity,
Everybody wants to win the lottery.
'Cause everybody wants to be
Like the people on T.V.,
Everybody wants to see the show for free.

"From the bottom of our hearts
To the top of the charts!

"Somebody said it right
When they said this life ain't easy,
Maybe tonight's the night
When it all goes down and we get it right!…

"From the bottom of our hearts
To the top of the charts!
From the bottom of our hearts
To the top of the charts!
From the bottom of our hearts
To the top of the charts!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: The Long Road Back, Part V

'Tis the feast of Saint Vitus, Martyr (died circa 303), martyred in the reign of the emperor Diocletian, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XIV.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Second Book of Kings, chapter two, verses one & six thru fourteen;
Psalm Thirty-one, verses twenty, twenty-one, & twenty-four;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter six, verses one thru six & sixteen thru eighteen.

Personal Reading
Introduction to the Book of Revelation;
The Book of Revelation, chapter one (verses one thru twenty).

* * * * *

Wednesday, 8 June was the feast of Saint William of York, Bishop (died 1154): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Book of Kings, chapter eighteen, verses twenty thru thirty-nine;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one(b) thru two(b), four, five(a,b), eight, & eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses seventeen thru nineteen.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


Lee Greenwood, "God Bless the U.S.A." via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Marketing works—I don't drink much Coke, but I've bought a few of these cans.
"If tomorrow all the things were gone, worked for all my life,
And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land—God bless the U.S.A.!

"From the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to L.A.,
Where's there's pride in every American heart and it's time we stand and say—

"That I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land—God bless the U.S.A.!

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land—God bless the U.S.A.!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Flag Day


John Philip Sousa, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Lately, it seems we have a hard time remembering that we're all Americans, that our political opponents & sports rivals are not our enemies. I disagree with much that it happening in this country, with much that many are trying to change about this country, but this remains my country, remains—in the words of our national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner"—"the land of the free & the home of the brave." Here the words of the Pledge of Allegiance are useful:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, & to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty & justice for all.
The flag is the symbol of us all, of our liberty & union, which cannot exist apart from one another. We cannot sustain & defend our liberty against the still-active forces of tyranny as individuals, we need to band together as a union; we cannot sustain & defend our union for any reason other than to secure our liberty as individuals, tolerating neither the tyranny of the majority nor the tyranny of the minority. In the words of the great Daniel Webster, senator from Massachusetts:
Liberty & union, now & forever, one & inseparable.
We can bicker & we can argue about the future direction of this country, about the shape of things to come, only because of our liberty & union. We dare not forget how rare, precious, & fragile a gift is the Americans' freedom of speech, how constantly it is under dire assault, from "enemies"—in the words of the Oath of Allegiance sworn by all naturalized American citizens—both "foreign & domestic." This Flag Day, salute the symbol of our great republic—cherish that liberty & defend that union for which it stands. God bless America.

The Queue

My only issue with A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II was Doctor Hahnenberg's inconsistent & lop-sided forays into the Council & post-conciliar debates. Only infrequently did he opine, yet when he did he was at pains to describe only one side of the debate's position, while providing the rudest caricature of the opposing side. I am of course not making the risible claim that all sides in every debate have equal merit, but considering that these were debates between the bishops of the Church, the chosen successors of the Apostles, he could have been more charitable in his assessments, at least affording each side the benefit of the doubt.

I need a little break from the sometimes harsh realities of Holy Mother Church in the twenty-first century, & the fantastical adventure of The Explorers Guild sounds more escapist than the unflinching realism of Clockers. Curse me as a coward if you wish.

Recently
Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church
Father Michael White & Tom Corcoran, Rebuilt: The Story of a Catholic Parish
Edward P. Hahnenberg, A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II

Currently
Jon Baird, with Kevin Costner & Stephen Meyer, illustrated by Rick Ross, The Explorers Guild, Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala
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
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: The Long Road Back, Part IV

'Tis the feast of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, Monk (circa 810-886), the "sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church": Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Book of Kings, chapter twenty-one, verses seventeen thru twenty-nine;
Psalm Fifty-one, verses three thru six(b), eleven, & sixteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses forty-three thru forty-eight.

Personal Reading
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter five (verses one thru twenty-six).

Commentary: Reading Galatians, 5 was my penance from confession yesterday. Also, I am beginning a Bible study of the Book of Revelation, so that will soon be my personal reading. You know, a little light summer reading.

* * * * *

Tuesday, 7 June was the feast of Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew, Religious, O.C.D. (circa 1550-1626): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Book of Kings, chapter seventeen, verses seven thru sixteen;
Psalm Four, verses two thru five & seven(b) thru eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirteen thru sixteen.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № DI

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Battle of Verdun, Part IV
1-8 June 1916: The Siege of Fort Vaux—German Sturmtruppen ("assault troops") stormed the fort, rendered vulnerable by a shortage of artillery; the French defenders retreated into the interior & fought in the corridors, surrendering only after exhausting their water supply; they remained prisoners of war 'til the Armistice in 1918.











Lest we forget.

Project BLACK MAMBA: The Long Road Back, Part III

'Tis the Memorial Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest & Doctor of the Church, O.F.M. (1195-1231): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Anthony was a Portuguese… priest & friar of the Franciscan Order. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching & expert knowledge of Scripture, he was the second-most-quickly canonized saint after Peter of Verona (martyr, 6 April). He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of finding things or lost (persons).
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal near the end of the twelfth century. He joined the Canons of St. Augustine, but, shortly after ordination to the priesthood, transferred to the Friars Minor to devote himself to spreading the Faith among African peoples. He had his greatest success, however, preaching in France & Italy & converting heretics. He was the first member of this Order to teach theology to his brethren. His sermons are notable for their learning & gentleness. St. Anthony died at Padua in 1231.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The First Book of Kings, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru sixteen;
Psalm Five, verses two thru three(b) & four(b) thru seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two;

or, for St. Anthony:
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-one, verses one thru three(d);
Psalm Eighty-nine, verse two;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter ten, verses one thru nine.

* * * * *

Monday, 6 June was the Optional Memorial of Saint Norbert, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 1080-1134), founder of the Premonstratensians (A.K.A. the Norbertines), formally the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré,: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.Praem.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
A sudden flash of lightning split the dark & his horse bucked, throwing Norbert to the ground for almost an hour. When he awoke his first words were, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"—the same words Saul (St. Paul) spoke on the road to Damascus.

In response Norbert heard in his heart, "Turn from evil & do good. Seek peace & pursue it."
'Twas also the feast of Saint Ceratus of Grenoble, Bishop (fifth century): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The First Book of Kings, chapter seventeen, verses one thru six;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-one, verses one(b) thru eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses one thru twelve.

or, for St. Norbert:
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-four, verses eleven thru sixteen;
Psalm Twenty-three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter fourteen, verses twenty-five thru thirty-three.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party

The Chinkees, "Merry Mary, Will You Still Marry Me?" from Searching for a Brighter Future (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"Now you for me,
Someone else keeps blinding me,
Now you for me,
Someone else keeps blinding me,
Now you for me now,
Honestly, my heart still needs some love…

"Me for you,
And someone else keeps blinding me,
Now me for you,
And someone else keeps blinding me,
Now me for you now,
Honestly, my heart still needs some love.

"Merry Mary, will you still marry me?…"

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA: The Long Road Back, Part II

Today is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 12 June would be the feast of Saint Leo III, Pope (died 816), ninety-sixth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the feast of Blessed Lorenzo Maria of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest, C.P. (1782-1856): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of This Week
Mass Readings
The Second Book of Samuel, chapter twelve, verses seven thru ten & thirteen;
Psalm Thirty-two, verses one, two, five, seven, & eleven;
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter two, verses sixteen & nineteen thru twenty-one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter seven, verse thirty-six thru chapter eight, verses three;
(or, the Gospel according to Luke, chapter seven, verses thirty-six thru fifty).

* * * * *

Sunday, 5 June was the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 5 June would have been the Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 675-754): Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the feast of Blessed Meinwerk of Paderborn, Bishop (circa 975-1036): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of Last Week
Mass Readings
The First Book of Kings, chapter seventeen, verses seventeen thru twenty-four;
Psalm Thirty, verses two, four thru six, & eleven thru thirteen;
The Letter to the Galatians, chapter one, verses eleven thru nineteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter seven, verses eleven thru seventeen.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day

Owl City featuring Britt Nicole, "You're Not Alone" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Some days I barely hold on.
When life drags me down,
I wanna let go.
When my spirit is weak,
You come to my aid
And strengthen my soul.

"I'm lost without You!
I'll never doubt You!
Your grace is beyond compare.
And though when it rains it pours
You know all I have is yours,
You smile when you hear my prayer…"

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Dance Hall Crashers, "Keep on Running" from The Old Record: 1989-1992 (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: I was awake for twenty-one hours yesterday (including mowing the lawn in the heat of the day), then slept for four hours. By the time I get to bed tomorrow morning (the wee hours of the night), I'll have been awake for another eighteen hours, after which I'll probably get about six hours of sleep. I keep on running, because if I stop I doubt I'll start again.
"I keep on running, but I'm starting to tire,
But I keep on moving 'cause my mind's on fire,
It's an uphill climb & my feet are getting heavy,
But I keep on running 'cause I'm feeling ready…

"I keep on running 'cause I can't turn back,
I've got no choice, my body's keeping track
Of the miles I've gone & the miles left to go,
If I stop now, everyone would surely know!…"

Poetry Smackdown
"Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"
by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Project BLACK MAMBA: The Long Road Back, Part I

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

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Barnabas appears mainly in Acts... He also appears in several of Paul's epistles. He found the work so extensive & weighty that he went to Tarsus in search of (St.) Paul (25 January, et al.), "an admirable colleague," to assist him. Paul returned with him to Antioch & labored with him for a whole year (Acts, 11:25-26).
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eleven, verses twenty-one(b) thru twenty-six & chapter thirteen, verses one thru three;
Psalm Ninety-eight, verses one thru six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirty-three thru thirty-seven.

* * * * *

Saturday, 4 June was the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Our Lady-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys & sorrows, her virtues & hidden perfections, & above all, her virginal love of God.
'Twas also the feast of Saint Francis Caracciolo, Priest, C.R.M. (1563-1608), co-founder of the Adorno Fathers, formally the Clerics Regular Minor: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.R.M..

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter four, verses one thru eight;
Psalm Seventy-one, verses eight, nine, fourteen, fifteen(a,b), sixteen, seventeen, & twenty-two;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter two, verses forty-one thru fifty-one;

or, for the Immaculate Heart:
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-one, verses nine thru eleven;
The First Book of Samuel, chapter two, verse one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter two, verses forty-one thru fifty-one.

Commentary: Yup, same Gospel.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the feast of Saint Bardo of Mainz, Bishop, O.S.B. (circa 980-1051): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The First Book of Kings, chapter nineteen, verses nine(a) & eleven thru sixteen;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses seven thru nine(c), thirteen, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-two.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party

Reel Big Fish, "Don't Start a Band" (live) from Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album, Disc 2: Move Fastly with the Fast Music (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Good banter, banter that adds to the concert experience rather than detracts from it, doesn't just happen; it takes work & preparation. Do it right or don't do it at all, i.e., "Shut up & play." The Reel Big Fish do it right.

Aaron Barrett: "Ladies & gentlemen, this is the meanest song I ever wrote, & I mean that."

Scott Klopfenstein: "'Mean' as in Michael Jackson's
Mean?"

Barrett: "When I wrote this song I was in a bad mood, & it never stopped."

Klopfenstein: "Like 'bad' like Michael Jackson's
Bad."

Barrett: "No, like pissed off."

Klopfenstein: "Like Michael Jackson's
Pissed Off."

Barrett: "It's called 'Don't Start a Band.'"
"Don't start a band!
Nobody wants to hear,
Nobody understands.
Don't start a band!
You will be so disappointed
That it was nothin' like you planned,
Don't start a band, oh yeah, yeah, yeah!

"I hate to ruin the magic,
I hate to kill the dream,
But once you've been behind the scenes
Well, you'll know what I mean.

"You might think that it's cool to go up on stage
(And play rock & roll with your heart & soul)
But when no one shows up & your songs all suck
(And there's no applause & no flying bras)

"No girls will scream for you.
No one's gonna sing along with you.

"Don't start a band!
Nobody wants to hear,
Nobody understands.
Don't start a band!
You will be so damn terrible,
They will think you're shitty & bland!
Don't start a band, oh yeah, yeah, yeah!
And you won't get paid,
And you won't get laid!

"And even if you make it
All the way to M.T.V.,
I don't think you can take it,
All the bullshit and the greed.

"Everyone is so fake when they shake your hand
(And they kiss your ass 'cause you're makin' cash)
And the business end will turn every friend
(To an enemy, oh you will see!)

"Turn your backs & they'll be gone,
Faster than you can say, 'What did I do wrong?'

"Don't start a band!
Nobody really cares,
Nobody understands,
Don't start a band!
You will sign your life away
And then you will be working for the Man.
Don't start a band, oh yeah, yeah, yeah!
The message will get lost,
You will be double crossed!

"And if you think that the joy of playing
Will keep you going through the years,
Wait 'til you're poor & frustrated
And the fun just disappears.

"Nobody cares what you have to say,
No one's gonna listen anyway,
Rock & roll will bring you down,
It will kick you while you're on the ground.

"Don't start a band!
Don't even try,
You will regret it, yeah.
Don't start a band!
You will be so disappointed
That it was nothin' like you planned,
Don't start a band, oh yeah, yeah, yeah!
So, just give up now,
I'll show you how!

"Don't start a band!
Don't start a band!
Don't start a band!
Don't start a band!"

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Ephrem, Deacon & Doctor of the Church (circa 306-373), the "Harp of the Holy Spirit": Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Ephrem used his Hymns against Heresies to warn his flock of the heresies that threatened to divide the early Church. He lamented that the faithful were "tossed to & for & carried around with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness & deceitful wiles." He devised hymns laden with doctrinal details to inoculate right-thinking Christians against heresies such as docetism. (Docetism: broadly, it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, & that his human form was an illusion.) The Hymns against Heresies employ colorful metaphors to describe the Incarnation of Christ as fully human & divine. Ephrem asserts that Christ's unity of humanity & divinity represents peace, perfection, & salvation.
Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday:
The First Book of Kings, chapter eighteen, verses forty-one thru forty-six;
Psalm Sixty-five, verses ten thru thirteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses twenty thru twenty-six;

or, for St. Ephrem:
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter three, verses twelve thru seventeen;
Psalm Thirty-seven, verse thirty(a);
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses forty-three thru forty-five.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party

#NeverTrump
Mu330, "K.K.K. Hiway" from Ultra Panic (Bravo Lima Foxtrot)

Skammentary: A live recording of "K.K.K. Hiway" was posted to a FaceSpace group to which I belong, by a user named Bravo Lima Foxtrot. But the real inspiration is an online headline, in which Speaker of the House Representative Paul Ryan (R., Wisconsin) reiterated his support for Donald "Il Duce" Trump's campaign, only one day after Ryan had rightly tweeted that Il Duce's racist remarks about a judge were the "textbook definition of a racist comment." I am no longer a Republican because Il Duce consistently makes "textbook racist comments," & I cannot in good conscience belong to a party that endorses such overt racism. Such a man is not fit to be the Republican nominee, much less the president of the United States. As long as Republicans such as Speaker Ryan continue to hate Hillary Clinton more than they love the Constitution, & thus to collaborate with Il Duce & his racist rabble, I will not be a Republican nor support any Republican candidate who fails to roundly denounce Il Duce.
"Did you know that the K.K.K. adopted a highway,
Just a few miles away from my mom's house?
They paid their money and they put a sign,
I guess they dress up in sheets and go pick up the trash.

"The trash, the trash,
They pick up the trash!
The trash, the trash,
They pick up the trash!

"They should know it when they see it!
They get a good look every day in the mirror,
They get a good look every day in the mirror!"
Lies, Damned Lies, & the News
Speaker Ryan's servile attitude toward Il Duce, even after Il Duce's most recent "textbook racist comments": C.N.N.-link.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Reel Big Fish, "Don't Stop Skankin'/Oh, Rudy" from Candy Coated Fury (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Front man & chief songwriter Aaron Barrett has said that he made an intentional effort on Candy Coated Fury to write more danceable songs. Mission accomplished, Mr. Barrett! "Oh, Rudy" is a hidden track that begins after "Don't Stop Skankin'" proper ends. Bonus!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Suburban Legends, "High Fives" from Rump Shaker (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: The high five is awesome, even if it is often abused by douche bags such as those lampooned in "High Fives."

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


Echosmith, "Bright" via iTunes (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: I heard "Bright" while in the drug store this afternoon, on what I hope & pray is the last (ostensibly romantic) date of my life. Also, Wayback Machine.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Explorers' Club, № D

Operation AXIOM: The World War
5 June 1916: A mine laid by the German submarine S.M. U-75 in preparation for the Battle of Jutland sank the British cruiser H.M.S. Hampshire; of the six hundred sixty-two officers, sailors, & passengers aboard, only twelve souls escaped the wreck; most prominent among the glorious dead was the War Secretary, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, & his staff, bound for Russia on a diplomatic mission.









Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Lord's Day

Audrey Assad, "It Is Well with My Soul" from Inheritance (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control:
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His Own Blood for my soul…"

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Reel Big Fish, "Beer" (live) from Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album, Disc 1: More Shtick Than You Can Shake a Stick At (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"Maybe someday I'll think of what to say,
Maybe next time I'll remember what to do,
She looks like Heaven,
Maybe this is Hell,
Said she's do it all again,
Promised not to tell!

"And If I get drunk, well, I'll pass out on the floor now, baby,
You won't bother me no more! (No more)
She said, 'It's O.K., boy, 'cause you know we'll be good friends,'
And I said, 'I think I'll have myself a beer,
I think I'll have myself a—
Whoa-oa-oa! Whoa!
Whoa-oa-oa! Whoa!
Whoa-oa-oa! Whoa!
Yeah, yeah, yeah!…"

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day


The Bruce Lee Band, "Mr. Hanalei" from The Bruce Lee Band (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that "Mr. Hanalei" is almost certainly based on, or perhaps even better described as an adaptation of, an episode of The Brady Bunch, probably involving a Hawaiian holiday.

"Please, Mr. Hanalei, would you tell me what to do?
Please, Mr. Hanalei, I don't know what to do.

"And Alice hurt her back,
Brother Greg almost drowned on a surf board,
A spider almost killed Peter,
A wall decoration almost killed me.

"Tiki, it is evil, I don't know what to do,
So, please, Mr. Hanalei, I don't know what to do!…

"So we went far away,
The bus driver said that we were crazy,
And we went toward the cave,
Leaving my popcorn as a trail to safety,
And I like my popcorn,
I like my popcorn!

"And we met Vincent Price,
His Tiki named Oscar,
And we have one man to thank,
We have one man to thank,
One man to thank:

"Mr. Hanalei,
Mr. Hanalei,
Mr. Hanalei,
Mr. Hanalei."

Friday, June 3, 2016

Urbi et Orbi

Two days of the parish festival down, two days to go. Alas, the next two days should each be more grueling than the last two days combined. I'm not whining. I chose this, I chose all of this. Here we go.

Project BLACK MAMBA

Tis the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Solemnity-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
One of the most widely practiced & well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ's physical heart as the representation of His divine love for humanity.
Otherwise, 3 June would be the Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga & Companions, Martyrs (died 1886), martyred in the reign of the king Mwanga II: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, Martyrs-link Companions, Wikipedia-link Charlie Lima, & Wikipedia-link Companions.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
These twenty-two saints from Uganda, Africa, were martyred between 1886 & 1887 by King Mwanga. They had refused to commit sins of impurity & to give up the catholic faith. Their leader, Charles Lwanga, was burned to death on 3 June after suffering terrible torture. They are the first African martyrs*. St. Charles Lwanga & companions were canonized during the third session of the Second Vatican Council.
*This is an unfortunate & inaccurate sentence. These might well be the first "black African" martyrs or the first native sub-Saharan African martyrs, but the Church has been present in Africa since the first century & endured in Africa through the Roman period, the Muslim conquests, & beyond, & there were many African martyrs before 1886. North Africa is as much Africa as southern Africa, perhaps even more so, since the name "Africa" derives from a Roman province situated in modern-day Tunisia, Algeria, & Libya.


Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-four, verses eleven thru sixteen;
Psalm Twenty-three, verses one thru six;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter five, verses five(b) thru eleven;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter fifteen, verses three thru seven.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Reel Big Fish, "Everything Sucks" (live) from Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album, Disc 1: More Shtick Than You Can Shake a Stick At (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: Last Friday, when the studio album rendition of "Everything Sucks" was the R.B.D.S.O.T.D., I meant it. That selection started off as a gleeful complement to L.T.J.'s "Overrated (Everything Is)," but took a dark turn as I stared into the abyss of this year's presidential politics & my own stubborn sinfulness (which I then compounded by flirting with the sin of despair). This Friday, because joy is a choice—an act of the will, like love, & not the emotion it is commonly, mistakenly supposed to be—I'm all smiles, ready to take on whatever horrors lie in wait.

#NeverTrump
#NeverHillary

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Project BLACK MAMBA

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saints Marcellinus & Peter, Martyrs (died circa 304), martyred in the reign of the emperor Diocletian: Martyrs-link, Martyr-link Mike, Martyr-link Papa, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Marcellinus, a priest, & Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304. According to a legendary account of their martyrdom, the two Romans saw their imprisonment as just one more opportunity to evangelize & managed to convert their jailer & his family.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Saints Marcellinus & Peter were beheaded in a grove after being forced to dig their own graves during the Diocletianic Persecution. Their bodies were moved & buried in the cemetery Ad duas Lauros on the Via Labicana. Once peace had been restored, the Church build a basilica over their tombs.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Eugene I, Pope (died 657), seventy-fifth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter two, verses eight thru fifteen;
Psalm Twenty-five, verses four, five(a,b), eight thru ten, & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses twenty-eight thru thirty-four;

or, for Ss. Marcellinus & Peter:
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter six, verses four thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses eleven(b) thru nineteen.

Personal Reading
The Letter of Jude (verses one thru twenty-five);
Introduction to the Letter of Jude.

Commentary: As a reminder, the Letter of Jude is so brief that it is not divided into chapters, simply verses. Also, yes, as I learned later in Numbers, Balaam proved himself a villain who well earned his ignominy in the New Testament, as here in verse 11.

Address & Greeting (1-2), Occasion for Writing (3-4), the False Teachers (5-16), Exhortations (17-23), & Doxology (24-25).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day: SKAfter Party


Reel Big Fish, "The Set Up (You Need This)" (live) from Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album, Disc 1: More Shtick Than You Can Shake a Stick At (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary: It is banter like this—R.B.F.'s the best in the business—that helps to make the title of their live album less of a boast & more of a bold but truthful assertion. Their live album is better than most any other band's live album & their live show contains more shtick than at which you can shake a stick, proverbially.
Aaron Barrett: "This song's called 'The Set Up.' It's about, uh—what the fuck is this song about, anyway?"

Scott Klopfenstein: "I've never understood, actually, what the hell this song is fucking about."

Barrett: "I really don't know. I really—let's think about it and we'll talk afterwards."

Klopfenstein: "O.K."

Barrett: "Try and figure this thing out."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Code Name: CHAOS

As I was trekking across the parking lot toward Holy Family to attend Mass this evening, a girl exited her motorcar & greeted me as if we'd met before. She apologized for not remembering my name, but after I introduced myself as Mike she made it clear she'd never before known that: She would have remembered "Mike," since her husband, her brother, & her father are all Mikes. No worries, I pretend to recognize persons all the time, especially when they known my name & I don't know them from Adam. She in turn introduced herself as Lyric. I was uncertain of the spelling, but she later added, "As in music." So, yeah, Lyric.

I was favoring "Lyric" as the spelling of her name, but also thought about alternatives, chief among which was some variation of Lear—as in King Lear or Learjet—& the suffix "ik"—common to a great many names, like Frederick, Patrick, & Henrik, with a great many variations in spelling. Something like Learik, or more probably or Learyk. Awful, I know. So, yeah, Lyric.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Backlog Edition, Part II

Today, 1 June is the Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr (circa 100-165), martyred in the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
His most well known text, the First Apology, passionately defends the morality of the Christian life.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Justin was a philosopher & a martyr. he was born of pagan parents st Flavia Neapolis in Samaria at the beginning of the second century. Following his conversion to the faith he wrote many works in defense of religion, of which we have only two: the Apology & the Dialogue with Trypho. He also opened a school at Rome in which public debates were held. Justin was martyred along with several companions during the reign of Marcus Aurelius around the year 165.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Ronan, Bishop (sixth century, A.K.A. of Cornwall, of Locronan): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Second Letter to Timothy, chapter one, verses one, two, three, & six thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-three, verses one(b) thru two(f);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses eighteen thru twenty-seven;

or, for St. Justin:
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter one, verses eighteen thru twenty-five;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses thirteen thru nineteen.

Personal Reading
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty-four (verses one thru twenty-nine);
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty-five (verses one thru thirty-four);
The Book of Numbers, chapter thirty-six (verses one thru thirteen).

Commentary: The Boundaries (34:1-15), Supervisors of the Allotment (34:16-29), Cities for the Levites (35:1-8), Cities of Asylum (35:9-15), Murder & Manslaughter (35:16-29), Witnesses (35:30), No Indemnity (35:31-34), Property of Heiresses (36:1-12), & Conclusion (36:13).

Thus concludes the Book of Numbers. I need a break from the Pentateuch, a sabbatical back to the green pastures of the New Testament. Once back in the Old Testament, I can't say if I'll cowboy up enough to tackle Leviticus & Deuteronomy, or slink off to Joshua & Judges with a yellow belly.


* * * * *

Sunday, 29 May was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi): Solemnity-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. The last four Sundays—Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, & now Corpus Christi—are all moveable feasts, deriving their dates from the Easter Triduum. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
(Corpus Christi is a) Latin Rite liturgical solemnity celebrating the tradition & belief in the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ & his Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Otherwise, 29 May would have been the feast of Blessed Richard Thirkeld, Priest & Martyr (died 1583), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Genesis, chapter fourteen, verses eighteen thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Ten, verses one thru four;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter eleven, verses twenty-three thru twenty-six;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses eleven(b) thru seventeen.

Commentary: Memorial Day weekend, so lots of folks were out of town. (I was out of town in the morning, being kicked out of Xanadu so that the residents could decamp to Apple Valley for the rest of the holiday weekend, & arriving home mid-afternoon.) I was scheduled to proclaim the Second Reading at the five o'clock Mass in place of a brother Knight, but due to the first reader not showing up I also got to proclaim the First Reading, too. Neat! Her loss (& neglect of duty) was my gain.

* * * * *

Monday, 30 May was the feast of Saint Joan of Arc, Martyr (circa 1412-1431), the Maid of Orléans, martyred in the reign of the king Henry VI: Martyr-link ūna, Martyr-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Weekday
The Second Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses two thru seven;
Psalm Ninety-one, verses one, two, & fourteen thru sixteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter twelve, verses one thru twelve;

or, for Memorial Day:
The Book of Numbers, chapter six, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
Psalm Ninety-one, verses one, two, & fourteen thru sixteen;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter five, verses one thru twelve(a).

Commentary: The reading from Numbers is the Priestly Blessing, one of the best bits of the whole book. I was out at the Old Calvary Cemetery for Mass at ten o'clock on Memorial Day, honoring our glorious dead as a member of the Knights of Columbus honor guard.