Cristo è risorto!
Lutheran Satire made an amusing “game show” after Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement in February. It offers a fine commentary on the armies of “devout Catholics” whom the media always consult when covering matters Roman.
If only she had claimed infallible authority because, well, you know, like, she totally knows everything about the faith because she, like, you know, went to Catholic schools for thirteen years.
Kristus er opstanden!
No, not lego papam, but Lego pope!
Behold Pope Francis, the Danish version: “We Have a Pope! :: Lego Edition” at Shower of Roses.
Cristo ha resucitado!
Latin week continues on Arimathea with some posts concerning the papal election. A few days before Pope Francis was elected, someone tweeted (twit?):
If a Jesuit was elected pope, we would finally have one loyal to the pope.
Shouldn’t it have been, “If a Jesuit were elected pope . . .”? Anyway, it was funny and prescient—though the young guys, S.J., seem to be alright. Nonetheless, allow me to indulge in some Jesuit schoolboy humor:
Si tu cum Jesuitis,
Non cum Jesu itis.
For more Jesuit jokes, go to Catholic Resources. I learnt most of them as a young man.
Hristos a înviat!
A few months ago, Steve Sailer introduced MicroAgressions to the rightosphere: “Best of MicroAggressions.com.” It is a site that posts discontent individuals’ experiences with “microaggressions.” Microaggressions are the minor annoyances that you regularly encounter in a world populated by human beings whose existential focus is not you and whose ideas do not perfectly match your own. For normal people, this is what we call life. For the morally greedy, self-righteous Left, which craves offense like a junkie lusts after crack, microaggressions are the best for which one can hope in a world already conquered by one’s crazy, pussified ideology.
I sent the site’s link to my friend Andrew, who wished to add his own microaggression after his typical manner: “I try to be tolerant of others and to be mature about letting the little things slide. But then I saw a web site today that suggested I wasn’t capable of this. It encouraged me to obsess immaturely on every tiny grievance and to condemn the attitudes and beliefs of others intolerantly. Do they really think I’m that dysfunctional?”
Last week, Pittsburgher Suzy Weiss had a satirical open letter in the Wall Street Journal, “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me.” It is a fun read. It has also upset many fiendish people, and that is reason enough for me to praise the piece.
I have read several articles critical of Miss Weiss that share the common opinion journalism fault of reacting in ignorance to a story for the sake of making a point. Instead of actually absorbing information that is inconvenient to their argument, writers tend to ignore relevant facts and rather use the story as an opportunity to sermonize on a particular topic. For instance, dozens of articles dismiss Weiss as an entitled brat who blames others for her lack of accomplishment, but Weiss is in fact pretty impressive for a high school senior. They take her snarky self-deprecation of “underachieving selfish teenager” as their launching pad, though they end up criticizing a straw girl instead of addressing her legitimate criticism of the contemporary college admissions process—criticism mixed with delightful cynicism. In fairness to Weiss’ detractors, one must read other sources or watch interviews such as her appearance on the Today show to get the fuller picture, though writers—especially those in “real papers”—should take a little extra time to research the object of their potential scorn.
Anyway, cheers to Miss Weiss for giving us a laugh at the expense of the elite’s phony piety!
Last month, The Onion published a typically alliumesque story about Obama: “Look, I’m Just Going to Say It: I Collect Antique Nazi Memorabilia.”
Now, let me be clear about this: I myself am not a Nazi. This obviously should go without saying. Furthermore, I have no affiliation whatsoever with the National Socialist movement in any way other than being a collector of Nazi art and iconography. Needless to say, I am repulsed by Nazism’s abhorrent beliefs. The genocide that robbed six million Jews and millions of Poles, Roma, and gay people of their lives stands alone as a nightmare unique in mankind’s history, but aesthetically and culturally, yes, I do find it fascinating, and collecting Nazi memorabilia is a hobby that I enjoy in my spare time.
I would also like to emphasize that this hobby, while not necessarily “common” on a large scale, does not make me weird or somehow deviant. Also, it’s more common than you might think. Check it out online. Besides, collecting Third Reich paraphernalia is merely a diversion I indulge in privately, or in the company of numerous fellow Nazi memorabilia collectors whose interest in this area is purely historical.
People in this country are free to collect whatever they want to collect. It’s one of the things that makes America great, if you want to think about it that way.
Also, a lot of presidents had quirky hobbies, you now. Teddy Roosevelt collected taxidermy. FDR collected stamps. I collect Nazi badges, insignia, and crockery. At the end of the day, whether it’s a stamp or a little vintage swastika pin, we’re just talking about little trinkets here. It’s not some huge deal. It’s not like I’m running a Nazi flag up the pole in front of the White House or something. Absolutely not. I keep my Nazi flag folded and stored in an antique pine case in my private residence.
There are probably a few questions people have right away, the first one being, “Do you own or have you ever worn a Nazi uniform?” The answer is yes, I own several, including a windbreaker and cap from the Panzer Totenkopf division. However, I’d like to clarify that I almost never wear my Nazi regalia. In the rare instance that I do, it’s in my private living quarters and is not intended for anyone other than myself or the Third Reich memorabilia enthusiasts I occasionally invite to the White House for trunk shows and conventions.
All of whom, I should add, are really nice, normal Americans with no Nazi-leaning sympathies.
Second thing some of you may be wondering: Do I own a copy of Mein Kampf? Yes, I do. A first edition, in fact. Have I read it? Yes, I have. Now, I strongly disagree with it, but it’s an important historical document nonetheless, and I think people should be familiar with it on, you know, a historical level. Many scholars and academics have read Mein Kampf numerous times over and it’s considered totally normal when they do so, just to put things in perspective.
And look, I understand if this bothers people. Many folks I know don’t understand my hobby. Michelle, for example, does not. And that’s fine! I don’t flaunt it in her face or anyone else’s face. That’s why I haven’t mentioned it until now. However, I also don’t want to seem as though I’m hiding it, because it’s not something to hide or be ashamed of. If people checked it out, they might actually find it kind of cool. Not “cool,” exactly, but, you know, interesting. . . .
Read the whole article.
Though I am an Ohioan, I have never been to an O.S.U. game, and I have never been a fan. As noted in “Cincinnati Yesteryear,” denizens of the Queen City find their identity in the polis, not the State. I did have an Ohio State Buckeyes sweatshirt when I was in elementary school, but that is because I fancied the buckeye and leaf design. However, after I watched the following clip, I want to make hajj to the Horseshoe. For I have never seen a more entertaining halftime show. Here is the Buckeyes’ tribute to video game history:
Who would have thought that music dorks would celebrate gaming geeks in the holy temple of American jockdom?
Maslenitsa week continues with a second clip from Candid Camera—this time with the incomparable Buster Keaton from A.D. 1962:
Voyeurism seems so much less objectionable in early “reality television.”
To celebrate Maslenitsa (or “Shrovetide” for the Brits), I shall mostly indulge in levity this week. I found an old clip of a young Woody Allen on the Candid Camera show in A.D. 1961 that you might enjoy:
The secretary is not a looker by far, but she has spunk and personality—in abundance.
This clip reminds me of Ambrose Bierce’s definition: “HEBREW, n. A male Jew, as distinguished from the Shebrew, an altogether superior creation.”
My father has always been a fan of Allen’s work, though I am more ambivalent. He has undeniable talent, but he is somewhat of a pervert—even to someone with a strong and developed anti-puritanical streak like me.
Steve Sailer always posts interesting items about the passing scene. Leading up to the Academy Awards, he has been playing with Oscar statistics, considering, for example, the percentage of female winners in various categories at differing periods in Hollywood’s short history. In one of these posts, “Women and film editing,” Sailer discusses the complementarity of the sexes:
The two most honored editors currently working are Spielberg’s editor Michael Kahn (eight nominations, three Oscars) and Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker (seven and three).
Schoonmaker’s career is of interest. She edited a Scorsese student project in the 1960s and earned an Oscar nomination for editing the concert film Woodstock way back in 1970. But she couldn’t get into the editor’s union for a decade so she was blocked from working on Hollywood features throughout the 1970s. She finally got her union card (she thinks Al Pacino pulled some strings for her), and her first feature with Scorsese was 1980’s Raging Bull, which would be high on anybody’s list of superbly edited films.
She’s edited only one movie since for anybody other than Scorsese, but has edited all of Scorsese’s pictures. This may explain something about why Scorsese, who looked in the late 1970s to be headed toward the usual career of a director who burns brightly for just a few years, has made so many comebacks.
IMDB has some quotes from Schoonmaker on the gender question:
I think the women have a particular ability to work with strong directors. They can collaborate. Maybe there’s less of an ego battle.
I’m not a person who believes in the great difference between women and men as editors. But I do think that quality is key. We’re very good at organizing and discipline and patience, and patience is 50 per cent of editing. You have to keep banging away at something until you get it to work. I think women are maybe better at that.
People expect artists to be too normal, I think. I’ve been around enough of them now to see that they’re very extraordinary human beings who behave differently than ordinary human beings. If they weren’t as sensitive as they are they wouldn’t be great artists. They are not the same as us. People should just learn to accept that.
Schoonmaker has long reminded me of Vera Nabokov, the classic example of the old, extremely unfashionable saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” Vera put up with Vladimir’s eccentricities, organized every aspect of his life, accompanied him to all of his lectures at Cornell, sitting in the first row to keep him on top of things, and even drove the nondriver on all of his butterfly-collecting expeditions across the West. Throughout decades of obscurity and economic deprivation, she remained convinced that her husband was a genius. Suddenly, in 1958 when he was 59-years-old, the whole world came to agree with her.
It is for this knack of elucidating human nature in colorful anecdotes that I called Sailer “Our Hume” last year.
As far as the show went—it’s Hollywood. What do you expect? However, I was shocked by Michelle Obama’s participation. She did not say anything untoward, but her inclusion in the program struck me as extraordinarily un-American. It is yet another leftist intrusion of the political into what Jay Nordlinger calls “safe zones.” I suppose that the entertainment industry, with its Euripides complex, has long ceased to be a politics free safe zone, but it seems less objectionable when actors advocate their beliefs than when Hollywood’s establishment invites the president’s wife to give its highest award. Such resembles personality cult regimes where posters of the Dear Leader adorn city walls and the nation’s children sing about his heroic exploits. That doesn’t happen here. Oh wait . . .
I wonder if I am judging Obama’s appearance unfairly. Online, I found references to Ronald Reagan’s and Laura Bush’s appearance at the Academy Awards, but I am not sure how they participated. Were they in the audience? Did they speak? Did they appear as Big Brother on an imposing screen telecasted from the White House? All I can find is Reagan’s attendance in the 1950’s and how the Academy postponed the ceremony one day after the assassination attempt in A.D. 1981. If President Reagan ever attended or addressed the Academy, let us remember that he was an actor and the president of the Screen Actors Guild for many years. It would have been more understandable. All I could find about Bush was a reference to her part in a documentary shown at the Oscars in A.D. 2002. Wikipedia states:
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, who would later win Best Documentary at the 76th Academy Awards, made a short film that was shown during the ceremony. The film shows almost 100 people discussing movies. Those featured range from Laura Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev to Iggy Pop and Lou Reed to Kenneth Arrow (1972 Nobel Laureate in Economics) to Morris’ son Hamilton. Morris would again make a short film similar to this one except the subject being the 177 nominees of the 79th Academy Awards five years later (also produced by Zinskin).
That is not comparable to what happened last night.
I am completely in favor of a royal family who rises above partisan squabbling, but we Americans do not actually have one. I find it very troubling when my fellow citizens treat El Jefe and the Mrs. so.