November 09, 2012

Sundry & Various

Oh the banter of light play in the morning! For a brief period now - at least until maybe early December? - light floods the pathways of my mind and face on the way to work, now that the time change has taken effect. The time change seems perfectly timed since I don't even miss the hour on the other end. Morning light over late afternoon/early evening light in my book, or at least I think that in the morning.

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Read compulsively more news, the Columbus Dispatch, perverse as that is given the negativity of it, i.e. Obama's reelection. I seem to be fascinated by the turn this country has taken and long to read Douthat's book called "The Grand New GOP", written a few years ago, which is supposed to blueprint a way forward. If I wasn't convinced an overhaul was necessary before, I'm certainly sure now. Those election results concentrate the mind powerfully. For the first time in a long time (or ever?) I feel like the country's changed, that here was an objective result of the culture of death and decay and sloth. Perhaps I felt it in '96 when Clinton, a perjurer, managed to beat Bob Dole, war hero. In the black and white of voting statistics, this election seemed an index of our citizenry's venality.

Was surprised to learn that Romney had been secretly taped awhile back saying that Republicans have got to appeal to Latino voters. Ironic given his own inability to connect with them. He might've taken his own advice. I think it was George Will who said, in his election recap, that this one might've been lost when a primary opponent challenged Romney to be tougher on illegals and Romney made some sort of over-the-top statement decrying the Dream Act and such. It kind of surprises me that Romney didn't move into an open border sort of guy after winning the nomination. Sure he'd catch hell, but that's never stopped him from changing a position before. If I were Mitt I'd have hijacked Hispanic media and outspent Obama hugely there. In the end the Mittster tried very hard, fought hard, but was a bit too predictable. He evinced a sort of lack of creativity and relied too heavily on the debates alone to change his course. I mean Mitt was losing practically the whole election, so there was plenty of opportunity to try something like a screen pass instead of simply handing off to the fullback every play. But that's Monday morning quarterbacking.

Whether it's the dog or the dog food is interesting. Rubio ought to test the theory in 2016 just to see whether Hispanics are hooked on ideology or packaging.

Also surprised that McCain supposedly got more votes than Romney. That be a headshaker. How Rs could not come out for Romney after the chastening effect of four years in the political wilderness under the messiah-bama is beyond me. File it under the "People Are Different" category I suppose. The funny thing about politics, and religion, is that it's so difficult oftentimes to imagine how people come to the conclusions they do.

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A good reminder:
The great challenge for the Republican Party now is how to change its ways without changing its principles. Its principles are right and have long endured because they're right. But do all the party's problems come down to inadequate marketing, faulty messaging, poor candidates? Might some of it be policies, stands, attitudes?

...Some of these are referred to as "the woman problem" or "the Hispanic problem"—they presumably don't like the GOP. But maybe they think the GOP doesn't like them. What might be the reasons?

That will be a subject here in the future. For now, in politics as in life, you have to play the hand you're dealt. You have to respect reality. Which is where conservatism actually starts, seeing what is real.
- Peggy Noonan

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Powerfully attracted to upgrading to the starter's package on Logos Bible Software. A pricey $210 though. Get a lot of new resources like the Catena Aureau, Haydock commentary, a lot of the early Fathers. The top package is something like $2,200! These guys are serious.

The Protestants are, as usual, even more serious about Bible study. Their packages go up to $5k. I think unless you're a pastor or something it seems a bit much. But they're hardcore. People like to have the best, witness the sums bikers spend on their bikes and colorful unitards. Or amateur photographers, who've got to have the best equipment. Or me, who has to have the best craft beer.

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I was somewhat surprised, if disappointed, to learn that St. Kateri was into that self-flagellation stuff. Sounds masochistic to me but then of course it would since I seem to place fleshy desires so often above the spiritual. It's not by accident that the ugly small pox scars that she bore in life disappeared upon her death, one of the first signs of her sanctity. "The violent bear it away," said Christ. (Now if I had my Logos I could read every commentary and early church father on that verse in Matthew.)

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Going through the beer drive-thru, my eye is caught by the sight of Circus Peanuts. I buy it on a whim, hoping to try that childhood treat on grandson Sam, eager to initiate him into the secret Circus Peanut society and to "differentiate myself" from his parents and grandma with this particular treat. I so closely associate it with my own childhood. I want to be the first to introduce him to them but not at too early an age. Such goes the thoughts of a foolish grandpa!

"Grandpa" still sounds ridiculously premature. It wasn't really until I entered the early 40s that I had a sense of the brevity of life and a greater sense of the passage of time and a generational view, such that I could actually be a father with a kid going to college. That's an eye-opener. I understand more deeply the three ages of man: young adulthood with death as a joke, in middle age, when you're in the on-deck circle, and in old age, when you face the "last enemy" as St. Paul calls it head on. There's a sense in which all of life is a lead-up to your death. Certainly in the time of Shakespeare that was the thought: a good death, defined as one in which you'd repented of your sins and were in the grace of God. And even in the 4th century, Emperor Constantine didn't get baptized till he was on his deathbed because there was the belief that the only time that counted was your deathbed and he didn't want to take the chance of getting baptized too early in his life and spoiling his baptismal garment with sin. At death was said that the eternal decision is really made, for or against God, which is why I suppose suicide is considered such a huge sin: it's the opposite of a "good death".

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Beer Haikus:

Drink the hops product,
enjoy the beery merry
Cold beer beats the night.

First beer, second beer
a holy rush to the head
third beer all decline.

Oh Columbus Brew!
You make the drink of angels
You'll do till Heaven.

When in doubt or fear
brew a cheer and drink a beer
and you'll sing ye poem.

2 comments:

Banshee said...

Flagellation was probably the part of Christian devotion that was closest to contemporary Algonquian and Iroquoian spirituality. (The native American reasoning was that pain proved bravery and thus attracted the interest and sympathy of good spirits and the Creator.) I don't think most people want to think about this, because it's so non-modern a place for cultures to intersect.

I probably should write a post about this, but I don't really understand mortification through pain, and I'm loath to write about such an important thing to past folks without understanding it.

TS said...

Thanks Maureen, that helps in just knowing it was attractive to her given Algonquian/Iroquoian spirituality.