Friday, May 28, 2010

I Am Most Seriously Displeased

10:25 AM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
Pagan conspiracy!!!

How does it come to be that the first Indy 500 I go to in ten years is on Trinity? No way. Of all the unholy anomalies! A veritable masterstroke of the Devil, the world, and my sinful nature.

I am stunned, shocked, and appalled!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buzzkill

2:33 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I think that many of my gloomy ruminations of late come directly from my reading material, which has been, mostly, history. Right now I am working through The Guns of August, which is an absolute masterpiece, which is heavily involved with the people and personalities that drove the beginning of WWI. The imperfection of men is never more apparent than when it executes poor military plans, which were recognized by those executing them as a poor course of action, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions.

The reason the plans were exercised was pride and a fear of losing face. The Kaiser went from nervous, right before he declared war, to being absolutely debilitated by migraines after. He never intended to actually start a war; he only wanted to posture and make France and Britain recognize Germany as superior. He was bluffing and he never believed France and England would call his bluff. German strategists even published their strategies for taking France by going through Belgium in publications that officers from all over Europe were sure to read. The German people were on the cutting edge of socialism, psychology, physics, military power, architecture, and engineering; they were clamoring for recognition as the leading world power.

To the Kaiser's horror, when he sent the ultimatums to France and Russia, which were designed partially to keep them out of Serbia, and more importantly, to make them recognize German superiority, the French and Russians called him on it. It was the last thing he expected, and to his dying day he insisted that the war was the final victory of the "scheming" Edward VII over himself; the final "encircling of Germany." Nevermind that Edward was dead and had only been strengthening ties between England and the rest of Europe.

H'anyway...

The Kaiser did not want war, but he did it to keep face and because his officers told him it was impossible to avert it, despite the fact that England promised to keep France neutral if Germany held off. WWI was caused by a rising tide of bluster and pride, and it destroyed the three greatest countries in the world, economically, physically, spiritually. The three countries with the greatest universities, most refined culture, and prosperous citizenry, and they went about deciding who was best as one would expect from sophisticated societies: they beat each other to death.

Reading this kind of literature requires increased videogame time. Why? Because you can keep perfect order in a game. Everything can be bent to your will. Good triumphs, evil falls, and the hero and heroine are together, in perfect bliss, under the sun forevermore....Or, at the very least, your well oiled military machine pounds the adversary to dust with minimal civilian causalities; a brief decisive war....Or at least I get to paste a few ugly critters/aliens (ugly alien civilians work too). No, really. I need extra veg time or my brain cooks and I find the one zit that still exists on my head and work it until it looks like a gunshot wound.

I think this points to one wise old cliche. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. What they fail to mention is that a lot of knowledge is even more dangerous.

My Issue with Beck.

11:49 AM Posted by Patrick No comments
Glenn Beck is the most astute and powerful political commentator of our time. His words have illuminated the darkness that surrounds the American political establishment, and he has a tremendous knack for finding and drawing the lines between corrupt figures. Whether you are a fan or not, only a fool--or someone who has not listened to him--would question his obvious intelligence and preternatural ability to sniff out lies. He is instrumental in the current political awakening.

That said, the man is driving me totally batty.

The current conservative movement has this asinine notion that God has chosen America for excellence. America, historically, is exceptional; it is the one time in human history when the form of government was devised by wise men in a time of peace. The American people are those who were willing to risk everything for the opportunity to live a better life and worship in accordance with their consciences.

The fact that much of our population came here because of religious persecution is part of what made us excellent; they had beliefs that they held firmly enough that they would sooner cross the ocean on a cholera infested boat, only to make a life in a harsh wilderness, so that they could worship in, what they thought was, truth and purity.

There is a moral excellence in such a people. Do you think, however, that God was impressed by such a show and decided to give them favours? Poppycock. Early America was a land of pietists and heretics...we still are, at that. Pietists might make good citizens, but if you look at precedent, God was not exactly impressed by the pharisees.

God has no special interest in America. Indeed, if increase in faith is your measurement, than I think God is showing a lot more interest in Africa right now. America is excellent because the people who founded it were excellent and the regime was excellent.

I'll tell you a secret; the story of humanity is not progress. Human history is as imperfect as each individual within it. Societies are born, grow, become strong, age, and ultimately die. This world and the things in it will not last; American will fall, as have all the great countries and empires before. We will go the way of Rome, England, and France; a slow, petty, decay. God will not save America from this fate because the American government is not where God has promised to be for us. God's covenant is with all his children, and He has promised to be in his Church, in the preaching of the Word, in his sacraments, in his Holy Body and Precious Blood.

I am wearied by Glenn's mantra that good men will prevail because God is on their side. I believe the English believed the same thing going into WWI. Men have freewill and often use it in terrible ways. Even with constant vigilance, the bad men will win eventually, and you will end up with a people whose spirits are crushed along with the things they put their faith in. Do not go looking for God in politics; you will not find him.

I will fight like hell to uphold our constitution and regime. America must be maintained, if for no other reason than to provide something for the downtrodden and oppressed of the world to dream of obtaining. I will do all in my power to maintain what I believe is the last, greatest, hope for freedom amongst men. I am not such a fool, however, to place my hope in this regime. I love it, but I understand that it is separate from those things that actually matter in the end.

When I fold my hands I place the right thumb over the left; the Kingdom of God over the kingdom of the body.

I will pray for good government, but I understand that God is not going to force our leaders to do what is right, nor will he select and elect our leaders, which is, I think, one of the places where Beck is fuzzy. Thomas Jefferson was not a man of faith; he was a deist, as were many of our founders. They believed that God created a world, natural rights, and then went on a permanent vacation. These men were not apostles, prophets, or saints; they were wise pagans.

What Glenn really needs to remember, is that God's Kingdom is not of this world. Do not look for it here, do not try to create it here; you will fail. Live in the life of the church, love God, love your fellow men, and serve your vocation as a good citizen. Seek God where he has told us to seek him, which is definitely not the sphere of American politics.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Life Changing Experience.

9:41 PM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
An experience for the ages--the one we have all been waiting for--I just watched Twilight: New Moon! I am still reeling from the joy of this experience. My lungs are still empty from the *oomph* that was the powerful delivery of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. My mouth is still filled with a biting tang, which resulted from my heaving with ecstasy at the touching and subtle romantic scenes.

The acting was unlike anything I have ever seen. Delivered with a wooden aspect and unrelenting melodrama, the dialog could have been written by teenage girls. Edward Cullen's whispered cliches are absolutely masterful, and only matched by the surly self-hate of Kristen Stewart, who is just so good that she manages to make everyone around her look better...much better. Taylor Lautner, sadly, does not match up to their measure. His performance has none of their memorability, but at least he has looks and personality.

The score. Ah, the score! It never meets you with anything unexpected and provides a perfect compliment to the acting. In the touching moments with Bella and Edward--or Jacob--it drops to a soft and bathetic tinkling of piano and harp: brilliant. The action score was, perhaps, even more brilliant; I do not even have the words to describe it. And, to accent the original work, the score is augmented with works from various popular artists; all inserted at such a time as to excite your curiosity over its placement.

Floored. Absolutely floored. Why did I wait so long to watch this movie? I have no idea. I think I will remember this, and those who suggested it to me, for a very long time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mother Abigail

10:00 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I have been trying for a long time to figure out why they put so much into Ablaze$. I think the strongest insight I have received--thus far--has come from Stephen King.

His book, The Stand, is a masterpiece of post-apocalyptic fiction. There is one character in particular who opened my eyes to a grim possibility. I will not say much here because I believe that this is a book that should be on any 'to read' list.

Perhaps I have been naive the whole time, but something I read earlier made sudden sense. They (synodical bureaucrats) believe that they are bringing the people. As the King character said, it is the sin of pride; thinking that you must provide the people for God's purpose.

They are rational bureaucrats. They pay lip service to God's ability to provide, but instead of using synodical resources to send out priests to baptize and celebrate in poor regions of the world, they spend the resources trying to draw more people; people with money.

They do not trust that God will provide.

I Never Even Think About It...

8:00 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
The Shewoof--a generally brilliant and dazzling character--pointed out again--to someone who should have known--one of the greatest distinctions that separates a homeschooler from the average; something that I always forget that people need explained.

My dear, dear, friend always wonders why I work so doggedly; as he says, I could have the A with a third of the work. His questions have the wrong focus; it is not about the grade. I work well after I have my A because I want to learn; not just to be stamped with a letter that says I learned.

I don't know why, but I am always so shocked when people don't understand that concept. What else is education for?

PS: I have it on fairly good intelligence that all three individuals under this roof will be out at midnight, barking at the moon; It's the tacos.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thoughts of the Morning

11:45 AM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
This morning I realized that I have a desperate need for more bandannas; this being brought on by the fact that most of mine are pretty monotone.

Also, I couldn't help but notice that my morning ritual in the bathroom took three songs. Shewoof's took (like) a whole Five for Fighting CD, and yet, she will protest to her dying breath that she doesn't take that long. We know the truth.

Certain pictures are better left unshared.

I am sad that Lala will be gone.

I feel like an Irish hooligan has taken a brickbat to my head.

And I need to sign up for a new math placement test sometime this summer. The requirements for the class I want to get into were surpassed by my first test, but I was not a Liberal Arts major yet. *Le sigh*

This slate of classes was too easy; I need classes that make me work and think. Plus, I like it when more of my grade comes from my written work than from my exams.

Just my thoughts this morning.

...and why is it so hot in here???