Saturday, March 8, 2014

Readings from a book I got at a garage sale: Week 2

Somewhere on a strange moon in a faster orbit, where plump, furry creatures sit in cozy corners sipping tea, or maybe in dog time, a week has already passed - man, time flies, doesn't it? - and so it's time once again to read together as if we were special children incapable of pursuing our own choices on our own.

With any luck we'll be able to pick right up where we left off, although since this exercise is ultimately only about me that really shouldn't be a dealbreaker, should it?

We will continue using the FreeOCR translation for its superior rendering of the more subtle nuances of the text.

Let's roll:

'~d‘l‘QpeJ' of wondered for a second if he should tell her about Orv. It would most likely delight her. But he decided she could read about it in tomorrow’s paper; he didn’t want to complicate this talk. “How long had you known Joe?” he asked. “Since last December. I met him at a Christmas party.” %¢@ 39 ygg ass to him. “Merry Christmas to you too. I should have stayed home under the tree.” Tim wasn’t sure where to go from here. The flavor of crystal was still with him as i-ie walked to his car across the street from Africa. Anyway, he was beginning to realize that wwgéf 9 wasn't totally on his side. It was hard to see that because Bewegung didn't have as detailed a platform as he had. Finally, he turned and said, "Listen eyoid of human ing,” {by then he was calling Or^b$) "you would not be doing that thing you do, writing, talking, whatever it is you 8Ms E Ugmggg 3do in the theatre, if it were not for Orv and the United States Navy stopping the Russians from taking over the world."

He was amused and a little surprised that forces, too, must serve the causal principle (which in Hgnwaga? 2: is simply sufficient reason by another name), and must, therefore, be “indestructible, variable, imponderable objects.” Mechanics offers a familiar special case—the consaateservation of vis viva. Beyond this what she had been like . . . and surprised also at the reaction she had set up in him. She left little question about herself, and yet she still excited his curiosity--perhaps, he thought, for this very reason. He didn’t think he’d go back, not because he wasn’t interested, but because this was something he automatically wouldn’t do.

He ?nished his drink. “Me?” He realized he was pleasantly in- trigued that she should be interested in him. “Not much. I run ?shing boats. You know that. And you know I was ]oe’s partner and I was ?eeced. That's about it.”

“And you should have known better,” she added. “You act like one of the kind who go around trusting people. That's a big mis- take.” “You made the same mistake,” he reminded her. “You trusted him."

Trust. Sometimes a hard thing to come by in our tormented age. Who can you really trust? That's all part of the mystery. And the flavor of crystal in one's mouth can never end well.

He went crazy: topped the bomb grailep?zznoinwashed I here is the nuclear destmI;c1;1d EgiegE:1I:§c]f1OO%€uP1'6SS1I1g that S 801I1g to do wait Y , E ou, all of you, don t want to dre going to die 1f you push that b , Ju have to hve for I had to th 1:lt}:°nd Th _ In 31' 1 If ue ?ake cocaln?, for instan hup ‘K couples Th‘? 5Wed1sh whorrgzeawio as he was getting into the car; he let the idea tantalize him for a moment before he set it aside, or rather, put it to one side as an issue not yet absolutely settled. He thought about his existence at opening out toward the future.

The future is the nd the past is the no-longer; and these two negatives— et and the no-l0nger—-penetrate his existence. They are .1 in its temporal manifestation. lly know time, says ]o?. He wondered how it had been between them. He couldn’t get a picture, only an irritation—and the idea of going back to see her faded further into the rear of his mind.

He was about to start his car when he saw Cagixpgiggbral come hurrying down the walk from the apartment house. cII31gYDl:;al wore a suit now, a charcoal ?annel. His hard heels cracked rapidly across the cement. Tim watched as he climbed into a black Ford convertible. It was a well-kept, three-year-old model with its radio antenna sporting a fox tail. There were white-wall tires on the rear wheels.

White-wall tires. A radio antenna sporting a fox tail. The inevitable crunchy fruits of Mammon.

A reader interrupts with an email: "Keith, what a wonderful insight we're getting into the minds of plump furry creatures inhabiting cozy tea corners on strange moons. But I have to ask, what is that cold cut they put on some Italian sandwiches which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat, principally the hard fat from the neck of the pig?"

Mortadella, Reader. Now let's try to stay on topic, shall we?

From here Orv's mystery becomes more dense:

as well as spatially. Man, WO/®_¢@_&@$§ says, 1s a creature ce: he is perpetually beyond emgs froln, because we know we are die. Without this passionate realization of our mortality, ld be simply a movement of the clock that we watch , calculating its advance—a movement devoid of human * Man is not, strictly speaking, in time as a body is im- ~ a river that rushes by. Rather, time is in him; his exist- mporal through and through, from the inside out. His T1 care and concem, his anxiety, guilt, and conscience- turated with time.

Everything that makes up human has to be understood in the light of man’s temporality; = -yet, the no-longer, the here-and-now. three tenses of time—future, past, and present—Hei- lls ekstasies, in the literal sense of €VE§ UUMUNHU m_$£ standing next t jacket and apron, a fact that puzzled him outside and beyond oneself. They waited. There was no further sound from inside. He glanced questioningly at “YEAH mamas“ Es iwsmsm as a series of “nows”—present mo- 7 owing each other like points upon a line.

This is what ock time—-time as measured by chronometers and cal- ut in order to construct time as a sequence of§£nows” ,0 be able, Tim says, to understand what ‘now” d to do this we have to undOw 69¢“? Q’erstand it as the moment ast and future—that is, we have to understand past and ‘ther in order to understand the present. Hence, every interpret time as a sequence of present moments, slid- p into the past, presupposes that Wil‘11i'1 0'1’ already stands T “self in one of the three ek-starses of time. His existence eld spread out over time as it is over space; his tem- a basic fact of this existence, one that underlies all his ical measurements of time. Clocks are useful to man se his existence is rooted in a prior kind of temporality. er’s theory of time is novel, in that, unlike earlier phi- .- ith their “nows,” he gives priority to the future tense. according to him, is primary because it is the region "ch man projects and in which he de?nes his own being. r is, but always is to be.”

To be, or not to be. His own being, but always is to be.

A less distracted reader brings, I think, the conceptual focus we've been looking for at this point. "Keith," he writes "it's just so wonderful of you to be leading us all on this journey." There's really nothing I can add to that.

Let's try to wrap up this week's reading with a look at what may prove a point of resolution, at least for now:

All at once he was trying to push dread theol0g1'0éI1PT°b back and close the door and turn because he was sure what was going to happen. And it did. The blow crashed at the back of his skull. In the blinding light he heard humanoid na rest’ Mother E;-m needi cry out and the sound cut off by the slam of the door. He was falling, reeling forward toward Orv on the hliInan. Tim knew then that joules results would never quit.

And now, twenty thousand dollars.

That's it for this week, adoring anonymous readers whose emails conveniently make my points for me.

Thoughts? Comments?

Again, I'm not going to publish any comments which gratuitously disparage either Orv or mortadella.

UPDATE: Hey, great news, gang!

Following the suggestion of our anonymous commenter Anonymous, I'm posting the first "View From The Hood Of Your Car" from our recent meetup at the Blue Rhino butane refill cage.

In the foreground is a glorious shot of Reader V.'s cheeseburger (although what's with all the mayo, V.?), and in the background just a little kerfluffle following M.'s not stubbing out his Marlboro properly. Do you see why people frown on smokers these days, M, lol? But be honest, wasn't the whole thing a whole lot of fun?

Now: who's got a good suggestion for our next meetup location?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Andrew Sullivan calls Rod Dreher a coward

And Rod won’t do it because someone might say something mean at the office!

And of course he's right.

Sully, though, is a day late and a dollar short. Rod's own commenters already know he's a sniveling moral coward, as we already discussed previously here.

Somehow in his morally paralyzed state of terror Dreher also forgets that even if he gets pushback against his beliefs at the office, he's first in line for protection under EEOC laws, laws that make it clear who the party in the wrong actually is: the firm tolerating any such anti-Christian discrimination.

Not some vague Zeitgeist, you quaking, gibbering jellyfish.

So let's review:

  • Christ died on the Cross to bring Christianity

  • Numerous saints, Catholic, Orthodox and probably a whole bunch of others I'm ignorant of suffered torture and died professing and standing up for their faith.

  • Ordinary Christians across America, genuinely seated in their faith, also gladly shape their lives to profess and support that faith every day, although because in America we really don't allow torture and murder anymore, they take whatever occasional frownies or passed up opportunities for friendship they might get and shrug them off - like grown adults do

But pudgy little Rod Dreher of St. Francisville, LA, who struts around in life in a cloud of every hipster affectation of exotic religion he can think to muster (fashionably scraggly beard optionally included), who makes his living online acting out a Vegas-worthy performance art of religiosity that would make even Jimmy Swaggart weep, who somehow thinks life outside his Mam's belly should be a protected cozy corner, prepared for him by women and moderated like his blog, is too terrified of losing the gay audience for his blog and books he craves to even point out his own standing in a federally protected class, much less to actually ever have the spine to take any sort of direct moral stance against homosexuality on his TAC blog.

Man, oh, man, Mam and Paw Dreher, do I ever feel for you.

Your namesake Ray Dreher, Jr., only son and heir, is publicly whining and petulantly pleading why some vaguely referenced others should leave him alone to not have to be more of a stand-up Christian man than a depraved homosexual who likes to have butt sex with other men.

That's about as close to the incarnate definition of mangina as you can get.

Readings from a book I got at a garage sale

To introduce a more pretentiously literary dimension into my usual postings and to flesh them out with written work others have already done so that now I don't have to, we will be beginning a series of weekly readings from a book I got at a garage sale, frequently from the same book. I hope to continue this as long as there is reader interest, which I will keep you all apprised of by mentioning their emailed remarks in the posts themselves, or until Pauli finally puts a stop to it.

For our translation we will be using FreeOCR, the 4.2 Edition, although there are surely other translations and editions available which would be likely to provide even more interesting results if readers were to use them independently.

Without further ado, then, let us begin, and I hope these readings will provoke an even more robust discussion in the comments.

N R0 g§\ %§%N 0% VEWQ gqg boqbogv &m_%$Ab Agw ‘iv Soqw L ~Og gygog A\mWQ3®_ §©©@Q$‘v o_@~ Qv _&%§ D8 O $03‘ __/§°$3 bowg bras gxbiv m&\Q\bQmv vO©&$, 0% b_§o%Q©o$_w “N Aggw 3

We can already see from the runes the author uses to introduce the scene that this is going to be a mystery. A mystery, the way life can sometimes be a mystery. Where do we come from? Where are we going? Whoa, are those real? Continuing:

Orv was already backing away. A few yards distant he croaked in his thin voice, “Ten days. You’ve got ten days, and we’ll remind you again.” He swung around and his great hulk went lunging off into the darkness. Tim let himself in and locked the door. So Ann was right. The Baileys were deadly serious. Or at least, like good gamblers, they were pushing their bluff to the limit. Tim reminded himself that it’s almost impossible to tell when a good gambler is bluf?ng. This could be serious, and he decided he would talk to Pete Salazar in the morning.

Orv was already backing away. Retreating. Unwilling to confront the mystery.

The silent action between them was slow motion, like a lugubrious ?lm coming frame by frame and stripped of its sound track. Tim struggled desperately to talk with ]oe, while Joe mocked hilariously, taunting in pantomime, his mouth foQ Agrming the jeering words, and there was no way to break through and make sense or make ]oe stop and he had seized him! Then there was a wibg ?kvgomvld burst of sound. There was the shattering smash of glass and the heavy fall of large objects, all in a mad whirl of dark confusion. Next, abruptly, Tim found himself standing with the ?sh gaff in his hands as if it were a ball bat. And he knew what would be lying at his feet if he chose to look. Ann was clinging to him and shaking his arm. “It isn't time," she was saying. “But we'll both know. Things will happen and then we’ll know it’s time.” At ]oe’s desk, Pete Salazar was making a phone call and grinning slyly over his shoulder at them.


“I caught you," she said. “You thought you’d sneak home without telling me.” He said, “Annie, for God’s sake what time is it?” “When did you plan to tell me you were back?" she said. “I’ll bet you've been back for days.” “I got in last night. How’d you ?nd out?” “All anyone has to do is read this morning's paper." Her voice became strained and a little tight. And he said, “I’m sorry, Annie. It was a pretty awful thing." “We can have breakfast together,” she said. “\/Ve'll talk about it. \/Vhy don’t you come over and pick me up?” He said, “Could we make it tonight? I was going to call you.” He thought he wanted to wait. He wanted to learn a few more things before he saw her. “In thirty minutes,” she said, “I’ll pick you up. Take a cold shower and shave and get pretty." “Now wait.” But she had hung up.

Hung up. Gone. Just as how, in an instant, things can change.

They left CoANNA mqral Cove about midnight. She I her home, and when they were parked in front 1 moved willingly into his arms, and he kissed when she wanted to settle close into the curve turned and held her away with both hands st “O~O@~O_§ove a little while ago,” he sai should do something about you before it’s too should.” She put a hand to his lips. “When it's time. and now isn’t the time." As he drove back to town the phrase went ag his thoughts. This was all he needed, he told add to the confusion already in his mind. Since held her as a sort of firm constant. And now she sureness he’d felt about her was shaken. He

and then

Tim was forced to grin as he went into the bath and turned on the shower. He was glad he wasn’t going to wait until tonight

Be strong, Tim.

“Ridiculous. They haven’t a leg to stand on. Your name was forged. You can prove that.” His asWOQ bmce didn’t touch her. “I talked to the one called Adam," she said. “He was polite, but he wouldn’t listen to a thing I had to say. He diW%Mu't leave any doubt ab^out what he expeT5cted." Tim said, “You’re ac]tually worried.” “I guess I am," she said.

UPDATE: A reader writes, "Keith, I'm so excited we're finally going to be able to get into this book you got at a garage sale in the depth it deserves. But I'm using Maestro Recognition Server, and my copy reads totally different. Still, it's just great to be going through the motions with you."

I know how you feel about the privilege you've been offered, Reader. And don't worry about that MRS version. The most important thing you'll gain is knowing you probably spent more on it than any three other readers in our gang put together, and doesn't that make you feel better?"


I pro“ bag Avg £8mise you.” She brought a pack c a pocket in her blue denim skirt and lit one. Sl tall enough to come above his chin. She was slenc was pleasantly full. Her black hair framed a face v and if she had beauty it was a lean and cleanly ma$9éV omwx wbxgny ways they were a pair, he tall and broad] tures too angE Q A“ 8&led and rugged to be called handst with black hair kept short because it curled and long. She said, “Was it bad last night, Tim? Acc pers it was a messy business.”

In the end, a messy business, like life itself. No one gets out alive.

UPDATE 2: Several more readers chime in.

Reader #2: "Keith, what an honor! And what a great together reading!"

I know.

Reader # 3: "I'm just blown away by the whole experience, Keith. But I have to ask. What about Orv?"

Good catch, Reader #3. What about Orv? I think we all have similar feelings.

Until next week, though:

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&0 Awere deashould be so vastly svg bg Q3
0“pped of its, 30&~vb¢O0%

Monday, March 3, 2014

Church Militant reports on Padre Pio Academy

Yes, my kids are in this. Joe specifically noted to me how he is "not actually jumping rope" at the end.

Gilbert is sitting in the back of the class "pretending to read". Every once in a while he breaks into a grin.

Just saying

Here's a guy who supports so-called Same-sex Marriage and Arizona SB 1062. Reading through it, it seems like he lives in Happytown, USA where we can all just git along fine, garsh-dangit, if we just try real hard. But he makes good points. And it's interesting to me that a Cato Institute dude like Ilya Shapiro, i.e. probably not a social conservative, can have a supportive view of a bill supporting religious freedom instead of grumpily ceding the argument like Douthat and others. Is this because some of these people like the concepts of religion and morality but wince at the word freedom? And are these types only focusing on how freedom may be misused instead of how it makes a good people great by allowing them to practice religion without fear?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Natives agree: Emperor Dreher wearing no conservative pants

Our anonymous commenter Anonymous and I aren't the only ones who see that Rod Dreher's dramatic, pearl-clutching resignation to SSM is nothing more than a phony, cynical pose to drive hits to his blog. Several of his most loyal commenters see right through his pose, too.

Read through the comments on this post and you will see jaws drop, stutterings of incredulity, direct challenges like "Let’s be clear here Rod – would you or would you not have supported the passage of the Arizona bill?", smirking recognition of Dreher's overly flamboyant vogueing - "The blogger doth protest too much, methinks.", and this devastaing exposition from one of Dreher's most loyal followers:

Rod’s been saying for years that socons need to fight for carve-outs for religious freedom. Then when the Arizona bill comes out, he not only refuses to discuss its actual contents, but says he hasn’t even read it because it would just get vetoed, anyway. That’s a staggering cop-out which sounds more than a bit petulant. I mean, he’s been constantly pushing for carve-outs, but keeps it kind of vague what exactly that means, and then when something specific comes down the pike, he refuses to discuss it. Even if it were un-passable (as it was), it would be interesting to discuss its merits and demerits. Right?

I’ve said this before: Rod seems extremely conflicted and I think he knows that he wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

I think "conflicted" probably expresses Dreher's whole problem in this area in the most face-saving way possible.

But the jig is up.

Dreher's no conservative, clearly no anti-SSM conservative, and despite all the loud chatter and the self-medicating, therapeutic performance art he devotes to his impressive collection of religions to date, he really doesn't seem at heart a very religious persom either.

What he is publicly, though, unequivocally, is an enthusiastic food hedonist, ferociously interested in odd sex wherever he can dig it up to blog about it, who opportunistically writes in whatever niche won't actually drive him out - hence his current home in the dog's breakfast that The American Conservative has become.

Let's wrap this up with a final commenter quote that expresses this whole sorry exposure best:

Again? Seriously? Isn’t it time for an installment of “View From Your Table” about now?

Just give up the pretenses to social conservatism, Dreher. Just quit. Leave the space for real social conservatives flying true colors.

Instead, put your energies into getting yourself a cooking show snuggled between gay designers on Bravo or somewhere, somewhere you can finally be true to yourself.

Somewhere you can finally be happy, kick your drug addiction, and get an honest night's sleep for once in your life.