July 2011

Postscript

WHEN A READER HAS TO MAKE MY POINT for me, I know I failed to do it myself. John_L, in his comment to the previous post, has it just right: The true target of that post was the prevailing preoccupation with forestalling, denying or outwitting our mortality. Obsession with hand sanitizer, organic food, and bottled water are just various manifestations of that preoccupation. // // In themselves, there is nothing objectionable about any of these things. (Two pints of organic blueberries are sitting in my refrigerator right now. Continue Reading
Lavabo?

I could not believe my eyes at Mass this morning. There in the sanctuary, just behind and to the right (stage left) of the altar, was a bottle of hand sanitizer. It was not tucked discreetly behind a vase of flowers. There were no flowers. Just an economy-sized dispenser of Purell. The Church has distributed the Eucharist for 2,000 years without benefit of ethyl alcohol. But now my parish has it, right up there in a sacred space. The ancient ritual of the priestly Lavabo (“I will wash my hands among the innocent, and will walk around Thy altar, O God.”) was diminished in the name of liturgical renewal years ago. Continue Reading
Independence Day

LOST IN THE CHEERY GREETING, “Happy 4th of July,” is the solemnity of Independence Day and the magnificence of our Declaration of Independence. // Edward Hicks, "The Illustrious Patriots of 1776 and the Authors of the Declaration of Independence (1844) That came home to me yesterday at the grocery check-out. The young man at the register handed me my change with a mechanical, “Have a good one.” (There is a phrase to set the teeth on edge.) I responded with, “Happy Independence Day.” He looked startled for a second before muttering, “Oh . Continue Reading
Arty Bollocks, Redux

JOKE DE WINTER (The first name is Flemish, no joking.) is the technical genie behind the Arty Bullocks Generator. She emailed to say that the Generator now has its own home at http://www.artybollocks.com. It has also been updated to include more arty phrases in the service of more screwball combinations. If you are able to appreciate the relation between multiculturalism and UFO sightings—or, maybe, copycat violence—this is the site for you. If you want your press releases to sound like this . Continue Reading