I remember last year when that viral video “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” came out. Of course it was easily refutable post-modernist nonsense, so I won’t bother commenting on that now. However I did recently discover this brilliant internet meme featuring the master of nonsense himself Willy Wonka. The still is taken from that great scene where Wonka tells a loud and obnoxious child, “Speak a little louder next time I’m a trifle deaf in this ear!” The meme says, “So you hate religion but love Jesus? I’m so looking forward to reading your forthcoming commentary on James’ Epistle.” I love it. It brilliantly combines the caustic whimsy of Willy Wonka with good old fashioned Christian mocking. Martin Luther vs. Willy Wonka. Now that’s a debate I would love to have seen.
Attending Mass last Saturday evening I noticed the Priest doing a funny thing. In the middle of the prayers he would stop, glance around the sanctuary in silence as the laity waited anxiously for the conclusion of the sentence. “On the night he was betrayed he broke bread, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, gave it to his disciples saying . . .” imagine a long uncomfortable silence here during which the congregation waits in suspense. Then finally, “Take this all of you and eat of it. For this is my body” and so on and so forth. Perhaps if Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, had been a priest, this is how he would have celebrated Mass.
The Replicants have arrived. Animatronic technology, devised by Disney’s WED department almost sixty years ago has reached a new level or realness. A recently added attraction in Disney’s California Adventure park features some of the most mind-blowingly real-looking animatronics ever. The attraction is based of Pixar’s Cars. Well, this ride has cars. Lots of them. And they talk, like they do in the movie. Nothing too special about that. But their lips move so perfectly. They move like they do in the movies. As if they actually had muscles and could articulate words. Very strange. Very strange indeed. Next they’ll add a gymnastics Daryl Hannah animatronic to “It’s a Small World”. They could add a whole Future World section to “It’s a Small World”. Gymnastics Daryl Hannah would fit right in there, although that song doesn’t sound much like Vangelis.
Considering the Crystal Cathedral, the future Christ Cathedral of the Diocese of Orange, I’ve decided the first thing that needs to go in the upcoming renovation of the campus to serve Roman Catholic needs are those atrocious palm trees. I don’t know what so attracts people to that confounded shrub. They look like those pencils with the furry-headed trolls on the end. The Crystal Cathedral is packed full of ‘em. I doubt I’ll have my wish. I’m sure Bishop Tod Brown has other things to worry about. Like getting an appropriate altar and baptismal font for the main sanctuary or fitting sacred art into that spare glass house. And of course the all important, “Don’t be shy when the plate comes by.” The Crystal Cathedral would be perfect if not for those ugly pencil trees.
And speaking of music, which we’re not, I sometimes wonder if whole scenes in movies were not written to fit certain pieces of music. Consider that epic finale of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly accompanied by Ennio Morricone’s “Il Triello”. It’s about the most suspenseful piece of film you’ll ever see, and with that brilliant score it becomes ever more taught. The scene is so long, stretching out over seven minutes. One wonders how any film can hold an audience’s attention for seven minutes of three characters starring intently at each other. However, it works in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And this is due in no small part to Ennio Morricone’s endlessly complex music.
Sign the petition asking His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, to disinvite President Barack Obama from the Al Smith dinner this October. This is a scandalous debacle on the part of the New York Archdiocese to recognize the near and present danger of Barack Obama’s polices concerning the Catholic Church. Information about the Al Smith dinner and the Archdiocese can be found at ChurchMilitant.tv.