I finished Dante’s Divine Comedy this week. Most people, for some reason, are only familiar with the first third of the Comedy, called Il Inferno, in which the poet Virgil shows Dante a vision of Hell. The Inferno is a grim and sorrowful story, with grotesque, sadistic images on almost every page. Why anyone would stop reading at this point I don’t know. After Inferno, Dante mounts to Purgatory and then to Paradise. It is in Il Paradiso where Dante’s true talent as a poet shines in all its glory. His attention to detail and careful handling of the supernatural realities are considered by many to be unmatched in all of literary history.
Re-watching the first Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy this week, I was brought back to just how clever and awesome those movies are. I must say I’m a sucker for ‘em. Of course, the stories are nonsensical, but who cares? The best is by far the third film At World’s End which for some reason gets all the hate. Critics loathed it and even some fans disdain it. I love it. It’s long, epic, and spectacular, with that classic double-talking dialogue first wrought in The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. And then there’s that final battle scene in the maelstrom. Epic craziness. That’s what we come to the movies for and don’t let anyone fool you.
Kneeling down for prayers the other day I discovered my holy water had evaporated! How absolutely confounding. I suppose I should have expected it though. We’ve been having a heat wave. I suppose the Lord meant some omen for me. Imagine my surprise at dipping my fingers into my makeshift font and discovering all the holy water had dried up. Dried up like the Red Sea! Amen, amen I say unto thee, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
His Dubious Holiness, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League made a complete fool out of himself this week . . . again. How much longer must we endure this boorish ignoramus and his B.S. “Proud-to-be-Irish” Catholic Patriotism? From defending pedophiles to slandering poor Lady Gaga to unrighteous indignation at a chocolate Jesus: can’t this man ever find something truly offensive to rant and rave about? This week, he slandered the good name of faithful Catholic all over the country who have criticized the Archdiocese of New York for inviting President Obama to the Al Smith dinner. In an interview on Lou Dobb’s show, he called those voices their concerns the “Piety Police” and revealed that he had just talked to the Cardinal this morning and I assure you everything’s fine. How condescending. What arrogant pomposity! I wonder if he’d be interested to know that not every Catholic in America has the esteemed privilege to have His Eminence the Cardinal on speed-dial. The truth is Bill Donohue couldn’t care less about the Catholic faith. All he’s interested in is the cultural Catholic Church. Not its doctrines or teachings, but its culture and hierarchy. Not surprising coming from a man who has proven himself to be an obnoxious bore who hates anyone who’s not Catholic, Irish, or from New York. Let him scratch himself where it itches.