Received a new incense kit from the good people at Legacy Icons. This particular Deluxe Kit comes with a premium incense burner and handle, a role of charcoal, tongs for the charcoal, and a bag each of assorted myrrhs, resins, and frankincense. Incense is one of the most beautiful of the Apostolic liturgical traditions, but it can also be one of the messiest and accident prone. I’ve experimented with a few of the fragrances already. Each has its pros and cons. Some have a mystical Byzantine sent, but burn a tad smokey, while others are very clean and clear but perhaps a little Western for my taste. As with everything from Legacy Icons, the quality of these products is excellent. If you’re ever in a liturgical jam and looking for some quality Eastern Christian products, you cannot go wrong with Legacy Icons. I also love their beeswax candles (also pictured here).
This is the second year in a row I’ve been sorely disappointed in the nominations for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Awards. The Best Picture nominees are 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Captain Phillips, Her, American Hustle, Gravity, Dallas Buyers’ Club, Nebraska, Philomena. Believe it or not I haven’t actually seen most of the movies on the list, and of the ones I have the only one I love is Gravity. The nominees in other categories follow the basic template set down by the Best Picture nominees. My favorites, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit, and Frozen have been relegated to the ranks of production design and visual effects, and of course Best Animated Feature (which Frozen had better win or there’s going to be fireworks!). Looks like it’s going to be a perfectly stupid awards season. At least Ellen DeGeneres is hosting the show this year. Maybe hope is not lost yet.
Last week’s episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was pretty awesome. Pinky Pie supposedly discovers that she and Apple Jack are some kind of distant relatives. Of course the genealogical records in Twilight’s library are “smudged” (hmm), and Pinky and the Apple family must travel across Equestria to the home of an elderly Apple whose specialty is in Apple family history. Fortunately it does not all wind up exactly as you in your cynicism expect it to. It features a lovely little song with Pinky Pie’s usual antics, and some rather dark humor (one instance involving a duck getting picked up by an Eagle – yikes!). Season 4 is turning out splendidly. Pray it continues.
The always brilliant Camille Paglia recently went on Dennis Prager’s radio show to discuss the fascist tactics of the Puritanical feminists and so many gay rights activists. Paglia is, of course, a lefty atheist lesbian. Her revolutionary voice is a slap in the face of the establishment LGBT orthodoxy and the media’s persistent attempt to make us believe that all LGBT people think the same and want the same things. As far as I’m concerned, this woman is the female Christopher Hitchens – ’nuff said.
I’m reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion currently. It is as far as I can tell just about the best piece of fantasy fiction ever written. It is not nearly as narratively driven as Tolkien’s more famous The Lord of the Rings, but it is a work of such elegance and beauty. I don’t think anyone really gets The Lord of the Rings and what it’s about until they have read The Silmarillion. It reads like the great myths of Greece or the Old Testament, ripe with elevated and semi-religious language. If you love Tolkien and haven’t read delved into the mythology behind The Lord of the Rings, you’re truly missing out on some of the best literature the Western tradition has to offer.
Me singing “Riding a Black Unicorn . . .” by the wonderful Aurelio Voltaire.
I’m so very sick of our culture’s attempt to normalize everybody! Back in the good old days, society had the decency to exclude who were different or bizarre. Now in our age of bland toleration, nobody has the right to be a freak any more. There are no freaks now, that’s politically incorrect. I think I may do a whole post on this topic some day. My hero, Flannery O’Connor, would have been appalled at this trend. In her world it’s the freaks who inherit the Earth. After all, who could be more of a freak than the man who was also God?
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