You’re playing with the big boys now, Cole. Everyone’s favorite gay Catholic anarchist, Gabrielle Blanchard of the Mudblood Catholic, has added The Andalusian Peafowl to his blogroll, and mentioned your humble correspondent by name here. For anyone who has not yet discovered this excellent example of the New Evangelization, I recommend his introductory post “In Defense of Everything Else”. Le fael, Mr. Blanchard.
Also thank you to one Francis Phillip, for a lively conversation on my post about Christian fiction as pornography. So much of the nonsense on the internet is belligerent and obnoxious. I think Mr. Phillip and myself handled ourselves very well. We discussed our differences, sorted things out and, I think, came to some kind of mutual understanding. It is always refreshing when two people (anywhere, really, but especially on the Worldwide Web) are willing to investigate and learn rather than repeat the same thing over and over again. The discourse can be found in the comments section here.
And speaking of ponies, this week’s episode of My Little Pony, “Rainbow Falls”, was about as obnoxious as they come. Friendship is Magic has always had a talent for being original and surprising its audience with plot twists and unexpected messages. Even the episodes which have to have a moral (it’s kids show, so what do you expect), the writers usually do their best not to bore us with platitudes we’ve heard time and time again. “Rainbow Falls” does not inherit this legacy. Rainbow Dash (who is the best pony) and her friends travel to “Rainbow Falls” for the qualification race in the prestigious Equestria Games. Representing Ponyville, she is the only experienced Pegasus on her team. Hoping she can pick up the slack, she finds herself between a rock and a hard place when her heroes the Wonderbolts ask her to race with them on the Cloudsdale team. Gee, I wonder how this will work out? Will Rainbow Dash face a moral dilemma between her friends and the superior team? Will she act like a drama llama to avoid making a decision? Will she learn a clichéd lesson about loyalty in the process?
Hmm . . . I wonder.
I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite saint, Columba of Iona (others know him as St. Colum Cille). He was born in Ireland, but exiled himself to the isle of Iona in northern Scotland as penance. He was intensely ascetical, like almost all the early Celtic saints. The legend goes that he was an illuminator, a copier and illustrator of Holy Texts, and may have even contributed to the famous Book of Kells. In fact, my first encounter with St. Columba was from a brilliant animated film called The Secret of Kells, which is a fictionalized account of the final compilations of the Book of Kells. Insular Christianity has always fascinated me, being the most mystical expression of Western Christendom. St. Columba particularly among the Celtic saints interests me because he was such a magnificent artist (the Book of Kells is an astounding work of art) and shows just how truly alive and awesome art can be when subjected to the will of God. His feast day is 09 June, which coincidentally is my birthday. It looks like St. Columba and I were meant to be.
News this week reported that according to some super-secret-until-now document from the Vatican that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI defrocked close to 400 priests involved in child molestation cases in the last few years of his pontificate. There once was an ugly rumor going around (mostly promulgated by my man Christopher Hitchens) that the Pope as Archbishop of Munich was heavily involved in the covering up of sexual abuse cases, and that he did little to stop it as a Cardinal and then as Pope. The more we learn about our former German Shepherd, the more we realize that he was actually one of the few Bishops who actually did do something to stop this cancerous plague infecting the priesthood. I hope in time his name will be completely cleared (my hopes are not high, though. Venerable Pius XII is still slandered as a Nazi co-conspirator even though these vicious and wicked lies have been proven false time and time again).
You know what I can’t stand? Rosaries with links that won’t stay together! There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a glorious mystery when the whole thing just falls apart . . .
I had the extreme pleasure of attending a Sunday matinee performance of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast this last Sunday. As someone who loves the movie and played in Beauty & the Beast my freshman year of high school (I was the sinister Monsieur D’Arque and to this day I count that as one of the performances I’m most proud of) I always relish the chance to see it again. This was a traveling show that’s been making the rounds for about a year now, with simplistic but effective sets and a Belle to die for. Honestly, I really enjoyed the acting choices this young lady (Hilary Maiberger) made. The Belle I’m most used to (Paige O’Hara, still the best and always will be) was, for lack of a better word, grouchier. This Belle was a little more genteel and friendly, not prone to exasperation and stubbornness like Paige’s. A few criticisms to be sure, but honestly it takes a lot of suck to botch something as brilliant as Beauty & the Beast.
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