Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Rain O'er Me

Soggy Week

After yesterday's rainstorms, I was really hoping for a brief respite from the soggy weather today, but no such luck.

As usual, the talking heads are saying the rainfall we've gotten this month is entirely normal, but it certainly feels like 
it has rained every day...

The Cafeteria is Closed

"I'm not praying, I'm clapping for pudding!"

One of the most tiresome aspects
of politics is the ritual in which
a putatively "Catholic" politician publicly rejects Church teaching on an issue, claiming that such dissent doesn't reflect poorly on their profession of faith. That is utter balderdash, of course, and the Church has said so plainly enough.

Such politicians pay that no heed, of course, having decided long ago that their political fortunes (both figurative and literal) take precedence over their faith.

At the moment, the leading practitioner of this kind of "cafeteria Catholicism" is Tim Kaine, the senator from Virginia whom black-eyed skank Hillary Clinton settled on as a running mate. His complete lack of cognitive ability was apparently the deciding factor in his selection, but being a bad Catholic undoubtedly helped as well.

On September 9, this doddering meatsack addressed a dinner gathering of the noxious Human Rights Campaign, telling them he believes the Church's teaching on same-sex marriage is wrong, and will probably change eventually. His own bishop, the estimable Francis X. DiLorenzo, promptly and publicly rebuked him.

It won't matter, of course. If politicians like Kaine cared a whit about episcopal authority, they wouldn't take such positions in the first place.

"So, anyone who merely self-identifies as 'Catholic' gets to be one?"

That isn't how it works, but the cafeteria Catholics fool themselves into thinking it is...


L to R: Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So
For the first time in 40 years,
the United States has won Olympic Gold in chess., topping the other 179 teams at the 42nd World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.

By defeating Canada 2½ - 1½ in the 11th and final round, the American squad won the gold medal on tie-breaks over Ukraine.

Featuring three players ranked among the top seven in the world, none of them older than 28, the United States has a bright future in international chess competitions.

"I imagine it will make the U.S. Closed Championship pretty interesting for awhile, too."

Oh, that's already happening...these young grandmasters are going to be fun to watch in the years ahead...

Crime Pays

From the insightful pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

After the release of their wildly successful albums Tommy (1970) and Who's Next (1971), my favorite band The Who found themselves in something of a creative quandary. Guitarist and principal songwriter Pete Townshend wanted to do something similarly grand in scope, but also wanted to avoid sounding like a pale imitation of those earlier successes.

It took two years, but Townshend eventually came up with his second rock opera, Quadrophenia. The story of a rather aimless young man named Jimmy, who desperately tries to fit in with London's mod subculture, was deliberately cinematic in conception. Townshend intended from the beginning for the music to form the basis for a motion picture telling Jimmy's story. It would take another six years for that vision to be realized.

Original 1979 "one sheet" poster
On September 14, 1979 the film version of Quadrophenia opened, to generally positive reviews. It went on to become a key part of Townshend's creative legacy.

A lot had happened in my life since the release of the album in 1973. I had gotten married, then became a widower, then began my teaching career. My third year in the classroom had just gotten under way when the film came along.
By that time, I had begun going to movies in theaters again, something that had taken me awhile after my wife's death.

Townshend's story of alienation, depression, sexual frustration, and search for identity resonated powerfully with me at the time.
The film ends ambiguously, with Jimmy at the famous Beachy Head, pondering his future.

In the end, I chose to take the film's message, perhaps best expressed in the lyrics to "Love Reign O'er Me" (the final song on the original album, and also used effectively in the film) to be a hopeful one.

Today's send-off is the 1996 remastered album version of the song, so you can decide for yourself if I'm being too sentimental about what it means. Enjoy...

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