Wednesday, November 2, 2016

All Souls Day

To the Faithful Departed

Catholics light votive candles in memory of those who have died

Today is All Souls Day, the final celebration of Allhallowtide.

Known formally to Catholics as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, it is
a day of prayer on behalf of all those who have died but have not yet attained Heaven. 

We believe that most souls do not go directly to Heaven after death, but rather must be purified first. Our belief in Purgatory, and in the power of prayer to aid in shortening a soul's stay there, is one of the doctrines that distinguishes us from other denominations.

"Are you suggesting that this belief is controversial among Christian bipeds?"

Somewhat, yes...

Middle Ground

2001 Signet Classic paperback edition

The most famous literary treatment of the concept of course is Purgatorio, the middle volume of Dante Alighieri's allegorical epic Divine Comedy.

Unlike Inferno, in which condemned souls are classified by the sinful actions they committed in their lives, Purgatorio focuses on our motivations, devoting a "terrace" to each of the Seven Deadly Sins and the prayers required to expiate them and thus purify the souls in preparation for heaven.

I have long felt that the Divine Comedy translation by poet John Ciardi is the best one available in English, and I used it whenever teaching Dante throughout my career.

Yet Again

The 2016 World Series games have been mostly lacking in drama. Even the two one-run games lacked much tension, as dominant pitching kept the number of scoring threats to a minimum. Most of the game scores have been lopsided blowouts: 6-0, 5-1, 7-2, and most recently last night's 9-3 Cubs win.

"Not my best night, but good enough."
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta struggled with his control, and left the game before completing the 6th inning, but was staked to a 3-0 lead before he threw a single pitch. Over his
5 2/3 innings he gave up two runs on four hits, striking out nine.

By the time Arrieta departed it was 7-2, and the Indians never mounted a serious threat against the bullpen.

What little potential for drama was left after the Cubs offense struck for three runs in the first (helped by
a catastrophic miscommunication in the Indians outfield) was snuffed out by SS Addison Russell's grand slam home run in the top of the 3rd. Russell ended the game 2-for-5 with 6 RBIs.

3B Kris Bryant hit another home run, and went 4-for-5. 1B Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs.

"Let me guess: You're predicting an Indians loss in Game 7, right?"

The Indians weren't able to score off of Hendricks the first time they faced him, and this will be the Cubs' third look at Kluber in nine days...not auspicious for the Tribe...

Terrible News

Yesterday my beloved Kansas City Chiefs announced that star RB Jamaal Charles was being placed 
on Injured Reserve due to ongoing problems with his surgically-repaired knee.

The move effectively ends his 2016 season, and quite possibly his career with the team.

The Nightmare Continues

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

Until Next Time...

Many of my favorite musical artists over the years have enjoyed long, fruitful careers. Some, however, burned brightly for a relatively short period of time and then went away. Creedence Clearwater Revival might be the best example of the latter.

The group's eponymous debut album appeared in July 1968, just as my sophomore year of high school was about to begin. That platinum-selling record made a fan out of me, and they followed it up with a string of five straight Billboard Top 5 album releases, including two No. 1s. They also had a dozen Top 40 charting singles, nine of them reaching the Top 10. But just as my freshman year of college was winding down in April of 1972 their recording career was over and the band had dissolved acrimoniously.

I was sorry to see that happen, but they left a rich trove of recordings which still provide me listening pleasure to this day.

On November 2, 1969 the band released Willy and the Poor Boys, their third album release that year. Their previous release, Green River, had become the band's first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

Willy and the Poor Boys was more overtly political than anything the band had ever done, with songs like "Fortunate Son," "Don't Look Now (It Ain't You or Me)," and "Effigy" featuring explicit stances on the Vietnam war, poverty in America, and politicians in general.

I wasn't a big fan of that development, and was grateful when they abandoned it on subsequent recordings. My favorite track on Willy and the Poor Boys was in fact the hilarious satire "It Came Out of the Sky," a wickedly accurate portrayal of our celebrity culture which still rings true today.

Today's send-off is the 2006 remastered version of the song, from the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

No comments:

Post a Comment