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Is Outrage

I just tried to read Pope Francis, Say Yes to the Pill on National Review Online.  I guess it’s an insightful tour de force about how it’s time for the Church to get with the times and whatnot.  Doesn’t bother me that someone is saying this, because everyone says it.  Doesn’t bother me that it’s on National Review, because National Reviewwent down the toilet about a decade ago, and only serves to remind me of why I’m not a Republican anymore.

But it does bother me, a lot, that someone would write the following:

The sex-abuse crisis has been a horrible and shaming problem, but Catholicism’s enemies have amplified and exploited it to incite the inference that most of the Roman clergy are deviates compounding superstition with perversion. The most frequent and wishful version of these events is as a mighty coruscation before the great Christian scam expires in a Wagnerian inferno, an inadvertent Waco. It took the most antagonistic pundits, in their uncomprehending skepticism of the viability of what they regard as a medieval flimflam factory anyway, only one day to assimilate the election of a man none of them had mentioned, in their omniscience, as a contender, before pronouncing his papacy dead on arrival at the Sistine Chapel.

and still be considered a writer.  Coruscation?  Uncomprehending skepticism of the viability of what they regard as a medieval flimflam factory?  I’m sorry, has someone checked in on this guy lately?  I think he’s having a stroke.

If anybody has the strength to wade through both pages of this masturbatory mess, please let me know what it’s about.  Furthermore, circumstantial evidentiary horticulture would presume,  one would cogitate, an obstreperous de-regimentation of, if you will, unregurgitated foofaraw, if you know what I mean.

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Book review: Erin Manning’s _The Telmaj_

 Oh, I forgot!  My 13-year-old daughter wrote a book review of Erin Manning’s new YA book,  The Telmaj.
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EM:  I’ve targeted the intermediate children’s fiction market, which encompasses readers ages 8-12, approximately. I think this market is under-served, especially when readers that age are looking for imaginative fiction like sci-fi.

Unfortunately, a lot of the attention is paid to the YA market of slightly older readers–but many kids in the 8-12 age range just aren’t ready for the sheer amount of graphic sex and violence on the YA shelf. I want to reach kids who’ve already read the Narnia series, perhaps, and want exciting stories, but who aren’t interested in the love life of sparkly vampires or teen zombies.

LarryD:  Yes, I noticed the lack of vampires, werewolves and pouty teen angst.

Later in the interview, Erin says:

 I initially thought about getting The Telmaj published by a Catholic fiction publisher because even though the book is not overtly Catholic I wanted to tell a story full of good and evil, right and wrong, and the kinds of virtues and values that seem to be sadly lacking in many children’s books these days. But the publisher I sent it to, while thinking it was very publishable, explained that she couldn’t publish anything but overtly Catholic fiction–that is, fiction that would show Catholic characters going to Catholic schools and Mass on Sunday, that sort of thing.

While I understood that, I think we’re reaching a point where even trying to tell a story in which characters struggle to do the right thing and have no trouble identifying certain evils really is writing Catholic fiction of a type. So many books, even for children, rely on a kind of “situational ethics” where whatever the characters we like do is good, and whatever the characters we don’t like are doing must be bad (unless they, too, are just the victims in all this). Sort of like how we view political parties these days.

I’m old-fashioned enough to think that for children, the reinforcement of the ideas of good and evil is a good thing to do–not in a cartoonishly simple way, but in a way that helps them ponder these kinds of questions.

 Hear, hear!  And here is my daughter’s short (and kind of adorable) review of the book:
 The Telmaj is, quite bluntly and frankly, a really good book. It was a little hard to get into, but once it got going I was captivated. It’s about a person named Smijj. (Another thing I really like about the book, is that I can actually pronounce the names of the people in the story. That does not happen a lot when I read Sci-Fi.) Anyway, Smijj is living on a planet no one really seems to care about. He is alone, jobless, and struggling to make an honest living, when opportunity arises. A space ship crew hires him to unload their cargo, and he is soon a part of their crew, and on his way to finding out who he is and why he has the ability to wish himself away to anywhere he wants. I recommend it to anyone who likes Science Fiction and Fantasy, or has an interest in space ships.
Erin expects the sequel to be out in May, and two more installments are in the works.
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Start your week off right . . .

with a little comeuppance.

Now pretend the silver cowboy is Pope Francis, and the guy in the purple shirt is saying, “Um, scuze me, let me tell you what true humility is like!  Um, Your Holiness, don’t you realize that there’s no possible way to lead the Church when you’re not in ermine?  Um, Frankie-boy, whatcha doing washing the feet of women, huh, huh?  You do realize you’re bringing about the ruin of Christendom, right?  Now if you’d just read this blog post I wrote, you’ll see the error of your ways . . .”

Feel better, dontcha?  And now back to Lent.

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Happy birthday, Ezra Jack Keats!

If you can believe it, his very first book was the exquisite The Snowy Day

I love the sense of quiet alertness conveyed with those blocks of color,

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love that giant Mama,

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love the simple portraits of the little sorrows and the great joys of childhood.

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This was one of the first children’s books about a black kid.

More seasonable, another of my favorites illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats is Over in the Meadow:

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My favorite counting song, so cozy and satisfying, and the pictures are intense and unforgettable.

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Happy birthday, Ezra Jack Keats!   Thanks for all the colors.