Sunday, December 21, 2008

Xmas Wars 2008.

This year I've joined the fray. I'm an enthusiastic, nay joyful, combatant in the Christmas wars. Loath to pick sides, however, I'm agin ever'body!

If you say, "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings," I say "Merry Christmas, you %^*$ing heathen."

If you're, "Merry Christmas," I'm, "It's Happy Advent, lame brain! Xmas doesn't start til the 25th."

If You: "Happy Advent!"
Me: "Advent's not supposed to be happy, you hedonist! It's supposed to be a time of waking watchfulness."

(Nobody ever says, "Waking Watchful Advent," so no worries there).

Then of course, if you say, "Happy Hanukkah," mine'll be, "its {Considerable phlegm}appy {More phlegm}anukkah, insensitive clod."

If you do: "{Considerable phlegm}appy {More phlegm}anukkah"
cricket is: "Merry Christmas, %^*$ing Christ killer".

And finally if you say, "Happy Kwanzaa," I bust a cap in your @$$ (I think is the expression).

Today the front is quiet. So, God bless you all.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New little known fact.

When Mahometans retook Jerusalem in the 1180s, their besieging armies constructed makeshift derricks with systems of pulleys in order more easily to shift explosive charges into place at the gates of the fortifications. Whenever one of these apparatuses was accidentally blown up, it was said to be a petard on their own hoist.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Recently Released Film

I was going to go see Milk, the other day, but after ten hours straight at the office watching Queer Eye reruns I was just too fagged out.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

An Excerpt from a letter to an atheist.

As to the argument over whether the God of Hebrew and Christian scriptures is anthropomorphic, of course I would argue that the converse is true: we are a theomorphic people (Gen 1:26) in a certain sense. As such, the direction of who is representing whom is reversed. For example, I say that we do we not represent our relationship with God as familial in imitation of the human family, but rather that the human relationship of a father to his children is but a pale imitation of the relationship of God the Father to ourselves. I would like that to settle the matter, but, as our experience of family is apt (outside private revelation) to be entirely human, it's really a more difficult argument than that--or rather two: one, a theological argument, whether an unknowable act of pure existence is also a personal God (we ourselves being persons in that mode); and the other, a philosophical, whether it is possible to communicate any real truth about something of which we can have no experience using equivocal language--i.e. whether analogy has meaning in theology.

About the second argument a couple of things can be said. First, very simply, that we treat as metaphorical all scriptural passages that treat the Divine Nature as human. That said, the second Person of the Godhead became true Man, and so we may treat His human nature in literal language. The upshot: God's right hand (Acts 7:55, 1 Pet 3:22) entirely metaphorical; Jesus' sweat and tears (Lk 22:44, Jn 11:35) absolutely literal. The second point is that to the extent that Scripture is able to communicate any truth about God whatsoever, it must be inspired. So if the atheist is correct (there is no God), the question is moot; but if God exists, we can ask to what extent the Bible is true when talking about God. That truth, then, can only have flowed in one direction (discounting blind lucky guessing). If I've shown what's at stake in the metaphor argument, unfortunately I'm no nearer to answering the argument whether equivocal language about God is not always utterly equivocal, but can be analogical. Needless to say I must answer this in the affirmative or abandon my Faith, and I believe Aquinas does treat it somewhere (this I have only from a faint recollection of a book about St. Thomas I read a while back), but I can't reproduce his argument here. I can only defend my position to this point: that it is not unreasonable absent other assumptions about God, and that it is entirely plausible should God prove to be a personal God.

On that first argument, I'm in even greater difficulty. Not only is it more difficult conceptually, but if I lose the second argument, the first cannot be put at all since we then have no language for it. Once more I can't prove my position but would hope to show it credible. The problem is this. We see the world around us as ordered and purposeful and we want to see what's behind that. We look for causes and causes of causes and we arrive at a first cause. At the same time, we perceive our own imperfection (as meaningful or meaningless a concept as perfection is) and weakness and we want to reach up to someone (not something): our father, and thence the Father to whom our father reaches--for comfort and aid. The myths of our traditions tell us of our ancestors who reached up and were met, and so we hope. But then we attempt to intellectualize our searching and our longing and we find that what we were looking at was an uncaused cause, and a big daddy in the sky. The first is impossible, the second fairly ridiculous and together they're irreconcilable. If we're smart, we reject God and we're left with man, an island of intelligibility--and that just by fluke--in a vast cold universe of nonsense.

Alas, that doesn't square with reality either, for it is not only man who is intelligible, but the universe itself--indeed, with God on the lam and the soul in abeyance, the question of where man leaves off and the universe begins has become problematic. But every strange green quark here or ten thousand trillion miles away is intelligible--a fact, a knowable bundle of information with a course and a history. She spins; she dances with her spouse and her distant cousins, too, perhaps. It’s nuts, it’s so wonderful. Forget about Intelligent Designists' and Creation Scientists' probabilities that there should be life in the universe absent a creator; simply, it is immensely more meet that there should be nothing than something. And that every particle of that something should be intelligible and communicative is just as ridiculous as our big daddy in the sky. But by now we've lost hope--the myths must be false--so we let it sit.

But if Moses heard correctly and God says "I AM", if St. Thomas figured rightly and God is the Act of pure existence, then both sides do meet. As pure existence he can beget existence--He can be the First Cause and there needn't be a cause for Him because He is not an essential thing but an eternal act. As pure existence He contains all knowledge, and the procession of the self-knowledge of all knowledge is the eternal begetting of the Word. But now the begetter and the begotten both become Knower and Known and that is, at base, what a person is: a known knower. The relationship between Father and Son is one of knowledge but of more than knowledge, because it must be one of complete giving of Self--sacrifice, but a fecund not a painful sacrifice. Once more, this Act is the Spirit. We have now a triune, personal, creative God, to Whom (intellectually) we can't get from here. Still, He verifies our sense of order and our search for cause and He confirms that our myths are true (in import if not detail). And isn't that even more fitting than a god perceivable by the intellect? If I may: If religion were a thing that schoolin' could supply; then the smart would live, and the dumb would die. But even the very intelligent can recognize that knowledge doesn't save; that is to say smart and dumb alike can know that God is unknowable, only the proud need insist on maintaining the false dichotomy: knowable or false.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It would appear that my ten days awaiting a court decision announcing a recounting of votes in the U.S. Presidential Election have been in vain, and that I must finally concede the election to a young fellow named--of all things!--Barack (or Barrack, perhaps) O'Bama; an Irishman, I gather.

I wish him the best, but I cannot help be a little downhearted. My hope for a cricket administration had been to raise the median age of death on the North American continent; and I've been told that Mr. O'Bama has informed the public that he intends to lower same.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The problem of evil.

Primeval man is a spiritual sea creature, who inhabits a vast ocean of light which suffuses him and every thing about him, and through which, weightless, he may effortlessly propel himself in any direction. Impatient with the promise of an ever intensifying light, he demands to see the source. A helpful friend pointing him to the surface, swimming up and clambering to shore he encounters the mountain and discovers far above the burning ball in the sky, the source. Here, although gravity crushes his bones and grinds his joints, and each step cuts his feet, feeling himself more exalted the closer he comes to the source, he climbs the mountain and struggles with his fellow man to reach it. But it is not the source; it is only a sign to remind him of the true light in the sea toward which every crushing blow and humiliating defeat seems to drag him back. The water now appears black, but deep inside he comes to recognize the way back to the light, if there is any way, is to consent to drown in darkness. Deep inside is the notion; as deep and as sure as the notion of home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My new mission.

I've decided to dedicate my life and pour all my resources into ridding the world of screwed up priorities.

Friday, July 25, 2008

PZ Myers carries out threat to desecrate the Eucharistic victim.

Even if Catholics are both wrong and stupid, P.Z. Myers is mean, just like a person who would come into my house and rip my three year-old son's "art" off the fridge and burn it in front of me... And that's sadder, much sadder, than being wrong and stupid.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another in a series of curious facts about transcendental numbers.

π wrongs make a right.

* * UPDATE * *
Readers have pointed out to me that -π wrongs also make a right.

Friday, July 11, 2008

June (Oops, I mean July) is music month at "Call me Mara"

Challenged with the failure of the popular song By the Rivers of Babylon to confront the more picaresque portions of the Psalm, I have endeavored to search out the lost verses. I have found the following

This verse:
Blessed be he
that shall take and dash thy little ones
against, against the rock,
he who shall repay thee payment which thou hast paid us.

will scan about like this one:
When the wicked
Carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
Now how shall we sing the lords song in a strange land

And periodic chants of
Raze it, raze it, to the foundation.

also fit right in, where the "to the foun" fall on three eighth notes after an eighth rest on the downbeat.

sing along to try it out:

Though I, for one, am glad the Catholic Church finally entirely stopped dashing children against rocks back in the 1970's.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Kumbayà of Canned Pastà

I promised to post this. Use it wisely.

Boyardee, my Chef, Boyardee,

Boyardee, my Chef, Boyardee;
Boyardee, my Chef, Boyardee,
O Chef Boyardee.

Beefaroni: Chef Boyardee,
Beefaroni: Chef Boyardee;
Beefaroni: Chef Boyardee,
O Chef Boyardee.

Ravioli: Chef Boyardee,
Ravioli: Chef Boyardee;
Ravioli: Chef Boyardee,
O Chef Boyardee.

Alphaghetti: Chef Boyardee,
Alphaghetti: Chef Boyardee;
Alphaghetti: Chef Boyardee,
O Chef Boyardee.

Boyardee, my Chef, Boyardee,
Boyardee, my Chef, Boyardee;
Boyardee, my Chef, Boyardee,
O Chef Boyardee.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ny neighbor Vlad

Recently while I was working in my front garden my neighbor passed by on the pavement. Attracting my attention, he called out, "aixscuse me, vair ees see Vole-Mart?"
I smiled inwardly at his thick eastern European accent, but I politely gave him the best instructions I could to find the Wal-Mart outlet on the the edge of our modest suburban development.
However, mere hours later I saw him storming up our street complaining bitterly he'd been misdirected, carrying a large vole under each arm.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I've always found the Great Circle of Life

... to be unspeakably depressing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amazon site lacking valuable information.

Dear Amazon dot com:

I had hoped to publish on your website my remarks concerning the comments about a customer review of a book available on your site, but I could not find the "Remarks" button in the comments section of the particular customer review of the book in question. I feel that the comments section itself should be reserved for comments about the review of the book. Needless to say, I am unwilling to clutter up that space with remarks on the comments about the review of the book.

It would be an interesting and valuable source of information if I could read the remarks of other book review comments viewers as well. Would you please consider providing this service in future? Thank you.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Toward a Gender Neutral Language

I've been thinking a lot about sexist language. I appreciate that its odious effects have been ameliorated (paradoxically at the urgings of a small group of female men who, we might argue, seem to exhibit a hatred of their own sex) by the retirement of such vile words as chairwoman and aviatrix from the English language. These words and other like them vivify and perpetuate feminine hegemony by means of a secondary lexicon explicitly designed to exalt the female sex. In the former regime, for example, it was fine to be an “actor” as anyone male or female could. Only those of the female sex were privileged to be “actresses”. The male performer could in no analogous way distinguish himself and was relegated perforce to inferior status.

However many words survive the old order, and the subjugation of the bearer of the XY chromosome persists in the use of separate pronouns for the female sex. Grammatically, the personal pronouns “he”, “him” and “his” have always referred to a person of either sex. However the continued use of “she” and “her” applied only to a man of the female sex grants him an unwarranted elevation. While we must assiduously avoid the awkward use of plural pronouns with singular verbs as unduly offensive to the sensitive grammarian, the slightly less cumbersome “he/she”, “him/her” constructions only exacerbate the entrenched sexism in the language.

While the elimination of separate female pronouns would be salutary, the final goal in our pursuit of sexual equality must be the prohibition of the word “woman”. I propose, beginning among society’s more enlightened set, the immediate establishment of social taboos on the word. “Woman” must be as the new “Negro”—its sister word “Womyn” the new “Nigger”—its each use inflicting mortal wounding to the dignity of that half the human race to whom it was never granted to be applied. Gradually, men of both sexes and all levels of society will begin to see the word for what it is—the last vestige of the ball-and-chain of the past’s oppressor-sex.

Long gone, thankfully, are the days when those of the female sex could ensconce themselves spider-like in their homes surrounded by loving children, while forcing their hapless male partners to labor tirelessly in thankless pursuits to provide them with bon-bons and luxury items. Need we be reminded of those loathsome days everyday in our language?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I once saw something flying that I could not identify as an object. What do you call that anyway?

* * UPDATE * *
Thanks to ed the roman who suggested it might be an Unidentified Flying Subject or Verb, I have my final answer. What we had was an Unidentified Flying Part of Speech. or UFPOS.

Friday, April 18, 2008

New form of "Reincarnation Therapy" in Holland.

From the story:

THE HAGUE, 12/04/08 - The municipality of Maastricht has pressurised unemployed people to follow reincarnation therapy. Uncooperative welfare recipients were told that their attitude could have consequences for their allowance, local newspaper De Limburger reported Friday.

The Social Services, which grants allowances and attempts to get recipients back to work, urged at least one unemployed resident of Maastricht to accept the guidance of a reincarnation therapist. Returning' to a previous life, would supposedly help them regain their balance and enhance their chances of finding work.

I must say I applaud this measure of allowing clients to return to previous lives: to supplement the form of reincarnation therapy already in force in Holland--speeding them on to the next one.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"i" before "e"

Weird is not so weird; we're surfeited with exceptions.

* * UPDATE * *
I'm an idiot.

Monday, April 07, 2008


One of the great losses to our civilization has been the slow dismantlement since the end of the Middle Ages of our language of symbolism. Beginning with a perhaps laudable desire to hear thing spoken plainly and to see things as they are, it ends with the death of a common poesy and with that the irrecoverable loss of the beauteous sense of the connectedness of all created things.

In an effort to contain just a small portion of the sweet water of our shared metaphor in that leaky bucket of civil society's now rapidly deteriorating conventions, I here insert the stopper of a few of our audible and visible symbols along with their respective meanings.

The quick (quarter second) toot on the horn of my '98 Chervrolet Cavalier automobile just means "Hello!".

The more insistent half-second honk of the horn means, "Notice: I'm here!"

The horn blast longer than one half second means, "You, driver of a '07 Nissan Altima are doing something I find to be quite odious and I think you should come to terms with that fact and cease your repellent behavior at once."

Here with experience you may gauge the level of offensiveness of the driver's act by the sound's duration.

The extended single middle finger of an automobile's pilot displayed prominently against the inside right hand front window of a '07 Nissan Altima means: "cricket, you're number one in my books. Thank you for pointing out my errors and helping me to become a safer and more considerate driver. Godspeed!"

Friday, April 04, 2008


You know what they don't pack into cans like sardines anymore?


Today I opened a can and they were swimming laps.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Last Holy Words

There used to be great swathes of the lexicon that signified holy words. Now, due to the inattentiveness of their caretakers there remain but two. These, jealously guarded by their respective franchises with a vehemence on which we--who once thought the name of our lord and savior to be at least as holy--can only look with envy, show no sign of falling into profane utterance. The two last holy words are, of course--allow me to type them in with all due wonder and awe: Holocaust and Nigger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The invention of God

I have a chuckle whenever atheists proclaim that we invented God, as though that solved the matter, and then when Christians get their backs up about it. To say that man invents God isn't question-begging so much as it is a truism. That's what man does--invent. He invents the unknowable God just as all the great symphonies, sculptures and paintings, stories and poems were invented. That is to say man discovers--or, literally, in-vents ("comes into")--all of these things. We're good inventors, man. There remains the problem of the identity of a Creator.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kerfuffilay at York U

People have been saying that the most jaw-dropping statement in the story is this one:

"It would be equivalent to having a debate over whether or not you can beat your wife," Ms. Holloway said.

But, honestly, I have to agree with her. In fact, I've noticed before that nearly all the excellent arguments in favor of freedom of choice in abortion could equally validly be used to support freedom of choice in wife beating:

Stop forcing on me your religious beliefs that tell you women are equally as important as men.

If you're against wife beating, just don't beat y
our wife, .

The decision to beat his wife is one of the most difficult, private choices that a man must make. It should not be left to some politician or bureaucrat in Washington or Ottawa.

Get your rosaries off my belt.

... and the like

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More in the series of little known facts.

67:1 is the ratio of the number people who have used the word kafkaesque to the number of people who have read Kafka. Although not strictly part of the little known fact, I would add editorially that this is about as it ought to be.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Announcing my candidacy for POTUS.

Y'all'll have to write my name, cricket, in on the ballot. And after the election change the Constitution so Canadians can serve, but doggone it, I think I got a shot.

I got some policy ideas in mind but if you have any questions or suggestion post 'em here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It was -23° C this morning when I awoke.

I had been promised a temperature of -16° C or 257 K.

When this happens I can almost feel the actual physical shift of the tectonic plates in my brain. It drops to one knee and tumbles momentarily until I spread my brain's outstretched arms and fingers to stop it. It lies supine breathing heavily but once more normally, yet ever closer to Hollywood, California and further away from our loving Father.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Pete" Seeger, what are you all about?

There is a new song out, that seems, lately, to be taking this
country by storm. It was apparently written by one Mr. Peter
"Pete" Seeger. I believe it is cause for some concern.

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
...which is just fine.

I'd hammer in the evening.
Assuming, you'd had a break in the afternoon, this would also
be acceptable.

All over this land.
Fine, but pay your own airfare. There are too many people wanting
to hammer all over this land on my dime.

I'd hammer out danger.
This is laudable. If you encounter danger anywhere it is wise to
hammer it out; here, I presume that to hammer something out means
to destroy it. Certainly a hammer, in esse, maintains a certain
element of destructive power. However and yet, it is all too easy
to assume—incorrectly—that danger is so very rife "all over this
land". Any little problem begins to appear as the proverbial nail.

I'd hammer out a warning.
Now I'm starting to worry a little more. Just who exactly are
you warning? What is the content of your warning? Is this a

I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters.
This makes no sense at all. Is "love between [your] brothers and
sisters" something to be destroyed with a hammer just as danger
was? Is this the threat contained in your warning above? Is it
time to look seriously at intensive treatment by mental health
professionals for Mr Seeger?

All over this land.
Overall, I think thanks are in order that Mr. Seeger doesn't
have a hammer. I would advise keeping all bells and songs out
of the hands of this menace as well.

Who's with me?

UPDATE: Jan 23, 2008
I've been informed that Mr. Seeger has been loudly proclaiming
his procurement of not only a hammer but a bell and a song as

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing.

It clearly is time to reconstitute HUAC...

all over this land

Friday, January 18, 2008

Vignettes of Family Life (No 1 in a series )

Last week, my wife cooked me a beautiful steak, bloody and and cool in the middle, just the way I love it.

"Well done!" I said, and she struck me in the mandible with closèd fist.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Death Penalty

Empirical arguments aside, I don't understand the argument that I should theoretically be against the death penalty because the possibility of an innocent man being executed by the state exists. If there is no death penalty, the same innocent man might be imprisoned which is a terrible thing. You can never give him the lost years of his life back, even if you do later discover his innocence. Why is this not an argument that I should be opposed to imprisonment for criminals?

I think the innocent man argument against the death penalty arises from the entirely secular notion that the worst thing is death. It is not. Christ showed us just how an innocent man can die, conquering death in the process--making it sweet and benign. Who doesn't believe that our Lord heaps abundant blessings on the executed innocent, as on the imprisoned innocent?

Far worse, on a cosmic scale, than an innocent man being executed by the state is an unrepentant guilty man being executed by the state. In fact, that might actually be a valid argument against the death penalty.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I'd be a blackguard and a cad, if I weren't so ineffectual. The less said "About Me", the better.