I see from my site statistics that someone found The Dawn Patrol today by asking a search engine why "loose women" used to be called "tarts."
Since the Dawn Patrol's unwritten slogan is, "We Play Your Requests," I did some searching on my own and found an enlightening page from the Australian National Dictionary Centre, "Good tart, bad tart, a page that explains how a word that once meant "girlfriend" came to refer to a woman of low repute.
"Interestingly, the two meanings had coexisted for the best part of a century," the author notes. "The good tart was last seen in the OED in 1980, while the tart as girlfriend makes her final appearance in the AND in 1977."
If all this talk about different meanings of "tart" sounds confusing, it's not half so confusing as this tasty morsel, nor this bizarre bite.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
I see from my site statistics that someone found The Dawn Patrol today by asking a search engine why "loose women" used to be called "tarts."
You don't need me to tell you about Dustbury's post about the war on terror when megablogger Michelle Malkin is linking to it, but here goes anyway: "Taking the long view" is a cogent look at the truth within the president's recent controversial statement on terrorism—and why it makes sense to continue the fight against the poisonous fruits of radical Islam.
Marty McKeever at Vigilance Matters is doing some remarkable research work with regard to the American Psychological Association's leadership's stance on homosexual pedophilia.
Exposing the writings of University of California professor Gregory Herek, the APA's chief apologist for men who desire boys, McKeever shows that the APA leadership considers pedophilia an "orientation," not a behavior. In their eyes, "just as a person can be 'gay' without ever having sexual relations with a member of the same sex, anyone can be a 'pedophile' without ever molesting children," he observes.
This "orientation over behavior" stance confuses the issue, making pedophilia seem like a natural lifestyle choice. In fact, as McKeever writes, "the question is not really 'do gay men molest kids more than straight men' which takes orientation into account, but rather 'are boys homosexually molested at the same rate that girls are heterosexually molested'? If men molested according to their 'orientation' then you would expect the numbers to match the ratio of gays to straight in society. If the numbers don't match -- and they don't, which is why Herek is going to all the trouble to confuse the issue here -- then behavior must be responsible."
"The not-so-simple fact being obscured here is that males who have sex with other males are more likely to molest little boys than males who only have sex with females are to molest little girls."
Strong stuff. I recommend you read the whole entry. Also be sure to read McKeever's follow-up entry, a compilation of quotes from gay pedophilia advocates—many of them "mainstream"—and don't be put off by its provocative headline. His point is not that pedophilia is a central element of homosexuality. Rather, he's saying that gay advocates routinely attempt to normalize the idea of sex with children—and the homosexual community does precious little to chastise them.
When Protestant missionary and blogger Elliot Bougis began filling in for Mark Shea on Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It! blog, he waggishly changed the site's title to "Not Quite Catholic But Still Enjoying It!"
This week, what some readers may have suspected is now official: Bougis announced his intention to become Catholic—or at least Eastern Orthodox.
While I'm happy that Bougis remains on fire for the Lord, I'm sorry that he was not able to continue his Christian walk outside of the Roman Catholic Church. I can accept the RC Church as being part of the body of Christ, but it will not accept me or any other non-Catholic as being part of the body—at least, not as far as salvation's concerned.
On one level, as a Christian who believes that those who do not accept Jesus will not be saved, I can see why a church that believes it holds the keys to the kingdom would deny the possibility of salvation outside itself. But my reading of the Bible says that salvation only comes through faith in Jesus—not through a church.
I thought about that yesterday as I read Jesus' words in John 6:40: "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
There are many other verses in the Bible that give that same message of justification by faith—and none that I can find which suggest membership in the Roman Catholic Church, or any other denomination, is necessary as well.
I'd like to open the floor to comments. To Catholics, my question is, how can salvation be limited to Catholics only, when Scripture—which Catholics do reverence—appears to go against that belief? To non-Catholics, how do you feel about a Protestant's converting to Catholicism?
Please note the rules for discussion:
- Only one comment per person.
- Comments should remain on topic and must be within the bounds of polite discourse.
- Comments of 100 words or less will run unedited. Longer comments may be sliced and diced, or may run unedited, at my discretion.
- The deadline for responses is 24 hours from the time of this post.
Please e-mail your thoughts to dawneden -at- panix.com . I look forward to hearing from you.
Monday, August 30, 2004
If you're in town for the GOP convention and know of any good parties (good as in interesting people to meet, not necessarily as in drink, food, etc.), or if you'd like to meet up for coffee, please let me know: dawneden -at- panix.com . I know there are a lot of people in from out of town who share my interests and whom I normally wouldn't get to see, and I don't want to miss the opportunity.
In today's New York Post, Nicole Gelinas has the first article in a two-part series on homeland security that everyone should read: "FALSE SECURITY: Why NYC's 'fair share' doesn't much matter." She reveals that many of the security measures being taken now to protect city buildings were already in place at the World Trade Center on 9/11—and she shows what's really needed. Part Two runs tomorrow.
Chastity for me began as an experiment. I'd hit my mid-30s. I knew that I wanted to be married. Sex a la New York City—following urges and temptations, rushing into sex in the hope that love would develop, or using sex in the hope of landing a commitment—wasn't cutting it for me. I saw myself sliding into middle age on a slimy slope of loneliness, cynicism, and resentment.
The immediate advantage of chastity—or, rather, chastity until a marriage-directed relationship—was a sense of control. True, my cynical side—which was suppressed but not down for the count—would have had me believe that what seemed like self-control was really just that I couldn't get arrested. But in reality, I knew that I often passed up sexual opportunities that I would have grabbed when I was acting out of loneliness.
As time passes, however, another, clearer advantage comes into view. It's something that I feel deeply this week, as I head toward my 36th birthday.
It's the realization that all the sex I ever had—in and out of relationships—never brought me any closer to marriage.
That's because I followed the Cosmo rule, which is also the "Sex and the City" rule and really the Universal Single-Person Rule in our secular age: "Sex should push the relationship." This rule can also be explained as, "We'll talk about it in bed."
But it's worse than that. By viewing sex as a means to an end rather than the fruits of a loving relationship, I rendered myself incapable of having a loving relationship.
This is because love—the true love that comes from God—requires pure motives. "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient," writes Paul in 1 Corinthians 6. "All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
There's no question that in God's eyes, sex is a good thing. What is not good is having it for the wrong reasons—such as considering another person's mind, spirit, or body as something to possess or enjoy, rather than someone to actively love.
This objectification can be unconscious. I know I never set out consciously to use anyone. But we are judged by our fruits. The fruit of casual sex is the persistent habit of objectifying sexual partners, to the point of being unable to perceive people except in terms of how they relate to one's own wants and desires.
If you're like me when I started on this chastity kick—or as I still feel when I go to bed and try to stop myself from fantasizing about someone I'd like to objectify—you may wonder, "Who, then, can be saved?"
Jesus' answer to that question remains as mysterious and tantalizing today as it was nearly 2,000 years ago: "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."
When we ask God for help, He gives more grace, knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual understanding. Much of the time, it may be only enough light to show us the next step. But at times of trial and temptation, that may be all that's needed to get through the darkness safely.
I may not have any certain romantic prospects right at the moment. But even so, I believe that right now, I am closer to being not only married, but happily married, than I ever have been before.
I'm sure that to someone who believes the way to get married is to be sexually available, that sounds hopelessly irrational and optimistic. I can only speak from my own experience. In other words, in the wonderful language of the King James version:
Sunday, August 29, 2004
"A survey conducted by Lifetime Television in July found that fewer than 10 percent of women feel that either President Bush or Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry understands them well," reports the Feminist Majority Foundation in a press release. Foundation president Eleanor Smeal cites this statistic as proof of "how little the campaigns are speaking to women’s issues."
Both campaigns in fact have much to say about women's issues (particularly Bush, whose Web site addresses many more such issues than Kerry's). But I don't think that's what Smeal's saying. The press release's headline reads, "Poll: Majority of Women Do Not Feel Understood by Bush or Kerry." The issue for the Feminist Majority reading is just that. (Cue whiny voice:)"The presidential candidates just don't understand."
For a bunch of supposed feminists, they sound mighty girly-girl to me.
You look for understanding from a therapist—not a president.
I voted for Bill Clinton twice. I thought he understood me. And he sure did. He understood that I was a vulnerable girl in my 20s who could easily be ----ed over.
I don't think President Bush understands me any more than John Kerry does. But that's not what I'm looking for anymore. What's important is that, regardless of whether he understands me, he cares about me. He cares about me as a human being, as a woman, and as an American citizen.
John Kerry can go on about how much he understands women—he advised GQ readers to seek a woman "who loves being a woman. Who wears her womanhood. Who knows how to flirt and have fun. Smart. Confident. Has a sense of self. Strong. And obviously sexy and saucy and challenging." But all his "understanding" can't make me believe that he really cares about me.
If Kerry really cared about me, he wouldn't say that "life begins at conception" and then say that he would fight for a woman's right to murder that life. If he really were concerned, he'd have voted to fund our troops in Iraq, instead of voting to send them there and then voting against the money to sustain and reinforce them. And if he really gave a damn about me, he'd show some respect for the institution of marriage instead of being one of only 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act.
When Elvis Costello sang, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?" he was right about peace and love—they're serious business. But "understanding," as defined by the Feminist Majority Foundation, is a regular laugh riot. Too bad Eleanor Smeal doesn't realize the joke's on her.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Michael Bates has the story on the Communists for Kerry rally, which I would have attended were I not writing headlines about "pimp and ho costumes." Michael notes of the passers-by, "The people laughing the hardest were speaking to each other in Russian -- they understood."
Got a very nice e-mail from Eric Dean, a young pro-lifer whose witty and thoughtful blog chronicles his experience as a college student (with obnoxious dorm neighbors in Honolulu, Hawaii. He just wrote about Planned Parenthood's attempt to hijack Harry Potter, and he also has a sharp commentary on an irrational statement by a pro-abortion protester. (Karol at Spot On notes the protester's statement as well.)
Friday, August 27, 2004
I am delighted to announce that my most notorious headline (which you can see in the second photo down on my main page) has garnered official recognition from the esteemed body known as the New York State Associated Press Association (is that like the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.?). They have awarded it the first-place prize as the "Brightest Headline" among New York newspapers with a circulation of 125,000 or more. Here are the runners-up:
- Second place: "Not just a pretty vase," Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester; John Dash
- Third place: "Pardon their French; they're only 5," The Journal News, White Plains; Goodwin Anim
- Honorable mention: "Irish have little luck in immigration lottery," The Journal News, White Plains; Marcy Mangels
If you missed yesterday's post about Planned Parenthood of New York City's violation of copyright and good taste, scroll down to "Planned Parenthood to J.K. Rowling: Give Us Genital Hogwarts!" (Image taken from this PPNYC page.)
- Humorist Jeff Grimshaw offers his early memories of Paul Proch, the writer and illustrator who reportedly inspired the Jim Carrey character in Charlie Kaufman's screenplay "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." If you're a Kaufman fan, there are some delightful anecdotes about his collaborations with Proch. Back in May, I wrote about my own recollections of Proch, a teenage crush of mine.
- If you're one of those people who discovers great musicians through their obituaries, Phast Phreddie's Grim Reporter is for you. It compiles Phreddie's obituaries from Discoveries magazine, as well as other publications' obituaries of pop-culture figures, many of whom you may not even know have died—artists like Little Eva, Sis Cunningham, Ronnie Dawson, Timi Yuro, as well as entertainment icons like Dudley Moore and Milton Berle.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Yet Another Weird SF Fan, who describes himself as a mathematician and libertarian as well as a lover of science fiction, uses yesterday's Dawn Patrol post as the jumping-off point for an enlightening post on the history of Misinformation on Emergency Birth Control. (Although he doesn't give his name, I can tell SF Fan is a "he" because the post he made yesterday, "I Should Lose Some Weight," says he was mistaken for Michael Moore.)
Obscenity alert: The "detailed instructions" link below contains graphic sexual language. The rest of the links aren't exactly wholesome—we're talking Planned Parenthood and friends.
The cynical marketing wizards of Planned Parenthood of New York City are hoping children's author J.K. Rowling's magic will rub off on them. They've put a public plea on their Web site—"Harry Potter: Prisoner of Hormones?"—begging Rowling to write sex education into the next novel in the bestselling series.
PPNYC President Joan Malin gushes, "Just think of the possibilities: Snapes, that sullen, nasty professor lecturing on the facts and biology of sex; giant Hagrid teaching about love and intimacy; or Professor Trelawney with her 'inner eye' using astrology and fortune-telling to help teen wizards know their feelings."
Would any Potter fans care to comment on those scenarios? Having only seen the films, I'll say that the image of Alan Rickman's Snapes lecturing on the "facts and biology of sex" sounds about as edifying as Ozzy Osbourne lecturing on vivisection.
At the bottom of PPNYC's Potter page, the organization lists sex-education Web sites for further information. If these sites are examples of what Planned Parenthood wants Rowling to put into her novels, Harry's fans are going to learn about a lot more than the owls and the bees:
- The Advocates for Youth site leads to Youth Resource, "a Web site created by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) young people 13 to 24 years old";
- And the link to the Network for Family Life Education's Sex Etc. site, which is "by teens for teens," leads to a page that gives children detailed instructions on how to engage in a sex act that, until last year, was illegal in 13 states.
- The Curt Jester suggests titles for the next Harry Potter book.
- Andrea Harris of Twisted Spinster responds with an apt piece of onomatopoeia.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
New York Times "Personal Health" guru Jane E. Brody has never made a secret of her love of the Pill and legal abortion. She once wrote of how oral contraception filled a pressing societal need, "The pill arrived at a time when abortion was illegal everywhere in the United States and when growing numbers of young women were striving to liberate themselves from the social trappings of premarital chastity and vocational suppression."
Ah, yes, that pesky vocational suppression. As in, suppress your New York Times column where that morning-after sun don't shine.
Why am I so angry, you ask?
I realize it's too much to ask the New York Times to shy away from liberal preaching. This is, after all, the newspaper that printed an interview with a woman who spoke with no emotion of how she had two of her triplets murdered in the womb—and then feigned shock when it came out that the same woman was an abortion activist with a brand-new T-shirt campaign.
Even so, when it comes to hard reporting and not opinion journalism, the greater public—and even conservatives who occasionally let their guard down—does expect the "paper of record" to print the truth. Especially when said truth is a matter not of opinion, but scientific fact.
Brody's article in yesterday's Times, "The Politics of Emergency Contraception," was so full of politics that the facts were neatly contracepted. And yes, it is an emergency—at least if you're appalled to see one of the world's great newspapers continue in what increasingly appears to be a pattern of deception on life issues.
To understand what Brody has done, first read Susan E. Wills' definitive article on emergency contraception, which appeared two years ago in National Review. Called "Deconstructing Rosie" after an EC publicity campaign that featured Rosie the Riveter, the article runs through popular myths about the treatment, which is also known as the morning-after pill.
After you've read that, read Brody's article. It's all the myths that Wills cites—and none of the truths.
Brody begins her piece by quoting the headline from a medical-journal editorial by Dr. David A. Grimes: "Emergency Contraception: Politics Trumps Science at the F.D.A." Gee, no bias there.
But she quickly moves in to stress that she's not out to join Grimes in attacking the FDA's decision barring over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill known as Plan B. Rather, she is offering readers the opportunity to know the facts so they can decide for themselves, as she writes:
"Women at risk of an unwanted pregnancy deserve to know the reasons that so many leading scientists and organizations have endorsed over-the-counter status for emergency contraception and the reasons that others have objected."
A noble goal, which she proceeds to bypass by knocking down every objection—and steamrolling over the facts.
The most prominent objection to EC is that it causes abortion. Brody denies this outright: "Emergency contraception...has no effect once a fertilized egg implants in the womb. It cannot dislodge an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo. Nor does it appear to work by destroying a fertilized egg or preventing implantation, which would negate the concerns of those who consider fertilization, not implantation, the start of pregnancy."
That's an outright falsehood—blatant, egregious, a textbook example of the "Big Lie" theory.
The truth is, as Wills writes, "If taken pre-ovulation, EC may delay or inhibit ovulation, thereby preventing conception; but often it does not. If taken after the [hormonal] surge which triggers ovulation, EC will not disrupt ovulation in that cycle, but can inhibit implantation of the developing embryo (causing his death) due to changes in the uterine lining. (See, e.g., C. Kahlenborn, MD et al., 'Postfertilization Effect of Hormonal Emergency Contraception,' The Annals of Pharmacology, March 2002.)"
American Life League's EC Web page offers several more quotes from medical textbooks that echo the example Wills cited, including this one from The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, by Moore and Persaud (p. 532):
"Postcoital birth control pills: Ovarian hormones (estrogen) taken in large doses within 72 hours after sexual intercourse usually prevent implantation of the blastocyst, probably by altering tubal motility, interfering with corpus luteum function, or causing abnormal changes in the endometrium. These hormones prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills. Conception occurs but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them 'contraimplantation pills.' Because the term abortion refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term abortion could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy."
As TimesWatch has noted in several articles (including "The Bias of Ms. Jane Brody"), this is not the first time that the writer has willfully misreported the facts to serve her own political agenda. But I'll grant it's still possible she's never willfully reported as many facts in one article as she does in "The Politics of Emergency Contraception." Considering she's been touting emergency contraception since the mid-1990s, you'd think she'd have it straight by now.
But no. She writes that there is no evidence that teenagers allowed to receive EC over the counter "would be encouraged to engage in risky sexual behavior."
No evidence? None at all? Smile when you say that, Jane.
Wills writes in her 2002 article: "EC has been readily accessible to women in Scotland for years, but abortions in Scotland increased among every age group between 1990 and 1999. Teen pregnancy and abortion rates have not gone down. For example, despite a sharp increase (almost 300%) in the number of EC prescriptions in Glasgow between 1992-1999, the abortion rate did not decline. (Scottish Council on Human Bio-ethics' 'Briefing Paper on the Morning-After-Pill,' Jan. 2002)."
That same report "suggests two causes behind high levels both of EC use and abortion: 'more unpremeditated sexual activity' and 'more failures in contraception with increased use of condoms' (instead of more effective hormonal 'contraceptives'). The same two factors also appear to be causing an 'alarming rise' in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms afford inadequate, low or no protection against the most common STDs, several of which are incurable; others can cause sterility or cervical cancer.
"An STD epidemic is also occurring in England, where EC is readily available," Wills continues. The Times (London) reports that 'diagnoses of almost every STD have risen dramatically during the past five years, especially among young people' (C. Midgley, 'The Price of Casual Sex,' Jan. 29, 2002). "
But Brody's got an agenda to push, and she rams it on through. She boasts of Plan B's "minor" side effects: "nausea in about 15 percent of cases, vomiting in 1 percent and a delay in the next menstrual period in 5 percent. Side effect rates are higher with Preven, which includes an estrogen component as well as a progesterone."
What's that? "Side effect rates are higher with Preven"? Just the rates, ma'am—not the varieties of side effects? We're just talking more people suffering from nausea?
Well, no, not quite. As Wills notes, the Preven "Prescribing Information" warns: "Blood clots that form in the leg can cause blockage of blood flow in the leg veins [and] can travel to the lung, causing serious disability or death." The pill also "may increase the tendency to develop strokes (stoppage or rupture of blood vessels in the brain) and heart attacks (blockage of blood vessels in the heart). These conditions can cause serious disability or even death." These risks are greatly increased for women who smoke.
If only one of Brody's facts were wrong, it would merit a correction in the Times. As it is, I'm reminded of the exchange between Alice and the Caterpillar in Lewis Carroll's classic, where Alice has trouble remembering a poem:
"Not quite right, I'm afraid," said Alice, timidly; "some of the words have got altered."Perhaps the Times is out to have the first-ever "Personal Health" section to deserve its own health warning.
"It is wrong from beginning to end," said the Caterpillar decidedly...
My friend Kevin Walsh of Forgotten NY, who knows something about the emotional power of memory, hipped me to a Weekly Standard article that I found incredibly touching—even though I couldn't remember the pop-culture moment it described.
It's rare to see any article this beautiful, let alone on the Web. I highly recommend it, but with a warning. If you're at work, where others can see you, you may want to print it up and read it when you get home. That's because, if you grew up in the Sixties or earlier, it will bring you to tears.
Monday, August 23, 2004
I feel like a fool, comrades.
Even though loyal Party apparatchiks Karol Sheinin and Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi have been telling me for weeks about Communists for Kerry, I have buried my head in the sand and ignored the voice of the people.
I now repent of my failure to adhere to State education practices and exhort you to learn about this worker-approved faction—and especially to visit the photo page of their latest rally in Greenwich Village's Soviet Union Square.
Last week, my mom, stepmom, and aunts threw a beautiful bridal shower for my sister Jennifer. Even though I'm maid of honor, I managed to get away with the easiest and most fun assignment—handing Jen her presents.
By far my favorite of the presents came from my Aunt Treasure: a set of framed photos of (from bottom) my grandmother, her mother, and her mother.
As you can see, I was fascinated by the pics (that's Jen smiling in the background).
Read the true-life love story of my strikingly beautiful Grandma Jessie (a k a "Mamselle X") and lovable-lunk Grandpa Buddy (a k a "The Fool") in "Summer of Love."
Sunday, August 22, 2004
It's been clear to me for a while that finding a representative of the Bride of Christ with whom to join myself is much like finding a flesh-and-blood spouse. Much depends on my own state of mind and willingness to be flexible, to be sure. But even if I'm perfectly prepared, it's not going to be easy finding the perfect match in New York City, of all places.
The problem was not the pastor. He had the No. 1 quality I seek in a good spiritual leader—humility—and he gave a good sermon. He also had a very nice freebie to offer all, courtesy of a generous congregant: a copy of the latest edition of the Andrew Murray classic A Life of Obedience, which I eagerly picked up after the service.
The problem was not the music. Well, it was, but that wasn't the root of the problem. I'm working on my tolerance to "contemporary worship," and have learned to just sit and read my Bible when I don't feel like standing to sing painfully drawn-out arrangements of melodies that consist of about three notes, repeated over and over, with cut-and-paste lyrics.
One problem that those of you outside New York City probably don't have to deal with in church is that of "professionals." Here, it's not enough for one person to stand before the congregation and lead the songs. There have to be, in addition to the full rock band with a drum kit that would embarrass Keith Moon, three soloists onstage, every one mugging, emoting, and belting into the microphone like they're auditioning for the touring cast of "The Phantom of the Opera." (Trinity is by no means unique in this respect. Manhattan's most popular Protestant church outside Harlem, Redeemer Presbyterian, warns those wishing to get involved in its music ministry that "nearly all of our arts leadership positions are held by full-time professionals." And you just know that when the one person who isn't a professional quits, they have Donna Murphy's second understudy poised to fill the breach.)
Closer to the real problem was the lack of crosses inside Trinity Baptist. Oh, they had dainty little plus-signs decorating the altar, but a real cross—the kind that one could imagine a Savior being nailed upon—was nowhere to be found. Just a Byzantine-style stained-glass window of happy risen Jesus, with that mysterious quizzical expression that Byzantine Jesuses have.
A major motivation for people's seeking Christian fellowship in New York City is that this town is so secular, wearing a simple cross pendant is a political act. To enter a church and not see a cross—how is that experience different from walking into any business or workplace? Or, in this case, a production of "Rent"?
In fact, the absence of crosses, combined with the fake-aged look of the church's fake-stone interior, made Trinity look more like a Disneyland church than a real one—which, on second thought, made the audio-animatronic singers perfectly appropriate, I guess.
I'm sure ol' Walt would have especially appreciated the three blink-and-you'll-miss-'em Bible readings, delivered in Abe Lincoln style by the worship leaders, one by one. Unless you had a bulletin open, you wouldn't have known the readings were from the Bible—each person read theirs in a spontaneous style with no crediting the source. They might as well have been giving a monologue at an audition.
Oh, yes, the problem. There was one. I saw it at the beginning of the service when I opened up the bulletin, as the Tammy Faye Starlite singer was launching into the musical gospel that sounded like it was inspired by a poor-man's poor-man's near imitation of Twila Paris on a bad day.
Printed inside the bulletin was "Our Vision." And the first item in "Our Vision" was—well, I can't tell you exactly, because I threw it out. But I believe it said, "To be a home for young professionals..."
Nothing on the Trinity Baptist Web site had prepared me for that.
The important thing here is context. I understand that young professionals need the Lord as do everyone else. Moreover, white-collar workers in this city are less religiously active than their peers elsewhere in the country, so it makes sense that they would need special attention. To that end, I appreciate the necessity for such independent ministries as Priority Associates, which openly targets students and professionals, and for church ministries targeted at those same groups.
But for a church to put as its No. 1 priority, its supreme "Vision," to be "a home for young professionals"—I can't tell you what kind of motivation could be behind that, but I don't believe it's a godly one.
Churches are supposed to be for everyone—not just the wealthy people, not just the pretty people, not just the people of one particular racial or ethnic group. It's natural for people to seek a church where the social or ethnic makeup makes them feel most comfortable, and there's nothing wrong with that. Likewise, some churches are going to be better equipped for certain types of ministries than others, and some ethnic churches have an interest in uniting their community. But a church that prioritizes a privileged social group, to the point that this group obscures everything else in its "Vision," loses the meaning of Jesus' own ministry.
Jesus came for the poor, the poor in spirit, the meek, the heavy laden, the forgotten, the suffering. A church that serves the Lord can't just take in some donations for the poor, get a few congregants to work in a soup kitchen, and have done with it. A godly church has to welcome the poor, which, in Trinity's case, really means the "nonprofessionals"—blue-collar workers and others who don't fit the definition of chic and fashionable New Yorkers.
But for me, it's back to the church search, and any and all suggestions are welcome. E-mail: dawn -at- dawneden.com .
My blog pal Mark Kellner, who writes for the Washington Times and others, has a post about the Deal Hudson controversy. If you're not aware of the controversy, it's a good introduction; if you are, it's a sensitive perspective from a non-Catholic. I haven't read the National Catholic Reporter article in question, but Kellner's argument, on its own, sounds convincing—especially his questioning whether the Internet should be used to expose people's sins.
Just saw Planned Parenthood's new bus-stop ad for their upcoming New York City march. In case the photo's not clear, the text reads: "Is America pro-choice? Yes! Keep it that way." But take a close look—is it just me, or are they going for the hard sell?
UPDATE: My photo-manipulation was too convincing for some. Here's the real ad.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Just got a helpful e-mail from a reader:
I'm sure you're aware of this, but there are like a ton of broken links at your site.As I mentioned on this page a few days ago, I'm currently switching servers (out of necessity—my old one charged according to transfers, so the more hits I got, the more I paid). As a result, my old in-house links are going to be hit-and-miss for a few days. My tech-support contact (actually a pal who's letting me rent space on his own server, which hosts his NYC entertainment magazine) says it takes a while for other Internet servers to become aware of the new way to access my site.
PS: You look a gazillion times better with your hair short.
If you have trouble reaching a link, please let me know just the same—it helps to have an idea of what problems remain during the switch.
I'm relieved to learn, at any rate, that the problem has nothing to do with my hair.
UPDATE: The links may be more affected by the switch than I thought. I'll know for certain in a day or two, but it looks like I may have to change every single link in this blog's archives that connects to another Dawn Patrol entry—about 300 in all. That'll give me something to do in between copyediting stories about headless bodies in topless bars. It's a just punishment for being so self-referential.
"Cherokee people, Cherokee pride," sang Paul Revere & The Raiders, and now we have another reason to admire that brave tribe: "The Cherokee National Tribal Council voted to clearly define marriage as between a man and a woman."
The vote came after a lesbian Cherokee couple were "married" last week in a tribal ceremony.
Proving that even the pagan religions so exploited by today's New Agers have a sense of right and wrong—what C.S. Lewis called the Tao, or Natural Law that underlies most world faiths—a Cherokee representative says, "If we don't address this, we'll have a flood of same-sex marriages. This will be a black eye on the Cherokee Nation. Even the state of Oklahoma doesn't allow same-sex marriage."
There's something delightful about that last sentence.
The American gay-pride movement decks itself in symbols of heathenism—yet the upholders of the nation's indigenous pagan faith will have nothing to do with it. If even the state of Oklahoma bars same-sex marriage, they say, far be it from them to stoop to such a thing. "Cherokee pride" is well-placed indeed.
My friend Kevin Walsh of Forgotten NY observes with regard to my comments on sex and self-esteem in "Three's a Crowd":
"I have a hard line on this: self-esteem is NOT a right that is violated by an authority figure saying 'no'; self-esteem, and esteem for that matter, is earned and must be RE-earned every day of your life....That's the way it should be. This should be instructed from pre-K days, whether or not it involves sex."
Friday, August 20, 2004
A recent article in Australia's The Age tells the story behind the Animals' classic "The House of the Rising Sun"—including a quote from me about its "arranger," keyboardist Alan Price. My original Price interview may be found among the links at the bottom of my main page, Gaits of Eden.
The press release calling for a "Militant Contingent" at Planned Parenthood's March for Women’s Lives" during the Republican National Convention offers helpful instructions for locating the protest. The militants recommend their fellow travelers, "Look for the 'Pro-Choice By Any Means Necessary' banner!"
I guess that shouldn't be surprising—partial-birth abortion comes first on the group's list of priorities. By any means necessary indeed—including during delivery.
It looks like the dawneden.com server switch is complete; however, my dawn -at- dawneden.com e-mail address is currently unavailable. If you have tried to e-mail me at the dawneden.com address within the past two days and not received a response, please instead e-mail dawneden -at- panix.com . Thanks.
Feeling under the weather this morning, probably not something that'll keep me from going to work today (my "Monday"), but bad enough that I can't write a substantial new blog entry. I'm grateful for your patronage and refer you to six tales from the archives:
- "Game" Marriage (my riff on Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders' biggest hit)
- "Pope" Go the Weasels (on Reuters' misreportage—this was picked up by Best of the Web Today)
- And He Smells Like Vitalis and Barbasol (a rebuttal to Andrew Sullivan's post about male grooming)
The other three are from my inspirational series, "The Truth in Small Things," which is currently on hiatus (though I'm highly susceptible to popular demand):
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Someone commented recently on the caveats I give before publishing obscene language or links to obscene language, so I take it an explanation's in order. I telegraph obscenity for three reasons: (1) I like the idea of having a "family" blog, since one never knows if parents with kids nearby are reading; (2) some adults are offended by profanity; and (3) I know some of my readers are priests, and, since their behavior is under a microscope, I don't want them to have to deal with obscene language turning up in their computer cache.
If you're a parent or priest, or someone who's just offended by profanity, I'd appreciate hearing from you (e-mail: dawneden -at- panix.com) on whether it's necessary for me to telegraph obscene language. For all I know, perhaps such a need is obviated by Internet filters.
I changed the reference a few entries down about chasing the blues with "my first-ever Yorkie bar" experience to specify that it was "my first-ever Yorkie chocolate bar." Even though I like to call myself a recovering Anglophile, I'm apparently still sufficiently Anglocentric to assume that most people know what a Yorkie is—or that they've given as many long, wistful looks at the imported chocolate candy at the deli as I have. But Mom mentioned this afternoon that she saw I had a good time "at the Yorkie bar," so I realized I had to make the change.
NOTICE: I am currently changing Web servers (a long-overdue switch out of necessity—my current server charges according to data-transfer volume). During the next few days, this site or pages on it may be unavailable at times. If you have any problems accessing it, please e-mail me: dawn -at- dawneden.com . Thanks.
Two things that lifted my spirits when I needed a boost last night:
1) My first-ever Yorkie chocolate bar (an English import). Don't believe the slogan (right)—it's reverse psychology.
2) My first-ever mention in Christianity Today, which linked the Dawn Patrol (last link, penultimate paragraph) in its story on "Pro-Abortion Madness."
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Yesterday I revisited chapter 1 of Augustine's City of God and the words took on startling new meaning:
Many are inflamed with hate against [the City of God] and feel no gratitude for the benefits offered by its Redeemer. The benefits are unmistakable; those enemies would not today be able to utter a word against the City if, when fleeing from the sword of their enemy, they had not found, in the City's holy places, the safety on which they now congratulate themselves....Although Augustine was writing about pagans who took refuge in churches during the sack of Rome, his words reminded me of more recent events.
In this way many escaped who now complain of the Christian era, and hold Christ responsible for the disasters which their city endured. But they do not make Christ responsible for the benefits they received out of respect for Christ, to which they owed their lives....
Among those whom you see insulting Christ's servants with such wanton insolence there are very many who came unscathed through that terrible time of massacre only by passing themselves off as Christ's servants. And now with ungrateful pride and impious madness they oppose his name in the perversity of their hearts, so that they may incur the punishment of eternal darkness; but then they took refuge in that name, though with deceitful lips, so that they might continue to enjoy this transitory light.
Right now, the Web is awash in sites urging protesters to "confront" Republicans—or anyone who looks like one—in New York City's streets during the Republican National Convention. These groups typically accuse Republicans of "unrelenting [sic] exploitation of the 9/11 victims while standing on their ashes."
Because these left-wing groups believe that those who disagree with them are Christian (which is often but not always the case, as the many Christian-identifying liberals and nonreligious conservatives would attest), they believe Christianity is evil. It's ironic, when you think about it; we're talking relativists who believe there's no such thing as good and evil—except for those evil Christians. Witness the typical protest poster at left, taken from NoRNCPosters.org, one of the many sites set up to aid protesters in their quest to intimidate Republican visitors.
But let's indulge the RNC protesters and say that these invading Republicans who are "exploiting" 9/11 really are Christians. What were New York City's Christians doing in the wake of 9/11?
I was there and I can tell you. They were leading the relief effort.
The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and churches all over the city (not to mention synagogues, which I likewise doubt the Israel-hating left appreciate) immediately rallied to aid the victims, providing money, food, shelter, and social services to all in need. They gave no political litmus test at the door. They didn't try to "confront" anyone or accuse any victim of "exploiting" the situation. They just did what Christian charities have done for nearly 2000 years—a ministry of charity and protection that dates back to the sack of Rome (and even before that).
No, Christians weren't the only ones helping New Yorkers during that dark time (though it's notable that the Red Cross, which conducted the largest organized relief effort, was founded by a Christian). But the truth remains that hundreds of thousands of distressed city residents, as well as thousands of Ground Zero recovery workers, received aid and solace from people who were acting out of Christian faith—the same faith that the RNC protesters have the gall to deride.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Psalm 114 describes how, "when Israel went out of Egypt," "the sea saw it and fled," and the mountains "skipped like rams."
I try to read the Psalms regularly, but that's one I've usually just skimmed. It didn't have much meaning for me. It just sounded like a poetic image of the sea fleeing and mountains skipping.
In fact, the image of skipping mountains seemed to me like a good thing. I assumed they were doing so because they were happy.
Tonight, looking for a Bible passage that would have something to say about how I was, I found that one. And it hit me for the first time why the mountains were on the move.
They were skipping away.
"Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob," the Psalmist continues. The mountains are obstacles—and their greatest enemy is the mustard seed of faith.
For me, the psalm took on personal meaning, as I thought about a conversation I'd recently had with a friend who was skeptical about my faith. For a number of old friends, I'm just not as much fun as I was when I was a suicidally depressed, promiscuous, unapologetically worldly person who could discuss Sixties pop culture for hours without getting bored. (My time limit is now about 30 minutes—45 if Peter Cook's the subject of conversation.)
My friend got my dander up when he suggested—hopefully, it seemed— that "people change," and so I might well change from my faith.
That kind of insinuation hurts me deeply because I try very hard to live out my faith. I don't pretend to be a perfect witness, but there are certain positive changes that God has made in me that should be obvious to everyone who's known me since before I became a believer in October 1999—especially my dramatic and pronounced recovery from depression.
Certainly, my therapist and shrink noticed the change—even though neither of them were religious, my transformation demanded that they change my clinical diagnosis from "Major Depression" to "Major Depression—In Remission." It's stayed that way for nearly five years. That's one long remission.
But I fear my friend was voicing what a few other old friends of mine, and even my own sister (who expressed her views in Luke Ford's profile of me), quietly believe, if not hope: that I accepted Jesus out of some sort of intellectual/emotional foolishness, and any positive changes in me since then are due merely to "positive thinking."
My first thought when I heard my friend's "people change" suggestion was that I must have failed in my witness. But Psalm 114 tells me that even a godly witness is no guarantee of worldly acceptance—in fact, just the opposite. The world reacts to Jesus like water meeting oil. Of course people who don't want to accept my faith are going to put on blinders rather than see what my faith's done for me. Of course they're going to believe I'd be better off if I thought and acted like them.
The sad thing is, they think they're being loving when they believe that way—and that I'm not when I hold to my deepest convictions.
If you'd like to read about how I came to faith, the story's in the current issue of Gilbert, the G.K. Chesterton magazine, which may be ordered online.
- Nathan, a 20-year-old writer at Spiritus et Sponsa has a stunning entry about what it's like to be a practicing Catholic who feels same-sex attraction. As someone who's been known to go on about my own struggle to be chaste until marriage, I am chastised—as well as inspired—by Nathan's courage and faith.
I know that some editors read my blog. If you're one of them, I hope you'll read Nathan's piece, because I've never seen anything like it and I know it could have a deep effect on others as well.
- The Mighty Barrister, a wonderful blogger whom I just discovered, writes in "The Presence of Evil about the time he had to use a karate stance to save himself from being kidnapped by Scientologists. The entry links to "An Unnecessary Evil," about how the writer, in his teenage years, willfully ignored the Satanism in Black Sabbath lyrics, believing Lester Bangs' claim that the band was in fact Catholic.
Had a lovely time spinning discs at POP GEAR! last Saturday (it's the second Saturday of each month at Rififi—e-mail me for details). Getting positive feedback from one patron makes me a happy DJ, and in this case I got it from two (not counting the sweet young man who expressed his appreciation by dancing throughout my entire one-hour set).
Here's what I played, not in order (save for Senator Bobby—I'd been dying to kick off with that), plus their sources:
Senator Bobby - "Wild Thing" (original Cameo Parkway 45)
The American Breed - "Don't Forget About Me" (Varese Vintage best-of CD)
The Who - "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (BBC Sessions CD)
The Kinks - "Set Me Free" (Kinda Kinks CD)
The Bunch - "Still" (from the John Pantry Right Side Up CD)
The Critters - "Don't Let the Rain Fall Down on Me" (original Kapp 45)
The Fun and Games - "The Grooviest Girl in the World" (Varese 25 All-Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits CD)
Reparata & The Delrons - "Captain of Your Ship" (reissue 45)
The Bunch - "Birthday" (Right Side Up)
Captain Groovy & His Bubblegum Army - "Captain Groovy and His Bubblegum Army" (25 All Time Greatest... again)
Jackie DeShannon - "Needles and Pins" (from a Sony CD I compiled of break-up songs, Have a Nice Life)
Del Shannon - "Move It on Over" (from a Music Club CD I compiled, This Is Del Shannon)
Twiggy - "When I Think of You" (original German Ariola 45)
Jim Valley - "I'm Real" (original Jerden 45)
Gene Clark - "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" (Have a Nice Life)
Dana Gillespie - "Pay You Back With Interest" (compilation You Can Be Wrong About Boys)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "Touch Me, Touch Me" (original U.K. Fontana 45)
Alessandra Cassacia - "Michael e le Sue Pantofole (Michael and the Slipper Tree)" (original Italian Ariston 45—song originally by the Equals)
Lesley Gore - "Off and Running" (Have a Nice Life)
1910 Fruitgum Co. - "Indian Giver" (25 All-Time Greatest...)
Sounds Around - "Red White and You" (Right Side Up)
Jan Panter - "Scratch My Back" (You Can Be Wrong About Boys)
Monday, August 16, 2004
WARNING: This entry exposes what Planned Parenthood's Teenwire Web site is presenting to children. The images and text from Teenwire are offensive and are presented here only because I believe it's necessary in order to give a full impression of what Planned Parenthood, which received a quarter-billion from taxpayers last year, is teaching.
This entry is a visual companion to my July 19 entry "Teenwire's Porn Connection," which detailed how Teenwire, Planned Parenthood's official sex-education site for children age 13 and up, makes it easy for teenagers to buy pornography and sex paraphernalia online.
So, kids, here's how to get from Planned Parenthood Teenwire to an online pornography superstore in just a few easy clicks:
We'll assume you already know how to find Teenwire articles like "Porn Vs. Reality."
Gee, you don't think the site's art department is trying to sexualize teenagers, do you? Of course not! Planned Parenthood believes children should be taught that sex "has intellectual and emotional as well as biological dimensions"—they say so on their site for grown-ups. Far be it for them to tell one thing to their donors and another to teens. That's why Teenwire goes out of its way to depict sweaty, oiled, hard, nude bodies—it's social realism, goldarnit. Besides, Teenwire is confident that if it didn't use an authentic pornographic image, its readers would know the difference.
Scroll down on Teenwire's "Porn Vs. Reality" piece and it instructs the kiddies to click a brightly colored link to an instructional article on pornography on the outside Web site Scarleteen.
Unlike other links from the site, clicking on the Scarleteen link will not bring up a message saying, "You are now leaving Teenwire." In fact, the Teenwire page remains on the screen—the Scarleteen link opens directly into a new window.
But why read the article when you can visit the "Scarleteen Shop"? (I've highlighted the link.) Just one click and...
You're on a page with information about how to order condoms and lubricant, plus a link to Scarleteen's "partners" (which I've circled).
Before I continue, remember that from here on, teenagers are already in a shop where they can purchase condoms, dental dams, and lubricants, receiving them in unmarked packages, without any advice or instruction from a parent or health-care professional. The teens can also purchase Scarleteen editor Hanne Blank's book "Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them," featuring "detailed and realistic information on...partner-finding, sexual positions and activities, [and] resources for toys."
But what's behind that "partners" link? Clicking it leads to...
...a big fat link to "Toys in Babeland," a "sex toy store" with "top quality products." That should be enough to pique a teen's curiosity. Again, remember that the younger range of Planned Parenthood Teenwire's audience starts at 13. Anything you see from here on could easily be discovered by a 13-year-old child via Teenwire. The child would have every reason to believe the pages and the products they advertise are safe and healthy, since they come recommended by Planned Parenthood's site.
And so, clicking on "Toys in Babeland," your 13-year-old daughter discovers...
...this. Leave it to Planned Parenthood to "educate" teens.
Just so there's no confusion: I realize that Teenwire does not directly link to Toys in Babeland. But in linking to Scarleteen, a site—founded by erotica writers—that sells Toys in Babeland's products, Planned Parenthood shows blatant disregard for children's health and safety...not to mention the laws of 42 states.
Toys in Babeland, you see, contrary to the vast majority of states' laws, does not require its customers to show proof of age. So Teenwire gives its readers an easy way to buy all manner of pornography and sexual paraphernalia, without an adult's ever having to know. Hey, kiddies, can you spell l-a-w-s-u-i-t?
But don't think Teenwire is entirely insensible to its readers' need for adult guidance. Just as Teenwire refers its readers to Scarleteen's course in, ahem, art appreciation, so Scarleteen refers its readers to Toys in Babeland, where one click on the bottom of the main page (the one pictured above) brings up a site map filled with links to "How-To" courses:
But even this is no more offensive than a typical Teenwire "Ask the Experts" column. No wonder Planned Parenthood has proudly directed 13-year-olds to Scarleteen for the past two years.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing is the liberal sex-ed advocacy organization SIECUS's means of rallying religious leaders to such causes as abortion rights and "full inclusion of women and sexual minorities in congregational life, including their ordination and the blessing of same sex unions." (I like that "sexual minorities" euphemism—a convenient umbrella term for anyone who's not a mere man or woman.) These are the initiatives that the institute calls "sexual justice."
How appropriate, then, to see the large letters atop the institute's list of links, advertising "DEMONINATIONAL SUPPORT FOR SEXUAL JUSTICE." "Demon-i'-nation"—that's what I call truth in advertising.
My blogger pal Charles, who hails from the mythical town of Dustbury, Oklahoma, reviews the latest rock-criticism book to which I've contributed, Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics. I forgot that the book includes a reference to Jim Morrison as "the Ashton Kutcher* of his time."
*Does not merit bold type.
Too tired to write anything serious tonight, as I went out after work with a friend who was in from out of town, and we ran the Dunleavy gauntlet to get into Langan's. The legendary columnist, along with a sweet young woman, was blocking the entrance as though he owned the place (I think most people would agree he does). He did rise to greet me, and I thought he said, "Hi, Dawn." But I don't think he really knows my name, so it was probably just the way he pronounces "Darling." Told that my friend was in the music biz, he warbled an Antonio Carlos Jobim tune that he said demanded to be reissued.
A short while after my friend and I made it inside, Micky Dolenz entered with a small retinue, fresh from performing in "Aida." I had one drink, which I discovered is really more than enough at Langan's, at least for a lightweight like me—and was certainly enough to give me the chutzpah to approach a Dolenz pal on the pretext that my friend was someone Micky should know. (It was indeed chutzpah; my friend was quite happy to be anonymous to the former Monkee, who had planted himself a mere 10 feet away.)
Dolenz's buddy brought me and my friend over and we got to chat briefly with Micky, who looked great and was very gracious. I thought of bringing up my one connection with him—Harry Nilsson—but I didn't want to bring down the tone by mentioning someone Dolenz loved who had passed on. So I calmly soaked in his presence—too calmly, I thought. It made me wistful to imagine how overwhelmed my 17-year-old self would have been at that moment.
And in case you read my Gawker interview, I did not tell him how I approved of his Ringo-esque use of match grip. I don't do things like that now that "I'm a believer." Harrumph.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Note to readers who just discovered this blog via my Gawker interview: I've just returned from vacation and am catching up with the news, so my entries of the past few days are a bit more diarylike than usual. The kinds of entries you'll normally find here are more along the lines of investigative-reporting efforts like "Teenwire's Porn Connection" and faith-fueled first-person pieces like "Sixteen Again."
Spotted (from a safe distance) at the Beaconsfield cemetery, where G.K. Chesterton's body lies beneath a bag-free headstone.
Continued from yesterday's post:
Christian witness generally means telling non-Christians, or nonobservant Christians, the Good News of Jesus Christ. When I accepted Jesus, I thought that I would never again have to endure a Christian's telling me what I had to do to be saved.
I was wrong.
Most of my fellow tourgoers on the "Chesterton Pilgrimage" to England went out of their way to make me feel comfortable, knowing that, as a non-Catholic there, I was in a minority of one. But a few of them (I'd say five out of 25) tried to witness to me—with embarrassing results.
I realize that Catholics believe that theirs is the only religion that has the "keys to the kingdom." For them, as with other Christians, witnessing their faith is an act of loving concern.
But there is a fine art of witnessing—and often the best witness is simply to exhibit the fruits of one's faith. When my fellow Chesterton pilgrims would give me the hard sell, or comment that they "knew" I was "on the path" to Catholicism, the message I got was that I was that my accepting Jesus five years ago mattered not at all. The fact that I didn't pledge allegiance in Rome meant I was effectively still a mere Jew, incomplete, just half a person.
It was with references to my Jewish background that those few witnessing tourgoers approached me. They would recommend I read the writings of St. Edith Stein—a Jewish convert who was murdered by the Nazis—or tell me about the Hebrew Catholic movement, which attempts to integrate Jews into the church while encouraging them to retain their cultural identity.
Imagine a black Christian woman who loves holy places and admires Jewish thought, visiting a synagogue. As she admires the art and architecture, she's greeted by a solicitous Jewish man who says, "Have you heard of Sammy Davis Jr.? You really should read his autobiography."
I felt terrible, because these well-intentioned people were trying to reach me the only way they knew how, and the end result was that I was more alienated than ever.
On Day 6 of the Chesterton Pilgrimage, Sussex, the stomping grounds of Chesterton pal Hilaire Belloc, was on the itinerary, along with a lecture on Belloc.
In 1911, Belloc wrote in the Eye-Witness (as quoted in Michael Ffinch's G.K. Chesterton: A Biography):
Now unless the Jewish race is to be absorbed and disappear in the mass of European blood and tradition surrounding it, that contrast and its consequent friction will increase in the near future until their worst fruit shall have ripened: a fruit of oppression, injustice, and enduring hatred.I decided to give the Belloc excursion a miss.
Instead, I spent the day with my dear old friend Vince Miller (with me at left), whom I hadn't seen since we last shared a euphoric eel hand-roll experience six years ago. He took me on a country drive, visiting thrift shops, a used bookstore, and a vinyl-record store that stocked used 45s. Heaven! We also watched Alec Guinness and Ernie Kovacs in the wonderful "Our Man in Havana," written by Chesterton fan Graham Greene.
On the last full day of the tour, this past Sunday, we had some free time in London, so I took the long-awaited opportunity to see John Carter (right) for the first time in five years. John ranks in my book as one of the greatest pop songwriters of the rock era (and a fine singer too). His classic compositions include "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat," "Little Bit of Soul," and "Beach Baby."
John gave me the exciting news that the 1967 hit version of his song "My World Fell Down" by the group Sagittarius was sampled by U.K. superstars the Prodigy on their upcoming album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. The song's intro is used as the basis for a track called "Shoot Down," which features Oasis brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher. I'm no Prodigy fan, but if they're going to sample someone—and pay royalties—it couldn't happen to a more deserving songwriter.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Many thanks to Gawker's Andrew Krucoff for the wonderful and very funny interview he did with me in today's edition of that saucy site.
I have two headlines on Page 3 of the first edition of today's paper. For a story on the separated twins seeing one another for the first time: "Miracle tots' first-ever twin peeks." For one on a woman whose divorce bid was denied because of her continued sex life with her husband: "Bedder for worse."
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Glad to see that Kathryn Lopez at National Review's The Corner and Michele Catalano of A Small Victory have picked up on Planned Parenthood Teenwire's "Does Size Matter" rulers. I was hoping that others would pick up that story when I wrote about it three months ago.
UPDATE, 8/12/04: Lopez continues to alert readers to Teenwire's outrages and has very kind words for this here blog.
Catching up on some blog entries I missed during my vacation:
I'm back from Blighty and have much to tell—with photos aplenty—but right now must get sleep. Watch this space for a longer entry this afternoon.
In the meantime, here's a shot of me in my friend Vince's Bedfordshire garden, delighted to find some lupins—the favored flower of the classic Monty Python highwayman "Dennis Moore" (right).
Sunday, August 1, 2004
The following entry originally appeared last September 27. The "eye operation" link will take you to an article I wrote for the Forward.
Dessert's On Me
Well, what can I say?
This is me at nine months, in June 1969. Apparently some generous grown-up had handed me a slice of cake.
When I was a kid, I hated this photo. I think perhaps its coffee stains and other mysterious blotches come from childhood attempts to destroy it. Now I finally think it's cute. At the very least, it shows how blessed I am that, a few months after it was taken, my parents took me in for an eye operation, saving me from having to go through life looking like Ben Turpin.