The Thinking 
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Browsing posts from April, 2012

Dan Savage Stands by His Remarks

April 30, 2012

 

WHY WAS Dan Savage, the sick personality behind the It Gets Better Projectspeaking to a convention of high school journalists last week? Leave aside his hateful comments to students about the “bullsh*t in the Bible,” why was he even there? The answer is, he had to be there. If not him, someone very much like him. Our schools are irreversibly committed to promoting homosexuality in the name of equality, and the absence of an explicitly pro-homosexual message at the convention would have been glaring.

Savage stands by his comments at the gathering, according to CNN. Why shouldn’t he? After all, he has the support of the president of the United States. What does he have to lose?

The message of It Gets Better is that homosexuality gets better with time. The purpose of It Gets Better, which Obama warmly endorses, is that teenagers should endure the difficulties of being openly homosexual. It Gets Better is probably the most open and effective mass homosexual recruitment project ever conceived.

Given the criticism of Savage, perhaps the homosexual at next year’s convention will be more polite.

Read More »

 

Van Gogh Flowers

April 30, 2012

 

 

Blossoming Almond Tree, Vincent van Gogh (1890)

VINCENT van Gogh painted  “Blossoming Almond Tree” as a gift to his brother Theo on the occasion of the birth of his son, on Jan. 31, 1890. Theo named the baby after van Gogh, who wrote to his mother:

“How glad I was when the news came… I should have greatly preferred him to call the boy after Father, of whom I have been thinking so much these days, instead of after me; but seeing it has now been done, I started right away to make a picture for him, to hang in their bedroom, big branches of white almond blossom against a blue sky.”

This painting is hard to see fresh because it is so often reproduced, and because of the inadequacy of computer images, but in person the background sky of turquoise, the different shades of pink, the twisting, thick lower branch with its flat, abstract quality are arresting. It is intensely joyful. “Blossoming Almond Tree” shows the influence of the Japanese art that Van Gogh studied and collected. It conveys the exuberance and delicacy of spring, but also an unsettling quality in its groping branch.

In van Gogh, rapture and absorption in nature alternate with despair and confinement. He once wrote to his sister that he wished to convert everything ugly in himself into physical beauty on canvas. He killed himself a few months after “Blossoming Almond Tree” was painted.

 

Graffiti in Ancient Times

April 29, 2012

 

THOMAS F. BERTONNEAU writes:

As this rare documentary footage reports, the graffiti problem is an ancient one, by no means peculiar to contemporary modernity. Older civilizations, such as the Roman, had to deal with it, and, as opposed either to tolerating or encouraging it, found effective means to curb its profligacy.

 

Out of the Convent and Into the Cultural Revolution

April 29, 2012

 

IN 1966, Pope Paul VI urged all Catholics who had taken religious vows to “to examine and renew their way of life and towards that end to engage in wide-ranging experimentation.” The wide-ranging experimentation that ensued was a full-blown disaster.

Thousands of nuns picked up and left. Many more who might have taken vows, never did. Over the course of the next four decades, the total number of women religious dropped by more than two thirds. With the abandonment of the traditional habit, the mystical threads fell away. Shorn of their ceremonial dress, nuns became distinguishable by their manly haircuts and bustling efficiency. They became social workers and political activists. Lesbianism and feminism swept through convents. These led, after interminable delay, to recent disciplinary measures by the Vatican against the largest organization of women religious, as discussed in the previous post.

Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow were the leading proponents of “third force psychology” in the 60s. Maslow said in 1949, “I can report empirically the healthiest persons in our culture … are most (not least) pagan, most (not least) instinctive, most (not least ) accepting of their animal nature.” In his book Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Poltical Control, E. Michael Jones describes the role of the self-actualizing theories of Rogers, Maslow and others on women religious.

Jones writes:

In 1965, Carl Rogers began circulating a paper entitled “The Process of the Basic Encounter Group” to some religious orders in the Los Angeles area. One group which found his ideas intriguing was the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Read More »

 

The Vatican and the Leftist Nuns

April 29, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON VINCENZO writes:

In January, 2009, the Vatican announced that an Apostolic Visitation would be made to inquire about the state of “women religious” in the U.S. What this generally means is that Vatican clerics or their representatives are directed by members of papal “dicastries” or departments to investigate charges of serious and on-going irregularities in any Catholic organizational structure. The Vatican’s rationale for this particular visit was that for decades the traditional idea of “sisters religious” (the term “nun” is usually applied only to cloistered sisters, but often the words are used interchangeably) were arbitrarily discarding their religious duties for what they called their “social ministry.”

Two months after the announcement, Sister (Sr.) Sandra M. Schneiders (center photo), Professor of New Testament Studies and Christ Spirituality at the Jesuit School in Berkeley, California, in a comment to The National Catholic Reporter said that: Nuns should receive the representative of Rome politely and kindly for what they are, uninvited guests, who should be received in the parlor, but not given the run of the house.

Welcome to the new world of women religious! Read More »

 

Graffiti, on Buildings and Bodies

April 28, 2012

 

BEN writes:

Alan wrote: “I suggest that “graffiti” is a word so drenched in mendacity that we should abandon it entirely. It is a buzzword favored not by decent men and women or by those who produce Art worthy of that name, but by Modernist Art racketeers and their flunkeys. Spray-paint vandalism is and should always be treated and described as a criminal act, not as any kind of “art.””

I’ll second that. In one of my classes at college the professor said something about tagging and graffiti being a form of art. I responded saying that only when done where it is welcome could it be considered art. Read More »

 

The Imminent Implosion of a Society of Zombies

April 28, 2012

 

I WAS TALKING with a friend yesterday about the likelihood that, in the not-too-distant future, we will be witnessing the almost total breakdown of our economy. And then, in a case of synchronicity, I came across this remarkable essay in The Remnant by John C. Médaille, who examines the economic and cultural causes for this imminent collapse, and advocates that we approach it not with horror but with hope. He writes:

[T]he fear right now is of a general economic and social collapse.

Are these fears justified? I believe they are. Indeed, I do not believe that constitutional government, or such of it that remains to us, will survive to the end of the decade, and that the Union, and the world with it, will not fracture into many pieces. And if that is the case, then the great question for the readers of this journal is, “What’s a Remnant to do?”

What I wish to do here is to examine the causes of the coming collapse and the shape it might take, and then to examine the resources the remnant can bring to the world. And most especially, I want to examine the one factor that makes this collapse unique in all of history, and that is the presence of the zombies, and I want to answer the question posed by popular culture, namely, “Will there be any zombies?”

Read More »

 

A Movie Theater With a Dress Code

April 27, 2012

 

ALAN writes:

Many excellent points were made in the recent discussions, here and here, of proper dress. I contribute this additional example:

In 1957, the manager of a motion picture theatre in North Tonawanda, New York, was plagued with rowdy behavior by youngsters dressed in leather jackets, blue jeans, shorts, and boots. So he decided to enforce a dress code. All people who wanted to see movies in his theatre had to be properly dressed before they would be admitted into the theatre. Read More »

 

Boy Kicked Off Team

April 26, 2012

 

NATASSIA writes:

I am sure you will find the humor in this news article. I certainly did. This boy began playing for the girls’ varsity high school field hockey team when he was 11 or 12 years old. And now that he is dominating the team (probably thanks to the onset of puberty), he is being removed. So much for equality, eh? Read More »

 

Cardinal Pell on Adam and Eve

April 26, 2012

 

IN A debate this week with the atheist Richard Dawkins, Cardinal George Pell of Australia stated that Adam and Eve are entirely mythical, homosexual unions are acceptable and atheists can go to heaven. At The Remnant, Michael J. Matt writes: Read More »

 

The Anti-Feminist Prophecies of Henry James

April 26, 2012

 

Henry James, 1890

 

ARETE writes:

Thank you so much for your recommendation of Henry James’s novel The Bostonians (also discussed here, herehere and here.) I just finished it and I am reeling. I partly read it and partly listened to it through Librivox while I did my housework. I highly recommend Librivox to all my friends and you might pass that on to your readers and other “thinking housewives” whose hands are busy at their work.

It was these lines that struck me the most from the first book, end of chapter 20:

[T]he very essence of the feminine lot was a monstrous artificial imposition, crying aloud for redress. She [Olive] was willing to admit that women, too, could be bad; that there were many about the world who were false, immoral, vile. But their errors were as nothing to their sufferings; they had expiated, in advance, an eternity, if need be, of misconduct. [….]men must take their turn, men must pay!

For a long time now, I have thought that feminism has at its heart a rejection of the idea of virtue (and well that makes sense as virtue comes from the Latin for man.) For instance, humility is not something that a woman is supposed to have anymore – only men are supposed to be humble. Nor are women (according to feminism) supposed to be modest or kind or patient, but men are. In short, women have already been “virtuous enough” and they might sin heartily, egregiously, as they have already” expiated in advance an eternity of misconduct.” And to look around us I suppose we have entered into that brave new world now: into the “eternity of misconduct.” Now, thanks to feminism, women can behave badly without shame. Read More »

 

From Slothful to Stylish

April 26, 2012

 

AT Camera Lucida, Kidist Paulos Asrat has a long post on how to improve the visual environment. She advocates starting with one’s own appearance: Avoid sneakers, sweatshirts and many other parts of the drab uniform of modern life. She writes:

[T]he interesting thing about aesthetics is that it doesn’t require “equality” to function in any and all levels of life. The young shop girl can look beautiful (or at least aesthetically pleasing) and can borrow her ideas form the wealthy socialite to form her own pleasant look. Also, when beauty is around, even in limited quantities, everyone benefits. A beautiful statue in park is for everyone to appreciate. A beautiful lady glimpsed at in her car (in a store, a restaurant, etc.) makes people happy, including the lowly shop girl. Beauty does make the world a better place, I’m convinced.

 

With Memories of a Mother’s Devotion

April 25, 2012

 

DEAR Laura Wood,

I’m a little bit ashamed of myself because I often thought to write and say thank you for your website, your time, and your work. The young French man beat me to it. His letter greatly moved me.

My heart goes out to traditional women. I know that traditional women are under a lot of pressure to turn “liberated.” They are actually treated worse than the “horrible” white man is today, which is saying a lot. Read More »

 

April 25, 2012

 

 

Paolo and Francesca, Ingres

 

 

More on Ann Romney

April 25, 2012

 

PAUL writes:

How could anything Ann Romney said in her speech Monday in any way be thought of as a retort to the feminist idea that women do not belong at home raising their children? It is not a retort but a full acceptance of feminism. Mitt Romney is going to get more and more liberal and lose.

His wife is not using a feminist goal against feminists. The feminist goal is not equality, as some assume. Read More »