16 February 2010

Bloody 'ell yeah!

Since I had the day off and all that, I got up late this morning and had tea and toast.  Took me all the way back to London a year ago.  The only unfortunate part about it all is I'm not sure where my pot of Marmite is so I had to settle for spreading rasberry preserves on my toast instead.  C'est la vie.  That and I need to get my hands on a decent teapot and loose tea.  One more thing to add to my list of things to do.

15 February 2010

Daily Quotation

If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will!  I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace!  I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have.  O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget:  yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day:  then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
~ William Shakespeare - Henry V ~

14 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Hear me, and I will show you who they are, over whom the devil can prevail.  For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil has power.
~ Saint Raphael the Archangel - Tobit 6.16 & 17 ~

13 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Home in the valley,  
Home in the city,  
Home isn't pretty. 
Ain't no home for me.  

Home in the darkness,  
Home on the highway,  
Home isn't my way. 
Home, I'll never be.

~ Blue Öyster Cult - Burnin' For You ~

12 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Now, if you can master a slap like that, there's no need for your clients to hold back.  They will open up like a fountain, full of words.  No need for strong violence, no, no.  They're transported back to their childhood, putty in your hands.  Ask Bandy--look, thinks he's back at school...  Now, if a slap don't work you cut him or you pay him but you keep the receipts 'cause this ain't the Mafia. 
~ Mark Strong as Archy - RocknRolla ~

11 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced.  Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks....

Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth.  I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone had had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom.  I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
~ Albert Einstein as quoted in TIME - Religion:  German Martyrs ~

10 February 2010

Daily Quotation

What is envy?  Unfortunately most people use the word wrongly as a synonym for jealously [sic].  But jealously [sic] is not the same as envy.  When I am jealous of you, you have something I want and I wish to possess it inordinately.  But the key point is that there is somehting good about you or something good you have and I want to have it for myself.  When jealousy is sinful I want it inordinately or unreasonably.  But envy is very different.  Envy is sorrow, sadness or anger at the goodness or excellence of someone else because I take it to lessen my own excellence.  But the key difference with envy is that (unlike jealousy) I do not want to posses the good or excellence you have.  I want to destroy it


[T]here is an odd form of envy out there that is particularly annoying because it masquerades as sensitivity and kindness.  Go with me to a typical neighbordood soccer game or baseball game.  The children are on the field and playing their hearts out.  But on the sidelines a decision has been made not to keep score.  Why?  Because the kids [sic] little egos might be damaged by losing.  Frankly, it isn't the egos of the children we're protecting here, it is the parents.  The fact it [sic] that the kids know the score in most cases.  But God forbid that on the sports field there should be winners or losers!  The losers might "feel bad."  The solution is to destroy or to refuse to acknowledge goodness and excellence in some children because it is taken to lessen the goodness or excellence of the "losers."  This is envy and it teaches terrible things by omission.  First of all it fails to teach that there are winners and losers in life.  This is a fact.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.  Either way I should be gracious.  Secondly, it fails to reward excellence and this is unjust for excellence should be rewarded and the reward should motivate others to be excellent.  Much is lost when we fail to praise what is good.  Another example of this envious practice is at school award ceremonies where sometimes (literally) hundred [sic] of awards are given out.  There are the traditional Honor Roll awards but then a plethora of made up awards so that everyone gets something.  I've even witnessed awards given for the nicest smile.  But the problem is that when every on is awarded no one is awarded.  Once again envy rears it [sic] ugly head but this time it's wearing a smiley face.  God forbid that some kids [sic] little ego might be bruised it [sic] he doesn't get something.  God forbid that someone else's excellence might make me look less excellent by comparison.  The bottom line is that it is envy:  sorrow at someone else's excellence because I take it to lessen my own.  And frankly this isn't the kids [sic] issue, it's usually parents and teachers projecting their own struggle with envy on the kids.  But the fact is, there are simply some people who are better than I am a [sic] certain things.  But that's OK.  I don't have all the gifts, you don't have all the gifts.  But together we have all the gifts. 

Envy is ugly, even when it masquerades as kindness.  It diminishes and often seeks to destroy goodness and excellence.  The proper response to excellence and goodness is and should always be joy and zeal. 
~ Monsignor Charles Pope - The Evil of Envy ~

09 February 2010

Daily Quotation

So too it is often implied that all discrimination is unjust.  But everyone discriminates regularly and discrimination is essential to every society and especially societies which cherish freedom.

We all choose our friends and society imprisons criminals.  The best students are chosen for demanding university courses and only our best athletes represent Australia.

The practice of groups, including churches employing staff who support their aims does not need "and exemption" in law, but the protection of the basic right to freedom of choice and association, and to religious freedom.

Much discrimination is just.  No one claims the Labor Party must employ Liberal Party staffers.
~ Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney - Capturing the Language ~

08 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Esquire magazine, if you don't know, it's like Maxim, but for an older, classier bunch of creepy guys.
~ Craig Ferguson - The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson ~

07 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Thus amongst the blessings of marriage, the child holds the first place.  And indeed the Creator of the human race Himself, Who in His goodness wishes to use men as His helpers in the propagation of life, taught this when, instituting marriage in Paradise, He said to our first parents, and through them to all future spouses:  "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth."  As St. Augustine admirably deduces from the words of the holy Apostle Saint Paul to Timothy when he says:  "The Apostle himself is therefore a witness that marriage is for the sake of generation:  'I wish,' he says, 'young girls to marry.'  And, as if someone said to him, 'Why?,' he immediately adds:  'To bear children, to be mothers of families'."
~ Pope Pius XI - Casti Connubii ~

06 February 2010

Daily Quotation

He's old fashioned, very old fashioned.  The kind of guy who doesn't belong in this day and age.
~ Jet Black - Cowboy Bebop Session # 16:  Black Dog Serenade ~

05 February 2010

Daily Quotation

Avoid corporate buzzwords such as "paradigm" and "synergy."  Simply use "bullshit."
~ Fake AP Stylebook ~

04 February 2010

Daily Quotation

If, indeed, we all have a kind of appetite for eternity, we have allowed ourselves to be caught up in a society that frustrates our longing at every turn.  Half our inventions are advertised to save time--the washing machine, the fast car, the jet flight--but for what?  Never were people more harried by time:  by watches, by buzzers, by time clocks, by precise schedules, by the beginning of the programme.  There is, in fact, some truth in 'the good old days':  no other civilisation of the past was ever so harried by time.

And yet, why not?  Time is our natural environment.  We live in time as we live in the air we breathe.  And we love the air--who has not taken deep breaths of pure, fresh country air, just for the pleasure of it?  How strange that we cannot love time.  It spoils our loveliest moments.  Nothing quite comes up to expectations because of it.  We alone:  animals, so far as we can see, are unaware of time, untroubled.  Time is their natural environment.  Why do we sense that it is not ours?

C. S. Lewis, in his second letter to me at Oxford, asked how it was that I, as a product of a materialistic universe, was not at home there.  'Do fish complain of the sea being wet?  Or if they did, would that fact itself not strongly suggest that they had not always been, or wd. not always be, purely aquatic creatures?'  Then, if we complain of time and take such joy in seemingly timeless moments, what does that suggest?

It suggests that we have not always been or will not always be purely temporal creatures.  It suggests that we were created for eternity.  Not only are we harried by time, we seem unable, despite a thousand generations, even to get used to it.  We are always amazed at it--how fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of it is gone.  Where, we cry, has the time gone?  We aren't adapted to it, not at home in it.  If that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.
~ Sheldon Vanauken - A Severe Mercy ~

03 February 2010

Daily Quotation

I studied the Koran a great deal, mainly because of our position vis-à-vis the Muslim populations of Algeria and throughout the Near East.  I must tell you that I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Mohammed.  As far as I can see, it is the principle cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world, and, though it is less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion infinitely more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself.
~ Alexis de Tocqueville as quoted by André Jardin - Tocqueville:  A Biography ~

02 February 2010

Daily Quotation

But there were still irritants to plague him, and one of the most grating was seated across from him in the coach.  Commander Scott, head of the garrison of Fort Charles and self-appointed guardian of courtly good manners, brushed an invisible speck of dust from his uniform and said, "I trust Your Excellency enjoyed an excellent evening, and is even now in good spirits for the morning's exercises."

"I slept well enough," Sir James said abruptly.  For the hundredth time, he thought to himself how much more hazardous life was in Jamaica when the commander of the garrison was a dandy and a fool, instead of a serious military man.
~ Michael Crichton - Pirate Latitudes ~

01 February 2010

Daily Quotation

What Appreciative pleasure foreshadows is not so quickly described.

First of all, it is the starting point for our whole experience of beauty.  It is impossible to draw a line below which such pleasures are 'sensual' and above which they are 'aesthetic.'  The experiences of the expert in claret already contain elements of concentration, judgement, and disciplined perceptiveness, which are not sensual; those of the musician still contain elements which are.  There is no frontier--there is seamless continuity--between the sensuous pleasure of garden smells and an enjoyment of the countryside (or 'beauty') as a whole, or even our enjoyment of the painters and poets who treat it.

And, as we have seen, there is in these pleasures from the very beginning a shadow or a dawn of, or an invitation to, disinterestedness.  Of course in one way we can be disinterested or unselfish, and far more heroically so, about the Need-pleasures:  it is a cup of water that the wounded Sidney sacrifices to the dying soldier.  But that is not the sort of disinterestedness I now mean.  Sidney loves his neighbour.  But in Appreciative pleasures, even at their lowest, and more and more as they grow up into the appreciation of all beauty, we get something that we can hardly help calling love and hardly help calling disinterested, towards the object itself.  It is the feeling which would make a man unwilling to deface a great picture even if he were the last man left alive and himself about to die; which makes us glad of unspoiled forests that we shall never see; which makes us anxious that the garden or bean-field should continue to exist.  We do not merely like the things; we pronounce them, in a momentarily God-like sense, 'very good.'

And now our principle of starting at the lowest--without which 'the highest does not stand'--begins to pay a dividend.  It has revealed to me a deficiency in our previous classification of the loves into those of Need and those of Gift.  There is a third element in love, no less important than these, which is foreshadowed by our Appreciative pleasures.  This judgement that the object is very good, this attention (almost homage) offered to it as a kind of debt, this wish that it should be and should continue what it is even if we were never to enjoy it, can go out not only to things but to persons.  When it is offered to a woman we call it admiration; when to a man, hero-worship; when to God, worship simply.

Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says:  'We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.'  Need-love says of a woman 'I cannot live without her'; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection--if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.
~ C. S. Lewis - The Four Loves ~