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"Generous deed should not be checked by cold counsel." (Tolkien's Return of the King)

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30 May 2006

The English Catholics

Earlier this month, the House of Lords blocked a bill to legalize assisted suicides by a vote of 148-100 after a seven hour debate. "The outcome was seen as a victory for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, which in March began one of the largest campaigns in its modern history to prevent the bill from becoming law" (Catholic New York, May 25, 2006, p.13). "Hundreds of people--including terminally ill patients--who opposed the legislation protested outside the House of Lords during the debate. Earlier that day a petition against the bill, signed by 100,000 people, was delivered to the Prime Minister Tony Blair's residence."

Bravo, Brittania.

24 May 2006

Read it and weep

Well, here we are at the second weekend for the box-office to redeem itself after the DVC topped it last week when it opened world-wide. Dropped a bit... why? Well, the New Yorker's Anthony Lane offers some comments... Read it and weep. Weep, as in cry, as in tears coming to your eyes for laughing so hard!


23 May 2006

Like recognizes like

Dominus illuminatio mea ~ University of Oxford
Deus lux mea est ~ Catholic University of America

Photo of Magdalen College quad © M. Datiles 2005-2010.

22 May 2006

The Da Vinci Code...Invading the culture?

Whirlwind from Cannes to LA to Hong Kong. Per-plunking from top o' the box office to just about the same level as Over the Hedge, the notorious (or notoriously cheesy?) Da Vinci Code film dished up for us by Ron and Tom seems to be fading from the lime-light. Well, not too sure about that but only time will tell.

Despite the terribly awful (at times, biting and harsh) reviews from our friends at Cannes, people still obediently stand in line at the local Regal to get their ticket to see a bunch of "hooey" (as Tom Hanks referred to it).

More about the DVC later... Multiple blogs, sites and articles floating around the web are devoted to this scintillating topic. More specifically, the 'dupification' of the American mind. No joke. Here's an excellent site to look the DVC in the face with a light-hearted approach.

20 May 2006

What's in a name...

For he had spoken a name, a name that was so familiar to me, a conjuror's name of such ancient power that at its mere sound, the phantoms of all those haunted late years began to take flight.

-- Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited

13 May 2006

As my whimsy takes me

Lord Peter Wimsey (Peter Death Bredon Wimsey, younger son of the 15th Duke of Denver) is the beloved literary creation of the inimitable Dorothy L. Sayers, one of the first women to receive an Oxford degree.

Wimsey will always be the epitome of pre-war Englishness, if there is such a creature. Polished and kind, possessing that rare blend of natural courtesy, superior self-control, and, as L. Martin described it, "an over-educated intellect." Here we are, then, in the same era as Bertie Wooster, Chariots of Fire... in a word, the "Long Weekend" of the world between the wars. Lord Peter was a man of his times, inextricably so.

(Wimsey Coat of Arms image from www.corkscrew-balloon.com with permission)

01 May 2006

...a prayer, an ancient, newly-learned form of words, and left, turning towards the camp; and as I walked back (...) I thought: The builders did not know the uses to which their work would descend; they made a new house with the stones of the old castle; year by year, generation after generation, they enriched and extended it; year by year the great harvest of timber in the park grew to ripeness; until, in sudden frost, came the age of Hooper; the place was desolate and the work all brought to nothing; Quomodo sedet sola civitas. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. And yet... that is not the last word; it is not even an apt word; it is a dead word from ten years back. Something quite remote from anything the builders intended, has come out of their work, and out of the fierce little human tragedy in which I played; something none of us thought about at the time; a small red flame--a beaten-copper lamp of deplorable design relit before the beaten-copper doors of a tabernacle; the flame which the old knights saw from their tombs, which they saw put out; that flame burns again for other soldiers, far from home, farther, in heart, than Acre or Jerusalem. It could not have been lit but for the builders and the tragedians, and there I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones. (Excerpt from Waugh's Brideshead Revisited)