Miscellaneous Meanderings on the signs of the times (Vol. 10, No. 113)
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
September 1, 2019
~Think about it: If men were as large as trees – i.e. giants – they wouldn’t be able to fit into cars.
~If cars were people, they’d run on gender fluid.
~We’ve gone from man as a “cog in the machine” (Think of the factory scene in Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPSK4zZtzLI) to, with automation, “machines without men” (Think of robots).
~On August 4, 2019, after the mass shootings in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX James Martin, S.J. tweeted “Gun Control is a Pro-Life Issue” (see https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1157975187914145792). My response: So is putting air in your tires. If everything’s a “pro-life” issue, nothing is.
~Another Twitter user tweeted snarkingly: “I hope there are enough thoughts and prayers left over from yesterday to do nothing today. #daytonshooter #elpaso”. My response: Prayer is action.
~The statement of Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich on the two shootings in early August is the usual stuff about – no surprise! – “gun violence” (see https://www.archchicago.org/statement/-/article/2019/08/04/statement-of-cardinal-blase-j-cupich-archbishop-of-chicago-on-this-weekend-s-tragedies). The bishops simply parrot the secular culture’s language because they largely accept it. How about we speak of “criminals’ gun violence”?
~“Archbishop, Catholic schools office release bold vision to ‘unleash our Catholic schools'” (see https://detroitcatholic.com/news/mike-stechschulte/archbishop-catholic-schools-office-release-bold-vision-to-unleash-our-catholic-schools-audio). I didn’t know our schools were “leashed” all these years. But nonetheless I welcome the effort this article describes.
~“Farewell, Catholicism: let me explain” (see https://alannaboudreau.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/farewell-catholicism-let-me-explain/). This is becoming a common genre of writing. It makes solipsism seem tame by comparison.
~Here’s the kind of robots that we can support: Meet Moxi who doesn’t replace humans/nurses, but assists them with certain mundane tasks (see https://www.fastcompany.com/90372204/a-hospital-introduced-a-robot-to-help-nurses-they-didnt-expect-it-to-be-so-popular).
~The connection between objective truth and moral goodness and objective reality, on the one hand, and the existence of God, on the other, is one that we should explore more often.
~Old people ask the young what they do or did. Young people ask the old – especially their parents, who remain largely a mystery to them – who they are.
~Written or spoken words that other people don’t like are a “rant.” Words you like, however, are expressions of righteous anger.
~The transgender b.s. is now hitting the obituary pages: e.g., using the pronoun “they” for “she” (see https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/freep/obituary.aspx?n=ian-galli&pid=193607524). It’s truly sad and ridiculous.
~Catholicism is a dramatic religion or faith in the sense that before birth, during birth, and after birth – and even death: whether as unborn babies in miscarriages or old people who have passed away and so on – we participate in the drama and others participate with us, e.g., through prayers for the dead (i.e., the poor souls in Purgatory).
~Furthermore: With dogmas of the Catholic Church like Purgatory, we can see how Catholicism is a drama during and even after our life or the lives of others have ended on this earth (especially our loved ones and friends). But we believe in such truths of the faith as Purgatory and the Assumption not because they’re cool (although I must say that they are!) or because we need them or want them to be true on a psychological level, but because they are true. And so they’re cool precisely because they’re true.
~Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music are what the Platters would have been with electric guitars and synthesizers – and of course outlandish outfits.
~If we are going to talk more and more about “identity politics” these days, let’s emphasize as Christians our foundational identity as “children of God,” as sons and daughters of the Father.
~My new goal in life: I’m striving for anonymity.
~There’s such a disproportion in both the anger over and the time spent on tearing down statues of dead white males who lived over a 150 years ago, versus the anger over and time spent on dealing with people who commit crimes now in the present, e.g., molesting children.
~Can you spot the contradiction? Read “The Dictatorship of the Present” (see https://thepointmag.com/2019/politics/the-dictatorship-of-the-present) and see if you can.
~If there’re dogs and cats in heaven—as C.S. Lewis thought (see The Problem of Pain)—I hope, as someone with allergies, that there’s also plenty of prednisone.
~Some people are very talented at hiding the fact that they don’t have talent or at least they’re talented at making people think that they are talented.
~Twenty five years ago on the Assumption (August 15th), my grandfather passed away. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better feast day to die on.
~Fifty years ago this past August, we had a “feast day” (actually several days) or festival of a very different sort (And it overlapped with the Assumption). Of course, I speak of Woodstock. One feast saw the body as destined for Heaven, the other saw the body as directed to a freedom centered on pleasure.
~The U.S. Bishops wrote a pastoral letter on racism last year titled, “Open Wide Our Hearts” (see http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf). I would encourage them to write a pastoral letter on socialism as well, which appears to be making a comeback among Millennials and the Democrat Party. It’s an ideology that has led to great misery in the past and the present.
~Happy Fall 2019!