Miscellaneous Meanderings on the signs of the times (Vol. 9, No. 107)
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
February 1, 2019
~“Black Monday refers to specific Mondays when undesirable or turbulent events have occurred. It has been used to designate massacres, military battles and stock market crashes.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Monday). It also refers to the firing of coaches in the NFL. But shouldn’t the term “Black Monday” be considered racist according to the social justice warriors? I’m surprised they haven’t come for it yet, demanding that it be banned from use.
~The use of rights talk can be confusing… Rights are only rights if they are, in fact, right. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/pro-choice-myths-are-perpetuated-by-a-new-york-times-fetal-personhood-story/). I think we need to start saying so-called abortion “rights” or so-called gay “rights.” Otherwise, we are begging the question and giving the other side a rhetorical advantage – one it has had for decades.
~George Will writes: “[T]he GOP, which thinks of itself as the redoubt of the devout, is competing in an increasingly secular country. The Economist says that ‘Nones’ – people with no religion – ‘already outnumber Catholics and mainline Protestants,’ and in 2019 might outnumber evangelicals. ‘There will soon be more Nones than any single group of Christians.’ Ex-Catholics are 13 percent of the American population.” (See http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will010319.php3). These are startling figures to say the least. They indicate the secular culture is doing a better job at “evangelizing” than the Catholic Church.
~Michael Barone, “American Fertility Headed to All-Time Low” (see https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbarone/2018/12/21/american-fertility-headed-to-alltime-low-n2537849). This headline should alarm us. But this is not only a “demographic” issue, but a moral and spiritual one.
~What to do when you make goals for yourself that you don’t meet: You can (1) blame the goals, not yourself and/or (2) ditch the goals and substitute new ones.
~I’ve noticed how many artists lately have been reworking their same material (And here I’m thinking of music) that made them famous. Of course, some artists like Bryan Ferry (1945—) are also making new music while they “redo” their earlier stuff.
~Some social media moral guidance: Is your tweet or Facebook post more about you or the good message or Jesus?
~Why does the “legitimacy of the Supreme Court” argument always go only in one direction — liberal?
~In the bad idea category: Even after all we are learning about the negative impact of concussions on the brain (e.g., CTE), football players continue the popular practice of banging heads with each other with their helmets on after they score.
~With all of these memes out there, there must be some guy whose job it is to create them.
~Aging can be defined as just one more (small) lie we tell on our birthday.
~Have you heard about “programmable smart pills”? Well, you will eventually. The idea is, that these pills “can already track whether you’re taking your medication and help regulate your bowel movements.” (See https://futurism.com/the-byte/molecular-computation-smart-pills). “The next evolution: programmable smart pills that tailor medical treatments in response to signals from individual cells. The preprint server arXiv recently published a paper [October 5, 2018] describing work that could lead to the creation of such pills — and they have to potential to forever change what it means to be human.” And you thought colonoscopies were intrusive.
~There’s been a lot of disparagement of white men lately, in case you haven’t noticed. One can describe the “evils” of “white men” today but not defend “white men.” It’s as if there’s a special identifiable category when attacking white males, but no such category to defend – unless one is willing to sound like a racist by doing so – when responding to even some of the most outlandish claims about white males (e.g., see the Gillette “toxic masculinity” ad that started running on TV in January 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0. It’s officially called “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” As of February 1, 2019, this “short film” had over 28 million views on YouTube).
~While out walking the other day, I saw “Lipari: Since 1963” on the side of a truck that was driving down the road in my neighborhood. Since that’s also the year of my birthday, I think that’s going to be my moniker from now on: “Mark Latkovic: Since 1963.”
~If these techies are so smart, why are they so surprised at the high rents? (See https://apple.news/AqOULBMbfRf-HknISrxq_0Q). Didn’t they Google whether or not their decent Google salary could afford the astronomical rents of California before going there?
~As far as Michigan pastor Fr. Don La Cuesta’s funeral homily, I will only say this: he used the word “suicide” six times, when I would have used it three times (For more on the story, including the text of the homily, see: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/priest-attacked-by-media-for-suicide-homily-is-thrown-under-the-bus-by-arch). Otherwise, I think his sermon was unfairly attacked. Could it have been better, say pastorally? Sure, as I indicated. But the reaction to it was way over the top overblown.
~My moral theology seminary students didn’t know who William F. Buckley (1925—2008) was when I asked them in late 2018. Only two or three out of 19 students had heard of him. It’s a reminder to me that my most of my students are from a younger generation. Put another way: I’m old.
~Liberals dismiss conservative “converts” by basically treating them like conservatives who were never liberals. They’re now simply the enemy, and their former liberalism counts for nothing.
~People choose to believe stories — which they also look for like a detective looks for clues in a crime — such as the one about the “racist” Covington Catholic High School boys at the annual March for Life (2019) because they desperately want them to be true: they confirm their biases. This is one reason why they are so quick to accept their veracity on social media. They’re stories that are “too good to check,” as they say (See e.g. https://video.foxnews.com/v/5992305582001/#sp=show-clips, January 22, 2019 and Victor Davis Hanson, https://amgreatness.com/2019/01/27/attack-of-the-techno-lynch-mob/).
~Kyle Smith’s “The Great Forgetting” (see https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/cultural-icons-popular-today-unknown-tomorrow/) reminds us of the ephemeral character of our art forms and artists. Although, the Internet and other forms of technology and social media can either keep alive and/or make us aware of older famous people or contribute to the demise of their fame.
~As I get older, I can’t decide if I’m a cynic or simply a highly critical individual.
~Fr. James Martin, S.J. always trots out the line in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358 that speaks of accepting homosexuals with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” – as if that statement alone could justify all of the things that Martin wants to change in Church teaching on homosexuality.
~Most mainstream newspapers (NYT, Wapo, etc.) have become worse than the National Enquirer.
~Political differences today are more than just political. Some of our opponents’ political views are downright dangerous. If given unrestricted power, they would silence us – even permanently in some cases. Thus, it’s hard these days to even imagine couples of different political persuasions getting married as happened more frequently in the past, I believe. How could they, if a vote for Trump means you voted for “Hitler”?
~I cannot go on social media and not ask these days, Is America still America? Not only is the First Amendment treading water, but the principle “innocent until proven guilty,” i.e., the presumption of innocence has seen better days – especially on social media such as Twitter.
~White people shouldn’t be allowed to quote Rev. Martin Luther King – even (or especially) on his birthday, right? Isn’t it a form of “cultural appropriation” to use his words? Or even hypocritical – since all whites harbor racist views, whether it’s conscious or unconscious – and “white privilege”? You see, we live in a world where, increasingly, doing the right thing (or at least what we think is the right thing) – such as quoting MLK – is considered the wrong thing. Things have gotten way out of hand.
~Gay people not only want you to know they’re gay (unlike the old days) and not condemn them, but also to affirm their sexual orientation and behavior and even celebrate it.
~I hope you survived the Polar Vortex of late January 2019!