Boinkie's Blog

Universalis

Friday, April 29, 2005

president aristotle has a post on B16 as Gandalf.

And our favorite Potawanamie has an article fisking the NYTimes Make that man a cardinal...\
And the AXN Asia network has started showing the series Lost...last years' episodes...unlike the "reality tv" which encourages one against the other, so far the themes have been taking responsibility...hmmm...a post 911 series?
Will have to check out later episodes.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

With Ratzinger's election, it's hard to find the worst anti Catholic article on the net...however, for the worst in Newspapers, Tina Brown's is the most ignorant...
And she is in the Wapost, who should know better.
First, she links born again and left behind with Catholicism, even though Catholics are not born again as such, nor do they believe in the rapture.
But then she lauds that she lives in Manhattan, where she "never meets" such people.
GK Chesterton has a Father Brown story called the Invisible man: Where they look everywhere for the suspect, and he turns out to be invisible because he is the mailman...and the people don't "see" mailmen, or waiters, or servants.
Similarly, Manhattan is full of both Catholics and born again Christians.
But Ms. Brown probably doesn't recognize them because she does not "see" them: The black doormen, the guard at her apartment,the taxi drivers, the maids and cooks, and yes, the letter carrier.
So I sent off a sarcastic letter pointing out her bias against such people.
Then I said a rosary for her.
And I saw that few people are really so cruel to others.
REAL upper class people have a 'noblesse oblige" toward those around them.
And most sucessful people also have some sort of politeness toward the help.
Those who spout acid hatred against those they do not notice have a great inner need for superiority: To feel above the ugly fray because deep in their heart they feel inferior.
So I asked God to heal the crying child inside her, to heal the hurt that makes her both hurtful to those unlike herself, and to open her heart so that she notices those "invisible men" and women around her...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Maureen Dowd in the NYTimes is complaining about old age:
Despite the boomers' zealous attempts to stop time - with fitness and anti-aging products, with cosmetic enhancements by needle, laser and knife - time has caught up.

The deaths of iconic figures and the noisy debate over assisted suicide have brought boomers face to face with their nemesis. "Suddenly," The New Republic observed, "we are all speculating about the feeding tubes in our future." Boomers want to control mortality so they're looking at living wills, and legal and medical options.

I've visited the future, and it isn't pretty

She then goes on and describes her mother's stint in a lousy nursing home...

But why wasn't she in a rehab hospital (the injury was a broken neck, so Rehab would have been indicated). And if the nursing home was lousy, why not transfer her or take her home and hire a nurse?

The assumption that baby boomers want to live forever and stay young, I am bemused.

First, perhaps because I am a bit older, I wonder about how Dowd and magazines assume everyone is like them...

Second, one suspects that most people in that age group (as Christopher Lasch points out) are the bane of the health police: Working class people who recognize mortality and realize that they will die anyway, so why spend all that time and energy to stay young?

One is reminded of last weeks' article on the health from the "mediterranean diet"...after reading it, it turns out that those on this diet live one year longer....all that time and effort for one year.

But Dowd seems oblivious that there might be goals in life beside a life in control, and death in control...this "control" leads to contraception, abortion, easy divorce, promiscuity, happy pills and in the near future, euthanasia of the inconvenient under the guise of assisted suicide/choice.

Maybe Dowd should go back to her first grade catechism: The aim of life is to know, love and serve God in this world and be happy with Him in the next..and we serve God by serving our neighbor.

Nahh...it would interfere with her hair appointment.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The starvation of schiavo is not just being done in florida

I am re reading a book on the life of Colette.
In many ways, although the story should be about her "courage" to break taboos, it is quite dull...
She is essentially amoral, and despite the "courage" of breaking taboos, it seems that these taboos are regularly broken by those in her peer group...so she is not so much breaking taboos as going along with the "in crowd".

And sometimes the author gets it wrong (if you read the discussion at the end of the book, she gets quite a bit wrong...since she discusses it from the PC point of view, oblivious of other points of view). For example, the author implies because Colette went on stage naked she did not receive a Catholic funeral...hello. As the archbishop pointed out, she never went to church, openly despised all religion, was married three times, and refused last rights.

Her amoral life destroyed those around her. She slept with a stepson...and ignored her daughter. She wrote from the front lines of World War I and her Jewish husband was almost deported to a concentration camp, but one would not know this from her writings, which mainly concentrate on sexual relationships and infidelity.

So it is ironic that most of her daring, avant gard stories are now dated...in some ways similar to the book The Second Sex, which assumes that all cultures can be explained by the hedonistic revolot against the inhibitions of fin de sicle France.

The supreme irony is that, if Colette is known at all today, it is for her short story Gigi.

Unlike most of her stories, which has coupling, passion and despair, Gigi has a happy ending.
Gigi, of course, is the story of a girl brought up in a family of courtesans. However, grandmother is a warm caring woman and Gigi is well adjusted. She falls in love with a rich man who frequently visits her grandmother's house to relax in simplicity and warmth...but when Gigi grows up, the family arranges for her to bedcome his courtesan.

Gigi, of course, is horrified, knowing from her relatives the sordidness of women who have to rely on that lifestyle, but eventually agrees since she loves the rich man not for his money but for himself.

But to be a courtesan, she must inhibit her own self: her feelings, her spontaneity, her affection...and so at the end the rich man marries her instead, realizing that what he, and she, really want is not the false world of restaurants, jewels, spas and the in crowd, but the simple pleasures of love and family.

Now, looking on Colette's life, one wonders if this story is her best because it might be her life as she would have wished it.

Her original husband, Mr. Willy, was older and helped her. But he could not be faithful, and so he encouraged her to find one night stands, hang out with gays for male companionship, and have lesbian or bisexual lovers...

Yet even when they divorced, there was still love between them. One wonders if she,unlike Gigi who closely escaped, was twisted into an avant gard hedonism by an amoral husband...and her inborn narcissism made it impossible for her to see other ways to escape this trap.

In a discussion of woman writers at the end of the book, it was noted most of them were lesbian divorces, or spinsters.

Children take time, and emotions. Books are substitute "daughters", but because these women did not really touch real life, you see it missing in their writings...(Jane Austen, who mothered her extended family, was an exception, as is Sigrid Undset, who raised six children/stepchildren).

Like the wars, which she "reported" but actually had little impact on her writings or thought, Colette's daughter did not touch her life: reality showed she mainly neglected her daughter so she could do her own thing... so her writings of her mother and her daughter were fictional essays about Colette herself... not about her daughter as a living human being with independent thoughts and needs...

Now, I have not read all of Colette, but that which I read was....boring and dated. Instead of sympathizing with the characters, or identifying with them, as a doctor I felt like shaking them and say: Get a life. You have jewels to live off of, so why put up with this type of exploitation. Learn to type and get a job, young lady....go back to your family. Get a backbone. Of course, back then jobs and alternatives for women were limited: But they were not completely lacking. Most of those in her writings came from rich families.And if worse came to worse, these ladies always could have taken a ship to America and become a maid or worked in a factory...oh I forgot: The characters all had maids and cooks...they were too proud to get their fingers dirty...

One suspects that in the future, most of Colette's writings will merely be of historical interest...And because they describe a world of narcissitic selfishness, few of them have universal themes that would allow a later reader to enjoy them; similarly, for all their "love of life", most of her stories lack that gleam of hope for the joy that underlies a life of faith.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

It's interesting (?) to watch the coverage of the pope's death...Christiane Amanpour makes sure we know all the "scandals" and criticizes the pope's stand on womenpriests and pc dogmas...(Hello...you are a reporter, not an editorial writer...but CNN International does the same type of snide remarks about Bush, so what do you expect).

As a result, I am watching NewsAsia, from Singapour, which has mainly Asian reporters...who don't have a snide attitude implying anyone who believes in God are nincompoops...

AND they are interviewing Filippinos and Asians...who tend to be active Catholics. In contrast, CNN's "experts" seem to be PC Americans and Brits who imply that the church's opposition to progressive changes are making the church loose large numbers of members...they don't mention the large numbers of Asians and Africans in the church...it's as if a "catholic" who is not an upper white middle class yuppie American or European that they really don't count...

Kateri Tekawitha pray for us
Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.
Paul Kim pray for us...
Charles Luanda pray for us...