links & numbness

I was named after St. Stephen and Bruce Wayne. (Stephen is my first name & Bruce is my middle name)

There’s a a bat in the basement. We get them from time to time. I discovered him last night before I went to bed. Couldn’t manage to coax him out the door. Couldn’t find him this morning to catch or coax.

I found a credit card transaction on my online statement that I’m pretty sure neither Eileen nor I initiated.

Contacted the bank yesterday to dispute it. Eileen thinks someone might have transposed a number when giving it over the phone or online (it was identified as that kind of transaction). My first thought was of card number theft. At any rate that number is no longer connected to an account.

So mr thief if you are reading my blog, I hope this further thwarts any transactions you make in my name.

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

I am in a numb mood this morning. I found myself reading articles online.

Snobs in the Groves of Academes by Naomi Schaeffer Riley explores the reason so many profs are under the illusion they are privileged experts when in fact they have abandoned a vocation to guide learners.

“how did we get from Socrates’ famous dictum, “All I know is that I know nothing” to [professor] Skip Gates’s “Don’t you know who I am?”” [LINK TO ARTICLE]

Professor Gates in cuffs

Articles like this often lead me to the new interesting sources in which they appear. This one is in “In Character: A Journal of Everyday Virtues” which seems to be worth bookmarking or checking out from time to time. [LINK TO SITE]

Another interesting site I found this morning is Lapham’s Quarterly: a magazine of history and ideas [LINK TO SITE]

Lewis Lapham

On it was a nice new poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti: “At Sea” [LINK TO POEM]

91 yr old Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He looks like a poet, doesn't he?

I found two interesting articles on the New Statesmen Site [LINK TO SITE]

I found “Soul of the Party” by Slavoj Žižek  an antidote to the whole day after the beginning of the Xtian Triduum numbness.

Slavoj Žižek

He says a God who only doesn’t exist but knows he doesn’t exist is what is called for these days.

“… rather like the God from the old Bolshevik joke about a communist propagandist who, after his death, finds himself in hell, where he quickly convinces the guards to let him leave and go to heaven. When the devil notices his absence, he pays a visit to God, demanding that He return to hell what belongs to Satan. However, as soon as he addresses God as “my Lord”, God interrupts him: “First, I am not ‘Lord’, but a comrade. Second, are you crazy, talking to fictions? I don’t exist! And third, be short — otherwise, I’ll miss my party cell meeting!”

He later says

“Christianity is anti-wisdom: wisdom tells us that our efforts are in vain, that everything ends in chaos, while Christianity madly insists on the impossible. Love, especially a Christian one, is definitely not wise. This is why Paul said: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise” (“Sapientiam sapientum perdam,” as his saying is usually known in Latin). We should take the term “wisdom” literally here: it is wisdom (in the sense of “realistic” acceptance of the way things are) that Paul is challenging, not knowledge as such.”

I think he is on to something. This morning I am feeling tired of anti-intellectual religion. A religion that seems to rely more on the doctrine of victimhood, ignorance and superficiality that permeate our society. I like this guy’s take a lot better. He even has me admiring my old archenemy St. Paul.

“It was St Paul who provided a surprisingly relevant definition of the emancipatory struggle: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against leaders, against authorities, against the world rulers [kosmokratoras] of this darkness, against the spiritual wickedness in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12). Or, translated into today’s language: “Our struggle is not against concrete, corrupted individuals, but against those in power in general, against their authority, against the global order and the ideological mystification that sustains it.”


“Of Men and Monsters” by Terry Eagleton is a bemused humanist non-religious look at evil using the child murderers and an instant response of identifying them as evil by the policeman who arrested them. [LINK TO ARTICLE] I haven’t finished reading this one yet.

So there you have it. Last night’s service and rehearsals went okay. It was all a bit demoralizing to me when I realized that in my heart I don’t relate to the situation in the way most of the people I am serving do. This is fine. God help them and me (that marxist fiction above, eh?) Heh.

Today I have do bills, grocery shopping, clean the kitchen, practice organ, have a quick phone conversation with the boss about tonights service. I wonder if I will thaw at all today. I did start thawing when I played through the C major prelude and fugue of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, vol II. My life’s conversation is certainly enriched by the music I play and stories and ideas I read and think about.

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0 thoughts on “links & numbness

  1. I think that is right. It is your conversation about your life.
    Read Dr. Thomas Sowell’s recent book “Intellectuals and Society”. His opinion of intellectuals, I believe, correlates with your own. Also, check out Dr. Parkin’s, American Political Commentary. He also, has similar points of view.

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