The E'er Good Pundit
A blog concerned generally with the finest points of politics, popery, poetry, and punditry, from the perspective of a convert to the Roman Catholic religion.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
So ends one of the means man has devised to the end of his own torment. I shall explain why the above is valid shortly; yet it is more important, first, to provide some context for the discussion to ensue.
This is to be a tale, a tale of two games.
In 2013, The Game is at least eleven, and not more than seventeen years old. Recently, I finished Eleanor H. Porter's classic novel Pollyanna, and I am currently reading her sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up. As those few, and those fewer young people, fortunate enough to have read said masterpiece will now realize, the Glad Game the eponymous protagonist Pollyanna taught to all her relations and acquaintances, is now in its centennial. Originally called the "just being glad game," and often simply called the Game in the book, with capitals just like the game so popular in our century often receives, Pollyanna's game, like ours, reflects our times. Both we and our forbears a century past lived in the intellectual shadow of Nietzsche and post-Enlightenment nihilism. In our time, however, the experience of the "death of God" has reached the common man, and long has nourished his pessimism. It is not really surprising then that, whereas a century ago America was afire with an early, and I should say sensible and reality-minded, positive thinking philosophy in the form of a game, the world today is obsessed with a meme that embodies a defeatist spirit.
Wikipedia, previously cited, maintains that the psychologically our game "is an example of ironic processing... in which attempts to avoid certain thoughts make those thoughts more persistent." But I think we all know that is not really what is afoot. The example of ironic processing most common in ordinary life is the hungry man willing himself "not to think about food," which may be self-defeating, though sometimes I think the failure to not think about food is just inevitable with a rumbling stomach. Yet thinking about food is merely unpleasant, if not pathetically amusing; it does not make the man thinking about food feel trapped or defeated. Our game, as I see it, is at root about the post-Christian despair which acknowledges a fall, but bears no hope of salvation. It speaks to the soul, and casts light on its harsh sense of alienation and loneliness. No one playing The Game can help others win; an effort to play well, by announcing "I lost The Game," cause others to lose as well. Unconsciously as it operates within the parameters of gameplay, that element perfectly speaks our post-Enlightenment hopelessness that even human endeavor and invention can rescue humanity from its plight.
As it happens, the above poster explaining why the viewer has won The Game illustrates my own reasoning on the matter, which I think has been largely overlooked by the evangelists of our game.
The interesting thing is, contrary to what the card says, and to what defenders of The Game often mention to discredit victory messages, I will bet that when you read the above, you did not think about The Game.
Permit me to explain. All you need to do is recall the education you received in primary school. It has been far longer an interval for some than for myself, so I will help you along. You will need remember the distinction between common and proper nouns: in this case, "the game" is a common noun, while "The Game" is a proper noun, with the same relationship as "the city" and "New York". In everyday life, one will realize that common nouns are often used to indicate something proper, and one must first recognize the common before connecting it to the proper. Follow this reasoning:
1--If you can read and comprehend "the city" in context without at once connecting it to "New York," you can read and comprehend "the game" in context without at once connecting it to "The Game."
2--You read, "YOU JUST WON THE GAME!!!"
3--You comprehend that you have just won the game, without at once singling out that you have won the game.
4--Thereby, you have unwittingly recognized your triumph in The Game, without thinking about The Game and thereby losing The Game.
5--YOU JUST WON THE GAME!!!
You may ask what has happened between steps 4 and 5. The Game being a mind game, I teach that the goal of The Game is to overcome its ability to defeat the player whenever he thinks about it. As it turns out this is done by a mental maneuver that allows you to think about The Game (proper) as the game (common), and thereby escape losing The Game for thinking about The Game. Visibly, this happens when a player asserts himself over The Game by consciencing his victory over the game (common), without thinking about The Game (proper). Thereby, that player wins the game.
That, even, is only one manner of winning the game. According to the Encyclopedia Dramatica article on The Game, which is too obscene to link on a Catholic weblog, it is posited that "There are actually 2 ways to END the game forever. You would either have to (a) Get the Queen of England to say I lost the game on live television, or (b) steal the Pope's hat. Either would be a completely epic win. Somebody get working on it." Now, when one considers the second one seriously, it becomes clear that the Holy Father is playing The Game as well (theoretically, everyone is supposed to be playing it at all times, according to some rules), and he has his hat. If the same rules apply to Pope Francis as everyone else, clearly he has his own hat and needn't steal it, and The Game is already over because a player, the Pope, has the Pope's hat. Oh well, it was (not) fun while it lasted.
Beyond that, it seems that several forum dwellers have already declared The Game over several times (see here and here), so perhaps it had already ended without the players' knowledge, and this part of the post was unnecessary.
In any case, the reader will assuredly benefit from familiarity with Pollyanna and her game, the Glad Game. It is a really wonderful game; you will be GLAD to learn it! Well, it has gotten late as I wrote the first part of this post, so I shall be brief. As you may see here, Pollyanna explains the Glad Game as "just find something about everything to be glad about—no matter what 'twas," in every situation. To be sure, with a girl as cute as Pollyanna (felicitously, there is a 1986 anime, Ai Shouji Pollyanna Monogatari, produced about it after it was mostly forgotten in the West, which brings the beauty to life, and which I am currently watching) it would be particularly hard for those she spread the Game to to find something to not be glad about, but we can ignore that henceforth. Pollyanna's original, stock example of playing the Game comes from when she lived in a small town in the West where her father was minister. Often, they depended on donations in missionary barrels for clothing and other needs. On one occasion, Pollyanna cried because she wanted a doll but found only crutches, but her father taught her she could be glad because she did not need them.
A personal attempt at a Glad Game challenge I discovered online here is as below, with my answer following. Pretty keen, eh? I think it'd be swell.
[Q.] You were going to go to the beach but it started hailing outside.
[A.] Be glad to see hail, which is unusual and very pretty; that would console you if you must stay home. But go to the beach anyway with a strong umbrella, and you will get the best spot. Any bruises you get will be fun mementos later.
My favorite example in the original story, however, comes from pages 28-29 of the Barbour and Company edition of Pollyanna Grows Up I am reading. Pollyanna has just enjoyed herself at church, having pulled the gloomy Mrs. Ruth Carew (sister of Della), with whom she is staying, along:
To Pollyanna that Sunday morning service was a great wonder and joy. The marvelous music of the vested choir, the opalescent rays from the jeweled windows, the impassioned voice of the preacher, and the reverent hush of the worshiping throng filled her with an ecstasy that left her for a time almost speechless. Not until they were nearly home did she fervently breathe:
"Oh, Mrs. Carew, I've just been thinking how glad I am we don't have to live but just one day at a time!"
Mrs. Carew frowned and looked down sharply. Mrs. Carew was in no mood for preaching. She had just been obliged to endure it from the pulpit, she told herself angrily, and she would not listen to it from this chit of a child. Moreover, this "living one day at a time" theory was a particularly pet doctrine of Della's. Was not Della always saying: "But you only have to live one minute at a time, Ruth, and any one can endure anything for one minute at a time!"
"Well?" said Mrs. Carew now, tersely.
"Yes. Only think what I'd do if I had to live yesterday and to-day and to-morrow all at once," sighed Pollyanna. "Such a lot of perfectly lovely things, you know. But I've had yesterday, and now I'm living to-day, and I've got to-morrow still coming, and next Sunday, too. Honestly, Mrs. Carew, if it wasn't Sunday now, and on this nice quiet street, I should just dance and shout and yell. I couldn't help it. But it's being Sunday, so, I shall have to wait till I get home and then take a hymn—the most rejoicingest hymn I can think of. What is the most rejoicingest hymn? Do you know, Mrs. Carew?"
"No, I can't say that I do," answered Mrs. Carew, faintly, looking very much as if she were searching for something she had lost. For a woman who expects, because things are so bad, to be told that she need stand only one day at a time, it is disarming, to say the least, to be told that, because things are so good, it is lucky she does not have to stand but one day at a time!
She turns reality from pure doldrums and misery into incessant joy; I am not certain what Nietzsche would say, but to my mind, if there need ever be a "revaluation of all values," this is it. What a remarkable mind was Mrs. Porter's to devise such a wonderful Game!
Be glad you're free. But for those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ--well, we already knew that. We are liberated from our sins by His bloody sacrifice on the Cross, renewed every day in Masses said in His Holy Name across the world. From our very fall, we have arisen in baptism, and we are to share in His Resurrection at the end of the world. The Devil, ever a cunning one, has sought in every age to obscure the salvation of man, and to close him off to Christ by depriving him of hope. It is all too evident, consequently, that The Game is among his proudest lateward works, and that its propagation serves his ends. St. Michael, pray for us.
The Glad Game, while invented by a Yankee schismatic not within the fold of the Catholic Church, outside of which no one at all may be saved, is Christian in substance and spirit. Pollyanna's father reared her in the rejoicing verses of the Bible, which the book claims number over 800, and playing the Glad Game regularly engenders the joy that is befitting the Christian life, while not encouraging the player to ignore real evils or see the present in halcyon.
Direct others to this post. Utterly annihilate their intransigent negativity by demonstrating that they have won The Game, just like you and I have. And, you yourself, go and read Pollyanna, and tell your friends about the Glad Game, just as you might tell them about Jesus Christ. All things considered, I cannot doubt that many souls will be gained or lost for eternity because of their abundance or absence of cheer. In our hour on Earth, all hope does seem sometimes to be lost for the moral squalor the world has fallen into; the lowness of the hour may be confirmed by recalling (or learning about) the remarkable, unprecedented Five First Saturdays devotion, introduced by both Jesus and Mary to Sr. Lucia at Pontevedra in 1925. Those who perform the rather easy devotions, the Blessed Virgin has promised "to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls." Thankfully, our Pundit has completed the devotions, the rewards for which are strikingly disproportionate, as it appears in the strongest language that one is assured salvation so long as he accepts the graces for the same. And hence, in a more worldly way, there is great need for the Glad Game in the 21st Century.
My, my, you must be happy now. Girt with these GLAD tidings, I'll bet you'll stride through every Monday with the excitement of an Amu Hinamori!
Saturday, October 05, 2013
Although the worst seems to have been averted for the time being, it is best for the friends of the Assad regime in Syria to continue to counter the pro-war propaganda which has already received some major setbacks. Since last time around I cited several Catholic bishops opposed to intervention on the side of the Al Qaeda-allied rebels, and there is continually a press for more womens' voices in the Church, I will throw the feminist harridans a bone, and cite Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, Mother Superior of St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria. I first learned about her reports to RT here, and the story itself may be read here. She describes in detail brutal massacres of Syrian Christians by the Islamist rebels just before the White House/media campaign for war on the Assad regime was at full bass. Interestingly, she also states that footage of the supposed regime chemical attacks was faked, confirming that as far as the Syrian civil war goes positions often reserved for the Alex Jones crowd in the Occident are commonplace among the leadership of Arabian Christendom. The highlight of Mother's interview is her description of a series of atrocities carried out against several Alawite villages; the Al-Assad family, it should be kept in mind, is Alawite.
In the village of Estreba they massacred all the residents and burnt down their houses. In the village of al-Khratta almost all the 37 locals were killed. Only ten people were able to escape.A total of twelve Alawite villages were subjected to this horrendous attack. That was a true slaughterhouse. People were mutilated and beheaded. There is even a video that shows a girl being dismembered alive – alive! – by a frame saw. The final death toll exceeded 400, with 150 to 200 people taken hostage. Later some of the hostages were killed, their deaths filmed.
The perpetrators, it cannot be stressed enough, are on the side the United States (that is, the Evil Empire of our times), along with its satellites Britain and France, currently supports, and the neoconservative hawks and doctrinaire "humanitarian" internationalists together want us to actually go to war for. The popular rejection of the war in Syria before it could be launched has impressed and inspired me, and given me hope in the consciences of the peoples of a country whose "leaders" largely discarded their consciences long ago.
Charleston Tea Plantation, a tea plantation located on Wadmalow Island in South Carolina and owned by Bigelow, a few weeks ago. Though somewhat expensive at $10 per tin, I enjoy tea unadultered, or with the occasional sugar cube, but weak, such that the leaves simply lend a curl to the hot water, and enjoy opting not to use just a pinch or two with each cup, so the tins will last months, and not end up costing more than discount teas. To be sure, this also means that sometimes I cannot distinguish the Charleston Breakfast from the Island Green flavor, but either one is fine. There are also more pricey bagged teas available, as seen in the picture.
As one reads on Wikipedia here the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, which as its name implies was originally cultivated for tea in China; in one of the greatest legacies of the British Empire, it has been grown in India since the 19th Century, and is also produced in Japan, Kenya, and a few other spots. Ordinarily, we think of the United States solely as a consumer of tea, but as I was joyed to learn, it can actually be grown in some of our climates; in addition to the South Carolina production, there is actually a tea grower in Washington state, as well as a smaller producer in Alabama and several growers in the Hawaiian Islands.
Traditionalists frequently criticize free trade, and the effects that outsourcing have had on our balance of trade and our manufacturing. Foods and beverages tend to be more economical to produce at home, so they are understandably deemphasized over the usual technology and manufacturing industries stressed in political discourse. Yet, though the United States ranks a depressing 69th in per person tea consumption (well behind Ireland, Britain, and Canada, and just behind Somalia), nearly all of our tea supply is imported, a fact I am beginning to number amongst our national shames. A national statesman with vision and power, whether a tea drinker or not, would see to it that Camellia sinensis (which, being more a plant than an animal person, I consider to be man's true best friend) was planted across the continental United States, such that our nation became more than self-sufficient in one of its most popular beverages, and any importation of the same would be purely voluntary on the part of the consumer, but would hopefully remain loyal to the domestic product and forego needless and complicating external trade.
Originally, I had planned to watch the entirety World Masterpiece Theater in order, beginning with Dodoro and Moomin. However, and to the great rejoicing of my heart, it seems that English subtitles of nearly all the series earlier than A Little Princess Sara are difficult to come by, so I felt quite justified diving in there. As the commenter advertised, the anime is very faithful to the book: there are a few divergences, but they are all in keeping with the spirit of the novel, and the needs of character development. Which are ample: the series stretches some 46 episodes, all covering a single children's book (one imagines the enraptured Sara gazing in wonder as a snail passes by in the grass).
If anything, the characters in the novel, rather than being brought down from their descriptions in the novel to become more believable on the screen, become more reified as they exemplify the same virtues and hateful whims again and again, with little fault or change. For those who know the incomparable story (available in 163 editions and formats, with numerous paperback copies ranging into Like New selling for the magic Amazon minimum price of $4), it could be quite depressing as it developed, but this is something else. A Little Princess Sara gets very hard to watch at times, and is remarkably intense for an anime set in a girl's school with conflict limited to interpersonal drama. In our time, there is a genre of movies, it seems, called torture porn. The best way I can describe A Little Princess Sara is torture without the porn. The viewer takes no pleasure in her continual mistreatment by the Headmistress and Lavinia, and constantly hopes for things to get better. When the series first aired, I can only imagine those who had not read the book had still stronger anxiety for and identity with poor Sara Crewe. Whether in the beginning of middle of the series, Sara is the epitome of elegance; on the Internet, I find however, many of the best pictures are of her friend, Becky the scullery maid.
Emily, whose expression approaches that of a "living doll" in the Rozen Maiden sense. For those by now enticed into viewing the classic for themselves, all the episodes are available, with many thanks to the diligent past efforts of Licca Fansubs (which rightly holds its translation of A Little Princess Sara to be its proudest work), on Veoh. Before I leave you be, since, as I have noted, Sara Crewe's beauty in the anime has not proven amenable to stills, I here reproduce a very cute illustration of the character discovered as I was searching for the other images.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Pope Francis be blessed for his leadership in the effort to avert a US military strike in Syria. Opposition to unwise wars is one area where the Catholic Church continues is a strong advocate of good politics. To be sure, pacifism is a kneejerk position among religious leaders, and His Holiness has uttered a few tidbits of nonsense that nowadays pass for common sense, such as "Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake," but I have noticed that the Church has made able use of its catholic nature throughout the Syria episode. Cardinal Dolan, in particular, has cited the witness of "our suffering brother bishops of the venerable and ancient Christian communities of the Middle East" in a USCCB letter to President Obama on the Syria question.
Vastly shall I be surprised if Washington, by the dint of popular opposition and wholesale abandonment by its allies in the international community, decides to stay out of Syria's affairs and permits Assad, guilty of deploying chemical weapons or not, to crush the rebels as I am rooting for him to do. Edward Markey, this Commonwealth's member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and yet another phony Roman Catholic, was no help. He meekly voted 'present' on the resolution to attack Assad's regime, which passed 10-7-1. Evidently, the supposedly anti-war liberal Democrat could not bear to oppose the President.
Hard as it is to believe, Kodansha Comics USA's recent publication of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is now completed, and after I finish the current volume, featuring Usagi Tsukino holding diminutive Chibi Usa and the still smaller Chibi Chibi on its cover, there will be no more. Well, to be sure, Kodansha has wisely decided to get all it can from the series, and will be releasing the first of two volumes of Sailor Moon short stories in a few days.
Overall, Sailor Moon is a series both truly hackneyed and celestial. I doubt I am the only reader of the manga who was not shocked by the repetitiveness of the action, but rarely lasts more than four pages and inevitably ends with Sailor Moon frying a gorgonish-looking foe with an energy attack. Frequent appeals are made to her closeness to the other sailor guardians, yet she alone is nearly always decisive in battle, requiring no more assistance than to borrow energy for one final blast. Still, the volumes, each chock with elegant female figures, and studded with a brightly-colored prints in the first pages. Sailor Moon's continual recourse to allies from farther and farther out in the galaxy lend it a sort of astrological mystique, while her train of feudally loyal attendants (such as the Amazoness Quartet) and the Greek mythological influence make the series pleasantly aristocratic and quasi-historical. There, too, very silly elements arise, such as the inclusion of the 'Holy Grail', originally Chibi Usa's art project based on the historical Grail, but later used as a weapon by Sailor Moon. Little though it probably resembles the original, how well it would show Jesus's humility, when He volunteered to use the girly cup so the Apostles could forego the embarassment themselves and select more manly tableware!
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Stand with Russia!
Let that be our rallying cry.
Update: Russia will not, in fact, make athletes exempt from its new law against homosexual propaganda.
Despite the incessant degenerate propaganda and russophobe marches across the West, many of the YouTube comments I've seen indicate that a remnant still refuse to buy the lie.
Glory be to Christ the King.
Friday, August 02, 2013
Putin's Russia, which I certainly consider one of the best governed nations in the world, is in the news over its recent prohibition on sodomite propaganda geared to recruiting children, once again demonstrating that organized degeneracy controls public opinion in the United States. In the northeast, the cultural center of America whose vision is inevitably forced on the country at large in every generation, nearly every institution, notably including most Protestant churches, openly side with degeneracy against the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. A very visible display of this monolithic support for egalitarian ideology could be seen at Boston's June 8 "gay pride" parade, as reported by MassResistance. Episcopalians, United Methodists, and United Church of Christ (including the congregation of the Old South Church) march alongside the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and assorted dissenters from Catholic doctrine; evidently, these churches are no longer Christian, but simply branches of the LGBT "rights" movement (thankfully, in the realm of intellect removed from policy at least, even the Manchester Guardian is beginning to realize that human rights do not even exist).
[Russophobe sodomites dump Russian vodka before the Russian consulate--and a myriad fawning reporters.]
Following threats of boycotts and facing the prospect of becoming the South Africa of the day, the regime has foolishly backed off its former resolve, and according to a Duma official seem inclined to tolerate freak shows by foreign athletes during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Naturally, this is not a definite statement of non-enforcement, as the final decision would rest with the President, Putin, and I do not believe Christians should be too discouraged considering the pressure the President and his circle are under. Certainly, Russia is today one of the few outposts of Christianity across the globe (incidentally, neighboring Belarus is another), one of the vanishingly rare spots where normal, healthy living and natural love affairs are honored and degenerate "relationships" of every sort spurned.
Take a step back from our own times and situation, dear reader, and wonder at all this. The West is angry at Russia for refusing to allow homosexuals to flaunt their "sexuality" in public. We are brought to the height of our moral indignation over the plight of Russia's poor "gays," and consummate consumers that we are, are stirred to resort to a boycott: a crusade, according to the spirit of our time. This row over the "rights" of sodomites to strut semi-nude and attack marriage is simply one element of a larger rivalry of powers, as Russia continues to befriend the regimes the US seeks to overthrow, particularly the Ba'ath Party regime in Syria, one of the Middle Eastern regimes still hospitable to Christians.
Though both within historic Christendom, what greater contrast could there be than Russia and the West? He who is rightly reproached there, is honored there. A recent story from the UK, in the same moral swamp as its former colonies, encapsulates the sad truth about those the liberal West honors as its heroes. Robert Clothier, an upstanding drag queen of Britain's LGBT community, active in "charity work" for Brighton LGBT Pride and a stage performer at the 2011 Pride Festival, was recently nabbed by police trying to arrange for sex with an 8 and an 11 year old. "And he/she seemed like such a good person, a true advocate of human rights," liberal Britons must have mused in astonishment (though of course, this is what eventually becomes of societies that adhere to "human rights" nonsense. In Russia Clothier would have been jailed for walking on the street in drag.
If the situation does not change, and the Sochi Olympics are not wholly blacked out next year, this may be the first and probably last time Our Pundit shall take a keen interest in that... uggh... sporting event. An inning of baseball, I can watch, but two minutes of those pretentious international games try my patience. But rooting for Russia (and Belarus), and against the athletes unfortunate enough to represent the rotten "West", is enticement enough in these times. (Yeah, the only "sports" I've been watching lately would be Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS. 「Get goal!」
At first glance, this particular campaign of the egalitarians can make a Western partisan of quality, nobility, and goodness over individualism and depravity quite depressed. The media, as always, frames events according to the Whig version of history, and casts Putin as the loser before the fact. A reality check is always a relief. Turning from the reportage of CNN, MSNBC, neocon FOX New, and the ubiquitous gay/human rights blogs blighting the Internet (I hope Putin shutters them too!), one realizes that Putin is actually really cool. Arguably, he has the best image among young people of any world leader today. Obama, to be sure, has a fine youth image, but after he lost the White youth vote in 2012 that image can be set aside. Putin's cold, strong image, reflective of his realist politics, turn even the most cynical millennials into fanboys once they get to know him. Take Encyclopedia Dramatica for instance, that wholly obscene, Anonymous-attuned humorous wiki which (unlike the broadcast media completely partial to the Liberal Order) attacks the Left with unparalleled wit whenever it covers them. Few are the personalities ED treats with reverence, but Putin, called Bad Vlad (!), is one of them. The above image, which has something of The Godfather about it, hails from DeviantArt. Oh, and Google "Vladimir Putin": one of the suggestions is "badass".
On July 30 Alternative Right ran Third Rome Resurgent, an absolutely amazing piece on Putin's Russia and geopolitics from a traditionalist, Orthodox Christian perspective. Michael Cushman of the Southern Nationalist Network took the article and ran with it, penning the hilariously-named A contrast in pictures: The Empire vs a real nation. Also well worth a read and a chuckle.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
As the star of an anime myself I, Atobe, am perhaps not so excited by the anime scene as Leslie (who has rewatched this PV on the order of 20 or 30 times), and have been watching a British cartoon during my rare free time, a classic that I, Atobe, missed when it aired. As true fans of yours truly will know, I grew up in England, but returned to the Home Islands in the fall of 1997 to attend Hyotei Junior High. But I, Atobe, tell you, when May of my senior year rolled around, dozens of my usually unexcitable, tea-and-biscuit schoolmates from the old boarding school dialed me up, saying, "Keigo, Keigo, Keigo, you have GOT to see this new cartoon! It's bl~~dy brilliant!" After my words calmed them and they were no longer choking on their praises, they managed to get out that they were speaking of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. One fine pal even taped the show for me in toto, and was kind enough to mail it to Japan! But it got lost in the mail, he says, and I, Atobe, had to wait for the age of YouTube to see the marvelous animation.
The inveterate fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I, Atobe, was able to recongize at once the "brilliance"of the accultured series. Only three episodes in, this viewer is duly impressed. Thankfully for London in 2103, Holmes's body had been preserved in honey, and when Inspector Lestrade is confronted by an unprecedented crime wave, the aid of a Nobel Prize-winning scientist is all she needs to bring him back to life. Yes, that's Lestrade, descendent of the Victorian iteration, in the center. In this Bad New World women, like now, are in charge, and Dr. John Watson is a cyborg. When Holmes awakens, he says "So, you're having a crime wave." "Uh, how did you know?" asks the irked Lestrade. "You brought me back for more than just my good looks and sparkling wit." A very nice touch. But a truly fantastic scene occurs in the next episode, when Holmes encounters the 22nd Century version of the Baker Street Irregulars. He needs a guide to lead him through the abandoned underground, and on meeting Wiggins (he's black this time, but for the most part London in 2103 looks whiter than London in 2013; go figure), bets him 100 "quid, uh, credits" he can tell Wiggins more about himself than Wiggins can tell about him. He deduces:
You used to play soccer for Brixton and had big dreams, but a knee injury ended all that. You've taken up boxing despite the knee, arc quite good, and favor your left. You like raspberry sours, linguine, and a girl named Jacey, whom you don't get to see as much as you'd like.
How did Holmes know? He tells the flabbergasted urchin
Observation and deduction my boy. I simply used my eyes, and my brains. Your scarf tells me you're from Brixton, you expertly kicked that can to the rubbish bin using your instep, a soccer move. But it caused you pain in your knee, so I deduced that that was the logical reason you had to give it up. You have a slight cut on your left eyebrow, a common boxing injury. Your left forearm is larger than your right, plus you have some ink staining the side of your left hand; lefties usually favor their predominant side. There's a piece of linguine on your shoe, and the raspberry sours have stained your tongue purple. As to Jacey, there's her name and number [on your hand], and since your here instead of with her, I simply deduced...
Not bad for a twice centenarian. The third episode also impressed, but the main thing that struck me was the novelty of resetting The Hound of the Baskervilles on the moon! Some things, no matter how silly, have to be tried at least once. Be sure you do pursue this remarkable series, however, in the interest of appeasing the awakening Leslie, back to Rozen Maiden season 3. It premieres July 4, my peeps: Who wants to be independent from Great Britain when you can have kawaii Victorian living dolls? Isn't Shinku just divine as she rides the merry-go-round, her thoughts elsewhere?
Be awed at the sight of my prowess!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Were I not a man of principles, I would cast a ballot for Gomez as the proud son of a Yankees household mocked by the League of Conservation Voters flyer which, well, little concerns conservation. Alas, if but some of the accusations bandied around about Gabriel Gomez, like being "anti-choice", were true, I would vote for him. But that is simply wishful thinking. In addition to being too yellow to stand on any of the "divisive" issues, which are the only ones that matter, the Gomez Plan to Reboot Congress includes the usual populist inanities, notably term limits. Does Gomez want to be a politician or not? If he thinks politics as a career is so reprehensible, why is he running? Any elected man not proud of his office and being a "career politician" is not worthy of it. Every time I think of term limits, I think of a passage from A Puritan in Babylon, William Allen White's life of Calvin Coolidge (if ever you must read hoary classic texts on our executives, the Easton Press Library of the Presidents is the way to go). White was a leader among Progressive Republicans, yet on page 263 admitted this concerning the Seventeenth Amendment, which provided for the direct election of senators.
To be sure, he celebrates a change that came in perspective.
...when the primary came, and when the direct election of United States Senators was achieved, problems of production were secondary problems. The people—particularly the people of the agrarian West were interested in problems of distribution. So the complexion of the Senate changed—not in patriotism, not in nobility, but in aims, aspirations, purposes.
He does duly observe, though, that
The Senate, which McKinley knew, had vanished. It is not fair to assume indeed it is most unfair to presume that the Senators of the later day, coming directly from the people, were more nobly patriotic than those Senators coming from the legislatures directed by the benevolent despotism of the last half of the nineteenth century. Probably the state legislators on the whole, discounting the scandals and the flagrant corruption of the times, were men of more intelligence, of more parts and consequence, than their successors in the days of Wilson, Harding, and Coolidge.
The last sentence is a bit unclear, but by "their successors" the Progressive stalwart may have indicted the people. And today the Seventeenth Amendment (along with the Twenty-second), like many of the poorly devised improvements to the original Constitution, is criticized only by the most steeped-in-the-cup Tea Partyers! And now a liberal Republican of our own day, Gomez, wants to follow the sterling example of California and institute term limits. Imagine how much worse that formerly illustrious body would get when the few right-thinking senators who got elected by fluke were termed out after twelve years if fools like Gomez ever realize their pipe dreams.
Of course, I always vote. However, as a man of principles who holds all considerations other than issue positions to be so much hogwash and grandstanding, I have ignored the race ever since I knew both major party candidates to be leftists bent on promulgating amnesty and defending the legal abortion regime. Lest the reader wonder whom I am voting for with the election less than a week away, I shall cast a ballot for Richard Heos, seen left, of the Twelve Visions Party, the platform of which is libertarian with a certain New Age bent. While he supports amnesty like the other two, he does aim to dismantle the welfare state, and is to be lauded for his criticism of the welfare behemoth. More importantly, votes for the unknown kook candidate will be perceived as protest votes. Protest voting is an extremity to which I have never in the end resorted, but is called for when conservatives are presented a hostile leftist to support simply because he is Hispanic and a Navy SEAL (ooh, wow). Yet this is who the other primary voters chose. Even Scott Brown, I aver, was not this bad. And Markey, being practiced politician, and a man, is not as snide and arrogant as Elizabeth Warren, and does not compel me to vote for whoever is his most popular rival. Gomez and Markey: if only both could go down to defeat.