In sad news, I learn that Taro Aso, formerly admired on this blog, is no longer the Prime Minister of Japan. I know little very little about his successor, Yukio Hatoyama, save that he's a member of the center-left Democratic Party, may not be so easygoing as his Liberal Democratic Party predecessor was. At least, according to Wikipedia, he comes from a family engaged in politics since the Meiji Era; ironically, his grandfather was a co-founder and the first PM of the LDP his party just threw out of power. Alas, the Catholic light of the East, everyone's favorite manga otaku, passes into political history. May he be sweetly remembered in the histories yet to be written! Shown below is one of a dozen gorgeous photos I found of him in an audience with our beloved Supreme Pontiff.
A few other interesting bits of data. The new Newman Guide is out. Once again, Assumption College hasn't made the list, but this place has only gotten better since I arrived in the late summer of 2007 (coincidence?), so maybe by senior year the Newman Guide pride will finally be ours. At least, unlike our rival Holy Cross, we are a Catholic and not a "Catholic" college.
Back in Paradise City, much has happened during the short time I've been away. In the mayoral primary, Northampton's longtime mayor, who shares my last name, came in a far second after city councillor and challenger Michael Bardsley. A change-up will be refreshing- our lackluster Mary Clare Higgins has been in office since I was still in elementary school- though I expect rather little from Bardsley should he go on to victory in November. Much more distressingly, though rather old news by now, three of Northampton's five parishes are to be closed, and one of the remaining is to be degraded to a chapel of my own St. Mary of the Assumption, the only one to be left intact. I knew our pagan city of lukewarm faith could not cling to all five forever, the heroic efforts of devoted church ladies and gents notwithstanding. But five to one in a clean sweep is awful! Gone will be the historic French and Polish parishes, their stained glass inscriptions a testament to the faith of the immigrants who built them. Ah, but for the days (basically until the post-Vatican II reforms from what I gather) when St. Mary's alone was so overflowing that a second Mass needed to be held in the parish hall below to squeeze in the overflow crowd. Back then St. Mary's had five priests all to herself, and Northampton had a Catholic high school; many of the pious elderly I mentioned above fondly remember graduating from St. Michael's School, whose attractive building still exists, in the late 1950s. What Northampton might have been, had it been taken over by Roman Catholics rather than lesbians and Castro sympathizers!
Finally, I can't resist posting the following image, an example of Platonism in manga! I showed it to one of my professors, and he thought it was neat too.
Hmm, MangaFox stole back the image, so just go here :