Friday, April 25, 2008

injustice in new york

Lady Justice, from the Seven Virtues, by Giotto, 1306.

In Queens in November 2006, three police officers shot fifty bullets into a car occupied by three unarmed young men. One policeman emptied his gun and reloaded. Sean Bell died from his wounds the night before his wedding. Today a judge cleared the officers of all charges of manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Apparently it's all right to kill people in New York City.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

St. Akepsimas and other things Persian

St. Akepsimas.

Today is the feast of St. Akepsimas, a fourth-century Persian bishop who was martyred during the persecution of King Shapur II.

Speaking of that part of the world, it seems that Hillary Clinton is as much of a hawk as her votes on the Iraq war and the Kyle-Lieberman amendment have indicated she may be. She said today that if Iran were to attack Israel using nuclear weapons during her presidency, "we would be able to totally obliterate them." This continues what she said last week concerning the same hypothetical situation would result in "massive retaliation," which she clarified last night by saying, "their use of nuclear weapons against Israel would provoke a nuclear response from the United States."

Now, I agree that a nuclear-armed Iran is far from desirable, and I deplore Ahmadinajad's rhetoric about Israel. Still, if Iran were to have that technology and were to use it against Israel, Israel would be both capable and willing to respond itself. Iran knows this, so it's unlikely that they would attack Israel. At any rate, there's no need for a US guarantee of any sort. Even if we had to retaliate, do we want to speak so easily about "totally obliterating" a large country?

Iran has a population of 65,875,223. Almost a quarter of that is fourteen years old and under. "Totally obliterate." Makes me feel sort of sick.

Pennsylvania, are you listening?

In related news, an indignant response condemning 9/11 conspiracy theories: Al-Qaeda tells Iran to knock it off.

St. Akepsimas, pray for us.

Coming soon: tattoo update.

Monday, April 21, 2008

st anselm and six words

Today is the feast of St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), who was both a great churchman and a great theologian. I am particularly fond of his ontological argument for the existence of God. He also put forward his form of atonement theology, and although I know it hasn't been that popular in this corner of the blogosphere, and though I don't accept it fully, I still think it's brilliant intellectually and, taken in its context, should still give us food for thought.

William tagged me for the six-word meme, and I promise -- I have thought about it a little bit. Of course, the joke is that my life in six words is "dissertation, teaching, dissertation, teaching, dissertation, teaching." Apart from that, I don't know. My life has been somewhat crazy, and now the things that fill it up -- my wife and stepson, my scholarly career, my newfound devotion to God, my friends -- seem to spill out at the seams of a six-word sentence. That's not even taking into account things I have parked on the side right now, like poetry. The sad truth is that grad school leaves me very little time to reflect deeply on myself and what I am. That's okay -- I'm going through a kind of boot camp and it's almost over. But right now, my life is "dissertation, teaching, dissertation, teaching, dissertation, teaching," with an occasional break for other valuable things. I will return to this question in about a year and a half.

Coming soon: tattoo update.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

our parish in the times

The Church of the Ascension.

We still need to cast "W." (See below). But meanwhile, there' a good article in the New York Times about our parish, where Imperatrix pulcherrima Africae occidentalis and Filius eiusdem were baptized, and where the former and I were wed. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

oliver stone is loose again

No idea where this picture is from.

Kevin has been following the casting for Olivers Stone's biopic about George W. Bush, "W." Kevin dixit:

Dubya gets his damsel: Elizabeth Banks will play Laura Bush in Oliver Stone's forthcoming W, with Josh Brolin in the title role. W starts shooting next month in Shreveport. As a admirer of Stone's Nixon, I for one am looking forward to the finished product.

Update: Here comes 41. Stone casts James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn as George H.W. and Barbara Bush respectively.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of Stone's work, but I then again haven't seen much of it. I remember liking Salvador, and I thought The Doors was a great musical comedy (though I don't think that was the director's intention). I saw about two minutes of Natural Born Killers, and that was enough to give me the idea that it was a monumentally self-indulgent and sensationalist piece of garbage. So I don't know if I'll see W., but I am intrigued by Kevin's observation that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Karl Rove have yet to be cast. The possibilities dizzy me. I want my readers to offer some nominations of actors for each of these parts, and then we'll have a poll. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

too busy

I'm too busy to blog -- but here's a picture from my last trip to Spain. It's the seventeenth-century church of San Gines in Madrid.

Friday, April 04, 2008

in memoriam