Thursday, July 31, 2008

the world's oldest joke... a sexist fart joke.

The oldest recorded joke is from Sumer in 1900 BC:

"Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."

Those wacky Sumerians.

Monday, July 28, 2008

eurovision is so freakin' awesome

This year's entry from Azerbaijan:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

catholic poets

Venantius Fortunatus Reading His Poems to Radegonda VI. Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1862).

Yeah, I know. I haven't been blogging much recently. Mostly the reason is that I've been working very hard on the dissertation. At the same time, I think I'm more in a period of taking in ideas and impressions than of writing them down.

I have been reading Candles in Babylon by Denise Levertov. Great book, she is an amazing poet. According to Wikipedia, she converted to Catholicism in the last decade of her life. When I read that, I tried to remember what other poets have converted to my religion. All I can think of right now are Gerard Manly Hopkins and Robert Lowell, but something tells me there are more. Does anyone out there have some names?

UPDATE: Okay, we will drop out Robert Lowell as nothing more than a spiritual tourist and start the list, which will be updated as more suggestions roll in:

1. Denise Levertov
2. Gerard Manly Hopkins
3. Thomas Merton
4. Oscar Wilde
5. Paul Claudel

I'm not doing this to create a kind of triumphalist "who have the Catholics bagged?" list. Rather, I ask myself if their is something about Catholicism (the liturgy, the tradition, the stories, the mystery, the physicality, etc.) that may be especially appealing to poets. Please write in with more suggestions.

UPDATE 2: CowboyAngel is right. I had a conversion experience in prison after shooting Rimbaud. He was in Reno and I shot him just to watch him die.

UPDATE 3: Lee has added many to the list, including Chesterton who (I was not aware of this) also wrote poetry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

St Benedict & a Beer Blessing

I'm insanely busy, but I couldn't let the day go by without wishing everyone a happy feast of St Benedict!

Also, what do Benedictine monks do? They make beer! Via The Way of the Fathers, a blessing for beer:

Benedictio Cerevisiae
V. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Bene+dic, Domine, creaturam istam cerevisiae, quam ex adipe frumenti producere dignatus es: ut sit remedium salutare humano generi, et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sancti; ut, quicumque ex ea biberint, sanitatem corpus et animae tutelam percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Et aspergatur aqua benedicta.

English translation
Blessing of Beer
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Bless, + O Lord, this creature beer, which thou hast deigned to produce from the fat of grain: that it may be a salutary remedy to the human race, and grant through the invocation of thy holy name; that, whoever shall drink it, may gain health in body and peace in soul. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.
And it is sprinkled with holy water.

Monday, July 07, 2008

prom picture

Congratulations, Venus. Congratulations, Rafa, and thanks for one hell of a game.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Romanesque Zamora

More fun with Windows Movie Maker. Now with a wee bit of video. To see it full screen, go to the youtube page.