The really delightful thing about so many people running for president is the great bounty of schadenfreude we may enjoy when almost all of them lose.
When I’m depressed, I watch standup comedy. I watch it alone. I don’t laugh. When it is over, I feel better.
The latest episode of Proverbial is about jokes, why jokes are offensive, and why you need to be offended every now again.
While it chagrins me to say so, I have my doubts this recent piece for CiRCE will be understood as satire.
Every week, on the drive to Church.
Q: Where are we going?
A: To Church.
Q: Where is Church?
A: In Heaven.
Q: When is Church?
A: The end of time.
Q: Who will we see at Church?
A: Mary, Jesus, the martyrs, the saints, the apostles, and the prophets.
Q: Who are the apostles?
A: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Thaddeus, Simon, Judas, Matthias
Q: What are the virtues?
A: Faith, hope, love, wisdom, justice, courage, temperance
Q: What are the spheres?
A: Earth, air, fire, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Stellatum, Primum Mobile, Empyrean
Q: What are the fruits of the Spirit?
A: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Q: Where does God live?
Q: When does God live?
A: Every time.
Q: What does God know?
Q: How good is God?
A: All good.
Q: What is the most important thing you do all week?
A: Take the body and blood of Jesus.
Q: Is it more important than school?
Q: Is the bread and the wine kind of like the body and blood of Jesus or is it actually the body and blood of Jesus?
A: It is actually the body and blood of Jesus.
Q: And what would you say if someone told you it wasn’t?
A: I would say, “You are wrong. It is the true body and blood of Jesus, because that is what the Orthodox Church teaches.”
Q: Why does Jesus give you His body and blood?
A: Because He is good and because He loves us.
Q: Do you love Him, too?
A: Yes. Very much.
Q: How do you love Him?
A: By doing all the things He commands.
Q: What will happen after you eat the body and blood of Jesus?
A: Jesus comes into our hearts and does all the good things we do.
Q: Does Jesus do evil things with you?
Q: Have you asked Jesus into your hearts?
A: Many times.
Q: If you decide to get married someday, what kind of man must you marry?
A: An Orthodox man, or else he won’t come to Church with us and our children will be confused.
Christians: (pushing a small stack of poker chips into the middle of the table) I bet there’s no such thing as gluttony.
Secularists: (pushing out two larger stacks of poker chips) I bet there’s no such thing as lust.
Christians: (undaunted, pushing all remaining poker chips out) I bet there’s no such thing as shallowness.
Secularists: *mops brow*
A work of juvenilia, really, but I am moving on to Stoner next. I haven’t read a great American novel in some time.
Since quitting social media, I’ve had all this time to read. Last week, I finished The Talented Mr Ripley. Patricia Highsmith writes very fine sentences, good paragraphs, but is not much for chapters. Nonetheless, her capacity to identify the micro-incentives, micro-disappointments, and micro-delusions which happen at a nearly imperceptible level in the human heart was astounding.
It often happens that a single ambient record overtakes my interest for a whole season. Presently, I cannot get enough of Roger Eno’s Voices (1985).
“It is not so much that modern men have ceased to believe in god as it is they have ceased to believe in transcendence. We still have gods, but they are immanent. They are here and now and nowhere else in history or in the future. Immanent gods require a culture of immanence, as well, and so we have exalted art which affects us immediately and profoundly. We prize art which is sleek, sensual, sexy, shocking, loud, flashy, funny, and fast-paced. Subtle art is heretical, then, for it requires long periods of contemplation and by the time it is understood, we will have already moved on to the worship of new gods.”
-From Love What Lasts (Winter, 2020)