19 August 2009

Liturgical Weirdness from Before the Council

My university library happens to have a copy of the St. Gregory Society's 1954 White List of approved liturgical music--it also contains a short black list. While mostly it's all the stuff you'd expect, including things I (and the present pontiff) would disagree with (they exclude everything by Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, and Weber!), there was one particular paragraph in the black list that amused and horrified me:

"The attempt of certain publishers to 'hoodwink' a gullible public by using in an indiscriminate manner the caption 'In accordance with the Motu Proprio'* deserves the condemnation of every friend of liturgical art. A flagrant example of this attempt to pull wool over the eyes of the innocent is found in the publication of the popular song 'Silver Threads Among the Gold' as an 'Ave Maris Stella' under the caption 'In accordance with the Motu Proprio.'"

Seriously? "Silver Threads Among the Gold?" I can't even imagine how that would work as an "Ave Maris Stella." Do the syllables really line up? If anyone has access to this side-show curiosity of liturgical music, please will you scan it and send it to me?

For those of you who don't know the popular song:

*The Motu Proprio mentioned is, of course, that of Pius X, which in the 1950s was still THE Motu Proprio when it came to sacred music.

18 August 2009


What do you all think about the recent spate of folks openly carrying guns outside the Town Hall meetings?

I'm of two minds on it. First of all, disregard this man:

He is obviously well beyond the bounds of charity or good taste, and is advocating the shedding of blood. He is not the kind of person I mean. I am talking about the man in Arizona carrying a rifle (which, when there was a federal definition of "assault rifle," would not have fit that term--that's just scare-mongering on the part of the media), and the others like him. They are well within their rights to open-carry, and carrying a weapon with you doesn't mean that you intend to fire it or that you're trying to scare people.

However, most of us are not accustomed to seeing people openly carrying guns, and whether or not the gun-owner intends to look intimidating, some people will be intimidated by the sight of a gun. The gun-carrier needs to be aware of this, and to be aware that he or she will likely cause a stir (except, perhaps, a very few places). The gun-carrier ought to evaluate whether openly carrying his weapon in any individual circumstance is likely aid or harm his cause. Personally, I think that if the cause, as stated by the gentleman with the AR-15, is to accustom people to seeing guns openly carried and to encourage others to exercise their constitutional right, perhaps he ought to have considered that some guns look scarier than others, and it might be better to start small. Perhaps leave the AR at home, and bring, for example, a Marlin lever-action (totally classic Americana)?

That's Annie Oakley with her Marlin, by the way. See? Just as good for self-defense in the right hands, but not so scary-looking to us 21st-century types.

01 August 2009

My Nephew Fights a Bull

Ok, it's just a baby really, and more likely pulled in from the field rather than a bull that's trained to fight. Still, he stepped into the ring and was charged by a beastie larger than himself! He's obviously having an even more exciting vacation in Peru than I had in New York. (Yes, there are two men in the ring in drag, and one of them is in blackface. It's apparently traditional, and they have different ideas of political correctness than we do.)