Curmudgeonry in the 21st Century

Most definitions of the word are done by people who are not curmudgeons, so therefore have little to no significance in reality.

Mark Twain may have been the best example. A person with experience and insight and little patience to gloss over the silliness most people accept. To most, this comes off as “grumpy , ill tempered old man”. What else could be expected from the safe spaces, participation trophy crowd? (Female Curmudgeonry has a very different persona but shares the outcomes described here.)... [Read More]

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Sacred Names

Nomen Sacrum” is the term used for certain abbreviations that are found in ancient manuscripts of the New Testament books. These abbreviations for the “sacred names” are well known by church historians, theologians and text critics but not much known outside of those circles. I thought that Christian Ratburghers would be interested in the way the earliest Christian scribes abbreviated the names for God and Jesus.

This post is a follow-up to my post last month, which was a book review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts, by Larry Hurtado.   That book was a historian reporting on what he found when he spent some time speaking with the papyrologists who study the earliest New Testament manuscripts, and what he saw when he examined these precious fragments of early Christian culture.

Continue reading “Sacred Names”

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Carmina Burana: Orff the Wall Libretto

In 1935–1936 Carl Orff composed Carmina Burana, a cantata based on 24 medieval poems in vulgar Latin, Old French, and Middle High German.  The work was first performed in Frankfurt in 1937.  It opens and closes with the Latin “O Fortuna”, a poem dating from the 13th century, which is the best known part of the composition.  Since few modern audiences are likely to understand medieval Latin, they’re likely to hear other things, for example:

... [Read More]

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For Hypatia

Something I stumbled upon.  I think you like this sort of thing so I am passing it on… (Hopefully all my “text” editing will carry through the posting.)(nope, it just bumbled it all together…)

The Train of Life
At birth we boarded the train and met our parents,
and we believe they will always travel on our side.

However, at some station
our parents will step down from the train,
leaving us on this journey alone.

As time goes by,
other people will board the train;
and they will be significant
i.e. our siblings, friends, children,
and even the love of your life.

Many will step down
and leave a permanent vacuum.
Others will go so unnoticed
that we don’t realize
they vacated their seats.

This train ride will be full of joy,
sorrow, fantasy, expectations,
hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.

Success consists of having a good relationship
with all passengers
requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is:
We do not know at which station
we ourselves will step down.

So, we must live in the best way,
love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.
It is important to do this
because when the time comes for us to step down
and leave our seats empty
we should leave behind beautiful memories
for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life.
Reap success and give lots of love.
Lastly, I thank you
for being one of the passengers on my train.

(By the way, I am not planning to get off the train anytime soon
but if I do, just remember I am glad you were part of my journey.)

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It’s in the Constitution!

U.S. Constitution: Article I, Section 10, idiot “it's”As the author of that most notorious document, “The Use of the Apostrophe in the English Language”, I’m always on the lookout for how that most humble of punctuation marks humbles the high, mighty, and pompous.  One of these days I’m going to make a “meme” (yes, I know that this is a corruption of the original meaning of the word) which shows the apostrophe key on a keyboard with the legend “The apostrophe key: its there to show readers if your an idiot.”  Indeed, nothing so distinguishes slapdash scribbling from words worth reading than confusion between “its” and “it’s”.  That’s because the rule distinguishing them is so easy to remember: “If you mean ‘it is’, or ‘it has’, write ‘it’s’. Otherwise, write ‘its’.”  In particular, the use of “it’s” when the possessive “its” is intended, which I call an “idiot ‘it’s’ ”, is the signature of the sloppy writing of a muddled mind.

Imagine my surprise when reading the official transcription of the U.S. Constitution published by the U.S. National Archives to find, in Article I, Section 10, paragraph 2, the following text:... [Read More]

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Charting the Narrative

“White Privilege” in New York Times articlesIn a number of comments on various posts here over the last year or so, and asides in main posts, I have discussed my conclusion that there is an organised mechanism, akin to a public relations firm, which is generating the “narrative” that seems to occupy the minds of the legacy media and politicians associated with them at any given moment.  I have no concrete evidence to back up this belief, but the existence of JournoList between 2007 and 2010 (which was shut down after its public exposure) indicates that prominent media figures are interested in and willing to co-ordinate their efforts in favour of the causes they advocate.

My conviction that the narrative of the moment is actively manufactured, disseminated among top-level figures in the media and “progressive” politics, and then passed down through the ranks by a mechanism akin to an old-time “phone tree” (in which most of the ultimate recipients are unaware of the origin of the themes and specific phrases they parrot), is that the way each new obsession simultaneously appears within hours to days on the lips and in the printed works of hundreds of supposedly independent players simply doesn’t fit the model of the organic diffusion of information.  Further, when precisely the same phrases are used by widely-separated speakers, and a neatly packaged interpretation of an unexpected event is presented a day or two after it happens, that doesn’t look like a bottom-up process.  And finally, when you observe this phenomenon again and again, with precisely the same pattern, that reinforces the suspicion that something is going on to make it happen.  As Ian Fleming had his supervillain Auric Goldfinger say, “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”... [Read More]

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