Tuesday, 30 June 2015
UPDATE: I should very much like to know what the mainstream churches have to say about this. I can't imagine they really give a crap, to be honest.
You might say I am a fussy eater. You might say I am conscientious. You might think it hypocritical for a person (I have always found it difficult to say "man") like me to feel so strongly about this seemingly ephemeral issue when I profess carelessness about so much else.
Let Muslims eat halal meat if they want. It has nothing to do with me. Just don't bring it into my house and expect me to eat it.
"What?! Surely chicken is just chicken?" Asks the secularist.
And there it is. Those six words could not convey more the reality of our disintegration into apostasy and barbarism. The apathy about certain ethnic foods in the West is not just a symptom of multiculturalism. It is the prime token of a complete lack of conviction and belief in God. Most people who have anything at all to say about halal object to labelling and such things on "animal rights" grounds; the same people who lobby against foie gras for example; and the propriety of eating the flesh of an animal that has been sacrificed to a Middle Eastern tribal deity soundly rejected in the West does not enter their imaginations. And when the point is pressed they don't care. But I do; I do care! The trouble is, my convictions are treated as frivolous and prejudiced. But that's not surprising. When eating is reduced to a bare necessity to keep functioning in a pathetic, meaningless life in which our actions have no consequence beyond their immediate effect (the secularist position), what does it matter what we put in our bodies? Does St Paul's admonition about fellowship with devils have any significance beyond the apocalyptic days of early Christianity? It's marvellous that everybody hates the Muslim world nowadays but nobody seems to care about eating Muslim food. Am I just a lonely voice in the wilderness? Does anybody else feel as I do? Comment below!
Saturday, 27 June 2015
The Ultramontanists will argue that these are mere "ecumenical gestures," as opposed to doctrine enshrined in praxis. I fail to understand the difference. If the Roman church believes that women's ordination shouldn't take place, why countenance it in the Vatican, of all places? If the pope had a spine he'd summon his Cardinals and Swiss Guards about him and order these women out of the old Papal State as an affront to his dignity. Just look at them! Hair unkempt and uncovered, dressed in men's clothes. Pius XII wouldn't have put up with that! But no, in this time of relativism we're so accustomed to the pope's smiling face and all those hearty, well-meaning embraces. He'll be shaking hands with gay lobbyists next.
Do you know, it's images like these that add credibility to the Sedevacantist position. "Neo-Modernist Rome," and all that. In fact, of all strains of traditionalism I have a slight respect for the Sedevacantists (that is not reciprocated, I assure you!). Their arguments are all wrong but at least they understand that Rome itself is a stumbling block and must be reformed or restored in some way. To that position I would add that these images are just another example of the constant tendency of the Papacy throughout history to have its fingers in every pie. It just wouldn't do to turn the trendy Lutheran clergywomen out, would it? After all, what is doctrinal integrity compared with a photo opportunity? And we're to believe that Rome is the "true church?" Don't make me laugh!
Friday, 26 June 2015
I think we've all seen the news about the Greek Orthodox turned Episcopalian choir director. I read the story with the same boredom I get when listening to the likes of Shirley Williams ranting on about gender politics and equality because these stories of enlightenment or apostasy or transcommunionism are all the same. Over the last six years, when the spider's web of traditionalist propaganda began to disintegrate around me (due in no small part to the ineptitude and bad attitude of traditionalists themselves), my attitude to my own latent homosexuality has gone from shame and concealment, through burning pride to a kind of bland acceptance. These days I think it is of supreme importance that people know about my predicament not out of a sense of pride or solidarity with people of my own kind but so that they are aware that not all of us are the same. The catalyst for my severing the communion of Rome (unfortunately not at the root; would that I had access to a firearm and the apostolic palace!) was indeed homosexuality. It is unfortunate that this occurred during the "burning pride" phase because things might otherwise have been at least slightly different. I was turned out of my parish by a Lawrentian bigot because I had committed the cardinal sin of openness. I then used this as an excuse to actualize my already fierce internal contempt of the pope and just give up trying to reform his communion in my modest way. I burned Summorum Pontificum and publicly announced my apostasy.
Unlike our unfortunate, like-everyone-else Episcopalian choir director though I have never looked upon other homosexuals with admiration or solidarity, and I have never really thought of homosexuality as something innately praiseworthy. Whenever men have made known their sexual desire for me my first reaction is usually revulsion. Whenever I have been in the company of other homosexuals and am witness to their camping about my first reaction is, "well, this is all a bit silly and frivolous, isn't it?" And whenever I condescend to read their sob stories my first thought is, "well, homosexuals are always complaining of one persecution or ailment, or another. Let's talk about something else!" When I went for my training with the bank there was a woman present from that cosmopolitan paradise South Africa (a professed Christian, in fact) who said that her homosexual brother had suffered some form of phobic persecution, the token, she thought, of a backwards-looking, intolerant society. I thought "shew me all the scars and bruises in the world; my heart is stone within me." Naturally, my mind went back to the vestry expulsion but I thought better of adding to the homosexual's never-ending tale of woe. It angers me.
But this clone of the typical modern homosexual claims overflowing gratitude for a decent formation in Hellenism and Byzantine liturgy as he walks consciously and voluntarily into the arms of death but at the same time complains of feelings of insecurity over his Greek parish priest, anxiety about being denied communion, and even mentions "gay marriage." It's as though he's listened with cloth ears to the Gospel narrative all his life while going "la la la la la." Nothing substantial can have really rubbed off. Now, he and I might both be sprinting down the wide and easy path but at least I protest my homosexuality and don't buy the LGBT rubbish! You can't enjoy being homosexual and expect God to approve! Making my own concentric circles around the Wisdom of God I have come to the conclusion that all this progress to acceptance of homosexuality is the token not of enlightenment but of barbarism. Just like the hotels that hide away the most dangerous criminals, the stories of senseless violence and menace we see in the news, the wind farms (a clear example of a country consciously regressing), being wished a happy Ramadan by a BBC weather reporter and a happy "Pride" weekend by the next one. The arrow of time points always in the direction of diminishing difference. Christians are exactly like Jews and Muslims; women are indistinguishable from men, so too is this young Greek pervert like most other homosexuals. So let him go and see how he fares in the not-quite Episcopal Church! It is the Good Shepherd who compasses land and sea to fetch the lost sheep; it has nothing to do with the sheep safely in the fold. You can pray for his soul if you like. Personally, I pray that he fails of all his hopes and ends badly.
Thursday, 25 June 2015
I know I said I would read this encyclical with assiduous detail like no other since Humanae Vitae but I got to about page twenty and lost interest. I can honestly think of better ways to spend my time than in the reading of a two-hundred page document, in translation, on a subject I have almost no interest in and expounded within an ecclesiology I reject. With the Gandalfian axiom "the wise speak only of what they know" firmly in mind, however, I venture to make a few comments on the general topic of global warming, climate change and anthropogenic human activity from the perspective of one who likes to be surrounded by green. I claim no especial knowledge on the matter; just the freedom to doubt what cannot be proved and to acknowledge that science is not an infallible oracle. Please be aware that I use the terms "climate change" and "global warming" interchangeably.
To be perfectly frank, I don't know what to think about the issue or theory of "Global Warming." All my conservative instincts tell me that this is a bogus, unscientific dogma thought up by left-wing, politically correct scientists, of the kind who promote sex reassignment surgery, to coerce governments and local authorities into investing in various forms of so-called green energy, subsidising those hideous and ineffectual "wind farms," and an excuse for cut backs in basic services such as the scandal of fortnightly waste collection. These pale satanic mills, apart from being an unreliable source of energy - they clearly depend upon strong winds - are singly and collectively a waste of productivity and resources; a blight on every hill, moor and sea; and are likely to cause more harm than good in the long term by sheer expense and reliance on auxiliary energy sources. We might as well rely on millions of hamsters on running wheels! And the sheer lunacy of bowing to this possibly mistaken dogma in this way is that here we are in the United Kingdom, sitting on huge piles of coal which is an incredibly cheap energy source which we produce ourselves, and we're not allowed to burn it because of successive EU directives that claim that it contributes to global warming. I don't know how many coal-fired power stations have closed down in the last twenty years but they are closed not because they don't work but because they burn coal, which emits Carbon Dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas and therefore, putatively, contributes to global warming.
At the same time, we have a national transport system which enshrines the motor car. With one exception, I hate cars. I cannot stand them. If it were up to me the vast majority of them would be impacted, melted down, with the metal and rubber used for worthier purposes. I hate motorways too. Why is this, you ask? Well apart from the irritation at seeing at almost every major junction in London some shrine of wilted flowers and a bittersweet photograph taped to a lamppost in memory of the latest crash victim and the kind of male plumage, bolstered by Hollywood, that goes with car ownership; motor cars are ugly, wasteful, dirty, bulky, noisy, over-used and altogether unnecessary and motorways have destroyed the peace, beauty and silence of the countryside - forever. Why should one of my neighbours personally own three cars? Why is it that I can't go for a walk in the country, as is my wont in the Summer, and stand and listen to the natural sounds of Nature such as wind in the trees, water falling over stone, and birdsong, without the interruption of the distant, but never-ending roar of a dual carriageway? Ten years ago, when I was learning to drive, I remember my mother's constant nagging about getting my driving license, and owning a car. It was so important to her as to seem a rite of passage, a kind of moral litmus test of adulthood. Needless to say I don't have a driving license, and have no intention of obtaining one, and the nagging eventually waned with the years but this attitude has not disappeared and is so widespread. A few years ago I was talking to a boy who had recently come into an handsome legacy, and I asked him what he was going to do with the money when he was old enough to spend it. Without hesitation he said: "house and car." But since when did taking one's place in society entail owning a car? These are just some of the moral questions that go with car ownership but it goes deeper than that, overseas and underground.
I cannot understand why we have made our transport system so wholly dependent upon supplies of oil from one of the worst places on earth. Petroleum supplies in Saudi Arabia are notoriously controlled by crude despots whose puritanical beliefs, morals and whole way of life are not dissimilar to the world's latest, greatest enemy - "Islamic State." Our loveless league with the Saudis, which came to an especially low ebb during the 1973 energy crisis (nicely done, Lord Balfour!), has significantly altered foreign policy and has ostensibly contributed to the irrational mess of the motorway and the suburban neighbour who owns three cars. Now, I said earlier that cars are unnecessary. This is ultimately true but I do appreciate that in some of the more remote places of the world, places with which I am myself familiar such as Inishowen and parts of Cornwall, cars are useful. But I cannot see the sense in the dominance of cars in dense, highly-urbanised, intensively-farmed landscapes for which cars are not built. At what point does this just become decadence and laziness? How it it excusable for someone to drive five minutes to their local shop just to buy milk? The fierce arguments I've seen between late mothers on their way to school with the bin men spring to mind. And now that fuel is so expensive I cannot see the sense in owning a car in suburbia at all!
I don't drive. I am clearly a moral and social failure so like the elderly and the weak I am forced to use public transport; in most day-to-day routines the bus. Now rural bus services, such as I have experienced in Cornwall, are infrequent, at odd hours (in some places two a day) and likely to be cancelled at no notice. Suburban and urban services are unreliable, due to the dominance of cars, not very welcoming and extremely uncomfortable. About three years ago, Stagecoach...who has anything to say about privatization?!...rolled out a new bus model. It's called the "enviro-bus." Well anyway, this new bus, a model of global-cooling efficiency in that it runs mostly on electricity and only partially on fuel, is slow, breaks down frequently, and the seats have only the thinnest cushioning which my brother, a bus mechanic, attributes to cases of vandalism and theft. With the wisdom of experience I can tell you that those seats are not for people with piles. Clearly the designers of these red monsters think that passengers deserve shabby treatment as opposed to selfish motor car drivers with leather seats and air conditioning. And as for being good for the environment, my brother says that that may be so in the short term, but what happens when the buses need to be scrapped after a five to ten year life expectancy? Apparently the batteries contain a molotov cocktail of toxic vapours and have to be professionally disposed of in a way that diesel-fueled buses do not, at considerable expense to the tax payer. So much for due economy! And all in the worthy cause of preventing global warming. And trams, which have seen a revival in France, are scorned for being uneconomical and hindering cars!
What would I see? I would see an earnest study of the economic and environmental benefits of switching, over the next twenty years, to a public transport rail and tram based system, nationalized, powered by electricity generated by home-produced coal. That means re-opening the coal mines stupidly closed during the Thatcher years. I would see car ownership restricted to one per family, with a greatly-expanded and increased congestion charge to discourage driving in major cities. I would see more people cycling and walking to work. And would it be too much to expect trains to have dining carts and proper carriages again?! Modern trains put me in mind of those poor souls shoved into high rise concrete flats (which should all be demolished); we're not cattle!
And that brings us to light bulbs. We've all seen how ugly and useless wind turbines are; what of these new light bulbs forced on us by the European Union a few years ago? Well, for a start you pay more for them and when you get them home, you fit them, they don't work with dimmers or with some old lamps, and even a 60 watt bulb gives off a "corpse light" and no more. They don't last as long as traditional bulbs either, despite claims to the contrary. There's nothing more to really say about this other than to observe that this is yet another example of the price we pay for fanaticism, and for being stuck with a political class of inept, self-selecting Bourgeois idealogues who spend their days systematically making the country less English, less British and less Christian.
And where is the empirical evidence for Global Warming? Why should we sacrifice so much for the sake of a theory contested fiercely within the scientific community? There are so many dogmatic exponents of this theory; shouldn't they bear the burden of proof? We've all seen their unfortunate mascot: the polar bear floating on a melting ice floe, trapped beyond hope of escape as it contemplates a watery grave. What is that but a yawning maw for the credulous? We see similar propaganda in the form of television adverts of negro children emaciated in parts of Africa as a celebrity reads a carefully prepared script in a spuriously concerned, melancholy voice. It doesn't wash with me, I'm afraid. Naughty, greedy, carbonic Man! In fact, these "doomed" polar bears prove nothing. How do we know that the melting ice is not due to some other factor, like volcanic activity? Perhaps the photos were taken in the Summer time? And do people expect us to believe that polar bears can't swim?
Eminent naturalist Sir David Attenborough presents the contrary view in favour of global warming. "A disaster," in fact. It is certainly not my place, or indeed anyone's, to gainsay people in matters of their expertise but I can't personally see the connexion between hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters and general climate change. It's like the claims I've seen about some islands that are (apparently) on the verge of submersion because of rising sea levels, as a result of "man-made" climate change. Surely there are true, scientific reasons for this such as litoral erosion or general tipping of the landmass? If the sea was really rising at an alarming rate because of melting polar ice I'm sure the people of East Anglia might be on to Whitehall about it! And as for one's "carbon footprint," by far the most important greenhouse gas is water vapour and NOT Carbon Dioxide, and, albeit I am not a scientist, I was not aware that water vapour contributed to a substantial change in the global climate.
Nobody can seriously deny that climate change occurs. It is a demonstrable scientific fact, proven historically. I expect you have all read about the "frost fairs" on the River Thames in the palmy days before industrialization and the rebuilding of Old London Bridge. What fun they must have been! The Thames hasn't frozen like that since the fell Winter of 1963, and not centrally because of the power stations at Battersea and Bankside. My father vividly remembers that Winter, when snow fell in the Autumn and Spring came late and cold. He described being wrapped up at night in every coat, blanket, towel and bag that my grandmother could find! Contrast that season of death with the famous Summer of 1976. My mother had a fun time everyday at the (now demolished) Danson Park lido. My grandmother complained that the heat ruined the garden. I'm not using these two years as the stimulant for a serious argument, just as an amateur observation that climate changes even within living memory.
What is in dispute here is rather the alarmist, majoritarian and intolerant zealotry with which the climate change lobbyists present their case and whether there is any substance in their argument that climate change is caused solely by human activity. And what I resent, and I expect you do as well, is the way in which we're forced to conform our lives to this possibly mistaken dogma. One major factor in my personal dissent from the accepted view is that it undoubtedly comes from the same source as multiculturalism and aggressive secularism. One might be more inclined to believe the lobbyists if we were not also told that "gay marriage" is right and normal. So I'll stick with this. I am skeptical, naturally, but I am open to wise, fair and true remonstrance from people who know better than I. But political partisanship on the part of the scientific community seriously undermines the case for truth. As the Scripture says, we all have a responsibility for Creation (Gen. 1:28) because we are part of it; indeed our part is enhanced by our unique covenant with God. In my own small way, I try to live as "greenly" as possible without making a song and dance about it. I do not need to march with any lobbyists to feel moved by felled trees, oil spills or ravaged countryside. My views, especially about motor cars, I believe to be objectively and eternally true but I think that the answer to the many and various environmental and meteorological problems we are faced with in this post-Christian world go far beyond that, but also beyond wind turbines and light bulbs. I suppose it rests ultimately upon the question of Modernity, and how to live an authentically Christian life according to the precepts of the Gospel in a post-Industrial world in which everything is so easy. In sudore vultus tui vesceris pane, God said; and this seems to be cruel, but natural.
I can end this only lamely by advising readers to be conscious of Creation because it is our collective responsibility under God to do so. If you recycle, for example, for any other reason than your sense of God-given responsibility towards the trees, grass and water whose beauty God made in antient times then maybe you're doing it all wrong? I suppose it's just as well that I don't know either way! I don't think about this issue much except in a general way of longing for the land about me that was and bemoaning creeping suburbia, and the fortnightly rubbish collection. Only a century ago where I am seated now was farmland, and all the lands about. No more, and it will only get worse. But to such days we are doomed. May God be with us.
Monday, 22 June 2015
Point the first.
Do you know, only this morning, while sitting in the bath, I was having a conversation in my mind's palace about two hundred years ago with a young man I met in Turin. I imagine it to have been about 1770 because the Revolution in France hadn't yet put an end to the Grand Tour and the city was still French. Anyway, the young man (let's call him Dr Fell) and I were discussing, among other less noble things, the degradation of Oxford and Cambridge, the opera, what we'd seen in the Italian states, and Christian society. He initially professed a nominally Christian morality but as time went on this started to crumble as, living up to his macaroni coiffure (almost two foot high!), in grandiloquent style and affectation he disclaimed that he thought little of marriage and seemed to suggest that mos Graeciae was good for the soul. I wondered if he'd met Monsieur de Sade? I should explain that this conversation took place in an area of my mind where there are mostly images and smells rather than books of lore, lyrics to musick and other sounds so I cannot produce particulars, I'm afraid. If it seems an anachronism then that's because I thought of Dr Fell as a 1920's Anglo-Catholic throwback to the 18th century. The only thing that I can clearly remember saying to him was, "have a care, then, lest you do the will of the Devil in your pride and remember that you are of the Church." I then remembered that my own imagination was not quite as fecund or articulate as all that, and that my admonition was itself a paraphrased Tolkienism. I was inspired by Fr Hunwicke to relate this...daydream, I suppose. These are the things that go around my head in the bath. I ought to have been born in 1731.
Point the second.
Without in any way wishing to denigrate the Word of God expounded so beautifully here but tangential to the point of "lover and beloved," even the paederasts of the antient world understood this and made this application to their romantic attachments. Lover, beloved; top, bottom, with the distinction (by all means a moral one) being so sharp that any blurring or reversal of these rôles would be an unspeakable sin. You might argue, with Scripture as your Witness, that this was nature turned in on itself but at least, unlike the modern Gay Equality rubbish, there was no illusion of normality. Not that I'd know but I suppose it's like bloody buggering public school boys who grow up and get married. I think it was only Nero, who was clearly insane, who thought up "gay marriage."
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of my uncle and godfather Barnabas ("Barney") Padmore who died twenty-five years ago to-day. I wish terribly that he'd lived if, for no other reason than he had finally found the desire to do so. Otherwise, I can think of no other words to say than those of the hymn that was sung at his funeral and which words were inscribed upon his headstone:
And all through the mountains, thunder-riven,
And up from the rocky steep,
There rose a cry to the gates of heaven,
"Rejoice! I have found my sheep!"
And the Angels echoed around the throne,
"Rejoice, for the LORD brings back his own!"
Number 584 in The English Hymnal.
Saturday, 20 June 2015
A priest once told me that I was very angry and that this was reflected in many of my posts here. I discussed this with a reader I met recently and I said that some people genuinely believe (or at least they used to) that I go day to day in a state of feverish rage about traditionalists and the other riff raff who otherwise don't agree with my views (that goes for the vast majority of mankind). I've been labelled many things since I started writing online; dismissive, insane, fanatical, queer, &c. My writing has stirred both revulsion and devotion; even sympathetic readers "wince," I've heard, at some of the more intemperate stuff. These days I'm lucky to get comments or notice at all! Perhaps, as at night time in the asylums, I've grown tired of shouting; perhaps when readers care to look here once in a season they perceive my carrying on as the crotchety meandering of a Westerner without a gun? Or the creeping of a snake without fangs? To some extent this is true. I no longer feel as intensely aware of or interested in liturgy or the Papacy as I was when I started writing six years ago. It is long since I picked up Fortescue or O'Connell. Years ago I would spend hours reading them, memorising passages, going over the diagrams with careful and assiduous attention. I still have the various editions in my library and consider them among my most valuable books; but, like the old missals and breviaries on the same shelf, they just gather dust. I suppose when you're sundered from a community that just gets on your nerves in matters liturgical you eventually run out of things to complain about. I started this blog to complain; and complaints proceed from anger.
I can't remember the last time I was genuinely angry about something. I have become irretrievably apathetic and cynical. The day I was sacked, for example, I wasn't in the least bit stressed or anxious or upset. When I was asked to go out for an hour after presenting my case to allow the manager to consider the matter, I wandered about Dartford market and ended up in a pub. As I drank the half pint of ale and pretended to feel concerned I thought less about future money troubles than I did about what I was going to eat that evening and the slight indignation that I wasn't wreathed in tobacco smoke. I subsequently went home and watched A Gala Evening with Hinge & Bracket and thought no more about the bank. I have done very little about finding a new job because I feel in no hurry to do so. I have become the boring protagonist in a story about the angry young man who turned into the slightly peeved old man. When I read A Level Philosophy, I found out about solipsism for the first time and dismissed it as a bogus theory born of rationalism. But against my better judgement I am becoming more and more solipsist, at most levels of my life. Psychologists might say that this is what happens to autistic people during times of stress, they might or would fain retreat into the innermost depths of their mind's palaces and shut out the outer world. It's not as bogus as you might think! When you shut the door to the next room, should you feel in any way interested in what is going on therein? Does it matter if the table exists when your eyes are closed?
This is now my eternal disposition against everything presented to my senses. When something new is forced upon my attention my first instinct is to become angry, but why? It doesn't matter, it doesn't exist; and if existence is its essence then it is evil. In moments of temporary reaching out to other people I might question their motives, let them be the wisest and most benevolent men in this world; but it doesn't matter. I am the centre of the universe; I am the Church; I am the Liturgy; I am me. All else is void. I live life in the sincere belief that I am the only honest person in the world. I am completely without guile. No, I am not arrogant. I have no cause to be arrogant. In most respects, I am a failure. But the price of my failure is the unclouded perception of a universal malady under which all men do labour and to which I alone am immune. It's about me. Other people are a mistake.
For those of you perhaps alarmed by this let them know that insofar as I want anything these days I suppose what I'd really like is to meet a bishop, even the pope, and have a frank discussion about these things and say: "I am a lost sheep. I don't want to be lost anymore but the way your church is I tend to prefer the wintry tempests and fiery heats of Outside to the shallow half-truths, spurious friends and lukewarm indelicacies of Inside. What are you going to do about it?" The answer is Nothing. The foul spirit of worldliness has seeped into every crevice of every parish of every Church denomination in this world. I doubt even the Holy Mountain is safe.
Friday, 19 June 2015
I have so far read the first few pages of the pope's latest encyclical. I had quite forgotten how incredibly boring papal encyclicals are. I may comment in more detail yet but so far I've seen "beloved ecumenical patriarch," "hope of full ecclesial communion," and a lot of hot air about Francis of Assisi, a man who, in my opinion, is little distinguishable from Oliver Cromwell. But this latest from Rome (H/T John Ad Orientem) just proves my point that popes are little different from politicians. Countries that turn away illegal immigrants should beg forgiveness of God, is it, "your holiness?" Spare me this sanctimonious bile and silly rhetoric! I don't know what things are like in the Vatican but my brother says that going to places like Woolwich in South East London (that's where young Mr Rigby was stabbed in broad daylight a few years ago) these days is like going into Nigeria or Somalia. And this impression is demonstrably not solely limited to Woolwich. Where are the English people? This is England, isn't it? Or have they all fled away?
Now, the general consensus, at least among my friends and family, is that we don't want more immigrants. We don't want to support the whole of Africa and Asia in this small island until such a time that the country is concreted over, smothered in concrete high rise flats, and becomes scarcely different from the ravaged countries from which the immigrants all came. And since when was it our moral responsibility to do so? I don't care to listen to foreign languages spoken in the streets of Sidcup and Eltham. I am not interested in what is going on in Syria, or the Ukraine or whichever other country has some sob story. It seems to me that our Christian-endowed sympathies are being overburdened with the baleful knowledge of everybody's troubles, and we then watch in sullen impotence as our cities and public services are swamped by less-than-civilized brutes who couldn't care less about Her Majesty The Queen, or the Prayer Book or even the English language. And those are just the ones here legally!
I don't want to go through life feeling terrible about people starving, driven from their homes &c by war, and feeling as though it is my moral responsibility to welcome the world and its family to supplant the English on English soil for such reasons. In purely practical terms, we were not meant to know what is going on thousands of miles away. We have the immediacy of modern communication systems to thank for that! The pope brushes his teeth with a new toothpaste, and it's up on Twitter with millions of retweets. It's against nature!
It seems to me that all the enthusiasm for this brave new world comes only from leaders who wield absolute power and influence, whereas the resentment, indignation and the honest-to-God desire to remain English in England, or French in France, or Italian in Italy; free, honest, Christian and proud to be so under God comes from the led, the uninfluential, and the impotent. I have always been resentful of authority because I have always perceived authority figures, from school teachers to popes, as inveterate liars and egregiously incompetent. And my, have they always hated me for that!
Lately, I have felt so overwhelmed with the world; with the conspicuous failures of churchmen; the moral disintegration of everyone around me; the treasonous character of politicians, the feeling that everything and everyone is an enemy; that I alone perceive a universal malady under which all men, save myself, do labour, that I just desire absolute and utter silence and solitariness. I want to be alone and left alone. I want to be only dimly aware of my immediate surroundings, and that just to survive a puritan existence. I have felt for some time now that I am the last Christian left alive. I am the last Englishman, and the last Irishman. I am fighting a losing battle with the modern world. I want nothing more than to shut out the world with all its evil because I am sick to my stomach of everything about life under the wan sun of this sick world.
Thursday, 18 June 2015
Nymphs and Shepherds come away,
In the Groves let's sport and play,
For this Flora's Holyday.
Sacred to ease and happy Love,
to Musick, to Dancing and to Poetry:
Your Flocks may now securely rove,
whilst you express your Jollity.
Nymphs and Shepherds pipe and play,
Tune a song, a festal lay;
For this is Flora's holyday,
Sacred to ease and happy Love,
To Musick, to Dancing and to Poetry.
Then trip we round with merry sound,
And pass the day in Jollity.
I recommend the whole CD, actually. Nymphs and Shepherds is a lovely, lively little nonsense song for Spring and Summer by Purcell but there are other songs on the CD equally touching and resonant; Morning Has Broken, Cockles & Muscles, &c. Listen carefully to In Every Furtile Valley. I think the choir director was sacked because of the inclusion of one verse when this CD was recorded in the '90's.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Initially published on 15th December 2012 but still relevant. I am reminded of the historic might-have-beens I mentioned the other day. Gimli mentions that, of course, in the aftermath of the Pelennor.
Blessed Ronald Tolkien's antagonism to France, the French, French cooking and the French language (he thought modern French was hideous, and compared the beauteous and superior grammatical style of Old English to Norman French in one of his lectures, disparaging the latter as a ''vulgar patois'') was due to his regret that English culture was dislocated and nearly destroyed following the ruthless, completely successful, conquest of England by William the Papist in 1066. One only has to read The Lord of the Rings to see how thoroughly English the great work is. For Tolkien, the Norman Conquest impeded the survival of a distinctly English language and corrupted the ideal of English life. Indeed, the very lexicon Tolkien uses in the legendarium seeks to eradicate the linguistic impact of the Conquest - there are no latinisms in Tolkien. The language of the Eorlingas, for example, was based on Old English, but such was Tolkien's mastery and genius that it was Old English without French or Latin influence. A famous Old English word would be ''were,'' which is derived from the Latin ''vir,'' which comes down to us today in words like ''virtuous.'' But why use such words at the expense of an English equivalent? Why use ''laudable'' when you can use words like ''praiseworthy,'' instead? Blessed Adrian Fortescue applied exactly the same principle in the introduction of his book on ceremonies, retaining Latin words such as Sanctissimum where appropriate, but flatly refusing to use Italian words like bugia, cotta, etc, and Latin for the sake of Ultramontanism (such as you find in Dale's poor translation of Baldeschi). A work ceases to be a real translation if you litter it with foreign words.
It has come into my mind in the last day or so that some elements of the Battle of Hastings found their way into the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, specifically a comparison between the death of Blessed Harold the Martyr, the last Orthodox King of England, and Théoden, King of the Mark. As depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, King Harold was pierced by an arrow in the eye and was cut down by impious Norman knights who hewed his body, treading his banner into the mire of his blood. The Normans refused to surrender Harold's body to his mother for burial, even though she had offered them a weregild in token. A cherished tradition has it that later the monks of Waltham Abbey with Edith the Fair, Harold's consort, came to the battlefield and searched the bodies of the slain for the fallen king, by marks on his chest known only to Edith. They found the body and had it brought to the Abbey, where the monks buried him with fitting rites and prayed for his soul. Norman propaganda during and after the Conquest portrayed King Harold as a despoiler of churches, but clearly neither the monks nor Edith thought so.
Tolkien's account of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields is very moving. From King Théoden's charge into the ranks of the Dark Lord, where his countenance shone as the Sun, how he was borne up upon Snowmane as a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the Battle of the Valar when the world was young, how the Eorlingas sang songs with the joy of battle upon them (the Saxons chanted Psalms as they awaited the onslaught of the Normans who marched beneath the Papal banner), that the sound of it was fair and terrible and came even over the walls of Minas Tirith; even unto his glorious death, unafraid of the dark, though his knights had all but deserted him, the Eorlingas are praised as the virtuous, the bringers of light to dispel the shadow of death. Of course, like the fateful arrow which felled Martyr-King Harold, Théoden's horse was pierced with a black dart from the air. Edith's reverence for the body of her lord, shamefully mutilated by the Normans, is brought forward by Tolkien in the person of Éowyn, who alone came to defend the body of the King, rebuking the Nazgûl (a lord of Númenórean origin corrupted by greed, much like Duke William himself); even as a convocation of Bishops in Normandy in 1070 rebuked those who fought on the battlefield of Hastings for Duke William, imposing penances on them; ironically men who fought with Papal blessing! Éowyn's rebuke is interesting from a philological perspective, since she calls the Nazgûl ''dwimmerlaik,'' and ''lord of carrion,'' admonishing him to leave the dead in peace. The word ''dwimmer'' occurs at several points in The Lord of the Rings, and seems to refer to black sorcery or necromancy. Here Éowyn rebukes the Nazgûl, who undoubtedly would have mutilated the fallen king, as an unholy phantom and sorcerer, whose power over the dead had its uttermost source in the Devil - clearly to rend the body of the fallen was a thing unspeakably evil.
Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.
So sang the lords of the House of Eorl, in a song probably accompanied by harps, at the King's burial, and composed in the Saxon tradition of unrhymed rhythmical lines tied together internally by alliteration. And so in a sense Théoden's death can be seen as a retelling of the death of godly king Harold, and it shews with what reverence Tolkien treated the Martyr King and with what contempt he held those who impiously killed him, Duke William and his guard heaped together in the Lord of the Nine Riders, who went to battle under the banner of the Red Eye.
Are these ravings?
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
"The suit she was calling was fallen grandeur and in it she never missed a trick. A day came when this woman found in a dustbin in Bond Street a backless bead frock. No sooner had she seen it than she longed to wear it. As she did not at that time live anywhere in particular, it was difficult to think of a place sufficiently secluded for trying it on. She chose the churchyard in Flitcroft Street and sat among the dead to wait for nightfall. When it was barely dusk her eagerness had overcome her prudence. She started an impromptu striptease performance. A crowd collected large enough to attract the attention of the police and she was led away. The next morning when the magistrate asked her what she had been doing, with a gently mocking laugh at the uncouthness of the question she replied, 'What any woman would be doing at that hour. Changing for dinner.'" Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant.
Madame de Meuron was a Swiss aristocratic eccentric (or is that the other way around?) who owned Rümligen Castle. She went about the town with an ear trumpet asking people who they were; she would have her valet park his car anywhere he wanted and if she had a mind to use the tram refused to buy a ticket; "I was here before the tram," she would explain. She was very old. One afternoon she trapped a vagrant woman stealing apples from her orchard and had her locked in the coach house for two days. She was charged with false imprisonment and dragged before the local judge. However, in her own spirited defence she produced a mediaeval manuscript which authorized the owner of Rümligen Castle to administer petty justice. She was let off with a fine and a lecture on current law.
I don't think I could ever possibly achieve this high standard of personal style, but I don't stop trying. I can't help but be reminded of Edith Evans' words to Kenneth Williams, "but I'm very ordinary, dear."
Monday, 15 June 2015
We all like an anniversary and the events that give rise to them. Personally, I am deeply suspicious of most of them, especially of anniversaries that span several centuries. Most present conflicting and unverifiable claims and can be safely jettisoned by lovers of truth and consistency. Some wannabe anniversarians conveniently forget the discrepancies between the Julian and Gregorian kalendars, the which only increase as the years roll by. We all assume that people are born on precise dates; but are they really? Not necessarily. The register for Holy Trinity Church in Stratford records the Baptism of Gulielmus, filius Iohannis Shakespeare on 26th April 1564. The custom of celebrating Shakespeare's birthday on 23rd April arose in the 18th century as a sort of pious desire to connect England's most famous dramatic poet with St George's Day. But when was he really born? With regard to Baptism, the 1559 Book of Common Prayer states:
The pastors and curates shall oft admonish the people that they defer not the baptism of infants any longer than the Sunday or other holy day next after the child be born unless upon a great and reasonable cause declared to the curate and by him approved.
In 1564, 23rd April was a Sunday and St Mark's day was on Tuesday so if Shakespeare's parents were following the custom required by the Prayer Book, Shakespeare would have been baptised on St Mark's day (25th) at the latest. So why the 26th? Perhaps there was a "great and reasonable cause" for the delay? Perhaps the Shakespeares were influenced by the superstition that St Mark's day was "unlucky." There is no empirical evidence to support any of these conjectures so the tradition stands. And don't let's forget that by the mid-16th century the Julian Kalendar had fallen ten days behind the solar year so 23rd April 1564 corresponds to what most of us would call 3rd May. Shakespeare died the same date as Cervantes, but not on the same day. Perhaps accuracy in these matters is historically irrelevant.
To-day the democrats and historians are busy celebrating Magna Carta, arguably the most misunderstood (failed) peace treaty in the history of civilisation. I honestly don't know the history of Magna Carta well enough to say anything remotely insightful or original about it. All I know is that what happened at Runymede on 15th June 1215 did not occur exactly 800 years ago to-day. I refer readers to the expertise of Dr David Starkey, who on 2nd February appeared as a guest on the Daily Politics and spoke about Magna Carta. You'll notice that, under the auspices of the BBC, the liberty of the Church is deliberately not mentioned, nor is monies indebted to Jews, and many other guarantees in the old charter which would no doubt be offensive to modern sensitivities.
If any readers know of any other videos worth watching on the subject I'd be grateful. So far all I have is my Oxford History of England series by Poole "From Domesday Book to Magna Carta."
Saturday, 13 June 2015
I've written about this at length before so I will not belabour the objections I have to this devotion and feast. Suffice it to say that such saccharine and ill-informed pieties present some of the chief stumbling blocks in my acceptance of the legitimacy and propriety of certain Latin traditions since the Middle Ages and Counter Reformation. If the pope is in any way interested in this lost sheep then let him legislate sacred hearts, corpus Christi processions and his own embarrassing claims to infallibility out of existence and beg forgiveness for the many stains visible on the seamless garment of Christ perpetrated by his predecessors, themselves the embodiment of schism. It just won't happen.
I can be liberal in an old fashioned way. Let the Muslims prostrate themselves before Mecca till they see the light of Christ; that's fine. But I will not tolerate certain Popish devotions. I am enraged by the mere fact of their existence and whenever I see them I perceive a doctrine, revealed by God and safeguarded by the Church, being corrupted and destroyed. For that there is no forgiving, either in this life or the next. So have a care whenever you look at a "sacred heart" painting in reverence lest you be cast into the furnace of fire where is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Friday, 12 June 2015
Shameless self-promoter that I am, I sent the link to my post on the transsexual phenomenon (it needs expanding, and editing) to some very distinguished people asking for their opinion. The general consensus was that it was funny and thoughtful. I don't know what was funny about it; perhaps, in moments of clarity, I am naturally funny? One gentleman took exception to the somewhat equalizing message, saying that there was an unique moral problem with deliberate and irreversible mutilation. I agree but you will understand when I say that I write always from the conviction that all progress is of its very nature anti-Christian. Sex reassignment surgery, paper napkins in restaurants, the idol of equality; they all come from the same source; they are all equally bethought of the Devil's bottomless malice and insidious influence on the minds of modern man, and I want none of it. As ever, I can put it no better than Tolkien:
I will not walk with your progressive apes,
erect and sapient. Before them gapes
the dark abyss to which their progress tends -
if by God's mercy progress ever ends,
and does not ceaselessly revolve the same
unfruitful course with changing of a name.
I will not tread your dusty path and flat,
denoting this and that by this and that,
your world immutable wherein no part
the little maker has with maker's art.
I bow not yet before the Iron Crown,
nor cast my own small golden sceptre down.
In my post I aimed to strike a via media on transsexual social acceptance. This is because I have no personal experience of transsexuals and I expect readers have none either. The Vietnamese man with the long hair who produced a passport in a male name with a male picture was a professional experience and, at the command of my line manager, I had perforce to forget personal conviction and reason and call him "madam." Good God! At what point do we distinguish this from a middle aged man dressing up in his wife's clothes on Friday nights and insisting the world calls him Mrs Haberdasher? Well, we can't; they're in most respects the same scenario. Mrs Haberdasher is no more a woman than the transsexual, even if she hasn't had her member turned inside out. The scenarios are different when Mrs Haberdasher returns to everyday life; "her" insistence might be a joke (then again it might not). The Vietnamese man with the pronounced jaw, on the other hand, his insistence is a form of tyranny. So when it comes to social acceptance, how do we go about it? I tend to be brutally honest with people. Some people welcome this as a breath of fresh air; others (most in fact) do not because they prefer the comfort and stability of lies and spurious niceness. My guess is that transsexuals fall into this latter category because they're already living a lie, whether they find themselves in my company or the company of a church, or not. In terms of church membership, I can't honestly say. It presents an infinitesimally subtle pastoral problem because on the one hand you have (at least we would piously hope) their honest desire to join the bosom of the Church as a member like any other; and on the other the oddball situation of their lifestyle. "I am a woman because I feel this way and I have the underwear to prove it," doesn't make you a woman and deliberate mutilation cannot go unconfessed. One can but return to the Word of God: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," (John 8:32); and that truth is: "male and female created he them," (Genesis 1:27).
Perhaps I'm not the best person to advise on pastoral matters but I humbly suggest that if you start with the Truth, you can't go wrong. Truth does not diminish if it is rejected by others. If it is rejected then you have done your part, you have witnessed to Christ. Remember Christ's words to Pilate: To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Quid plura dicam?
Thursday, 11 June 2015
Fr Hunwicke has written a short piece for the Old Pretender to-day. Hmmmm (imagine that as some deep subterranean grumble)...the only reason I stopped going to the Queen Mary Stewart commemorations at Westminster Abbey (all homosexuals love a tragic woman, cf. Judy Garland) was because the Royal Stuart Society is full of Jacobites and I will not brook disloyalty to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Now Jacobitism, apart from being a hopelessly romantic sob story, has no historic credibility. Divine hereditary right was unknown in Anglo-Saxon times and even after the tragedy of the Norman Conquest. The principle of primogeniture, for which Henry II strove all his life, was not firmly established until the 13th century. Before this, succession to the throne depended upon several considerations and was determined by no one rule. Kinship with the royal house was essential, of course; popular election, designation by the late king (as was the case with blessed Harold the Martyr), and personal fitness for the rôle. Of the first six kings (and queen, if you count Matilda) who came after the Bastard, only Richard I (who uttered those immortal words) succeeded by hereditary right, and the title of four of them was challenged by a rival. Until his coronation, the king was simply dominus of the feudal state; at the anointing he was rex and sacerdos, supreme in both Church and State. Of course, in terms of the so-called "Glorious Revolution" we have to go back to both the Witenagemot (or Witan; the proto-parliament, or curia regis) of the Saxon world and to the Bastard's claim of right by conquest. The Witan had the power to ceosan to cyninge or "choose the king" from among the sons of the royal family. It's conceivable that they had the power to depose him too if, say, he deviated from his coronation oaths or from the Gospel. Why, then, on this principle, had the English Parliament not the authority to depose James VII and II? He threatened the stability the realm and would fain make conquest of the Church of England; a policy repugnant even to the pope in Rome at the time.
As for right by conquest, it's undeniable. The Jacobites seem to have no problem with the Norman Conquest (perhaps on religious grounds? Not that the Bastard was a dutiful son of the Church; he was said to think little of pope Hildebrand). But do they not commit what logicians call a petitio principii (begging the question)? Seamus was held to have abdicated for he fled in a most cowardly fashion. Why then do the Jacobites not acknowledge the sovereignty of William and Mary? If, as Tolkien says, the hands of the king are the hands of a healer and so shall the rightful king be known, then surely Queen Anne would not have been able to cure the scrofula, as she did? It worked for Dr Johnson! Not that this principle applies to the House of Hanover because they did away with it. The Hanoverians leave me cold too and produced some of the worst monarchs we've ever had (George IV, William IV, and Victoria), but they derived Divine authority from their anointing. If only they were not so generally complacent and we might have a fairer, more Christian form of government still.
Hindsight is a double-edged sword. History is full of might-have-beens and what-ifs, false hopes and tunnel vision. At the time I'd have been shocked by the Reformation (not so much Henry VIII's reformation, albeit I'd have condemned the dissolution of the monasteries); at the time I'd have been a non-juror, if only out of reverence for James and the long custom of hereditary right; we only acquire a nuanced view of these things by earnest and impartial study when they are long past. Whenever I think of how different life would be to-day if, say, St Harold the Martyr had repelled the Normans at Hastings or Henry VIII had lived another ten years I am reminded of what Aslan says in the Narnia stories about it being none of our concern. Jacobitism doesn't make much sense to me and it has long ceased to pose any real threat to our national sovereignty (ha! like we have that anyway!). I've never liked the Duke of Cumberland and often sing the Lament of the Highland Widow, usually when washing the dishes. I also hold the House of Stewart (that's how I spell it; we're not French here) in very high esteem, for the memory of Mary killed unjustly, James her son the wise fool and especially for Charles ye Martyr. But I do not hold with de iure monarchs, and never have. The rightful monarch is she that was anointed on 2nd June 1953, Elizabeth II, Queen by the Grace of God. And I think she is wonderful.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!
God save The Queen!
I recommend John of Salisbury's Policraticus for the mediaeval view of kingly authority, and politics in general.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
This is The Naked Civil Servant (1975), uploaded for someone I met recently who said he'd never seen it. As ever, the axiom the book is always better applies, but the film (it's not really a film) has good qualities and highlights the fantastical side of homosexuality. The film is presented on YouTube in eight parts and this is only part one.
Tangential to the point of fantasy, I should say that Elton John, that nasty fat little pervert, assumed the name "Hercules" (not Heracles?!) to himself. To dispel any myths you might have about the sisterhood of queens, I can say with total confidence that if he died in some horrific accident I would praise God...Oh, come now! If you were honest, you'd say the same! Unlike Reginald Dwight, Mr Crisp was a gentleman to the end whose convictions remained constant. He'd certainly never have sued a newspaper for libel for calling him queer and he stared the hydra of public contempt in the face with patience and humility. If more homosexuals were like Quentin Crisp, celibate and eccentric, we'd all be better off.
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
A gender bender...
Far be it from me to join a crowd but I have noticed that since Bruce Jenner's "transition" went viral, everyone has been talking about transsexualism. I've spent years reading about transsexualism. It's the kind of morbid curiosity that also lead me to read about serial murderers. It is not the most comfortable lore and I wish to God I could forget it. What do you know? asked Frodo. Too much, said Aragorn, too many dark things. Indeed. Transsexuals, whether they have been mutilated or not, are damaged individuals with very serious psychosexual dysfunction (like priestesses). The idea that you can correct this by various body modifications seems a dangerous theory at best. It is one reason that psychiatry, as a science, is just as credible as phrenology. When I went for my occupational health examination at Erith in November the psychiatrist (he of the weak handshake) asked at the end if I had any questions. A curt "no!" was the answer and he noted in my discharge report that I had a contemptuous opinion of all my previous therapists. Psychiatry is a discipline at the will and whim of the riff raff on the socio-political left. For example, until the early 1970's homosexuality was considered to be a mental illness. Under pressure from the lobbyists and that changed into a legitimate lifestyle choice and social identity. A "kleptomaniac" is to-day what we used to call a dishonest cur. Even I have fallen through the cracks! What I was formally "diagnosed with" in 2008 no longer exists, at least in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So, are we to believe what psychiatrists and sexologists tell us about transsexuals when their text books of taxonomy change so much? They, just like the politicians and popes of this world, are the oracles of revolution and not true scientists.
I expect you have some vague idea of the procedures used to create a man or woman. In the case of men (male-to-female), they undergo hormone replacement therapy which produces mammary glands and other secondary sex characteristics, electrolysis to remove facial hair, plastic surgery to redistribute body fat and feminize facial features, castration and vaginoplasty. In women (female-to-male), everything is in reverse so they undergo a radical mastectomy and hysterectomy. I have read much more about male-to-female transitioning so I have no idea how a doctor "constructs" a penis from scratch but I have heard that phalloplasty has some connexion to the clitoris. Gruesome.
I never conceived of myself as an advocate for anyone but myself, even for other homosexuals. I am incredibly self-centred that way. Like Quentin Crisp, another selfish old queen, I am a minority within a minority. But that is not to say that I am without interest in other people. I have read, confessedly with some sympathy, about male-to-female transsexuals (I am not in the least bit interested in female-to-male transsexuals). Some of them, like April Ashley and Coccinelle, have lived successful worldly lives. My sympathy lies in our common fantasy. Many homosexuals, myself included, are indeed women by proxy. Is it so shameful to openly admit to a fantasy vision of a beautiful figure, lofty and disdainful, and the desire of all the world? Mr Crisp once said that the primary desire of all homosexuals was of a phallus garlanded with fantasies. That's true but I would have said that the personal conception of the lofty figure was no less potent; but I suppose there are degrees of potency depending upon one's temperament. I lean more to the personal conception because I am by inclination less interested in other people. The essential disparity lies on the spectrum because human sexuality, whether you agree with the Roman Catechism or not, is a spectrum. Transsexuals live out their fantasy by surgical addiction; homosexuals do not even if they cross-dress in public. The closer you are to the "centre," the closer you are to the rut of the bread-winner and the housewife (or, since all distinction in these matters is anathema these days, "househusband"). Go to the farthest reaches of the spectrum and you find the abominations of bestiality and necrophilia. Transsexualism, you may be surprised to learn, is somewhere toward the centre. Their fantasy is not the problem as such, it is their pathology. To actualize their desire by the mutilation of parts of their body, parts that God took such great care to fashion, is the problem, not the solution, and it is unnatural in every way. But is desire ever natural? My view is that there is little moral difference between sex reassignment surgery and the construction of aeroplanes. For centuries men desired to soar above the clouds. I'm sure Daedalus and Icarus were not the first! But if man was meant to fly, God would have endowed him with wings! Instead, we absentmindedly go up into the air like Nazgûl, creating Power in this world in defiance of God. I put it to you, dear readers, that sex reassignment surgery is no different from Sunday trading, universal suffrage, women's rights and equality. It is just a more shocking symptom of the Babel-building modern world; shocking in that it involves sexual parts and proceeds from rather more dubious motives than sky scrapers or the internal combustion engine.
I mentioned April Ashley and Coccinelle, two successful transsexuals, but there are, of course, many horror stories surrounding "gender transition," stories which the metropolitan elite endeavour to conceal to bolster their utopian vision of gender identity. I've read about hideously botched surgeries (and seen pictures), Lili Elbe's transplant rejection, suicides, &c. The vast majority of transsexuals do not become Vogue models. Here is one who could never even pass for an effeminate man let alone some divine woman like Marlene Dietrich.
It is an unmitigated tragedy, from the stubble to the cheap wig. What is also tragic is that this person is likely to be rejected even within the shallow LGBT community. I can't imagine "Gigi Gorgeous," a living Barbie doll, feeling much sympathy for this unfortunate case. They all look first at appearances, but no further.
Since the Fall, men have been wayward. That is the basis of soteriology. I expect it was much easier to live a Christian life during the palmy days of Christendom when men were men and women were women. To-day that distinction is irrelevant and the Christian Church is in retreat. Now comes the trial. Like the heroine of The Garden of Allah, we must put our love to the uttermost test. Think what you will of "gender dysphoria" or the fantasy of the desirable woman, I think transsexuals are to be received with compassion and some understanding, even indifference to their problem. You can rightly abjure the evil of their condition and choice of lifestyle but they remain irrevocably human. St Paul says that women should be shaved when they don't cover their heads in church and we don't make much of a fuss about that anymore, do we? Women wear trousers, men get their ears pierced; others choose to have their genitals mutilated and live life as though they were the opposite sex. If you can address a woman in trousers as an human being I'm sure you can treat a transsexual as an equal and in all likelihood you're probably never going to meet one ; still less are they likely to find solace in traditional Christian doctrine. They might prefer the metropolitan community church which openly caters to sexual minorities of all shapes and sizes, preferences and proclivities.
 I was going to say that I had never met a transsexual but I have just remembered that that is not true. Last year I opened an account for a transsexual in Marylebone. There was an issue with "her" passport and "she" put in a complaint about me (just one of many, you understand). What annoyed me is that as a result of "her" complaint I was almost late for a dinner at Brasserie Blanc in Covent Garden (one of my favourite restaurants in London) with my friend that evening.
Sunday, 7 June 2015
I put the Danny La Rue post up after having over-imbibed. Right now I am drinking some good gin my father bought me after I did a few jobs for him; competently as they were within my somewhat limited capability.
Someone said to me once that the fact that I grow tired of liturgy, churchianity and the gimcrack of conventional church polemic is a sign that I am an human being, that I have soul. George Orwell said that was the highest compliment to pay any man. I saw a tramp to-day at Crayford and thought of the nights Mr Orwell spent in the kips.
The "follow me on Google+" incentive dropped like a lead balloon. I knew it would.
Saturday, 6 June 2015
Danny La Rue was a very brave man and I'm sorry never to have met him. Like Oscar Wilde he too was impressed by the ritual and ceremony of the Roman Rite, as practised in Soho in the 1930's, and almost embarked on a priestly career. But his mother said that his pulpit would be much wider. She was right. He was in a class of his own. Unlike most "drag queens" to-day, he was not full of spite and filth. There was no swearing in his act. It was a joke and parody. May he rest in peace.
Friday, 5 June 2015
"All you say about the dryness, dustiness, and smell of the satan-licked land reminds me of my mother; she hated it (as a land) and was alarmed to see symptoms of my father growing to like it. It used to be said that no English-born woman could ever get over this dislike or be more than an exile, but that Englishmen (under the freer conditions of peace) could and usually did get to love it (as a land; I am saying nothing of any of its inhabitants). Oddly enough all that you say, even to its detriment, only increases the longing I have always felt to see it again. Much though I love and admire little lanes and hedges and rustling trees and the soft rolling contours of a rich champain, the thing that stirs me most and comes nearest to heart's satisfaction for me is space, and I would be willing to barter barrenness for it; indeed I think I like barrenness itself, whenever I have seen it. My heart still lingers among the high stony wastes among the morains and mountain-wreckage, silent in spite of the sound of thin chill water. Intellectually and aesthetically, of course; man cannot live on stone and sand, but I at any rate cannot live on bread alone; and if there was not bare rock and pathless sand and the unharvested sea, I should grow to hate all green things as a fungoid growth." The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien, no.78.
This letter was written in the summer time seventy years ago to Christopher who was in South Africa with the RAF. Tolkien often said that he wanted to visit South Africa again, even if just to find his father's grave, just as he wanted to see the streets of Artois once more although he hated them during the Great War. But he never did.
Thursday, 4 June 2015
I'm experimenting with Google+ at the moment. I hadn't realised that I had a Google+ account but I have decided to integrate my blog with this account in order to expand my audience a bit. If you're interested in following Liturgiae Causa by Google+ you can add me following the link in the sidebar. In addition, I'll be using my real name from now on so "Patricius" is no more.
What do all these nauseating pictures have in common?
When Jane Hedges was promoted to the deanship of Norwich I thought she'd be the first episcopa in the Church of England. Nobody had ever heard of Miss Wart. But here we have the "successor of the prince of the apostles" giving countenance to women's ordination in Britain's Valhalla. Oh I know, he's a guest in the house and it wouldn't do to simply ignore her but it doesn't give the Roman position on women's ordination much credibility, does it?
The pope of Christian unity playing happy families with the "green patriarch." Because centuries of estrangement and dissenting theologies can be wiped out by a mere episcopal fiat and grand gesture. Also climate change is a real concern for Christians. You'll find that in St Paul's epistle to the hippies, chapter four, verse who cares.
We're all friends now, eh. Reminds me of what Fëanor said before his departure from Valinor about not wishing to remain another hour within the realm of the kindred of the murderer of his father and the thief of his treasure. Whatever his faults, at least Fëanor had conviction.
Brothers in arms! Let's forget all our profound and irreconcilable differences for a photo opportunity! Meanwhile the pope can carry on 'phoning divorcees and saying "who am I to judge?" and the Archbishop can say that regardless of whether you're straight, gay or somewhere in between, sex outside marriage is wrong and keep a straight face.
The answer to the question posed at the beginning is that not one of the persons pictured here is in any meaningful sense different. Not one of them has any courage or conviction; not one of them is to be taken seriously. There is no distinction these days between politicians and churchmen, between dignitaries and heads of state. They are all oracles alike of the same ideology, the same smiling faces, the same insidious backstabbers. Racism is evil, nationhood is evil, climate change is evil, homophobia is evil, discrimination is evil, equality is good, unity and globalisation are good, immigration is good, love of new, hatred of old, political correctness and sensitivity, and so on.
Hear ye the Word of the LORD!
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Sixty-two years ago our Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II swore to uphold the the laws and customs of the realm and to maintain the Protestant faith. This might be a given in St George's Chapel, Windsor, but outside the old keep everything has wasted away. During her reign there must have come a point at which Her Majesty said, even if only to herself and to the Duke of Edinburgh, that she could not in good conscience give the royal assent to a particular law passed in Parliament, that such a law (pick one) would go against her Coronation oaths. If she had refused to give royal assent, what would have happened? Would that have precipitated a constitutional crisis? Would the parliamentarians have been outraged that their will (putatively the will of the people) had been checked by an unelected head of state? Would her stand against the ineluctable tide of secularism have made any difference whatever? Would she be here to-day? These are questions that go through my mind as I look at the Order of Service, drawn up in its most antient form by St Dunstan in the 10th century. It is an explicitly Catholic ceremony and the anointing a very Sacrament. The very last, I daresay, in the history of our once great nation.
O LORD and heavenly Father, the exalter of the humble and the strength of thy chosen, who by anointing with Oil didst of old make and consecrate kings, priests, and prophets, to teach and govern thy people Israel: Bless and sanctify thy chosen servant ELIZABETH, who by our office and ministry is now to be anointed with this Oil, and consecrated Queen: Strengthen her, O LORD, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter; Confirm and stablish her with thy free and princely Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and government, the Spirit of counsel and ghostly strength, the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness, and fill her, O LORD, with the Spirit of thy holy fear, now and for ever; through Jesus Christ our LORD. Amen.
God save The Queen!
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
When a performer is truly great and becomes greater than the performance it is when he or she is known outside of his or her profession. Anna Pavlova is arguably the most famous ballerina of all time, and with good reason. She was not a particularly skilled dancer, even by the standards of the time, because she hadn't the physical strength or the height. Nevertheless, she embraced her limitations and polished her faults. She would appear alone in a spot light, wearing white, and looking utterly frail, and this was her art, this was how she transfixed her audience. So long as she remained en her pointe, she didn't need to do much else. She was only five feet tall yet she would fill the theatre. Someone said that about Queen Victoria at the Great Exhibition when she walked into the Crystal Palace, that she filled the place, and she was quite an insignificant woman.
It's only about two minutes so do watch Pavlova dance her quintessential rôle. The music is, of course, The Swan by Saint-Saëns, part of the Carnival of the Animals.