Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The Hippos, "Celebrate" from Forget the World (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: How unexpected & surprising, a ska-punk song about romance gone wrong!
"So go out and get with any guy you find,
Every day I grow farther from you,
Don't come crawling back when we get signed,
Don't you think that I found something new?
I'm finished with you.

"I celebrate, I celebrate,
My days of hate, my days of hate,
'Cause now I see
That you're nothing to me…"
Also, The Hippos are SKApril All-Stars & "Celebrate" is one of their best songs. It was actually unexpected & surprising, in preparing for SKApril '17, to discover that "Celebrate" had not already been highlighted. Yahtzee!

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Ska Cubano, "Cumbia En Do Menor" from ¡Ay Caramba! (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: We here at The Secret Base have always taken an expensive view of what constitutes ska, we think to the betterment & enrichment of SKApril. Those who disagree are invited to take a long walk off a short pier. (It's only a ninety-mile swim from Key West to Cuba, after all.)

Project BLACK MAMBA: Eastertide

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. Cap. (1577-1622), martyred by Swiss Calvinists: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Franciscan Capuchin martyr. A practicing lawyer, he traveled across Europe as a tutor to aristocrats but then started defending the poor. He became a Franciscan Capuchin monk, taking the name of Fidelis. A missionary to Grisons, Switzerland, Fidelis was so successful that local Protestants claimed that he was a spy for the Austrian emperor. Fidelis was stabbed to death in a church in Seewis.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Fidelis was born in Sigmaringen in Germany in 1578. He entered the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin & led an austere life of penance, vigils, & prayer. He was continuously engaged in preaching the word of God & he was commissioned by the sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to preach in the canton of Grisons. In 1622, he was attacked by a band of heretics & suffered martyrdom at Seewis in Switzerland.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Diarmid of Armagh, Bishop (died circa 852): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint William Firmatus, Priest & Hermit (1026-1103, of Tours): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter four, verses twenty-three thru thirty-one;
Psalm Two, verses one, two, & three; four thru seven(a); & seven(b) thru nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter three, verses one thru eight.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron:
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit. He says: “What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is the love shared by the Father and the Son; he is, in the lovely image proposed by Fulton Sheen, the sign of affection that goes up when the Father looks at the Son and the Son looks back at the Father.

We have access to this holy heart of God because the Father sent the Son into the world, into our dysfunction, even to the limits of godforsakenness—and thereby gathered all of the world into the dynamism of the divine life. Those who live in Christ are not outside of God as petitioners or supplicants; rather they are in God as friends, sharers in the Spirit.
Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Fidelis:
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter one, verses twenty-four thru twenty-nine;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

* * * * *

Bonus! Song of the Lord's Day
Sonntag, 23. April
Daniel Schmit & Mike Hilliker, "Christ Is Risen" from Mercy: Songs for Holy Week (The Last Angry Man)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DXLVI

Operation AXIOM: The World War
17-19 April 1917: The Second Battle of Gaza—The British & Imperial Desert Column was defeated by Gaza's Ottoman defenders far more decisively than in the First Battle of Gaza (26 March); the Entente campaign to capture Palestine ground to a halt, resulting in a six-month stalemate of trench warfare, cavalry patrols to identify enemy weak spots, & aerial dogfights above the trenches.





Lest we forget.

Commentary: The Palestine campaign so far: the Battles of Rafa, 9 January 1917 (№ DXXXI) & First Gaza (№ DXLII).

Project BLACK MAMBA: 2nd Sunday of Easter

'Tis the Second Sunday of Easter (or, Sunday of Divine Mercy): Paschal-link, Wikipedia-link Easter, & Wikipedia-link Octave; Wikipedia-link Divine Mercy.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses forty-two thru forty-seven;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses two, three, & four; thirteen, fourteen, & fifteen; & twenty-two, twenty-three, & twenty-four;
The First Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses three thru nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen thru thirty-one.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron:
Friends, our magnificent Gospel declares that there is no greater manifestation of the divine mercy than the forgiveness of sins. We are in the upper room with the disciples, those who had denied, betrayed, and abandoned their master. Jesus came and stood in their midst. When they saw him, their fear must have intensified: undoubtedly he was back for revenge.

Instead, he spoke the simple word “Shalom”, peace. He showed them his hands and his side, lest they forget what the world (and they) did to him, but he does not follow up with blame or retribution—only a word of mercy. And then the extraordinary commission: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Jesus’ mercy is communicated to his disciples who in turn are sent to communicate it to the world.

This is the foundation for the sacrament of penance, which has existed in the Church from that moment to the present day as the privileged vehicle of the divine mercy.
Otherwise, 23 April would be the festival of Saint George, Martyr (circa 280-303), martyred in the reign of the emperior Diocletian, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; & Wikipedia-link XIV.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. A Golden Legend: Wikipedia-link Day & Wikipedia-link Dragon.

Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Legend states that St. George was born at Cappadocia & instructed in the Christian religion by his mother. He became a soldier in the Roman army & confronted Diocletian, the cruel persecutor of Christians. As a result, George was handed over to the torturers, who tried every means to put him to death; but he came through all the tortures unscathed. Pretending ot offer sacrifice to the pagan idols, with all the people assembled, George prayed & fire came down from heaven, killing all the pagan priests & people. In the end, George was beheaded. The crusaders considered St. George to be their patron. He was also named the patron of England in 1222. Until 1778, the feast of St. George was a holy day of obligation for English Catholics. In iconography, St. George is portrayed as the conqueror of a dragon.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Adalbert of Prague, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 956-997), martyred by pagan priests of the Old Prussians: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Giles of Assisi, Religious, O.F.M. (circa 1190-1262): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross, Religious, O.C.D. (1846-1910, A.K.A. Teresa Maria Manetti): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Mass Journal: Week 17
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Catholicism is not merely a religion, or a sect, or a set of rules. When small minds & smaller spirits try to capture the essence of Catholicism, this is often what they tend to conclude. But Catholicism is more than a religion. It is more than just another movement. The essence of Catholicism is not sin, punishment, duty, or obligation, & it is more than a set of lifeless rules & regulations. Catholicism is more. It is more than most people think & more than most Catholics ever experience. The essence of Catholicism is dynamic transformation. You cannot become more like Jesus Christ & at the same time stay as you are. To be Catholic means to be striving to live the Gospel, to be striving to become more like Jesus Christ. It is this dynamic approach to transformation that animates the human person—physically, emotionally, intellectually, & spiritually—& allows us to experience like "to the fullest" (John, 10:10). When are you most fully alive? When you are changing & growing & exploring all you are capable of becoming.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The A-OKs, "Ruby Red Lips" from Words Are Not for Eating (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: This is the second year that a photograph of the professionally pretty Karlie Kloss has played a part in SKApril. What say ye, should we officially dub her SKAphrodite?
"She's a blonde bombshell with ruby red lips,
She's been driving me crazy with the motion of her hips,
She'll tear you apart if you ever got in her way…

"She has a smirk on her face from all the hearts she steals,
You know, she'll probably mess you up if she ever got the chance,
She has killer in her eyes as you ask her out to dance…"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Saturday / Octave of Easter

'Tis the Saturday within the Octave of Easter: Octave-link.

Otherwise, 22 April would be the festival of Saint Soter, Pope (died circa 174), twelfth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Caius, Pope (died 296, also spelt Gaius), twenty-eighth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Agapetus I, Pope (died 536), fifty-seventh Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Theodore of Sykeon, Bishop (died circa 613): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter four, verses thirteen thru twenty-one;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses one, fourteen & fifteen(a,b) & sixteen thru twenty-one;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter sixteen, verses nine thru fifteen.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron:
Friends, in today’s passage Jesus commissions his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all. A great lesson of the Resurrection is that the path of salvation has been opened to everyone. Paul told us that “though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped. Rather he emptied himself and took the form of slave… accepting even death, death on a cross.”

In a word, Jesus went all the way down, journeying into pain, despair, alienation, even godforsakenness. Why? In order to reach all of those who had wandered from God. Then, in light of the Resurrection, the first Christians came to know that, even as we run as fast as we can away from the Father, all the way to godforsakenness, we are running into the arms of the Son. The Resurrection shows that Christ can gather back to the Father everyone whom he has embraced through his suffering love.

So let us not domesticate the still stunning and disturbing message of Resurrection. Rather, let us allow it to unnerve us, change us, and set us on fire.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Suburban Legends, "You" from Rump Shaker (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: We've established before that romantic love never (or, at best, very, very rarely) works out in third-wave ska, right? It's one of the defining traits of ska-punk. I'm sure my own disastrous history with romance has nothing at all to do with my deep & abiding love for ska.
"Four score and seven minutes ago, our Founding Fathers found the truth of what girls like and what girls don't like. Article I: Girls don't like you. They never will like you! No matter how hard you try, they can't stop you now…

"I see you everywhere, but why aren't you with me?
I've got so much to offer: fun, sensitivity,
But you are too cool to talk to me,
All your friends keep jabbering junk that you are way out of my league.

"So, come on tonight,
Be by my side, all right?
'Cause—

"I like you! Look into my eyes,
I like you! I guarantee you, I'm not like other guys,
I like you! C'mon and give me a try,
I like you! There must be something I can do to change your mind.

"Every story starts like this one, end it here with me,
I can't believe what you're saying: you say it will never be,
And now I'm frowning all the time
Just because your stupid friends have ruined everything and now you'll never be mine…"

Friday, April 21, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Friday / Octave of Easter

'Tis the Friday within the Octave of Easter: Octave-link.

Otherwise, 21 April would be the festival of Saint Simeon of Ctesiphon, Bishop & Martyr (died 345, A.K.A. Shemon Bar Sabbae), martyred in the reign of the king Shapur II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Bishop & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (circa 1033-1109, of Aosta): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
At fifteen, Anselm wanted to enter the monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, was elected prior three years later, & fifteen years later, was unanimously chosen abbot. Considered an original & independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness, & teaching skill. Under his leadership, the Abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical & theological studies.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Conrad of Parzham, Religious, O.F.M. Cap. (1818-1894): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter four, verses one thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses one, two, & four & twenty-two thru twenty-seven(a);
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru fourteen.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron:
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Risen Jesus appears to seven disciples on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. Jesus rose bodily from the dead. This is the fact—eminently surprising and unexpected—that gives birth to Christianity. The excitement that you can sense on every page of the New Testament comes from this novelty.

Why did the Risen Jesus appear only to a few? Why didn’t he make himself readily apparent to anyone who wanted to see? Cardinal Newman commented on this. If Jesus had appeared publicly and indiscriminately to all, the power of the resurrection would have been lessened. Some would believe; others wouldn’t. Some would get it; others wouldn’t. Some would be fascinated, others indifferent.

Instead, he deigned to appear to a small coterie of dedicated disciples who knew him, loved him, understood him—confident that they would be the effective bearers of his message. We are those now who eat and drink with him after his resurrection. And so we have a commission to announce this good news.
* * * * *

Thursday, 20 April would also have been the festival of Saint Anicetus, Pope (died circa 168), eleventh Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

* * * * *

Tuesday, 21 March was also the festival of Blessed Thomas Pilchard, Priest & Martyr (1557-1587, also spelt Pilcher), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The Toasters, "I'm Running Right through the World" from Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bonus! Song of the Day: SKApril!


The Specials, "A Message to You Rudy" from The Specials (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: "A Message to You Rudy" was a R.B.D.S.O.T.D. during the very first SKApril, April 2011: Wayback Machine.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Thursday / Octave of Easter

'Tis the Thursday within the Octave of Easter: Octave-link.

Otherwise, 20 April would be the festival of Saint Cædwalla, Confessor (circa 658-689), King of Wessex: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano, Abbess, O.P. (1268-1317): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blesseds James Bell, Priest, & John Finch, Martyrs (died 1584), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link Juliett Bravo & Wikipedia-link Juliett Bravo, Martyr-link Juliett Foxtrot & Wikipedia-link Juliett Foxtrot.

'Twould also be the festival of Blesseds Richard Sergeant & William Thomson, Priests & Martyrs (died 1586), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, two of the Eight-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link Romeo Sierra & Wikipedia-link, & Martyr-link Whiskey Tango; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter three, verses eleven thru twenty-six;
Psalm Eight, verses two(a,b) & five, six & seven, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-four, verses thirty-five thru forty-eight.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflection by the Most Reverend Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles & founder of Word on Fire:
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Risen Jesus appears to his eleven disciples. Understandably terrified, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus is quick to disabuse them of this notion: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.”

While they were still amazed and incredulous for joy, he stunned them further, saying, “Have you anything here to eat?” With that, they gave him a piece of baked fish, which he ate in their presence. The bodily resurrection of Jesus—as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep—is the great sign that heaven and earth are coming together. A body, which can be touched and which can consume baked fish has found its way into the realm of heaven.

What does this mean? That bodies are not finally alien to God. We have indeed an Advocate in the heavenly places. Were the Resurrection a convenient story or a clever myth, the two realms of heaven and earth would be as separate as ever.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Prince Buster, "Judge Dread" from Fabulous Greatest Hits (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Prince Buster released "Judge Dread" years before the character Judge Dredd was introduced in 2000 A.D. (which occurred years before the film starring Sylvester Stallone was made), & I have no reason to believe Dredd was in any way inspired by "Judge Dread," but this is still the first image that came to mind when I began considering "Judge Dread" as a R.B.D.S.O.T.D.: SKApril!
"You rough, you tough,
You rough, you tough,
You rough, you tough,
You rough, you tough.

"Order! While my court is in session, will you please stand. First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Judge Hundred Years. Some people call me 'Judge Dread.' Now, I've come here to whoop you, to try all you rude boys for shooting black people. In my court, only we talk, 'cause I am vexed, and I am the rude boy today…"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Queue

The fault almost certainly lies with me, but the previous book I was using to learn how to pray the Divine Office was proving an obstacle; so, I've decided to try a different how-to guide. I've bumped How the Reformation Happened to the top of the queue because I definitely want to read it in 2017, the five hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation (which sparked the subsequent Catholic Counter-Reformation).

Recently
Matt Fraction & David Aja, Annie Wu, et al., Hawkeye: My Life As a Weapon (volume one), Little Hits (volume two), L.A. Woman (volume three), & Rio Bravo (volume four)
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Currently
Daria Sockey, The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours
Pope Francis, Amoris Lætitia (The Joy of Love)

Presently
Hilaire Belloc, How the Reformation Happened
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***interrupted***
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture

Project BLACK MAMBA: Wednesday / Octave of Easter

'Tis the Wednesday within the Octave of Easter: Octave-link.

Otherwise, 19 April would be the festival of Saint Crescentius of Florence, Deacon (died circa 396): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link (list, "deacon of St. Zenobius"; also: Wikipedia-link Zenobius).

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Alphage of Canterbury, Bishop & Martyr (circa 953-1012, A.K.A. Ælfheah), martyred by Viking Danes: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Leo IX, Pope (1002-1054), the "Pilgrim Pope," one hundred fifty-first Bishop of Rome: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed James Duckett, Martyr (died circa 1602), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter three, verses one thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred Five, verses one & two, three & four, six & seven, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-four, verses thirteen thru thirty-five.

Mass Journal: Week 16
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
For the first Christians, Christianity was a lifestyle. They shared a common life. Living in a community, they often worked together, prayed together, & studied the Scriptures together. Their faith was the center of their lives; it affected everything they did. They shared meals together, played together, & cared for each other in sickness. They allowed the principles of the Gospel to guide them in the activities of their daily lives. They comforted each other in their afflictions & challenged each other to live the Gospel more fully. There was unity & continuity between their professional lives & their family lives, between their social lives & their lives as members of the Church. They allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them in all they did. Then, at the pinnacle of their common life, they celebrated Eucharist together.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The Skatalites, "Trip to Mars" via iTunes (from Greetings from Skamania) (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: "Trip to Mars" is instrumental & I have no reason to believe it has anything to do with the 1938 serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, but we here at The Secret Base will never be picky about opportunities to mention the actor & gold medal-winning Olympian Larry "Buster" Crabbe.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Derrick Morgan, "Happy Independence" via iTunes (from the Do the Beng Beng compilation) (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Jamaica achieved independence from the British Empire on 6 August 1962, in the formative years of ska (before the further development into rocksteady & reggae). The lyrics reflect Jamaica's national motto, "Out of many, one people."
"Hooray! Hip hip, hooray!
Hooray! Hip hip, hooray!

"Independence! (Celebration!)
Independence! (Celebration!)
Independence! (Celebration!)

"Hooray! Hip hip, hooray!
Hooray! Hip hip, hooray!

"Out of many, one (people),
Out of many, one (people),
Out of many, one (people),
Out of many, one (people).

"Let's live in unity (all progress),
Let's live in unity (all progress),
Let's live in unity (all progress),
Let's live in unity (all progress)…

"Hooray! Hip hip, hooray!
Hooray! Hip hip, hooray!"

Project BLACK MAMBA: Tuesday / Octave of Easter

'Tis the Tuesday within the Octave of Easter: Octave-link.

Otherwise, 18 April would be the festival of Saint Perfectus of Córdoba, Priest & Martyr (died 850), martyred in the reign of the emir Abd ar-Rahman II, one of the forty-eight Martyrs of Córdoba: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XLVIII.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Giacomo Oldo, Priest, O.F.M. (1364-1404, Anglicized as James Oldo): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Blessed-link trēs.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Marie Anne Blondin, Religious, S.S.A. (1809-1890), foundress of the Sisters of Saint Anne: Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.S.A.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses thirty-six thru forty-one;
Psalm Thirty-three, verses four & five, eighteen & nineteen, & twenty & twenty-two;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses eleven thru eighteen.

Commentary: I receive in my e-mailbox a daily Gospel reflection from Bishop Barron's Word on Fire Ministries, just as during Lent, but so far this is only available as an e-mail, not through a freestanding website; so, I am uncertain how to share the reflection with you, my treasured readers, but I'll keep working at it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DXLV

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Nivelle Offensive, Part II
16 April-9 May 1917: The Second Battle of the Aisne—French commander-in-chief Robert Nivelle promised to win the war within forty-eight hours with a single decisive stroke; the French troops, psychologically fragile after the horrors of Verdun, were euphoric; the battle was a tactical success, but failed to achieve a strategic breakthrough, with massive casualties; French morale collapsed.






Lest we forget.

The Queue

I did not succeed in my Lenten ambition of finishing Resisting Happiness, but the end is in sight. (Famous last words, those.)

Fraction & Aja's Hawkeye is interesting & delightfully non-traditional superhero fare, but does not recapture the brief, shining glory of The Immortal Iron Fist, which remains for me a comic-book landmark.

Recently
Matt Fraction & David Aja, et al., Hawkeye, Volume 1 (hardcover of volumes one & two)
Matt Fraction & Annie Wu, et al., Hawkeye: L.A. Woman (volume three)
Matt Fraction & David Aja, Hawkeye: Rio Bravo (volume four)

Currently
Pope Francis, Amoris Lætitia (The Joy of Love)
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Presently
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***interrupted***
Hilaire Belloc, How the Reformation Happened
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The Pietasters, "Spiderview" from Awesome Mix Tape № 6 (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: The Pietasters continue to defy the odds as SKApril's unlikeliest all-stars. They've never been one of my favorite bands, yet year after year after year—for seven dratted years now—their music has earned its way into SKApril. (The six previous Pietasters SKApril songs had all been from Oolooloo, the highest numerical contribution by any single album.) They've never been the recipients of SKAffirmative Action; if fact, after SKApril last year I'd marked them down on the list of bands not to include in SKApril '17. They continue to earn their way in, in spite of even me.
"Now I see, you can't be trusted,
Watched all your boys get busted,
But here comes somebody's jailhouse tear tattoo,
In spite of you, in spite of you…

"All those times, those times you hated,
When you're sick and underrated,
They come back when there's no wrong that you can do,
In spite of you, in spite of you…

"There's no, no use in cryin',
And I've seen a thousand lives end,
Hey, look, here comes that Jesus guy we knew,
In spite of you, in spite of you,
In spite of you, in spite of you."
The seemingly nonsensical title "Spiderview" is presumably a corruption of the repeated phrase, "In spite of you."

Project BLACK MAMBA: Monday / Octave of Easter

'Tis the Monday within the Octave of Easter: Octave-link.

Otherwise, 17 April would be the festival of Blessed Henry Heath, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. Rec. (circa 1599-1643), martyred in the reign of the king Charles I, one of the Eighty-five Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link LXXXV.

Commentary: There is no Wayback Machine link to past 17 Aprils as further research indicates that the saints we had been honoring on 17 April would be more appropriately honored on alternate dates. Project BLACK MAMBA is subject to continual improvement & refinement, all glory to God.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses fourteen & twenty-two thru thirty-three;
Psalm Sixteen, verses one, two(a), & five; seven & eight; nine & ten; & eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-eight, verses eight thru fifteen.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Resurrection of the Lord

'Tis the Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Sunday): Paschal-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.


Otherwise, 16 April would be the festival of Saint Turibius of Astorga, Bishop (circa 402-460): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Magnus of Orkney, Martyr (circa 1075-1118, A.K.A. Magnus Erlendsson), Earl of Orkney, martyred on the order of his cousin, the rival jarl Haakon Paulsson: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Drogo, Hermit (circa 1105-1186, of Sebourg; A.K.A. Dreux): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, Virgin (1844-1879, A.K.A. Bernadette Soubirous), to whom were revealed the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Our Lady.

Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Mass in the Morning
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter ten, verses thirty-four(a) & thirty-seven thru forty-three;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses one & two, sixteen & seventeen, & twenty-two & twenty-three;
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter three, verses one thru four;
or, The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter five, verses six(b) thru eight;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses one thru nine;
or, The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-eight, verses one thru ten.

Mass Readings—Mass in the Afternoon
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter ten, verses thirty-four(a) & thirty-seven thru forty-three;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses one & two, sixteen & seventeen, & twenty-two & twenty-three;
The Letter to the Colossians, chapter three, verses one thru four;
or, The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter five, verses six(b) thru eight;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-four, verses thirteen thru thirty-five.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

Bonus! Song of Easter Sunday


The Fesitval Choir & Hosanna Chorus, "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today" via iTunes (from 100 Church Classics) (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the Cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

"Hymns of praise now let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ our heavenly king, Alleluia!
Who endured the Cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

"Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him, all ye heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!"

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The O.C. Supertones, "Like No One Else" from Supertones Strike Back (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"This is a time for us to demonstrate our appreciation,
Amazing grace and sweet salvation…

"I cast all my life and all my cares and everything on You.

"He cares for you like no one else,
He cares for you like no one else,
He cares for you like no one else,
He cares for you like no one else.

"This is a time for us to celebrate our emancipation,
Voices ring across the nation,
There will never be another and has never been,
Helpless and you took us in,
Because of Jesus Christ we know salvation is secure,
I don't worry any more,
You can give you counsel, Lord, and you can search your mind?
You're before me and behind…"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bonus! Song of Holy Saturday

Matt Maher, "The Waiting" from Saints and Sinners (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"The evening tide is falling fast,
My feet are weary, but I'm free at last,
So meet me in the tomb, my Lord,
Come roll away, roll away, the stone.

"And this is a mystery,
Death bows to the King of Kings,
He has overcome the grave
For the sinners and the saints."
On the album
Saints and Sinners, "The Waiting" directly proceeds "Because He Lives (Amen)," so "The Waiting" itself ends in the midst of a crescendo building to "Because He Lives (Amen)."

Project BLACK MAMBA: Triduum — Holy Saturday

'Tis Holy Saturday, act three of the Paschal Triduum: Holy Saturday-link & Wikipedia-link Holy Saturday; Triduum-link & Wikipedia-link Triduum.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Otherwise, 15 April would be the festival of Saint Padarn, Bishop (circa 482-565, A.K.A. of Wales, Paternus): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Hunna, Confessor (died 679, of Alsace), the "Holy Washerwoman:" Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed César de Bus, Priest (1544-1607, also spelt Caesar), founder of the Fathers of Christian Doctrine & the Daughters of Christian Doctrine: Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Vigil
I. The Book of Genesis, chapter one, verse one thru chapter two, verse two
(or, the Book of Genesis, chapter one, verses one & twenty-six thru thirty-one[a]);
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two; five & six; ten; twelve, thirteen, & fourteen; twenty-four; & thirty-five;
or, Psalm Thirty-three, verses four thru seven; twelve & thirteen; & twenty, twenty-one, & twenty-two;
II. The Book of Genesis, chapter twenty-two, verses one thru eighteen
(or, the Book of Genesis, chapter twenty-two, verses one, two, nine[a], ten thru thirteen, & fifteen thru eighteen);
Psalm Sixteen, verses five, eight, nine & ten, & eleven;
III. The Book of Exodus, chapter fourteen, verse fifteen thru chapter fifteen, verse one;
The Book of Exodus, chapter fifteen, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & seventeen & eighteen;
IV. The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-four, verses five thru fourteen;
Psalm Thirty, verses two, four, five & six, eleven & twelve, & thirteen;
V. The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-five, verses one thru eleven;
The Book of Isaiah, chapter twelve, verses two & three, four, & five & six;
VI. The Book of Baruch, chapter three, verses nine thru fifteen & thirty-two thru chapter four, verse four;
Psalm Nineteen, verses eight, nine, ten, & eleven;
VII. The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-six, verses sixteen, seventeen(a), & eighteen thru twenty-eight;
Psalm Forty-two, verses three & five & Psalm Forty-three, verses three & four;
or, the Book of Isaiah, chapter twelve, verses two & three, four(b,c,d), & five & six;
or, Psalm Forty-one, verses twelve & thirteen, fourteen & fifteen, & eighteen & nineteen;
VIII. The Letter to the Romans, chapter six, verses three thru eleven;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses one & two, sixteen & seventeen, & twenty-two & twenty-three;
IX. The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-eight, verses one thru ten.

Commentary: Easter Scripture reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!

Catch 22, "Dear Sergio" from Keasbey Nights (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I was so surprised that "Dear Sergio" had not previously been selected as a SKApril R.B.D.S.O.T.D. that sitting all alone in my room I said aloud, "You've got to be kidding me!" For the record, no, I was not kidding myself.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Triduum — Good Friday

'Tis the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday), act two of the Paschal Triduum: Good Friday-link & Wikipedia-link Good Friday; Triduum-link & Wikipedia-link Triduum.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Otherwise, 14 April would be the festival of Saint Bénézet the Bridge Builder (circa 1163-1184, A.K.A. Benoît, et al.; of Hermillon), founder of the Bridge-building Brotherhood: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Brotherhood-link & Wikipedia-link Brotherhood.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Peter González, Priest, O.P. (1190-1246, A.K.A. "St. Elmo"): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saints Antony, John, & Eustace of Vilnius, Martyrs (died 1347), martyred in the reign of the grand duke Algirdas: Martyr-link Alpha, Martyr-link Juliett, Martyr-link Echo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Liturgical Readings
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-two, verse thirteen thru chapter fifty-three, verse twelve;
Psalm Thirty-one, verses two, six, twelve & thirteen, fifteen & sixteen, seventeen, & twenty-five;
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter four, verses fourteen, fifteen, & sixteen & chapter five, verses seven, eight, & nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eighteen, verse one thru chapter nineteen, verse forty-two.

Commentary: Good Friday is the only day of the whole year on which no Mass is celebrated, not anywhere in the whole wide world. Good Friday Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

Bonus! Song o' Good Friday


Daniel Schmit & Mike Hilliker, "My God, My God (Psalm 22)" from Mercy: Songs for Holy Week (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Psalm 22-link.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


The Chinkees, "Big World" from Peace through Music (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: The Chinkees (SKApril '11, '13, '14, & '17) is one of Mike Park's three bands that have contributed songs to SKApril, alongside The Bruce Lee Band (also SKApril '11, '13, '14, & '17; wow!) & Skankin' Pickle (SKApril '11, '13, & '16). The founder of Asian Man Records is prolific.
"Look at the sky tonight,
Saw the cold wind breathing through my sight,
Thought about my dad tonight
And asked God, 'Is he gonna be alright?'

"Now my mind thinks I can't give enough,
And I can't pour enough,
And my love is not enough in this big world,
And my love is not enough in this big world.

"Sat and talked to Dad today,
Told me stories, leaving for the States,
Trying to spend my father's time
Learning who this man is I call Dad.

"Now my mind thinks I can't give enough,
And I can't pour enough,
And my love is not enough in this big world,
And my love is not enough in this big world."
My own father's spent time in the hospital recently, for both long-overdue hip replacement surgery & a heart flutter that seemed to come out of nowhere like a bolt from the clear blue sky; so, "Big World" strikes a chord within me that perhaps it didn't not so long ago.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bonus! Song o' Holy Thursday


Audrey Assad, "Ubi Caritas" from Inheritance (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est, "Where true charity is, there is God." Ubi caritas-link.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Triduum — Holy Thursday

'Tis Holy Thursday, act one of the Paschal Triduum: Holy Thursday-link & Wikipedia-link Thursday; Triduum-link & Wikipedia-link Triduum.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Otherwise, 13 April would be the festival of Saint Martin I, Pope & Martyr (circa 595-655), seventy-fourth Bishop of Rome, martyred in the reign of the emperor Constans II: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, Martyr-link trēs, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Outside of Holy Week &/or the Triduum, St. Martin is recognized with an Optional Memorial. Are memorials observed during the Octave of Easter? Time will tell.

Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire & the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed with the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor & patriarch. In 653, he was taken prisoner by the emperor Constans & detained in Constantinople where he was tortured. He was exiled to Kherson & died in 656.
'Twould also be the festival of Saint Caradoc, Priest (died 1124): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Blesseds John Lockwood & Edmund Catherick, Priests & Martyrs (died 1642), martyred in the reign of the king Charles I: Martyr-link Juliett Lima & Wikipedia-link Juliett Lima, Martyr-link Echo Charlie & Wikipedia-link Echo Charlie.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Chrism Mass
The Book of Isaiah, chapter sixty-one, verses one, two, three(a), six(a), & eight(b) thru nine;
Psalm Eighty-nine, verses twenty-one & twenty-two & twenty-five & twenty-seven;
The Book of Revelation, chapter one, verses five thru eight;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter four, verses sixteen thru twenty-one.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflections: Word on Fire.

Mass Readings—Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
The Book of Exodus, chapter twelve, verses one thru eight & eleven thru twenty-four;
Psalm One Hundred Sixteen, verses twelve & thirteen, fifteen & sixteen(b,c), & seventeen & eighteen;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter eleven, verses twenty-three thru twenty-six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter thirteen, verses one thru fifteen.

Commentary: Easter Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: REGGAEpril


Eric Christian Olsen, "Pierce You Are a B." (from Community) via iTunes (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: Completing the trilogy of songs—"Getting Rid of Britta," "Some Worries," & now "Pierce You Are a B."—in which Vaughn Miller (played by Eric Christian Olsen) recruits Piece Hawthorne (played by Chevy Chase) into a never-named reggae band, ends his affair with Britta Perry (played by Gillian Jacobs), recognizes that life is "just not as epic as (he) thought it was," & ultimately kicks Pierce out of the band after Pierce chooses his friendship with Britta over staying in Vaughn's good graces: SKApril '15 & SKApril '16.
"I just want to ask Pierce, maybe grab a pencil, take some notes. I'm about to drop knowledge.

"Pierce, I don't need you in my band,
I don't need your heart or your hand,
Oh, I don't need you in my life,
All you do is cause me some strife.

"I am my own person,
I am my own person,
And Pierce, you're a B.
Yeah, you heard me say it, (Yes, sir!)
Pierce, you're a B.

"This a song for Pierce 'cause him so old,
His body made of wrinkles and folds,
Stupid and ugly, he smell like a fart,
There's poo-poo in his pants and poo-poo in my heart,
Come, selector, bring him down,
When him on a stage him dress like a clown,
The boy a Tom Arnold and we are Rosanne,
That's why we divorce him straight from the band.

"Pierce, I just want you to know,
I'm hip to your tricks and you're not my bro,
You can lie, just wait and see,
The things you did, they just set me free.

"I am my own person,
You know what that means?
I am my own person,
And Pierce, you're a B.
Oh, buddy,
Pierce, you're a B.

"Pierce, Pierce, Pierce, Pierce you're a B.
Pierce, Pierce, Pierce, Pierce you're a B.
Pierce, Pierce, Pierce, Pierce you're a B.
Pierce, Pierce, Pierce, Pierce you're a B."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Wednesday of Holy Week

'Tis the Wednesday of Holy Week, sometimes known as Spy Wednesday: Wikipedia-link Week & Wikipedia-link Spy.

'Tis the festival of Saint Julius I, Pope (died 352), thirty-fifth Bishop of Rome: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Zeno of Verona, Bishop (circa 300-371): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Sabbas the Goth, Martyr (334-372, A.K.A. the Lector, also spelt Sava), martyred in the reign of the pagan Gothic chieftain Atharid: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Teresa of Los Andes, Religious, O.C.D. (1900-1920), the "Flower of the Andes:" Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty, verses four thru nine(a);
Psalm Sixty-nine, verses eight, nine, & ten; twenty-one & twenty-two; thirty-one; & thirty-three & thirty-four;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-six, verses fourteen thru twenty-five.

Commentary: Your eyes do not deceive you, today's readings are substantially similar to last Sunday's—both First Readings starting with Isaiah, 50:4 & both Gospel Readings starting with Matthew, 26:14. Lenten Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Dance Hall Crashers, "So Sue Us" from Lockjaw (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: I've long maintained that the best way to avoid identity theft is to have an identity not worth stealing, credit-wise & so forth. A similar logic prevails in "So Sue Us."
"I don't know why
You thought we would try
To clean up our mess,
I guess you're suing, so we confess:
Yeah, we left the dirty mattress in the doorway,
But we could not get it through;
Yeah, two windows did get broken,
But by the two dealers who were lookin' for you.

"I don't think you know just what you're getting into,
You're spending lots of money to get nothin'.

"So sue us, whatcha gonna do with us?
Just sue us, whatcha gonna get?
Well nothin', 'cause all of us are flat broke,
Go ahead and try to do all you can do to sue…"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Queue

Jonesing for more of the Fraction & Aja magic from The Immortal Iron Fist, I decided to check out their run on Hawkeye. I had to wait for the Volume 1 hardcover (also available as two paperbacks, My Life As a Weapon & Little Hits, volumes one & two in the series listed below) to become available from a distant branch of the Genesee District Library, so in the meantime I borrowed two collections from the later Lemire & Pérez run. I won't ever feel any need to read anything else by that particular pairing, a dreadful indulgence in decompressed storytelling where a paper-thin plot was interminably spread out over an indefensible eleven issues. Yes, the flashbacks to young Clint Barton's life were beautifully illustrated, but I'd have been royally irked by the waste of time & money if I'd purchased those tales as individual comic-book issues. Back to Fraction & Aja, their Hawkeye is interesting & innovative, but does not succeed in scratching the Immortal Iron Fist itch. I suppose Thomas Wolfe was right: You can't go home again.

Recently
Jeff Lemire & Ramón Pérez, Hawkeye: All-New Hawkeye (volume five)
Jeff Lemire & Ramón Pérez, Hawkeye: Hawkeyes (volume six)
Matt Fraction & David Aja, et al., Hawkeye, Volume 1 (hardcover of volumes one & two)

Currently
Pope Francis, Amoris Lætitia (The Joy of Love)
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness
Matt Fraction & David Aja, et al., Hawkeye: L.A. Woman (volume three)

Presently
Matt Fraction & David Aja, et al., Hawkeye: Rio Bravo (volume four)
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***interrupted***
Hilaire Belloc, How the Reformation Happened
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!

Reel Big Fish, "Everything Sucks" from Turn the Radio Off (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: 2017 marks twenty years since the Summer of Ska, 1997, the summer in which both Reel Big Fish & The Mighty Mighty Bosstones had hit songs on the radio & television: "Sell Out" & "The Impression That I Get," respectively. ("The Impression That I Get" & "Sell Out" kicked off that very first SKApril, way back in 2011: Wayback Machine SKApril 1 & Wayback Machine SKApril 2.) I mention all this not out of nostalgia, but to provide necessary context: "Everything Sucks" describes a lost world, the thriving SoCal ska scene of the 1990s, when Aaron Barrett of R.B.F. dated Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, & that was no big deal because no one had every heard of either band. It sounds alien to us now in these woebegone years of the twenty-first century when pop-crap rules supreme, but in that vanished world of yesteryear being in a ska band was a route to prestige & social standing, of a kind.
"There's a ska band on my street,
A little ska band, everything thinks that they're so fuckin' neat,
There was nothing on the radio,
Was gonna make my own band, play my own show,
That don't work, so I'm givin' up again.

"She said she loved me 'cause I played guitar,
That's O.K. I didn't love her at all,
And I sing, givin' up because—

"I know everything sucks, yeah,
I know everything sucks, whoa-oa-oa,
I know everything sucks, yeah,
And this is gonna be the last time you hear me complain!

"Well, I went down to the show,
Everybody was there, I didn't wanna go,
(Here we go)
'Cause everything they do is so fuckin' cool,
Every song is a hit and the girls like 'em, too,
I can't do that, so I'm givin' up again.

"I don't know why I learned to play guitar,
Nobody's gonna know who we are,
And I sing, I'm givin' up because—

"I know everything sucks, yeah,
I know everything sucks, whoa-oa-oa,
I know everything sucks, yeah,
And this is gonna be the last time you hear me complain!

"She said, 'Someday, we'll get back together, maybe,'
She said, 'Someday, things'll be much better, baby,'
But I don't believe her,
And I don't think I need her anymore,
Yeah yeah yeah!

'Cause I know everything sucks, yeah,
I know everything sucks, whoa-oa-oa,
I know everything sucks, yeah,
And this is gonna be the last time you hear me complain!"

Project BLACK MAMBA: Tuesday of Holy Week

'Tis the festival of Saint Guthlac of Crowland, Priest & Hermit, O.S.B. (circa 673-714): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr (1030-1079, of Szczepanów, of Kraków, A.K.A. Stanisław Szczepanowski), martyred personally by the king Bolesław II: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Last year, St. Stanlislaus's feast day was an obligatory Memorial; my supposition is that this year's feast is not even an Optional Memorial due to a moratorium on memorials during Holy Week.

Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Born in Szczepanów near Kraków on 26 July 1030, he was ordained a priest after being educated in the cathedral schools of Gniezno, then capital of Poland, & at Paris. He was appointed preacher & archdeacon to the bishop of Kraków, where his eloquence & example brought about real conversion in many of his penitents, both clergy & laity. He became bishop of Kraków in 1072.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Gemma Galgani, Virgin, C.P. (1878-1903), stagmatist, the "Flower of Lucca:" Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
Psalm Seventy-one, verses one & two; three & four(a); five(a,b) & six(a,b); & fifteen, sixteen, & seventeen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter thirteen, verses twenty-one thru thirty-three & thirty-six, thirty-seven, & thirty-eight.

Commentary: Lenten Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DXLIV

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Nivelle Offensive, Part I
9-12 April 1917: The Battle of Vimy Ridge—The Canadian Corps assaulted the German defensive positions atop the escarpment, seizing the high ground overlooking the Arras battlefield; this was the first time all four Canadian divisions had fought together as a distinctive formation, Vimy Ridge becoming a prominent symbol of Canadian nationhood & achievement.





Lest we forget.

Project BLACK MAMBA: Monday of Holy Week

'Tis the festival of Saint Bademus, Abbot & Martyr (died 376), martyred in the reign of the king Shapur II: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Fulbert of Chartes, Bishop (circa 960-1029): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Magdalene of Canossa, Virgin (1774-1835), foundress of the Canossians, the Canossian Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor & the Canossian Sons of Charity, & affiliates: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Canossians.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Isaiah, chapter forty-two, verses one thru seven;
Psalm Twenty-seven, verses one, two, three, & thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses one thru eleven.

Commentary: Lenten Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Operation Ivy, "Take Warning" from Operation Ivy (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: The eponymous Operation Ivy is a compilation of Operation Ivy's debut release, the Hectic E.P., & only full-length album, Energy, & along with a couple tracks off the rare Turn It Around! compilation.
"Listen up:
Take warning, take warning,
Well, they gotta take warning.

"Stand by your friends, wrong or right?
Can't call that justice if it's just an excuse
To fight, single out, and attack
The ones who got no defense,
You call that a new way of thinking,
I call it regression to ignorance.

"Take warning (take warning),
Take warning (take warning),
There's a new generation coming,
And we really gotta stand up to them
Take warning (take warning).

"No one's got a thing against you,
Unless you got something to prove,
We don't need no new set of standards,
We don't need no new set of rules, man,
Heard all that shit before
About stomping out any difference,
We say, 'Stand together!'
Not to fight just to exist.

"Take warning (take warning),
Take warning (take warning),
Intimidation coming
And we really gotta say 'no' to them
Take warning (take warning).

"Enough is enough is enough,
Why don't you just ease up?
I saw another beat down last night, take warning,
Who's the next to hit the ground tonight? Take warning,
Take warning!…"

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Palm Sunday / Holy Week

'Tis Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Palm-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

Otherwise, 9 April would be the festival of Saint Madrun, Confessor (died circa 440, A.K.A. Materiana): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Waltrude, Religious (died circa 687): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Casilda, Anchoress (died circa 1050, of Toledo): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of Holy Week
Mass Readings
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru eleven;
The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty, verses four thru seven;
Psalm Twenty-two, verses eight & nine, seventeen & eighteen, nineteen & twenty, & twenty-three & twenty-four;
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter two, verses six thru eleven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-six, verse fourteen thru chapter twenty-seven, verse sixty-six
(or, the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twenty-seven, verses eleven thru fifty-four).

Commentary: Lenten Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

Mass Journal: Week 15
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
There are certain disciplines that are associated with the lifestyle of an athlete that cold also be compared with the lifestyle of a Christian. Athletes abide by certain diets & adhere to certain training regimens. They don't stay out all night partying, because they know they have to wake early the next morning for training. All these are part of an athlete's lifestyle. So it is with the life of a Christian. There are disciplines & practices that must be embraced & respected if we are to walk faithfully along the path of salvation, fulfill our destiny, become better-versions-of-ourselves each day, & enjoy the happiness God wants to fill is with. Your journey with God will require more discipline than any other quest you will pursue in this life.

Bonus! Song o' the Lord's Day: Palm Sunday

Johnny Cash, "Personal Jesus" from American IV: The Man Comes Around (The Last Angry Man)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!

Desmond Dekker & the Aces, "Wise Man" from King of Ska (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"A wise man keepeth his life,
And the lives of his wives and kin,
A wise man keepeth his life,
And the lives of his wives and kin.

"Take the tip from me, yeah,
And you will see, Lord,
A wise man keepeth his life,
And you right now:
A wise man keepeth his life,
Tell you again,
A wise man keepeth his life…"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Lent

'Tis the festival of Saint Walter of Pontoise, Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 1030-1099): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Julie Billiart, Virgin, S.N.D.deN. (1751-1816), foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur: Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link S.N.D.deN.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Domingo Iturrate Zubero, Priest, O.SS.T. (1901-1927, A.K.A. of the Blessed Sacrament): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses twenty-one thru twenty-eight;
The Book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verses ten thru thirteen;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eleven, verses forty-five thru fifty-six.

Commentary: Lenten Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

Bonus! Song o' the Day: SKApril!

Less Than Jake, "Last Hour of the Last Day of Work" from Borders & Boundaries (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary: "Last Hour of the Last Day of Work" came to mind at 2:00 P.M., the start of the last hour of today's M.I. Drive fundraiser for the mentally impaired, A.K.A. "Play-in-Traffic Day."

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKApril!


Edna's Goldfish, "24" from Before You Knew Better… (The Last Angry Rude Boy)

Skammentary:
"Indecision is my own decision,
Who are you to tell me that I'm wrong?
Unmotivated, maybe a little jaded,
Who told you to put your words in my song?…"

Friday, April 7, 2017

Project BLACK MAMBA: Fifth Sunday of Lent (Pt. VIII)

Long Road Back, Part VIII
Sunday, 2 April was the Fifth Sunday of Lent: Lent-link & Wikipedia-link.

Otherwise, 2 April would have been the festival of Saint Aphian, Martyr (circa 287-306, A.K.A. Appian, et al.), martyred in the reign of the emperor Galerius: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit, O.M. (1416-1507, A.K.A. the Fire Handler), founder of the Order of Minims: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.M.

'Twould also have been the festival of Saint John Payne, Priest & Martyr (1532-1582), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I, one of the Forty Martyrs of England & Wales: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link XL.

Scripture of This Week
Mass Readings
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses twelve, thirteen, & fourteen;
Psalm One Hundred Thirty, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & seven & eight;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses eight thru eleven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter eleven, verses one thru forty-five
(or, the Gospel according to John, chapter eleven, verses three thru seven, seventeen, twenty thru twenty-seven, & thirty-three[b] thru forty-five).

Commentary: Lenten Gospel reflections: Franciscan Media & Word on Fire.

Mass Journal: Week 14
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
It is through prayer, reflection, the Scriptures, the grace of the sacraments, the wisdom of the Church, & the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we discover & walk the path that God is calling us to walk. In our own way, we all seek our individual destiny. Drawn by oiur yearning for happiness, we may seek to experience pleasure, possessions, & even power, but the world & all it has to offer can never content the human heart. God alone can satisfy the deepest cravings of our hearts.