To keep you amused, in case I disappear again

Ah, well…if you’re reading this post, it means my phone/internets are out again and you’re reading an emergency “just to keep you interested and amused” piece I’ve arranged to post automatically in just such a circumstance. Never let it be said I don’t think of you guys!

Heard about these possible terrorists? Me neither. It sucks when my computer is down. But then again, Ed Morrissey’s computer hasn’t been down and he’s noting the missing headlines, too.

One definition of “chutzpah”
, or some kind of shift for future engagement, but I don’t want to be cynical. It could simply be a move to get out in front of a story. Or not.

Amy Welborn is shifting a bit, as well – heading blogwise into another direction. I find I am also directing the blog in a different direction, or I am trying to and hoping to.

Also shifting, Crisis Magazine is putting out it’s last dead tree issue in September ’07, and will then produce online. The announcement by editor Brian Saint-Paul (a lovely fellow with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to correspond) announces it here:

…since the writing is so clearly on the wall, we are making a move while we still control our own financial and apostolic destiny…September will mark the final print edition of crisis Magazine. Beginning on September 1, crisis will move entirely online, in an expanded format. It will have the same features, reviews, and columns (in addition to several new items that we never had room for in the magazine).

September 1, we’ll be launching a mega-site called…Each day, we’ll be rolling out new articles, columns, and investigative reports. We’ll also have weekly Web videos— everything from short pieces explaining or defending some Catholic belief to longer documentaries. These will be high-quality videos and well worth your attention.

The centerpiece of the new site will be a group blog—a kind of online diary where a dozen writers debate and discuss the issues of the day.

That last will be something along the lines of NRO’s The Corner, I’m thinking. I’m also thinking that we’ll be see more and more magazines making similar moves within the next year, or – for the political rags – soon after January 2009. Good luck to Crisis in their new endeavor. It’s been a great cover-to-cover read these past few years I’ve subscribed.

Abortion is simplifies almost nothing, no matter what you’ve heard. And Siggy expands on Shrinkwrapped’s thoughts.

A year and a bit out of the elections, how much do you know about former presidents? How much do you want to know? Jeanette’s Cafe Nette can help you out a bit.

Bernard is back to writing A Certain Slant of Light. Although he and I disagree strongly on some issues, he’s always one of my favorite blogfolk.

This is becoming a very troubling trend.

Worst Jesus Praise Song Ever. Really. That’s execrable. H/T Junkyard Blog. 95% of all “praise music” and 98% of all Catholic “hymns” written since 1972 are just shudder-inducing. Most of what is played at mass these days serves as useful penance and not much else.

Deacon Tony takes a look at what sorts of religious orders are flourishing and which are committing institutional suicide. H/T Li’l Bro Thom. I’ll have more nun-updates in the coming weeks, and Deacon Greg has some here. Lots of good stuff happening.

This once more, because it’s just too brilliant not to see again.

Learning to love the 2nd Amendment
even if it’s only because you hate George W. Bush. Whatever it takes.

As a parent I can relate.

Julie at Happy Catholic offers up some laughs and – inspired by her – Deacon Greg adds a laugh-out-loud post of his own.

I don’t know who Pharmadaddy is
but he loves opera and tells you why. And because I do, too, and I’m likely off-line, I give you this wonderful clip from the Metropolitan Opera’s Figaro starring Fleming, Bartoli, Terfel and (my favorite of all Counts) Croft, in the comic finale to the second act – enjoy!

And a little Bryn here, for Gayle and Fausta!

Linked below: I bought the pedal exerciser when we came home from vacation with me realizing that I need to move more than blogging/writing/editing allows. Now I pedal while I read and rather like it. And boy were my arms weak! This inexpensive little machine is worth the price. And Odd Thomas – enjoyed it very much on vacation. How can I not enjoy a book narrated by a flapjack-flipping medium who drives around with the ghost of Elvis riding shotgun? I recommend both to you.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • Gayle Miller

    Anchoress, you have salvaged a very dreary afternoon. Now I’m sitting here at work with my ears bathed in the magnificent tones of Bryn whilst my fingers produce lists and expense reports! All in all, a bit of Terfel makes the day much more enjoyable.

    As will the bottle of dark rum I plan to pick up on the corner before being fetched by my car pool!

  • Viola Jaynes

    The clip was wonderful! Thanks for the heads up on the pedal exerciser. I just put it on my Amazon wish list.

    I know what you mean about “Praise songs.” My husband is a musician and he tells me all the time that today’s Christian music sound pretty much all the same.

    Sure hope you can start posting more again soon.

  • Viola Jaynes

    P.S. Anchoress, I am curious as to the new direction you are wanting to go with your blog?

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    98 percent of all Catholic “hymns” written since 1972 are just shudder-inducing

    Perhaps. But unfortunately, probably about 90 percent of hymns written between 1700 and 1972 are also not at all good, at least not for congregational singing.

    And some of the pre-modern stuff that people think they have such fond memories for was not even written by Catholics or for Catholic liturgy. Indeed, why oh why do we sing stuff written by Martin Luther of all people????

  • crusader coyote

    Bender brings up a good point. Recently over at Swingin’ Rosaries we had a discussion in which the tension between “singable” and “beautiful” was brought up. I personally am a fan of Old School Polyphony, but I realise that congregations generally can’t do that. It’s a conundrum, and hopefully one that will inspire composers toward new heights of creativity and consideration.

    [However, no appeal to "singability" can justify "Jesus was a Cool Dude." I mean, I'm not saying He wasn't, just. . . eechh. . .]

  • Bridey

    Bender’s quite right: I collect hymnals, Catholic and Protestant both, and the music in the old St. Gregory Hymnal and St. Basil Hymnal is pretty grim too, often neither beautiful nor particularly singable.

    Dreadful as the post-1972, Glory-&-Praise-era tunes undoubtedly are,a hymn like “Great Saint Joseph” is, in my opinion, just as much of a turkey. And then there are tunes like “Long Live the Pope” and “Pray for the Dead,” which serve largely to explore the theme “Look! We’re not Protestant!” Broadly speaking, Catholic music in English is just dreadful, and always has been.

    Ah, but the Protestants, — when Catholic music was overhauled in the benighted days of the early ’70s, we could have looked to the towering musical tradition of Protestant hymns in English. Not to sing these wonderful songs, which are often not suitable lyrically to Catholic worship, but to learn from them: powerful songs, long proven to be singable (and not all scored for freakin’ tenor soloists), the great Protestant hymns — “Love Lifted Me,” “Rock of Ages,” “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” “Oh Holy Lord, Content to Fill” — are songs that people can, and do, use as serious aids to contemplation and prayer. Could anyone use “City of God” or (shudder) “Anthem” that way?

    I’m Catholic, but in terms of church music in English, the Protestants have us beat — no contest. (And, of course, Protestants are fast abandoning their great musical tradition in favor of contemporary Christian/praise & worship junk. Sigh.)

  • Jean

    How odd. Or maybe “Odd”. I had never read Dean Koontz until last month, when someone recommended “Odd Thomas”. I’ve since plowed through a great many, including the sequels “Forever Odd” and “Brother Odd”. He’s a good writer, and I enjoy how he mixes thrilling chases with philosophical questions.