The Man is Father of the Monster

Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell...

When I saw the National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, I thought there were two somewhat cliché ideas that were lent additional depth in this staging. Previously, I wrote about Frankenstein learning humanity from his possibly inhuman monster, but there was also an interesting use of a trope as the creature learned to be a man.When the creature confronts Frankenstein’s wife near the end of the show, she marvels at his humanity and his sophistication, but when he lists what Frankenstein … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (11/23/12)

farenheit 451

--- 1 --- I'm always delighted when life imitates xkcd (after all, that's why I dressed up as a ninja and attacked Richard Stallman freshman year).  After xkcd explained the Saturn V using only the thousand most common English words, someone put together The Up-Goer Five Text Editor, that will let you try and explain ideas using only the top thousand words.  It'll flag you when you go wrong. --- 2 --- The New York Times ran an amazing obit for Sir Rex Hunt, who was the governor of the F … [Read more...]

The obvious Thanksgiving post…

west-wing turkey

 From the Onion: Biden Pardons Single Yam In Vice Presidential Thanksgiving RitualVia Sullivan: An explanation of how turkeys are trained to be pardoned Turkeys are naturally skittish, but the select group was trained to be what the National Turkey Federation describes as “media-savvy.” Handlers familiarized the turkeys with human contact and played music around the clock so the turkeys got used to loud noises and human voices. … [Read more...]

The Monster is Father of the Man

frankenstein cumberbatch

As I warned you, I’m taking some time before I write anything specifically about being received into the Catholic Church. In the meantime, I hope my thoughts on the National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein will do. After all, it’s also about the surprise of becoming a new creationEngland’s National Theatre tapes some of its performances and allows them to be shown around the world. This past summer, I was lucky enough to see their production of Frankenstein twice through this program (on … [Read more...]

Singing my way to the Sacraments [Index]


In the run-up to my reception into the Catholic Church, I tried to talk a little about the process of conversion and the Christian faith in the language I'm most fluent in: the lyrics of Broadway musicals.“Reach out your hand, and see what it gets you” - The song is from Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle, and the Gospel reading is from one of the Scrutiny masses in Lent.  I'm contrasting Bartimaeus, the man born blind, with Nurse Fay Apple from the show.  Both make themselves vulnerable … [Read more...]

To bring him back with a twitch upon the thread


  Today, I was recieved into the Catholic Church and was given the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.I had expected, earlier this year, to choose Catherine of Alexandria for my confirmation saint.  After she was converted by a tutor, she king sent various scholars and theologian to argue her out of her belief, and, when she met them in debate, she made converts of them all.  She is the patron saint of apologists, lawyers, philosophers, preachers, students, theologians, … [Read more...]

“No one can be what he wants me to be”

picasso quixote

The last two song and sentiment posts have touched on problems of uncertainty. How does Floyd derive comfort from his series of questions about heaven? Why does being unblinded leave Nurse Fay Apple more uncertain that she was in ignorance? The last song I want to discuss is from Man of La Mancha. In “What Does He Want of Me” Aldonza’s song follows the same structure as Floyd’s--a litany of questions--but instead of finding comfort, she seems to be as discomfited as Nurse Fay Apple. You can liste … [Read more...]