If it were me, I would have said, “It is simply too cold to be outside.” But the Redskins are professional football players, so they don’t have that excuse.
My brother had to explain to me the GU on the back of all the helmets in the NFL. May Gene Upshaw rest in peace. I thought the entire league had decided to get behind the Hoyas. (As well they should.)
While we are on other subjects, it is time to retire the Italian bests below.
They were fun for two weeks, but now it is time to move on to other things. I figure that by now everyone has had a chance to try the canolis at La Vittoria and to speak Spanish to an Italian hotel clerk or two.
We’ve got to move on now to new things. We can’t dwell on the past, like when it seemed as if the Redskins were actually good.
There are some new Bests above, to take our minds off other things…
Special “Bests of Italy” Edition
Best Canoli: Il Ristorante La Vittoria, Via delle fornaci, near St. Peter’s
Best Way to Fall Asleep Standing Up during an Afternoon Tour of One of the Patriarchal Basilicas: Eat a Plate of Gnocchi for Lunch
Best Way to Try the Patience of an Italian Hotel Clerk: Act Like You are doing him a Favor by Speaking Broken Spanish to Him
Best Papal Tomb: Leo XIII, over the door to the sacristy in St. John Lateran
Update: another Moses beard has appeared in the NBA.
In this case, the beard is being worn by a rare creature: a member of a team that has lost to the Washington Wizards!!
108-88 over the New Jersey Nets. (Admittedly, not exactly a powerhouse opponent.)
Is this the turning of the tide? A new beginning?
Can we pretend that November never happened–for the Wizards or the Redskins?
We were talking at our Thanksgiving table about how we miss Dave Barry.
He has stormed back into the Washington Post magazine with some serious humor. Some of the gags are low-brow, but I was weeping with laughter by the time I was done.
Meanwhile, if you are really, really bored, and you feel like helping me improve my pathetic reflection paper on “experience and theology,” please read it and offer your suggestions for improvement. (It may be beyond improvement.) I still have 36 hours until I have to turn it in.
–Keith Urban. Nice song. (Click on the play button on the right of the linked screen to listen. I would have linked to the video, but it is beyond tedious. I almost lost all enthusiasm for the song when I watched 15 seconds of the video. Better just to listen.)
If it were my song, which of course it is not, I would add a phrase to the words “you better start livin’.”
In Christ would fit nicely. “You better start living in Christ.”
Here’s another good DVD to watch. It’s Shakespeare. It’s an extremely clever “modernization.” It is a Leonardo-DiCaprio movie without too much nasty violence. It’s from back when Leo was young and skinny and absolutely to-die-for. It is PG-13, so if you are a child, don’t even think about pressing the play button below.
The preview makes the movie look more violent and racier than it actually is. There is one scene worthy of a serious wince. (Which isn’t even listed on the IMDd.com parents’ advisory page–as if a man dressed as a woman is not something we would want to be advised about.) On the whole, though, it is a refreshingly clean movie, and splendidly done.
The NBA season begins, and the Moses beards are proliferating.
…And, getting back to the subject of “Deus ex machina”…
A good plot should contain all the elements necessary to resolve itself. Introducing characters late in the game, or unknown facts that change the whole situation–this is dramatically unsatisfying. Hence the perjorative phrase, “Deus ex machina,” God coming out of a machine to fix everything. Lame.
But, of course, Deus Himself has the prerogative to come out of the machina. It is not “Deus ex machina” for God Himself to intervene in history. He actually is Deus. He is allowed.
Is this what He has done? Is the salvation of the human race by Jesus Christ a case of “Deus ex machina”?
We had fallen from grace. We were condemned to death. We were living pretty miserable lives, punctuated by occasional glimpses of goodness and beauty. Very occasional.
People seasoned their dried fish with ashes. Other people threw babies into volcanoes or spilled out birds’ innards to foretell the future. There were not many virtues being practiced. And there was no hope for eternal life.
Then the perfect man came, lived the perfect life, offered the perfect sacrifice, and promised the perfect gifts to those who believe in Him.
Seems like a bolt out of the blue. Seems impossible to anticipate. Deus ex machina?
Well…there WERE prophesies. Many of the Jews hoped for the Messiah. Even non-Jews looked for Him. The coming of the Messiah was not completely unexpected.
But we have to try to go deeper, back to God’s original Creation of the world.
It is certainly true that the coming of Christ was by no means inevitable. His coming was a free gift, a total surprise, never earned, never merited–purely gracious. No one could have anticipated that God Himself would become a man.
But the following is also certainly true: His coming is the fulfillment of Creation. Christ did not enter the world as a foreigner. He came to “what was His own.” All of creation is “for Him.” (quoting Sts. John and Paul) He came not to destroy, but to fulfill. This (in my humble opinion) is the great insight that makes St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching so profound and so true.
The coming of God as a man is NOT Deus ex machina. It is the exact opposite: The coming of Christ makes everything else make sense. The plot was jumbled and confused BEFORE. Now it unfolds cleanly; now it fits; now it is beautiful.
…In other news: The Wizards just managed to lose their opener at home to the lowly New Jersey Nets. Good grief!
On the other hand: The Phillies just won the World Series!
According to a very long-standing tradition, Roman Catholic priests do not wear beards like Eastern priests do. Eastern Rite priests are supposed to have long beards. Other religions may dictate something similar. I am no expert on this.
For all other men, shaving is a personal choice. Speaking for myself: I am going to shave everyday for the rest of my life. I can promise you that right now. Unless there is a razor shortage, you will never see me with so much as a shadow. Others, however, are free to do as they wish. I am not trying to tell anyone whether to shave or not to shave. The holiest man I know is a parochial vicar who lives down the road from me and wears a beard that Moses could only envy.
After all, this country is dedicated to individual rights. Everybody has their own distinctive style.
I love basketball; I love the NBA. I have never liked the tatoos up and down the arms, but who am I to judge?
But can anybody explain to me what is going on with this Moses-beard thing?