Tofu Tidbits* 11/27/11

Brought to your by the letter “P.”

    1. Presumtuous congratulations.
    2. Palantir.
    3. Protest as the tie that binds.
    4. Prayer (modern).
    5. Prayer (a bit older, not ancient).

* Temporarily renamed in honor of the Nativity Fast, about which Mystagogy has some more information.


Congratulations (again and again) to traditionalist Catholics in America, for whom the new Mass translation, introduced this liturgical day, must be the best news since Cardinal Ratzinger replaced John Paul the Great.

I knew from Anthony Esolen’s praise that some very pedestrian language was being replaced with dignified language, but I now read that “the previous translation put more of an ‘activist’ spin on the liturgy, in a way that made man, not God, the central player.” That is a slant much to be eschewed.

It would be presumptuous for me to write much more. Since I’ve never been Catholic, it’s probably presumptuous that I’ve written as much as I have. But I generally find traditionalist Catholics more agreeable than progressives – the kind who (at least if Protestant) use tropes like “doing Church” – and, for the latest decade or more of my life, more agreeable than emotivist Evangelicals.


There’s a new tool against terror called Palantir, I’m not entirely reassured, nor is Rod Dreher:

Well, it says something about my own double-mindedness about this topic that I am both grateful for this technology — because it will keep us safer — and terrified of it, because if the US government ever decides that I and people like me are the enemy … . It’s inventor tells BusinessWeek that Palantir’s function is “to protect the Shire.” That’s true, and admirable — as long as it remains in the hands of Gandalf, not Saruman. Good luck with that.

Amen. Read the article about Palantir if you wonder why we’d worry.


The point is not that the cops are all bad guys while the occupiers are good, or even that Occupation is itself the answer. Rather, the question is how did it get to the point that many people’s only experience of close-knit community is a protest encampment?

The Zuccotti Purge.


At Writer’s Almanac today, Hear My Prayer, O Lord …, by Barbara Hamby, which is copyrighted and for which I have no permission.

“I’m a hundred million molecules in search of an author” seems like a Fair Use teaser, though.


And now for something rather different:

Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV.

* * * * *

Bon appetit!

Having become tedious even to myself, I’m Tweeting more, blogging less. View this in a browser instead of an RSS feeder to see Tweets at upper right.

I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.