Monday, February 28, 2005

DUers at it . . . again

Lebanon citizens are taking to the streets to force the ouster of their pro-Syrian leader, which seems like a pretty good showing of grass-roots democracy in action.

The left should be happy with this, wouldn't you think?

Not so fast. The lefties over at Democratic Underground have gotten their knickers all in a twist over this because it might inure to Bush's benefit (all that freedom for the Middle East and stuff). You can read their internecine "debate" here.

(Three cheers, lads, for K-Lo over at NRO's Corner for spotting it first.)

I swear, Bush could cure all known diseases, and the left would wail and lament about all of the doctors he put out of work.

Not pretty, mate.

Todd belongs in the R&R HoF

I love Todd Rundgren. Have done for many years. I think it's a disgrace that he has not been elected into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Todd has been performing, producing, and recording for more than 38 years. He started his career as a musician in 1967 with his Philadelphia-based group The Nazz.

Rundgren has released numerous solo albums, such as Something/Anything?, The Ever-Popular Tortured Artist Effect, and A Cappella (The Boy's favourite), not to mention his work with his band Utopia as well. (The self-titled "Utopia" and "Adventures in Utopia" are great samplers of Utopia's sound.)

Todd is also a genius behind the sound board, a producer beyond compare. Among the artists he has worked with are Meat Loaf, Badfinger, Grand Funk Railroad, Foghat, and others.

Why he hasn't been elected to the Hall of Fame is beyond me, except for maybe because he hasn't been as commercially popular as other lesser lights who are already in. He's always made music for himself, as his muse dictates and invites everyone else to come along. But he is an artist in the truest sense of the word.

If you agree with me that he belongs in the RnR HoF, sign this online petition. You'll feel better once you do.

Ship's surgeon orders it!

Monday morning

I started this blog over the weekend, when I had plenty of time to scan the net, write what I felt, and make formatting adjustments to my site. Now it's Monday morning, and the realization has hit me that I won't have as much time as I'd like to update At The Gratings.

You see, I don't own my own firm, so I'm at the mercies of others who are very possessive of my time. Stands to reason. I don't have a problem with that in the least, mind you; that goes with the territory of working for someone else. But it does mean that I won't be able to make continuous daily updates like the more "professional" bloggers. At least not yet.

My time will also be somewhat limited at night, too, what with my duties to The Wife, The Boy and The Boy 2d. But I'll work on rearranging my time budget.

I'll try to sneak in as much time as I can to update, but I can't promise anything at present. Please keep checking back, though. I want to make this as interesting as I can for my readers.


Sunday, February 27, 2005

I weep for my generation.

A friend called me today. She was venting about her situation at home, specifically her being the leader of her son's Odyssey of the Mind team. No, she wasn't complaining about having to do the work, but rather that she (and her son) were having to do more than their share of it.

Apparently, the parents of some of the other children just are not doing what they need to do to make the team work. Thus, my friend has the burden of picking up their slack.

"I hate this slacker generation," my friend exclaimed. What ever happened to concepts like duty and honour and fulfilling one's obligations?

What indeed?

I have long lamented the loss in our culture of things like duty and honour. Those concepts seem so quaint and passe in our "me and screw you" culture. Oh, to be sure, there are islands in the swirling sea of selfishness and self-absorbtion where duty and honour still exist, but those islands are becoming fewer and fewer. Such things can really cramp one's style and get in the way of "me time," don'cha know.

That's one of the reasons I love the Horatio Hornblower television movie series (and the books by C.F. Forester). Mr. Hornblower knows that duty and honour are singularly important concepts in this world. He does his duty, no matter at what cost to himself personally. Honour (read: personal integrity) is second nature to him. Would that we had more of that today.

Dear friend, I am as troubled as you at the state of things today. If you say you're going to do something, do it. Even if you didn't say you would do something, but it needs doing anyway, do it. It's just the right and honourable thing to do.

Is there a SS crisis or not?

David Broder complains about Bush's proposed budget in his column today in the WaPo. (Full disclosure: I don't much care for the proposed budget in its entirety either, but only because heretofore POTUS has been spending money we don't have on things we can't afford.)

Toward the end, Broder says this:

Reform of these major entitlement programs is the pressing need to avoid a budget train wreck in the next generation, but Bush has offered little leadership on that. His Social Security plan -- for individual savings accounts -- does nothing to address the shortfall in that system.

Now wait a minute. I thought the Demmycrats were telling us there is no crisis.

Well, which is it? I swear, I wish we could all get on the same sheet of music just once!

What's with your blog handle?

I love movies, documentaries, etc., about the English Navy back in the days of cannon(as horribly as it, in reality, treated men -- I have the ability to enjoy the myth and stories without being burdened by the reality of unvarnished truth.). One of my favourites is the Horatio Hornblower series. Good stuff!

So I took the name of this blog and my handle from those old nautical terms.

A boatswain, pronounced 'BO-sun,' is a petty officer, not commissioned. He's one of "the men," but is a chief among them. The boatwain's mate is his assistant. I just think it sounds cool. Has no other meaning, really.

The Oscars

As I mentioned in my previous post, I hold the popular culture, for the most part, in utter contempt. I don't know from contemporary celebrities and I don't care.

For instance, I understand that the movie people will be doing their self-congratulatory huzzahs sometime soon. All the teevee networks are talking about it, as if it were something even remotely important. I can't for the life of me figure out why. Virtually everyone in that sad industry seems hell-bent on giving affront to concepts and ideas I hold dear, and if some aren't actively participating in this iconoclasm of traditionalism, then they lend it credence by their association with it. So why should I give them anything?

I do like somethings in popular entertainment, but not much. You can see in my profile movies and music I do like. But generally I dismiss it all as so much wasted time and money. Frankly, I cannot understand why anyone in this work-a-day life should care whether the latest hot starlet Moonbeam Wombat is happy in shacking up with hunky young star Overinflated Ego. But people are caught up in that.

If anyone can explain why I should care even in the slightest about celebrities and all that is attendant thereto, I am willing to listen.

That is all.

What this is about

I suppose I should tell everyone sort of what this waste of bandwidth is all about, at least as I envision it at present.

This is a space for my commentary about things, things political, maybe, cultural, sometimes, religious, possibly, familial, certainly. As it develops further, one may be hard-pressed to assess my position on the ideological continuum. I can assure you that, like a frigate on the open seas, my position is hardly fixed. I will attempt to be funny, but, more often than not, those attempts will fail miserably. I don't hate anyone, although I will disagree with quite a few. I may call names from time to time, but more often than not it will be a poor attempt at sarcastic and sardonic humour. As the header says, take what you like and leave the rest.

One constant you may notice is that I am generally disdainful of popular culture. I'll talk more about that in a later post.

Let me tell you a little more about myself. I live in a small, tidy bungalow in America's heartland (the so-called flyover country) with The Wife and our two children, The Boy and The Boy 2d. We are thoroughly hum-drum middle class, and we likes it that way! We're the type of people that the bi-coastal elites claim to speak for but really hold in contempt as being banal. We're traditional. Unremarkable as the pop culture defines it. And we don't care.

I hope you'll join me on this quest for averagedom. Average is not bad. Average is, actually, the norm.

Launch boats!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Could the Anglican Communion be headed for a split?

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has urged for calm after a majority of Anglican primates have told their American and Canadian couterparts to, in the most Anglican way, sod off.

Well, not exactly. The heads of the American and Canadian branches of the Communion have simply been "put on probation" as it were, according to the orthodox Episcopalian blogger David Virtue.

I love David's new website. I've been a subscriber to his listserv for years, and he's definitely a thorn in the side of the PTB in the ECUSA. He's there to make sure that the PTB know darn well that there are still conservative, orthodox Episcopalians out there.

My question is, why? Or rather, why are they still in the ECUSA, given where it has been going the past 40 years? I know they say they just want to try to "rescue" the ECUSA and bring it back to where it used to be.

I say, just let it go.

There are so many other choices for orthodox Anglicans in America, not least of which is the Reformed Episcopal Church. Then there's the Anglican Mission in America. These and other continuing Anglican churches can provide what the ECUSA can no longer: preaching the gospel of Christ, not the gospel of man.

The ECUSA has gotten so bloated with "social justice" clergy and generally liberal, culturally assimilationist claptrap that its hard to call it a church anymore. They have tried so hard not to offend anyone (except the remaining orthodox members) that it can't really preach the gospel of Christ because there would be something there to offend someone. Can't preach against Christ's proscription against divorce. We have too many divorced parishoners, priests and bishops. That might make them feel bad. Can't preach about how, as we recite from the tradition Anglican prayerbook, that we are "miserable offenders." That's definitely not part of the "I'm OK, You're OK" theology. Basically, all the ECUSA has left is a kind of warmed over, "Gee, isn't it swell to be so swell" kind of mush. Anything else would definitely offend someone.

If I'm one of the dozen or so orthodox Episcopalians left, I would look my priest dead in the eye and say, "I say it's spinach and I say it stinks," and go. Both sides probably would be happier (unless you contribute lots of money, then the priest might be a wee bit sad, not over you, necessarily, but over the loss of your nice money).

Just do it.

This is where I live. You can see my house. Posted by Hello
On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia . . . NOT!

I'm a precocious blogger. The Baby of the World, I am. Posted by Hello

Just getting started.

Greetings, alles. Welcome to one of thousands of myraid blogs needlessly taking up valuable bandwidth, like so many cemeteries and golf courses on the landscape of cyberspace. I'm just getting this thing started, so the postings may come slowly at first as I try to do some decorating first. That's how it always is, before you can entertain friends, you have to get things just so.

So be patient. I'll get to my normal nonsensical ravings soon enough.

Just remember, one more hint of misbehaviour and you'll all be
At The Gratings.