Eager Anticipation

A while back, I reviewed James Howard Kunstler’s novel World Made By Hand. I’m happy to report that the sequel is near completion. Or so says JHK himself here.  I’m going to assume that World Made By Hand Two is merely a working title. I certainly hope so.

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Mornings at Al’s

I wrote this several months back and feel like sharing it now. Best enjoyed with coffee and doughnuts.

When I was bachelor, living in a not-as-romantic-as-its-sounds little apartment above an old theatre in downtown Plainfield, I would smell the alluring scent of fried dough at about 2 o’clock in the morning. I was rarely asleep at this time and the smell of doughnuts frying mingled with the musky odor of my apartment was reassuring.

Al’s Donuts in Plainfield is, without a doubt, the best donut shop around. Better than Long’s, better than Dunkun’s, and oh so much better than those cloying pretenders called Krispy Kreme. Continue reading

A Creed for Modern Times

We believe in one Market, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven on Earth,
Of all that is, priced and branded,
True growth from true growth,
Of one being with the Economy.
From this, all value is added.

We believe in Deregulation, once and for all,
The only way to prosperity.
For us and for our salvation,
Reagan and Thatcher were elected
And were made gods.
In their decade they legislated
To take away our economic sins.
They were crucified by the Liberal Media,
But rose again, in accordance with their manifestos.
They ascended in the polls
And are seated at the right hand of Milton Friedman.

We believe in the Invisible Hand,
The giver of economic life.
It has spoken through our profits.
It proceeds from the Law of the Deregulated Market,
And with the Market is worshipped and glorified.

We believe in one Globalised Economy.
We believe in one key business driver
For the increase in Gross Domestic Product.
We acknowledge one bottom line
For the measurement of wealth.
We look for the resurgence of executive compensation packages
And the life of the financial years to come.

Amen.

ANDREW BRADSTOCK.

via Dan Greeson

World Without End

A while back I received as a gift Ken Follet’s masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth, the story of a medieval English town’s struggle to build a grand cathedral. I loved this book; it is historical fiction at its finest.

Now, a friend has loaned me the follow up (it’s not a true sequal) novel by Follet, World Without End which takes place in the same town two centuries after the completion of the cathedral . Like its predecessor, World Without End is filled with rich characters and compelling stories (who knew medieval construction was so interesting?). Epic in scope and length yet wonderfully detailed and intimate, both novels make for enchanting reading.

St. Phoebe

phoebeSeptember 3rd was the feast of Phoebe of Cenchraea, mentioned by Paul in Romans 16. I am very fond of St. Phoebe.

You see, five years ago (maybe longer? It seems like a very long time ago) I was booted from the church of childhood for publically suggesting that Pheobe was ordained to the diaconate. I thought this was a reasonable conclusion based on a number of points, not the least of which is Paul’s use of the term “deacon of the church at Cenchraea” to describe Phoebe. At the time, the vehement reaction against this simple assertion left me shell-shocked. Looking back, it was blessing – a nudge toward a fuller, richer and more thoughtful Christian tradition.

And so I give thanks to God for Phoebe, diakonos of God, of St. Paul and of the Cenchreaen church.

The Eastern Church offers this troparion in honor of Phoebe:

Enlightened by grace And taught the Faith by the chosen vessel of Christ, You were found worthy of the diaconate; And you carried Paul’s words to Rome. O Deaconess Phoebe, pray to Christ God that his Spirit may enlighten our souls!