Thursday, January 22, 2009

EVENT: Fair Points Against Illinois and Chicago.

Chicago Reader: Outrageless: Is Chicago more complacent than other big cities?

I wonder how Detroit stacks in this equation. I understand the situation in Flint and New York.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BODY: Gene Robinson's Prayer.

Borrowed from Pastor Dan.

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will...

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic "answers" we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be "fixed" anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


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BODY: Today is a new beginning.

I am turning over several new leaves.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

CONCEPT: Second Profound Statement of 2009 About Art

Many shows continue to exist long after they have jumped the shark. Often the post-jump period exceeds the pre-jump period.

E.R. jumped the shark when they lost George Clooney.

The O.C. jumped the shark when Marisa started throwing deck chairs into a pool and screaming.

American Idol hasn't jumped the shark yet.

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CONCEPT: First Profound Statement of 2009 About Art

Some people like the musical Les Misèrables and others execrate it. I loved it in ninth grade, appreciated it in college, and now am somewhat disappointed in it. We could debate the fact that a three hour musical contains about six tunes, or the fact that the novels most memorable characters, such as Montparnasse and Grandfather Gillenormand have been cut from the cast, but the very best argument is both simple and easy:

In Les Misèrables the musical, Fantine is broke so she sells her locket and then her hair. This corresponds to a section in the book in which Fantine is broke so she sells her hair, and then her incisors.

What do you think is the more trenchant comment on poverty?

This is a case of art subverting its subject not in order to access, but to placate its audience.

Who would in many cases be unfamiliar with poverty, given the typical cost of theater tickets.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

BODY: Things to Inspect and Consider

These links are for my own use and convenience.
However, you are welcome to use them too, if you like.


USNO: Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day. BSF:ET
Sapphire Moon: Solstice and Equinox Finder. BSF:ET


EXERCISE: Society of Jesus: Oregon Province: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. = starting mid-September
CHURCH OBLIGATION: 2009 Holy Days of Obligation. ~M

FAITH: Street Prophets =
HOPE: Daily Kos =, Democratic Socialists of America ~T
CHARITY: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ~M, Flint Club. ~T
LENT: Operation Rice Bowl. =



LOOK UP: Night Sky Highlights in 2009. ~M
LOOK UP: Chicago, IL Weather Forecast. =
LOOK OUT: USA National Phenology Network. ~W
LOOK OUT: Chicago Reader. ~H
LOOK OUT: Wikitravel: Chicago. m3
LOOK OUT: Urban Gardening. ~F
LOOK OUT: Frugal Village ~F
LOOK OUT: Chicago Urban Exploring. m4
LOOK OUT: Benjamin Franklin y12
LOOK IN: Time. y12
LOOK IN: The Eightfold Path. y1
LOOK DOWN: St. Boniface Cemetery. y12


United States Department of Agriculture: BSF:ET

New York Times. =
Chi·Town Daily News. =
Chicago Sun-Times. ~M
Detroit Free Press. ~W
Flint Broadside. m2
Flint Journal. =
Rickey Hampton.
Andy Heller. =
Detroit Free Press: The Detroit Tigers. ~M
Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons. ~T
Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings. ~W
Detroit Free PresS: U of M Wolverines. ~H
Detroit Free Press: MSU Spartans. ~F
USA Gymnastics. ~F

Proceed to blog. *


Noctus 24, 31.

- Hey kids! Just a reminder that Blue Skies Falling will be regular again after the end of January. Thanks for sticking around!


Where is this?

Why, hello there! Are you enjoying that cup of tea?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Noctus 18, 31.

Noctus 16, 31.

The Art Institute of Chicago.

Alternate titles for television shows:
"One in the Major Arcana given to major reversals as determined by providential ambivalence towards poverty or prosperity."
"Far submergence in a geometric necessity, the second prime squared, and all this within the legacy of an exploratory mission among the fatal lanterns of the empyrian high."
"This acknowledged fraud: Amazing!"
Of what shows do I speak?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Noctus 17, 31.


Where is this?

Alternate title for a television show:
"The New World violates the word of Moses as surely as did his tribes in the valley below."
Of what show do I speak?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Noctus 16, 31.

Human societies all have what is called in theatrical parlance, a third lower floor. The social soil is everywhere undermined, sometimes for good, sometimes for evil. These works are superposed one upon the other. There are superior mines and inferior mines. There is a top and a bottom in this obscure sub-soil, which sometimes gives way beneath civilization, and which our indifference and heedlessness trample under foot. The Encyclopedia, in the last century, was a mine that was almost open to the sky. The shades, those sombre hatchers of primitive Christianity, only awaited an opportunity to bring about an explosion under the Caesars and to inundate the human race with light. For in the sacred shadows there lies latent light. Volcanoes are full of a shadow that is capable of flashing forth. Every form begins by being night. The catacombs, in which the first mass was said, were not alone the cellar of Rome, they were the vaults of the world.

Beneath the social construction, that complicated marvel of a structure, there are excavations of all sorts. There is the religious mine, the philosophical mine, the economic mine, the revolutionary mine. Such and such a pick-axe with the idea, such a pick with ciphers. Such another with wrath. People hail and answer each other from one catacomb to another. Utopias travel about underground, in the pipes. There they branch out in every direction. They sometimes meet, and fraternize there. Jean-Jacques lends his pick to Diogenes, who lends him his lantern. Sometimes they enter into combat there. Calvin seizes Socinius by the hair. But nothing arrests nor interrupts the tension of all these energies toward the goal, and the vast, simultaneous activity, which goes and comes, mounts, descends, and mounts again in these obscurities, and which immense unknown swarming slowly transforms the top and the bottom and the inside and the outside. Society hardly even suspects this digging which leaves its surface intact and changes its bowels. There are as many different subterranean stages as there are varying works, as there are extractions. What emerges from these deep excavations? The future.

The deeper one goes, the more mysterious are the toilers. The work is good, up to a degree which the social philosophies are able to recognize; beyond that degree it is doubtful and mixed; lower down, it becomes terrible. At a certain depth, the excavations are no longer penetrable by the spirit of civilization, the limit breathable by man has been passed; a beginning of monsters is possible.

The descending scale is a strange one; and each one of the rungs of this ladder corresponds to a stage where philosophy can find foothold, and where one encounters one of these workmen, sometimes divine, sometimes misshapen. Below John Huss, there is Luther; below Luther, there is Descartes; below Descartes, there is Voltaire; below Voltaire, there is Condorcet; below Condorcet, there is Robespierre; below Robespierre, there is Marat; below Marat there is Babeuf. And so it goes on. Lower down, confusedly, at the limit which separates the indistinct from the invisible, one perceives other gloomy men, who perhaps do not exist as yet. The men of yesterday are spectres; those of to-morrow are forms. The eye of the spirit distinguishes them but obscurely. The embryonic work of the future is one of the visions of philosophy.

A world in limbo, in the state of foetus, what an unheard-of spectre!

Saint-Simon, Owen, Fourier, are there also, in lateral galleries.

Surely, although a divine and invisible chain unknown to themselves, binds together all these subterranean pioneers who, almost always, think themselves isolated, and who are not so, their works vary greatly, and the light of some contrasts with the blaze of others. The first are paradisiacal, the last are tragic. Nevertheless, whatever may be the contrast, all these toilers, from the highest to the most nocturnal, from the wisest to the most foolish, possess one likeness, and this is it: disinterestedness. Marat forgets himself like Jesus. They throw themselves on one side, they omit themselves, they think not of themselves. They have a glance, and that glance seeks the absolute. The first has the whole heavens in his eyes; the last, enigmatical though he may be, has still, beneath his eyelids, the pale beam of the infinite. Venerate the man, whoever he may be, who has this sign—the starry eye.

The shadowy eye is the other sign.

With it, evil commences. Reflect and tremble in the presence of any one who has no glance at all. The social order has its black miners.

There is a point where depth is tantamount to burial, and where light becomes extinct.

Below all these mines which we have just mentioned, below all these galleries, below this whole immense, subterranean, venous system of progress and utopia, much further on in the earth, much lower than Marat, lower than Babeuf, lower, much lower, and without any connection with the upper levels, there lies the last mine. A formidable spot. This is what we have designated as the le troisieme dessous. It is the grave of shadows. It is the cellar of the blind. Inferi.

This communicates with the abyss.

Who said this?

Alternate title for a television show:
"The protector of a line projected from a point is subject to universal adoration."
Of what show do I speak?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Noctus 15, 31.

A lot of good stories from the last two-odd weeks; too many to write in this post. I'll cover it later this week. Hope everyone had a Happy Holiday!

/film: Bollywood is Remaking Back to the Future.

What finlm would you most like to see Bollywood remake?