Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Mass Construction

While we're talking about music, it occurs to me that the most popular and most audience-concerned classical composers today are the people who compose film music. Why don't folks with moolah find some Catholic film composers and commission some Masses?

Moreover, if the composer is young enough, he or she will still be used to arranging music for the instruments available.

The only hitch is that I don't really know what religion my favorite film composers are. Not really a factor until now....

Los Angeles Political Correctness

There's a very simple piece of computer terminology involved here. The control computer of a network is called the "master", and a subordinate computer is called a "slave". Well, not anymore. Not in Los Angeles County. Never mind if the terms have been used since the midmorning of computing or if it will require rewriting a lot of code and fiddling with a lot of hardware. Never mind the inconvenience to vendors and users alike. Never mind the expense to taxpayers, either. Because the PC will be served.

*F/X: head banging against brick wall*

Adventures in Hymnwriting

Or, more songs nobody else will ever sing! Mwahaha!

I got the idea for this one from the brilliant post on the Bethlehem code on Annunciations. Reading it was one of those "doh!" moments for me. I mean, how many times have I heard "lying in a manger"? Thus the hymn.

In a Manger
Lyrics and Music: Maureen S. O'Brien, 11/25/03

They laid Him in a manger, in a town called House of Bread.
They laid Him in a manger, though He was the one they fed.
They laid Him in a manger, as if harvest time were done
And in the place of grain, they placed our God's own Son.

They found Him in a manger, the poor folk and the proud.
They found Him in a manger, wrapped up as in a shroud.
They found Him in a manger, where the creatures came to eat,
And they knelt, all openmouthed, before the Baby's feet.

Oh praise Him in the manger, laid as on an altarstone.
Oh praise Him in the manger, for He chose this on His throne.
Oh praise Him in the manger, for today the great I Am
Starts in this barn to be our sacrificial Lamb.

Monday, November 24, 2003

St. John the Bishonen

Amy Welborn pointed me to Akma's random thought on debunking The DaVinci Code. Apparently, St. John the Evangelist's long flowing hair and youthful beardless appearance in Western art are being used by That Stupid Book as "proof" that St. John is actually St. Mary Magdalene. Er. Whatever. I guess that means all those bishonen Japanese men in the manga and anime are all women, too. Heh. Oh, and God forbid that artists should ever want to portray male beauty of any kind on a saint. (Female beauty is apparently the only thing okay....)
Also, this code thing is so important that artistic taste and what will sell to women has no effect whatsoever on subject matter. Suuuuuure.

Okay, so now the frivolous question: which is more bishy, St. John or the guys from Japan? I'm thinkin' the Evangelist is also a contenda. Take a look and see if you agree!

The Master of the Franciscan Crucifix's St. John

Martini's angsty St. John

Through Akma, Vanucci's St. John and St. Augustine

Van Eyck's St. John

El Greco's St. John (yow!)

An anonymous German Gothic sculptor's St. John

Barocci's CLAMP-like swirly St. John

Look here for lots of links to St. John pictures.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Happy Anniversary, Doctor!

On this day in 1963, Doctor Who first aired. On the previous day, C.S. Lewis had died.

You win some, you lose some.

Anime/Blogosphere Synchronicity

Okay, this is getting spooky. Warning: Big spoiler for the series .hack//SIGN.

As the series has progressed, it has become increasingly clear that the character Tsukasa, who mysteriously cannot log off an online game and instead lives within it, is actually a comatose patient in a hospital. In the episode run tonight on Cartoon Network, we finally learned that the patient was brought in bearing the signs of abuse. The patient's father tried to persuade the doctors to kill her, then broke in at night to try his hand at it. Fortunately, his attempt did not succeed.

This show gets more and more interesting. Tsukasa is constantly being tempted to give up and give in, to run away, to stay uninvolved, and to forget about the world outside. This is reinforced by a modern update of the Japanese folklore device of an unhappy ghost trying to drag the living after it. Meanwhile, Tsukasa and his very existence challenge other people to try to justify their own lives, the validity of their relationships, and the imperfect real world. If you like a show with lots of pictures and conversations, .hack//SIGN is for you.