Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The CIA Killed Dumbledore!

Via Kathy Shaidle, a really nice example (by furries!) of playing with moonbats at public protests.

I mean, (HOOH!) what are they good for?

So I covered my hat in tinfoil and drove off to matt's place where he'd constructed two large signs. Mine said "The CIA killed Dumbledore!" and had a picture of a wizard, while his said "Dick Cheney is a Giant Communist Robot!" and had a picture of some sort of crazy queen of france arm'd robot.

Certainly, we thought, we'll be yelled at - people will get angry at us very quickly. Not the case...

They took us seriously... They asked to have their pictures taken with our signs. They invited us to the day's events. They gave us a large sign they'd made too! Oy...

Another Reason to Oppose Islamofascism

Because it hates instrumental music.

"All instruments except the 'duf' - tambourine are forbidden"

"Singing is not haram..ofcourse it depends on what your singing. A good example to give is that of Cat Stevens who, when he first converted to Islam, gave up allll music. Then, slowly, he realized that he can still sing...and he does....only islamic music..praising Allah, etc. He doesnt use any of the instruments that are considered forbidden.

"in my is a waste of time (especially the type that is popular now). we are only here for a couple of decades..there is no time to waste."

"The reasoning is that music enslaves the soul, and the soul shouldnt be enslaved by anything but Allah."

Let's sit back and contemplate exactly how stupid this is.

These are folks with an incredible musical heritage, both of instrumental music and of secular song. Most of them, in fact, are part of cultures where it's still normal to compose songs and poems extemporaneously, and use them to talk about life.

These are folks who brought us the oud (lute), who started the troubadours singing, who lived to the rhythm of Middle Eastern music. And now they are spitting on their own devout ancestors and the glories of the the name of their devout ancestors and the glories of the Caliphate?!

All I can say, I'm glad I'm Catholic. Remind me to crank up that CD of Iranian classical music, kids. If we turn it down, the terrorists win!

Here's a page on traditianl Middle Eastern musical instruments.

Iranian classical music modes.

Radio Darvish. All Iranian classical music all the time. (You can listen to it on dialup also.)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Poem: Maker of Makers

This isn't all that great a poem, but seeing as I skipped out of the weekend with the Precious Blood sisters before I could share it with everybody else (*Maureen has a skin-crawling flashback to group reports and reading stuff out in class! Yarrgh!*), I guess humility demands I share it somewhere. We were assigned to write down "our greatest treasure" during Holy Hour, which was an interesting experience when you're busy having an overwhelming experience of actually feeling the presence of the Real Presence. But if I could write when I was in Scadian court, and if I could write normally (when of course God is always there, whether we're being overwhelmingly reminded of that or not, I supposed I could write something then. And I did; and interestingly enough, it didn't distract me much out of the state I was in. Like I said below, it was all fairly unprecedented for me and fairly obviously nothing of my doing.

(You know, I'm not sure why I'm dancing around this so much, admitting something happened but not actually going into detail. I guess there are two reasons. One, because being open and going against my instincts not to talk at all about my experiences led to a fairly large break between me and some Catholic friends back in my freshman year of college. Two, because I'm not sure how to convey what happened with the proper weightings. The parts that would sound the most remarkable really weren't all that important, and the things that would sound like nothing were what really meant everything. To be honest, pretty much every mystical dealie is bound to boil down to "I felt the presence of God". That's all there is to it, and that's more than enough.)

Anyway, on with the poem, which has very little to do with all that and very little to do with the assigned theme. In the face of the King, I went with my Scadian roots and produced something like a courtly Irish poem.

Maker of makers and molecules -- Man
More than all mortals, like us but in sin --
God for whom gold and the sun are both molding clay --
I feel your gaze as I gaze on You here.
If Your appearance were not masked and monstranced,
How could I bear it? But yet, Lord, I long
To see Your forever, to be with You always,
To sing with the angels, to praise You, mo stor,
Maker of makers.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Russian Update

I haven't really done a lot with my Russian lately, and I need to. I want to find out what happens in the last couple of chapters of Lukyanenko's Night Watch. I know the answer is "Anton will find the deck stacked against him again", but at least Lukyanenko makes that interesting. Still, Tanya Grotter got to win. *sigh*

In happier news, I do seem to be keeping my reading knowledge of Russian pretty satisfactorily. But I need to work on my verbs. They have Slavic roots, just like the nouns do, and all I have to do is learn the roots, really stomp in the grammar, and I'll be a lot better off. The problem is that this means actual study, as opposed to Maureen-reads-a-novel. But that's life in the big city.

What worries me is that I'm still going nowhere fast on writing and speaking Russian. Being able to read a novel isn't much help for practical stuff.

Changing the subject (as I so often do when faced with unpalatable truth, unless I'm harping on about it), folks might be interested to see what the Lord's Prayer (or at least the Russian Orthodox version thereof) looks like in Russian. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

???? ???, ????? ?? ???????!
?? ???????? ??? ????;
?? ??????? ???????? ????;
?? ????? ???? ???? ? ?? ?????, ??? ?? ????;
???? ??? ???????? ??????? ??? ?? ?????? ????;
? ?????? ??? ????? ????,
??? ? ?? ??????? ??????? ???????? ??????;
? ?? ????? ??? ? ?????????,
?? ?????? ??? ?? ????????.


Otche nash, sushchiy na nebesah!
da svyatitsya imya Tvoye;
da priidet Tsarstvie Tvoye;
da budet volya Tvoya i na zemle, kak na nebe;
khleb nash nasushchniy podavay nam na kazhdiy den';
i prosti nam grehi nashi,
ibo i mih proshchaem vsyakomu dolzhniku nashemu;
i ne vvedi nas v iskushenie,
no izbav' nas ot lukavovo.

There are several interesting things to notice here. First of all, you get the slightly archaic or poetic effect of reversing the normal word order; it's "???? ???" (Father our), not "??? ????". This may be some kind of holdover from Old Church Slavonic for all I know.

The second interesting bit is the repeated "da". In this kind of context, it's pretty much the same as saying "indeed" or "verily". "Indeed, hallowed is Thy name; indeed, Thy Kingdom comes; indeed, Thy will also will be on earth as in heaven." (The "i", and, means "also" in this context.)

Actually, I suppose you could translate "Tsartsvie" as something other than "Kingdom", given that a Tsar is supposedly more an emperor than a king. ("King" is "korol'".) But it just sounds so wrong to say, "Your Empire comes", doesn't it?

The next line gets weird. As far as I can tell, it means something like "Give us on each day our sustaining bread." But "????????" seems to mean something more like "the amount of bread we need so as not to starve" than "our recommended daily allowance of bread". I could be wrong about this, of course. I really don't know Russian all that well. But on the whole, it sounds a bit more desperate than "Give us this day our daily bread."

More later.