Vanderbilt U. loses its Catholic presence

. . . as in its official Vanderbilt Catholic organization, which has shaken the campus dust off its feet and decamped.

Vandy said it had to open officers’ ranks to non-Catholics, as it told all religious groups regarding their various affiliations.

It’s as if the Society of Midland Authors were ordered by the City of Chicago to open its leadership to talk-show hosts who never wrote a line.

Which may happen some day if radio talkers ever get organized and swing prevailing opinion in a talking-over-writing direction.

Even liberals would oppose that one.

H/T: The Blaze and Nashville Tennessean

Sobriquets and aphorisms for our troubled era

* Elena “I refuse to recuse” Kagan: the SC justice who argued for Obamacare as solicitor general but sits to declare its consitutionality.

* Words that went viral: #1 of a series, “guys,” for people of any age and gender or role (place?) in society.

* Convenient classification: There are two kinds of people men, those who wear their hats at the dinner table, out or at home, not at a picnic or beach, and those who do not.


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in Times Lit Supplement 3/9/12 (subscription required):

* His Mother Night is his “funniest” book, says reviewer Thomas Meaney.

* Writing as he did when he did about WW2, he “faced the shibboleth of the Good War” as in the novels and books by Herman Wouk, James Michener, and Andy Rooney.  Not so the grim accounts by Robert Stone, Michael Herr, Tim O’Brien et al.

* Post-Slaughterhouse Five, in which he reached his apogee, he catered to semi-cultists, gave into “posturizing,” says Meaney, who sells him persuasively as a world-class ironist, never deviating in his accounts of the horrors of war, slipping into a “sentimental bog,” as O’Brien does in The Things They Carried.

He did that after Slaughterhouse, when “he began to recycle his gimmicks and [his] sardonic shell started to crack.”

As V. would say, so it goes.

“Danny Boy” at church

Coulda knocked me over with a vigil light last night at the start of our Lenten reconciliation service when the first hymn was “Danny Boy” — the tune, that is.  The lyrics, by the prolific Dottie Rambo, began:

Amazing grace shall always be my song of praise./ For it was grace that bought my liberty;/ I do not know just why He came to love me so,/ He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.”

Etc.  Phew.

“Amazing grace” is our “song of praise.”  Make of that what you will.

At the usual point, I hunched up my shoulders somehow to react sympathetically to that Danny Boy high note:

At “there” in the immortal line:

‘Tis I’ll be there in sunshine or in shadow

At “bend” in this one:

For you will bend and tell me that you love me.

And last night at the second syllable of “marvelous” in this line:

How marvelous the grace that caught my falling soul.

My devotion knew no bounds.

Management talks tough about pension plan

Here’s a neat statement about pension plans and, for that matter, most rich employee benefits or even social welfare programs:

[T]he most important thing we can do is to eliminate the expense, risk and volatility of the defined-benefit pension plans many of our employees have enjoyed over the years. . . .   They are great for employees, but they are, sadly, unaffordable.

Oh, that old affordability business.  Just like an employer, eh? 

In this case it’s New York Times management to its newspaper guild editorialists.  Like something out of the National Assn. of Manufacturers. 

Economics makes strange bedfellows, no?

Catholic religious educators rock to ’80s sound

At Los Angeles convention, the “We are the worled” sound.

[The] music is dated, while chants written a millennium prior are not. The reason is: the earlier music was not ephemeral. It was not written to satisfy a perceived (usually hopelessly outdated) current theological or musical trend, but to give expression to the deep faith that can truly sustain a Christian.

The price of being with it.

the words too, sound exactly like We Are the World, which, with admirable clarity, expresses secular humanism.

Sung by all-stars.

The lyrics.