When you look at normal homes that fetch 600 to 700k, you have to wonder how it can be sustainable. Have we all lost our minds? Is this the top of the bubble, just like the dot com insanity where Yahoo was $300 plus a share, etc? It seems like it to me. I know supply is supposedly less than demand in the DC area, but how many speculators own 11 homes or 11 condos? If the market reverses, would it be rapid?
I have a hard time buying in this market. Not only can we probably not truly afford it, but I think it is due for a big reversal. We are all stuck in a queasy feeling in-between time. We try to judge if we should get in or stay out, how to survive, where to move, what to do. It is not pleasant for those who are just arriving here. I have the feeling that all the government money sloshing around this area is what has inflated the whole bubble. Thus far interest rates and high prices have just served to cool the market, not to kill it. The madness continues and I am in the middle of it.
What a cool painting. He influenced Borges, who influenced Gene Wolfe, who influences lots of people like me!
There is a (Mormon) review of the recent meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology at New Cool Thang. Check it out.
Foucault also compares modern society with Jeremy Bentham’s “Panopticon” design for prisons (which was unrealized in its original form, but nonetheless influential): in the Panopticon, a single guard can watch over many prisoners while the guard remains unseen. The dark dungeon of pre-modernity has been replaced with the bright modern prison, but Foucault cautions that “visibility is a trap”. It is through this visibility, Foucault writes, that modern society exercises its controlling systems of power and knowledge (terms which Foucault believed to be so fundamentally connected that he often combined them in a single hyphenated concept, “power-knowledge”). Foucault suggests that a “carceral continuum” runs through modern society, from the maximum security prison, through secure accommodation, probation, social workers, police, and teachers, to our everyday working and domestic lives. All are connected by the (witting or unwitting) supervision (surveillance, application of norms of acceptable behaviour) of some humans by others.
In the past two years I have noticed more and more people using a self-inquisitive style of speech that I find highly annoying. Example:
“Do I like going there? No. Am I going to do it anyway? Yes.”
I hear this kind of talk all the time now, in politics and all over the media. It must have caught on at some point. If you talk like this, please stop for my sake.
The LONG and the SHORT of IT, subtitled More Essays On The Fiction Of Gene Wolfe.
C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church
The Battle for Middle Earth
St. Augustine said
We ask of God but cannot receive because our hands are already full. We say, ‘God, fill us up,’ but we are already stuffed. We say, ‘Lord, comfort me,’ but we are already comfortable.
In his book The Icon and the Axe, James Billington writes of early Orthodoxy in Russia:
Man’s function was not to analyze that which has been resolved or to explain that which is mysterious, but lovingly and humbly to embellish the inherited forms of praise and worship — and thus, perhaps, gaim some imperfect sense of the luminous world to come.
This is the Buckley article quoted by so many recently. He says in part:
And the administration has, now, to cope with failure. It can defend itself historically, standing by the inherent reasonableness of the postulates. After all, they govern our policies in Latin America, in Africa and in much of Asia. The failure in Iraq does not force us to generalize that violence and anti-democratic movements always prevail. It does call on us to adjust to the question, What do we do when we see that the postulates do not prevail — in the absence of interventionist measures (we used these against Hirohito and Hitler) that we simply are not prepared to take?It is healthier for the disillusioned American to concede that in one theater in the Mideast, the postulates didn’t work. The alternative would be to abandon the postulates. To do that would be to register a kind of philosophical despair. The killer insurgents are not entitled to blow up the shrine of American idealism.
I guess the only place I disagree with him is that I think we SHOULD abandon the postulates. Secular democracy is not the future. A renewed Christendom is. Until we can build that (centuries?) we have no business forcing pornography and the ‘right’ to abortion down the throats of the Umma.
What does the Pope think of rock? Not much. I checked out The Spirit of the Liturgy and read this:
“Rock”, on the other hand, is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals, it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe. The music of the Holy Spirit’s sober inebriation seems to have little chance when self has become a prison, the mind is a shackle, and breaking out from both appears as a true promise of redemption that can be tasted at least for a few moments.
I agree with his assessment. I have long thought that concerts are a form of pagan religion, along with movies. I’m not for abstaining from them, the Christian can participate with caution and appreciation. What I am saying is that for the masses apart from Christ these venues serve as a form of transcendence. And watching the adulation directed at artists on stage is frightening to me, the rock star does function as the god of our age.
Benedict proposes some guidelines for music in the church:
Not every kind of music can have a place in Christian worship. It has its standards, and that standard is the Logos…Does it integrate man by drawing him to what is above, or does it cause his disintegration into formless intoxication or mere sensuality?
Something to think about.