Gotta have a Feckle Freezer

Accumulated odds and ends:

Is Obama Catholic? No, and Dennis McDonough is an idiot.

Is the Pope Catholic? That’s a much more interesting question. Edward Feser supplies some useful background, including notes about Popes Honorius, John XXII and Liberius.

Hyperplay will provide hours — well, minutes — of fun for the mathematically inclined and the easily entertained.

The cheerful, generous, creepy Laughing Salesman is returning. The show won’t be the same without the late Tooru Ohira, the Japanese voice of Homer Simpson and Darth Vader.

Should Moyashimon return for a third season, it might involve a trip to Ontario. (I’d rather see Sawaki and colleagues in Scotland or Kentucky, myself.)

The creepiest scene in any show this year

Someone re-uploaded the ending of Flip Flappers, the best and freakiest show of the year. The song, by “TO-MAS,” is a fine example of iTO MASumi’s craft, though someone else sings on it.

Flip Flappers demonstrates how utterly useless most critics are. Creating fiction is an art of show and tell. Particularly in the early episodes, the balance in Flip Flappers is strongly toward showing, presenting wildly surrealistic events and letting the viewer make connections and piece the puzzle together himself. Many self-styled authorities lack the patience to watch a story like that, or they see only clichés — but that’s okay; they can watch Yaoi on Ice if they want an easy, trendy story. For others, it’s a Rorschach test, and their comments tell me more about the writers than the show, e.g., “Queer Discovery in ‘Flip Flappers.'”

Three writers — Emily, Nick Creamer and Chris Siebenmann — pay attention to what is actually on the screen and think analytically about the imagery and mechanics of the show. Their comments are worth reading.

From an AoSHQ book thread:

The authoress was just saying impressively to her companion: “—ever know a sincere emotion to express itself in a subordinate clause?” “Joyce has freed us from the superstition of syntax,” agreed the curly man. “Scenes which make emotional history,” said Miss Heath-Warburton, “should ideally be expressed in a series of animal squeals.” “The D.H. Lawrence formula,” said the other. “Or even Dada,” said the authoress. “We need a new notation,” said the curly-haired man, putting both elbows on the table and knocking Wimsey’s bread on to the floor. “Have you heard Robert Snoates recite his own verse to the tom-tom and the penny whistle?”
Dorothy Sayers
Clouds of Witnesses

This reminds me bigly of the stuff Ayn Rand used to write. Like the phrase, “superstition of syntax”, used to mark the degeneration of language. It just sounds so Randian (see Rand’s brilliant essay on Helen Keller). And WHAT’S FUNNY ABOUT THIS, as Ben R. might tell us, is that two observers, Rand and Sayers are saying pretty much the same thing about post-modernism while they themselves are completely unalike, philosophically and theologically. In fact, if they ever had met, they’d probably have gotten into a fist fight. I think Rand would’ve won, being an unbalanced angry loon and all, but Sayers would have been charitable enough to bail her out of jail.

Frederik Pohl may have been a communist sympathizer, but his best stories are worth digging out. Here are a few:

The Tunnel under the World

Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus

The Midas Plague

If you enjoyed those, look for best-of collections. I’m not so fond of his novels that I’ve read, though the even-numbered chapters of Gateway are very good.

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.

I regret to note that Shirley Jackson‘s best book, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, is being made into a movie. Even if the movie is well-made, it can never be more than a weak shadow of the novel.

Did you know that there are mountains in Mississippi? Neither did I.

There’s more about [Blues] Creation here and here. Their album Demon & Eleven Children is worth tracking down if you like heavy Japanese blues rock.