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Robin Williams said (on Inside the Actor’s Studio) he hopes to hear God laughing in heaven

by Andrea Elizabeth

So, Robin gets to the pearly gates and St. Peter says, “Don’t you know suicide is a mortal sin and you can’t come in?”

“That’s ok, I’ll just sit out here and tell jokes.”

“They have to be pretty good, or we’ll send you away.”

“Did you hear the one about Chaplin, Groucho and Costello trying to get in the Pearly Gates?”

“Probably not your version”

“You wouldn’t let them in till Costello cried, “Hey, Abbot!” and St. Gregory of Nyssa came up and said to open the gate.”

La Mork de Robin

by Andrea Elizabeth

So sad about Robin Williams. What if he’d found Orthodoxy? I read one quote that he made during his 20 years of sobriety (’86 – ’06) where he said he was the same a-hole sober as he was when not. That reminds me of the week I spent with a clean house chart. It didn’t fix me as much as I thought it would. Life isn’t just fixing problems. We fix problems to be made fit for something higher. I hope he finds it now, please Lord.

 

Divine right

by Andrea Elizabeth

Reading about Oliver Cromwell is contributing to my running inquiry into revolutions. I know history is complicated, but I wonder if basic philosophical precepts have guided it.

Seems to me the Protestant Reformation was the beginning of popular uprisings, followed closely by the 1600’s English Civil War which was the precursor to the American and French Revolutions, and which pretty much marked the end of monarchy in the world. The events around the Magna Carta in the early 1200’s could be seen as the end of absolute monarchy as it was the beginning of parliament where the nobles could thwart the king, which they apparently did since William the Conqueror. I also read that his reign was the beginning of the castle age, which fortified the nobles, as far as I can tell.

Still, monarchs up to Tsar Nicholas II, believed themselves to rule by divine right. It seems that even though this belief eroded among the people, there was enough support for it till recently, and even a small remnant probably remains for Queen Elizabeth II. What I don’t understand is why monarchs did not have this same respect towards each other. Why would a divinely appointed King invade another King’s divinely ordained realm? Doesn’t seem very faithful to their calling to me.

Unless they actually believed in survival of the fittest, which is either an atheistic or Calvinistic doctrine, instead. This brings me to my next post.

The Knight’s Code

by Andrea Elizabeth

My daughter mentioned The Knight’s Code in one of her assignments today. I hadn’t heard it put that way, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, which took me to Chivalry, which comes from the term, horsemanship. This of course lead me to think of cowboys. Compare these codes, the first from

Léon Gautier in his La Chevalerie of 1883 bemoaned the “invasion of Breton romans” which replaced the pure military ethos of the crusades with Arthurian fiction and courtly adventures. Gautier tries to give a “popular summary” of what he proposes was the “ancient code of chivalry” of the 11th and 12th centuries, viz. the military ethos of the crusades which would evolve into the late medieval notion of chivalry. Gautier’s “commandments” are:

  1. Believe the Church’s teachings and observe all the Church’s directions.
  2. Defend the Church.
  3. Respect and defend all weaknesses.
  4. Love your country.
  5. Show no mercy to the Infidel. Do not hesitate to make war with them.
  6. Perform all your feudal duties as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God.
  7. Never lie or go back on one’s word.
  8. Be generous to everyone.
  9. Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice.

And the second from Gene Autrey’s cowboy code

  1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
  2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  3. He must always tell the truth.
  4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
  5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6. He must help people in distress.
  7. He must be a good worker.
  8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
  9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
  10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

The main difference is in tolerance. The knight isn’t, Gene Autrey’s cowboy is. I think that issue is very confused right now. Nowadays we shoot the shooter, or the beheader, of the infidel. Or we did till recently. Now we don’t shoot anyone, we just give guns to those who do.

Anyway, the origin of chivalry is western. In the east we had the Mongol warrior horsemen, in the mid-east, the Arab nomads, who influenced the indomitable Byzantine cataphracts. But it is a bit muddy because eastern and western Rome was united until the fall of western Rome, which was before the days of Charlemagne, where it technically began and then flourished during the Crusades. The cataphract article only relates to warfare. Combining that with a moral and ethical code seems to be a romanticizing thing to do. Before that, and in other places, who knows how horse soldiers acted?

Ironically, the latest conflicts between the remaining “gentlemen” on the Bachelorette seem to be about balancing the codes governing how to treat women, how to treat comrades, and how to treat rivals. They seem confused about it. Early on it was, this is war, but then they decided to be chums and wish each other good luck. The latest guy who got booted had been complaining bitterly about trying to act happy when other people got close to Andi. She seems to like the guy who is quiet with the others, and only prioritizes her. Still, she says she wants someone who is liked and gets along well with others. We’ll see how that goes. I think the others would have liked him better if he didn’t appear to be winning. Or maybe they would have if he seemed unaware of it. I think they’re secretly hoping that she secretly likes someone else instead.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about the Ukrainian Cossack Code:

“There was a cossack military court, which severely punished violence and stealing among compatriots, bringing women to the Sich [council], consumption of alcohol in periods of conflict, etc. There were also churches and schools, providing religious services and basic education. Principally, the Eastern Orthodox Church was preferred and was a part of the national identity.

In times of peace, Cossacks were engaged in their occupations, living with their families, studying strategy, languages and educating recruits. As opposed to other armies, Cossacks were free to choose their preferred weapon. Wealthy Cossacks preferred to wear heavy armour, while infantrymen preferred to wear simple clothes, although they also occasionally wore mail.”

So women were left out of this code. Interesting. I think there probably is more segregation in the east. Until the Soviets? I think I’ve written before about the Soviets advancing women’s rights, education, and birth control.

Also interesting: “The Cossacks’ strong historic allegiance to the Eastern Orthodox Church put them at odds with the Catholic-dominated Commonwealth. Tensions increased when Commonwealth policies turned from relative tolerance to suppression of the Orthodox church, making the Cossacks strongly anti-Catholic, which at the time was synonymous with anti-Polish.” So that’s the animosity with the Polish.

by Andrea Elizabeth

Tis a beautiful day to be home alone from Church sick, drinking coffee with the dogs basking on the back porch while the trees aggressively compete for sunny air space overhead. 

by Andrea Elizabeth

I neglected to attribute the quote in the last post to St. Ignaty Brianchaninov in The Arena. I’ll try to get the page number later. I think it was about 110.

Our Mutual Friend

by Andrea Elizabeth

This isn’t a post about books, movies, religion, politics, activities or feelings, so what does that leave to talk about? Oh, there was something. Was it about Our Mutual Friend, the miniseries? No, it was teasing something out of some concept or behavior. What was it? Some extreme in a behavior or attitude. Heavenly or earthly minded? No. Practical vs. ideal? No. Spoiling vs. harshness? No. Recklessness vs. overprotection? No. I can’t think of it. So I guess I have nothing to talk about today. Have a nice one.

Well, I can’t leave it like that so I’ll mention that in Our Mutual Friend, I appreciated the equal treatment of people’s susceptibility to the dark side, even Lizzie’s. But was her willingness based on a desire to help, or was it another instance of Dickensonian unrealistic romanticism? I honestly don’t know.

 

home sweet home

by Andrea Elizabeth

Once upon a time there was a cute little 1963 house just a mile from a cute little church. A weary family from way out west thought this would be a lovely place to rest their bones, children, friends, and dogs for varying lengths of time each. So they bought the house knowing that the floor was very uneven, with a pretty deep slope in the back which the foundation repair people had said they could shore up. So after buying, and before shoring, the dad of the house got a second opinion. This man said, “you’ve got a leak, probably a drainage leak causing your foundation to heave up in the middle, not so much down at the sides.” Indeed this opinion fits more with the evidence, including how the doors stick more downstream after water fixtures are used.

So the weary family may still rest their bones on air mattresses and folding chairs while waiting for the plumbing estimate, repair, a year for the house to dry out to see how the heave decreases, foundation repair, new flooring, which had to be replaced anyway, painting and furnishing. It’s ok because of how much the house was discounted, and because they have a year till their daughter goes to college near the cute little church.

Born on the fourth of July.

by Andrea Elizabeth

This year for Valentines Day George gave us seasons tickets to Fort Worth’s Circle Theater to see their five plays. Last night’s The Whipping Man was about two newly emancipated Jewish slaves and their ex-master’s son reuniting in their shattered home under dishonorable circumstances after Lee surrendered. All three actors were debuting at this theater and did a very good job. I’ve never been to a play there so well-received by the audience.

On the way home Pandora selected “Jesus the Mexican Boy”. The title on the screen reminded me of my nursing school experience with Jesus, until I learned he was just Haysuse. Back then I would have been offended at the lyrics and thought the singer deserved The Whipping Man.

Jesus the Mexican boy
born in a truck on the fourth of July
gave me a card with a lady naked on the back
Barefoot at night on the road
Fireworks blooming above in the sky
I never knew I was given the best one from the deck

He never wanted nothing I remember
Maybe a broken bottle if I had two
Hanging behind his holy even temper
Hiding the more unholy things I do

Jesus the Mexican boy
Gave me a ride on the back of his bike
Out to the fair though I welched on a $5 bet
Drunk on Calliope songs
We met a home-wrecking carnival girl
He’s never asked for a favor or the money yet

Jesus the Mexican boy
Born in a truck on the 4th of July
I fell in love with his sister unrepentantly
Fearing he wouldn’t approve
We made a lie that was feeble at best
Boarded a train bound for Vegas and married secretly

I never gave him nothing I remember
Maybe a broken bottle if I had two
Hanging behind his holy even temper
Hiding the more unholy things I do

Jesus the Mexican boy
Wearing a long desert trip on his tie
Lo and behold he was standing under the welcome sign
Naked the Judas in me
Fell by the tracks but he lifted me high
Kissing my head like a brother and never asking why

Maybe he does deserve him, but now I think so do I.

For the love of dogs

by Andrea Elizabeth

Touch screen typing is awkward,so bear with me as I write from my dog friendly motel room in the Texas Hill Country, Highland Lakes area, which begins 3.5 hours, not miles, Facebook friends, from my house.

This week I have been more intensely trying to house train our new shelter dog. I read that shelter dogs are used to going on concrete, so that explains why she prefers our living room (stained concrete) and front entry way (exposed concrete during new cork installation, which is on hold till she’s trained) to going outside. So I got her a crate, and found that the advice to supervise all indoor out of crate play is the best way to catch her when she’s preparing to let loose, and hurry her outdoors. (man, the spell prompts for touchscreens are horrible at reading my mind.) having to devote so much time and money to dogs is making me think about priorities. There is an arguement against making pets your children while neglecting people. (Ishould have left that arguemena, see what it did to my spacing!) But when I see the benefits of training, attention, and healthcare while we are on this trip, I think they are worth it. Corgis love climbing, btw. Could they count as least brethren?

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