Willoughby could not hear of her marriage without a pang; and his punishment was soon afterwards complete in the voluntary forgiveness of Mrs. Smith, who,...gave him reason for believing that had he behaved with honour towards Marianne, he might at once have been happy and rich. That his repentance of misconduct, which thus brought its own punishment, was sincere, need not be doubted...For Marianne,...he always retained that decided regard which interested him in every thing that befell her, and made her his secret standard of perfection in woman;-- and many a rising beauty would be slighted by him in after-days as bearing no comparison with Mrs. Brandon.
- Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility, 1811.
Bernstein: "Who's a busy man? Me? I'm Chairman of the Board. I got nothing but time. What do you want to know?" Thompson: "Well, Mr. Bernstein. We thought maybe, if we can find out what he meant by his last words as he was dying." Bernstein: "That Rosebud, huh? Maybe, some girl? There were a lot of them back in the early days. Thompson: "It's hardly likely, Mr. Bernstein. Mr. Kane could have met some girl casually and then fifty years later on his deathbed remembered..". Bernstein: "Well, you are pretty young, Mr., Mr. Thompson. A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in eighteen ninety-six, I was crossing over to Jersey on a ferry and as we pulled out there was another ferry pulling in and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on, she was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl..."
-Citizen Kane, 1941 RKO Studios.
Relish The Gentleman
Sir Basil Seal
Mrs. P has started on haber as well as dash, so I, of course immediately started actually reading her post...I gleaned a bit about pipes, anniversaries and a suitable wardrobe as well as a mention of the venerable smoking jacket. Well, as you have probably guessed by now, I not only own a velvet smoking jacket, but actually wear one. And as such, I thought it best to discuss it with all of you first before Mrs. P can do irreparable harm. Contrary to popular belief, you can wear a smoking jacket without actually smoking, although, I personally would consider you a complete and utter wuss if you don't puff like Bette Davis while wearing yours. Yes, just as most of you wear a baseball cap (probably backwards) without actually being a member of a baseball team, you can don the jacket without actually lighting up (tobacco) and shocking all your friends at your Whole Foods organic balsamic vinegar tasting party. Anyway, one treats a smoking jacket as if it were a dinner jacket, except that a smoking jacket is "at home wear" worn for entertaining at home. It should be worn with a formal shirt (with bow tie) and trousers (black or midnight blue) or gray flannels and a pair of black velvet (personalized motif optional) or leather Alberts. You can also wear a less formal shirt with a scarf or ascot tied jauntily about the neck. The smoking jacket is one of the last vestiges of men's wear which survives (barely) from the era when men wore different clothing based upon time-of-day and location. If you are of a daring and devil-may-care nature you could also don the velvet smoking cap with tassel colored to match your jacket...But we are venturing into professional territory here, so tread carefully. I must say that the smoking jacket is one of the quintessential items which need inhabit a gentleman's wardrobe and I've been told that the chicks dig it. So, there you are. A variation on the theme is the men's cashmere robe or gown, which is worn over your shirt and tie after you have removed your jacket. This was a favorite look of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street fame. I wear them both to great applause. So should you. When you purchase your velvet smoking jacket, you need also pick up your gunmetal cigarette case, your Ronson lighter and several packs of Chesterfield King non-filters. Do it right son, or don't do it at all...
My tears are not for him—for he knew, all his life, that his Redeemer lives, and he has now been gathered by the Lord in whom he trusted.I weep, rather for all the rest of us. As a priest, as a writer, as a public leader in so many struggles, and as a friend, no one can take his place. The fabric of life has been torn by his death, and it will not be repaired, for those of us who knew him, until that time when everything is mended and all our tears are wiped away.Funeral arrangements are still being planned; more information about the funeral will be made public shortly. Please accept our thanks for all your prayers and good wishes.In Deepest Sorrow,Joseph BottumEditorFirst Things
Father Neuhaus was one of the ones who helped the Peperiums across the Tiber for which we remain eternally grateful. Thank you Father and God Speed.
There are two types of people reading this right now. The first group has read my other blog. The second has not. If you are in the first group, then you are probably asking yourself, “Self, why is FLG, with his heretical, sophomoric, profanity laced blog and his strange obsessions with pirates, robots and sex with inanimate objects, writing for my favorite Catholic, intelligent, generally non-potty mouthed internet magazine that has nothing at all to do with pirates, robots, or sex with inanimate objects?” That’s a great question.
If you are in the second group, then you were probably wondering who I am, but after that last paragraph you are asking yourself the same question as the first group. That’s okay, too.
Wait. Where are my manners? I should have introduced myself. My full name is Fear and Loathing in Georgetown. My friends call me FLG. We’re all friends here, right? I’ve prepared a short memoir. Inspired by Thomas Hobbes, I wrote a Latin verse autobiography for this occasion, but unfortunately I’ve misplaced it. You’re stuck with a prose, third person account.
Fear and Loathing in was born in Independence, Missouri to a couple in a traveling circus. His father, Roger, was the star trapeze artist. His mother, Marcia, was the assistant to a knife thrower. Her left ear was prosthetic. They met after Marcia left her former knife thrower and joined Roger's circus. Roger didn't own the circus, mind you, he was only the trapeze artist. Fear and Loathing in Georgetown was born in the back of a pickup truck between performances. The traveling prohibited a formal education. So, he was tutored by the bearded lady, who happened to have a degree from La Sorbonne. However, he was also trained in the art of lion taming, and saved up enough money to go to college, where he continued his lion taming on street corners for spending money.
From time to time, I may refer to my childhood in a way that implies that I did not, in fact, grow up under the big-top. Ignore these delusional ramblings.
To return to the original question of what is FLG doing here, well, I lack the erudition and lucidity of the other contributors to this august Internet magazine. As such, I’m gonna wing it. As the United States Marines would say -- Adapt Improvised and Overcome. Patum Peperium is sort of the Mount Suribachi of the Catholic Internet. “Exactly,” you say. “What is a heretic like you doing here?” Ah ha! Did you know that Iwo Jima means Sulfur Island? No, you didn’t. Well, maybe Basil did. And isn’t a place called Sulfur Island the perfect place for a heretic? I know. The logic is so clear now that you can’t believe you even asked the question in the first place. It’s okay. Don’t worry. I used to have the same feeling when watching reruns of the 1960’s Batman TV show. How was I supposed to know that a baker makes dishonest shortcake with lie-berries, which meant needed to go to the library?
The trouble with involving oneself with these webzines or e-mags or dot-pubs or whatever they're called is that one gets dragged into things best avoided. It seems Mrs. P dug up this picture of HRH dressed as a sock monkey. Or vice-versa. Anyway, she sent it on to me with a note describing how hilarious she thought it was and wouldn't it make a great post for the new year.
Failing to see exactly what was funny about the longest reigning queen since Victoria got up as a children's throw toy, I said as much in a brief, curt note. Being American, Mrs. P missed my drift entirely and came back at me with a series of suggestions, each ghastlier than the last. When I tell you her most promising brainstorm was to somehow work in an advert for Prince Charles's organic veg, complete with a disclaimer that "no carbon credits were harmed in the making of this commercial" you will get some idea of how far the thing had spread.
After firing off another brief, curt note I was reminded of the small but handy retainer I was being paid quarterly, and how long it had been since I last contributed anything to the old sheet and how nice it would be if I could see my way to indulging this harmless whim. Being pretty sharp, it didn't take me more than half a whiskey and soda to figure out what she was driving at. And two minutes later, in a brief, civil note I informed her how delighted I would be to start pounding the keyboard. A passing glance at the old passbook informed me that I was in no position to refuse editors their harmless whims.
So, what can I do with this image? You may not know it, but every Christmas HRH gives a bright, stimulating address over the telly summing up the year past and looking forward to the next 12 months. I suppose I could do something with that. No, that's not quite right. I'm expected to do something with that. In the grip of yet another harmless whim, Mrs. P forwarded links to the last 40 years of bright, stimulating addresses from HRH at Yuletide. And I give you my honest word that “dry” does not begin to express it. Dipping into the most recent royal efforts was like peering across some vast and trackless Gobi Dessert where longitude and platitude intersect.
Further, in order to “get” any parody of these addresses--to fully savor the acid wit and mordant sarcasm I would lavish upon the thing--you’d have to have been born and brought up British in the shadow of the memory of Churchill and the Blitz; seen a world-girding empire slip through your fingers; watch the established church systematically disestablish itself; live through an outcome-based reenactment of the greatest triumph of the British Navy (Trafalgar, for all of you who are waiting for the mini-series) and tune in to Channel 4 just in time to catch Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lecture Great Britain on
Nevertheless, duty calls, not to mention my bank balance. What if I had HRH give a special address just to PP and its readers? Something about laying off her kids and minding your own business. A diplomatically worded communiqué to the effect that PP may think they’re beyond the reach of the royal fangs, but a small task force (say, a harrier or two and a bevy of royal marines) making a very limited strike in a quiet suburban neighborhood in the American heartland is not out of the question. If it helps--and I fear I'm going to need all the help I can get--imagine the next several paragraphs spoken in an elderly, falsetto voice with a suggestion of condescending cordiality. Got it? Right. Then here we go...
What’s that? I’m way past my allotted 600 words? Oh drat.