Via Dear Jane Sample, an ad designed to get attention.
Nihil obstat imprimatur is a familiar phrase to anyone who has read a lot of Catholic literature. Basically, it reflects that assessment of the church book censor--honestly! the "censor librorum"--that "nothing should get in the way" of it being published, followed by the bishop's command, "let it be printed." Of course, as this Catholic review of the marks indicates, even then the faithful need to be discerning.
Which brings us to the evangelical mark that adorns the book listing above. "Please Read With Discernment" is a trademark of Lifeway Christian Stores, and it indicates that the book in question may not toe the doctrinal line. The Friendly Atheist rounds up revelatory links & responses.
Via Design Sponge, images of a fascinating book from the early twentieth century:
Inside were instructions to have your friends sign a line lengthwise down the page with an inky pen tip, and then quickly fold the page before the ink dried. The result is this oddly occult and figural looking inkblot created from their signature.
Paper Moon captured one of the last century's trademark scams: scoping out the obituaries and selling widows an expensive gift Bible ostensibly ordered by her late husband as a special surprise just before he died.
Plus ca change, plus c'est (not quite) la meme chose.
New York City has been mourning the loss of Phil Rizzuto, legendary Hall of Fame baseball player and long-time announcer for the New York Yankees. Before the game played the night he died, the Yankees held a brief but intense memorial service, replete with an Ave Maria and moment of silence that were as any church service.
Here are a couple of Rizzuto's own impromptu hymns, from O Holy Cow!, a book of "found poetry" collecting comments Rizzuto made while announcing Yankees games. The occasion: the tragic death of Yankees' captain Thurman Munson in a plane crash.
Prayer for the Captain
There's a little prayer I always say
Whenever I think of my family or when I'm flying,
When I'm afraid, and I am afraid of flying.
It's just a little one. You can say it no matter what,
Whether you're Catholic or Jewish or Protestant or
And I've probably said it a thousand times
Since I heard the news on Thurman Munson.
It's not trying to be maudlin or anything.
His Eminence, Cardinal Cooke, is going to come out
And say a little prayer for Thurman Munson.
But this is just a little one I say time and time again,
It's just: Angel of God, Thurman's guardian dear,
To whom his love commits him here there or everywhere,
Ever this night and day be at his side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
For some reason it makes me feel like I'm talking to
Or whoever's name you put in there,
Whether it be my wife or any of my children, my parents
It's just something to keep you really from going bananas.
Because if you let this,
If you keep thinking about what happened, and you can't
That's what really drives you to despair.
Faith. You gotta have faith.
You know, they say time heals all wounds,
And I don't quite agree with that a hundred percent.
It gets you to cope with wounds.
You carry them the rest of your life.
August 3, 1979
Baltimore at New York
The Man in the Moon
The Yankees have had a traumatic four days.
Actually five days.
That terrible crash with Thurman Munson.
To go through all that agony,
And then today,
You and I along with the rest of the team
Flew to Canton for the services,
And the family....
You know, it might,
It might sound corny.
But we have the most beautiful full moon tonight.
And the crowd,
Enjoying whatever is going on right now.
They say it might sound corny,
But to me it's some kind of a,
Like an omen.
Both the moon and Thurman Munson,
Both ascending up into heaven.
I just can't get it out of my mind.
I just saw that full moon,
And it just reminded me of Thurman.
And that's it.
August 6, 1979
Baltimore at New York
Ron Guidry pitching to Lee May
Fifth inning, bases empty, no outs
Orioles lead 1-0
Everyman is a classic morality play on the transitory nature of mortal existence. It is also the title of the latest novel by Philip Roth. Unlike its medieval namesake, however, Roth's novel offers no hope in the prospects of eternal life.
What does this have to do with the BofG? Glad you asked! In the new novel, Everyman's father runs a jewelry store, called, appropriately enough, Everyman's Jewelry Shop. In contrast to the stark naturalism of the book's title character, Everyman's father is a metaphorical stand-in for God and traditional notions of eternal life. Diamonds are touted for their immortal brightness, and the shop's many watches refer not only to the passage of time but the classic image of God as the divine watchmaker.
Like the original play, Roth's novel is short--180 pages. Which is good, because life is short and painful and there's so much left undone.
Hip Hop is the postmodern spiritual, an authentically American blend of rhyme, rhythm and redemption. Thus it is only fitting that the Smithsonian is collecting turntables, boomboxes and other hip hop "artifacts" for a permanent exhibit.
While some may be wondering what this means for hip hop's future, here at the B of G we just want to make sure that that the Smithsonian does not forget its spiritual bling!
But what to include? Hip hop is full of religious riches, from its narratives of personal deliverance to its many symbols of personal faith. To help the Smithsonian in its sacred quest, here is a list of a seven things to look for when collecting hip hop's holy relics.
6. A message of love for humanity
5. Relics from revered martyrs
4. How Beautiful Are the Feet . . .
3. Symbols of the Protestant Work Ethic
2. Sacred Time
EXTRA: Want to see more spiritual bling from throughout hip hop history? Check out the source for several of the pictures linked above: Minya Oh's Bling Bling: Hip Hop's Crown Jewels.
My all-time favorite novel is Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, a wild and wonderful look at life through the Devil's escapades in Stalin's Moscow, and I was delighted to see it named as an indispensable accessory on Superfantastic Island over at Shangri Law.
Since my photos are in storage I won't post my pictures of Bulgakov's apartment and M & M landmarks, nor will I regale you with stories about the formative influence this book had on me back when I, like the Shangri Lawvians, was a student at Yale Law (except back then it was known as The New School in Connecticut in Need of a Naming Gift).
However, I will show you M & M inspired jewelry!
The above is an homage to Bulgakov's masterpiece and its spiritual influences, from Jewish mysticism and Goethe (hence the Hebrew version of the epigram that opens M & M) to a pre-Mill Valley fusion of the occult, Christian and Hindu symbolism. The designer gives a brief overview of his inspiration here -- and keep reading Blingdom for lots more to come on triangles, diamonds and the three forces of life.
EXTRA: A new film adaptation has been all the rage in Russia, and I've just obtained a copy. From the little I've seen it's clear the Wizard of Oz was an influence, although the W of O didn't have quite as much naked dancing. As soon as I get through all ten episodes I'll write about it on Trexfiles. For now, though, I'll just lift my coffee mug and joyfully drink . . . to existence!