Quotes that Say Something

"Please, dad, get down and look. I think there's some kind of monster under my bed."

Life when seen in close-up often seems tragic, but in wide-angle it often seems comic. -- Charlie Chaplin

"And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear, you shout, but no one's there to hear. And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." -- Roger Waters, "Brain Damage"

Mar 26, 2012

Praxis as a Concept and Lifestyle

So, I tried to do a kind of semantic clarification in which praxis -- if not on the thither side of this divide -- was perhaps somehow between the theoretical and the practical as they are generally understood, and particularly as they are understood in modern philosophy.

Praxis as the manner in which we are engaged in the world and with others. It has its own insight or understanding prior to any explicit formulation of that understanding . . . Of course, it must be understood that praxis, as I understand it, is always entwined with communication.

                                                                                          -- Calvin O. Schrag

While praxis commonly refers to the process of putting theoretical knowledge into practice, the strategic and socio-political usage of the word emphasizes the need for a constant cycle of conceptualizing the meanings of what can be learned from experience in order to re-frame practical and operational models.

Mar 23, 2012

Trayvon: Send Not For Whom the Bell Tolls

Young man, African-American, in a dark hoodie sweatshirt. Very suspicious? A specter demanding self-defense?

Barack Obama said Friday that "every aspect" of the death of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot in Florida last month, must be investigated.

"My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin: if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said. "I think that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we're going to get to the bottom of what happened . . . Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids."

Meanwhile, on Friday, students at several South Florida high schools, near the Martin household, staged walkouts in protest since there have been no arrests in the case.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in humankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

                --  John Donne, 1624 c.e.

No matter what more transpires, there will be no satisfying outcome to this episode. The travesties of racial divides and barely unfettered gun violence have struck again -- and will go on. For some reason, I am reminded of the Casey and Caylee Anthony case this morning. Florida, Orlando area, power confronts naivete. Is it true, what Donne also said?

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.


Mar 21, 2012

"Estamos bien en el refugio," Los 33

Los 33 de Copiano

       Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth:
       And, O ye Dolphins, waft the hapless youth.

                                             --  John Milton, Lycidas

One of the great stories of perseverance, hope, and transcendence during our era. It's just that the full story of what happened . . . and what goes on still . . . has never really been explained.


Mar 8, 2012

Lorcan's Heavy Heart

Alas, you poor and foolish people, what will you do now?
I have given you my heart. Who will now take care of 
you in your times of trouble? Who will come to help you?"

                                     --  Lorcan Ua Tuathail,  c.e. 1180

  A Landing at Normandy Cove 

Laurence (Lorcan) O'Toole's saintly heart was stolen from Christ Church Cathedral in the Diocese of Dublin on March 3, 2012.

The Dean of the Cathedral, the Reverend Dermot Dunne, said: "I am devastated that one of the treasured artifacts (the preserved heart of Lorcan) of the church has been stolen. It has no economic value, but it is a priceless treasure that links our present foundation to its founding father."

Ua Tuathail (Laurence O'Toole) was well-known as an ascetic. Legends say that he wore a hair shirt, never ate meat, and fasted every Friday on bread and water. In contrast to this, it is said that when he entertained his guests lacked for nothing while he drank water coloured to look like wine so as not to spoil the feast. It is also said that each Lent he returned to Glendalough to make a forty-days retreat in a rough cave on a precipice of Lugduff Mountain above a scenic lake.

Due to the miracles soon attributed to Laurence either at his tomb or through his intercession after his death, he was canonized only forty-five years after his death.

St Laurence's skull was brought to England in 1442 by Sir Rowland Standish who had fought at Agincourt. The bones were interred at a parish in Chorley, now named St. Laurence Church. The bones disappeared under Henry VIII's rule. Traditionally, English Christians have believed that Laurence's heart has been preserved at the Irish Christ Church Cathedral since the 13th century -- that is, until March 2012.

To Be Continued

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun. Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky. Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon. Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light. Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!