Friday, November 30, 2012

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/30/12)

As to what is meant by "collective"—any discrepancy between my representations and those of my fellow men raises a presumption of unreality and calls for explanation. If, however, the explanation is satisfactory; if, for instance, it turns out that the discrepancy was due, not to my hallucinations, but to their myopia or their dullness, it is likely to be accepted; and then my representation may itself end by becoming collective.Owen Barfield (Saving the Appearances 19)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Frakking Big Black Hole


Most Massive Black Hole Found By Texas Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy NGC 1277, located 220 million light years from Earth, which astronomers believe has the most massive black hole yet discovered at its center, some 17 billion times the mass of our Sun. Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy NGC 1277, located 220 million light years from Earth, which astronomers believe has the most massive black hole yet discovered at its center, some 17 billion times the mass of our Sun.

"Downton Abbey's" Radical Step (from THE ONION)

New Season Of 'Downton Abbey' Jumps Forward To Year 2121

NOVEMBER 26, 2012 | ISSUE 48•48 | MORE NEWS
LONDON—Fans of the wildly popular period drama Downton Abbey were delighted Friday when producers announced that, following another successful run on British television this fall, the show has been renewed for a fourth season, which they confirmed will be set in the Roaring 2120s.
Series creator Julian Fellowes told The Hollywood Reporter that while many details of the upcoming season have yet to be finalized, fans can look forward to more “salacious scandals, romantic intrigues, and social transformation” as Intergalactic Warlord Ransom Glomphus III, his headstrong daughter Empress Zampthor, and other descendants of the Crawley family struggle to adjust to life on their colony in deep space following the First Interplanetary Strife.

"Legends of the Fault"

As is often the case, The Daily Show does a better job than all the MSM in dismantling the idiocy and hypocrisy of the despicable John McCain's insane anti-Susan Rice crusade. And on Jon Stewart's birthday.

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“Hunteri Heroici”

One of the best Supernaturals in a long time last night.

Castiel in fine form in a deliciously meta episode about a series of crimes that are taking place in a Loony Tunes universe.

Here's Phil Dyess-Nugent's excellent summary (Onion TV Club) of Castiel's contribution: 
The fact that Castiel is along for the ride adds to the fun. (Having announced that he will not serve mankind by working as a hunter, he proudly declared himself to be Sam and Dean’s third wheel. Sam, in his special, self-appointed role as vocabulary nanny, tells him that the term “third wheel” isn’t supposed to be complimentary, but Cas tells him that he must be mistaken: A third wheel “adds extra grip and greater stability.” As sometimes happens when Cas is arguing the logic of our mortal ways, he makes an excellent case.) Cas got to react to a mention of Bugs Bunny by asking if they were now “looking for some insect-rodent hybrid,” and his monologue explicating the religious underpinnings of Road Runner cartoons—“The bird represents God. The coyote is man, endlessly chasing the divine”—ought to get him a job writing for The A.V. Club.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/29/12)

Whatever may be thought about the "unrepresented" background of our perceptions, the familiar world which we see and know around us—the blue sky with white clouds in it, the noise of a waterfall or a motor bus, the shapes of flowers and their scent, the gesture and utterance of animals and the faces of our friends—the world too, which (apart from the special inquiry of physics) experts of all kinds methodically investigate—is a system of collective representations. The time comes when we must either accept this as the truth about the world or reject the theories of physics as an elaborate delusion. We cannot have it both ways.—Owen Barfield (Saving the Appearances 18)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dolly Says

In an On Point interview this morning Dolly Parton told Tom Ashbrook that she recognizes that, when she is all dressed up Dolly-style, she is completely artificial but only then does she feel entirely natural.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/28/12)

[It is well] to remember, when we leave the world of everyday for the discipline of any strict inquiry, that if the particles, or the unrepresented, are in fact all that is independently there, then the world we all accept as real is in fact a system of collective representations.—Owen Barfield (Saving the Appearances 20)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Different release times of films and TV shows boost global piracy"

He's quite right I think.

Filloux's subtitle: "A system set up in the 80s to stop different media cannibalising each other is forcing honest viewers into piracy"

The Axis of Evil and "The Onion"

One by one the Axis of Evil is falling prey to The Onion. (Recall when Iran fell for the story that Ahmadinejad was more popular in rural America than Obama.)

Now it's North Korea that has been suckered.

China paper carries Onion Kim Jong-un 'heart-throb' spoof

Photo of Kim Jong-un released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 20/11/12This photo of Kim Jong-un, recently released by North Korean state media, is one of the images that appears in the People's Daily spread

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The online version of the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper appears to have fallen for a spoof by the US satirical website, The Onion.
The People's Daily ran a 55-page photo spread of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after he was declared The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/27/12)

I believe it will seem very strange to the historian of the future that a literal-minded generation began to accept the actuality of a 'collective unconscious' before it could even admit the possibility of a 'collective conscious'—in the shape of the phenomenal world.—Owen Barfield (Saving the Appearances 135)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dallas Roberts

Ever since the character Milton (The Governor's naive scientifc advisor) appeared on Walking Dead, I have been racking my brain to remember why he seemed familiar.

Then, watching last night's The Good Wife, I realized I knew him as Alicia Florrick's brother Owen Cavanaugh.

Here's what else Dallas Roberts has been up to.

"Two Hats"

I found last night's excellent Homeland difficult to follow and benefited greatly from Adam B. Vary's illuminating recap on EW.

The Politics of Fertility

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/26/12)

It is only because of the thinking that we do, and have done in the past, from childhood on, that when we look around us, we do not stare uncomprehendingly at a chaos of unrelated impressions, but perceive an ordered—a coherent world of beings, objects and events—a world which, to some extent at least, we can already say we know.—Owen Barfield (Romanticism Comes of Age 227)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/25/12)

The stigma which still attached to the ordinary Greek word for 'choosing' (heresy) is a fair indication of the zeal with which the early Popes and Bishops set about expunging from the consciousness of Christendom all memory of its history and all understanding of its external connections.—Owen Barfield (History in English Words 117)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/24/12)

I suspect that for the Church [acceptance of the evolution of consciousness] will not be easy. It will not be easy for the nursing mother to accept the possibility that her charge has grown to need additional nourishment; or that revelation of the mystery of the kingdom was not turned off at the tap when the New Testament canon was closed, but is the work of an earth-tim.—Owen Barfield (Saving the Appearances 184-85).

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Parenthood's" Mix-Tape

Todd VanDerWerff (Onion TV Club) astutely nails the genius of Parenthood:

Week after week, I find myself impressed by how perfectly modulated Parenthood is. It tosses a whole bunch of shit together, and it mixes tones like crazy, and it usually has four separate storylines that rarely dovetail, but it always, always works. If you’ve watched, well, most of the other ambitious shows on TV—the successes and the failures—you know how difficult that can be, but Parenthood makes it look easy. It just shrugs its shoulder and smashes Kristina weeping on the floor of her bathroom, covered in vomit, right up against Jasmine and Crosby arguing about napkins. This show is masterful at creating an emotional mixtape, at making sure that things never get too intense, or too light. There’s always ballast, but there’s also always helium, and that allows the series to hit just the right heights, gradually building as it goes along. That’s never been more evident to me than it has been in this fourth season.
The same might be said of Jason Katims' previous series Friday Night Lights.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/23/12)

[The early Christian church] busied themselves in editing and selecting from the literature and traditions of a hundred semi-Christian sects. Doctrines which had taken a very strong hold on many imaginations were accepted, given the orthodox stamp, and incorporated in the canon; others were rejected, and being pursued at first with a mixture of genuine logic, misrepresentation, and invective, and, as the Church grew stronger, with active persecution, gradually vanished away or dwindled down to obscure apocryphal manuscripts, some of which have only recently been partially translated within the last few decades. Thus, for more than ten centuries, creeds and dogmas, to the accompaniment of immense intellectual and physical struggles, were petrified into ever clearer and harder forms. Christianity became identified with Catholic doctrine, and soon after the Church's authority was backed by that of the Roman Empire, any other form of it might be punished by death.—Owen Barfield (History in English Words 116-17)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Spider-Man and Uncle Sam Get It On

Spider-Man And Uncle Sam Get Intimate Before Macy's Parade

The two balloons were caught in a questionable position the night before the 86th annual parade.posted 

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/22/12)

Somewhere about a hundred years after His death, the life of Christ was written by the four Evangelists and others. Out of these ideas and emotions arose, in the first place, the dogma and the ritual of the Catholic Church, and in the second place a great part of the ordinary thoughts and feelings and impulses of will which flourish in the bosoms of modern Europeans and Americans.—Owen Barfield (History in English Words 115)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What's Going on on My Joss Whedon Bookshelf?

Today my tiny little Joss figure has joined The Avengers.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/21/12)

Very early in its career the leaders of the infant Church must have realized two things—firstly, that those who, like the Gnostics, were passionately interested in philosophical and mystical interpretations of the life of Christ, not only differed very widely among themselves, but also paid little attention to that personal life of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, whose sweetness was beginning to bind men together with marvelous new ties; secondly, that the simple and ignorant people to whom, according to the Gospels, Jesus addressed Himself almost exclusively, would be quite incapable of grasping these interpretations. If Christianity was to spread, it must be simplified. —Owen Barfield (History in English Words 115-16)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Heard on Woody Allen's "Love and Death"

Sonja: Since this may be your last night on earth, let's go back to my room and make love.
Boris: Great. I'll bring the soy sauce.

I am embarking on a Woody Allen marathon.

"Boardwalk Empire"

For its first two years I watched Boardwalk Empire with interest but not a lot of engagement.

Now, in Season Three, Terence Winter's prohibition era gangster drama has really begun to captivate me. Not Sopranos quality yet but not far below it.

. . . into a Bar

The past, present, and future walk into a bar.

It was tense.

Tip of the hat to Elyce Helford.

Kubrick Exhibit

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is mounting a Stanley Kubrick exhibit.

Tip of the hat to Sarah Raulerson.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/20/12)

But this sense of the past as 'something different' is almost inseparable from another element in our own concern with history, namely, the habit of looking on the past as a sort of seed, of which the present is the transformation or fruit. This 'developmental' view of the nature of time past seems to us so obvious as to make it almost nonsensical to put it into words; for whether we think of history in general as a meaningful process or as a meaningless one, we just cannot help thinking of it as the old gradually giving way to the new. Yet that whole way of thinking is hardly more than two or three centuries old. It began only when another important change had just been taking place in the West in man's ideas about the relation between the past and present . . .: the abandonment of the medieval and classical conviction that the history of mankind as a whole was a process of degeneration, and the substitution therefore of the conviction that the history of man is one of progress. Hitherto it had been thought of as a descent from a Golden Age in the past; now it began to be thought of as an ascent into a golden age in the future. —Owen Barfield (Speaker’s Meaning 15-16)

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Steadicam progress – the career of Paul Thomas Anderson in five shots"

Intriguing post by Kevin Lee on the BFI blog.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/19/12)

"You see, I have the advantage of knowing something of what is actually going on. I don't know much about the history of science and still less about the history of pre-scientific thought. What I do know is, that three or four hundred years ago for some reason or other the human mind suddenly woke up. I don't know who started it—Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, or someone—and it doesn't seem to me to matter. The point is, that for some reason people began to look at the world around them instead of accepting traditional theories, to explore the universe instead of just sitting around and thinking about it. First of all they discovered that the earth wasn't flat . . . and that it was not the centre of the universe, as they had been dreaming, but a rapidly revolving and whirling speck of dust in empty space. Almost overnight about half the ideas men had had about the universe and their own place in it, turned out to be mere illusions. And the other half went the same way, when scientists began applying the new method—practical exploration—to other fields of inquiry—mechanics, chemistry, physiology, biology, and, later on, animal and human psychology and so forth. Everything that had been thought before, from the beginnings of civilization down to that moment, became hopelessly out of date and discredited. I suppose it still has an interest for antiquarians and historical specialists and similar types, but apart from that. . . ." —Owen Barfield (Worlds Apart 13-14--Flume is speaking)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Last Resort" No More

So ABC has pulled the plug on its nuclear submarine hides out on a South Pacific island drama. It never seemed like a keeper to me, though I was following it.

Andre Braugher seems cursed.

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/25/12)

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/18/12)

The soul of Jesus of Bethlehem was indeed the fruit of many previous lives, and there is allusion to this in the genealogy which precedes the account of his birth, and which is traced back only to Abraham-that is, approximately to the stage of emergence . . . when individuality had for the first time been recognizably attained by the human spirit. . . . The physical pedigree of Jesus of Nazareth is drawn from David through another son, the priest Nathan. But the provenance of the soul that was born in this Jesus is a deeper mystery. It had known no previous lives on earth. It was indeed an Eden-soul, unfallen, and given intact from the Father Spirit to be the persisting link between the old state of the human spirit and the new. . . . Think only of those two souls-through what millennia prepared for that moment!-uniting to form, as it were, a chalice in which the Timeless, in which the Timeless that both dies and dies not, could indeed enter into time-as it did when the man Jesus was baptized by John in the River Jordan, and the uncreated light, the untransformed transforming, entered his consciousness and became also the Christ of history. —Owen Barfield (Unancestral Voice 113)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/17/12)

Yet surely the thing that more than all else distinguishes Christianity from other religions is that it does take serious account of time—and . . . not just short periods, not just the time of an individual biography. It accepts historical time as a reality, and a reality relevant to its own truth.—Owen Barfield (Unancestral Voice 92)

Friday, November 16, 2012

"General's Hospital"

Hilarious Colbert Report spoof of the Petraeus affair--complete with appearance by Susan Lucci.

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Heard on "The Colbert Report"

Obama is about to pardon a Turkey. What did the turkey know about Benghazi?--Stephen Colbert

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/16/12)

What is peculiar in Christianity is the nexus . . . between the Second Person of the Trinity [Christ, the Logos] and a certain historical event in time. For the Christian, accordingly, religion can never be simply the direct relation between his individual soul and the eternal Trinity. As long as we ourselves are occupying a standpoint in time, so long, interposed between the First and Third Persons, all history, in a manner lies.—Owen Barfield (Saving the Appearances 165)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/15/12)

Somewhere about a hundred years after His death, the life of Christ was written by the four Evangelists and others. Out of these ideas and emotions arose, in the first place, the dogma and the ritual of the Catholic Church, and in the second place a great part of the ordinary thoughts and feelings and impulses of will which flourish in the bosoms of modern Europeans and Americans.—Owen Barfield (History in English Words 115)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A New Captain

Fat Pants

The rash of petitions for secession in the wake of Obama's reelection have helped Jon Stewart understand the South's reluctance to give up its need for the Confederate flag.

The flag is like "fat pants," being kept around in case of backsliding.

Watch it here.

"Band of Boners"

John Oliver insists, post-Petraeus mess, that we must ban heterosexuals from the military.

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Owen Barfield Quote of the Day (11/14/12)

For Christ . . . had first taught in a new and simpler way, and had then himself demonstrated, a truth which nearly every one of the Greek philosophers, including Aristotle, had been trying to say all their lives—that, in order to achieve immortality, it is necessary to "die" to this world of the senses and the appetites, and that he who thus "dies" is already living in eternity during his bodily life and will continue to do so after his bodily death. "Whosoever shall lose his life shall find it." —Owen Barfield (History in English Words 115)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012