Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes

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Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes. The Catholic Church has for one of her chief duties that of preventing people from making those old mistakes; from making them over and over again, as people will always do if they are left to themselves.

G.K. Chesterton

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muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 8:59am.

There is something unfair about quoting Chesterton at me in this context.

When I was a kid, my baseball hero was Brooks Robinson. I wanted to be like Brooks. I copied his batting stance (with the probable result of decreasing my effectiveness at the plate) and imagined myself making the same diving catches at third base, spearing line drives that should have gone for extra bases. Had Brooks told me that the secret to being Brooks Robinson was to wear coarse camel hair against the body under the uniform or to chew a plug of raw tobacco while on the diamond, I likely would have endured chafing and nausea to achieve the imagined result.

GKC is to literature something like what Brooks was to baseball. I find him highly persuasive much of the time, as he combines the sharpest of analytic skills with a spritely writing style. So even when I find him critiquing capitalism and defending something called "distributivism," I find myself thinking that perhaps I should be a distributivist--even if I've no real grasp of all that entails.

And, here, almost he persuadest me to become a Catholic.

Odd thing, though. Either he offers an argument for entering the Fold, or he merely asserts dogmatically that I ought to follow him in. I take him to be engaged in the former. But if that is what he is doing, then he is appealing to my autonomous reason in order to persuade me of what he takes to be truth.

But if my reason can be trusted here to discern the right course through the maze, then why not elsewhere? And if I lack the facility for reliably interpreting Scripture on my own, then why suppose that I am capable of interpreting the received interpretation? Do I then need an interpretation of the interpretation? Smiling


Floor Mosaic, 3rd cent. church, North end Sea of Galilee

Christian's picture
Submitted by Christian on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 7:14pm.


After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white,
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

G. K. Chesterton

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 9:36am.

I've never seen this. Thanks!

The second stanza is splendid.


Floor Mosaic, 3rd cent. church, North end Sea oif Galilee

BPR's picture
Submitted by BPR on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 4:41pm.

You know I forgot I did like someone in Bluegrass. Enjoy- I hope.

Try this one

and this one.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 8:05am.

I start laughing as soon as he makes his appearance. He's, by far, my favorite comedian. (Seen him in The Out Of Towners with Goldie Harn? The scene where he had been given an "aspirin" by a cellmate--which proved to be acid--is classic.)

When I was in college I was inspired by his banjo-playing. I bought a banjo and took lessons. I was actually getting pretty good, having learned several rolls and chords, and even a few tunes, including "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," played by Steve in one of the clips. But I was already married with family, trying to go to school full time and work for UPS, and the banjo went into a closet. My guitar fingerstyle was definitely influenced, though, by learning those rolls.


Floor Mosaic, 3rd cent. church, North end Sea oif Galilee

BPR's picture
Submitted by BPR on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 7:11pm.

I glad that you liked Steve Martin, he is my favorite comedian and I think actor. Did you see the one I sent to Skyspy with him being Michael Jackson- Billy Jean- what a hoot he is. Did you see The Jerk, other than the language it is by far one of my favorite movies. I still laugh as much now as when I first saw it.

For Christmas I gave Mr.bpr his new book Born Standing Up- which I said hurry up and read it so I can- he has told me some of it, I can't wait to read it.

He is very good at playing the banjo- the guy has talent for sure. My husband met him while my husband was in college- he came to his college, I did not know my husband then- I have met alot of people with my husband being in radio but I REALLY want to meet Steve Martin.
For my husband it was Elton John and we did- pictures etc. When it comes down to it they are just like us. (Maybe some are a little different) in personality.

My husband is a positive person and has alot of humor, one of the reasons I married him- he makes me laugh plus other reasons- I thankful my husband chose me. Have a Happy New Year!

You get this hope thing at the bottom don't you. I've had some questions about it. It simply means that nobody is without hope. That hope changes everything. It wasn't intended for one person, it's for everybody. Even myself. Don't you get it?

"Hope Changes Everything"

Sniffle2's picture
Submitted by Sniffle2 on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 9:54am.

I received the Steve Martin book for a Christmas present as well...just finished it yesterday. What a fun read.

I was amazed at how he got his job on the Smothers Brothers show...not because he was any great talent, but because the producers felt they HAD to have a "young, hippie-sort comedian" on the writing staff and he was the friend of a friend of the producer. He sure made the most of his big break!

This is a warts-and-all autobiography too...I think just about every comic alive is more than a bit neurotic.

Speaking of neurotic, I saw Jerry Seinfeld's documentary "Comedian" the other day...Jerry Seinfeld ditches every joke in his repetoire and attempts to create a brand new comedy routine. It takes him six months to do this, and watching him bomb in clubs while testing new material was an eye-opener.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 9:21am.

Happy New Year to you, too.

On Steve Martin: I remember him from his appearances on the SMothers Brothers show. He came out and did his "nose on the microphone routine." I was 12 or 13 and just about fell out of my chair with laughter. When he started recording his stand-up a few years later, I ate it up. "I got small once and got inside of a vacuum cleaner. Then the drug wore off. I retained the shape of a vacuum cleaner for three weeks"; "I bought myself a fur sink, a three-hundred dollar pair of socks. And I got some dumb stuff, too"; "I'm depressed. I'm thinking about my girlfriend who died. I sort of blame myself for her death. We were at a party. She had been drinking too much to drive, and asked me to drive her home. I refused. She kept asking me.... So I shot her. With a shotgun. Cut her right in half...."

As for the language: remember the scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles in which his mild-mannered family man character drops the F-bomb multiple times on the rental car lady? I've seen the TV-edited version, and it isn't nearly as funny. The humor is in the incongruity between the guy's character and his language (against the backdrop of what he's been through).


Floor Mosaic, 3rd cent. church, North end Sea oif Galilee

Submitted by d.smith700 on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:07am.

He sure does have a "different personality,"
I need your explanation of a "positive" person, please.
One who doesn't upset you, maybe?

BPR's picture
Submitted by BPR on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:16am.

I did not say I was better than anyone, yes he does have a different personality, doesn't mean I can't like him,- I love his music- btw how is he not positive? If you are referring to his life style that is his business, does not mean I can't like his music does it. He does not upset me, if you knew me you would know I rarely get upset, that is why my husband married me I don't get upset easy and I see the best in people even if I don't agree. So, there you have it. Any more questions? I like alot of music- styles do I'll be glad to tell you if you would like.

"Hope Changes Everything"

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:18am.

I'm afraid $.smith is "hopeless".
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

BPR's picture
Submitted by BPR on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:22am.

Ha.- No- he;s not without hope- he needs to meet me, or you or someone that has hope and shows it. That understands hope. Watch out friend, many are on the prowl?

"Hope Changes Everything"

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:22am.

Have a good day.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:29am.

Does the "agency" have plans for you today?
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:48am.

If they do have plans they will have to call before 10am. I'm about to start brunch with a little "hair of the dog that bit me last night".

Have a relaxing day.

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 9:05am.

Here's a VIDEO of someone who's disabled playing the guitar.

Have you ever heard DAN MILLER speak ("Humor in Adversity")? He plays golf and flies an airplane, too, with only one arm. I tried learning the guitar on my own but didn't have much time (or talent) to spend on it. I found the piano easier. The banjo looks like it would be harder to play than a guitar. Is it?

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