Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Still working...

Well, after a fun weekend with a visit from my parents, sister and brother-in-law, plus little Giulietta, my beautiful niece, it's now time for me to do some work. I've been struggling over changes to my theory chapter on gender, spectacle and celebrity. Now I'm looking for stuff on crooning, since there are gender issues that are raised when a crooning singer is considered.

Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks again for all the comments from my visitors. I appreciate the input. Watch this space for more (although some of the religious comments that I've made in the last few days have been difficult for me, and just get me fired up).

By the way, although I am of Italian descent, I don't think I really appreciate the victory of the Italians over Australia yesterday in the World Cup. I've heard the various commentaries regarding the fairness of calling a penalty shot basically after extra time, but I still don't like it. Plus, in my neighbourhood, there was honking and carrying on for hours afterwards.

So, no, I'm not cheering for Italy. Just 'cuz. Go England!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Wow, lots of visitors

Thank you for the wealth of response from my posting yesterday (and T.O.'s posting at her own site). I appreciate the insight that many provided in the comments section. I was afraid that things would get heated, but thankfully things were calm. Although, I feel that the debate has now moved to the similarities or differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican/Episcopalian Church.

My concerns are the differences between the less conventional, yet still mainstream, Protestant churches, like the Baptists, Pentecostals and so forth. I am also quite interested in the Biblically "conservative" churches, of which the two denominations I mentioned are a part. I'm not sure that I would include the United Church, or even recent movements within the Anglican Church as part of that group.

I think that this "conservative" group, which is not without its own problems (which I might talk about in another post), would have a lot of trouble with the Roman Catholic Church, not only because of theological differences (as was mentioned in yesterday's post) but also because of the role played by, not only a hierarchical system, but Tradition (with a big 'T').

Interestingly, the Pentecostal Church has some tradition, but because of its relative newness (100 years this year as a defined church, marking its beginning with the revivals at the Asuza Street Mission in California), we don't like to call it that. Nevertheless, they (we?) accept the Bible, although its construction happened a long time ago (before the Reformation). I guess you have to have a standard somewhere, and perhaps these Protestants feel that the assembly of the Bible was early enough to be "unscathed" by the "big-T" Tradition that ultimately caused the Reformation.

Maybe that's what they think. Again, my history might be suspect. Feel free to comment and correct me. Just don't be mean.

One more thing: recently, I have decided to be more involved in the Mass that I attend each week by kneeling during the consecration, something which I didn't do previously. In one community I was attending, we would stand during consecration due to the lack of kneelers, and I had no trouble with standing. Kneeling, I somehow have (or had) trouble with. So I would just sit. Now I've decided to kneel. I feel that perhaps I can kneel as a sign, not necessarily as an acknowledgement of the priest's actions, but rather out of worship and respect for Christ and his sacrifice. I take that time, while the priest speaks and recites Jesus' words, to pray and thank God for sending his Son, and for the shed blood of Christ which is my salvation.

So, in a sense, I am being open to the presence of Christ.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Theological musings

While I don't often get into theological conversations on this blog (or any real substantial musings, for that matter), I read T.O.'s blog this morning at it got me thinking (you can get there by following the link to the right to LAMLand).

She recounts a recent experience where a group of Protestant Christians asked her if she would feel comfortable with receiving communion with them during a short prayer time before a mutual class. As a practising Catholic, she declined.

I often feel like I need to qualify the "practising" part of "Catholic." As a Protestant Christian of the Evangelical and Charismatic nature (read "Pentecostal," -shudder-), in my mind a Catholic that doesn't practice is nothing. There are no Pentecostals who are non-practising, probably because you would never subscribe to that community if you didn't "have to."

Anyway, back to the discussion of communion. I've been going through a similar situation every Sunday when I attend Catholic Mass. I don't partake of the Eucharist because I have differing beliefs on its function (as a sacrament) and its form (as the body and blood of Christ).

By the way, for those Christians out there that might find my vocabulary lacking or irreverent, please forgive me. I haven't formally discussed issues of theology since around 1995, when I left my year of theological study in 1995. And I've been doing a lot of other stuff since then. Plus, I'm relatively new to Catholic theology.

One of the comments left on that other blog cited John 6 as a foundation for Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ, and its power. Someone once asked me how Pentecostals interpret Jesus' words at the last supper ("This is my body . . . this is my blood"). How then can the Pentecostals, who are so apparently Biblically "Conservative," not believe in the bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and look at communion only as symbolic?

I can't answer that. It's true that Jesus makes a pretty clear point regarding his "body" and "blood" in John 6, and during that presentation of the bread and wine before his betrayal at the last supper. I still feel that there is a problem with the Catholic sense of eucharist as sacrament, and this probably comes from my upbringing, without ANY sacraments, in the sense of "grace-giving" actions.

My point (and I don't think I'm doing a good job at expressing much here) is that, if Catholics want a unified Church, which we pray for at every Mass, I'm not sure that it would be in the form some of them might want it to be. After years of separation, with some beliefs being particularly different, dialogue would force a kind of synthesis (let's pretent that Protestantism is Catholicism's antithesis).

Will there ever be that kind of dialogue? I doubt it; not before both sides (and, in truth, there are more than just 2 sides) understand that there are other true believers in Christ.

That's all. Feel free to comment, but don't be mad at me. I'm having too much trouble with revisions to one of my chapters, and I would rather not be yelled at.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Stanley Cup Champions!

Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes on winning the Stanley Cup in seven games against a very impressive Edmonton Oilers. Too bad that the Cup couldn't come back to Canada where it belongs. Good game, though.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

wet naps (or moist towelettes)

Those of you who know me know that I collect wet naps (or maybe you didn't know that - now you know). I found a great site that has a gallery of wet naps at moist-towelette.com. I think this person has many hundreds of wet naps, while I'm in possession of just over 100 unique examples (different numbers on the back of wet naps count for me). This one shown here is a recent addition and quite possibly one of my favourites.

If anyone happens to have interesting moist towelettes and they want to send them to me, throw a comment to me!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Dune, the book and movie

I don't know if any of you know of Frank Herbert's science-fiction book _Dune_, but anyway, I really like it. I ordered the DVD of the Lynch-directed movie from Amazon.ca and received it a few days ago. It seems that Universal used what are called DVD-18 for this title, which is a DVD that you have to flip over to see more movie or features. It's like sticking 2 dual-layer DVDs back to back. Well, it seems that this process is far from perfect. I sent mine back to Amazon after it was skipping in my player, and when I received the replacement this morning, it happens to skip as well. So it's going back. One more try and then I'll ask for my money back. It is a good movie, though, if not a bit weird (and ever so slightly dated).

As for my other work, I'm still trying to fix up one of my chapters for publication. Ugh!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Nelly Furtado's "Loose"

Well, it certainly is a departure from "Folklore" and I'm not sure if I appreciate the "urban" influence on this album. It's growing on me, though. Nelly (Furtado) is someone I always thought I would like to write about. She's the perfect studio performer. The times I've seen her perform live (on television), she's been terrible. But her studio work is fabulous.

My wife and I watched a clip of Morrissey from the Jools Holland show last night (he was on the show earlier this month) and he looks old, although not in a bad way. He is wearing a full suit, cufflinks and a bowtie, which is a new look for him. Interestingly, the music is very heavy, and Moz is extremely active, even in a tux.

Today I'm going to try to get one of my chapters in shape to send out to another journal for consideration. Hopefully something can be published. Here's to today!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Does anyone know how to do this? How do I put in links into my Blogger blog page? Why am I having so much trouble?

I think I'm a geek. I think I know a bit about computers and electronics. I enjoy this stuff. So why am I having trouble with Blogger? And something as simple as links and blogrolls?

By the way, those who might be interested in popular music, if you haven't heard of Leslie Feist (or just Feist), she's great. There's probably no way that you could escape from hearing the hit "Inside + Out" on the radio - that's her. I would like to do a postdoctoral fellowship on developing a theoretical framework to discuss the voice and its "allure." While many would look to Roland Barthes and his "grain of the voice," I would hope there would be a more elegant way of approaching the singing voice in particular, and what might be attractive about it. Or something.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Back from Congress and the Apple Store!

So I saw the new MacBooks and they are nice. Not sure if I'll pick one up (my accountant/wife has already severely limited my allowance).

As for Congress, it was probably one of the best conferences I have ever been to. I found out that SSHRC (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) doesn't give out that many Post-Doctoral Fellowships, but that, if I can get one, the University of Ottawa would be happy to have me, come September 2007 (or earlier). I'm happy about this.

What I'm not happy about is the apparent saturation of popular music studies in Canadian universities, where some departments are simply allowing history survey courses in popular music (the ones that attract many many students) and thus are hiring sessional people to teach these. As for the expansion of musicology departments to include upper level seminars in popular music, um, it's not happening.

So here I am.

Tomorrow I'm going with V. to eat hot dogs, and maybe we'll stop by Best Buy to see if the MacBooks are out. I wouldn't mind seeing the black ones again. Before I go, dear readers, should we go to Walt Disney World in the fall? We have a chance. We just have to decide.