Religion

Halos & Horns

Two loves I have of comfort and despair, Which like two spirits do suggest me still: The better angel is a man right fair, The worser spirit a woman colour'd ill. To win me soon to hell, my female evil Tempteth my better angel from my side, And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, Wooing his purity with her foul pride. And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend Suspect I may, but not directly tell; But being both from me, both to each friend, I guess one angel in another's hell: Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt, Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

William Shakespeare - Sonnet CXLIV

Or to put it another way.

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Gargoyle at Great St Mary's

Earlier I made an emphatic declaration that I would not be featuring any sketches from the first semester of my program on this blog. And I stand by that, 89%-heartedly. So, regardless of how unfinished and quick the above drawing looks, trust me when I say it was done from a photograph in the comfort of my home, over many hours, and that's why it looks even remotely presentable.

Depicted in the above illustration is a gargoyle from the side of the entrance of Great St Mary's church in Cambridge. Great St Mary's is the "university church" for Cambridge, meaning all university officers must live within twenty miles of it, and all students three. Construction on the current building commenced in 1478, though a church has been present on the spot since 1205. There's other fun facts available on Wikipedia, but omg I'm still so tried of the churches around here. You ever try'n draw the interior of medieval churches eight hours a day for six weeks? Lemme tell ya, they weren't widely-known for their amazing heating systems. I should be honorarily ordained in the Church of England for the fingers I lost to frostbite in these places, jeez!

ARE YOU LISTENING ROWAN WILLIAMS!? VESTMENTS PLEASE!!1

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Also Available: The Nymphomaniac of Notting Hill

BananaPhoneOftentimes, the success or failure of a business endeavor is determined by forces entirely outside human control. For example, dismal failure of the BananaPhone can only be attributed to the hand of Fate. I mean, everyone agrees that when you see a person talking on a cell phone the first thing you think is, “That guy looks like he’s about to eat a futuristic banana! That’s CRAZY!” So, logically speaking, a cell phone that periodically sprays the user in the mouth with a fine, banana-flavored mist would be a huge success, right? But the hand of Fate extended its middle finger, and the BananaPhone sank into obscurity.

The hand of Fate can also be beneficial to a business endeavor. When we launched Cardinal Books and Novelties in 1936, we hoped only to ride the wave of sensationalistic pulp publishing that was so popular – and profitable – during that era. And don’t be mistaken, many of our titles sold well, chief among them I Was a Teenage Dope Fiend and Vampire, Manprodder!, Den of the Lesbian Knitters, and Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle Murderers. But by 1952, McCarthyism had taken its toll on Cardinal Books and Novelties, and the pro-Communism tone of titles like Capitalist Child-Eaters Want to Eat Your Children and The Communist Manifesto 2: Proletariat Booagloo, nearly put us out of business.

But the hand of Fate had other plans, delivering unto us a letter from the estate of G.K. Chesterton. Obviously mistaking our publishing house for the similarly-named Cardinal Catholic Books and Rosaries, the estate requested the creation of a new series of novels based on Chesterton’s beloved priest-cum-detective, Father Brown. Within a week we stuck a contract with the estate and got to work.

Father Brown

The success of the new Father Brown series led to other religiously-inspired titles – The Manhandling Snakehandler, Zoroastrian Pajama Party, Bring’em Young Brigham Young – all of which kept the coffers of Cardinal Books and Novelties well-stocked. But in 1988, Fate showed its hand again, this time in the form of a Cat Stevens-issued fatwa against Cardinal Books for publishing Boy in the Burqa: My Life as a Muslim Crossdresser. Our publisher went into hiding and Cardinal Books and Novelties shut down.

I suppose one can find a moral here in the words of William Shakespeare, taken from the Cardinal Books edition of Henry VI: “What fates impose, that men must needs abide; It boots not to resist both wind and tide. Now let’s you and me go for a roll in the hay, baby.”

Master Wallis

Master WallisOkay, so I've finally figured out who Evangelical writer, political activist, Harvard professor and founder of Sojourners Jim Wallis reminds me of: Yoda. Not in the way he speaks, not in his demeanor. It's just his appearance. By the way, I've been reading Wallis' blog lately, and I'm amazed at how much injustice slips through the cracks. Did you know slavery still exists in America, and it's being perpetuated by that monarch of meat Burger King. The company they get their tomatoes from were recently "indicted in federal court on charges of indentured servitude and peonage." Indentured servitude and peonage, that old-time favorite from the Medieval Era, still alive and kicking in America. That's why he's a Burger King, and not a Burger Prime Minister.