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Posts by Dunstan McShane

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  • Will C.S. Lewis’ spirituality survive in future Narnia films?

    07/29/2015 12:42:36 PM PDT · 26 of 26
    Dunstan McShane to AnAmericanMother
    No, they wouldn't touch Hideous Strength with a ten-foot pole.
  • 'Killing Jesus' Portrays Jesus as Man, Tones Down His Miracles and Power, Film's Actors Explain

    03/25/2015 9:06:26 AM PDT · 17 of 66
    Dunstan McShane to Mercat
    I’m passing on it and reading Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, Holy Week instead.

    I first read this about four years ago and was very impressed with the work. It sort of shook me up.

    I'll take Benedict XVI over O'Reilly any day. And won't be seeing the movie based on Killing Jesus.

  • Body of missing Missouri girl found in home of elementary school coach: police

    02/20/2014 9:31:35 AM PST · 76 of 100
    Dunstan McShane to shelterguy
    “”””He took everything from that little girl. Let’s hope there is a speedy trial and a speedy execution afterwards”””” How about a speedy execution and then maybe a slower trial at a later date?

    Much better: a meticulous and legally exacting trial, followed by a protracted and lavish execution (available on pay-per-view).

    Then again, that might be getting into some serious barbarism. Batter just make it available on DVD.

  • 'Les Miserables' Soundtrack Hits No. 1 On Billboard 200

    01/09/2013 10:13:40 AM PST · 9 of 19
    Dunstan McShane to memyselfandi59

    Thanks—the “Law/Grace” element is one I can get my head around!

  • 'Les Miserables' Soundtrack Hits No. 1 On Billboard 200

    01/09/2013 9:40:08 AM PST · 6 of 19
    Dunstan McShane to SeekAndFind
    I know that I am in an increasingly dwindling (and probably despised) minority in saying that I have never seen the show, have not heard (to my knowledge) a word or note of its music, and (or possibly therefore) cannot understand the mania it generates among so many people. And my admittedly contrarian leanings sort of want to keep it that way.

    I'm sure (or at least I'm willing to entertain the idea) that I'm missing out on something wonderful, but I know the plot of Hugo's novel, and as a source for an international musical-extravaganza hit, it seems a little less likely The Guide to Incredibly Communicable and Really Messy Diseases, but what do I know?

  • A Nostalgic New Year's Look At The 1950s

    12/31/2012 8:42:05 AM PST · 34 of 94
    Dunstan McShane to stanne
    If you had said let’s take God out of the school system you would have to say, “how are you going to guard against the onslaught of the enemy?”

    The whole point of getting God out of the school system was to make sure that there was nothing to guard against the onslaught of the enemy.

  • Jesus and Extraterrestrials according to Contactee Sixto Paz Wells

    11/29/2012 11:24:46 AM PST · 27 of 27
    Dunstan McShane to Psalm 73
    Decieving spirits. This person may be writing what he thinks is reality - "aliens" may very well be demons - we know they exist and are NOT our friends

    I will admit to being suspicious of superadvanced alien cultures that for some reason have to be contacted by means that sound a whole heck of a lot like the sorts of seances that Houdini debunked back in the early 20th century. There's also this from the original article: SPW- I am part of a contact group which for 37 years has been receiving psychographic messages

    "Psychographic messages" irresistably suggests what clairvoyantish seancey types call "automatic writing"--that is, open yourself to the "spirit world" and let your hand write whatever comes to "your" mind. Thank you, no. Even assuming that these were "only" the spirits of departed humans, they're frankly not the sorts I'd want to hang around and talk with, as that would be creepy enough on its own; if they were aliens, I'd want to know why, despite their "superadvanced-ism" they had to resort to dodgy dark-arts-type backroom parlor tricks for communication; and if they aren't either friendly dead guys or chatty aliens, well, then they're something else altogether, which does not encourage me to swap recipes with them or vacation snaps or access to the depths of my soul or anything else.

    The more that purported "super-science" resembles what we used to call black magic, the more I don't want nothin' to do with it, no matter how vacuum-tight its Tupperware is.

  • Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied

    11/29/2012 9:29:09 AM PST · 31 of 38
    Dunstan McShane to bigbob
    R. Daneel Olivaw

    If it were a robot uprising of the Daneel variety, one could probably be pretty certain that it would be humane and in accordance with the Three Laws, in which case it would not be a real "uprising" as such, just more of a "May I have your attention" situation.

  • Can an Adult Film Actress Truly Be Religious?

    11/28/2012 10:24:57 AM PST · 51 of 129
    Dunstan McShane to left that other site
    or Isaac Newton.

    Bingo! Can't think how I didn't think of him right off!

  • Woman wonders, ‘Will I be fat in heaven?’

    11/28/2012 9:41:56 AM PST · 100 of 111
    Dunstan McShane to Gamecock
    “Everything right now is about making sure I reach my preferred dress size in case I die suddenly,” she says. “I’m driving a lot more carefully now.” •

    Uncharitably, I think a more important worry for her is whether or not one is still brick stupid in Heaven.

    Or perhaps breathtakingly vain.

  • Can an Adult Film Actress Truly Be Religious?

    11/28/2012 8:26:29 AM PST · 26 of 129
    Dunstan McShane to CHRISTIAN DIARIST
    That includes a study, published in the journal Science, which asserted that people who believe in God are not analytical thinkers.

    Tell that to St Thomas Aquinas, whose approach to analytical thinking and the dialectical method approaches Spock-level, if not surpassing it. One might not agree with his conclusions (or even some of his premises), but there's no denying that the man was a rigorous thinker.

    Or St Augustine.

    Or Professor Einstein.

    I would myself assert that people who believe that people who believe in God are not analytical thinkers are themselves not thinking analytically but uncritically regurgitating commonplace bromides produced by amateur intermalekshals who fondly want to believe that merely holding certain opinions automatically either excludes one from consideration as a human being, or else elevates one to unassailable empyrean heights beyond reproach or criticism.

    In thinking circles, this is called "being lazily and intolerantly (as well as intolerably) stupid."

  • Why the Modern View of the Book of Revelation may be Flawed (Catholic Caucus)

    11/26/2012 4:37:56 PM PST · 14 of 31
    Dunstan McShane to Salvation
    This is indeed a worthy book--bought a copy at the Holy Spirit Abbey bookstore in Conyers, Georgia, some years back, and found it riveting.

    I have to confess that Hahn's style annoys me sometimes--too much cutesy punning for my tastes, and I wish he'd just settle down and play it straight--but this book opened up the Mass for me into four complete dimensions by tying it into the Temple and pointing out, rather convincingly, its place in the Revelation, or vice versa, and showing it as an almost extra-temporal event!

    Not quite as taken with some of Hahn's other books--it's that light, cutesy style that just rubs me the wrong way from time to time, but the guy does his research and is generally very readable.

    And yeah, The Lamb's Supper is a book I would recommend to anyone who wanted to know what is going on in the Mass and why it has its form, or even someone who would like a little speculation on the book of Revelation--that is, for the person who is actually willing to learn rather than to gather contention-fodder.

    But one suspects that this tribe is getting smaller yearly--maybe hourly!

  • On the Coming of the Son of Man

    11/19/2012 8:19:14 AM PST · 2 of 2
    Dunstan McShane to marshmallow
    “Then the Son of Man will come upon the clouds in the sky with great power and glory”

    The sooner, the better!

  • Skateboarders Throw Rocks, Bottles At Police During Hollywood Clash

    10/14/2012 5:24:12 PM PDT · 7 of 8
    Dunstan McShane to BenLurkin
    "Skateboarding is not a crime"


    Have nothing essential against skateboarding as a pastime. The problem is,of course, that skateboarders regard the sport as a natural right to which others' rights are secondary, if even that far up the scale of natural rights. The city where I live actually built a skateboarding park fairly close to the university campus, full of pits and steep inclines and all kinds of lovely opportunities to do oneself irreparable bodily harm--and they are still all over sidewalks, pedestrian plazas and parking lots, brim-full of arrogant certainty that they have "just as much right as anybody else" to use these surfaces for their enjoyment", and seemingly dismissive of anyone else's rights to be there. It is hard to walk along a sidewalk without having to dodge them several times a day. The skateboard park, when I passed it a couple of days ago, was completely vacant. One suspects that skateboarding may be as much a vague form of social protest as it is a game.

  • 'Justice League' #12: DC reveals Superman's new leading lady... and it's a doozy - EXCLUSIVE

    08/22/2012 1:23:44 PM PDT · 37 of 62
    Dunstan McShane to GodBlessRonaldReagan
    First off, how many $%@* times is DC gonna reboot their continuity?!?!

    How many bucks do comics collectors have in their pockets? n=n

    I thought the Supes/WW thing was handled best by Alan Moore in "For The Man Who Has everything" in a World's Finest annual. WW gives Supes a birthday kiss and Supes wonders why they don't do that more often. WW replies "Too obvious."

    I had not read comics for many years when a former student showed me a copy of this issue, and I read it and liked it more than I had expected. Took note of Moore's name, and later read both The Killing Joke (a Batman "graphic novel"--i.e., big long funny book) and Watchmen, which I appreciated on one level as an imaginative examination of what a world in which superheroes were real might really be like, and felt a little morally nauseated by on another, the latter because of the former.

    Though (or perhaps because) they were more simplistic, I guess I preferred the older DC comics of the late fifties and early sixties, when I was a kid, and superheroes were far less morally ambiguous, when it was simply assumed that any person who developed supernormal powers would naturally want to use them for the good of all. That was probably just as naive for that period as it may be for ours, but it's something I still want to believe. In the early 60's, I got my hands on the earliest runs of the Marvel comics (Fantastic Four, probably one of the first dozen issues) and liked what I read--the humor, the personal frictions between the heroes, etc., which were eventually to become standard operational procedures for the Marvel line), but I didn't abandon DC for them. I've always maintained that Marvel had good product, but DC had custody of the cultural myths, and I guess still kind of feel that way, though DC apparently isn't thinking like that any more.

    After all these years, I still don't like Jim Lee's artwork. Gimme Curt Swan, Dave Gibbons or Joe Kubert anyday.

    Don't know anything about Jim Lee, but Curt Swan (inked by Murphy Anderson) was, for me, the consummate Superman artist when I was a boy. Kubert I remember from Sgt. Rock, I think--wasn't Gibbons the artist for Watchmen? He had an interesting style for that book, but I don't recall seeing his work anywhere else.

  • Ouija Board Helps Psychologists Probe the Subconscious

    07/09/2012 7:35:47 AM PDT · 12 of 73
    Dunstan McShane to marshmallow
    Take driving your car along a familiar route while planning your day. On arrival, you realise you were not in conscious control of the car, it was your "inner zombie", said Hélène Gauchou at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness conference in Brighton, UK, this week. "How can we communicate with that unconscious intelligence?"

    You know, it's not only the (at best) dodgy recommendation of the Ouija board as a means for "exploring the unconscious," but psychologists' insistence in using language like the above to describe mentative processes that send me running for the Crucifix and the holy water. Psychology has always seemed to me like (sincere apologies to any actual psychologists here) the unknowable researching the unknowable--or, in the words of a psychologist in Shafer's Equus, like performing brain surgery using an ice pick in total darkness: what seems to me (not, after all, a trained psychologist) as a distinct scarcity of verifiable objective truth in the field must lead some of the wackier practitioners to think, "Hey, it's all a crap shoot anyway--let's just make [stuff] up!"

  • C.S. Lewis and how the acceptance of "gay" sex leads to the eradication of friendship

    06/16/2012 12:09:12 PM PDT · 18 of 24
    Dunstan McShane to Oberon
    I just re-read Surprised by Joy a few months ago, and while I was doing so became re-acquainted with the fact that George MacDonald had been quite formative on Lewis as a 16-year-old.

    Get your hands on The Princess and Curdie by MacDonald. It's the sequel to The Princess and the Goblins by the same author, though I didn't enjoy Goblins half as much as I enjoyed Curdie. The latter is a work fairly ringing with warning (and, if one could dare say it, prophecy) relevant to our own age and current state of civilization, though I can't say whether MacDonald had any such conscious intentions of doing this (though he may well have done). Certain British authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (and this would include GK Chesterton) seemed to be at least vaguely aware that some sort of dreaded sea-change was taking place in western civilization, and that its Ruin was then well within sight on the horizon unless something were done.

    That aside, it's a good fantasy-adventure story on its own,

  • Attack in Great Smoky Mountains National Park 'rare,' official says

    06/09/2012 3:56:06 PM PDT · 19 of 25
    Dunstan McShane to gitmo
    I had my sons in a backpacking store a while back, and showed them a bear bell. They asked me what that was for. I explained that it is very dangerous to surprise a bear on the trail. The animal might feel threatened and attack. So you tie this bell to the bear so you’ll hear it and can avoid that area.

    They said, “Oh, that makes sense.”

    There's the mark of truly responsible parenting: providing an alternate reality against which the youngster will learn to judge, through his own experience, the true shape of Reality! (It might involve a consequent period of hospitalization, but no education comes without a price!)

    A friend of mine in California sent me a notice that local rangers were trying to educate the public about the differences between black bears and grizzlies, as well as how to distinguish the poop of each of the species of bear. Grizzly poop (he claimed they said, though I suspect a jocular lack of veracity) may be identified by the presence of exhausted cans of bear spray as well as bear bells.

    I once spoke to a Smokies ranger and asked what one really should do in case one was approached (or attacked) by a black bear, as I had read advice that ranged from "Hold your ground and the bear will likely turn aside" to "Lie still and pretend to be dead, as it is known that bears do not eat carrion," but I could not be sure that the bears had read those books that said this. The ranger replied that the best advice was to make yourself look as big as you could (by, perhaps, standing on a rock and spreading your arms wide) and to make as much noise as possible (I think my screaming and crying aloud to God would take care of that)--otherwise (I seem to remember her saying, but cannot be sure) to fight back with all you had--excellent advice, but not very encouraging in terms of probable outcome.

    Thank our blessed Lord, I have never been close enough to a bear in the wild to have to put any of these to the test--most have been across a field in Cades Cove, or up in a tree or off in a hollow to one side of US 441 (where "bear jams" take place once a bear has been sighted and traffic piles up as people rubberneck to see it) or safely dead and stuffed in that Sugarlands Visitors Center in the exhibit of Wildlife of the Smokies. Bears have also likely not seen Disney films in which bears are amiable buddies that can scat like Phil Harris.

  • Attack in Great Smoky Mountains National Park 'rare,' official says

    06/09/2012 11:35:35 AM PDT · 14 of 25
    Dunstan McShane to momincombatboots
    i have hiked that trail. Never alone though. No fun in exploring nature without someone to share it with.

    Depends on whether those you are exploring nature with are capable of shutting their mouths for more than two consecutive minutes. Constant, purposeless, inane, media-driven chatter and the Glories of Nature do not mix well.

    I have hiked this trail twice, once with company and the second time to escape from it. I encountered maybe one person along the trail, seated on one of the benches. I was less concerned with attacks from humans than with the big thunderstorm that was looming up behind me and echoing off the hills, and with the bears which had begun to frequent the area. Encountered no bears, and the rain didn't begin until I got off the trail (which, as you'll remember, emerges smack into a Gatlinburg parking lot with no preamble). Luckily, there was a pretty good barbecue place not too far along the River Road into which I could escape.

    In retrospect, I should probably have been more concerned about human aggression, which is more frequent than unprovoked bear attacks here. A black bear generally won't attack unless you've scared it, or have come too near its cubs, or just have something delicious which it feels it has every moral right to share, whereas humans seem to think along the lines of (a) "I want to hurt someone," and (b) "There you are!" I don't own a gun (no moral objections--just don't have a gun) and would frankly balk at the idea of having to carry one into the national park on the grounds of simple propriety ("One shouldn't have to do this!"), but this might be one of those cases where the moral high ground leads straight to the graveyard.

  • The HHS Mandate and Wily Providence

    06/08/2012 10:27:32 AM PDT · 3 of 6
    Dunstan McShane to In Maryland
    The author either doesn't know the definition of contraception (a method or means of preventing pregnancy) or he is unfamiliar with Humanae Vitae . . .

    What do you want it bet it's both? Or that he just doesn't care?