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March 04, 2012


I think that fasting means abstention but not necessarily complete abstention. During Ramadan, people eat, drink, smoke, and have sex, but not until sundown, and that's still considered fasting (the food and drink part anyway).

OK, that makes sense. Still, I wonder how long it has to be to qualify, for food and drink. Restricting one's sex to the period between sundown and sunrise only starts to raise problems if you live near the poles. At least for me, anyway.

Note that in some Orthodox Christian sects, fasting means abstaining from eating animal products.

Given contemporary descriptions* those Irish monks were rather extreme (probably a Celtic pagan heritage). They were only topped by the guys who clung to the off-shore rocks North of the British Isles (then literally thought the Edge of the World).

*and their own penal books with their harsh punishments for minuscule infractions.

If he was strict about it, he would have taken one vegan meal a day, at three o'clock.

> probably a Celtic pagan heritage

Probably not. There is little or no tradition for asceticism in nothern European paganism, and plenty in the Christianity of the day (and various middle eastern traditions).

Maybe it is just me, but 'The Pagan Ascetic' (or 'The Ascetic Pagan') might be a great title for a cookbook.

... or a Decembrists song.

How bout the "Vegan Barbarian"?

Speaking of reliquaries, the last of the preserved black bile from the media hate gland of conservative Saint Andrew Breitbart was released for viewing yesterday and it was the devastating revelation that 14 years ago Barack Obama attended a play about Saul Alinsky.

I'm finally getting around to reading Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals" to see what the big effing deal is, and I haven't read anything so subversive since Joe Stalin's twins, Nan and Bert Bobbsey, skulked through colonial Williamsburg.

Another thing I didn't know was that Breitbart's father-in-law is Orson Bean, the actor and comedian, most popularly known as a panelist for awhile on the old "What's My Line?"

He also sat next to Peggy Cass on "To Tell The Truth" and his original name was Dallas Frederick Burroughs. So, what agent or talent scout when introduced to a guy named Dallas Frederick Burroughs removes the stogie from his mouth and says "Kid, first thing we do is we change your name to Orson Bean. I can see the name now up in lights over Broadway"?

At any rate, I loved Bean's puckish and slightly off-color humor. I looked him up on the Inwardtubs and found a recent video of him explaining his conversion to Christianity after searching through wine, women, and drugs for the answer.

He's a decent, good-natured man who apparently was also hounded by Joseph McCarthy's wolves back in the day.

No word yet on Bean's opinion of his son-in-law's hounding of Shirley Sherrod, who didn't have celebrity residuals to assuage the torment.

May Brietbart's heart rest in the pickle jar of peace and may his children become community organizers.

Tough week of losses for the Republican Party what with losing Brietbart and then Rush Limbaugh committing suicide on Friday.

Of course, we know now that the food ascetics were on to something.

...an ascetic who wore a hairshirt

I've yet to find another hedonist wearing a hairshirt. So it goes.

Hedonists were hairshirts, but they leave the top three buttons undone, the better to be hedonistic.

wear ... WEAR!

Has anyone ever worn hairpants?

Somehow, when I see the word "hairshirt" I always picture a fur coat.

Yes, I know that's not what it is. But that is still the image that pops up. Maybe HSH and I can accept wearing one of those....

Well, maybe if it's a raccoon coat, and I can wear a straw derby hat and carry a pennant reading "Go Rutgers!" I might need a hip flask and ukulele, too, just to be up on the latest.

College men, knowledge men,
Do a dance called raccoon;
It's the craze, nowadays,
And it will get you soon.
Buy a coat and try it,
I'll bet you'll be a riot,
It's a wow, learn to do it right now!

Oh, they wear 'em down at Princeton,
And they share 'em up at Yale,
They eat in them at Harvard,
But they sleep in them in jail!

At Penn, they're made of rabbit,
At Vassar, sex appeal,
At Nebraska, made of airedale,
In Chicago lined with steel!

Crotchless hairpants -- for the man who wishes to multitask by suffering during his hedonics.

There will be indeed be whistling while we work, gentleman.

Much more seriously, I've finished Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals" and feel it is my duty as a citizen and staunch supporter of constitutional punctuation to alert you innocents to the grave, looming danger that Alinsky's subversive heirs in the community organizing front pose to our very existence as an olfactory Nation.

The malodorous stench of our end(s) is near and I smell a rat in the White House.

Alinsky's (My God, the infamy!) followers, salted throughout our institutions (they could be seated next to you), may even now be unleashing this deadly tactic like a cloud of deadly gas over the population.

It seems back during the days of Civil Rights community organizing, Alinsky counseled his black activist acolytes in one major metropolitan city to purchase blocks of hundreds of tickets to the symphony orchestra. That sounds benign by itself, but dare I utter these next dreadful words .... before the concert each and every one of them deliberately consumed copious portions of BAKED BEANS, like terrorist hijackers smuggling box cutters on their persons!

The humanity! And no wonder Mahler's Third stunk that evening. No one expected the horn section to be sitting in the audience!

It was a veritable comma-laden Second Amendment hootenanny of fart-spangled weaponry -- the fizz, the fuzz, the fizzy-fuzz, the rip sh*tz, the gravy pants, and deadliest of all for America, the silent Martin.

I now understand my esteemed Redrum colleague's obsession with the fatal danger Alinsky and his flatulent anti-Christ spawn in the White House pose to our way of life.

Andrew Breitbart and his valiant and dietary counter-revolutionary conservatives at Redrum and elsewhere have all this time been warning us of our peril -- why, haven't they compared Alinsky to Stalin farting in the general direction of the Ukraine, Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution wherein no cheek remained unlifted, the Moslem hordes who trumpeted Sharia to the steppes of Spain, and most evil and monstrous of all, Adolf Hitler's gassing of the Jews?

They smelt it coming.

It is for us to hold our noses and reek vengeance.

you telling me mel brooks is also an alinsky acolyte?

I'm telling you that the whoopy cushion, it doth toll for us, as the laugh track of history sputters to a stop.

Harald, classic authors (i.e. Romans and the occasional Greek) commented on Celtic religiosity having a tendency to go for the extreme. So, my comment on Celtic pagan heritage did not aim at specific practices from druidic times but at the habit of Celts to turn anything in the realm of religion up to at least 11. When the Celts converted to Christianity they kept that habit (not necessarily the textile one ;-) ) and applied it to 'Christian' practices like fasting, askesis etc.
It's also interesting that in Germany the line between predominantly protestant and catholic regions coincides with that separating historically Celtic and Germanic regions while traditionally 'mixed' areas were ethnically too in the past. Of course religion/denomination is not in the genes but cultural influences seem to be very persistent.
Btw, I think old St.Bonifatius (the 'missionary of Germany' who came with his gang from Ireland) was an..eh..donkey cavity and I am surprised that he lasted so long before getting killed.

I have an off line question to ask you (not related to this) Could you drop me a line at libjpn at gmail? thx

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