Monday, October 24, 2011

After all that nonsense

Dear Hilary,

I have fluttered through annoyance, despondence, frustration, confusion, and possibly two or three others that didn't last long enough to identify (like those $Z^{0}$ particles before the Super Proton Synchrotron got warmed up).

The thing is, it isn't you, HJMW, from whom I wish to remain anonymous, nor any of the friendly folk who care to leave replies here, but from unscrupulous con artists, stalkers, grudge-holders, borderline personalities, spambots, marketers and any antipapal inquisitors who might be keen to leverage whatever irrelevantia are handy for the cause of annoying the neighborhood Christian. It isn't folk of good will I'm aiming to frustrate, but search engines --- for they are indeed stupid automata. Just ask Dr. Thursday (which is not his given name, btw). This is why I have an anonymous-looking email address, writing from which I sign the name I was given in Baptism.

I have publically noted elsewhere over the present signature that I have a middle name of Christopher --- and indeed this is true, while I don't usually draw attention to it in real life. So I suppose I could honestly sign "Christopher" at your 'blog and we'd all be more-or-less happy. But this puzzles me: what particularly would you gain by my calling myself Christopher? Surely there are some dozens of millions of Christophers out there, many using the internet quite happily (and many of them not Christians at all). Which of them would I be, unless you met me? I could call myself Raphael or Philip, and you'd know about as much about me, and have as much reason to believe these were names given me (they're not). I could even call myself "Choi Chu" and be reasonably sure of a well-formed Mandarin name (or several), but it could as well be a command in Klingon to "beam me up". I already write in many places using the present pseudonym, and it would be unnatural to arbitrarily write now within the same circle under a new name. (I've already acquired two others, quite inadvertently, just because of the way google blogger works, and it mildly annoys me, when it's not amusing me.)

And it's not as though pseudonyms were a new or even ill-seeming phenomenon in writing, publishing, or commentary. To take some self-serving examples, in maths there's the infamous "Bourbaki"; in fiction, John LeCaré and Lewis Carol come to mind; I don't know if Anne Landers is a real name, or why it shouldn't be several people --- Landers is notoriously suggestible when it comes to agreeing with conflicting advice written-in by readers, and so I wonder.

It makes perfect sense to me that Fr. Z, whose blog is an extension of his professional and vocational activities, writes under his own name; I understand that you are a professional writer, too, but the Orwellian Picnickers aren't reading or commenting there as your professional associates, but for joy and comfort on the internet. The insistence on "real" names simply doesn't make sense, because you've no way to check them, no way to avoid false negatives, and no advantage anyways.

On the other hand, I'm very glad you're recovering enough to feel noticeably more awake, as you say, and I pray for your speedy return to full health (and your perseverence unto salvation, too!), and otherwise wish you all the best.

A la prochaine,

Guy Street

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Puzzlements: Terms.

If I may be permitted to introduce

The Obscure Carnival Man

"But, We are the Great, the Amazing ...
Surely, you have heard of us?
The Twins are reknowned far and wide
As they look each exactly like ...
And --- and, this Wolf-... No, he is! ...
See his toes? And here's well-noted Side!"

His aim: my interest's raising.
The result: I long off to hike

"Surely, the strange tales of Gus?!"
Of course, though, I haven't --- nor Fizz.

There's more than just odd to his manner,
I can't seem to blot out their banner
Or turn aside from the *pitch*
Though it's causing my heels to itch...

In the end I was rescued
by a damsel with pigtails
who said she had icecream
and plenty of wild quails.

Which is meant, in some way, to include answer to the interogative phrase "And you are ... ?"
And, you can see, I also squished the word toes in, though you can further see there's another spot where it might have made more sense. I think I'm in a mood for linguistic perversity, today, which in fact is a neat reflection of the impression I mean the narrator to have of that subject he is relating to us. This doggerel is in no way autobiographical: I've never been accosted by an obscure carnival man, nor rescued by a damsel with pigtails. I don't think I'm even particularly taken by pigtails on a lass, though of course there's nothing objectionable to the style...

I hope you've been entertained, anyways.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I had me a hankering for some Triumphalist Patriotic Blake (with stirring music) and so moseyed me on down to the UTubes, and there found a nice little clip from the "Last Night at the Proms 06" (not quite Patria mea, but, you know... ). And danged, but if the most visible hand-waved flag in the FRONT ROW at Royal Albert Hall isn't our beloved per-pale argent-and-or of the Vatican City State!

Take THAT! Cranmer!