Sunday, October 14, 2012

First Methodist Church, Kirbyville

First Methodist, Kirbyville

Not very old, these stones; still, old enough
To witness as a careful heap the faith
Of men who saw the sun go down in France
As German shells sought out the living dead
Along ancient rivers that Charlemagne knew;

Of those who marked high noon by the sawmill,
Whose whistle shrilled far out into the fields;

The careless youths of a happier time
Whispering in Sunday school the dusty plot
Of yesterday’s Roy Rogers matinee;

The Women’s Society of Christian Service:
Gloves, purses, hats, dresses in flowered prints,
Those Vestal matrons in charge of What’s Right,
Setting men, boys, and coffee cups in order,
And the occasional minister, too.

The feasts and seasons pass, and so do we,
Remembered briefly in old photographs
On the wall of the Beeler Bible Class,
And the seasons turn ‘round again, and life
Renews, each Easter and Christmas,
The ordained rhythm of the universe
Until unknowing time itself is unknown.

The stones of our little parish age well,
Almost golden now, in the morning sun,
Following the seasons along with us;
The stones remember all, and if required,
As Jesus said, will sing the Truth aloud:
These, too, are the stones of Jerusalem.

And They Call the Wind Tiffany

Mack Hall

And They Call the Wind Tiffany

The Weather Channel (D - Georgia), for reasons best known to its coven of Global Warmingistas, is going to name winter storms.

The Weather Channel, which really was founded as a weather channel, has since evolved into infotainment and ideology, and like most ideologies doesn’t tolerate dissent, so you’d better agree to the naming and to the names if you don’t want trouble.

Naming a storm could present legal problems: if The Weather Channel names a cold front Anastasia and you insist on calling it Bob, does The Weather Channel have a case against you?  And if you wish to name your child Anastasia, do you have to pay The Weather Channel copyright fees?

Perhaps other telly shows will begin naming meteorological features.  The Military Channel could name tomorrow morning’s sunrise General Patton while MSNBC calls it PeeWee Herman.  The Western Channel might brand a light overcast James Arness, while Fox News honors a heavy snow as Herman Cain.

General Motors might insist that the moon© is now the Volt©. 

The Weather Channel has issued its manifesto naming this winter’s storms
( Athena, Brutus, Caesar, Draco, Euclid, Freyr, Gandolf, Helen, Iago, Jove, Khan, Luna, Magnus, Nemo, Orko, Plato, Q, Rocky, Saturn, Triton, Ukko, Virgil, Walda, Xerxes, Yogi, Zeus.

This list is provisional, since it has not yet been granted a nihil obstat by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D – Texas).

Too bad there’s not a Snooki, but maybe next year.

The reader might become excited about Yogi, thinking Jellystone National Park’s favorite bear was finally to be recognized for his many gifts to American culture, but The Weather Channel advises us that their Yogi is for one who does yoga. 

Iago is for most folks the Spanish for James, as in Saint James / Santiago, but The Weather Channel will have none of that Christian nonsense – their Iago is the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello. 

Draco is for the Athenian lawgiver, but The Weather Channel may not be aware that Draco’s laws (“Draconian”) favored the death penalty for most crimes, even for stealing a cabbage (, and slavery for something less than stealing a cabbage, but only for the peasants; the nobility got a better deal from Draco.

What do we name The Weather Channel itself?  She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed?

In the delightful comic strip Hi and Lois, the youngest child, Trixie, still a rug-rat, greets the morning sun sharing her floor by singing out “Hi, sunbeam!”

A progressive, modern mother would of course put a stop to this nature stuff by drawing the blinds and setting Trixie before flickering images of America’s nasal-pitched answer to Oxford and Cambridge, Big Bird.

And then The Weather Channel would impose upon the sunbeam a progressive, modern name from an approved list respecting the delicate sensitivities of the loudest non-reader available.


Not Exactly James Bond

Mack Hall

Not Exactly James Bond

Last week local police found a Secret Service agent passed-out-drunk on a Miami sidewalk.  Perhaps he had shaken, not stirred, one vodka martini too many.

Now we know what spy novels mean by a sleeper agent.

Who’s in charge of the Secret Service these days?  Jerry Springer?

The police found the agent despite the early morning darkness by tracing his Get Smart shoe phone through the ring tone: “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels.”

Pop culture says a Secret Service agent must be ready to take a bullet for the President, but who knew that said bullet might be a Silver Bullet? 

When Secret Service agents are on an operation, do they need a designated driver?

And how did the Miami police know that the cocktail commando was a secret agent?  Why, that information was readily available on the spirited man’s official Secret Service identity card.

Did the Secret Service agent’s identity card feature a secret glow-in-the-dark compass, a secret key to a secret code, and a secret Sergeant Preston of the Yukon map?

The Secret Service isn’t really all that secret anyway; they have their own web site: 

Maybe some of us have watched too many Patrick McGoohan films, but shouldn’t a Secret Service agent try to be, well, you know, secret?  Is snoring in the street in an alcoholic stupor while carrying a Junior G-Man identification card the most subtle way to infiltrate The Hidden Fortress of the Secret Seven? 

Earlier this year, in an episode of Guys Gone Wild, a number of Secret Service frat boys…um…agents got caught with their bulletproof vests down in South America. 

If they keep behaving like this, the Secret Service may soon be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Secret Service is involved in several aspects of federal law enforcement, but they are best known for protecting presidents, vice-presidents, former presidents, presidential candidates, and their families. 

As of late the President appears to be tired and worried, even haggard, and naturally one attributes this to the burdens of office and to a challenging re-election campaign.  But perhaps the reality is that the President is losing sleep because the snoring of his Secret Service keeps him awake at night.