Lunedi Lunacy and then Some

It is highly unusual for me to post two Lunedi Lunacies in one day but I really had no choice – the Lunacies just keep piling up!

I will admit that I am not a fan (gasp of disbelief from the crowd) of most of the cult series – GofT, Downtown Monastery, Hitchhickers Guide or (shudder, followed by a gasp of disbelief from same crowd) Doctor Who.  So I was a bit startled today when I read that there are people who are ranting and raving that the oft-morphing character of the good Doctor is to be played by a (eye-roll, shudder, and gasp of horror and disbelief from misogynistic crowd) … by a…. by a….  WOMAN!  I shake my head, roll my eyes, shudder, and gasp in horror and disbelief that this sort of announcement would solicit a negative response.  Or frankly any response at all but that’s another story.

Imagine then my delight to find that my favourite theatre troupe – SFSPT – has greeted the announcement with their normal saucy tongue in toe approach.

I share this particularly for my good friend Rainey on the West Coast.   And with special thanks to the SFSPT for putting the world back into perspective.

On this day in 1794: The 16 Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne are executed ten days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.

Lunedi Lunacy

Not really an Editorial but more of a Mild Rant.

Given the state of the world around us it is becoming more and more difficult to find anything that would strike most of us as lunatic – even here in the land of the understatement and the eternal apology.

03102017c_2_Super_PortraitA fine example would be the tempest in a Labatt’s 50 beer can about the logo for Canada’s 150 celebration.  Now this logo has been around since the previous government – a very salient point – unveiled it back in April of 2015.  Keep in mind this was a government that qualified as the Iced Tea Party of Canada but they had no problem with the multi-coloured stylized maple leaf.  At the time there was a bit of “tsk.. tsking” about the graphic itself being rather old-fashioned and too reminiscent of the Centennial logo from 1967 but that was pretty much it.

I find it inoffensive and I was surprised, in the past few days, to see that a certain segment of the “press”, a goodly number of the more conservative websites, commentors, and disseminators of badly adapted American memes have suddenly found it to be reeking of the “homosexual agenda” and the current government’s wish to destroy Canada.   Now I’m no expert on human behaviour but if all it takes is a multi-coloured maple leaf on a coffee mug to turn you gay then your sexuality was probably always a bit of a question mark.  And I had not realized our democracy was quite so fragile that a badly stencilled logo on a Made in China t-shirt could bring it down.

On top of that they tell us that the Evil Boy Emperor is trying to replace our flag – which so many died in two world wars to defend – with this offensive image emblazoned on a banner.  Now I am no big fan of EBE but I can’t find a bill tabled in the Commons to effect that heinous change nor has an “Executive Order” been issued as one site claimed.  Now that could simply be because we don’t have such an animal in our system*.  Surely if this outrage were in the works Harper Lite and company would be inarticulately raging about it in Question Period.  Also a quick history check shows that our flag was introduced in 1965 and at that time most of these people, or those like them, fought tooth and nail against it.

What can you say to these fearless “patriots”?  It’s a commercial logo created for marketing purposes for heaven’s sake: you know like the one on that sweater you wear while cheering on your favourite loosing hockey team.  And if you wait until July 2 you can probably buy a dozen of those coffee mugs at a deep discount and smash them to show your disdain for EBE, them homos, and those destroyers of the Canadian way of life.

I’m really not sure how you top this sort of lunacy!

*To be fair they might have meant an Order-in-Council but somehow I don’t think the writer knows enough about our Parliamentary system to be aware that such a thing exists.

On this day in 1927: The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island.

Throwback Thursday

One of the oh so many joys of living in Rome was taking a walking tour with Nancy.  She is an American art historian who has lived most of her adult live in Italy and has a wealth of knowledge – both technical and anecdotal – on Italy ancient and modern. And she also seems to have access to things that you just don’t see on the average tour. On one occasion she managed to set up a private evening tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. After visiting it in a group of only 20 I was never able to go back during the crush of regular opening hours.

On another occasion she arranged a peek into the rare book collection of the Biblioteca Angelica – one of the first public libraries in the Western world. I thought I’d reblog three posts I wrote back in 2010 after that visit. At the end of this first repost there are links to the other two. I had several others in the works that were left unfinished and languishing in that very large “drafts” folder.

Willy Or Won't He

A week ago Tuesday I spent the morning at the public library here in Roma – well okay not just any old public library but one of the earliest public libraries in Europe. Biblioteca Angelica was founded in 1604 by Bishop Angelo (hence Angelica) Rocca, a writer and collector of rare books. He was also in charge of the Vatican Printing House during the pontificate of Pope Sextus V. He entrusted the care of some 20,000 volumes to the Monks at the convent of St Augustine, provided a building, an annuity, and regulations for its operation: the principle rule being that it was open to all people regardless of income or social status. It has functioned as a public library since 1609 and except for a few periods of renovation and civil upheaval has been a major source of learning and research material to anyone over the age of 16…

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New Canadian Stamp

Another reason to celebrate Canada.

Larry Muffin At Home

Canada Post unveiled today a new stamp to show that in Canada we have marriage equality and this is enshrined in our Constitution.


The stamp is in both of Canada’s Official languages, French and English and is shaped like a Maple Leaf with the Rainbow Flag and the Words Canada 150 to mark the Anniversary of Confederation 1867-2017.

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Throwback Thursday

Willy Or Won't He

Jacek Goldman and his Sister Wanda, Krakw, 1924 Jacek Goldman and his sister Wanda. Krakw, 1924. “My mother Wanda Meloch (nee Goldman) was killed in Bialystok after the Germans invaded in the summer of 1941. Jacek left the Warsaw Ghetto to join the partisans and nobody ever heard from him again. I received this photograph from my family in New York.” Katarzyna Meloch, Warszawa

While attempting to clean up what I laughing call my office I knocked a box off a shelf – out tumble all the family photos I had found when I closed up my mother’s house. The photos I had promised myself I would scan and catalogue while there were still people around who could remember those faces and places. A well-intentioned task still not begun 10 years later.

That and a New York Times article about a photograph exhibition at the Yeshiva University Museum in New York had me turning to a bookshelf to…

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