Category Archive 'Notre Dame'

16 Apr 2019

Good News

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The Crown of Thorns

Many of the most important treasures of the Cathedral of Notre Dame were saved.

The facade and the two front bell towers survived as did the three Rose Windows over the main portals dating back to the 13th Century.

Apparently, the Great Organ was also saved.

Both what is purported to be the original Crown of Thorns worn by Christ during the Crucifixion and the tunic worn by St. Louis when he delivered the Crown to Paris in 1238 were also saved.

Apparently, Father Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, entered the burning cathedral and personally saved both the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns, passing them out of danger via a human chain.

CNN

And much of what has been lost was not as old as one might have supposed.

J. Duncan Barry explains:

Bear in mind that the “real” — or near-original ”modern” state of — Notre Dame was significantly defaced during the iconoclastic spasm wrought by the French Revolution.

What we see today is largely the result of the highly controversial theories of architect-scholar-architectural restoration advocate E.-E. Violet-le-Duc — as executed by Ballu in the middle of the 19th century.

Today’s cathedral is as much symbol of these historical layers as it is an artifact.

I would even argue that the symbolic quality of this event already FAR surpasses the physical and *actual* damage — which appears to me to be a fire that started in the wooden substructure of the flèche [the tower that collapsed –jdz], a NON-original, 19th-century design put up to “improve” on the original. It was put in place when Lincoln was running for President.

But this “new” appendage carries with it all prior incarnations of the earlier variations of the flèche, as well as the Divine significance it carries as the tectonic marker of the crossing of the cruciform ground plan. It is a real thing, but it is as a carrier of meaning that gives it such power over our thoughts about the building and its place in the way our species has conceptualized our role in creation.

The symbolic aura is precisely what drives our visceral reaction: we respond to an image that is freighted with emotion.

The symbol has become more real than the object.

25 Jul 2018

Today’s Millerite Establishment

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In 1843, well-educated people thought the Millerites were crackpots. In 2020, the consensus of the supposedly well-educated is the equivalent of Millerism.

Roy Scranton is a professor of English at Notre Dame. His discussion of his feelings of guilt over having brought a child into this doomed world appeared in the New York Times.

Anyone who pays much attention to climate change knows the outlook is grim. It’s not unreasonable to say that the challenge we face today is the greatest the human species has ever confronted. And anyone who pays much attention to politics can assume we’re almost certainly going to botch it. To stop emitting waste carbon completely within the next five or 10 years, we would need to radically reorient almost all human economic and social production, a task that’s scarcely imaginable, much less feasible. It would demand centralized control of key economic sectors, enormous state investment in carbon capture and sequestration and global coordination on a scale never before seen, at the very time when the political and economic structures that held the capitalist world order together under American leadership after World War II are breaking apart. The very idea of unified national political action toward a single goal seems farcical, and unified action on a global scale mere whimsy.

And even if world leaders somehow got their act together, significant and dangerous levels of warming are still inevitable, baked into the system from all the carbon dioxide that has already been dumped. There’s a time lag between carbon dioxide increase and subsequent effects, between the wind we sow and the whirlwind we reap. Our lives are lived in that gap. My daughter was born there.

Barring a miracle, the next 20 years are going to see increasingly chaotic systemic transformation in global climate patterns, unpredictable biological adaptation and a wild spectrum of human political and economic responses, including scapegoating and war. After that, things will get worse. The middle and later decades of the 21st century — my daughter’s adult life — promise a global catastrophe whose full implications any reasonable person must turn away from in horror.

RTWT

The irony here is that he may be right: civilization as we know it may be doomed. But the cause of doom is going to be the ineffable stupidity of the morons who took over our establishment institutions, not the junk science theory of Global Warming Catastrophism.


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