Giving Up The Cyber World. For Lent. For Good?


I’ve been terminating a newspaper subscription, The New York Times. I stopped supporting three Patreon artists. I realized I could not afford them. I feel enormously relieved. I want to delete completely my Facebook account. And I did! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty I’m free at last!

The Cyber World just isn’t worth it. I don’t trust people. Likewise, don’t trust me. So I will take a hiatus through Lent and reevaluate on Easter Monday.

I realize I am not a COOL GUY. I never will be. I am a heteronormative patriarch. I never will be any different. Not Ever.

See y’all on 2 April. If you are interested, that is.


Going Dark.

I have decided to close this blog. I am also considering getting rid of my cell phone and closing my e-mail accounts. I have had enough of the cyber world.

As soon as I can figure out how to move the blog entries some place else I will be gone.

Our Other Mother



Can you imagine the Blessed Virgin Mary driving the car pool?

She notices the driver worried and distraught from her perspective as the statue on the dashboard. She looks at the driver, smiles and says, “You be still. I’ll take over. Turn me around and then do as I say.”

Yes fantasy. Hallucination perhaps. And yet she is our Protectress. We still have to do the work, but she prays for us and with us when we ask her. She is as much my mother as my birth mother was. She is ever near.

She is my great strength when I beseech her aid as I face all of the temptations and distractions that work their way between Her Son Our Lord and me. I used to think that this notion absurd until I actually implored her aid. It’s not magic. The temptation is still there. Yet its power is gone. The yearning for a dubious comfort has left when the HAIL MARY leaves my throat.

Go figure


From Archbishop Sheen.


This is one of those challenges that puts my narcissism into focus. I have been living as half a person, waiting for my dormant sexuality to awaken and flower again, except that never seemed to happen, unless I wanted to destroy my marriage.

So I would live a vicarious sex life through various sex blogs, or watching pornography. I wondered if I would ever regain the intimacy that sexual pleasure with my wife would afford.

It never entered my mind that there was perhaps a “still more excellent way.”

Sex is pretty damned exploitative and self-serving, the way we pursue sexual satisfaction in this culture. Tear out the procreative motive and the exploitation is even worse.

I never thought I would be writing this. Please don’t think I am preaching at you. This is my choice, decision and perspective. I was simply trying to find happiness down a path I was not meant to walk.


Phishing, Etc.



So somebody was phishing and trying to get information from me. That’s bad. Then I consider all the information I give out and Google, among others, tracks. It’s called “Surveillance Marketing”. Google records all kinds of metadata about us that we innocently provide, legally, through those User Agreements that we never read. Then we get ads on our Smartphone pages from merchants we’ve used both online and/or brick and mortar. We become super-customers. We reassure ourselves that this isn’t creepy, or only just a little bit. Yet we know that this is merely Big Brother Watching Us version 2.0

The truth is the Internet is anything but anonymous, anything but private. Like God, the Internet never forgets. Unlike God, it never forgives. Whatever we put there, wherever we go, that click is always there.

The Information Age plutocrats, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gates, etc. are all in bed with the politicians, so don’t expect your Internet privacy to suddenly be respected if these tycoons can make money off of you. They work campaign “contributions” into their cost structures.

This begs the question, “How do I go dark?” Will I have to end this blog, as much as I enjoy writing it? I feel like The Google people are digitally groping my “junk” and squeezing my ass every time I go online. And I’ve had enough.


A Thought From Merton


Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk. A convert to Catholicism after a somewhat dissolute youth, he chose the consecrated and contemplative life. His autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain is a classic of Twentieth Century literature.

I don’t think you have to be Catholic or even particularly religious, to find a big chunk of truth in this quote.




How do we listen? What filters do we have activated at all times? When we hear or read something that raises our hackles, are we quick to decry what bothers or offends us, then dismiss the speaker or author as undeserving of our attention and respect? Do we consider a point of view that disturbs us to be as valid as our own? The person holding such a view may be unable to consider any other option. For example, a person may base a prejudice on a fear. That fear, unless dealt with constructively and lovingly, will continue to shape a viewpoint until the person holding that viewpoint abandons it. We can’t change the way other people think. Only those “other people” can change their way of thinking. Do we help or hinder that process by the way we react? Then again, maybe we are the ones where the change needs to occur. It is a disturbing paradox that our intolerance of intolerance may be precisely what perpetuates such intolerance.

Where did we learn to think the way that we think? If we consider ourselves open-minded, are we even aware when or how often we close our minds?

Hanging out with outlaws and outcasts is no big deal anymore. How do we assess the respectable people of this world? Do we give the full measure of respect to the worthy bourgeoisie whose tithes to the church where the AA group meets do more to keep the doors open than our relatively paltry rent does?

Contemplate how and why you determine a person’s worthiness.


Super (Yawn) Sunday


I am currently in my Non-Sports Fan Modality. This phase comes and goes over a lifetime. Last baseball season, when Yankee right fielder Aaron Judge had his breakout year, I got jazzed up about baseball again. That enthusiasm bled over into the NFL season. And then…

I had enough. Enough Takeout Pizza commercials, beer commercials, soft drink, car, truck, smartphone, diamond commercials. Get it? The enthusiasm bubble burst, like a North Korean condom.

And then there is the game itself. Sure the players are great athletes, but then figure skaters, swimmers, bicyclists, and distance runners are great athletes too. Just for starters. There simply comes a time when I get tired of the spectacular catches, explosive runs from scrimmage, timely interceptions, and other superlative adjective demanding feats. It is called overexposure, Sports Fans.

There are the Sermons and Statements, and Gestures. Football has always been associated with Mom, Apple Pie, and The Flag (High Octane Gasoline, too I guess). So when somebody has a beef with the Good Ol’ U S of A, I’m not surprised it gets expressed at a football game. Free Speech means that a person can express what he/she believes, it also means that I get to ignore them. You too. The ignoring is as important as the expressing. Maybe more so. For example, I’ve been a wishy-washy State Of The Union viewer through the last seven Presidents, going back to Carter. I don’t get a knock at the door from an FBI agent asking why I don’t watch (or care). You don’t either, I’ll betcha.

So this wonderful unique American institution, the NFL Championship Game will be…..

ignored by millions.

And that is perfectly cool.


Sleeplessness Before Holy Hour

Two AM. At three-thirty, I will drive down to St Benedict for my Holy Hour, my time before the Precious Body of Christ, my time with Our Lord. I don’t really understand metaphysics. What I do know is that this time has been transformative for me. So I continue to give Our Lord this hour in particular every month.

It is not about good social policy, social justice, or helping the poor. But this time makes me a better Catholic, a better Christian.

Holy Hour makes a crack in the wall of selfishness that surrounds my being. Through this crack enters a serenity a peace. The serenity comes from knowing that I don’t have to change the whole world, just me. I can be a little more respectful, a little quieter, more accepting of the way people are, people like my wife or my children, for starters.

We want grand solutions to the problems of this world. We think these solutions to problems like war or intolerance or poverty can be constructed as if those solutions were Saturn rockets or polio vaccines. Maybe the grand solution is by losing, a little bit every day, that wall of selfishness. That selfishness is not only our greed or hunger or lust, but also our hurts and our pains that we use to separate ourselves from others.

By the way, none of that losing is easy. It demands a daily surrender to God.


Tattoo Fantasy.


Every once in a while, I think about getting a tattoo. On the back of this CD of Portuguese Fado music is

is this lovely picture of a bluebird. The tattoo artist would need to be skilled enough to render a complete image of this little bird. I think it would look great on my left pectoral.