Archive for October, 2010

Hilaire Belloc died in July 1953, but I discovered today that he has his own place on the web on MySpace.

Believe it or not, you can see it here: http://www.myspace.com/hilairebelloc

Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc ‘Good old Sussex by the sea!’

40 years old
Shipley, West Sussex, South
United Kingdom

View My: Pics | Playlists
…..As a writer, I was extraordinarily prolific. More than a hundred books on just about every subject you could think of including fiction, poetry, social criticism, history, philosophy, economics, politics, biography, science, military strategy, travel, art, geography, cookery, gardening, engineering, sailing and theology. Not all of these are much cop, to be frank, and many of them were written purely for the commission money, but my best work is magnificent, believe you me.

Above all, my poetry. I am the finest poet Sussex ever produced, and some people, including the creator of this page, believe me to be the finest poet who ever lived. (In the same way as my work was written off by the literati, so is he for believing this – and he doesn’t care either!)

As for my prose, try ‘The Four Men’ (a fictional tale of a walk across the breadth of my beloved Sussex) for starters. And if you’re a Catholic, you’ll like ‘The Path To Rome’ too.

Indeed, I confess (no pun intended) to having been a fanatical and combative Catholic, and for a while I was an admirer of Franco and Mussolini, because of the Catholic connection, which is the number one thing the creator of this page would doubtless be screaming at me about right now if I wasn’t dead and safely interred at West Grinstead away from his anti-fascist rage. I was also accused of being anti Semitic, but I maintain I wasn’t. I stuck up for the Jews as much as I insulted them: I hated rich monopoly capitalists, some of whom were Jews. And my ancestors were called Bloch. Enough said? My religion was my own business, anyway, and I wound up just as many Catholics as I did non-believers….see below.

In all things I was ebullient, loud, supremely self confident and utterly dismissive of my critics (the best way to be: if you don’t believe in yourself you can’t expect anyone else to believe in you!)

I was most certainly a scourge of the Establishment of my time.
I was Liberal MP for Salford between 1906 and 1910 but soon became disillusioned. It seemed to me that the real power lay with the press barons and the moneymen, bankrolling corrupt politicians who, while claiming to oppose each other, drank in the same clubs and were part of the same social scene, often actually related to each other….their opposition entirely stage managed. Ring any bells?…

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/hilairebelloc#ixzz13sDB8iwf

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/hilairebelloc#ixzz13sCuK7OY

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Hilaire Belloc’s The Four Men (1912), is the story of his walk across Sussex with three of his personalities, besides Himself, from October 29 to November 2. When I first acquired the book in the mid-70s, it was rare. Today it is an Oxford Classic, and, thanks to the Internet, can be read online courtesy of google books.

WHEN I am living in the Midlands  
  That are sodden and unkind,  
I light my lamp in the evening:  
  My work is left behind;  
And the great hills of the South Country          
  Come back into my mind.  
The great hills of the South Country  
  They stand along the sea;  
And it’s there walking in the high woods  
  That I could wish to be,   
And the men that were boys when I was a boy  
  Walking along with me.  
The men that live in North England  
  I saw them for a day:  
Their hearts are set upon the waste fells,  
  Their skies are fast and grey;  
From their castle-walls a man may see  
  The mountains far away.  
The men that live in West England  
  They see the Severn strong,   
A-rolling on rough water brown  
  Light aspen leaves along.  
They have the secret of the Rocks,  
  And the oldest kind of song.  
But the men that live in the South Country  
  Are the kindest and most wise,  
They get their laughter from the loud surf,  
  And the faith in their happy eyes  
Comes surely from our Sister the Spring  
  When over the sea she flies;  
The violets suddenly bloom at her feet,  
  She blesses us with surprise.  
I never get between the pines  
  But I smell the Sussex air;  
Nor I never come on a belt of sand   
  But my home is there.  
And along the sky the line of the Downs  
  So noble and so bare.  
A lost thing could I never find,  
  Nor a broken thing mend:   
And I fear I shall be all alone  
  When I get towards the end.  
Who will there be to comfort me  
  Or who will be my friend?  
I will gather and carefully make my friends   
  Of the men of the Sussex Weald;  
They watch the stars from silent folds,  
  They stiffly plough the field.  
By them and the God of the South Country  
  My poor soul shall be healed.   
If I ever become a rich man,  
  Or if ever I grow to be old,  
I will build a house with deep thatch  
  To shelter me from the cold,  
And there shall the Sussex songs be sung   
  And the story of Sussex told.  
I will hold my house in the high wood  
  Within a walk of the sea,  
And the men that were boys when I was a boy  
  Shall sit and drink with me.

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This is from the London Independent today:


Cataphiles are Parisian urban explorers who illegally wander the Catacombs, a term popularly used to describe a vast network of underground galleries, tunnels and crypts under Paris. Originally built after the French Revolution to house the remains of destroyed tombs during the expansion of the city, the Catacombs are testimony to over two centuries of the city’s historical heritage. For example, they were used as shelters by the French resistance during the Nazi occupation of Paris in the Second World War. Beginning in the late Sixties, Parisians known as Cataphiles began restoring some of these spaces, and organising ossuaries to make way for more innovative creative spaces or themed neighbourhoods. The Catacombs (or les k’tas as they are known locally) were formerly a network of stone mines. Nearly 80 yards below the city’s cobblestones, there are no lights, electricity or even sound. There are no living creatures or fantastic urban legends in the Catacombs; however, it is estimated that as many as 300 Parisians visit the Catacombs weekly, entering via secret entrances throughout the city. Visiting them is illegal and considered trespassing, although it is mostly tolerated by locals. If caught, trespassers face a small fine….

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Thanks to the NewLiturgicalMovement for this timely reminder:



As we proceed deeper into the Autumn and move towards Advent, we enter a time of the year which seems to be particularly saturated with wonderful customs and traditions associated with the liturgical year. Sometimes we mention these customs on the same day, or at least very near to the day, and occasionally the suggestion is made that it might be helpful if mention was made ahead of time so that one might prepare better.

Last year, this came up in relation to Martinmas, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, which is on November 11th. One of the traditions associated to this feast is that of the traditional roast goose dinner:

People first went to Mass and observed the rest of the day with games, dances, parades, and a festive dinner, the main feature of the meal being the traditional roast goose (Martin’s goose). With the goose dinner they drank “Saint Martin’s wine,” which was the first lot of wine made from the grapes of the recent harvest. Martinmas was the festival commemorating filled barns and stocked larders, the actual Thanksgiving Day of the Middle Ages. Even today it is still kept in rural sections of Europe, and dinner on Martin’s Day would be unthinkable without the golden brown, luscious Martin’s goose.

— Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, p. 270-71

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Just a few days before the US/UK invasion of Iraq, an Israeli soldier driving a US-made Catepillar bulldozer ran over a young American woman, kneeling down in front of a Palestinian doctor’s home in Gaza, which was about to be bulldozed. The news got no attention from the US media, which was too busy beating the drums for war.

File:Rachel corrie.jpeg

Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She was crushed to death in the Gaza Strip by an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) bulldozer when she was kneeling in front of a local Palestinian‘s home, thus acting as a human shield, attempting to prevent IDF forces from demolishing the home. The IDF stated that the death was due to the restricted angle of view of the IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer driver, while ISM eyewitnesses said “there was nothing to obscure the driver’s view.”[1] A student at the Evergreen State College, she had taken a year off and traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada.[

Here is a very beautiful, and short, youtube of a young Rachel, in 5th grade, giving a speech:


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Caterpillar Corporation stops shipment of armored bulldozers to Israeli military
Saed Bannoura

October 30, 2010 – Peace activists around the world are celebrating Friday’s announcement that the Illinois-based company, Caterpillar, has decided to hold off shipment of dozens of armored bulldozers to the Israeli military while a trial about the killing of Rachel Corrie is ongoing in Israel. Corrie was run down by a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian doctor’s home in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Her parents launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against Caterpillar Corporation in the US for their role in her death. Now, they are pursuing a lawsuit in Israel against the Israeli military and the soldiers involved in her death…
continua / continued avanti - next    [71337] [ 30-oct-2010 19:28 ECT ]

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Oh, Jerusalem!

When will the world community raise its voice and say, The Violence Must Stop!

Israeli settlers burn church in Jerusalem
Saed Bannoura


October 30, 2010 – A hundred year old church was burned Friday by right-wing Israeli settlers, who broke a number of windows of the church and hurled Molotov cocktails inside. The damage to the church was substantial, with burn damage throughout the first floor of the building. The church was built in Jerusalem in 1897, and housed the Palestinian Bible College until 1947, when parishioners were pushed out by Jewish armed gangs during the violence accompanying the creation of the state of Israel…
continua / continued avanti - next    [71328] [ 30-oct-2010 17:48 ECT ]

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