(Actually, Never FAQ’s…)
What is Scriptorium?
They say there are 2 topics that are avoided in polite or at least civil conversation: politics and religion. However, power and belief are the very turbines that drive human society and, indeed, all human life (though there are myriad disputes whether that’s a very good thing); and so avoiding them is like ignoring the sun, which changes neither its effect nor its importance. In the words of Aristotle–
And your point is?
<Sigh> What I was building up to (why does no one understand drama these days?) is that Scriptorium is a blog about politics, religion, and everything in between. By everything, of course, is meant everything: from the very occasional poem to a comment on anime to the (upcoming) book and movie reviews. So if you prefer some eclecticism in your blogs, they you’ll find my humble Scriptorium a welcome home, as I’m somewhat ‘scatter-brained, nay, mentally direction-diverse.
Are you always this pompous?
I’m afraid so.
How often will stuff be posted?
That regrettably depends on the circumstances, since, as with most people, my time for blogging being quite severely limited by the capitalist wage slavery of the industrial bourgeois economy (i.e., work). Nonetheless, I’ll try to post on weekends or, at least, once every fortnight (I’ve so been waiting years to use that word).
How can we contact indignus?
By telepathy, of course, though whale song would be good too; but if you’re esper-blind or sonar-deaf, you can e-mail me at ignatiusDOTantiochATgmailDOTcom.
What if we find something wrong in the blog?
Then please tell me immediately, that I may fix the problem expeditiously (a word that no one in 6,000 years of history can say as well as Morgan Freeman). The problem may be anything–a doctrinal, moral, or other error; a violation of copyright; a misspelling; or inappropriate language–but please tell me. Don’t worry, I don’t shoot messengers, though I’m quite glad no one has to see how I react at reading corrective email:
Polite email: “Excuse me, she’s Matilda of Tuscany not of Aquitaine.” Indignus: “Thank you.” (breaks down, sobs) “Why, why?…”
And who are you, exactly?
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my…
Oh, right. Okay, if you really want to know me? Well…
Zarathustra theme plays. As the crescendo reaches its height, these paragraphs appear:
About the Blogger
‘indignus’, also ‘Marcus Apollo’, is an occasional blogger and full-time geek from the Philippines who can’t decide what online nom de plume he really wants. His real name is __ (it’s sort of hidden here), and, modesty aside, of course, his looks combine the best aspects of Antonio Banderas and Cary Grant–according to his mother, that is, and surely she is utterly objective.
As seen from his rather pretentious posts, indignus–reliably described (by himself) as a “friendly open-minded fundamentalist”–is, by allegiance, a Christian of the Catholic Church, to which he returned, albeit desperately kicking and screaming, after formally renouncing it in his teens and exploring, among others, atheism and Evangelical Protestantism. In sad practice, however, he is almost entirely lapsed from the True Faith, and has virtually apostatized into the worship of chocolate; that is, of Forma Chocolata, of whose perfect taste the kinds we see in stores are but so many shadows.
As to schools, indignus’ thinking sports a Thomism of the classical (i.e., “Gilsonian“) kind, with a sprinkling of empiricism, Calvinism, Advaita Vedanta, and, in social theory, syndicalism; but while his theory of politics is Hildebrandine–his acknowledged ideological mentors being Pope St. Gregory VII, St. Thomas Aquinas, and John of Salisbury–, its present inapplicability forces him to moderate that into a kind of Christian Democracy, particularly as implemented by Konrad Adenauer.
Anyway, for those who want to contact him, indignus can be emailed here. At the moment he’s doing preliminary research for an essay in speculative theology and for a historical novel. Given his temperament, they will likely be published about 2 years after the parousia.
Dear Reader, do you still remember those–were they called ‘slambooks’?–that our friends would thrust on us back when we were in high school (ah! the fading memories), with all those inane questions like “what’s your favorite quote” and “how do you define love”? Well, I suppose something of that kind is appropriate here so, in case anyone (?) is actually interested, here goes a list of favorites (which, I have to say, doesn’t necessarily mean ‘recommended’):
website: Stephen Hand’s wonderfully orthodox and progressive TCRNews.com (Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports), which, after dying for a while, now lives anew as an e-zine/blog called The Bride and the Dragon. TCRNews remembered, as many other orthodox sites did not, that the social current of Christian Tradition is strongly subsidiarist, personalist, communitarian, anti-capitalist, un-liberal and un-neoconservative; which, by the way, is why Michael Novak‘s thesis in The Catholic Ethic seems so forced, and why the concession in Centesimus (that, maybe, maybe, the “modern business economy” isn’t completely bad, so long as the capitalist corporation doesn’t put profits before people and the capitalist market serves real human needs–that is, so long as they stop being capitalist) was so hesitant.
fiction: Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz; J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings; Colleen McCullough’s brilliant Masters of Rome series, especially Grass Crown and Caesar’s Women, and her Thorn Birds; Frank Herbert’s Dune series; the Father Brown stories of G.K. Chesterton; A.S. Byatt’s Possession; C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters
poems: Hopkins’ stiff but heartfelt Nondum; C.S. Lewis’ Joys that Sting and As the Ruin Falls; T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men; G.K. Chesterton’s A Ballade on Suicide; Wordsworth’s 3rd Lucy poem
literary authors: (Fiction) J.R.R. Tolkien, Colleen McCullough, Peter David, G.K. Chesterton, Frank Herbert; (Poetry and drama) Wordsworth, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Lord Tennyson, Shakespeare
non-fiction: everything by G.K. Chesterton, especially his Orthodoxy; Margaret Visser‘s The Geometry of Love; C. Warren Hollister’s classic Medieval Europe, in my opinion still the best introduction to Latin (“Medieval”) civilization; Karl Adam’s The Spirit of Catholicism (best read after Newman‘s Grammar and before his Development); Etienne Gilson’s Elements of Christian Philosophy (out of nostalgia, although Brian Davies’ introduction to Aquinas is better written); Edmund Burke’s biased but very incisive Reflections; the equally biased Western Tradition of Will Durrant
non-fiction authors: St. Thomas Aquinas (with Aristotle, Shankara, and Kant, the most brilliant philosopher who ever lived, but about as wonderfully exciting to read as a paper on quantum tunneling in cyclotrons), Epictetus, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Alexis de Tocqueville, Hillaire Belloc (at least with some of his works), and the fascinatingly doubtful Zechariah Sitchin
TV series and shows: Threshold (which I so wish they’d revive), The Closer, Firefly, Dresden Files, Jeopardy, Batman (both the 60’s version with Adam West and the Bruce Timm TAS)
movies: Casablanca (‘have watched it ten times on last count); Sabrina; Roman Holiday; Exorcist; Lethal Weapon I-IV; Sound of Music; Singing in the Rain; Total Recall; Top Secret; True Lies; The Abyss
visual artists: Bernini, El Greco, Raphael
“classical” music; composers: Gregorian and Baroque chorus; Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Handel
“modern” music; singers; songs: Gospel, Old Motown; Platters, Nat King Cole, Boyz II Men; Only You, Stardust, Great Pretender, More than Words, Buttercup, Ain’t No Sunshine, In the Still of the Night
city: Rome and Marseilles, with Marseilles being, however, a distant second
cuisine: Italian and Provencal–and I can’t decide which comes first…