A couple of recent random samplings from the e-mail bag. First up is Robert from Michigan:
Many of the blogs appearing at Fraters Libertas recently have been outstanding. Two of yours were particularly so.
What are the odds that this particular e-mail would have been selected for posting?
The first dealing with the tournament of novels made me think of the NBA conspiracy that tries to ensure that the Lakers and an upper east coast team are always in the finals. Maybe, they're on the money. Looking at the novels remaining, I have to ask, "Was nothing good written after 1950?" A Canticle for Leibowitz and Catch 22 should be there. They were two of many I had to read in the modern novel class I took in 1966. As my friend Willy says, "Everybody knows that these tournament and playoffs are fixed by some Jewish and Italian gangsters in New York." Obviously, some must be literary agents.
The final round of The Tournament of Novels is playing out right now:
And then there were two.
The match-up we’ve seen coming/lamenting/dreading has finally arrived.
Austen vs. Tolkien. Mr. Darcy vs. Gandalf. Elizabeth Bennet vs. Bilbo Baggins.
Many people (including me) have questioned how The Hobbit made it to the final round. Does it really deserve to be in the final round? (The answer is no.) And while I don’t want to influence anyone’s vote, I think you Tolkien fanboys should keep in mind that if Pride and Prejudice loses there is going to be a riot. Just saying.
Your other commentary dealing with Twin Cities negativity was priceless. Twins, Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves, Gophers -- you really do have it tough. Take heart that Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota are in the NCAA Hockey regionals. North Dakota? Well, it's like Minnesota except it has a nicer climate. In any case, if you job ever takes you to another town, know that your current depression will adapt to Cleveland, Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle to name a few.
Your colleague, the Nihilist in Golf Pants, had a good rant on college sports, graduation rates and the NCAA. Obviously, the man is a Notre Dame fan. I grew up in a Irish and Catholic household, so I, too, loved ND. But, once I learned to read, write and practice oral hygiene, I had to stop. The Golden Domers must be so proud for graduating their black athletes and awarding an honorary degree to a black abortion supporter. Oh, don't forget to put the white kid on the scissors lift.
Good luck and expect warmer weather.
Hard to harbor such expectations today when we're being blanketed with a fresh layer of snow. This may be winter's last gasp, Battle of the Bulge type counteroffensive, but that doesn't make its sting any less bitter.
Next we have Matthew from somewhere local:
Just a quick note. I thought your ranking of Smithwick's a bit low from what I would relish in this beer, but I have never bought it in bottles; always on tap. Speaking of which, Keagan's will have Surly on tap soon from what the owner has told me. And that is the only place where I drink Smithwick's though not in a while because they have really done a good job of getting some fine domestic taps.
I did mention in my review that Smithwick's is usually much better on tap. But I gotta review 'em as I drink 'em and until Glen Lake Wine & Spirits starts providing kegs for my taste testing, that drinking will be limited to bottles and cans.
I think Vox Day is wrong. I do not know of the policy of the Catholic church letting in open homosexuals into the priesthood. In fact I knew of some very intelligent men who were denied that sacrament for what might have revealed that propensity. (conjecture on my part) Well I have not been involved with the church for quite some time but that seemed to be the church's stand unless things have changed in recent years.
I think one point to be gleamed is that Priests are under a spot light as in some cases they should. I guess what is missing is how do these number compare with the general male population and other denominations.
While the Church's official policy on homosexual priests never changed, there definitely was a loosening of standards in the sixties and seventies, particularly at some of the American seminaries. While the Vatican did not necessarily condone this, they also didn't do enough to prevent it and so along with the American leadership in the Church bear some culpability for the abuses that followed.
UPDATE-- Robert also passed on this video celebrating the glories of pure Michigan: