Friday, September 25, 2015

Tell Me Is Something Eluding You Sunshine?

So ya
Thought ya
Might like to go to the show.
To feel the warm glow of confusion
That space cadet glow.
Tell me is something eluding you sunshine?
Is this not what you expected to see?
If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes
You'll just have to claw your way through this disguise.

-- Pink Floyd, The Wall

Even so, you won't find the Bear saying:

Are there any trads in the theater tonight?
Get them up against the wall!
There's one in the spotlight, he don't look right!
Get him up against the wall!
That one's a Sede!
And he's SSPX!
I feel like wringing all of their necks!
He's burning incense,
Says the Church is not!
If I had my way,
I'd have all of you shot!

No, all are welcome and appreciated. The Bear's history shows that.

The woodlands are a lot less populated now that many believe the Bear is no longer a reliable source for anti-Francis, quasi-traditionalist sentiment. About half of his audience disappeared overnight when the Bear announced he was going to do his best to keep people in the plain ol' Roman Catholic Church whose current Pope we don't care too much for.

So no more crypto-schismatic Bear: he's all in, baby.

Have you ever been at a party and some drunk is running down his absent wife? You might wonder if that guy's marriage was okay (the Allegory of the Wicked Bear). It wouldn't be loyal and you would think: "This guy is heading for a divorce." If he were a friend, you would worry about him.

The Bear's not going to be that guy.

Now, the funny thing is, the actual articles haven't changed that much. They try harder to be fair to the Pope, rather than just snark, but he is not above criticism. Michael Voris would not approve.

The change is one of tone, and the ever-present question: might this scandalize a new Catholic, or cause a precious woodland creature to jump out of the Ark of Salvation? And it doesn't matter where they get off to; if it is not the plain ol' Roman Catholic Church whose current Pope we don't care too much for, it isn't the Ark of Salvation.

Bloggin' be messin' with people's souls. That's serious.

The Bear used to be angry. He'd read a bunch of blogs of a certain type, and cleverly write more of the same. Then he would be discontented the rest of the day. Now he still keeps himself informed, and tries to write a good blog that's "aequum et libratum." And he's discovering -- how shall he put this? -- the vigorous response provoked by trying to be fair to Pope Francis and promote the plain ol' Roman Catholic Church.

It has been an eye opener.

So the Bear wishes to thank all of his readers who have loyally stayed with the him. It hurts to see familiar screen names gone. (That sounds so ironic, and, er, pathetic.) He honestly believes that if you liked him before, you're still going to like him. The Bear is confident and satisfied going forward. Things may seem off-kilter for a week or two, but the blog will regain its stride.

50 comments:

  1. I always wondered how many people are we talking about? There is maybe a dozen or so commenters but what's the readership to commenter ratio?

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    1. A very small segment comment. But even given that, this blog developed a healthy and intelligent set of commenters for it's relatively small size. Interestingly, a whole new set ha sprung up now. But I can gauge my readership by page views, and it is significantly lower. Not that really affects me except in the old, negative "keeping score" way.

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  2. Not to sound like a broken record, but I see no Francis sedes. I just don't. Francis deserves maximum ridicule and snark, not because we are flighty but because we are not.

    You've never been a crypto-schismatic. Don't even hint or imply it. That just adds to the confusion.

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    1. When the Church is weakened and it's open season on the Pope and everything else we disagree with, and the complaints never end, it is counterintuitive to me that some people won't be tempted to leave the Church in one fashion or another. I don't want to contribute to that temptation; in fact, I want to counter it, as I have all along, but inconsistency. And I'm not the only blogger who has worried about this. As for "crypto-schismatic," it's deliberately provocative, but I suspect I think it is more accurate than you do. I think people can have a "schismatic mind-set" in the Church, or in the SSPX. I'll probably be writing on that one day soon. Get rid of some more readership. O.o

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  3. Y'know, we're all kind of freaking out these days. People who get it will get it; people determined not to get it won't get it. Don't waste time worrying which one you are.

    But dude, the "bear" schtick has lost its charm. Pick a name if you have to be anonymous.

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    1. I don't see the Bear going anywhere anytime soon. You're in the minority on that one.

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    2. Not in a mean spirit...maybe you should consider changing your name to "Pooh Bear"? Now a 'real' bear sounds more like this. ;-)


      http://voxcantor.blogspot.com/2015/09/selfish-selfie-presbyters-arrogant.html

      In all seriousness, I have enjoyed many of your postings over that past year or so. You (all of us) must follow our Lord's promptings on our consciences during this great upheaval. God bless to you and your family!

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  4. No one can nor should fault you for following your conscience. If your readers leave, they were readers for all the wrong reasons and needed to leave. The ones who stay, will stay because of the meat that is under the gravy, even though you have sworn off gravy.

    Carry on...the hunters have left you in Peace.

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  5. Fair and balanced is a good thing if the truth is what you seek.

    Long live the Bear!!

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    1. Always the truth. What' funny is that it' as if I hadn't even posted anything since "SCHISM!" Those who have actually followed the blog since then found all sorts of information and fair criticism in prose and even agitprop. Michael Voris would have me burned at the stake! It's just not reflexive Francis-is-horrible-so-let's-wring-our-hands-and-make-fun-of-him. Justified by the supposed "emergency" in a Church that has NEVER seen an emergency before! There are lots of way to become less Catholic. The progressives have found one way. Thank you for your support, Michael,

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  6. Does this mean you are going to go back to saying "Shine your little Catholic hearts out"?

    :-)

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    1. "SHINE YOUR LITTLE CATHOLIC HEART OUT!"

      Thanks for reminding me of that one, Jane :-)

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  7. Dear Bear, I accept your basic point about balance. Maybe some of the source of the heated reaction to your recent change was your use of the term crypto-schismatic. That has been used as an insult against anyone with any trad sympathy.

    Just as some simple creatures might be repelled by a harsh anti-papal tone, some might have reacted without reflection upon your argument. Not everyone is a lawyer or a professor.

    Let their first hot reaction pass. You're doing good work here. Many of the readers you lost may return.

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    1. Good to hear from you. Thank you. The Bear roared and the woodlands are stirred up. Once they see he's not turning into Mark Shea, they'll settle down, just as you say.

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  8. Ark of Salvation! I know it is hard to stay in the boat sometimes, but mutiny never ends well. Persevere Bear. I thank God for you and making me think.

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  9. This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

    Still the best blog around. Keep the faith!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lucy. Bears don't like change either, but this is more of a slight adjustment than change. There will still be pungent smell of the Bear mingling with the even more pungent smell of the sheep. Dear Reinhard will be making another appearance.

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  10. I appreciate your struggle, mostly because it mirrors mine. I will not leave the Church bc I love It and feel at home here (like I have never felt anywhere else) but I do not like the confusion and discord being sewn by cardinals who Pope Francis has allowed the room and the clout to do it. The more frustrated and confused I am should mean the more I should pray,fast, do penance. I like the Easter...not so much the Cross and we are a people of both. Right now it is more the Cross. Hang in there.

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    1. Good thoughts. Where can we go? We must act like Catholics even if our Cardinals (some of them) don't, even if the Pope seems weak and confused.

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  11. Michael Voris would approve. As a material papolatrist, he refuses to criticize the pope (per "policy") on the very same issues that he rails against any other prelate. Selective hypocrisy.

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    1. Are you going to make me take you through every critical thing I've said about Pope Francis since "SCHISM!"? HIs problem in that he thinks the gospel was written for governments? You know, the Bear lets people say anything they want, but he just has to shake his head at "Michael Voris would approve." I criticize the Pope. What is different is that I no longer do so thoughtlessly, and try to be fair, educational and half-way respectful. Because I'm just a plain ol' Catholic and he's the Pope and that's the way we do things around here.

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    2. You were never thoughtless. Nor can I recall much if any mocking. Your announced trajectory puts you into the Voris camp on the pope topic. A new spiritual pacifism. Your bigger test is coming once the synod or its follow up approve of sin.

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  12. The real question that no one has addressed is: how perfect did those Pink Floyd lyrics fit! No Floyd fans in the Bear's audience?

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    1. I know. It hurts when a blogger's awesome cultural reference is overlooked. I liked it!

      As for the general topic. Who cares whether readers stay or go? I know you hope to generate some modest income, but the primary goal is to be true to yourself and the faith. I understand the struggle.

      I agree we must refrain from "thoughtless" and disrespectful criticism. I always walk the line, though some more progressives will always take issue with that. I am glad they comment. They do keep me honest and in check of my motives and tone.

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    2. I have always wondered why I haven't attracted a liberal or two. I guess it's because I don't do politics.

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    3. P.S. as for "modest income," don't let the shop fool you. It's mainly just fun for me and ursophiles. I set my CafePress markup to "low" to make things as affordable as possible. That means 10%. I've sold $400 worth of Bear swag. I get a whole $40. But if it's fun for everybody and helps promote the brand, that's fine. I got rid of the other advertising (except Catholic Supply) because it just wasn't paying off for the annoyance factor. I keep Catholic Supply because it might be useful to people, not because it's going to make me any money,

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  13. Dear Bear,

    Your love of souls shines through on this blog. I do think you may be a little neurotic and borderline scrupulous, but so be it.

    Our passion for our Faith is expressed in many tantalising flavours. There's spicy, ghost pepper salsa Mundabor, mellow and full bodied Cabernet Harvesting the Fruit, delicious nouveau cuisine edamame and lettuce wraps Hillary White, quirky maple and bacon donuts Mahounds Paradise, standing rib roast Rorate Caeli, etc.

    God Bless Us Everyone!

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    1. Neurotic? LOL neurotic was just a gateway drug for the Bear. Do you have any idea what being a Bear among men does to you over 1300 years?

      Now you can't make your very clever list (comments like that are what makes the blog fun for the Bear) and leave out SCB! What flavor is SCB? The Bear is thinking ground horse meat served as an overpriced and undercooked premium burger. But I'm sure yours will be better :-)

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    2. Bear, with the recent change in thrust, I'm still trying to figure you out gastronomically. Ever hear of the BRAT diet?--bread, rice, applesauce, toast. It's for those recovering from intestinal inflammation. Your inflammation over what is going on in the Church is being soothed. So perhaps you are a BRAT diet and regular doses will calm me down too.

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    3. I remember using the BRAT diet with the cubs. But I'm not sure what it smells like. We used it for diarrhea. It just doesn't sound as good as the others ;-) Maybe it will turn into something better.

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    4. Our kids went on BRAT too as needed. I see no reason why not for me. I like bananas and rice--separately. toast too. Some drs added yogurt so it's BRATY diet also.

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  14. I'm still here, and I don't mind the new direction. But I delete most of my comments before posting, mostly on the grounds of excessive length and/or general obnoxiousness. (I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm Terry Carroll's sockpuppet.) Like yesterday's politics post, to which I contributed a few hundred words before closing the tab.

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    1. LOL, well I hope that's therapeutic for you. And I have been the beneficiary of Terry Carroll's attentions. You need to write novelette-length emails directly to me.

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  15. For a Baby Boomer, my familiarity with the Pink Floyd songbook is shockingly deficient. I do, however, possess one Pink Floyd LP: Atom Heart Mother. My fondness for that album makes all the more painful to me that unforgivable...thing...known as "The Wall".

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    1. See, I don't even have Atom Heart Mother. The Wall is actually brilliant. It has an arc, and themes, characters wounded by childhood trauma, and some fear, if not hatred, of women (which the Bear does not endorse). And giant puppets. If only the Bear could incorporate giant puppets into his blog!

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    2. I don't have AHM. I love Dark SIde of course. Yes, The Wall is a full story through song. It is a boy's struggle with losing his father in war, alienated, alone, yes, anger/hatred of women. Totally shut off from mankind. He is sentenced to tear down the wall. It was a great maudlin album to play start to finish in the dark alone in my troubled youth/early adult years. For I was quite the introvert.

      Oh, and, The Wall is just one example of how the experience of WW2 STILL to THIS DAY remains significant to the Brits. Today, there are still TV shows, comedies, dramas, set in the WW2 era or soon after, or leading up to. (Even Downton Abbey will address the early rise of Hitler I think. It's come close the last season.) Many have shown up on PBS. As a general matter, it is amazing the dominance of various period shows on Brit TV. We just don't go there much in the US. I wish we would more. Well, you've probably seen me post on that in the past year at my blog.

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    3. Britain's homeland was directly threatened, and not only by rocket attacks. Operation Sealion was planned to invade. Rationing, spending nights in bomb shelters, and having loved ones in combat must have been scarring. (Roger Waters' father was killed at Anzio, in Italy, I believe, a military fiasco.)

      I don't listen to The Wall much (and don't forget the fantastic movie). When I do, I'm generally in a psychologically interesting place. I thought of people coming here expecting Pink, and instead finding this strange new performer weeding out this group or that. Of course, that may be perception (to which I admittedly contributed) but it is not true. I'm just trying to be more careful in not sowing despair or anger. Kind of like your blog.

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    4. Yes. The Brit psyche has been horribly scarred by those frightening dangerous times. I haven't seen enough tv from the continent to know whether these themes dominate there as well. I imagine the laws against Nazism,etc, in Germany probably inhibit any therapeutic airing of the horrors of those days.

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    5. My English husband (born in '55) does indeed live with the profound impact of WWII on Britain. It has not receded much into the past for him.

      Pete, I share your enthusiasm for English period television dramas; they were a revelation to us in the U.S. when they began to be shown on a weekly basis over here, around 1971. That actually constituted one early step in the ongoing process of the American public becoming more globally aware.

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    6. I am very sorry to hear of your husband's suffering. Yep we do love Brit shows. I am into Foyle's war--WW2+ era. Each episode is nearly movie length. On Netflix. Very wholesome and interesting show.

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    7. Reading The Proud Tower by Barbara Tuchmann (The Guns of August). It's about an earlier period, pre WWI, but fascinating and entertaining. Figures in WWII were also active in the period leading up to WWI, e.g. Winston Churchill. England was at the peak of its empire and influence. Things would never be the same after WWI. WWII brought about a new world order in which Britain had no role. The Falklands War was a rather pathetic epilogue to Britain's imperial history. Anyway, you wedding be sorry to read The Proud Tower. More about personalities such as Lord Salisbury, and less of Guns' railway timetables and troop mobilizations.

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  16. I suspect the Bear will appreciate this: http://www.onepeterfive.com/screwtape-sage-advice-for-the-synod/
    Enjoy with a fish.

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    1. Excellent! Posted, with stringer credit to you.

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  17. Bear, I too felt a little slimy, ie. my spirit was not at rest after I posted my comment to your post on Voris. It is what I feel--but the way in which "things" can be presented are also the point. After watching most of of the Pope's coverage, which was my way of really seeing, listening and assessing him, my take away for myself is he is the Vicar of Christ--I may not like certain leanings, and they have made me afraid much from what he has not said on certain topics, more that what he does say---but being a cradle Catholic in my mind he is the POPE.
    Having said that, I too who have contributed to radio broadcasts that were reaching a good number of Catholics (pre-Francis) would say that those who now are putting themselves out there to "report" on him, do need to do so very carefully. I am full agreement we do not want to make new Catholics or others think WOW-maybe this is not the place for me.
    Yet, we too, (IMHO) must report. I can be very snarky, and sarcastic (I now make my living writing for conservative political websites) and so my "style" must be adjusted when it comes to the Pope.
    Also having watched him this weekend, I have come away with a few things. This man loves to show mercy and compassion to individuals he encounters, he is not faking that, and I am jaded usually having to be in the political world everyday. Now for his statements that drive us crazy (or non statements) what I will await is the synod. But this writer says he was influenced greatly from his culture in Argentina, from the experiences there, from the revolutions and the bloodshed. Many know there were a group of Priests down there that John Paul II had to crack down on-- called liberation theology that many of the Priests adopted. Those who want to know more about that-that may have shaped some the Pope's political leanings just google "liberation theology".
    The Pope, when he becomes Pope, takes a new name. Partly because with this office special charisms are bestowed-thus I will trust God's plan pray for the Pope, and pray his new charisms will guide him-possible if he does lean in ways on doctrine etc, he may shock us-- just like when everyone thought Pope Paul VI would OK contraception it shocked the world when he came out with Humanae Vitae. It caused near riots in Washington DC from the sect of leftists (way way left) that thought contraception was a done deal.
    So I understand your stance about the way we shall report and deal with the Pope...
    I was generally moved by the Pope at times during this trip. I will await and pray for him as he requested, and will report the truth about the synod, whatever the outcome. My tone and my approach will be different than those I give politicians-- to respect the office he holds. I will trust God, that He is in charge and for those that may be thinking to jump ship over the truth said in charity and kindness He will sort out. Not saying anything feels wrong, pretending like nothing is happening feels so wrong. For me. I know we all have our roles to play. I have to do what I am called to do --after much prayer and consulting with Church teachings as far as the Pope is concerned.
    Sorry this is so long, Bear. You just hit the nail on the head as far as what I have been going through the last couple of days....so thanks for this post, it helped me.

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    1. Well said. I am surprised on one commented on the video of the Pope struggling up the stairs to his airplane, nearly falling so many times. It was so poignant. How could one not be moved to see your Holy Father struggle like that? And when I searched YouTube for a video, the number one result was the one where someone had added laugh track and farting noises. (Sorry to be crude, but we have a duty to communicate.) How do we feel about that? Is that different in kind or only degree of the millions of snarks about the Pope? The Bear would say that is at the right side of the dial, with dispassionate, intelligent and well-informed analysis at the other end. I used to justify the snakiness by saying this: "The internet is a medium where you've got a few seconds to grab people's attention and deliver your message. Agitprop and a clever bit of snark are the best ways. Our age's medium justifies the tactics." And it's true. But the Bear, as all know now, is dialing his methods toward the other direction out of respect for his Church and Holy Father, and out of respect to his brothers and sisters who may be more easily disturbed. I'm glad you're where you're at, Rebecca.

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