Monday, August 21, 2017


How will the Bear behave during
the Eclipse? Bear will report on
Eclipses have strange effects on animals, as is well known.

The Bear's email box has been flooded with thousands of emails demanding to know where the Bear went, why can't they see the Bear, what's wrong with the Bear, and so forth.

Well, perhaps not thousands, but there have been more than one, after which Bear math gets pretty fuzzy.

The Bear will be the Bear, however Bearish that may be. There has been a bit of confusion about that, but it has been resolved.

Gingrrr. Just because.
There are few people who are in the position of making someone's fondest dream come true. (Such as Ginger Rogers circa 1930.) The Bear admires his publisher and values his friendship with them.

The excitement of seeing one's first novel in print as a weighty tome between two slick covers is unlike any other.

Also, it has come to Bear's attention that some Woodland Creatures have not purchased their copy of Judging Angels. Perhaps you are on the periphery of the Woodlands, the unemployed youth, or former arms dealers who have gone straight and have not yet found a job that makes use of your talents, and cannot afford the $29.99 price tag, or even the $9.99 Kindle version. So, the Bear is going to give some away.

That's right. FREE! All you have to do is submit in the COMMENT BOX what you like best about St. Corbinian's Bear's Ephemeris. (Please, let's not be slackers and say things like "the Bear, of course!")

Three lucky winners, chosen by the Bear in an exercise of his benevolent and unfathomable ursine will, shall receive an autographed, trade paperback copy of Judging Angels FREE, and the Bear will even throw in shipping. Winners will need to provide a physical address and any special instructions for the autograph in an email to with the subject line: CONTEST WINNER.

Perhaps, after the Bear has reestablished his reputation as the most prolific one-Bear third-tier Catholic blogger in history, some of his Woodland friends will see fit to reinstate their vital shipments of salmon.


  1. OK. I am totally going for this!

    What I like best about the blog, "St. Corbinian's Bear," is the extended metaphor which serves as--however counterintuitive this may sound--as a touchstone of sanity in an increasingly kaleidoscopic world.

    By creating for us "the Woodlands" and permitting us to self-identify as its "creatures," Tim Capps has effected in real time what the (in my opinion and the opinion of many) greatest novelist of modernity--namely, J. R. R. Tolkien--christened, in his essay "On Fairy Stories," ESCAPE. "I have claimed," writes Frodo's subcreator therein, "that Escape is one of me main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which (the word) 'Escape' is now so often used. . . . Escape is evidently as a rule very practical, and may even be heroic. . . . Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison walls?"

    For a grown man to style himself rhetorically as the pack animal of a holy hermit, then, is neither silly nor extraneous. The ESCAPE it provides could be categorized, even, as "heroic." The blog "St. Corbinian's Bear," unlike other orthodox and insightful outlets lacking in a comparable extended metaphor (namely, all of them) offers a milieu in which the reader might suddenly find himself in conversation with a Saint--in other words, a place far more "real" than the dreary imprisonment in our own fallen selves which is all, in the last analysis, that the author of Amoris Chapter 8 has to offer.

    To be a Woodland creature is to affirm many things that are being pointed out elsewhere (and several that aren't), and then some. It is to affirm the existence of the God who endowed us with imagination as well as intellect; who enjoins us to immerse ourselves in finally uncorrupted delight rather than mere rational correctness. And to be a very minor Woodland creature (as I am) is the greatest privilege of all, for here I can bask in the friendship of my betters without fear of being preyed upon by those whose agenda eclipses their apprehension of even the most obvious of truths.

    And so, dear Bear, I submit my Comment for Contest Consideration with the greatest possible degree of gratitude, hope, and respect. Gratitude for what you have done already; hope for where your blogs and novels are going to go from here; and respect for your willingness to employ literary devices proper to the Catholic cultural endeavor within the blogosphere itself.

    (Nota bene: saying that I like "the extended metaphor of the Bear best" is NOT the same thing as saying, "I like the Bear best," which as noted above is not going to get me anywhere for Contest purposes. If I meant "I like the Bear best," I would be mentioning things like his fur and his wit and his proficiency in riding unicycles. For the record, as a dyed-in-the-wool Pony Enthusiast, there are days on which I don't like the Bear, personally, very much at all! But with the Bergoglian threat looming on the horizon and reports of related wildfires breaking out everywhere, the ethics of the Woodlands demand that we all rise above petty private squabbling in the interest of the greater good.)

    1. Well, someone want to jump out to an early lead, didn't they? You obviously get what the Bear is up to, Justina. For dark night, I was fearful that I would have to choose between being the Bear and being a novelist. You can imagine what I picked.

  2. What I like best about St. Corbinian's Bear is the unique blend of dry humor, reverence for tradition, and skepticism of modernism expressed in an unassuming, non-condescending "just asking questions" manner. It's a combination that I think you will not find elsewhere in the Catholic blogosphere.

    1. Short and sweet. Too bad we don't allow anonymous posts.

  3. Fredericka VehteriAugust 21, 2017 at 6:13 PM

    Your blog dear Bear is like experiencing my first meeting in recovery. I recognized for the first time in many years the truth of what they were telling me. They were describing me, warts and all and I loved it! So it is that your view of our world captures me, warts and all. Thank you, thank God. Smile...

    1. Very perceptive. The Woodlands are above all a place of reality. What is more real than a magical Woodlands inhabited by talking beasts? Man can screw up quite a bit on survive through number of technology. Woodland Creatures do not that the luxury. Nature is pitiless.

      The ranger can talk all he wants about how the river is filled with salmon, based on temperatures at the spawning pools, extra rich nutrients, etc. But if the Bear says, "That's all very interesting in theory, but the Bear does not find any salmon." The ranger can argue from principles all day long, but in the end ht is a Ranger of reality, the Woodlands are a real place, with mouths to feed.

      Principles vs Evidence is the cleavage point in the West, Hit it ever so slightly and the world will split in half: those who stamp their little feet and say, "But it simply must be so, I say, it must! versus the ones who say, "Yes, I get all that, but the fact remains we're up to our asses in alligator your guidebook for a perfect journey dies not describe.

      Beasts must deal with reality, or "evidence."

      Men have the luxury of dealing with "constructs or "principles"

      The Bear may belabor this point, but it is the only one worthy arguing, yet is so difficult because principles do not make evidence go away. And yet it never really gets discussed.

      Please, prove to me the Church has never gone into conflict with herself about being the only means of salvation, or indiffrentism. A more flexible institution would have a way build in to change dogma. Unfortunately, idealists had bee in charge so long, the institution cannot flex and inch without showing cracks.

    2. My reply last week....

      The Rich Man;

      The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off..
      Yet you weep in gratitude..

      The Poor Man;

      The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off..
      You hide it in a locked vault and are blindfolded for life.

      The Bear and the Ranger,

  4. Is it your incisive insights? Or your saturnine satire? Those are definitely a draw, but I think it comes down to Ginger Rogers in the end.


    P.S. Have you ever reviewed The Major and the Minor?

    1. Not yet, although it is on Bear's list. Bear confesses to a preference for the RKO dance movies, although not all of them are exactly classics (e.g. Follow the Fleet). The last Gingrr movie he watched was "Heartbeat," and frankly, Gingrrr seemed to get her share of roles that required her to act far younger than she was. (Although she won her Oscar for Kitty Foyle playing a scene as a 15-year-old.) It was jut embarrassing in "Monkey Business" with Cary Grant. Ah Gingrrr, you were like a brilliant meteor flashing across the sky of the cultural consciousness, outshining even Fred, who was the better dancer. She will always be deservedly remembered as the supple dancer who acted through every number, and, by a few, as an industry workhorse who learned to stay out of most of the drama and gamely do her best in even bad movies.

    2. P.S. such an obvious appeal to the judge is going to remedy, I'm afraid.

    3. I looked up "remedy" in a legal dictionary, and I'm afraid my tortoise mind is much too slow to understand it. But the appeal was obviously intended to be obvious.

    4. No, just spell check madness. It may work for you,

  5. There is much to like about Bear's ephemeris but I'd have to say that my favorite part of it were the conversations between St. Corbinian and the bear. The saint's gentle way of imparting timeless wisdom to a hapless bear open to redemption was just charming and engaging.

    Besides that, I have a real affinity for bears, from stuffed facsimiles to real live every day bears captured on
    (not a video) live cams doing what brown bears do in the Alaskan summer of 2017. Who knows, one of these bears could be the next to encounter a saint on the way to some place important.

    Having said all that, I also appreciate the Bear's thought-provoking questions and lamentations about the current state in our Church, as he has a real gift for clarity, humor, and insight, qualities much valued by Sheep.

  6. Red squirrel here, and one thing I can't yet figure out is why Ginger Rogers when she was blonde. Yes she could dance, yes she could act, but she was blonde or brunette and about that there is no doubt. But I do not wish to provoke the Bear, especially not when I am trying to cajole a book out of him. Actually, I have the e-book and have not read it despite promising to. This summer has been a bit of a disappointment, and my reading has taken a decided hit. I let you down and have no right to sit here and beg for a hard copy simply because I prefer them, but I will of course.
    Why do I read the Bear? Well, you have such creative and personable posts that you are just incredibly darned likeable, pure and simple. You're smart as heck and have lots of interesting life experience to draw from, but you're human, or bear, and have some life traumas which you have shared here, and when combined with your pretty devastating wit, you make an appealing persona and even, an online and ursine friend. That is quite a talent and significant levels of personality. The traditionalist Catholic bent makes you a reliable source for opinion and even wisdom. Our church has blown up, gone bonkers, is in the hands of madmen, barbarians are at the gates, with a pope who thinks there are not yet enough of them, Catholics be damned, and in the midst of it, there is a bear who just may, if they all pester us too much, be able to rip their heads off.
    It's a nice thought, which only goes to show how weird these days are.
    If I was the Massachusetts Powerball winner, you'd get a big chunk to end your concerns about salmon once and for all.
    Alas, it was not me this time. Perhaps next!
    You're a good man and I know it. God bless you for all your sweetness and effort and this great blog.

    1. "Virginia McMath" was her original name. A young cousin (?) couldn't pronounce "Virginia," so the family began calling her "Ginger." So it had nothing to do with her hair color, at all!

      I think she had brown hair originally. At least the earliest pictures of her I've seen had her with brown hair. She really rocks those peroxide locks, though.


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