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Oh, why not.  How about some Chieftains?

Did I ever tell ye that I was in a college production of John Synge’s Playboy of the Western World?  I played Jimmy Farrell, one of the farmers who loiters about in a semi-sodden state, watching the rise, fall and rise of Christy Mahon.  (I also became the de facto expert on early 20th Century Irish peasant slang for the production, having picked up so much of it from my assiduous rereadings of Somerville and Ross’s The Irish R.M.)

I mention this mostly because the set for that particular production was done up in almost exactly the same set of drab browns as the stage in the above Youtube clip.

UPDATE: Heh.  Want a little more of the Irish spirit?  Here’s The Commitments: The Fookin’ Short Version for ye:

Not a’tall SFW.

de-sales-devout-life A few weeks back, in anticipation of Lent, that Peerless Padre to the Blogsphere Father M recommended that I pick up the Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales.

Now this may be old hat for some of you, but reading him is a brand new experience for me.  St. Francis was Bishop of Geneva in the early 17th Century and this book is essentially a “how to” guide for living “in this world but not of it” set out in a series of advice letters to a young lady named Philothea.   The tone of the book is not at all crabby or damning or isolationist, but gentle and cheerful.  In it, Francis recommends a general pattern of showing the world modesty, restraint and sunniness, all the time keeping in mind internally the things that really matter.  (It strikes me, from my past experience, by the way, that this would be an apt reading choice regardless of which side of the Tiber you inhabit.)  It also strikes me as remarkable just how applicable the good Bishop’s advice is in this day and age, despite the fact that it was penned 400 years ago.

Whether by design or coincidence, I couldn’t quite say, but I am also currently reading The Screwtape Letters.  I suppose at some level I felt that, lest I get to comfortable and complacent with St. Francis’ generally optimistic tone, it’s good to have ol’ Lewis around to scare the divil out of me as well.   Although I have not focused on it specifically, part of my braim is aware of numerous instances where Francis and Lewis are tackling the same issue from different angles – carrot and stick, if you like.  It might make an interesting exercise to sit down some time and do a genuine side-by-side comparison.

This morning as I was shaving, the seven year old came bounding into my bathroom with eyes ablaze and a huge grin on her face and said, “Daddy! Guess what?  Mommy says she’s fallen for Patrick Dempsey!”

“Oh, yes?” I replied, “Well you can tell Mommy that if that’s the case, I intend to call upon Mr. Dempsey with a horsewhip and demand both an explanation and that he get out of town instanter.”

“Ha ha ha!” exclaimed the gel, who then proceeded to beetle back down to the breakfast room and make her report.

I went back to my shaving with just one question in my mind:  Who the heck is Patrick Dempsey?

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