Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kate Middleton


Click here
to see a replay of the big event!

Kate Middleton will soon be married to Prince William of England.  She is currently 3 degrees from Pope John Paul II, but in two days, she will be 2 degrees away.

Prince William (top) with his mother, Princess Diana
and brother, Prince Harry

Princess Diana met the Holy Father several times during her reign

Prince William's mother was married by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury,
the officiant at Kate and William's wedding,
Pope John Paul II

Kate is now two degrees from John Paul II!

Here is part of Queen Elizabeth's wedding in November of 1947.

And here is the Queen Mum's wedding in 1923.  It's silent film.  Enjoy!

A word about the abdication, divorce, and the Anglicans.  
"I do believe you'll be queen over Churchill's dead body.
This is my fondest wish, Wallis."  
Edward VIII abdicated the throne because of his relationship with Wallis Simpson, a woman who had previous marriages.  The traditional story is that, as a divorcee, Ms Simpson was unsuitable to be queen of England.  This was not the actual reason for absolutely and entirely rejecting her.  Ms Simpson was a Nazi!  She was friends with Adolf Hitler, a Eugenist, and general white supremacist.  In the 1930s, many countries toyed with the ideas which became Naziism.  Indeed, the concepts of Eugenics, superiority of the white race, were born in The United States.  England and America could have easily turned to the right.  Instead, we elected FDR, and England forced the abdication of Edward VIII and had King George VI consecrated as their king.

The abdication happened when the then Princess Elizabeth was barely 10 years old.  It must have made quite an impression upon her.  The government serves at the pleasure of the king and queen, but the king and queen ultimately serve at the pleasure of their people.  It is Elizabeth's integrity, love of country, and love of personal and societal freedom, that have kept the monarchy strong during her reign.  While I don't understand the need for the royal family, I respect the British institution and understand that Britain's need for the royal family goes very deep and bears much fruit.  I wish them well and pray earnestly that their church will reconcile with their Roman brothers and sisters soon.

I am just itching to read this book.  It is a highly acclaimed novel imagining what the world would have been like if Charles Linberg had defeated FDR in 1938.  I heard it recommended on NPR and read a review in The New York Times Book Review Section. Check it out!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Laurel and Hardy

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
3 Degrees
Third Degree, Stan Laurel and Fourth Degree (through Stan), Oliver Hardy were comedy stars of the 20s, 30s and 40s.  They were lifelong friends and wonderful comedians.

Here is an interview with third degree, Stan Laurel shortly after the death of Oliver Hardy.

Second Degree, Jerry Lewis was a protege and admirer of Mr. Laurel.

First degree, Michael Jackson performed on Jerry's telethon in 1974.

Michael Jackson, Mikail Gorbachev, and Pope John Paul II were honored at the 2002 World Awards.  Here  is Mikail Gorbachev meeting Pope John Paul II in December of 1989.  Mr. Gorbachev was baptized into the Russian Orthodox faith as an infant, but claims to be an atheist to this day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

GoRemy, Habib Abdul Habib

Upper left corners make him happy.
One of my students made me aware of this comedy sensation today.  I laughed so hard.  I don't know his real name, but I'll go with his youtube name and character name.  I hope you enjoy the videos.

4 Degrees

GoRemy was interviewed by third degree, Anderson Cooper recently.

Chris Kattan,
Iraqi American
A word about Arab Americans
Ralph Nader,
Lebanese American
I am one.  My family is mostly French Canadian and arrived in this land in the 17th Century.  There is some Syrian in my family as well.  I am not alone.  There are millions of Americans who trace ancestry to the Middle East.  AND MANY OF US ARE CHRISTIANS!!!!!

  • MaronitesMelkites, Chaldeans, Copts, Antiochians, and dozens of other Christian churches which are descended from the 12 apostles, have churches and congregations in the United States.
  • Jesus' first miracle happened in Lebanon at Cana!
  • Christians were first called "Christian" in Antioch, present-day Syria
Cana in Lebanon was Jesus' first miracle

To love Jesus and the ancient church is to love people from the Middle East!

Here are some Arab Americans of note.  
Jamie Farr

Marlo and Danny Thomas

John Sununu
Christa McAuliffe

Steve Jobs

But honestly, how can you have this in your family tree and not poke fun?

Here is a documentary that you may find edifying. It is an hour long, work appropriate, and heart opening.
Watch more free documentaries

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don Knotts

You may remember Don Knotts as the loveable Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.  But he did many other gigs.  In the 70s and 80s he made many guest appearances on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Matlock, and scores of others.

Don's legacy is long and far-reaching.  He has given millions of people laughter and smiles.  Read here how he inspired a teenage boy recovering from a spinal injury.

In this clip, see Don plugging tax preparation services and appearing on that Saturday's episode of Fantasy Island.  Note also second degree, Warren Beaty.  This is a blast from the past, so get your bellbottoms, Tab, and hairspray ready!
Don Knotts appeared on the first season of The Love Boat in the episode, Who killed Maxwell Thorn?  So was Barbi Benton, a lover of fifth degree, Hugh Heffner.  Find full episodes of Love Boat here.

3 Degrees

I was unable to find footage of third degree, Don Knotts on The Love Boat, but here he is in a wonderful clip from The Ghost and Mister Chicken.  
Second degree, Fred Grandy was a core cast member of The Love Boat.  He had a career change later in life to become a member of the United States Congress for four terms, most of them during the presidency of first degree presidents Bill Clinton, H.W. Bush, and W. Bush.  President Clinton is mentioned in the Gabrielle Giffords, Jimmy McMillan, Asia Cottom, and George Stephanopoulos posts. President George W. Bush was mentioned in the King Tut #1 post, the Glenn McDuffie post, and the Beyonce Knowles post.

Fred Grandy is a centrist Republican.  If you care to hear a good interview with him, here it is.  Enjoy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eric Cartman

Mr. Garrison, Mr. Hat, and Eric Cartman
Eric Cartman is a nine-year-old, lovable scamp in the charming town of South Park, Colorado.  He was first created as a character in a Christmas message for friends of his creators.  This is that message.  Enjoy this Christmas card on the opposite side of the year!

Mr. Garrison is the Third Grade teacher at South Park Elementary School, Eric Cartman's alma mater.  It appears as though Mr. Garrison does NOT have a Catholic world-view.  Perhaps Mr. Garrison believes in Intelligent Design pseudo-scientific paradigm.  What do you think?

Mr. Garrison seems to have been patterned after William Lloyd Garrison, the great abolishionist from New Bedford, Massachusetts we first met in the Susan B. Anthony post.  
Mr. Garrison's grandson, Oswald Garrison Villard,  was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  The NAACP has had many notable degrees to Pope John Paul II, among them W.E.B.DuBois (6 Degrees) and Martin Luther King.
Martin Luther King marched with Archbishop Iakovos by his side.  
Archbishop Iakovos doing what was right.  He got a lot of flack from his flock, but he lead
them anyway.

Archbishop Iakovos is mortor in the corner stone for Orthodox-Roman reunification.  
Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Iakovos

Friday, April 15, 2011

John Belushi

John and Gilda Radner 
Third Degree: John Belushi
John Belushi was an original member of the cast of Saturday Night Live.  Here he is with Jane Curtin, Dan Akroyd, Lorraine Newman, Bill Murry, and Gilda Radner in "Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger."

John Belushi partied with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams at the Marmont Hotel the night he died.  Here is Williams saluting DeNiro with an AFI lifetime achievement award.

After Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro left John Belushi, his dealer shot Belushi up that night with a speedball (cocaine and heroine,) he died a little while afterward.

Second Degree: Kevin Bacon
Here's another classic from 1978, Animal House.  Here John has a scene with second degree, Kevin Bacon.

First Degrees, Bill Clinton and Bono were in the 2002 documentary, "Elvis Lives" with Kevin Bacon. This also gets Cher, Mary J. Blige, Eric Clapton, John Corbett, and Jon Bon Jovi closer to Pope John Paul II!

Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sasha Baron Cohen

Welcome a month of fools!  Let's start with Borat!

Degree: Sasha Baron Cohen
What month of tricksters would be complete without a mention of Borat, the Kazakstani traveler character who starred in the movie which bears his name.  Here's a clip from the movie.

Fourth Degree: Jason Isaacs
Sasha Baron Cohen went to the Haberdashers' Aske's Boy's School as did Jason Isaacs and Mark Kermode.  You may know Mr. Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

Third Degree: Harry Potter
Mr. Isaacs has made appearances in Lucius Malfoy's body, take a look at this outtake from Chamber of Secrets.

Second Degree: Graham Norton
Jason and Graham are long time friends.  Here is Jason on Graham's show discussing his role as Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

First Degree: Roberto Benigni
As mentioned in a previous post, Roberto is one degree from Pope John Paul II.  Here is a video from that original post.  Check it out and take a look at the original post to see clips from Life is Beautiful.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bill Maher

2 Degrees

Bill Maher and an actor

Second Degree, Bill Maher has made a good living poking fun of well-meaning, misguided Protestants who take the bible as scientific fact.  Are the subjects of his segments the fools, or is it Maher himself.  Take a look at this video (which I could not embed, sorry,) and see what happens when Maher has an intellectual Christian on, in this case, an astronomer priest from the Vatican.

First Degree, Father George Coyne is the Neil Degrasse Tyson of the Vatican.  Though retired, he still makes astronomy understandable to us.  What's more important, he helps us figure out where science leaves off and faith comes into play.  In this culture that demands a choice between faith and science, Father George Coyne helps us choose truth instead.

Pope John Paul II examines a model of the Large Binocular Telescope with its designer, Dr.Roger Angel of the University of Arizona, and Fr. George Coyne S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory, in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1987.

Here is Father Robert Barron giving a Catholic perspective on the bible as science.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong and Gene Kelly

2 Degrees
Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney
in "Mandy, the Minstrel Number" from
White Christmas

Danny Kay to Rosemary Clooney to John Paul II

See the post on Bing Crosby to find Rosemary's connection to Pope John Paul II.  Rosemary Clooney was connected to Danny Kaye through the film White Christmas.  Here's one of the numbers from that film.  Rosemary Clooney is seated by the window on the left as your watch this clip.

Danny gives an extra degree to Louis Armstrong and Gene Kelley who are thus...

 3 degrees from Pope John Paul II.
Click to see "Make 'em laugh," the most awesome routine in the history of musicals on film.  Danny Kaye gets Gene Kelly and Louis Armstrong a degree closer to Pope John Paul II!  We're not only in the month of fools, but the month of April showers.  Why not sing in the rain?  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gene Wilder

Fourth Degree, Gene Wilder is seen here as Willy Wonka.
Third Degree, Gilda Radner, late wife of Gene Wilder

Second Degree: Barbara Walters

First Degrees:
Fidel Castro, also featured on the post that bears his name.

Boris Yeltzin

Michael Jackson is connected to JPII in the Kevin Bacon post.  

Barbara Walters interviewed scores of second-degreers.  I'm sure we'll see Ms Walters mentioned in future posts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen 
It's April, the month of fools.  Foolishness can manifest itself in many ways.  Most of the posts this month will be about comedians, but some will be about people who behave in a foolish manner.  As I write this, Charlie Sheen and his antics have become the laughing stock of the United States.  Jimmy Fallon did a remarkably good impression of Charlie for the mock cologne, "Winning."  Take a look.
Note the eyes, disheveled look, and extensive aging
in a relatively short time period.  All signs of substance
To see an extended interview with Charlie on The Today Show, click here.

Sheen's alcoholism and drug abuse is tragic, but sadly, not uncommon.  Charlie insists that he is in control of his substance use, but his life and looks don't agree.  Charlie is blind to the reality of his life, this makes him a tragic fool indeed.

Two sins plague Americans, sloth and gluttony.  I myself struggle furiously with both of these sins, but they manifest themselves in a lack of exercise and overeating.  When we laugh at Charlie, we are avoiding looking at our own sins.

Charlie was born Carlos Estevez.  He has a famous brother, Emilio Estevez, and his father, Martin Sheen are famous actors too.   Martin took the surname, "Sheen" out of love for the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  Martin Sheen is a devout Catholic and asks for prayer for his son.
Carol O'Conner lost his son to a drug overdose
Several years ago, Martin Sheen turned to his friend, Carol O'Conner, to help Charlie get off of drugs.  Carol, who lost his own son to drug addiction, was instrumental in that episode of recovery for Charlie.  

Charlie Sheen's life is far from "winning" at the moment.  He's lost his job, his wives, his children, and now the respect of the general public.  I will endeavor to refrain from poking fun of this guy.  He thinks he is a king, but is a fool of the most tragic sort.  I hope you will do the same.

This blogger makes a pretty compelling case for Charlie being under the influence of The Evil One.  What do you think?

A word about Heroine

infected track marks on a heroine user
When you think of heroine, think "Winning!!!," and Charlie Sheen's gaunt and crazed expression.  That sense of invincibility and godlike grandeur is what heroine is known for.  It is why it has the name, "heroine."  When you do this drug, you feel like a superhero.  This and all illegal drugs are not regulated for potency and purity.  It is easy to overdose on them with ONE DOSE.

If you are offered this or any other drug (that is not prescribed and is "recreational"), think of Charlie Sheen.  Do you want to be a "winner" too?

Charlie is very right about one thing.  Rehab is notoriously ineffective for longterm success against drug addiction.  Just don't start!