Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why did the name Michael become popular in the 1940's and 50's

A newspaperman says that names are chosen by the upper class as distinctive and filter down. True maybe and perhaps related with a twist here. I was looking at a list of famous people with the name Michael. Mickey Spillane, born 1918, is included. I believe he is part of the answer, but his first book didn't come out until 1947. He was born Frank Morrison Spillane and chose the pen name Mickey. Mickey Mouse probably played a role, Mickey being a diminutive of Michael; he emerged in the 20's, the timing for an influence is good, and there had been, earlier, Michael Collins, in a way the real father of the Irish Republic, and Michael Sparks an American boxer, 1901-1981, and by the way, welcome aboard Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen who changed his name to Michael Todd and married Elizabeth Taylor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Gospel today, the Transfiguration, is one that I have always found challenging. Fr. Postell, S.J. once asked the assembled students when Jesus realized he was God. The Jesuits were founded by a wounded Spanish soldier and, of all religious, they seem to be set off on long range patrol in pursuit of truth with confidence that they can find their way back. He referred to a passage in Mark in which Jesus said he was going to Jerusalem and implied he might be killed. He told this to Peter who objected to his going. I assume this passage may recapitulate a dream Peter had along the way. Perhaps it was a dream of someone else. Regardless, the fact that the vision includes Moses and Elijah shows how embedded the Apostles were in the Jewish tradition and how important it was for the regulation of their identity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The sadness of the Japanese tragedy struck me today in an article 'Yen Climbs to a Record Against Dollar*.' The yen got to a low of 76.32 Yen for a dollar on Wednesday. The previous high was within 0.25 of 80 yen per dollar. In other words, the Yen was more dear in dollars than it had been since WWII. It took more dollars to buy them. This suggests that the Japanese were selling their dollar assets in a time of crisis to buy things at home; this brought home to me their troubles and struggles.

*Wall Street Journal, page C1 March 17, 2011.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I showed up at St. Jerome's a little early Sunday and they had a librarian's cart of paperbacks in the vestibule. I looked at Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers (Penguin Classics).
We saw him and he had neither comeliness nor beauty; his appearance was mean and inferior to that of other men. He was familiar with hard labor and the lash...,
p.20, was comforting and a new insight.