Category Archives: Art

Sunday Devotional: The Long Defeat

2 Timothy 3:1-13

But know this,
that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents,

unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving,
slanderers, without self-control, brutal,

despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power….
Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses,
so do these also resist the truth:
men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
but they will progress no further,
for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life,
purpose, faith, longsuffering,
love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions,
which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra –
what persecutions I endured.
And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus
will suffer persecution.
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse,
deceiving and being deceived.

How these words of St. Paul, written some 2,000 years ago, resonate in our times of ever-worsening corruption and depravity.

Six years ago, would we ever have imagined that we would live in a time when innocent human beings are not just slaughtered, but their body parts sold for profit. Would we ever have imagined that politicians (Obama, Hillary Clinton) would defend the sale as “ethical”? Would we….

The list is endless.

St. Paul’s words, no doubt, had inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s mournful expression, “the long defeat”.

Tolkien wrote in The Fellowship of the Ring, speaking as Elven queen Galadriel, referring to her husband Celeborn:

“He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted . . . and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.”

In a letter, Tolkien explained:

Actually I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’— though it contains (and in legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory. (Letters 255).

Tolkien’s “long defeat” should be understood as a doleful commentary on humanity as a collective, and “defeat” in the sense of countless men and women being obdurately evil, and so are lost to Christ’s salvific self-sacrifice on the cross.

The long defeat.

What an apt characterization of the times we live in and our seemingly fruitless struggle against the ever-rising darkness of the human soul.

Fr. Stephen Freeman, priest of the Orthdox Church in America and rector of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, observes:

History as a long defeat – I can think of nothing that is more anti-modern than this sentiment expressed by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a thought perfectly in line with the fathers and the whole of Classical Christian teaching. And it’s anti-modernism reveals much about the dominant heresy of our time.
We believe in progress – it is written into the DNA of the modern world. If things are bad, they’ll get better. . . . But Tolkien’s sentiment bears deeper examination. For not only does it reject the notion of progress, it embraces a narrative of the “long defeat.” . . . If history tells us anything, it is that this is a very honest, even prescient reading.

But Fr. Freeman reminds us:

But the Classical Christian read on human life contains the deepest hope – set precisely in the heart of the long defeat. . . . Tolkien notes that within the long defeat, there are “glimpses of final victory.” I would go further and say that the final victory already “tabernacles” among us. It hovers within and over our world, shaping it and forming it, even within its defeat . . . an End that was always foreseen and present within the Cross itself. And the Cross itself was present “from before the foundation of the world.”

I will be with you always

May the courage of St. Paul, and the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!


Dog and owlet are best friends

Meet Ingo and Poldi: The most precious and unlikeliest friends in the world!

Ingo and Poldi

Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career to photographing animals and wildlife.

The subjects of Brandt’s recent project were a highly unlikely pair of friends – a Belgian shepherd named Ingo and a year-old owlet named Poldi (short for Napoleon).

Brandt describes the relationship between Ingo and Poldi as a ‘protector-protected’ relationship: Ingo is a guardian for Poldi, who is described by Brandt as “doesn’t know how to live free”.

Poldi didn’t hatch until two days after his six brothers and sisters, and has always been very vulnerable due to his diminutive size. Ingo, on the other hand, comes from a family of strong and oftentimes ruthless police dogs.

But Ingo is very protective of the year-old owlet, and their bond is as strong off-camera as it appears in Tanja’s photographs.

Ingo and Poldi1Ingo and Poldi2Ingo and Poldi3Ingo and Poldi5Ingo and Poldi7Ingo and Poldi4Ingo and Poldi6Ingo and Poldi8

H/t FOTM’s maziel


A church of living trees

tree church

Barry Cox spent four years building a church with living trees on his 1.2 hectare property near Cambridge, on the North Island of New Zealand.

Cox owns a gardening company, Treelocations, which replants whole, live trees using enormous mechanized spades. Using his trademark Tree Spade, Cox transplanted a variety of mature trees, then carefully trained the tree branches, to create a structurally complex, one-of-a-kind tree church.

tree church3

Cox had spent several years of his youth on the back of a motorcycle, exploring Europe and America, and developed a deep appreciation for church architecture. Drawing on that passion, he decided he would try creating a church with living trees.

The tree expert then carefully selected from a wide variety of different trees for the church. Some have stone-colored trunks; others, with sparse foliage, ensure that the church will always be illuminated by sunlight.

tree church2

The trees used are:

  • Alnus Imperialis – Cut Leaf Alder  (Roof Canopy)
  • Leptospernum – Copper Sheen. (Walls)
  • Camelia Black Tie
  • Acer Globosum
  • Thuja Pyramidalis

Beginning in 2011, using mature living trees enabled Cox to complete his church (and the iron frame that supports it) in just four years. The tree church can seat 100 people and is set across three acres of beautiful gardens and also includes a labyrinth walk.

tree church1

Cox has a website called Tree Church where he says his Tree Church Gardens are available for public visits and private events.

The Gardens are now closed because it’s winter in New Zealand, but will be open from October 18, 2015 to August 5, 2016, Sundays and Tuesdays 10am – 4 pm. Admission is $10 per person.

H/t EarthPorm


New documentary exposes Hollywood man-boy pedophile ring

An Open Secret

Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media reports that An Open Secret, a new explosive documentary on Hollywood pedophiles opened on Friday night, July 3, 2015, at the Cinema Village at 22 East 12th Street in New York City. On July 17, the film will open in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

Directed by Amy Berg, An Open Secret exposes how pedophiles operate in Hollywood and cover up their crimes. Berg’s 2006 documentary on the Catholic Church’s cover-up of pedophilia/pederasty, Deliver Us from Evil, was nominated for an Oscar.

The Hollywood Reporter describes the film as “A sober look at…the sexual exploitation of teenage boys in the entertainment industry by the older men who can make or break their careers…. [W]ith any luck it will encourage other victims to speak up, and enlighten the parents of showbiz aspirants about the industry’s dangers.”

Several journalists are included in the film. One journalist said his story documenting the sexual crimes committed by top Hollywood figures was killed, that is, censored.

Even more shocking, director Berg said she could not find any company willing to distribute her film until Rocky Mountain Pictures, the distributor behind such ground-breaking conservative-oriented documentaries as Obama 2016, stepped up to make sure this important film gets released in various cities this summer. Vesuvio Entertainment is helping with distribution of the film.

The film is rated R, meaning those under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. It includes interviews with victims and identifies by name those who have been caught, prosecuted and convicted for sexual abuse.

The film identifies a pedophile ring led by a convicted sex offender named Marc Collins-Rector, who had ties to the rich and famous in Hollywood. Collins-Rector established an Internet-based TV company called Digital Entertainment Network (DEN).

Marc Collins-Rector

DEN’s first project, Chad’s World, was described by the Los Angeles Times as centering “on a 15-year-old from Michigan who questions his sexual orientation and ultimately flees his town’s intolerance to move in with a gay couple in a California mansion.” This and other questionable Digital Entertainment Network projects are discussed in the Berg film.

Digital Entainment Network’s investors reportedly included movie director Bryan Singer, David Geffen and Arianna Huffington’s homosexual ex-husband Michael Huffington.

Bryan Singer, David Geffen, Michael Huffington

David Geffen is the openly homosexual co-founder, with director Steven Spielberg, of DreamWorks Studios. In an interview with Vanity Fair, former Hollywood powerhouse Michael Ovitz identified Geffen as the demagogic leader of a shadowy cabal in Hollywood which Ovitz calls the Gay Mafia. (See “The Gay Mafia and America’s aggressive homosexual agenda“)

Bryan Singer is the openly bisexual director of the X-Men blockbusters who had been sued 3 times for sexual misconduct:

  1. In 1997, a 14-year-old extra accused Singer of asking him and other minors to film a shower scene in the nude for the film Apt Pupil. A lawsuit was filed but dismissed for insufficient evidence.
  2. In April 2014, Singer was accused in a civil lawsuit of having drugged and raped a minor — 17-year-old actor and model Michael Egan — in Hawaii and Los Angeles in the late 1990s. Four months later, Egan withdrew his lawsuit after Singer’s attorney presented evidence that neither Singer nor Egan were in Hawaii at the time.
  3. In May 2014, attorney Jeff Herman filed a lawsuit on behalf of an anonymous British man against Singer and producer Gary Goddard for sexually assaulting “John Doe No. 117″ when the latter was a minor while in London for the premiere of Superman Returns. 2 months later, the charge against Singer was dismissed, at the accuser’s request, but the case against Goddard remains active.

Bryan Singer with a Twink

According to The Daily Beast, Singer is infamous for his “Twink” pool parties, described by an attendee as wild nights of no clothes and lots of alcohol. Among homosexuals, the word “twink” describes a uniquely disposable kind of young gay man: Hairless, guileless, witless. The term’s namesake is Twinkie, a junk food containing shiny packaging, a sweet taste, and zero nutritional value. “Twinks” can be bussed into parties, thrown into pools, put into a tiny Speedo—or no Speedo at all—and ornamentally placed around the water’s edge like living, breathing, giggling statuary.


Birds nest in the strangest places

Have you ever seen a baby blue jay?

I had never, until this spring.

A couple of months ago, I discovered that the blue jays who frequent our garden had built a nest, of all places, on top of a ladder propped in a corner against our house.

Mommy blue jay patiently hatched her eggs. Two weeks ago, I took this picture of a fledgling, whom I named Samson, sitting in the nest.

blue jay nest Samson

Here are other strange places where some birds built their nests. (Source: BabaMail; h/t FOTM’s maziel)



Heroes of the Left, Heroes of the Right

Heroes of the Left:

Pajama Boy

Mattress Girl

Mattress Girl


Heroes of the Right:



The Write Stuff – Secret #2: Villains


In our last installment, we examined the first of nine secret storytelling elements that work like magic to hook your audience and all but guarantee a successful novel or movie.

That first element was Undeserved Misfortune. Our second element is closely related to the first and it is, drum roll please, the Villain. A properly developed villain will automatically create Undeserved Misfortune. Remember our example Undeserved Misfortune from the movie Ghost? Well, the multiple examples of Undeserved Misfortune from Ghost were created from a single source: the Villains. One of the villains actually murdered Patrick Swayze, and then the second villain deepened the evil by attempting to seduce Demi Moore and embezzle a large sum of money.

With a properly developed villain, it is impossible NOT to have Undeserved Misfortune.

Here’s a secret known to less than five people in the entire world: the villain is more important than the hero. Yes, it’s true. Remember that big budget Lone Ranger movie that flopped a couple of years ago? Sure, it was a lousy movie, but a lot of lousy movies become hits (as long as they contain these elements we are discussing).

The reason why The Lone Ranger movie flopped comes down to three primary reasons, and one of them is the poorly conceived villain. The Lone Ranger and Tonto are great heroes. Everyone knows them. But here’s a quick quiz: how many Lone Ranger villains can you name? I can’t think of any, can you?

Now how many Batman villains can you name? (Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, the Joker, etc.) How many Spiderman villains can you name? (Kingpin, Dr. Octopus, etc.) Heroes are made by their villains, not the other way around. The Lone Ranger does not contain any iconic villains and the villains in the movie were horribly drawn.

Think about it. Who is James Bond without Rosa Klebb, Oddjob, Goldfinger, Blofeld, and the others. Who’s Dorothy without the Wicked Witch? Who’s Sherlock Holmes without Moriarty or the Hound of the Baskervilles? Westerns are out of favor today, not because they’re out of style, but because dull-thinking leftists have made it taboo to show Indians as villains, despite the fact that many of them were. If the villain were brought back to the western, the people would come.

Before Uma Abedin and Valerie Jarrett, there was ... Rosa Klebb!

Before Uma Abedin and Valerie Jarrett, there was … Rosa Klebb!

Audiences love a great villain, whether in movies, books, sports (Sonny Liston, Muhammed Ali, Andre the Giant, the Yankees), or real life (Bonnie and Clyde, Dillinger, Noriega, Qhadafi, Bin Laden). Villains are so important when it comes to manipulating human emotion, that within minutes of every false flag terror event (Boston, Sandy Hook) or political hit (JFK, RFK), the media is crowing nonstop about the alleged villain! Have you ever wondered how the media has complete biographies and dossiers about these made-up villains before the crime scene has even been investigated? The spooks who prepare the bios for these patsies would make excellent Hollywood screenwriters. Heck, maybe they are Hollywood screenwriters.

Your villain has to be concrete, but he/she does not have to be a human. Your villain can be a shark (Jaws), the elements (Twister, A Perfect Storm), the woods (The Blair Witch Project), a computer (Hal from 2001), etc.

Your hero can even be a villain (The Godfather, Scarface), as long there’s an even worse villain for the audience to root against.

If you’re writing a mystery, the villain is often left hidden until the end of the story. If that’s the case, you’ll have to present secondary villains to create obstacles for the hero: the crusty police commissioner, the nosy reporter, the arrogant suspect who appears to be guilty, etc.

The tone of the villain has to suit the tone of your story. You can’t have a costumed super-villain in a family drama, nor a family-type villain in a superhero story.

Villains can fall into types. The Holy Fool is a villain used in James Bond and superhero type stories. These are characters that plot to take over the world, or pull a grand heist, like Goldfinger, setting off a nuke in Fort Knox.

The Arrogant Cad is a villain often found in romantic comedies and broad comedies. He can be the stuffy suitor for the heroine, or the conceited know-it-all types you see in Rodney Dangerfield type movies.

Hitchcock often used a sort of Genteel Villain, someone who was cultured, educated, and pleasant to the outside world, yet capable of great evil.

The Dumb Bully is a villain seen in teen comedies, such as Biff in Back to the Future.

The better your villain, the better your hero will look when they defeat the villain. It’s also a good idea to bring your villain into the story as early as possible. Your Villain will create Undeserved Misfortune for one of your main characters, thus hooking your audience into the story. They will be unable to stop reading until they see the villain defeated and the Undeserved Misfortune removed or resolved.

How are the villains in your novel?