Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Fünf
To hear Terry read, pay a mouse-click to Jakob Fugger, the righteous at your right.  Fugger was the main lender to the Archbishop of Mainz whose agents were authorized to collect indulgences.

For the printed version, check the bushes by the Lahn river.

The Prattler made it to another week.

Friday, January 30, 2009


PHILOSOPHY, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

2009 Update:  The hymnal of mythology, offspring of science and a minotaur. Faith's sporophyte.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


PERSUASION, n.  A species of hypnotism in which the oral suggestion takes the hindering form of argument or appeal.  In the legislative body of the future, votes will be won, as now, by hypnotic suugestion, but there will be no darkening of counsel and impeding of the public business by debate; opposition will be stared into assent.

2009 Update: A prior form of discourse in which the musing of a dignitary was tested against the fantasies of commoners (a class composed of opponents, dupes and/or friends.)  With the ascension of new media, there remain only dignitaries, bouncing whimsy against a wall.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shoe prints in the sand.

St. Paul put away his childish things.
St. Barack, he did the same.
Two great models, I agree 
But I like my video game.

I may not act like my full years-
I don't lie, pout or swindle-
But if fire's to glean America clean
I stand ready to help kindle.

RESOLVED, adj. Extrapolated.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


PERIPATETIC, adj. Walking about. Relating to the philosophy of Aristotle, who, while expounding it, moved from place to place in order to avoid his pupil's objections. A needless precaution — they knew no more of the matter than he.

2009 Update: Itinerant, as a laborer, preacher or fraud; rather than static, as an employer, believer or victim.

Monday, January 26, 2009


PUDDING, n. A form of nutrient which is "very fillin' at the pticeprice."

2009 Update: A confection of congressional consistency.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Vier
To hear my father read, kneel before Albrecht von Brandenburg, to your right.  Note there's about a minute of silence at the end of the recording.  Both Dad and Albrecht require indulgences.

To read the story,  stand for Philip I of Hessen.

The Prattler is back, too.

Friday, January 23, 2009


This "excommunication" is a word
In speech ecclesiastical oft heard,
And means the damning, with bell, book and candle,
Some sinner whose opinions are a scandal —
A rite permitting Satan to enslave him
Forever, and forbidding Christ to save him.
—Gat Huckle
2009 Update: The fate of saints.  The hope of a man on a date.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


EXCESS, n. In morals, an indulgence that enforces by appropriate penalties the law of moderation.
Hail, high Excess — especially in wine,
To thee in worship do I bend the knee
Who preach abstemiousness unto me —
My skull thy pulpit, as my paunch thy shrine.
Precept on precept, aye, and line on line,
Could ne'er persuade so sweetly to agree
With reason as thy touch, exact and free,
Upon my forehead and along my spine.
At thy command eschewing pleasure's cup,
With the hot grape I warm no more my wit;
When on thy stool of penitence I sit
I'm quite converted, for I can't get up.
Ungrateful he who afterward would falter
To make new sacrifices at thine altar!
2009 Update:  The sins for which we lack time or resources.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Up Many Roads

Some saw a savior to redeem from religion
Some saw a new skin on redemption.
Some saw olive leaves in the beak of a pigeon
Some saw a demon (it's just fair to mention.)

But let each one laugh that used to grouse,
Through all the hype, what I see:
There's a White Sox fan in the White House
And that's glory enough for me.

INAUGURAL, n. A particular day noted for bringing change as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


EXECUTIVE, n. An officer of the Government, whose duty it is to enforce the wishes of the legislative power until such time as the judicial department shall be pleased to pronounce them invalid and of no effect. Following is an extract from an old book entitled, The Lunarian Astonished — Pfeiffer & Co., Boston, 1803:
 LUNARIAN: Then when your Congress has passed a law it goes directly to the Supreme Court in order that it may at once be known whether it is constitutional?

TERRESTRIAN: O no; it does not require the approval of the Supreme Court until having perhaps been enforced for many years somebody objects to its operation against himself — I mean his client. The President, if he approves it, begins to execute it at once.

LUNARIAN: Ah, the executive power is a part of the legislative. Do your policemen also have to approve the local ordinances that they enforce?

TERRESTRIAN: Not yet — at least not in their character of constables. Generally speaking, though, all laws require the approval of those whom they are intended to restrain.

LUNARIAN: I see. The death warrant is not valid until signed by the murderer.

TERRESTRIAN: My friend, you put it too strongly; we are not so consistent.

LUNARIAN: But this system of maintaining an expensive judicial machinery to pass upon the validity of laws only after they have long been executed, and then only when brought before the court by some private person — does it not cause great confusion?


LUNARIAN: Why then should not your laws, previously to being executed, be validated, not by the signature of your President, but by that of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

TERRESTRIAN: There is no precedent for any such course.

LUNARIAN: Precedent. What is that?

TERRESTRIAN: It has been defined by five hundred lawyers in three volumes each. So how can any one know?
2009 Update: A functionary charged with fabricating the first draft of corporate illusions and believing them last.

Welcome to the presidency, Brother Obama. A pleasant retirement, Brer. Bush.

Monday, January 19, 2009


EQUAL, adj. As bad as something else.

2009 Update: Biased. Unfair.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Drei
Come to the Brauhaus to hear TLP tell the story. As with Monika, pay attention to the pronunciation  (in case we do a civil war epic next.)

To read the story, come inside where it's slightly brighter.

Friday, January 16, 2009


LOSS, n. Privation of that which we had, or had not. Thus, in the latter sense, it is said of a defeated candidate that he "lost his election"; and of that eminent man, the poet Gilder, that he has "lost his mind." It is in the former and more legitimate sense, that the word is used in the famous epitaph:
Here Huntington's ashes long have lain
Whose loss is our eternal gain,
For while he exercised all his powers
Whatever he gained, the loss was ours.
2009 Update: In banking and industry, a warrant for surplus revenue.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


LITERALLY, adv.  Figuratively, as: "The pond was literally full of fish";  "The ground was literally alive with snakes," etc.

2009 Update: In a manner mutually indulgent between a metaphor and a hyperbolist.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Extraordinary Times

A juggler danced with flashing steel
And cut up his assistant
An accident, sincere and real,
"I told her to keep distant"
The audience helped hide his crime
Because ours is such a risky time.

A builder of some lofty homes
Built some towers out of straw
And capped each one with glassy domes
In contradiction of the law.
In times like these, no one pretends
There's wisdom in the common sense.

When jobs are lacking, money's tight
Comfort lacks and a cold wind braces
Or evil men lurk in the night,
Folly fills the empty spaces.
For even lean days have their uses,
And produce extra excuses.

STIMULUS, n. The independent inspiration of an old habit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


LADY, n.  A vulgarian's name for a woman. A Lieutenant-Governor of California and Warden of the State Prison once reported the number under his care as "931 males and 27 ladies."

2009 Update:  An elegant and deferential virago.

Monday, January 12, 2009


LODGER, n. A less popular name for the Second Person of that delectable newspaper Trinity, the Roomer, the Bedder, and the Mealer.

2009 Update: The child of privilege in misfortune.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Zwei
Elizabeth's Church and Marburg are to the right. Click on the photo to hear the story.

To the left, the remaining wall of St. Elizabeth of Hungary's hospital.  Click on the photo to read the story.

Friday, January 09, 2009


MIND, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with. From the Latin mens, a fact unknown to that honest shoe-seller, who, observing that his learned competitor over the way had displayed the motto "Mens conscia recti," emblazoned his own front with the words "Men's, women's and children's conscia recti."

2008 Update: The principal evidence for the existence of the soul.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


MAMMON, n. The god of the world's leading religion. The chief temple is in the holy city of New York.
He swore that all other religions were gammon,
And wore out his knees in the worship of Mammon.
—Jared Oopf
 2009 Update:  The false god of earthly wealth and a true object of earthly worship.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


There are times I'm stricken cheerful
And it helps to get an earful
Of something somewhat right and reasoned
That nears to blasphemy or treason.

Is it not what we most abhor
Inside ourselves that we adore
When life and times begin to bore
Or make us giddy, even more?

EQUILIBRIUM, n. The natural state of chaos.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


MOUSQUETAIRE, n. A long glove covering a part of the arm. Worn in New Jersey. But "mousquetaire" is a might poor way to spell musketeer.

2009 Update: A renaissance French soldier with his sword on his hip and a firearm across his back, threatening the enemy.

Monday, January 05, 2009


MILLENNIUM, n. The period of a thousand years when the lid is to be screwed down, with all reformers on the under side.

2009 Update:  A daily occurrence.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Eins
To the right, a tower at the Wittenburg Church, with the description "A Mighty Fortress."  Click on it to hear Minka begin the story.  Pay attention to the pronunciation.

To the left, a statue of Martin Luther with the explanation "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise so help me, God."  Click it to read the first part of the new story.

Friday, January 02, 2009


EMOTION, n.  A prostrating disease caused by a determination of the heart to the head. It is sometimes accompanied by a copious discharge of hydrated chloride of sodium from the eyes.

2009 Update: The heart's distraction of the liver's ambition.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


EXTINCTION, n. The raw material out of which theology created the future state.

2009 Update: Reform.

Happy New Year, friends and, of course, rabbit rabbit.