Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

There comes a time in the depths of each Winter when I must take recourse to Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy to remind me that there is warmth and light on the other side of this cold darkness.

I think that time is very nearly at hand. You can watch the whole thing online here at

Anne Ross' "Pagan Celtic Britain" (Thank the Gods for Big Fat Books!)

Here is a very brief excerpt from Anne Ross' Pagan Celtic Britain (which I am reading now - but I've only made it through the first chapter, which is still almost 100 pages):
We cannot accept the the view that, with the coming of Christians, paganism died. In Britain, as in Ireland, the old faiths, the old remedies, and the old names spelling comfort and protection must have continued to be resorted to long after the spreading of the message of the one God, and this can be demonstrated, amongst other things, by the penitentials which refer to dark practices, and the castigations of the militant saints denouncing the pagan pursuits of their sometimes unwilling adherents. But there would be no reason to end with the establishment of the Christian faith either, for even in the twentieth century in the Celtic countries, echoes of the old pagan world can be detected and beliefs, furtive and uneasy, but nevertheless strong, as well as oral tradition of an entertainment nature, persist among the people who derive more than their linguistic traditions from the barbarian past.
[p. 28]
And here are a few reviews found scattered about teh internets (some with accompanying excerpts):

At Celticscholar's blog from July, 2009
Everyone who studies Celtic beliefs knows that many aspects of pre-Roman and pre-Christian beliefs remain shrouded in mystery. Ann Ross in this comprehensive book is trying to convince us, the readers, that neither the Roman invasion of Britain nor the coming of Christianity eliminated pagan religious practice....

The book is a great reference when it comes to what evidence we have of the Celtic religion, and a good starting point for more research. The kind of book that you can refer to from time to time to find evidence of sacred animals and what kind of cults can be found in Britain. A good reference book to have.
Another very positive review, this one by Andrea S. Garret at the website.

A 1996 review by Ellen Evert Hopman at
Pagan Celtic Britain is one the foundation stones of modern Druid scholarship and anyone aspiring to the title of Druid should own a copy. The book's greatest value is the solid archaeological evidence Dr. Ross provides to support her statements.
1999 review by J. Craig Melia at the Druid Order of WhiteOak website.
Originally published in 1967, Pagan Celtic Britain is one of the most important studies on the subject, despite the tendancy in some circles of viewing the work as out-dated.

Geert Wilders in his own words, in English

Bruce Bawer, an American born literary critic, author, translator and former columnist for The Advocate, has posted a 30 minute long interview of Geert Wilders at the Human Rights Service website. The video is also available at the website, and also at Geert Wilders' own blog. Wilders does most of the talking, and it's all in English.

Bruce Bawer is probably best known as the author of A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society. If you are unfamiliar with Bawer, click here to go to the bio on his website. Below is an excerpt from that:
We live in a time when many people feel obliged to affix ideological labels to the names of writers. Over the years, I've seen just about every possible label from across the political spectrum attached to my name. In fact I've always considered myself a centrist or classical liberal and I've always been a registered Democrat, though for a time in the 1980s I usually didn’t protest when others labeled me a "neo-conservative." At the time, my understanding of this term was that it identified me as a social liberal or libertarian, a cultural humanist, a believer in aesthetic and literary values, and a strong adherent of democracy, fervently opposed to Communism as well as to any other brand of tyranny at either end of the political spectrum. When after the fall of Communism the neoconservative movement, robbed of its major antagonist, began to align itself more explicitly with tyrants of the right and to make homosexuals its new #1 enemy, I felt obliged to sever some of my professional connections, a process that coincided roughly with the gestation, writing, and publication of A Place at the Table (in which, among much else, I record my enthusiastic vote for Bill Clinton in 1992).