[*] It's a slow day, apparently ...

... because I find myself re-reading Vatican II documents and waiting for the Armstrong Gang to find its footing in its own arguments.

One of the interesting parts of Armstrong's salvo from this morning (he stayed up until 4:30 AM revising it -- which seems to me to be a little obsessive, although I'll hand it to him that he has only 2 typos) is his account of what triggered the recent pleasantries. He points us at PP's blog comments and discourses thus:
I'll expand this paper if Frank issues a reply. His words will be in green.

Holst's the Planets was the first piece of classical music that ever made sense to me. Oddly enough, I was introduced to it by a Franciscan friar who was the encyclopedic horsepower behind the classical music show we produced at my college radio station. Good stuff.

Dave said...

Yeah, it's fabulous; one of my favorite classical pieces. I played Mars in my high school band (trombone). Good to agree on something for a change!

Dave said...

[dave = Dave Armstrong]

PP: am I supposed to say something nice to Armstrong now, or should I just pretend that he didn't say anything to avoid making your blog the site of unpleasantries?
That's a WFW cut-and-paste from the comments log, right? No problem. I said what I said to PP, and of course that means that because I wasn't speaking directly to DA in a humble and contrite (let's not even say "affable", because that is impossible) manner, I was hurling insults at Armstrong.

Don't believe me? Let's look:
That's right, Frank (aka centuri0n). Heaven forbid that we ever talked like two normal, civilized human beings, even on something as uncontroversial as classical music. That would put you out, wouldn't it?
Actually, it would not have put me out, and honestly I didn't have much else to say about the matter. It seems, however, that one of us wanted to make sure the other one didn't miss who was saying what. Dude: I'm not the one who sometimes goes by "dave" with no profile available on Blogger and then has to come back with, "oh by the way, it's me who has never said a nice word about you."

Rhetorically, we have to ask Armstrong, "And you were hoping for flowers and a nice bottle of chiante for giving Holst the thumbs-up?" When has he ever, in the history of our acquaintance, responded positively to anything I have said to him? When? Even when I offered to make a flat-out apology for the wrong I have done to him (which I did make), there was nothing on his side to indicate that any civil exchange was possible.

Thus, for me to say, "PP: am I supposed to say something nice to Armstrong now, or should I just pretend that he didn't say anything to avoid making your blog the site of unpleasantries?" may bare passive-aggressive antagonism, but its meaning is born out in his follow-up. If I had said nothing, one would hope nothing would have followed. Unfortunately, I had the audacity to say that saying anything would render unpleasantries.
So, feeling the terrifying discomfort of such a prospect, you opt for your usual obnoxious cant (discussion of Holst as - remarkably enough - a pretext for inevitable "unpleasantries"). You take a good (or at least harmless) thing and immediately make it a dividing point. Or maybe I am somehow a dishonest scoundrel for liking The Planets?
Actually, that wasn't my point at all. My point was that saying anything to Armstrong would have ended in unpleasantries because it doesn't matter what I say to him. There are no exchanges on record between us ending in anything but DA ranting like Tom Cruise (HT: Daniel) because I am such a malcontent.
Yet you and others of your general belief-system wonder why I would ever want to cease trying to dialogue (DIALOGUE, not merely talk, as presently) with anti-Catholics.
Notice something subtle here: it is not merely about me but about me and "others of [my] general belief-system", which is, of course, anti-Catholicism. If I snark DA, I am the example which proves the rule. If DA flies off the handle because I said, in effect, "nothing good will come of me saying anything nice to DA", (and that is what I said -- the choices were "say something nice" or "say nothing") and DA stays up until Oh-dark-Hundred hammering out a (now get this:) 4,879-word reproachment to me, he's a clean sheet -- in fact, he's the wronged party.
Do you think that if you (and those like you) and I can't even talk pleasantly as two pagans or heathens could and would, about MUSIC, that we could ever constructively discuss theology?
The reality is, as I said in the post which lit DA's fuse, there is nothing I can say to him that will not end in unpleasantries. Nothing. The words don't exist; the sentence is unwritable in any language. If I said to him that Jn 11:35 said, "Jesus wept," I would expect a 4-part rebuttal of the controversial and subversive nature of my remarks.
Of course the answer is no, and I know this not just abstractly, but as the result of some 150 or more attempts at doing so, over 15 years. YOU may think that is cowardice. In fact, it is simply common sense and wise stewardship of the time that God has given me.
OK, THAT was the actually-interesting part of DA's post because you have to keep something in mind: my 4-point 319-word response to him (you saw it here at PP's blog) didn't say any of that stuff. What I said to the Motor City Apologist is that (1) ct is a troll and a repudiate whatever that person said, (2) I didn't even ponder the implications of the poster named "dave" until "dave" made sure we all knew who he was, (3) his use of the word "anti-catholic" is uncalled-for and the basis of my continuing disdain for him, and (4) he's a class-5 wind storm looking for a reason to touch down.

The worst part about this situation is that I have just hammered out about 1000 words (give or take) on this subject, and if Hurricane Armstrong is true to form, we can expect about 10,000 words (think about that a second: 10,000 words is almost 20 pages, single-spaced) back scolding me for having the audacity to reply to him.