Monday, January 30, 2006

Gilbert has arrived...

...the rest of the day is on hold so I can read it (just taking these few moments, I've lost my momentum. My daughter asked to read it and how can I refuse her? Should our house get two copies so we can read and comment simultaneously?!).
Briefly, it's late, it's the Christmas issue, but they knew it would be late and reason that this is still the Christmas season (which it really is, for a few more day--the magazine is in just by the skin of its teeth, for all I know [wink*Furor]) however, I already see a great Editorial, a good number of Chesterton essays, and a mediocre (Spellchecker wants me to put "motocar" in I'm not getting any help with the spelling of it, sorry!) Flying Stars.

Have you read it yet? What was the most important thing you read?


  1. The lead editorial and GKC's own comments on Christmas. One or the other, and I would personally prefer the editorial, should be rerun ahead of the next Christmas season.
    Too much of the recent Christian (?) huffiness over "Happy Holidays" strikes me as a way of rationalizing a consumerism that would make Chesterton gag. It's as though it's okay for us to go out and max out the credit cards on needless, and as often as not tasteless or gaudy, junque so long as we can get that name "Christ" in there some way. Not that there's anything wrong with the exchange of a few gifts; but even the magi limited themselves to one each.

  2. Bob,
    You are so right.
    I read something this past Christmas season where a retailer admitted that even though they could not allow their clerks to say "Merry Christmas" at the check out, they found that their customers were happier if the background music was actually Christmas hymns. No words, just the sweet melodies of Silent Night, O Holy Night, Away in the Manger, We Three Kings, etc., music they won't even play on the radio as being too "Christian."
    I'm shooting for this: I challenge Gilbert to be back to an on-time schedule by this summer. That way, the next Christmas issue will actually be out in our mailboxes on December 1.

  3. Ok, these are by far the most frustrating posts possible. When you did this before, I had to wait 4 days to get my copy. Maybe because I'm on the West Coast or in a rural area or something.

  4. I didn't get the last copy yet:(!!!

  5. Sorry! I need a button over on the left that says press when your Gilbert arrives, and after I get a bunch, I'll know we can chat about it! I used to think *I* was the last person to get my Gilbert, and I'm sorry to find out I'm not....
    So, anyway, we'll keep talking about journalism for a few more days, to give you all a chance to get your copies in our ever faithful, always timely government sponsored mail program.

  6. I got my box of freebies last Thursday, but my subscription copy hasn't arrived yet. My box of freebies arrives about two weeks after we go to press, and my subscription copy arrives about a week after that. Go figure.

    Considering how late we were, I thought the quote on the cover about how Christmas editions of magazines often come too early to be very appropriate. Not that I'm excusing us at all. But, all told, I am very pleased at how quick we got that issue finished, despite the tardiness. We have had unbelievable delays with the last three issues, but this issue got done in record time. You will all be happy to know -- especially you, Nancy -- that we are putting in double shifts to get back on schedule.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, Nancy. Flying Stars is doing fine. I myself am very happy with Ben Hatke's comic (page 44), which I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet. (Hatke also did the excellent cover.) Everyone drop by his web page ( and tell him how much you love his work in GM.

  7. I DID neglect to mention Hatke's great two page spread, but only in an effort to be considerate of those whose copy had not yet arrived. I didn't want anyone banging on their computers in frustration that they couldn't yet see the comic.
    Another great touch is the Christmas quiz. For those of you who haven't got your copy yet: the quiz is a neat surprise. And I got a low score. That's what a Marquette U. education does for ya! 'Course, I've been studying at Chesteron U. now for quite some time, i really have NO excuse!

  8. Am eagerly awaiting the latest issue, Mrs. B:)

    Geez... 'mediocre'?

    'Motocar' would have made as much sense!

    Should I write a letter of complaint to the editor?


    Can't wait!

  9. I really should subscribe one of these days. Such damnable laziness. :/

  10. Furor: subcription comes with an ACS membership, that way you get Gilbert AND 20% off all ACS books, great deal. Ask for it for your next birthday...

  11. Plus if you don't subscribe, we will maim you.

  12. Chestertonian: you need one of those :-) thingies after you say such things. These poor folks won't know you're joking. The rich ones won't know it either.

  13. By the way, the most alarming piece was the Christmas music favorites. Any overseas veteran - military, Peace Corps, missionary, you name it - can understand the presence of "White Christmas," even if the Old Home Town is Miami Beach; but "Silver Bells?" Have one in fifty of us roasted chestnuts on an open fire?

    Interesting that such standards as "Winter Wonderland", "Let It Snow" and "Sleigh Ride" are heard only during the Christmas season, though winter drags on through February, into March and sometimes even April. Let's face it. Sliding on ice, gale force northwesterlies and the heating bills of late simply do not make for a musical mindset. "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" indeed ... so long as it is doing so elsewhere.

    Finally, one piece that has something to do with Christmas; but whose principal lyrics are "Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum," a phrase which no one over the age of ten can repeat more than three times without sounding like an idiot. The piece is bearable only in those few arrangements - often just instrumental - where someone thinks to include a real drummer playing real drums (which never go "pa", "rum" or "pum."). Like much opera, the meaning comes across best when there is no singing at all.

  14. Who said anyting about joking?

    Hello Bobw. The headline said something along the lines of Christmas favorites, meaning in terms of sales, popularity. It wasn't necessarily a list of the best Christmas music. :)

    There Nancy: an emoticon, nice and fresh out of the oven. Happy? :-P

  15. Timing all in the timing. I just received a 1970 LP of Larry Norman called "Upon This Rock" in the mail the same day I open up my magazine and find Dale's interview of Larry! Shocked totally shocked that Larry Norman knows Chesterton and more than that knows him well. I have been studying and collecting post Vatican II through the mid to late 70's Jesus Music, and now have a new take on Larry's music. For those of you with LP playing potential much enjoyment can be had as well as challenge listening to this music. The early music especially exhibits a sincere faith that constantly is reaching out to others. The Catholic music exploded in that era with seemingly every Priest, Nun, and Monk who possessed a guitar making music to God and to the social condition they found in the late 60's. If you enjoy rock music or folk there too is much to be found. I think Chesterton would have liked the chaotic Jesus Movement because it at least in it's beginnings saw a return to a book of Acts brand of Christianity with the sharing of goods, love, and a destiny of living life honoring their Lord expecting nothing again. Like Chesterton a childlike selflessness was seen where truth and love meant more than convention, style, and the opinions of others.
    Ken S.

  16. St. Colum, that is amazing! I'd love to use your post as a letter to GM if I may. All I need is your name and city, state. Please e-mail them to me at


    (whoa! another emoticon!) ;)

  17. Mine didn't quite make it in under the Candlemas wire, but I still say the timing was perfect. December, we recall, is a month of penance (not to mention Urgent Tyrannies); Gilbert fits much better in festive-time, even in Ordinary Days of Green.


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