All posts by bradbirzer

By day, I'm a father of seven and husband of one. By night, I'm an author, a biographer, and a prog rocker. Interests: Rush, progressive rock, cultural criticisms, the Rocky Mountains, individual liberty, history, hiking, and science fiction.

John William Corrington on Gnosticism and Modern Thought | The Literary Lawyer: A Forum for the Legal and Literary Communities

Corrington sees Gnosticism in the scientism of the modern era. If metaxy represents the proper understanding of the place of man and the divine on earth, the Second Reality, which the Gnostic chooses over metaxy, is a distorted teleological worldview. Corrington submits that more would be known about modern Gnostic tendencies in the form of ideology if there were not a breakdown of the disciplines into such compartments as history, science, political science, theology, psychology, and so on.
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Full Bleed Vol. 3: Heavy Rotation by IDW Publishing — Kickstarter

FULL BLEED is like Rolling Stone, the old Comics Journals, and an art book had a baby. A PRINT-ONLY 200-page hardcover “magazine,” curated and edited by IDW Publishing’s Dirk Wood and Ted Adams. By merging the best in comics, fiction, non-fiction, deep dive interviews, opinion, history, think-pieces and more, FULL BLEED is a reading experience like no other, and a beautiful addition to any bookshelf. Looking through an international lens, but filtered through the unique perspective of the IDW:PDX satellite office in Portland Oregon, FULL BLEED tackles all aspects of the creative culture, and beyond — comics, music, film, tv, fine art, photography, design, politics and more. FULL BLEED seeks total diversity: diversity in content, diversity in creator and contributor, diversity in genre. Every page turned reveals a surprise.
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Given that ROLLING STONE was a horrible rag from its beginning, I’m not fond of the description of FULL BLEED as its love child, but such is life. Regardless, I love this magazine. The first two issues were fantastic–each works of art, in and of themselves, covering the full gamut of comic culture. Treat yourself to vols. 3 and 4–you won’t be disappointed. I was Kickstarter No. 3 and rather proud of it.

Solzhenitsyn 1918-2018: A Centenary Celebration ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In March 1953, having served his sentence, Solzhenitsyn suffered the further torment of being diagnosed with what was believed to be terminal cancer. Faced with such suffering and the imminent prospect of death, he made a final embrace of Christianity, becoming a convert to Russian Orthodoxy, a decision which marked the most important pivotal point in his life. If he had died, he would have become one of those unrecognized millions of heroes of whom later generations would know nothing, another forgotten victim of twentieth century tyranny. As it was, he made a remarkable, some might say miraculous, recovery
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The Brilliant and Profoundly Catholic Daredevil | The American Conservative

Throughout the first three seasons of the series, a number of broken people come and go. Karen Page, an aspiring journalist with all the baggage of a broken home, seems at first like a damsel in distress, but she reveals a developed sense of perseverance and intelligence beyond almost any other character in television. Foggy, though bumbling, always knows how to break the tension and bring all things back to perspective. Father Lantom, Matt’s confessor, stands by Matt no matter the cost. A man’s man, Lantom is a refreshingly honest priest—so rarely seen in Hollywood or on the news—who loves to drink and play pool. He’s known Matt since his childhood, raising him as a son in his orphanage. He knows exactly what Murdock does at night in the back alleys of Hell’s Kitchen and recognizes him for what he is—a saint and defender of the poor.
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Paul Elmer more on Oxford

Oxford is the creation of the Church, and her beauty witnesses to the excellence of religion.  The mark was put upon her once for all, wonderful city; and why should men seek to erase it?  There are other places aplenty where laboratories may be erected and secular science may flourish; why not leave this fair domicile amidst her wandering rivers and her girdle of hills, why not leave it as a home for those who choose to ‘flee for the presse’ and to set their hearts on God’s peace?  They should repay the world for all the world gave them.  The signature of the Church is legible enough on the houses and streets of Oxford, but when one turns to the men who dwell in them and walk among them, one feels something like a shock.  From the samec ause can effects so unequal flow?  Often I ask myself how it can be that dead stones and mortar should speak more eloquently of the divine presence that does the living face of man, made in the likeness of his Creator.  Pass by the secular scholars, the philologians [sic], scientists, historians, economists, and their kind.  But what of the men whose special calling it is to search out and proclaim the sacred revelation, whose profession is theChurch?  I should like to see Oxford still more under the domination of the priest.  He has made it; the city is his.  However it may be with the his own soul, he is the custodian of the ancient tradition of the spirit; he is the only security we have against the complete invasion of a devastating materialism.

–Paul Elmer More, PAGES FROM AN OXFORD DIARY, 1937

Best prog rock of 2018

Top albums of 2018

Well, stunningly, it’s that time of year—the time we begin to assess the best of that which came throughout the year.  At age 51, these years fly by, faster and faster.  Time devours, but individuals innovate.  2018 has been a rather spectacular year, at least on a personal level.  In very large part, the creative soundtrack behind the year’s events proved equally spectacular.

Here are my favorite albums of 2018.

10. Galahad, Seas of Change. Stu and company nail it with this album. At once deeply progressive musically and timely politically, Galahad strike the perfect balance of art and message on this wondrous 43-minute long album (and song!). The message never becomes oppressively preachy, itself being fully integrated with the music. 

9. Bjorn Riis, Coming Home. This is the only EP to make it to my top 10 of 2018. Only 27 minutes long, Riis’s Coming Home offers more depth in music and thought than most albums can at 50 to 70 minutes. A perfectionist and a minimalist, Riis offers just enough to keep us eager for me.  As with his work on Airbag, Riis provides a lush soundscape of tundra, doted here and there with evergreens.

8. Shineback, Dial. I don’t think it’s constitutionally possible for any of the Godfrey musicians to be uninteresting. Despite having moved from the U.K. to the Philadelphia, Simon Godfrey retains all of the romantic best of the motherland. Electronic flourishes, Thomas Dolby rhythms, pop melodies, progressive and extended passages, and Godfrey’s always anxious and surreal lyrics pull the listener in, from the opening minute to the closing minute—92 minutes later!  A feast of creepiness and introspection.  Every time I listen, I realize I’m only getting about 70% of what’s going on.  This is music for headphones, to be sure.

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Star Wars keyboard| SYFY WIRE

What’s next: Elvish or Klingon?

Alright, C-3PO, it’s time to break out those awesome translating skills you’re always humblebragging about — and while you’re at it, break out your wallet, too. Star Wars has just licensed its first-ever official computer keyboard replacement set, coded in Aurebesh, the written version of the official language spoken throughout the Galactic Empire.
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Submit Your Proposals: Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference

The Midwestern History Association and the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University invite proposals for papers to be delivered at the Fifth Annual Midwestern History Conference, to be held May 30-31, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This conference continues a discussion which has grown significantly over the last four years, at collaborative conferences designed to spark – and sustain – a revival of Midwestern studies in American historiography. Infused with varieties of original research pursued by scholars from many different career paths and stages, this annual gathering strives to cultivate rigorous historical understanding of a complex, dynamic, changing, and often misunderstood region.
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Sponsored and created by two great men: Gleaves Whitney and Jon Lauck.