The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

"If God exists, I'm against Him." #1

“Here is the enemy!” Anti-clerical poster by French artist Eugene Oge depicting a priest as a vampire perching on a church in Paris, 1898


Unknown said...

Perching on Montmartre Basilic, it look's like God is against you !

Mary O'Grady said...

It's not just a church, it's La Madeleine, built as a massive gesture of triumph against the defeated (secularist) Communards.

Loyolalaw98 said...

The Basilica on the top of Montmarte is Sacre Couer and not La Madeleine.

For royalist French Catholics, the visions that Ste. Marguerite Marie Alacoque had of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and His unheeded warnings to the House of Bourbon, were taken quite seriously.

I don't know if Sacre Couer is a sign of triumph over the Communards as much as it is/was seen as an offering to an angry God to spare France. Clearly the mosaics in the main dome say such in pictures.

La Madeleine is a different church built in a dramatically different style. The original La Madeleine was destroyed by the Jacobins in 1799.

Napoleon ordered a church be built in honor of his fallen soldiers in the same style as the Arch d'Triomphe. It was to be a much larger version of the Roman temple at Nimes - the Maison Caree. He didn't have time to finish it, so when Louis XVIII was restored - he had Napoleon's temple dedicated to La Madeleine.

Mary O'Grady said...

You are right, Loyola. It's Sacre Coeur. But it was built as a thumb in the eye to the Communards.