Daily Update: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

John Baptist de la Salle

Alleluia! Today is Easter Tuesday, the Third Day in the Octave of Easter. And today is the Memorial of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest (died 1719). And today is also the birthday of my friend Danette, from my retreats with the Jesuits in Grand Coteau (1955).

Born in 1651 at Rheims, France, today’s Saint studied for the priesthood in Paris but quit to care for his brothers and sisters upon the death of his parents. When his siblings were grown he returned to the seminary. Becoming Canon of Rheims, France in 1667, he was ordained in 1678, and became a Doctor of Theology in 1680. He was the spiritual director of the Sisters of the Holy Infant who were devoted to teaching poor girls. In 1681 he founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers), which established and supported academic education for all boys. He liquidated his personal fortune, and his Brothers expected him to use it to further his education goals; but he surprised them by saying they would have to depend on Providence. The money (about $400,000) was given away to the poor in the form of bread during the great famine of 1683-1684. John kept enough to endow a salary for himself similar to that which the Brothers received so he wouldn’t be a burden on them. He instituted the process of dividing students into grades, established the first teacher’s school, and started high schools and trade schools. In 1950 he was proclaimed the Patron Saint of all teachers of all youth by Pope Pius XII; he is also the Patron Saint of educators, school principals, and the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Today is also the birthday of my friend Danette, from my retreats with the Jesuits in Grand Coteau (1955).

I neglected to mention in yesterday’s Daily Update that I took advantage of the Suggestion Box for the director of Casino Operations. For several years, the casino had a spring Associate Appreciation Day, with free crawfish for associates. Starting five years ago, they instead opted to hold the Associate Carnival (with rides, and booths, but no crawfish). And now the carnival is marketed to guests rather than associates; so I suggested that we once again have a spring Associate Appreciation Day, with free crawfish. I also appended my phone number and Email; I anticipate an eventual response to the effect that it’s a good idea, but that the Tribe (we are a Native American Casino, after all) would have to approve the expense (which isn’t going to happen).

When I woke up, Richard told me he had called in; I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and drove myself to work. After I clocked in at the casino I signed the Early Out list. I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; on my breaks I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Fifth Day of my Divine Mercy Novena. I got out at 6:15 am, and on my way home stopped at Wal-Mart and got Emetrol for Richard and a USB splitter. I was home for 7:15 am, and went back to bed.

I woke up at about 10:30 am, put the new USB splitter on the computer (which uses one USB port for up to four devices), and after some work on the computer found that I still can’t get the newest operating system for my Galaxy S4 yet (mainly because I’m on Verizon). Richard and I left at 12:30 pm and ate lunch at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse; Richard only ate a bit of his hamburger. We arrived back home at 1:30 pm, and I got on the the computer to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts. At 4:30 pm we watched Jeopardy!, and at 8:00 pm we watched NCIS: New Orleans. Our #3 ranked LSU Baseball team beat New Orleans by the score of 11 to 5, and our New Orleans Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors by the score of 1o3 to 100.

Tomorrow is Easter Wednesday (Alleluia!), the Fourth Day in the Octave of Easter. Since we have no Saints to honor, we will note tomorrow that in 1974 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Hank Aaron hit his 715th Major League Baseball career home run to surpass Babe Ruth’s 39-year-old record. I will do the Weekly Computer Scan and my laundry tomorrow morning, then head to Lafayette to eat lunch, put in comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble, and pick up library books. Our #3 ranked LSU Tigers will play a home game with Northwestern State. and our New Orleans Pelicans will play an away game with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Our Easter Tuesday (Alleluia!) evening Parting Quote comes to us from Johnny Hart, American cartoonist. Born as John Hart in 1931 in Endicott, New York, he was raised in a casually religious family, and he attended Christian Sunday School regularly. Although his formal education ended with high school he was fascinated by the Bible from a young age. His first published work was in Stars and Stripes while he served in Korea as an enlisted member of the United States Air Force. Returning in 1953, he published cartoons in The Saturday Evening PostCollier’s Weekly and other magazines. Hart’s biggest success, B.C., was created in 1957 and began national daily newspapers appearances on February 17, 1958. He also co-created and wrote the comic strip The Wizard of Id, drawn by Brant Parker, which has been distributed since November 9, 1964. With the release of The Wizard of Id in 1964 Hart became one of only four cartoonists to have two comic strips appearing in over 1000 papers each. He won numerous awards for his work, including the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben award for B.C. in 1968 and The Wizard of Id in 1984. In 1977 there was a distinguishable shift in his spirituality, and he and his wife began attending a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Nineveh, New York. Hart’s increasingly deep religious faith, and the staunch political conservatism that accompanied it, came to be the source of considerable controversy in the later years of his life; he gave politically inflammatory interviews, and showed an increasing tendency to incorporate his religious and political themes and ideals into his comic strips, especially in B.C. Some newspapers refused to print strips with overtly religious themes or, as with the Los Angeles Times, relegated them to the religious section of the newspaper. Two strips in particular were controversial. The B.C. strip for April 15, 2001, which was Easter Sunday, portrayed a menorah with seven candles progressively burning out as the strip captions ran the words of Jesus Christ. At the end, the outer arms of the candelabra broke away, leaving a Christian cross, with the final panel portraying the opened and empty tomb of Christ. Critics including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee argued that the strip portrayed replacement theology, that is, the conception of Christianity as supplanting Judaism. Hart offered an apology and claimed that he had meant the strip to be a tribute to both religions. Another B.C. strip, which ran November 10, 2003, showed an outhouse with a traditional crescent, which a character entered with a vertical graphic “SLAM”, only to ask, “Is it just me, or does it stink in here?” Critics including the Council on American-Islamic Relations claimed that the combination of the vertical bar and the “SLAM”, as well as the crescent moons both in the sky and on the outhouse, made the strip a slur on Islam. Hart denied that it was anything but an outhouse joke. At the time of his death of a stroke, his wife reported that he was at work at his drawing table; the co-creator of The Wizard of Id, Brant Parker, died just eight days later (died 2007): ”Science Fiction: Any scientific acclaim that omits God.”

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