Daily Update: Monday, June 15th, 2015

06-15 - Exsurge Domine

No Saints today; on this date in 1520 Pope Leo X issued the Papal Bull Exsurge Domine to counteract the teachings of Martin Luther.

Pope Leo X was alarmed by the teachings of Martin Luther in his 95 theses from 1517 and his subsequent writings, not least because these teachings opposed the views of the papacy. He therefore issued the Papal Bull Exsurge Domine, the Latin title of which is translated into English as “Arise, O Lord”. While the Papal Bull did not directly condemn all the points of Luther’s doctrines, it did specifically demand that Luther retract 41 errors (some drawn from his 95 theses, some from other writings or sayings attributed to him) within sixty days of its publication in neighboring regions to Saxony. This time limit expired on December 20, 1520, which was the day on which Luther burned his copy of the Papal Bull along with volumes of Canon Law by the Elster Gate in Wittenberg. This book burning was in reaction to Johann Eck’s procedure of burning Luther’s books after he had published the Papal Bull in various places in Germany. As he burned his copy of the Papal Bull, Luther is reported to have said, “Because you have confounded the truth [or, the saints] of God, today the Lord confounds you. Into the fire with you!” in words reminiscent of Psalm 21:9. Because Luther refused to comply, the Pope issued the Papal Bull Decet Romanum Pontificem on January 3, 1521, excommunicating him. The Vatican’s copy of Exsurge Domine is still extant in the Vatican Library. (And no, even if you have a Vatican Library Card, you can’t take it out.)

The LSU faithful at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska were stunned and shocked yesterday, as our #1 LSU Baseball team lost their game with TCU by the score of 3 to 10. The tournament is double elimination, though, so our Tigers may be down but not out. And Richard gathered up our trash last night; he reported that our new city-issued trash cans are so huge that we can easily fit three or four bags of regular trash in it before putting it out on the curb on trash day.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading and brought in the flag, and we went to work, with me doing my Internet Devotional Reading along the way. When we clocked in at 3:00 am I started fasting. Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and I was on Pai Gow; we had a front-row seat to watch Slots and Engineering and I do not know who else work at removing slot machines, slot machine pedestals, wiring, and everything else very slowly in preparation for moving a pit of table games in front of the Poker Room. On one of my later breaks I called the pharmacy and renewed a prescription (I tried to do so before work, but the automated system was down – again.)

After work we went over to the Clinic, and while Richard settled down to wait for me (and nap), I had my Appointment with the Health Coach, at which I was able to report good news on my weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar, but almost no drinking of water. My next appointment with her is on July 6th. I then picked up my prescription at the Pharmacy. Next, I had blood drawn (and left off a urine specimen) for lab work for my appointment with the Renal Specialist at the Clinic on June 25th, and had blood drawn for lab work for my appointment with my oncologist in Opelousas on June 23rd. The Clinic employee who usually sticks me was not there today, and it took two employees three separate tries to stick me. (I need to make a note to myself to not go in for blood to be drawn unless Tiffany is there working; she never has trouble with me.) I then woke up Richard, and we headed back to our town by way of McDonald’s drive through to get lunch for me. At Wal-Mart Richard got groceries, and I finished reading the June 8th – June 15th, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America magazine. We got home at 12:45 pm, and after I read the morning paper I took a nap until about 5:00 pm.

Our snail mail today brought us the studio pictures we ordered of our granddaughter from the photographer (one for me, and one for Liz Ellen). When I woke up I got on the computer, and sent an Email to the moderator of my Third Tuesday Book Club letting her know that I will not be at the meeting tomorrow night (not having read the book). And I got a plate of chicken and deer sausage jambalaya for dinner.

We have no Saints to honor for the next few days, but tomorrow is Bloomsday, as celebrated in the extraordinarily complicated novel Ulysses by Irish writer James Joyce. It is also our Friday at work; we are planning on working our eight hours, and on my breaks I will finish setting up my photos from our trip. The New Moon will arrive at 9:08 am. After we clock out at 11:00 am we will clock back in to be paid for seeing “Laughing with ‘Twitchy'”, a program with a motivational speaker with Tourette’s and an apparent penchant for having everyone wear red clown noses. At 2:00 pm our still #1 ranked LSU Baseball team will play Cal State Fullerton (which was beaten by Vanderbilt) at the College World Series, with the loser of that game going home.

On this Monday afternoon our Parting Quote comes to us from Casey Kasem, American radio presenter and actor. Born as Kemal Kasem in 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, to Lebanese Druze immigrant parents, he graduated from Wayne State University. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1952 and sent to Korea, where he was a DJ / announcer on the Armed Forces Radio Korea network. After he got out of the Army he continued to develop his rock-trivia personality (and changed his first name to Casey) while working for several radio stations in the 1960s. He was also in several low-budget movies of the 1960s, most notably in The Glory Stompers, the 1967 motorcycle gang precursor to Easy Rider. Beginning in 1968 he began doing television voice-over work as the voice of Robin in the Batman animated television series. His best known role was the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo franchise, beginning with the first series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969), and continuing until 1995, and again from 2002 to 2009. He also did the voices of Bluestreak, Cliffjumper, Teletraan I and Dr. Arkeville in the original Transformers animated series starting in 1984, but left during the third season due to what he perceived as offensive caricatures of Arabs and Arab countries in one episode. Meanwhile, on radio, he was the host of the weekly American Top 40 radio program from July 4, 1970 through 1988, and again from March 1998 until January 10, 2004, when Ryan Seacrest succeeded him. From January 1989 to March 1998, when Kasem was not at the helm of American Top 40, he was the host of Casey’s Top 40, Casey’s Hot 20, and Casey’s Countdown, syndicated by the Westwood One Radio Networks. During Kasem’s original run (1970–88), his show featured certain songs in addition to the countdown, such as a “long distance dedication” from one listener to another; or the song of a “spotlight artist.” (I listened quite religiously to American Top 40 from about 1972 through 1976, and hated the long distance dedication portion of the show.) Kasem would often include trivia facts about songs he played and artists whose work he showcased. Frequently, he would mention a trivia fact about an unnamed singer before a commercial break, then provide the name of the singer after returning from the break. On the July 4 weekend of each year, the show’s anniversary, Kasem often featured a special countdown of particular songs from a certain era, genre or artist. The Moody Blues were the only artist to appear in both Kasem’s first countdown on July 4, 1970, and his last on August 6, 1988. Michael Jackson appeared in both countdowns, but as part of The Jackson Five in 1970 and as a solo artist in 1988. Kasem hosted the spin-off television series America’s Top 10for most of the 1980s. For a period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kasem was the staff announcer for the NBC television network. He later appeared in infomercials, marketing CD music compilations. In his personal life he was a vegan (going so far as to suggest that Shaggy in Scooby-D00 should also be vegan) and active in liberal political causes. He also supported Lebanese-American and Arab American causes. He was once also seen on Late Show with David Letterman performing a Top Ten list: “the Top Ten Favorite Numbers from 1 to 10.” The countdown of numbers was paused at number 2 for Kasem to spoof one of his long distance dedications. He appeared on camera as a co-host of Jerry Lewis’ annual Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association from 1983–2005. Kasem received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 27, 1981 (his 49th birthday) and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992. During this period he continued his movie career, appearing in the 1972 low-budget film The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant, which also starred Bruce Dern. In 1984 Kasem made a cameo in Ghostbusters, reprising his role as the host of American Top 40. In 2009 he retired from voice acting, with his final performance being the voice of Shaggy in Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword, and also retired from the radio count-down business. On October 1, 2013, his three oldest children and his brother protested in front of Kasem’s home, claiming that Kasems’ second wife Jean Kasem had prevented contact with their father for three months. On October 7, 2013, his daughter Julie Kasem and her husband Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn filed a conservatorship petition to place Kasem under their care. However, the court denied their petition. In October 2013 his daughter Kerri Kasem said that her father was suffering from Parkinson’s disease; a few months later, she said that Kasem was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is often difficult to differentiate from Parkinson’s. Due to his condition, he was no longer able to speak. On May 12, 2014, Kerri Kasem was granted conservatorship of her father over Jean Kasem’s objection. The court also ordered an investigation into Kasem’s whereabouts, after Jean Kasem’s attorney told the court that Kasem was “no longer in the United States”. Kasem was found soon after in the state of Washington. At the end of his life his children were still at odds with his second wife Jean Kasem, implementing a 2007 directive signed by Kasem requesting that he not be maintained artificially on life support measures over her objections (died 2014): “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

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