Daily Update: Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

John Eudes

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint John Eudes, Priest (died 1680).

Born in 1601 in Ri, Normandy, France, today’s Saint was a farmer’s son who attended the Jesuit college at Caen at age 14. Joining the Congregation of the Oratory of France, he studied at Paris and Aubervilliers before becoming a priest. He ministered to plague victims (at one point living in a barrel in a field, so as not to infect his fellow Oratorians) and was a missionary and preacher, working well over 100 missions. He also worked against Jansenism and established seminaries. In 1641 he founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, to provide a refuge for prostitutes who wished to do penance. In 1643 he left the Oratory and founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) to promote virtuous secular parochial clergy not bound by vows, but dedicated to improving the clergy through seminaries and missions; due to opposition by Oratorians and Jansenists, he never obtained papal approval. He was also the author of the liturgical devotion of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; the feast of the Holy Heart of Mary was celebrated for the first time in 1648, and that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1672. In 1674 he obtained from Pope Clement X six bulls of indulgences for the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart already erected or to be erected in the seminaries. He was canonized in 1925.

When I woke up at 8:15 am, after a night of strange dreams (including very strange kinds of games I was dealing), we had a thunderstorm in process. I started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance and ran the Weekly Virus Scan. I then read the morning paper.

At 10:15 am I left the house; at the Hit-n-Run I got gas for my car, and purchased the Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for tonight’s drawing. At Wal-Mart I purchased a 128gb USB flash drive, and returned home at 11:00 am. For the next hour I uploaded my music to the flash drive, and my contact lenses were delivered.

I left the house again at 12:15 pm, and headed for Lafayette. My USB flash drive worked fine in the car, except that a lot of my music was not uploaded. (More anon). At Piccadilly Cafeteria I ate my lunch and continued reading the August 17th – August 24th, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America magazine. At Crossroads Catholic Bookstore I got a St. Christopher key chain, and saw that they had laminated cards, with “I am a Catholic – please contact a priest” on one side, and the Act of Contrition on the other. I purchased three cards – one for my wallet, one for inside my hat, and one to send to Liz Ellen. At Barnes and Noble I went through my receipts, and discarded them after putting them into my records. (Among the ones I discarded was the one from Wal-Mart – more anon.) I then went to the library and returned Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition (Second Edition) by E. Christian Brugger, which I was forced to return before I had finished reading it (it was an inter-library loan book, and due today). I headed home, arriving home at 4:30 pm. I watched Jeopardy!, then set the computer to reloading my music onto the USB flash drive. When that was done (it took about 45 minutes), I tried it out in the car, and found that once again a lot of my music had not been uploaded. So, I formatted the USB drive, put all of my music on it from scratch – and now the USB port in the car will not recognize it. It has been incredibly frustrating, as the music will play on my computer, but not via the USB port in the car. So, I am now doing my Daily Update, and when I finish I will head for bed.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor (died 1153); it is also the birthday of Josh, one of the Assembled and brother of Brian, Matthew, and JJ (1977). I will do my laundry, go to the store to get salad supplies, make lunch salads, and go to the Chevy dealership to see why my USB flash drive is not being recognized via the USB port in my car.

Our Parting Quote this Wednesday evening comes to us from Tony Scott, British film director and producer. Born as Anthony Scott in 1944 in North Shields, England, at the age of 16 he appeared as the Boy in Boy and Bicycle, a short film marking the directorial debut of his then 23-year-old brother Ridley Scott. He studied art in Leeds after failing to gain admission to the Royal College of Art in London at his first attempt. He made a short film in 1969 based on the Ambrose Bierce story One of the Missing, casting his brother in one of the roles. While at the Royal College of Art he starred in Don’t Walk, a film by fellow students, Hank Onrust and Richard Stanley: the film credits state it was “made for BUNAC by MARCA films at the Royal College of Art”. He graduated from the Royal College of Art, following in the footsteps of his elder brother, with the intention of becoming a painter. He joined his elder brother’s fledgling television commercial production outfit, Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), and directed many television commercials for RSA while also overseeing the company’s operation while his brother was developing his feature film career. Scott took time out in 1975 to direct a television adaptation of the Henry James story The Author of Beltraffio. In the early 1980s he went to Los Angeles to start his own feature film career; throughout his career, his movies were more popular with the public than with the serious movie critics. His first film, The Hunger (1983), starred David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve and introduced Willem Dafoe in a small role. The film had elaborate photography and sumptuous production design, but it failed to find an audience or impress the critics, and had disappointing box office sales (though it later became a cult favorite). Finding few film opportunities in Hollywood over the next two and a half years, Scott returned to commercials and music videos. One of his commercials, for Swedish automaker Saab, showed a Saab 900 turbo racing a Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet. On the strength of The Hunger and this commercial, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer approached Scott to direct Top Gun (1986). Though the film received mixed critical reviews, it became one of the highest-grossing films of 1986, taking in more than $176 million and making a star of its young lead, Tom Cruise. Following the success of Top Gun, Scott found himself on Hollywood’s A-list of action directors. He re-teamed with Simpson and Bruckheimer in 1987 to direct Eddie Murphy and Brigitte Nielsen in the highly anticipated sequel Beverly Hills Cop II. While not being critically embraced, the picture nevertheless became one of the year’s highest grossers. His next film,Revenge (1990), a thriller of adultery and revenge set in Mexico, starred Kevin Costner, Madeleine Stowe and Anthony Quinn. Once again directing Tom Cruise, Scott returned to the Simpson-Bruckheimer fold to helm the big-budget racing film Days of Thunder (1990). Scott’s next film was the cult action thriller The Last Boy Scout(1991) starring Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans and written by Shane Black. In 1993 Scott directed True Romance from a script by Quentin Tarantino. The cast included Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Tom Sizemore, Chris Penn, Val Kilmer and in bit roles, James Gandolfini and Samuel L. Jackson. Although it received positive reviews from Janet Maslin and other critics, it was considered a box office failure. Scott’s next film, Crimson Tide (1995), was a submarine thriller starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington. His follow-up film, 1996’s The Fan, starred Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin and Benicio del Toro. Scott’s 1998 film Enemy of the State, a conspiracy thriller, starred Will Smith and Gene Hackman, and was his highest-grossing film of the decade. Spy Game was released in November 2001 and Man on Fire was released in April 2004. Scott and his brother Ridley Scott were co-producers of the TV series Numb3rs, which aired from 2005 to 2010. Scott directed the first episode of the fourth season. Next for Scott came Domino (2005) starring Keira Knightley. In 2006 he contributed voice-over work to the song “Dreamstalker” on Hybrid’s album I Choose Noise. In autumn 2006 Scott reteamed with Denzel Washington for the futuristic action film Déjà Vu. Three years later Scott once again teamed up with Denzel Washington on The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), a remake of the 1974 film of the same name, which also starred John Travolta. 2009 also saw the debut of The Good Wife, a legal drama television series which had Scott and his brother as two of several executive producers. In 2010 the Scott brothers produced the feature film adaptation of the television series The A-Team. Scott’s last film, Unstoppable, again starring Washington (with Chris Pine), was released in November 2010. Scott was with Tom Cruise just two days prior to his death, scouting locations for a sequel to Top Gun, scheduled for production in 2013 (died 2012): “I always get criticized for style over content, unlike Ridley’s films that go into the classic box right away. Mine sort of hover. Maybe with time people will start saying they should be classics, but I think I’m always perceived as reaching too hard for difference, and difference doesn’t categorize you as the ‘classic category’.”

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