Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.


I went through that recent set of "SRO" songs I'd old you about a few days ago, and aside from being stunned almost beyond wonder by "Golden Earrings" with The Sadly Mistaken, most of the other songs, I am sorry to say did not terribly interest me. However, since it is as if I had promised you something, I went over to YouTube and selected and assembled my own try at the same sort of thing, and came up with ten videos that I think are and get the "all right" or better. Ten is too many to post here, so I made a special page for them, and to which you are directed, at:

Later Note. I've since and also added "Golden Earrings" to the aforesaid page.


Although last week I had made reference to some of the deficiencies of patristic literature, I did not want to leave the false impression that the Church Fathers, as reflected in Ante-Nicene writings, and including those who did err on a point or two (such as I had mentioned), were all, or necessarily, without philosophical shrewdness, impartiality or acumen. Well, if I did, of course I intended to do no such thing. Case in point with respect an instance of salient insight on the part of one of them, last night I attained to the following passage in Athenagoras and which provides a most fascinating explanation, and that is pregnant with varied implication and meaning, for why there is evil and what evil is. While the proceeding passage has its antecedent and parallel in Aristotle (as Athenagoras' text notes) and the then also fashionable Neo-Platonists, such as Ammonius Saccus and Plotinus (though who came along later than Athenagoras), such epistemological-cosmological perspective becomes all the more intriguing when adopting or taking up such notions from a Christian viewpoint; for whereas the Greeks were concerned exclusively with the rational mind, monadicity and ineffability of THE Being (i.e. God), Christianity interjects into the equation the idea of God having a compassionate heart as well, and which adds a profound nuance and subtle complexity to the notions of the Neo-Platonists.
For the original from whence this came, see A Plea for the Christians, chs. XXV-XXVII.

"These angels, then, who have fallen from heaven, and haunt the air and the earth, and are no longer able to rise to heavenly things, and the souls of the giants, which are the demons who wander about the world, perform actions similar, the one (that is, the demons) to the natures they have received, the other (that is, the angels) to the appetites they have indulged. But the prince of matter, as may be seen merely from what transpires, exercises a control and management contrary to the good that is in God: --

"'Oft times this anxious thought has crossed my mind,
Whether 'tis chance or deity that rules
The small affairs of men; and, spite of hope
As well as justice, drives to exile some
Stripped of all means of life, while others still
Continue to enjoy prosperity.'

"Prosperity and adversity, contrary to hope and justice, made it impossible for Euripides to say to whom belongs the administration of earthly affairs, which is of such a kind that one might say of it:-

"'How then, while seeing these things, can we say
There is a race of gods, or yield to laws?'

"The same thing led Aristotle to say that the things below the heaven are not under the care of Providence, although the eternal providence of God concerns itself equally with us below, -

"'The earth, let willingness move her or not,
Must herbs produce, and thus sustain my flocks,' --

and addresses itself to the deserving individually, according to truth and not according to opinion; and all other things, according to the general constitution of nature, are provided for by the law of reason. But because the demoniac movements and operations proceeding from the adverse spirit produce these disorderly sallies, and moreover move men, some in one way and some in another, as individuals and as nations, separately and in common, in accordance with the tendency of matter on the one hand, and of the affinity for divine things on the other, from within and from without, -- some who are of no mean reputation have therefore thought that this universe is constituted without any definite order, and is driven hither and thither by an irrational chance. But they do not understand, that of those things which belong to the constitution of the whole world there is nothing out of order or neglected, but that each one of them has been produced by reason, and that, therefore, they do not transgress the order prescribed to them; and that man himself, too, so far as He that made him is concerned, is well ordered, both by his original nature, which has one common character for all, and by the constitution of his body, which does not transgress the law imposed upon it, and by the termination of his life, which remains equal and common to all alike; but that, according to the character peculiar to himself and the operation of the ruling prince and of the demons his followers, he is impelled and moved in this direction or in that, notwithstanding that all possess in common the same original constitution of mind.
"They who draw men to idols, then, are the aforesaid demons, who are eager for the blood of the sacrifices, and lick them; but the gods that please the multitude, and whose names are given to the images, were men, as may be learned from their history. And that it is the demons who act under their names, is proved by the nature of their operations. For some castrate, as Rhea; others wound and slaughter, as Artemis; the Tauric goddess puts all strangers to death. I pass over those who lacerate with knives and scourges of bones, and shall not attempt to describe all the kinds of demons; for it is not the part of a god to incite to things against nature.

"'But when the demon plots against a man,
He first inflicts some hurt upon his mind.'

"[CHAP. XXVII.-- THE DEMONS ALLURE MEN TO THE WORSHIP OF IMAGES.] But God, being perfectly good, is eternally doing good. That, moreover, those who exert the power are not the same as those to whom the statues are erected, very strong evidence is afforded by Troas and Parium. The one has statues of Neryllinus, a man of our own times; and Parium of Alexander and Proteus: both the sepulchre and the statue of Alexander are still in the forum. The other statues of Neryllinus, then, are a public ornament, if indeed a city can be adorned by such objects as these; but one of them is supposed to utter oracles and to heal the sick, and on this account the people of the Troad offer sacrifices to this statue, and overlay it with gold, and hang chaplets upon it. But of the statues of Alexander and Proteus (the latter, you are aware, threw himself into the fire near Olympia), that of Proteus is likewise said to utter oracles; and to that of Alexander- "Wretched Paris, though in form so fair, Thou slave of woman" - sacrifices are offered and festivals are held at the public cost, as to a god who can hear. Is it, then, Neryllinus, and Proteus, and Alexander who exert these energies in connection with the statues, or is it the nature of the matter itself? But the matter is brass. And what can brass do of itself, which may be made again into a different form, as Amasis treated the footpan, as told by Herodotus? And Neryllinus, and Proteus, and Alexander, what good are they to the sick? For what the image is said now to effect, it effected when Neryllinus was alive and sick.

"[CHAP. XXVII.--ARTIFICES OF THE DEMONS.] What then? In the first place, the irrational and fantastic movements of the soul about opinions produce a diversity of images from time to time: some they derive from matter, and some they fashion and bring forth for themselves; and this happens to a soul especially when it partakes of the material spirit and becomes mingled with it, looking not at heavenly things and their Maker, but downwards to earthly things, wholly at the earth, as being now mere flesh and blood, and no longer pure spirit. These irrational and fantastic movements of the soul, then, give birth to empty visions in the mind, by which it becomes madly set on idols. When, too, a tender and susceptible soul, which has no knowledge or experience of sounder doctrines, and is unaccustomed to contemplate truth, and to consider thoughtfully the Father and Maker of all things, gets impressed with false opinions respecting itself, then the demons who hover about matter, greedy of sacrificial odours and the blood of victims, and ever ready to lead men into error, avail themselves of these delusive movements of the souls of the multitude; and, taking possession of their thoughts, cause to flow into the mind empty visions as if coming from the idols and the statues; and when, too, a soul of itself, as being immortal, moves comformably to reason, either predicting the future or healing the present, the demons claim the glory for themselves."


So Says The Heart

She should not have such power.
But I will give her her due;
Saying "That was
Some very good shooting."
Though we do realize
She could not possibly
Have meant to aim.

So that now, thanks to her,
I'm so delirious
I must write this--

When before
We'd gone separate ways,
I was too busy to care.
Yet now it seems
One needs permission divine
(or something like that)
To dream of seeking her hand --


I was a little surprised how well musically Banarama did after S. Fahey left, and allowing for the obvious dance-pop marketing, several of their songs turned out to be fairly decent; of which this is one...


I wish Fulton Sheen were still alive and with us. He sometimes says things in his sermons that puzzle me, and it would be nice to get his response or explanation on some of them; all the more so with question now before us of addressing scientifically the issue of spirit people. What exactly would he have said on this topic, I wonder?
Yet though it is not unusual for a listener to take exception to some of his reasoning, one can never deny his heart, good intention, and the wonderful power he had of expressing himself. And even though he is now long gone, and though we might feel a strong separation with him on a specific point of argument or controversy, we nevertheless still find ourselves sympathizing with, loving, and admiring the man and what he was trying to do. If interested and for more where these came from (I myself often find his talks cathartic and a healthy call to introspection) just check YouTube.


["'Life is Worth Living' by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen"- "This video takes on a part of the 'Gloom, Laughter, and Humour' series from Life is Worth Living"] and ["Life is Worth Living" - "His Excellency Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and an excerpt on 'loneliness'"]


In addition to the recent "SRO" tracks, I also came away yesterday from my visit with some fife and drum music I'd asked him to transfer for me, and from some of which recording I then made the following video.

The above was first posted at the "Lee's Legion" FB site where I entered this description and comment:

"In this video are four selections, transferred directly from vinyl, from the ultra RARE LP released in the 70's 'Fife and Drum Music of the American Revolution: Military Music in America series, vol. 1' with Director of Music, George P. Carroll, and produced by the Company of Military Collectors & Historians, Washington, D.C.
"This album, and which attempts to meticulously and authentically recreate fife and drum music (including specific camp drum calls) from the Revolutionary War, to my knowledge is no longer available; another good choice, however, is "Music of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION - The Sounds of Ancient Fifes and Drums" by Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums, and for which see:
"While some of you naturally already know, others might ask "why are American fifers and drummers wearing red coats?" The answer is that musicians wore colors inverted from those worn normally by the regiment. So that a unit with, say, blue coats and red facings would, at least according to regulation (if not in the field), have drummers and fifers with red coats and blue facings; a practice adopted, of course, from the British (who, say, typically would have a blue, yellow, or green, etc. coated drummer with red facings.)"

Note. The "Janizary's March," by the way, is one of two pieces of music I last year, at this site, stated I was having difficulty locating and identifying, and for which I made and posted at that time an mp3 with myself humming it (so that that minor mystery now has been solved.) Finally, here then is also an .mp3 of the same music (3.4 MBs) used in the preceding video.

Later Note. For anyone looking for a highly readable and manageable yet thorough military account of the Revolutionary War from the American viewpoint, and which I myself am at present enjoying (though I am not always in agreement with him), see Lynn Montross' Rag, Tag and Bobtail: The Story of the Continental Army, 1775-1783.