Some comments on the “Three Days of Darkness” in L.A. 2012 (and 2011)

Oddly, I wasn’t invited to speak at the Three Days of Darkness in L.A., which transpired (I guess) over the weekend.

I am talking, of course, about the annual religious education circus … confab … conference.

With a new Archbishop in place, you would think that some of the goofy 1970’s and 80’s stuff would be over.  Noooo…

Click HERE for the video of the opening ceremony (not a Mass).  I haven’t seen the closing Mass posted yet.  The Youth Day Mass for 2012 is HERE.  The music may make your ears bleed.  After a few indecorous concessions to the prevailing idea that we have to talk down to young people or be chatty with them (hard to resist), Archbishop Gomez gives a good sermon.

I did not find a Mass in the Extraordinary Form on their schedule.

That said about this year, I take you back in the past to last year‘s conference (2011), which had Archbishop Gomez in his new role in Los Angeles.  It was far less crazy than in years before.  You can see the video here.  I don’t recall writing about it last year, so I will make a few comments about last year’s closing Mass.

The first thing one always notices are the “ministers of movement” as they are called (read “dancing girls”, since in Latin cheerleaders are ludentium stimulatrices, we might call these precantium stimulatrices).

When, O Lord, will people stop abusing the term “minister”?

Throughout there is a seemingly endless trouping around of women, barely a man in sight.

At the offertory there is an “interesting” decoration of the altar.  The offertory wasn’t as laughable as in the past. various symbolic clothes were put over the altar and then covered with a white altar cloth. Far more restrained and in years past, but still overly theatrical and “meaningful”. I wonder if forced meaning works. You might check it out.  Go to minue 56:30.

The music used for the offertory is worth a few minutes of your time.  I am still pondering it.  It was a 17th century piece by Tomás Pasqual (+1635 ), done with a Mayan beat and instruments.   The piece was called, if I got it correctly, “Esta çena de amor llena”.  The composer seems to have been a native of Guatamala who was trained in music by the Spanish.   I have been interested in that periods New World music for quite a some time. I have a few CD’s of composers who were born in Europe and went to the New World and wrote there or of native composers.

I had to smile at the statement of the incessantly interrupting commentator , “We are reminded by this music from Tomas Pasqual that the Church of the Americas pre-dates much of our memory.”

Yes, indeed, Mr. Commentator, the Church does have a past before 1965.

The above-mentioned piece by Pasqual drifted into a Parce Domine with cello.   Less successful.  But peace is soon shattered by people screaming into microphones, so they get back to their normal.

The offertory raised for me some thoughts about proper applications of inculturation.

The unfortunate way the Mass degenerated after Communion and before the final blessing into a kind of “late-night show” of gabble and blabbing was the real low point.

All in all, if this music had been for a concert of some kind, punctuated by spiritual talks, it would have been pretty good.  I might have gone myself.  But… for Mass…  I can’t go there.

The sermon by Archbp. Gomez was pretty good.  Be sure to listen (27:30).  He used the occasion of the earthquake in Japan as the starting point for talking about conversion and discipleship and the need at times to leave everything in order to do God’s will.

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63 Responses to Some comments on the “Three Days of Darkness” in L.A. 2012 (and 2011)

  1. Padraig Smythe says:

    No dancing deacon? I’m glad I missed it!

    [We won’t forget him very soon.]

  2. irishgirl says:

    I have enough aggravation in my life at present, without getting more ‘agita’ watching this.
    I thought that, with a new Archbishop in ‘Lost Angeles’ [misspelling intended], that it was going the way of the 1960s’ liturgical dinosaurs.
    Guess not….

  3. DLe says:

    “Ministers of movement”? I think they should introduce the Liturgical Referee. (http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/2011/04/referees/)

  4. mamajen says:

    Why oh why are these people determined to make a laughingstock out of the Catholic Church when there are so many other denominations that already fit their needs? I just don’t get it. I can’t imagine Jesus being too keen on this kind of worldly fanfare. What makes people feel like the mass isn’t good enough unless it’s comparable to a Broadway show?

    Sigh.

  5. nykash says:

    Hmm. After listening to the drums, I wonder if someone was watching Battlestar Galactica when this event was scripted.

  6. Dave N. says:

    Let’s not forget the same old parade of heretic speakers at conference workshops. All in all, Apb. Gomez has been a big disappointment thus far.

  7. JKnott says:

    Sick, sad and satanic.

  8. gmarie says:

    One of the most interesting things I noticed when watching the 2012 Youth Day Mass video (and indeed my observations at the Masses at my son’s Catholic high school) is that very few people are singing, especially those contemporary compositions that have replaced the ordinaries and the propers (or hymn substitutes) at the Entrance, Offertory and Communion. It appeared in the video that most of the congregation were merely spectators. If the purpose for “modernizing” the music and making it more “relevant” is to foster greater participation by teens (albeit a false sense of participation in my opinion), they have fallen exceedingly short of the goal.

    There is hope for our youth, however. My son participated for the first time in our local diocese’s youth convention a couple of weekends ago. Guess what he thought was the most impressive thing? Nope, it wasn’t the rock music at Mass. Nor did the fun and games inspire him. It was the hour long adoration on his knees and the fact that they sang the Tantum Ergo (and a few other hymns) in Latin that uplifted his soul, believing that he was truly in the act of worshipping God. And, from what I hear, my son wasn’t the only one who was deeply changed by the opportunity to adore Christ in this way.

  9. lucy says:

    This seems to beneath the dignity of the Catholic Church and of an archbishop.

  10. DisturbedMary says:

    Everybody is so proud of their culture and their music and their dancing. Excuse me, but where the hell is God?

  11. servusmariaen says:

    Ok so why is this sort of thing still happening now? I’m confused. Who would be able to change this? Doesn’t the archbishop of Los Angeles have authority to do so?

  12. Dr. K says:

    “All in all, Apb. Gomez has been a big disappointment thus far.”

    It’s looking like Card. Mahoney knew exactly what he was doing when he signed off on Abp. Gomez as his coadjutor.

    [Let’s see what YOU do when you are bishop somewhere.]

  13. pvmkmyer says:

    As a parishioner in the LA Archdiocese I would like nothing more than for Archbishop Gomez to come in with a sledge hammer, but I know this is not realistic or practical. He appears to be a “brick by brick” guy, like the Holy Father. And I am sure that much of this Congress was set in stone at least a year in advance, when he was just taking over from Cardinal Mahony. I will continue to pray for Archbishop Gomez and see what develops with Congress 2013. Perhaps he will put Sr. Edith out to pasture — we can only hope. In the meantime, the man has his hands full with the problems he inherited, and he is slowly putting his mark on Los Angeles.

  14. Well…I fast forwarded to about 1:09.14 and the glass pitchers have been ditched. (At least for this Mass)…Bad music can be tuned out…but it is great to see no pouring of Jesus after the consecration :). At least that aspect of the Liturgy was an improvement over 2011.

  15. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Spongebob Squarepaints balloon sighting: 20:58. I have not decided whether I should be more or less disturbed by Spongebob or other videos involving Afrikkan Puppet Masks.

  16. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony of the near close-up of the Spongebob balloon while the lector is reading about the golden calf.

  17. pvmkmeyer: LA is my former archdiocese…so I watch with interest. I’ve talked with Abp Gomez several times. I agree with you, he’s very much a brick by brick guy…Things have very slowly improved, I have seen less glass pitchers and pouring of the Precious Blood after the Consecration than I used to…It has been an improvement….those of us that lack the virtue of patience (in which I include myself) wish the improvement would be more dramatic, but as you’ve mentioned, it’s not realistic to expect.

  18. Theodore says:

    I’m a fan of taiko. That said, it has no place in Church.

    And Kodo does it better.

    http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/index_en.html

  19. disco says:

    Was that the cobra Kai dojo playing the drums at the beginning? Sweep the leg!

  20. JohnE says:

    Just looking at the pictures, I’m reminded of the Lawrence Welk show:
    http://www.alleewillis.com/blog/2009/06/04/allee-willis-kitsch-o-the-day-lawrence-welk-accordion-vase/

  21. Pledger says:

    Best part of the video? 12:59….after the entire spectacle of the entrance music is over, His Excellency leans says to the “Sister” next to him…..”Is it done?”

  22. Glen M says:

    His Excellency, Archbishop Gomez needs our prayers and support. Can you imagine the wolves den he entered upon taking this position? There were improvements to this year’s liturgies so that’s a good sign. The people who organize LAREC need a great deal of catechesis and liturgical formation. Sadly, they are like rebellious teenagers who have gotten anything they wanted for so long it would be a shock if it was all taken away at once. Everyone’s desire should be their conversion and entrance to Heaven. That being said, +Gomez needs to fulfill the responsibility of his office and bring correction to his wayward flock. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi.

  23. acardnal says:

    I, too, am disappointed with AB Gomez. As a priest of Opus Dei, I expected he would have moved more quickly to correct these malformations. I must have patience and continue to pray for him and all bishops! Brick by brick . . . .

    @Dr K:
    “All in all, Apb. Gomez has been a big disappointment thus far.”

    It’s looking like Card. Mahoney knew exactly what he was doing when he signed off on Abp. Gomez as his coadjutor.”

    I wasn’t aware that the existing Ordinary had to concur with the appt. of his coadjutor bishop since it is a Papal appointment? Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

  24. FaithfulCatechist says:

    @Throughout there is a seemingly endless trouping around of women, barely a man in sight.

    Father, you’ve put your finger on one of the biggest problems in religious education: where are the men?

    I’m the only male cattechist in my parish, and I’m sure my experience is not atypical. We need more men to step up and teach!Throughout there is a seemingly endless trouping around of women, barely a man in sight.

  25. FaithfulCatechist says:

    @Throughout there is a seemingly endless trouping around of women, barely a man in sight.

    Father, you’ve put your finger on one of the biggest problems in religious education: where are the men?

    I’m the only male cattechist in my parish, and I’m sure my experience is not atypical. We need more men to step up and teach!

  26. asperges says:

    I am horrified to see our Bishop in the 2011 circus. What on earth was he thinking of??!

  27. Father G says:

    One liturgy that would have been worth attending was the Armenian Catholic Soorp Badarak, which was celebrated for the first time at the REC:
    http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/526474_396158863729969_182406681771856_1537629_2084108922_n.jpg

  28. FaithfulCatechist says:

    Sorry about the double-post. Somehow this blog entry was making Mobile Firefix crash. Must be a sign :-)

  29. Hilleyb says:

    “…talking about conversion and discipleship and the need at times to leave everything in order to do God’s will.”

    Perhaps as in… just leave.

  30. alanphipps says:

    “I, too, am disappointed with AB Gomez. As a priest of Opus Dei, I expected he would have moved more quickly to correct these malformations. I must have patience and continue to pray for him and all bishops! Brick by brick . . . ”

    A bishop has to work with what he is given. It is unrealistic and impractical to expect a new bishop to come in a sack everybody he doesn’t like. The chancery has had several ongoing challenges that require a great deal of time to deal with appropriately. And people do need some sense of stability, and so “bring by brick” really is the best way to tackle things. After talking with other priests, it seems more likely that Gomez is focusing most of his reform effort on ground zero: the seminary. This has the disadvantage of being largely invisible to the average Catholic – at least in the near term future. Eventually, that will change. I doubt very highly that you will see external changes overnight, but they will be forthcoming. It may take even Gomez’s successor to bring things to full fruition. If you want it done well, the best thing you can do is to pray for Archbishop Gomez.

    Mr. Alan Phipps, O.P.

  31. Dr. K says:

    acardnal: I wasn’t aware that the existing Ordinary had to concur with the appt. of his coadjutor bishop since it is a Papal appointment? Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

    “…with one adding that the cardinal’s request for a coadjutor had been granted by the Holy See in October. From there, the cardinal is credibly understood to have been given the privilege of approving the terna of his potential successors — not the final choice — with at least one Mahony aide anticipating an announcement sometime around the cardinal’s 74th birthday, February 27th.”

    From: http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2010/01/for-mahony-twilight-and-shadow.html and various other sources.

  32. AnnAsher says:

    Makes some Missouri hootenanny Masses look almost traditional.

  33. wmeyer says:

    What? No video of the closing liturgy? I am sooo disappointed. I wanted to see the clowns, the dancers, the puppets, the fireworks, and another course of the drums, of course.

    Gross, just gross, and a session by my favorite villain: Richard Rohr.

  34. acardnal says:

    Rohr got me off track for a brief period of time in the late-80’s but I got back on track with the Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, S.J. and his teaching and lectures.

  35. wmeyer says:

    20 minutes into the opening, and I think I’m at a Baptist church in Atlanta.

  36. everett says:

    I’m from a different diocese that is in a similar situation of needing massive overhauling. Not long after being installed our Bishop was speaking at a men’s conference and said that a diocese is not like some small boat that can easily be turned, but like a massive supertanker that turns very slowly, and by degrees. So, while the course may appear to have only changed by 2 degrees, give it time, and you’ll find that the destination has changed by hundreds of miles. In writing to him a letter regarding our parish (where drastic changes are needed), he responded to me with a call for patience (a virtue which I do not have nearly enough of) and faithfulness. As I commented in one of the good news posts, his response to the parish in his homily for Confirmation included speaking on the gift of “Fear of the Lord” and the relevance to obedience to the teachings of the Church. It’s a brick-by-brick process both in the parish and in the diocese.

  37. acardnal says:

    @Theodore,
    I agree with you about Kodo. Excellent!

  38. ContraMundum says:

    Baptist church in Atlanta? Do you have a particular one in mind? I attended Baptist churches off and on through college, graduate school, and my first two postdocs, and I don’t ever remember any dancing girls.

  39. racjax says:

    I, too, am somewhat frustrated about the “slowness” of Archbp. Gomez. But I also have to realize that it is a huge archdiocese, Cdn. Mahony is still present and it IS southern California where most people really have no clue about the true Church teachings. But there have been improvements.

    In looking for an explanation for this fiasco occurring AGAIN this year, I tried to read between the lines of the Archbp.’s weekly column in The Tidings about the conference. In it he acknowledged the work of “Sr. Edith” for her 25 years of coordinating the event. I only hope that he will use that milestone as an excuse for letting someone else be in charge next year. Remember that this was Cdn. Mahony’s pet event and that he is still around. Handle with care.

  40. wmeyer says:

    ContraMundum: No particular church, but it was at the 20 minute mark, with what sounded more like a Baptist choir than anything else I can imagine….

  41. acardnal says:

    After watching only 20 minutes of it, it reminded me of the shows I’ve seen on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

  42. flyfree432 says:

    Dear World,

    I am so sorry for that. What reason do you have to believe us when those who call themselves Catholics and catechists deny their own faith in such a perverse way.

    – A DRE in the US

  43. Dave N. says:

    Here’s what Life Site News had to say about only a few of the speakers at this year’s REC, many of whom would be more than welcome at your run-of-the-mill Call to Action convention:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/l.a.-archdiocese-religious-education-congress-speakers-support-gay-priests

    The speakers listed in the article, along with many others like them, represent only a small taste of what goes on at the REC each and every year. These speakers enjoy the tacit endorsement not of a sole pastor or parish within the Archdiocese, but of the Archdiocese itself—and I would argue, of the Archbishop—as the official sponsor of the event. So I guess in the name of “go slow,” “brick by brick,” and not “stepping on sister’s toes,” thousands of catechists (who in turn, teach thousands of other Catholics across the country) should just continue to be exposed to and spread these teachings that don’t benefit anyone??

  44. disco says:

    Pretty sure that was the cobra Kai dojo playing the drums at the beginning. Sweep the leg!

  45. St. Rafael says:

    Heresy is heresy. One heretic speaking at an official Church congress, is one too many. I don’t buy any of the excuses. This is serious. We are talking about the salvation of souls. There is no way any shepherd can let the faith of his flock be destroyed and their salvation put at risk, by the teaching of heresy by heretics. How many thousands of laity and catechists were exposed to heresy and dissent?

    It doesn’t matter if the contracts were written up and the heretics scheduled already. The moral thing to do was to fire Sr. Edith, cancel all the heretical speakers, and replace them with orthodox ones. I don’t care if you had to pay the dissenters according to their contracts, so long as they were not allowed to speak.

    The bishops have got to forget about whose toes they step on, who they offend, what the world thinks, and forget about human respect. The only thing they should fear is the judgment seat of Christ. They are going to stand in front of Christ during their private judgment and give an account of every single action they took as bishop and shepherd of their flocks. I shudder to think what Christ would say about the excuses offered up about the L.A. REC. Let them try to explain to him about stepping on toes, patience, turning a ship, or even “Sr. crazy” being in charge. Kyrie Eleison!

  46. Matt R says:

    On the Youth Mass in 2012-
    Why was there a Spongebob balloon in the crowd?
    I thought a cassock, a surplice, and a stole (with a biretta, perhaps) constituted choir dress for priests. I find it very, very weird to see priests in an alb and stole during Mass if they are not celebrating. Also, why do deacons often go without a dalmatic?
    I did like the chasubles worn by the bishops; the collar is a bit weird, but my priest purchased that style in the different liturgical colors, and he has good taste in vestments.
    The rest is just bad.

  47. Not to single out anyone in particular, but I am sick and tired unto death of the old saw, “One can’t expect the bishop (the pope, the pastor, etc.) to rule with an iron fist… yada, yada, yada…”

    Nonsense. This only seems reasonable to those who have been brainwashed into accepting the virtual castration of males in our culture, wherein no one has any real authority apart from the approval of the masses. Sorry, but that’s not the Church that Jesus founded. It’s time for those who rule with the authority of Christ to step up to the plate. Souls are perishing while they’re pussyfooting around.

  48. alanphipps says:

    “Not to single out anyone in particular, but I am sick and tired unto death of the old saw”

    Then obviously you’ve never governed a diocese before. Folks said the same about our Holy Father, and he has accomplished a great deal since 2005. Where would we be if y’all had shipped him off after the first year for being too soft? Brick by brick.

  49. pm125 says:

    Three days of darkness, indeed.
    And the beat goes on, while youth without family help are lost.
    Standardization – take the focus off ‘me’.
    They see enough contrived activities outside the Church. They need time in pews for reverence, adoration, silence and prayer, and contemplation of mystery to learn the love of God.

  50. Consider yourself singled, alanphipps.

  51. Indeed, look at the example of Our Holy Father…at first his Masses were like JPII’s, slowly he began to replace people…I hope for the same from Abp Gomez

  52. Pingback: MONDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | ThePulp.it

  53. Sacking all the deadwood is the easy part. But then who replaces the deadwood? Identifying candidates to replace the deadwood is not a quick and simple process. Think of what Jesus said in Luke 11:24-26. I can only hope that Archbishop Gomez is quietly and carefully scanning the archdiocese for qualified, orthodox people he can trust to elevate to positions of authority at a propitious moment. And the seminary is a good place to begin the housecleaning, just as a ballclub in need of tomorrow’s stars wisely cultivates minor-league talent.

  54. Dave N. says:

    @alanphipps “It is unrealistic and impractical to expect a new bishop to come in a sack everybody he doesn’t like.”

    I agree; at least initially this is not practical. However why present positive, sorely-need change as an all-or-nothing proposition: i.e., sack everyone in sight, versus do nothing? Seems to me the archbishop could pretty simply say: “OK, Sr. Edith, this year at the Religious Ed. Congress we will not have the following speakers on this list. No, I don’t care if they are already contracted to speak; go ahead and pay them, but do not allow them to speak. The other speakers are fine. No, I’m very sorry but they are not allowed to speak.”

    Such things happen all the time in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which is hardly a bastion of orthodoxy; St. Such-and-Such parish invites a dissident to speak and they get a call from the chancery telling them to “un-invite” the speaker—that the speaker is not acceptable at a Catholic event. Granted, one could argue that this doesn’t happen often enough, but it does happen. In the case of the REC, the Archbishop has even more direct control because it’s an Archdiocesean-sponsored event. Are the nuns SO powerful that their decisions can never be questioned or overridden?

    Also, I would love to hear (honestly) of your news of any change, large or small, at St. John’s, the Archdiocesean seminary—which I’m sure you know is notorious for all the wrong reasons. If Apb. Gomez is busy concentrating all his efforts there, I think some good news there would be welcome.

  55. ilovethepope says:

    I know it must be very hard Archbishop Gomez to preside over a Mass like that! I know him from San Antonio and he concentrated on fixing the problems in the seminary. Now that he is gone, my seminarian friends tell me that things are changing back to the old way. I wish we had him here but I know there is much to be done in LA. I am confident that over time, he will turn things around there. We need to pray because I am sure he has much opposition!

  56. Tuotilo says:

    Glen M said “The people who organize LAREC need a great deal of catechesis and liturgical formation. Sadly, they are like rebellious teenagers who have gotten anything they wanted for so long it would be a shock if it was all taken away at once. ”

    That is demeaning to teenagers.

  57. Glen M says:

    My apologies to teenagers. Of course I was referring to people with a selfish, immature sense of entitlement lacking proper knowledge or wisdom of their actions.

    Hopefully Archbishop Gomez has instructed some necessary corrections to the organizers of LAREC 2013. In the ‘brick by brick’ fashion it could be as simple as declaring no dissident speakers and no liturgical dancing.

    The bigger responsibility the bishop has is to all the people who attend this event being exposed to dissent and unCatholic liturgies who then go back to their parishes and schools are spread the disease to others.

    Indeed, souls are at stake.

  58. Bob B. says:

    Having attend last year’s congress, I thought I was in a fantasy world. In the first session, I thought I was in a very fundamentalist church, it was crazy and so were most of the people there (I thought I’d see people rolling on the floor at any time). The next sessions, I stayed close to the door to be able to make a quick exit, which I did with one, but stayed for the other (why Catholic schools were failing – “just look at this place!” was on my lips).
    Discussing with the principal at the next staff meeting the events of the congress, she knew the fundamentalist Catholic pastor who led the first session. She made a point to defend him and implied there was something wrong with me. This from a person who changed the lyrics of a song because we “worship Mary too much.” This from someone who wanted the classrooms to look less “religious.” All in all, a perfect example of what happens at congresses like this – the problem becomes when these people reach positions of influence.
    The longer our bishops take to correct these problems, the more the “Peter Principle” continues to rule.

  59. alanphipps says:

    @Dave N.

    “In the case of the REC, the Archbishop has even more direct control because it’s an Archdiocesean-sponsored event. Are the nuns SO powerful that their decisions can never be questioned or overridden?”

    I suggest that we trust Archbishop Gomez’s judgment in these matters and recognize that it is only too easy for us to critique him from the comfort of our computers. The situation is most likely fairly complicated. Pray for him daily as well as for Pope Benedict.

    “Also, I would love to hear (honestly) of your news of any change, large or small, at St. John’s, the Archdiocesean seminary—which I’m sure you know is notorious for all the wrong reasons. If Apb. Gomez is busy concentrating all his efforts there, I think some good news there would be welcome.”

    Indeed. What I have heard, I have heard from priests who know Gomez and understand how he works. I do not have any personal insight (yet) into what is changing at the seminary. Compared with the showy RECongress, the seminary is hidden from public view and easily overlooked.

  60. wmeyer says:

    For any here who are troubled by what they see in the videos, I cannot sufficiently recommend three books:
    Catechisms and Controversies: Religious Education in the Postconciliar Years
    DOA: The ambush of the universal catechism
    Flawed Expectations
    The first and third are by Msgr. Michael Wrenn. The second was written by “Catholicus”, whom I would not be surprised to discover was, in fact, Msgr. Wrenn.

    Reading all three (out of print, but used editions are available) gives a very clear picture of the problems we face and who must be removed or converted.

  61. Kathleen10 says:

    I didn’t watch it, as another reader said “too much agita already”. But these leaders in our church are a big part of the reason we are becoming more despised by the day. In a world where every membership in a group “counts”, and everyone celebrates their history, Catholics are pretty much the only group that actively began dismantling theirs, and replaced tapestries with Kleenex. Now, we don’t know who we are, as evidenced by this travesty, and outsiders, sensing our floundering, smell blood in the water. We’re like the nerds at school, who wear a different and weird outfit every day, in order to be liked by SOMEBODY. Do YOU like me? Do YOU? Look! Look! I’m wearing YOUR colors! Hang out with me. I’m cool!
    These terrible attempts to be popular are always desperate looking and annoying. To be popular, one has to be self-confident and exude the aura of, you are welcome to like me, but I’m not going to destroy myself to get your attention. I’m happy with what I am. Desperation has a funny smell, and everyone detects it.
    What holds back God’s arm. This is what I wonder.