Thursday, November 29, 2012



Dear readers,

We've now hit the half-way point in this series of dialogues, and I feel it's a good time to take a break and explain what's going on. Some readers seem to have cottoned on pretty well to the form that I'm using, others have found it confusing or manipulative. It certainly isn't the traditional blog form, but I do think that it's a legitimate experiment with the medium.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


(Two brothers, their sister and a young woman are arguing about sex.)

(Captain Subtext Transmitting: Catullus is tentatively putting his foot out of the closet with Germanicus so he can see how his family will react to his homosexuality. Germanicus is trying to maintain his rationalistic convictions in the face of the temptation posed to him by Sheila. Sheila is hoping that Germanicus will stop maintaining his rationalistic convictions and ask her out. Lydia is utterly oblivious and thinks it's just a rational debate.)

Sheila: You think sex during pregnancy is unnatural? Seriously?
Catullus: Germanicus, nobody has believed that in 1600 years.
Germanicus: Truth doesn't change. It is eternal. It is immutable. It is fixed. 1600 years do not have any bearing on it whatsoever.
Sheila: But just because they believed something in ancient Rome that doesn't mean it's the eternal truth.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



(A Stoic, a Catholic, a Gay Guy and a Woman walked into a bar...)

Sheila: Catullus...I don't understand why you feel ashamed of who you are.
Catullus: I don't. I just don't want Mom to know.
Sheila: But don't you think she needs to accept you as you really are?
Catullus: Mom does not accept people as they really are. (He raises his hand and waves) Isn't that right Lydie?
(Lydia joins them dressed in a beige wool coat and a vaguely medieval dress)
Lydia: Isn't what right?
Germanicus: That Mom doesn't accept people as they are.
Lydia: I know. She totally doesn't. She wouldn't talk to me for years after I got baptized.
Sheila: That's really weird. Why not?
Germanicus: Christianity's a slave religion. It brought down the Empire. It set back civilization for two-thousand years.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Model of Decorum and Tranquillity

(At a pub in a Canadian university town, two brothers are arguing about natural law and the morality of homosexual sex. The scales of the argument have just been upset by the arrival of a young woman, Sheila. It's an open secret that Germanicus has been in love with her for years, but he's too good a Platonist to ask her out.)

Sheila: (Taking a seat as Germanicus orders her a drink) Hey guys. I saw you through the window. I hope you don't mind me butting in?
Catullus: Not at all. I welcome the support. Germanicus has been trying to convince me that it's unnatural for me to have sex with men.

Friday, November 23, 2012



(As the day is growing long, Germanicus and Catullus have relocated from the coffee shop to a small pub further down the street. Catullus is drinking expensive scotch, neat, because he abhors girly cocktails. Germanicus is drinking vodka, because vodka clears you head and allows you to think straight – as every reader of Dostoyevski well knows.)

Germanicus: The ends of love always have to be the authentic goods of the beloved. That's why a mother takes her kid in for surgery even if the kid is really scared and doesn't want to go and is going to suffer in the short-term. Her love compels her to do what is actually good for him rather than just giving him what he wants.
Catullus: Isn't that a little paternalistic?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sicilian Defence

(The story so far: Catullus and Germanicus, two brothers with oddly anachronistic names, are sitting in a coffee shop arguing about the nature of reality, the nature of man and his moral acts, and the nature of nature. Catullus has just graciously agreed to pretend that he believes in natural law in order to give rules to the game.)

Germanicus: Okay. So according to the natural law there are three basic precepts for practical reasoning. Self-preservation --
Catullus: Hold on. I said I would give you a natural law argument. So sit quiet a moment and listen. Premise one: the human person is, by nature, a spiritual being who is extended into a material existence for the purpose of giving and receiving love.
Germanicus: Whose definition is that?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opening Gambit

A fight has broken out at the last chance cafe. Two interlocutors, brothers, sit opposite, staring one another down across a cozy little bistro style table. The first, Germanicus, sits sipping a cup of strong black coffee, back straight, jaw set. Across from him Catullus is leaned back in his chair, toying with an ironic smile as he nurses a creme brule latte. They are at war over the nature of the human person and the source of his moral ideas.

Germanicus: The point is, certain acts are contrary to the interior logic of the human person, and as a result they lead to various kinds of personal and moral disorder.
Catullus: The “interior logic of the human person” as defined by whom?
Germanicus: As defined by nature.
Catullus: “Nature” does not speak for herself. Her utterances are as subtle and mysterious as the words of the Sybil...and as subject to multiple interpretations. She has had many interpreters over the years. They have hardly all come to the same conclusions.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And the Next 12 Part Series Will Be...

Okay. It seems that the votes are in. I will be doing NFP and Natural Law first, but fear not those of you who voted for Postmodernism – my vote was also for postmodernism, so I'll still cover that as well ;) There have been some recent complications with my health, but barring calamity I should be back blogging regularly by the end of the week.
On a not entirely unrelated note, I haven't really been able to work over the past month, and the Selmys family budget is starting to be stretched a little thin. If any of you happen to be feeling both rich and generous, my address is:

210 Queensborough Rd.
Tweed, Ont.
K0K 3J0


Melinda Selmys

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Back in the Pink

Hey Y'all!

You will, if you've been following recent developments, be aware that last month Papa Ben declared one of my all time favourite saints, Hildegard of Bingen, a doctor of the Church. In honour of that, this is your official Catholic trivia tip for the day: According to Hildegard, the cure for excessive menstrual bleeding is rest, sweets, beer and wine. On a not wholly unrelated note, I've spent most of the last month lying about in bed, eating mint chocolate, and imbibing mild intoxicants, which is why I haven't been blogging. Actually, I've been recovering from a miscarriage, which has taken a lot longer than I would have liked.