The Bible, and Stuff

It’s the Bible… in a year. Photo credit: Me. Pun credit: Same.

Welcome back! I am absolutely thrilled that you can join me today as I write about whatever nonsense is rattling around inside my head. Today, I’d like to pause and give credit where it’s due, to Fr. Mike Schmitz, and The Bible in the Year podcast.

I have a number of thoughts with regard to The Bible in a Year. In the interest of creating regular content on my blog, I am going to list them as bullet points, with no organization, and limited introduction. Without further adieu:

  • The Bible in a Year has at times made it to number one on Apples Podcasts. As I type, it is sitting at number 4. Now, that stat is just awesome. Apple Podcasts metrics are a pretty accurate way to measure the podcast behaviors of iPhone users, and close to half of American-users-of-smartphones have an iPhone. Given, this does not account for other audio streaming platforms (Spotify has Joe Rogan – ever heard of him?), but still, being a winner in the Apples Podcast popularity contest is a massive accomplishment.
  • Fr. Mike Schmitz is Catholic Man of the Year, 2021. Calling it now. This is the year I definitively learned how to spell “Schmitz.” His little Ascension Presents snippits on YouTube (and in pod form as well, of course) have long been a favorite for tech-savvy Catholics. Last year, his homilies to the UMD students were a weekly highlight for me (and continue to be this year) and gave me a new level of appreciation for his insights and speaking talent. This “Bible in a Year” thing, though, has leveraged his modest popularity into something massive and world-changing. Lest you fear I’m getting into hero-worship, allow me to point out that “The Bible in a Year” is mostly… the Bible. Like, 90% of the content on there is simply a man reading a book. He’s just the right guy at the right time for God to use to speak to His people. Here’s somebody that got rejected for a role in Batman Forever (can you think of a more famously, spectacularly unpopular movie to be rejected from?) and is now a chaplain at a satellite university (not THE University of Minnesota, no no – this is the Duluth chapter thereof), in the cold, dreary, middle of nowhere. And God’s using this humble man from an unremarkable place for something huge, by both worldly (see “Apple Podcasts”) and spiritual standards. And that is cool. And so, congrats, Fr. Mike, on winning the 2021 Catholic Man of the Year Award!
  • Observation: The word “stuff” is all over the Bible (Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition, aka RSV2). It’s being used in what I believe to be equivalent to the modern American English term for “things”, a noun dwelling somewhere between slang and informal. With no intention of sacrilege or blaspheming, may I humbly ask, that, as used in the RSV2, “stuff” translates most closely to my culture’s present use of the word “shit,” right? It’s definitely not a word that is going to appear commonly in technical, legal, or otherwise professional writing (“Yes, sir, as you have noted, 3rd quarter earnings are down; our finance team attributes that to some stuff that happened in August”). If I had too much free time, I might start paging through the Bible right now with a notebook and make a collection of all the instances of “stuff” in the RSV2 and get to the bottom of this (no pun intended – pun recognized afterward, appreciated, but not originally intended). I’ll reach out to my fans, on this blog, to please get this list of “stuff” usage (a stuff-list, if you will) in the RSV2. There’s a guy who did something like that with the KJV, but I want a Catholic edition. Maybe somebody has one of those nerd Bible database programs and can help speed the job up. Good luck, readers.
  • Fr. Mike is always thrilled that you’re joining him today, amazed that you’ve made it this far in the Great Adventure Timeline, and so excited to seeing you again tomorrow.
  • Aside from “stuff”, my Old Testament word of the year so far is “abomination.” This word is a delight, for a person with grouch-tendencies such as myself. I’ve been working it into everyday conversation. For example, “Family-style dining is an abomination.”
  • The Great Adventure Catholic Bible is sold out at Ascension Press. Back-ordered over two months. Nobody saw this coming. Oops. I mean, it’s not about the money. But still… ouch!
  • Regarding an earlier comment about Batman: So the legend goes, Fr. Mike went pretty far in the casting (“I made it to the final cut of the auditions”) for Batman Forever, for the role of the Robin to Val Kilmer’s Batman. This story was highlighted by ChurchPop which is apparently the only journalistic outlet in all of Catholicism to have given it proper attention. ChurchPop links to a Facebook Live video of Fr. Mike himself telling the about it at a SEEK conference. I’ve not watched it myself, for as I’ve mentioned, I’m not on Facebook anymore, but the link looks legit. However, he’s not mentioned in the Batman Forever IMDB trivia (where a whole bunch of casting what-ifs are listed), and this tidbit of information did not make it to his Wikipedia page (well, not much at all made it to his Wikipedia page – very sparse). He has an IMDB page, but all of his credits are Catholic programming, subsequent to his ordination, leading me to wonder if he had a different screen name. Seems odd that somebody could be in rounds of casting with the likes of Matt Damon, to star alongside Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey, and Nichole Kidman, yet also have absolutely zero prior credited roles in literally any video production ever. It would be fun to know his screen name and see what’s on Prime or Netflix featuring the artist formerly known as whatever Fr. Mike was formerly known as.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio reportedly turned down the “Batman Forever” Robin role, presumably while holding a tiny drink and making the Django face.
  • And if you’re still reading right now, seriously, congratulations! You have now read through my introduction and a bunch of useless bullet points and that is something to feel good about! Thank you so SO much, and I CAN’T WAIT – so excited – to seeing you tomorrow.

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