Month: June 2011


Catholic Blog Surfing

Bert Ghezzi is a genuinely good guy. I’ve corresponded with him on a few occasions, and he even expressed willingness to “go to bat” for me on a book proposal he liked (alas, even Bert can’t overcome one’s dearth of talent). He has written a new book. I haven’t read it, but it sounds pretty good: Adventures in Daily Prayer. * * * * * * * Okay, so now I can no longer eat steak: Japanese scientists have discovered a way to create edible steaks from human feces. Link. * * * * * * * The whole Corapi thing bums me out, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m Catholic despite the Catholics. I mean no offense to my fellow Catholics out there, but let’s face it: we have far too many lukewarm lay and far too many sliding priests. The Corapi scandal and his subsequent bizarre Internet ministry reveals a lot of egocentricity and possibly a measure of mental instability. That’s all I have to say on the issue. If you want more, surf the Catholic blogosphere. Especially recommended.

Distributist Commentary

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately among Catholics who don’t like libertarians: they’re defending a strong central government. One magazine that I’ve received for over five years ran a lead editorial that excoriated Austrian economists and praised the federal government. I … Read the rest


literatureCatholic Arts and Letters Weekly

On the centennial of his birth, the influence of Catholicism on Marshall McLuhan’s Catholicism gets a fair and good hearing. Perhaps the best essay of the year so far. . . . more

Simone Weil. Huge intellect, but with a heart and mystique even bigger. Perhaps the most puzzling woman of the 20th century, maybe in all of history. . . more

No more Shawshank? Its huge and long success after it left the theaters is legendary, but such long tails are becoming rare. . . . more

No NFL this year? Don’t lose heart. There’s always cricket. Two Americans break down the grim possibility. . . . more

Here’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear: Spinoza is hot! Among other things, he rejected the idiocy of Cartesian dualism, and science is bearing him out. . . . moreRead the rest


Lady GagaThe Angel and the Idiots

What do Lady Gaga and Mother Teresa have in common? A lot, according to this vapid piece at The Economist: The Angel and the Monster. The piece isn’t sacrilegious (though it does recount some of Hitchens’ bogus criticism), but it is downright stupid. In its attempt to draw parallels between the two women (they both work hard, they both connect with people, etc.), it completely misses the gulf that separates the two women: one was motivated by love, the other motivated by self-love. The writer might as well have drawn parallels between Hitler and Maximilian Kolbe: both died as a result of WWII, both had a big impact, both were charismatic. You can draw parallels between any two people; heck, between any two things (women frequently draw comparisons between their husbands and rocks). The mere ability to compare doesn’t mean the contrast doesn’t dwarf the similarities, and in the case of Lady Gaga and Mother Teresa, the dwarfing-effect is huge.


Paul Krugman says the liberals understand the conservatives, but the conservatives don’t understand the liberals. I can’t tell whether this guy is an attention-monger or whether he really believes this stuff. * * * * * * * * Wow, I saw a shoot-out in the Black Hills a few years ago (in Deadwood). I’m guessing the show we saw was a bit more well-oiled: Three Read the rest

Something for Sunday Morning

True virtue has no limits, but goes on and on, and especially holy charity, which is the virtue of virtues, and which having a definite object, would become infinite if it could meet with a heart capable of infinity.

St. Francis de Sales

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You watch Mad Men? Boardwalk Empire? If so, you’ve probably seen a lot of artists at work.

Their art? The cocktail.

I attended a private cocktail instruction last night at Big Cedar Distillery. The instructor, Angie, is a mixologist. She also runs the Cocktail Cottage, which has a slew of good hard liquor guides and equipment (though I can’t really approve of the books about absinthe, since GKC, back in the day, condemned the green monster strongly).

She gave us an overview of the art of cocktailing. It used to be a common art, but was lost during the 1980s and 1990s. It’s making a comeback now. People today are looking for more than the easy-to-grab beer and a shot of liquor. She teaches people how to make cocktails. Real cocktails, the kind that you infuse for days, then mix delicately.

Last night, we drank vodka infused with cucumber, thyme, dill, and lemon, mixed in a punch bowl with a block of ice and lemonade. It was shockingly good. The thing I liked the most: the alcohol didn’t hit you over the head. It was there, but it was balanced with the rest of the ingredients. She said that’s the secret of good cocktailing: balance. If the alcohol overwhelms everything else, you screwed up.

I’m not much of a hard liquor fan, but I’m terribly intrigued with this lost art. I … Read the rest


Catholic Blog Surfing

Well, I completely neglected the anniversary of the death of G.K. Chesterton. It was yesterday. Fortunately, the good folks at Supremacy and Survival didn’t forget. It fittingly asks the question, “Will GKC be the next saint canonized?” I like GKC’s consideration in this regard, but I guess it brings out the closet puritan in me: the guy drank a lot. I mean, a lot. And it strikes me as a bit incongruous with sainthood. I recall seeing a candid reference to it in Joseph Pearce’s Wisdom and Innocence, but I glanced through my copy last night and couldn’t find it. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I know the big guy drank a big quantity of wine.

Oh well, I’m sure the Chestertonians have the topic covered. Maybe a few will chime in here.

Welcomed News

“Catholic University of America Will Return to Single-Sex Dorms.” Link. The university president remarked that, “Non-coed residence halls reduce drinking and ‘hooking up.'” I applaud, but why did CUA need empirical evidence for the obvious in the first place? Couldn’t they use some first principles? The idea that young people in close proximity and partial clothing lead to promiscuity is in sexual logic what the principle of contradiction is to epistemology. … Read the rest


literatureCatholic Arts and Letters Weekly

My colleague: The baddest lawyer in New Jersey. No witness means no conviction. He’s facing life in prison. . . . more

Comic books were hot. Smokin’ hot. And then the bottom fell out. The Great Comic Book Crash of ’93. . . . more

McDonald’s without the meat. For real, not a late-night joke. It’s happening in India. . . . more

How to succeed in business, Mafia-style. 88 short self-help chapters. . . . more

The corporation has brought much damage to the modern financial world. It might help to understand its entire history, going back 500 years. . . . more

Liturgists are always trying to throw historical hokum down our throats, to justify their hokey ideas. This writer debunks five myths. . . . more

Hollywood writer gives extensive and thoughtful speech about the relationship of Hollywood to the Catholic Church. Worth reading carefully. . . . moreRead the rest