Is Man No More Than An Ape?

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Man is a self-glorified ape. He occupies no special place in the Cosmos -- a bigoted, specieist idea -- and the differences between him and his hairier, happier relatives are merely quantitative. Man has more intelligence as he has less hair than the gorilla, and this alone is the reason for his apparent apartness from the animal kingdom and his puffed-up sense of dominion over the earth. The ape uses rudimentary tools to feed itself. The human uses complex tools to feed himself. The ape … [Read more...]

Useful Lust

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To love is to experience the infinite on earth. This is apparent as the taste of cheddar cheese, but I'll prove it nonetheless. For the lover, some is never enough. His is an all-or-nothing deal, for better or worse, in sickness or in health, and any statement that dares to render his love finite -- that is, to give his love an observable ending point -- is a contradiction and a squirm-inducing lie. To prove my point, do your utmost to justify the following the statements: "I'll love you … [Read more...]

The Metaphysical Mystery of the Buddleja americana

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I would like to vindicate an undeniably stupid experience, and make a largely ridiculous claim. It involves a Buddleja americana. A butterfly bush. My buddleja grows in droop, like a girl's bangs in the 90's, right next to the patch of driveway designated for parking my car. The car slides under the droop, and I perform a daily bow when exiting or entering to avoid being punished with a mouthful of over-pollenated purple. I bring all this up only to say that I see my dear, darling … [Read more...]

Beauty: So Much More Than We Think

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One of the more vapid mistakes of our culture is its constant equating of beauty with prettiness. Certainly, a thing of beauty might be called pretty. But prettiness, likability, and shininess make a thing beautiful as throwing glitter on a pile of feces makes it art. This is beautiful: This, not necessarily so: To elevate eye-candy to summit of beauty is to render it unable to give evidence of the supernatural in Nature, limiting it to the cute, the sexy, the shiny, and the otherwise … [Read more...]

Humans Are Useless

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Beauty begets love. A flutter and twitch of female lashes can crush a man's heart like a Bud Light can under a steamroller. A father who spends the day immersed in the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley returns by night with hugs for his children and a softer touch for his wife. Beauty begets love, as sunlight wakens sleepers, and I hope this an obvious experience, if not an obvious phrase. Love likewise begets beauty. Beautiful art is a "labor of love." Love has poetry gush from the dry well … [Read more...]

In Defense of Covering Catholic Churches With All Sorts of Gold

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"While Jesus was in Bethany, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked. "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this … [Read more...]

Dappled Things, My Dear Readers

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Readers, allow me to speak to the Catholics reading this blog, for I do not plan upon justifying my claims. Catholics, allow me to establish two principles which -- if you're a regular reader of my blog -- you already know I hold. 1. The world sucks. 2. The way to end said suckage and thereby save the world (and for those who doubt it needs saving, I offer you the popularity of Nicki Minaj) is the way of Beauty. There used to exist three roads the ornery man could walk to conclude what … [Read more...]

A Sword for Theists

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It's a shame that the word "priceless" gets hurled around by jewelry stores and credit card companies with impunity, for they do great injustice to a term that -- properly considered -- is a slap in the face of materialism and a sword in the hand of the theist. The existence of the priceless suggests a supernatural order. Take the Pieta. It will not be sold -- not for a fortune, nor for a country. It is beyond mankind's capacity for value. Now from any material view of the … [Read more...]

On Wanting To Eat Your Baby

It is a tangible reality of human experience, that in the presence of a Beauty we let slip groans that sound an awful lot like dissatisfaction. In the light of some masterpiece of nature, we screw up our faces like we've stubbed a toe. In the quiet dark of of an old stone room, observing an icon or painting lit by candlelight, we may even cry. Tears and moans and groans are the songs Beauty sings. Beauty hurts. But if Beauty, by its very nature, creates this experience of dissatisfaction in … [Read more...]

Music That Doesn’t Suck!

When I heard Audrey Assad was covering Pink Floyd's masterpiece Wish You Were Here, I thought no! One does not simply cover a legend! But I was being stupid. She rocks it, giving it a brand new depth of loneliness. Shoulda figured. The woman runs through vocal phrases like she's breathing. Buy it immediately. And hey, free music! Jars of Clay's 2012 Spring Tour Sampler! And The Civil Wars, a live CD with their excellent track "Poison and Wine" which you should all hear! (I'm assuming, of … [Read more...]


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