The Story of Stuff

This online video comes to me from Fr. Vincent of the New Skellig Celtic Christian Community in San Francisco. Take a few minutes out of your busy day and watch it.If you want to visit the website related to this video, here it is: The Story of Stuff Project. … [Read more...]

The Legacy of Bridget Cleary

This morning I saw two sad stories online: one about a mother who killed her 6 year old daughter, believing she was possessed by the devil, and the other — from a few months ago — in which a man explained the killing of his two stepdaughters as the consequence of a "spell gone bad."Both of these tragic stories remind me of the horrible Burning of Bridget Cleary, a notorious 1895 murder in rural Ireland where a man attributed his wife's illness to the malevolent influence of the fairies, and bur … [Read more...]

The Love Guru

Some concern has been expressed from the Hindu community that the forthcoming Mike Myers movie, The Love Guru, is disrespectful of the Hindu faith. A recent story on is heartening in that people of faiths other than Hinduism are expressing concern as well.This is hardly an isolated incident of how religious images, symbols, and language are appropriated within a popular culture context, usually for entertainment purposes. Several members of R.E.M. joined up with Warren Zevon … [Read more...]

The Audacity of Government

This week on the public radio program "This American Life" the theme is "the Audacity of Government" — specifically the administration of George W. Bush. Anyone with a sense of decency and fairness will find these stories horrifying and appalling. Even taking into account a "liberal bias" (whatever that means), the picture painted here of our current government ought to make Americans ashamed — and angry.If you don't have a chance to hear this broadcast, you can purchase a downloadable copy fro … [Read more...]

The World Clock

Here is a sobering website: The World Clock documents a number of rapidly growing figures, including population growth, consumption of fossil fuels, military expenditures, abortions, and number of species to have gone extinct, all since the beginning of 2008. It's a sobering, frightening picture.The World Clock … [Read more...]

A Letter from Tucker

This arrived in my email inbox recently, and seemed well worth passing on.A letter to Sally Kern from a senior in high school in OklahomaOklahoma Representative, Sally Kern, in a recent meeting with some of her constituents, equated homosexuality with terrorism and malignant cancer. She was recorded saying that “Homosexuality is a bigger threat to our nation than terrorism or Islam.” She continued that “According to God's words, it is not the right kind of lifestyle… Gays are infiltrating cit … [Read more...]

Running the Numbers

Here is a web page well worth visiting, from artist Chris Jordan:Running the Numbers: An American Self-PortraitHere's the artist's description of what you'll find on this page: This series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing … [Read more...]