Tomorrow’s Sex Ed: Better than Porn?

My father learned about sex — the theory, that is, not the practice — from reading Irv Shulman’s Amboy Dukes. Published in 1947, two years before the old man was bar mitzvah, it billed itself as “The Toughest Novel Ever Written About Juvenile Delinquent Gangs.” Several years later, my mother learned the facts of life [Read More...]

Aging and Single, Self-Reproachful and Relieved

You know you’re in extremis as far as marriageability goes when you find yourself composing sonnets to the memories of women you met and knew — against your own wishes, exclusively — through social media: The first “Like” after each posting is mine; A blogger self-promotion makes or breaks. Far more than talent, moxie’s what [Read More...]

Andrew Sullivan: Model of a Modern, Bearded, Gay, Tory Blogger

I don’t read Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish on a daily basis, or even on a weekly basis. (God knows nothing I’ve ever written has turned up in it.) But most of what I’ve seen, I’ve liked. Sullivan was one of the first to recognize the musical “Book of Mormon” as a backhanded salute to faith [Read More...]

Ode to New Contact Lenses

Reader, today I have a follow-up appointment with the eye doctor. Hopefully, I’ll crank out something substantial after getting back. For now, here are a few lines of hastily written verse to explain how my life has changed. I suspect a few of you will be able to relate. If seeing is believing, Then, mama, [Read More...]

Would You Like Some Precious Blood with That, Sir?

I’ve found at least one advantage in having the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted as my prelate and prince. The man has a rep. Over the past eight years, since he first succeeded the Most Reverend Thomas J. O Brien as bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, his stern approach to governance has given rise to a [Read More...]

Spambots Say the Darndest Things

On the day the tech guy upgraded my blog, the following comment turned up in my queue, posted under the name “Daily Deals” : Outstanding weblog here! Additionally your web page loads up quick! What host are you currently employing? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink for your host? I wish my website loaded up [Read More...]

The Sound of Sweet Idiocy

Kvetched Emily Dickinson: There’s a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes. Well, duh. Afternoon winter light is supposed to be depressing, reminiscent of death and — so to speak — all that sort of rot. It’s only when the sound of “The Sound of Music” can [Read More...]

Herman Cain: One Freaky Dude?

After some impressive displays of loyalty, a segment of the Republican base is losing patience with Herman Cain. A Reuters/ipsos poll conducted several days after the media reported allegations that Cain had sexually harassed former employees showed the percentage of Republicans who viewed him favorably had dropped to 57% from 66%. A 53% majority of [Read More...]

Between Heaven and Mirth…and Snark

I’m proud to report that my patron and heavenly protector, St. Francis de Sales, delivered the best one-liner in Church history since Jesus did his bit about the egg and the scorpion. On seeing his friend St. Jeanne-Francoise de Chantal, a consecrated celibate following her widowhood, in a decolletee gown, he advised, “If you’re not [Read More...]

Lego Advent Calendar

All right, you happy culture warriors, keep your powder dry. Wait until Thanksgiving before you start kvetching about how Christmas is turning back into Saturnalia. Better yet, wait until you check out the Lego Advent calendar. It’s fun, it’s liturgical year-friendly. One sells on Amazon for $38 — almost exactly what a carton of Pall [Read More...]

Herman Cain: the Candidate Who Cried “Liberal Racism”

Apparently, Iowans don’t give a hoot whether or not Herman Cain has ever sexually harassed anyone. A Washington Post poll reports that Cain’s popularity nearly matches Mitt Romney’s, at a rate of 23 percent to 24 percent. Meanwhile, 70 percent of Republicans have stated that the allegations will make no difference in their choice of [Read More...]

The Catholic Pundits Drinking Game

According to a recovery protocol I just made up, when a person is rounding out his seventh straight week of sobriety, he can get nostalgic about his old life. Last week, while writing my weekly Patheos column, it occurred to me that Catholic writers tend to reach for certain stock phrases and fall into other [Read More...]

Lesson from Obama’s HHS: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

St. Teresa of Avila is reported to have snapped at God: “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few.” This is a point the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops could, with some justification, toss in the teeth of the Obama administration, now that the body has been denied [Read More...]

Off to the Eye Doctor

Hey, gang. Originally, I had scheduled an eye doctor appointment for last Wednesday. I ended up breaking it and re-scheduling for today. Since there’s only so much re-scheduling a man can do in good taste, I’ve decided to keep this appointment. Wish me luck! Will resume blogging on the morrow. Your pal and humble narrator, [Read More...]

The Accents of Holiness

I thought all Irish-born American priests were dead and gone, surviving solely on celluloid — until last Sunday, that is. Then, for the first time, I heard a real, live brogue trilling from the pulpit. I can’t trace it to any particular city or county, although I’m sure it came from somewhere in the southern [Read More...]

Qadaffi, Video, and the Magic of Martyrdom

If you’re going to kill a bad man, you might as well put on a show. As I understand it, that’s the thesis Simon Sebeg Motefiore pushes in his recent New York Times essay on the death of Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Qadaffi, whose killers recorded their handiwork for posterity on their cell phones. If [Read More...]


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