Romero and Sweet Schmaltz

A little more than halfway through the film Romero, the title character, played by Raul Julia, walks nervously into a church that’s been occupied by the Salvadoran National Guard and announces his intention to remove the Eucharist. Expressing the contempt felt by the Salvadoran military establishment for the Church, an insolent, gum-smacking goon of a [Read More…]

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Trayvon Martin, White-Boy Privilege and Me

On its face, the legal justification for Trayvon Martin’s shooting — Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves or others from harm — is race-blind. The question remains whether the same can be said for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who pulled the trigger. His father [Read More…]

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May Perpetual Wall Posts Shine Upon Them

I haven’t visited my dad’s grave since I helped — per religious custom — to spade the dirt back into it. It’s in Upstate New York, about three hours north of the City. Since his death, ten years ago, I’ve made several trips to Manhattan, but these stays were so brief, and undertaken on such [Read More…]

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Cats, Mice, Dogs and the Quest for Joy

Heigh-ho, gang. Over here at Diary of A Wimpy Catholic, it’s been a melancholic week — less a case of “Why hast Thou forsaken me?” than “Why doth Thou not just forsake me and beget it over with, already?” If you relate well enough to my writing to have become a regular reader, you must [Read More…]

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Barbara Johnson and the Quality of Mercy

Okay, here’s a list of the angles related to the Fr. Guarnizo controversy I’m not covering: 1. Whether or not Guarnizo was right to deny Communion to Barbara Johnson at her mother’s funeral Mass. (Canon law professor Ed Peters says no; at least half the people in Deacon Greg’s combox disagree with him.) 2. Whether [Read More…]

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My Aspie Friends

Byron is an old ASU classmate of mine. We lost touch in 2000, when he rejoined the army. Ten years later, he tracked me down on Facebook, and every month since then we’ve exchanged a few messages. The other day he PM’d me: “Turns out I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Does that freak you out?” “Not [Read More…]

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Just Desserts in the Desert

You can’t beat the desert for a good parable. Early in March, about ten years ago, my friend Rick and I went fishing with our friend Jimmy at a place in northern Arizona called Lee’s Ferry. We had woken up that morning to a snow flurry, but by the time we’d rented a jet boat, [Read More…]

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Dream of the Red Hat: Or, Asia’s Revenge

Jeremy Lin is a consciousness-raiser. Jay Caspian Kang claims never to have seen “the Asian American community speak out with such unified force and coherence” as when ESPN headline dubbed Lin as “a Chink in the armor” of the New York Knicks. Why? Well, says Timothy Dalrymple, Asian Americans are sick of life in the [Read More…]

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To My Readers

First of all, let me apologize for calling you all a niche market. When I wrote that, I knew all but a few of you in the abstract — many of you, as you said yourselves, had been squirreling yourselves away in Lurkland. Now that we’ve had this chance to meet properly, I’m blown away. [Read More…]

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Scales Falling from the Eyes: A Retention Experience

Eyes are basically testicles that sit in the middle of your head. Show either too much disrespect in the form of squeezing or prodding, and they will punish you for your impertinence in ways you won’t soon forget. I learned this, or at any rate the apart about eyes, on Tuesday night. The experience constituted [Read More…]

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The Parable of the Lost Basset Hound

My lady friend’s family has been combing through my blog for evidence I’m a loser. Thanks to my edgy but disarming confessional style, the task presents about as great a challenge as combing the blogosphere for mentions of Jeremy Lin. If I had any sense, I’d beguile them with false intel — say, by blogging [Read More…]

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Santorum: Aspirin Remark a “Bad Joke.”

Yesterday, Rick Santorum defended the honor of women contraceptive-users everywhere…sort of. During a debate in Congress on the Obama administration’s mandated contraceptive coverage, Santorum backer Foster Friess told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception,” he said. “The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t [Read More…]

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The Bishops: Players Once More

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan denies that the bishops have become “bullies who are now trying to impose our beliefs on the rest of the country, and trying to utilize the offices of the federal bureaucracy to do that.” What he should have said is: “We bishops are no more bullies than Planned Parenthood, the National Rifle [Read More…]

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The Man in the Bulletproof Sweater Vest

In Slate, Julia Feisenthal tries heroically to crack the code of Rick Santorum’s sweater vest. She’s convinced it must mean something — the problem is, she can’t settle on a single meaning. The polysemiotic garment, Feisenthal writes, “lies at the intersection of practicality…and frivolity… The look is both boyish and grandfatherly, sporty and fusty, conservative [Read More…]

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The Catholic Liberal’s Lament

Is Obama a moron, or evil Lord Sauron? Here Catholic opinion’s divided: His accomodations of abominations Are being quite roundly derided. With bowdlerized cusses, George Weigel now fusses O’er relativists and their schemes. “No way” from Chaput creates great ado; Defiance becomes the new meme. Scalia, so sorely, sings “Roddy McCorley” And stirs up the [Read More…]

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“She Made Opera out of Oprah”

When I was an undergrad, I sometimes chanced to meet up in the Student Recreation Complex weight room with a kid named Raul. Raul suffered from what I now realize was Tourette’s syndrome, snorting and jerking his head in mid-sentence before going on to complete his thoughts. Spotting him on the bench or military press [Read More…]

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