Dear Editor: I Hate You

Note to publishers: Be nice to Michael Kinsley. That’s gospel, Jack. You can tug on Superman’s cape, spit into the wind, and even pull the mask of the old Lone Ranger, but you’d better not mess around with the former co-host of Crossfire and the founder of Slate. Otherwise, he’ll give you a piece of [Read More...]

No End in Sight for Endogamy

In the Tmes’ “Modern Love” series, Diane Farr relates how her relationship with a Korean-American man taught her that “stick to your own kind,” as a parental injunction, is alive and well, at least when it comes to marriage: That may seem just as random and hurtful as “they will never accept you” had sounded [Read More...]

Hooked on Natural Death

On its website, Zoe Carter Fitzgerald’s memoir, Imperfect Endings, is billed as “the uplifting story of a woman determined to die on her own terms and the family who has to learn to let her go. “She may need to fire her blurb writer, because her thoughts on the subject of assisted suicide seem to [Read More...]

Despite Government’s Best Efforts, Unemployment Stinks

According to the New York Times, the federal government’s programs to save unemployed homeowners from foreclosure are failing. Somehow “no income” and “mortgage payments” just don’t mesh: Critics of the Obama administration’s approach to preventing foreclosures have pressed for two years to get officials to focus more of their attention on unemployed homeowners, with meager [Read More...]

A Bad Catholic Defends Pie

I, of all people, have no right to make this kind of assumption, but I’m betting Slate contributor Nate Heller is not a Catholic. Not to prosyletize or anything, but he really ought to think about signing up. He’d be a natural. All the best Catholics I know have a strong fussy streak; they are [Read More...]

The Sign of Peace for Needy Misanthropes

In National Catholic Register, self-professed introvert Jennifer Fulwiler advises other people-shy Catholics on how to give and receive the Sign of Peace without dissolving into a puddle of self-consciousness. She must be a very good Catholic indeed, because she breaks the whole process down into a long series of — you guessed it — rules. [Read More...]

Foreskin Man: Peeling Back the Mystery

A vigilant reader has informed me that I was entirely wrong in supposing that Foreskin Man, the comic put out by San Francisco circumcision opponents, was someone’s bad idea of meta-humor. The artist, Matthew Hess, is a real person of real German ancestry — not, as I had hoped, a Jewish prankster who named himself [Read More...]

The Mystery of Foreskin Man

Tatler of Pajamas Media claims to have found proof that behind San Francisco’s proposed circumcision ban lurks the blue-eyed monster: 19th-and 20th-century race-based anti-Semtism, the philosophy that brought you the Final Solution. The smoking chimney, so to speak, is an indie comic book, allegedly circulated as “campaign literature.” The eponymous hero, Foreskin Man, battles a [Read More...]

Sarah at Tilbury

For the past three years, ever since Sarah Palin introduced her winsome self to our great nation, I have promised myself I would rewrite the Tilbury speech in her idiom. The Tibury speech, many of you will know, ranks among the greatest PR coups in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Drake had [Read More...]

Overweight Girls Are Underachievers, Study Says

Unchivalrously boiled down, this is the conclusion of a study by Christy N. Glass and Eric Reither. Women who are overweight early in life, they find, are less likely to complete college and for that reason, earn significantly less than better-proportioned. They found no such differences among men of varying sizes. As they summarize their [Read More...]

Funeral-Schmuneral, As Long As You Were Loved

Today in National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters writes that the Church is at her best at funerals. And by gum, he likes those funerals like he likes his booze — straight up, no umbrellas: Still less should those who have just lost a loved one be expected to devise an entire service. In the [Read More...]

Our Stinking Economy: A View from the Bottom

It’s pretty much unanimous: the economy will continue sucking for the foreseeable future. In Slate, Annie Lowery reports that housing prices are at a new low, private-sector job growth is falling, along with industrial production, consumer confidence and Wall Street. The good news? Any fool could have seen this coming a mile away: There is, [Read More...]

Is 80 the new 15?

According to the New York Times, the ascendance of mean girls in assisted living suggests that quite a few old, gray mares are exactly what they used to be: This phenomenon, a sort of social bullying, apparently comes as no surprise to administrators of senior apartments, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and senior centers. “What [Read More...]

Why No McMaciel’s?

For a solid 1,900 years –from Acts of the Apostles days until the mid-19th century, Christians were known for their admirably inclusive palates. Yes, Catholics and orthodox believers observed Lent, along with various days of fasting and abstinence, but these were the exceptions that proved the rule. Pity the poor Jain, for whom every day [Read More...]

Martin on Merton

In this video, Fr. Jim Martin sketches the life, and explains the appeal, of Trappist monk, peace activist and recruiting officer for the contemplative life Thomas Merton, also known as Fr. Louis, OCSO. Martin, who speaks with a biographer’s knowledge, gives due space to Merton’s intensity and combativeness, but finds him very approachable despite them [Read More...]

The Sorriest Word in the Language

My friend Rick is like an ancient manuscript in an obscure and long-dead language. His meaning, more often than not, is profound, but grasping that meaning can require a long and frustrating process of guesswork. One day he told me: “You know what word I _______ hate? What word I wish I could rip out [Read More...]


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