The Accidents of Appearance

If you want to quit worrying about your looks, there are worse places to be than the Catholic Church. That’s a broad statement — probably overbroad, and probably over-positive. Naomi Wolf once saluted Islamic dress as a liberator of women from the “intrusive, commodifying, basely sexualising Western gaze,” and from the tyranny of mass-media beauty [Read More...]

Beware the Everyday Epiphany

I keep a close watch on myself to make sure I don’t succumb to magical thinking. Irrational by nature, I’m easy meat for the false promise of instant illumination, unearned insight that will spare me days, weeks or months of weighing costs and benefits. There’s a Mexican rancho market only a short distance from me, [Read More...]

The Vatican and Wiki, the Global Village Well

The Vatican has finally given Wikipedia its nihil obstat, imprimatur. To provide biographical material on the 22 cardinals to be elevated in Friday’s consistory, it cut and pasted information from the online encyclopedia. In some instances, reports the U.K. Guardian, Wiki’s entries took a tone “that does not match the Vatican’s style.” Of Willem Jacobus [Read More...]


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