Confessions of a Lowbrow

Frank Sinatra made a more convincing priest than Bing Crosby ever did. Call it blasphemy — with my eyes fixed on heaven, I’ll mount the scaffold confessing it. Fr. Paul, the character Sinatra plays in Miracle of the Bells, is no wise-cracker, and amazingly, no singer; instead, he’s a straight-faced, rather aescetic-looking pastor who executes [Read More...]

Save the Kitsch!

Fr. Jim Martin is a brave man. He has made a personal crusade of re-interpreting and revivng devotions and figures commonly dismissed as mawkish. In My Life with the Saints — and ever since — he’s argued heroically and convincingly that Thérèse of Lisieux was more than a sickly gamine with a flair for melodrama; [Read More...]

Sendak’s Not-so-Wild Things

Researching last week’s piece on tattooing revived somewhat my old interest in Polynesian culture. With no pig to stick or roast, I had to indulge my enthusiasm the virtual way — by watching a YouTube clip in which a mixed group of Maoris performs a war chant. The effect was suitably horrifying. The performers managed [Read More...]


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