Wherein I Finally Try Tolkien

“You sound gayer than the gayest elf in Mirkwood,” an angry reader once wrote me. I didn’t mind being reminded how waspish I can get — I do work pretty hard at it, after all. But the “Mirkwood” part really hurt. Like most New Yorkers, I hate L.A. Now, at last, I see how far [Read More...]

Learning to Read Chesterton

A couple of days ago, in drawing a contrast to Pope Francis, National Catholic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters remarks that Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput may love God, but often seems not to like people. I see his point. It’s easy to imagine Chaput, for all his good qualities, starting each day by spelling out A-N-A-T-H-E-M-A in [Read More...]

Fun with Muslims

Mr. D. was choking. Clutching his throat and gagging, he mananged to spit out a single word in his native Urdu: Pani. I don’t speak Urdu — not even “Up yours.” But that one word was enough to trigger a literary association. As Mr. D’s face turned the color of a blood orange, I remembered [Read More...]


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