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What Walt Taught Me: Saludos Amigos

Walt had a bad War, not of course as bad as Cousin Paul (D-Day, Bulge, German POW), but creatively hard.Walt was too old to fight having done his bit in the Red Cross in World War I, but his studio was signed up by the government to make propaganda. His Education for Death remains my favorite way to start kids thinking about Nazism and the evils of totalitarianism. Donald Duck in a Nazi nightmare reminded us that we could laugh in Der Fuhrer face.Still Walt lost control of the art and … [Read More...]


What Walt Taught Me: Bambi

Is Bambi a girl?This is the question that will separate those who have not seen the film, a group too numerous, from those who have seen it.This is the most gentle film ever made. The pacing is slow, but not slow as in boring or stupid, slow as in unfolding like a flower. Many of us may no longer be capable of a gentle film. World War II was raging while it was made and it changed us.Bambi recaptures the pacing and hopefulness of a world before we knew of Auschwitz, the gulags, and … [Read More...]

What Walt Taught Me: Dumbo

Like Cars was to Pixar, Dumbo was to the boyish genius Walt Disney: a sign that at his worst he was  capable of producing mere  excellence. Dumbo is an extended short and not quite a fairy tale and it is also the first film in the series that did not change everything or break new ground for the a … [Read More...]

What Walt Taught Me: Fantasia

Hope was frustrated: "Music is music." She looked at me and realized that her new husband saw pictures instead of hearing music. My auditory sense was dominated by my visual sense to the point that I was deprived of an excellent musical experience. "You think of it all as a story . . . like you must … [Read More...]

What Walt Taught Me: Pinocchio

There was once a little boy in West Virginia who received a puppet. He played with it and the toys of his time lasted and lasted. They were built for love and so the little boy grew up, became a dad,  kept his puppet, until his son found the little wooden head in his dad's sock drawer.That has … [Read More...]

What Walt Taught Me: Snow White

Disney insists that the first of its full length animated features is "still the fairest one of all." And the comment is fair. By the Pixar standards of today, the film is very simple, but then it is creating the genre that Pixar has mastered. The film is still fairly good by any standard and exudes … [Read More...]

The Shallow Education of America

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. So I was told in my childhood  by the television. I believed it then, and I believe it now.  Some waste their minds on purpose, some have waste thrust upon them, and some waste a mind after a good start.For the fool, the man who wastes a good mind for no good … [Read More...]

Joy on the Other Side

Dante understood that some of us are not saints like Beatrice or Lucy. We must go the long way to God and not the short path for simple, pure souls. I have not journeyed through Hell, but some parts of my life have felt like Purgatory and so I can testify to this truth.Christianity is a religion … [Read More...]

Tokenism, Moral Colonialism, and Gay Marriage

Tokenism is one of the great intellectual plagues of our time, infecting right and left, Christians and non-Christians. Tokenism is making a big deal out of a small example. Tokenism is toxic when a company thinks hiring one person of color solves their "diversity problem." Tokenism is also … [Read More...]

Real Education is Liberating and Will Thrive

Higher education faces imminent peril, but most schools are avoiding solutions the way a vampire avoids sunlight. The heart of the problem is the cost and the key to cost has been the explosion in administrators, but asking those very administers to solve the problem invites them (as they think) to … [Read More...]

Waking Up in a Dark Wood

I woke up after doom had come and I had nobody to blame for it but myself.My parents were excellent, my church winsome, and my education better than I deserved, but I wanted more. The best part of me wanted Jesus and a relationship with Him.Maybe.Or it could easily have been that all … [Read More...]

Pray for all sinners

What is sin?At the very least, sin is anything that breaks or mars the goodness of God's world. Let us take a very simple plant: tobacco. It is good and God made it good. There is no sin in it and there must be hundreds of uses of the stuff that would cause no harm. If nothing else, it is green … [Read More...]

What Love Isn’t: Romeo and Juliet

"I love Rosalind!""Oh. Wait! I love Juliet!"And so starts the great tragedy Romeo and Juliet where the "hero" Romeo manages to mess up everyone's life by his lack of chastity. Preparing to teach the play has reminded me of how healthy the play is: love, eros, and natural law all mix … [Read More...]

Beautiful Thoughts

The world is so connected that every action we take has implications that cannot be imagined. As a result, we cannot predict outcomes with any surety. What seems practical might fail and what seems irrational might work.God works tirelessly bringing what is best to the world. No human can ever … [Read More...]