On School Supplies

In my childhood school supplies required no batteries, but did leave a boy armed and dangerous. Every year, I bought a new compass, not the directional kind, but a metal probe designed for drawing circles used by students to spear unwitting victims. I never used this compass for its intended use any more than the [Read More...]

Thinking Christianly on Illegal Aliens

From my London window, I see the problem of a border out of control and two parties unwilling to address it. From my home in California, I know decent men hounded by the government for a crime, illegal entry, committed years ago. The issue of illegal aliens in the United States is difficult for a [Read More...]

Where are you Juliet?

Verona is Juliet’s home in my mind. Romeo is there too, but Juliet! It is incidental to me that she did not exist and Shakespeare made it all up borrowing from several other sources. (Students: it is plagiarism unless you make it so much better people are honored you took their stuff.) So my problem [Read More...]

A Problem Like Maria

My greatest crimes against high culture are plain to all: Diet Coke, Disneyland, Packer football, and Styx. Hidden deeply away is a confession so terrible that I can only now admit it: I love musical theater and I adore the “Sound of Music.” I know I should think of Salzburg, on the rare chances I [Read More...]

True Love and Mozart

The Abduction from the Seraglio is Mozart’s message to America in the person of Constanze. I know nothing of this opera save that Constanze, a powerful woman, stands in the middle of it. Abducted by Turks of the sort that only exist in the Viennese opera, she stays true to her beloved, a man she [Read More...]

On the Magic Flute

Magic Flute is mad beauty, but so beautiful that beauty is almost enough. The story is a mash up of Free Masonry, Enlightenment religion, and every bad holdover of Medieval Catholicism with no virtues. If it makes sense, it is simply by pure eroticism leading to love. There is a magic flute, but the hero [Read More...]

And so it goes. . .

And so it goes. If a person or idea dies in Slaughterhouse Five, the Ecclesiastes of novels, Kurt Vonnegut includes this phrase. And it is perfect for the experience of Dresden. I read the novel as I walked the town and lived in both the glorious past, the horrible past, the redeemed present, and the [Read More...]

Pergamum in Berlin

Go to Turkey and visit Pergamum, on the cities mentioned by Saint John in Revelation, and you will be told all the good stuff is Berlin I had heard it, but now I know it. If you want to see ancient Pergamum, go to Berlin. The reconstruction of the altar there, of Zeus or Athena, [Read More...]

Love Finds A Way: On the Marriage of Figaro

Bugs Bunny by way of Chuck Jones will be my first thought if you tell me we are going to the Opera: especially anything with Figaro in the title. Now that I am done laughing at the memory (no wait, Figaro!), I also have to admit that opera in my childhood had Grand Old in [Read More...]

War is Evil, but Necessary

Christianity is not a warrior religion, unless a person is God or the Holy Angels. Men cannot kill other men without fear of injustice and no man’s death is altogether good. We hate war and we pray for peace. I am not a pacifist. I think, with most Christians in most places at most times, [Read More...]