“Vampire Brats”: I watch “What We Do in the Shadows”

at the Federalist:Before you accept the immortal kiss of the vampire, ask yourself one question: Do I want to be doing the dishes for the rest of eternity?“What We Do in the Shadows” is a charming mockumentary from writer-director team Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, exploring the unglamorous side of vampire life (or death) in New Zealand. It perfectly mimics reality-show conventions, like the self-narration with which the film opens: “So it’s six in the evening, which is when I … [Read more...]

Where Do Men Still Cuddle?: Vlad Chituc

writes: ...If it weren’t so threatening to seem gay, there wouldn’t be a need to police the appearance of it so firmly. Culture has been giving us a choice since the latter half of the 20th Century: seem gay or be lonely. That so many chose “be lonely” shows only the depth of our collective gay panic.I’m not just speculating, as [Anthony] Esolen does. This is at heart an empirical question—in what conditions is platonic male affection common and in what cases is it restricted? One way to go … [Read more...]

“The Self-Defeating Sexualization of Gay and Same-Sex Attracted Christians”: I’m at Spiritual Friendship

yowlin': I’ve written before about how often gay or same-sex attracted people are treated as if the central spiritual and moral issues of our lives are all sexual. For some reason this story strikes me as the most poignant example. But we’re subjected to so many demands that we repeat, “I’m chaste! I’m celibate!” in order to earn an uncertain welcome in the church. more … [Read more...]

“In Search of Lost Time”: I review an art show

at the Hirshhorn: I got the idea for how to start this review when I was supposed to be praying.I try to “do” ten minutes a day of contemplative prayer, kneeling and opening my mind and heart to whatever God wants to say to me: shedding my own opinions and judgments, turning away from all screens and distractions. It turns out to be a great way to get ideas for my writing. Not such a great way to surrender to silence and inner peace. The distractions are coming from inside the hou … [Read more...]

Never Go to Dostoyevsky’s Parties: “The Eternal Husband and Other Stories”

Just a quick note to say that I finished this collection of short stories, translated by Pevear & Volokhonsky, and it's not solely for completists. I mean there is a lot of recognizably Dostoyevskyan howling, and some situations and images I hadn't seen elsewhere in his work. If you like him you should move it up your queue a bit, is what I'm saying.P/V are controversial. I don't know enough Russian to have an informed opinion, but my uninformed opinion is that they make Dostoyevsky … [Read more...]

“The Walking Dread”: I Review “It Follows”

for AmCon: ...“It Follows” name-checks “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and The Idiot (which one character is reading on an adorable e-reader shaped like a makeup clamshell). But its grim little heart is simple. ”It Follows” wants to make you feel dread. This is an almost entirely successful chiller about the awful things we can’t escape. more--and be sure to click that "message movies" link for my favorite Val Lewton quote... … [Read more...]

“Dismantling the Cross”: Patricia Snow on Renewing Honor for Celibacy

This is a fantastic, hard-fought essay. I don't know that every aspect of it works (see below) but it's countercultural and deeply worth your time. Plus it includes an angle on Kristin Lavransdatter which I had not even considered: Generally speaking, there are two principal vocations in the life of the Catholic Church: marriage on the one hand, and celibate priesthood and religious life on the other. Both are expressions of conjugal love. In the normal calling of marriage, an individual binds … [Read more...]


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