IT'S AN INTERVIEW WITH TELFORD WORK! excerpts: "...I don't know whether ['The Passion of the Christ'] will have helped or hindered knowledge of Christ in the wider culture. I have no idea what unchurched Christians' long-term reactions will be. However, within evangelicalism I am a little worried about it. After the film I spent a good deal of time explaining Catholic soteriology to some very confused and distressed Protestant students. Evangelical theology is a poor theological grid for … [Read more...]

SALAM PAX IS HERE. Well, actually he's in Najaf, God help him. But you know what I mean. … [Read more...]

THE FINAL FRONTIER: PLANETES v. 2 and 3. Just finished the second and third volumes of this ongoing, excellent sci-fi manga series. Scattered thoughts:First of all, go read Planetes. It's a messy, character-focused space exploration story that manages to almost-successfully combine episodic drama and a strong plot arc. There are some beautiful moments (the books are worth it just for the drawings of space, or for static lovelinesses like the vol 3 image of the dragonfly against the moon) and … [Read more...]

JOURNALCON!: It was fun. I was hugely busy and sleepless, and so I was only able to be there for my own personal panel, on the nexus of personal blogging and professional life. But the people were great and the questions were fun. A couple superbrief observations: 1) This is the first blog-oriented crowd I've ever been in that was about 80% women. Welcome to the wild world of things that aren't political blogging....2) I was the bad girl: I did one journalism internship and one year-long … [Read more...]

TOO OLD TO BE A CHILD STAR; TOO YOUNG TO TAKE LEADS...: Happy birthday to me! (Actually, Sunday was my birthday, aka the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, which entirely rocks.)I'm feeling really, really happy about this birthday. It feels more significant than most. The year I was 25 was, honestly, kind of horrible, for reasons entirely under my control: I made a lot of bad decisions and in turn they made me miserable. And at Mass on Sunday I realized one of the biggest reasons why. I found … [Read more...]

"THE TOWN THAT DIDN'T STARE": Moving piece on reconstructive surgery on WWII veterans. Via The Corner. … [Read more...]

"RAISING KEVION": Intermittently sweet, harsh, true-to-life piece from the NYT Magazine's welfare beat reporter. Must-read; if I've heard this story once I've heard it a hundred times. Via Family Scholars.Excerpts: "Nearly a decade has passed since the country 'ended welfare' with a landmark bill imposing time limits and work requirements, and low-skilled women like Jewell have entered the work force in record numbers. But low-skilled men have not. And low-skilled black men, the sea in which … [Read more...]