“The Man Who Ate Liberty Valance”: I’m at AmCon

on Ravenous, a cannibal Western with a Looney Tunes win-by-losing climax--yes, I loved it: 1999′s Ravenous turns up on a lot of lists of underrated horror movies. It’s hard to get people to take you seriously when your plot is, “Guy Pearce eats people in the Old West.” But now that I’ve finally taken advantage of “Ravenous”‘s availability through Netflix streaming, I can tell you: This movie is criminally underrated. It’s not just a creepy, haunting cannibal Western from the producer of “Donnie … [Read more...]

From St John of Kronstadt

Unfortunately, the Devil shelters himself behind us, and conceals himself, whilst we are blind, and, thinking we are doing everything of ourselves, begin to stand up for the Devil's works as if they were our own, as if for something just, although every idea of there being any justice in our passion is entirely false, impious, and hurtful. Via TKB about something specific, but I thought of it because of this posts about being carried by Christ. If we try to stand on our own two feet it's very … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #15–The Crowning of Mary, Queen of Heaven

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. This mystery takes me back to what I said about the Scourging at the Pillar. I am not the Queen of my own heart; I am not, if I'm doing it right, the captain of my soul. I'm not the fantasy character who was raised as a mere pigkeeper but learns that she has a secret destiny to save the world and then rule it. Our task in life is to discern whom to serve and … [Read more...]

A 1987 of the Heart: I Rewatch “Less Than Zero”

...because of course I do.So this used to be on Netflix streaming, but I didn't tell you about it then, because what am I, your butler? Anyway, you can still get it through Netflix Delayed Gratification. The first time I watched LTZ was December 2011, about a month before I had my last drink (so far). I don't know if it was what I do for a living--the compulsively analytical eye of the person who gets engulfed by art for money--or the emotional numbness and batteredness of active addiction, … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #6–Agony in the Garden

He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." This one's really short and straightforward because there's a song which more or less perfectly captures the acceptance & surrender which this mystery is mostly about for me. I already wrote some stuff about the Mountain Goats' We Shall All Be Healed and it's not like you guys were ever going to escape this rosary series without SOME … [Read more...]

The Mask of Obedience

Last year I wrote this really scattershot, unsatisfying post about "The Beauty of Obedience," rescuing obedience as a positive term and a category you're allowed to care about. I recognize that that post was not the tightest thing I've ever written, and in fact, I'm still kind of flailing around trying to talk about what a positive vision of obedience might look like, but here are yet more extremely scattered thoughts.I've been thinking about that terrific phrase, "the mask of command," and … [Read more...]

King of Cups: Rereading Tim Powers’s “Last Call”

Fantasist (and mackerel-snapper, if we're counting) Tim Powers does high-concept tales in which hard-bitten characters struggle to learn to love one another and escape complex, unforgiving systems of magical dark forces. Last Call is probably my second-favorite of his fantasies of salvage--the greatest is Declare aka "the one where demons fight the Cold War"--and as I reread it I loved it even more than I did the first time around. The high concept this time is "war for succession among the gods … [Read more...]


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