I Watch “Deliver Us from Evil”

for AmSpec. I've now read a couple other horror fans' reviews, and they have the same mix of "There's clearly something interesting here, yet the execution is off somehow--bland, reliant on cliche, SOMETHING's not right." This even though they pick out different and in some cases opposite elements to praise or criticize. My conclusion is that the specific bits of the movie you find powerful or frustrating may vary, but there's something lacking in it, something a bit paint-by-numbers and … [Read more...]

The Pub Curmudgeon on the Rolling English Road

origin of the poem, which I hadn't known, etc: ...It isn’t widely realised, though, that the poem actually comes from a strange novel by Chesterton entitled The Flying Inn which was published in 1914 and is described by Charles Moore in the linked article, which oddly fails to name it in its title. As he says, “The novel is mostly quite silly, and occasionally objectionable.”The theme of the book, which in a way is prophetic but at the same time very wide of the mark, is a takeover of Engla … [Read more...]

In Defense of Wasting Your Life

Speaking of contradictory truths... I often tell this story when I talk: A couple of years ago I received a poignant email from a man who said, among other things, that he did accept the Church’s teaching and was trying to live up to it. But he still wondered: What happens if I change my mind? What happens if, years from now, I look back on my celibate life—will I regret it? Will it seem like an enormous waste?I think it depends. If one’s celibacy is purely rule-following, then yeah, once yo … [Read more...]

“Three Kinds of Argument on Family Structure”

in which I say that sociology is not the queen of the sciences. … [Read more...]

Augustine’s Confessions of a Mask

Leah Libresco's "Turing Test" 2012 has begun! This is a thing, not quite a contest and not quite a kabuki debate, in which atheists and Christians submit two sets of answers to a single set of questions. One set is their honest answers. The other is an answer from the point of view of whichever thing they're not, religiously speaking--thus atheists impersonate Christians and vice versa. Then everyone gets to vote on how well they did! It's anonymous until the big reveal, and the questions this … [Read more...]


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