John L. Allen, Jr. on Pope Francis’s Anti-Abuse Commission

here: Francis also showed sensitivity by ensuring that a victim was part of the team, in this case a well-known Irish campaigner for victims’ rights named Marie Collins. Among other things, Collins is known to have the ear of Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who, like O’Malley, is a prelate known around the world for taking strong stands in favor of coming clean on the abuse scandals. much more; and do scroll down to the final item in this column as well.ETA: But see. … [Read more...]

“Art Breakers”: I’m in The American Interest

reviewing: The first chamber sets up the thesis of “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950,” at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington through May 26. As visitors enter, a 1950s filmstrip plays, showing nuclear blasts recorded for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. To one side, so you only see it once you’re already in the room, there’s a smashed baby grand piano with an axe still sticking out of its body: the remains of a 2013 performance art piece in which Raphael Montañez Ortiz hacked the … [Read more...]

Four Feuilletons for Friday (almost)

Some links.When I was listing my favorite underrated/underseen horror movies I didn't think to name Deadgirl. It's a tough, sad, grimy and rancid indie horror which is (to be somewhat reductive) about misogyny but not itself misogynistic. Not entirely sure I can revisit it sober, but it's really stuck with me; and my anecdata agree w/the Deadly Doll that women horror fans tend to like (if that's the word) the movie more than men do. Which is especially fascinating since it's a movie by and … [Read more...]

The Further Adventures of Melinda Selmys

I have many friends who loved Melinda Selmys's 2009 book, Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism, in which she explored the philosophical issues arising from her own shift from lesbian atheist to married Catholic mom. It did not work for me at all. I admit that I am probably overly-harsh on Gay Catholic Whatnot. I wrote my own book--forthcoming Fall 2014 from Ave Maria Press, GET EXCITED--because nobody else had yet written the book I wanted to read. But I … [Read more...]

“Thanks for Sharing”: Let Your Inhibitions Run Wild

Helen Rittelmeyer is obviously right that we're in a cultural moment where addiction and recovery provide almost the only common language we have for exploring subjects like grace, penitence, and hope. Thanks for Sharing, the sex-addiction romcom starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark "Ruffalo Ruffalo ruffalo ruffalo ruffalo Ruffalo ruffalo" Ruffalo (...sorry), is yet another example of Helen's point. Ruffalo (ruffalo) is a recovering sex addict named Adam, who after five years of sexual sobriety is … [Read more...]

“In Love and Struggle”: I review LaToya Ruby Frazier at the Brooklyn Museum

It's a terrific show, closing THIS SUNDAY, so check it out if you're in the area! It’s the kind of Mother’s Day card you might give if you come from an especially unflinching family: A mother stands tall and imposing in front of the camera, facing it squarely and glaring at it. The daughter stands behind her mother–she’s slim enough that her body fits entirely behind her mom’s, as her face looks away and down. Their two shadows merge on the wall, creating one larger, indistinct shadow. The mothe … [Read more...]

“The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness”: For when you’re done reading about the new pope

I'm at Acculturated. Don't worry, it's not an endorsement of "happiness research": The title of this article is also the title of a 2009 study by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The study looked at data from the United States and Europe, focusing on the period from the 1970s to the mid-2000s: a time of medical advances, the second wave of feminism, the rise of no-fault divorce and the personal computer. And also a period in which women got less happy—both absolutely, and re … [Read more...]


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