Why I’m Not Writing About the Trayvon Martin Case

The easy, short answer is that I don't have time. It really is that simple, too simple. Unclear.I worry that some of my more critical readers have confused the difference between simplicity and oversimplification.Of course things often reduce to a simple core reality. At the same time, these simple things can rarely be accounted for with "simple" talk. Perhaps silence is best. But that leaves much to be desired, too, sometimes.I value clarity as a form of fidelity. For me, to be "clear" is … [Read more...]

Criticizing Criticism and The Blue Evangelization: A Rejoinder

Read this first. This post is about that post. +++ It is not my first time being (mis)understood as a curmudgeon, provocateur, and a snob. I'm sure it won't be my last and I am not proud of that. I'm actually quite ambivalent about it. Polemics are a refuge for me, I feel at home in a debate. It comforts me. But I also grow weary and bored of the routine. More than anything else, debate is a routine. At best it is a subtle dance, at worst it is an exercise in shame and humiliation --- not unlike … [Read more...]

Why Serious Catholics Should Hate Catholic Stuff

I love Mexican food.Bordertown street cuisine, Tex-Mex comfort food, and Southwestern red and green chiles and sopapillas...Tacos al pastor, tortas, elote (en vaso), carne guisada, frijoles a la charra, CABRITO AL PASTOR. I love the drinks, the tamarindo, the key lime, cilantro, the salt. Heat that actually isn't too hot.Mariscos, fresh.Una coca bien fria --- a Coca-Cola in an ice-cold glass bottle.The soups: from a clear, crisp fish soup to a beefy sopa de res. Or the spicy balance … [Read more...]

Category Mistakes Abound: Marriage, Hell, and the Pope

A category mistake occurs when one thing is misidentified as another. This is often a matter of semantics, of word usage. But the reason why a category mistake is problematic is because the semantic confusion can lead to an ontological mistake, a situation where more than language is at stake.When we try to communicate, I think we often have to admit that the two (or three or nine) sides of the discussion are at least partially guilty of making category mistakes from time to time. When … [Read more...]

LIVE at The Empire UPDATED

Last night I played the first all-original set I've played since 2006, at Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis, at The Empire theatre in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota. The show lasted just over an hour and a half and I played songs I've written from 2003 to the present. I was joined by my brother-in-law, Shawn Kolles, on drums. Here is most of the full show (with part II below)  and, below that, I'll add links to the individual songs as they get uploaded. Enjoy!SPANISH CHOIR THERE WAS A BOY WHAT … [Read more...]

LIVE FREE AND DIE

Libertines, everywhere. We have conservative libertines, liberal libertines, secular libertines, and religious libertines. We have reactionary libertines, sexual libertines, social libertines, cannabis libertines, economic libertines, and anarchist libertines. Groupie communitarian libertines, solo individualistic libertines, populist proletariat libertines, and ironic aristocrat libertines. Indigenous sovereignty libertines, nativist isolationist libertines, border-crossing pragmatic … [Read more...]

Primer Update and Sneak Peek

My latest book --- A Primer for Philosophy & Education --- was released two weeks ago. Since then, there have been two reviews --- here and here --- posted on Patheos blogs and there are several more to come from Patheos and elsewhere.Entering this crucial third week, I'd like to ask you for your help once again. Anything helps: Facebook liking and sharing, Tweets, and especially personal recommendations to people you think might be interested are all a huge help. In the end, the proof is … [Read more...]

A Sunday Letter: Bikers and Fishing, Rhythm and Harmony

My dear readers,Happy Pentecost! Here's something of a weekend review:Friday I played drums for the opening act and guitar for the headliner --- "Little Bobby and the Storm" --- at a biker charity event in St. Hilaire, MN. It felt very retro. Biker leather and tattoos don't age much and there were not the usual smart phones everywhere. I never knew that bikers like to slow dance as much as they did. The beer was unlimited and the outdoor stage allowed for smoking, so the air was ripe with … [Read more...]

The Womb of Love: A Womanist Manifesto

The Ascension is a soft-spoken Catholic feast about dwelling in a prolonged and reoccurring Advent.More and more, I feel like all feasts eventually collapse on each other, but today the feast of the Ascension feels unique because of its peculiar absence, its anti-climatic and even surprising exit.Birth, Death, and Resurrection is much more straightforward. It covers all the bases and leaves no loose ends.But there's more? Yes, yes, there is. Salvation history is an infomercial.Like the … [Read more...]

Housekeeping, Announcements, Gratitude, Spring

Those who know me also know that I don't keep a calendar, although sometimes I do in one form or another. It's a defensive mechanism. The things I do forget, are simply that. The rest gets done at a regular pace without breathing too heavy down my neck.It's been a long, hard winter. Laura Ingalls Wilder comes to mind. There are no words to describe it properly --- what it does to you. North Dakotans tell me that I got to experience a real winter. I should feel proud or or lucky or something. I … [Read more...]