A Hesitant Defense of Cliven Bundy

I've stayed away from the Bundy story until now. It seemed like the latest bit of 24-hour news sensationalism, and I still think it is. Even as I type these words I'm not exactly interested in the whole story. I don't plan to do my homework and could care less what I've missed or what will show up later.I only became interested in the story after the racial remarks Bundy made that were decried by every ideological color on my spectrum of social media. That was what caught my attention.I … [Read more...]

Profane Praise: On Estuary Music

The expression for 'fresh water' in Spanish is agua dulce — sweet water. I always liked that way of putting it. An estuary is a place where sweet and salty water meet and combine into a brackish ecology of life between land and sea.*I grew up in the sweet waters of the charismatic Roman Catholic Church, leading worship where open major chords strummed in 4/4 and unison choruses ended singing acapella, in men's and woman's parts.Over the last decade of my life, I've discovered and fall … [Read more...]

LIVE at The Empire UPDATED

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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 … [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 … [Read more...]

Open Mic Night: Is this the New Evangelization?

It's not everyday I get to post on Patheos Catholic from a neighborhood dive bar.But I'm headed to Wabash College today, to give a noon talk and an evening lecture on Thursday, and I need to give you something in the meantime. (I had a warm-up talk/conversation here at the University of North Dakota on Monday. I'll post all three here once I get back, in case anyone's interested.)On Tuesday nights, I've started attending a local open mic, in hopes of knocking off some rust to start p … [Read more...]

“White History Month”

Two years ago, during my first year of teaching at Wabash College, I was invited to give a "Chapel Talk," a weekly lecture on the speaker's choice. Since I have a natural aversion to controversy, I wrote and delivered the following talk on a bland and safe topic: Black History Month and the notion of race.Since it's February again, I share it here in video and text. I have not done much more work in the philosophy of race since writing this talk, but I do hope to return to it sooner than … [Read more...]

Was Columbus White?

On another side of this holiday, we find another lesson: a lesson about whiteness.Columbus Day is often treated, on both sides, as the day that so-called white people discovered/conquered (see my previous post) non-whites.This is mistaken: in 1492 "white people" hadn't been invented yet. The invention of Whiteness didn't happen for several hundred years later.In the British colonies and Whiggish United States, Columbus --- and all of Spanish and Italian culture --- would never … [Read more...]

Sep 21, 2012 9:35pm

“Let us be realists and demand the impossible: Communism,” a lecture by Slavoj Zizek. Or: “What I spent a lot of my time doing: watching Slavoj Zizek,” a confession by Sam Rocha. … [Read more...]

Sep 10, 2012 5:11pm

I submitted this rendition of “My Heart Ain’t Got No USB” for the Love Come Alive 2012 talent search, sponsored by Mysterium. I haven’t competed in this sort of competition before, but I do know that the amount of views it gets plays into the decision, so please take a view or twenty and feel free to spread it like the plague. Thanks!SR … [Read more...]

Aug 22, 2012 10:29pm

Coming soon: Restless Heart: The Confessions of St. Augustine This had better be good. I am suspicious, as usual. Expect a full review when it comes out. In case you missed it earlier, I gave a talk about a month ago on Augustine’s Confessions: “Sts. Augustine and Monica, the Head and the Heart.” … [Read more...]


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