The Overview Effect

BlueMarble

View image | gettyimages.com “When we look down at the Earth from space we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet – it looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile.” – Ron Garan Despite the fabulously futuristic  (and costly) efforts of Richard Branson and Friends,  the Overview [Read More...]

Bruised Once More ‘Gainst the Wood of the Cross

FlightintoEgyptbyMerson

They scarcely waked before they slept, They scarcely wept before they laughed; They drank indeed death’s bitter draught, But all its bitterest dregs were kept And drained by Mothers while they wept. – Christina Rossetti I’ve been at this Cradle Catholic gig for nearly 35 years, so you’d think I’d have learned a thing or two [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

JosephSeeksLodgingbyTissot

It’s one of those “Fourth Week, we hardly knew ye” years, where Week Four of Advent feels more like a vestigial than a full-blown liturgical event. But two days is more than enough to highlight some of the memorable melodic edifices built upon today’s introit: “Rorate Coeli Desuper.” Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur [Read More...]

Peter Jackson Misses the Point

GandalfRadagast

This past weekend, I joined millions of moviegoers around the globe in what will doubtless become a Christmas tradition (whether we like it or not): I Hobbited. Having now experienced Peter Jackson’s latest extravaganza for myself, I can safely say that I have very little to add to the critical consensus. The film features many of the visual and [Read More...]

A Little Knüppel Music

EmmettChapman

A friend of mine, well-aware of my love for both classical music and the bizarre, recently passed along this fantastic YouTube video. It’s a fellow performing Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in F minor (K.386) on a Chapman Stick. My first reaction (and I quote): “What the heck is that thing?” Described by its living creator — how [Read More...]

Music and Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent

BruegelCensus

In the wake of Friday’s tragedy, today’s call to “Rejoice” is a difficult one. But as Deacon Greg reminds us, even that call is shot through with the promise of suffering: “The Lord is near.” He knows what it’s like. And He knows what we need: hope.  And He has given it to us. The [Read More...]

The Pageless, Pagetless Sherlock

CropSherlock6

As readers of my “Lens” columns may remember, I am a devout Holmesian. I am also a proud iPad owner, and I love free things. (Yes, I’m American.) Yet I find myself strangely unsettled by today’s “Open Culture” post: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Now Free on the Kindle: It’s surely worth giving you the quick heads up that, [Read More...]

Why #AskPontifex Anything At All?

Benedito

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated arrival in the Twitterverse this morning caused quite a commotion.  And there is doubtless a great deal more to be said in the coming [Read More...]

Monteverdi’s Marian Love Letter

Claudio_Monteverdi

Over at my old stomping grounds, the incomparable Robert Reilly just reminded me of something that has confounded me for years: I love Monteverdi’s Vespers. “Why confounding,” you ask? Because despite my relatively large musical sweet spot, I have always struggled to enjoy (or even to appreciate) Renaissance music. When confronted by a friend a few [Read More...]

The Unimpeachable Testimony of Dr. John Watson

Sherlock3

As someone who spent countless hours with his adolescent nose buried in the pages of The Complete Illustrated Strand Sherlock Holmes (Facsimile Edition), there are few activities that give me more pleasure than comparing, contrasting, and critiquing the many cinematic faces of The World’s Most Portrayed Literary Human. Interpreted by more than seventy-five separate actors, Conan Doyle’s legendary [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X