What's wrong with Jaden Smith? Nothing

Having enjoyed Jaden Smith's performance in The Pursuit of Happyness, (a film I liked very much) but uninterested in his current flick, The Karate Kid I had somehow missed the pop-controversy over whether or not young Jaden is a likable kid, or a brat. He seems quite alright, to me. In fact, the kid seems better than alright; he may be that Hollywood creature so rarely-seen-in-public, the product of a happy childhood. Jaden Smith strikes me as an intelligent and mannerly kid who spends the … [Read more...]

Hyundai Goes too Far?

It begins with the Agnus Dei - what they are chanting here is "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us." A most excellent prayer. It is unfortunate that such a prayer is lost in the mess of images, here: Every Catholic blogger I know is getting emails about this. Lots of really angry people out there who feel like the ad goes too far. One blogger emailed me saying, "I wanted to shrug it off as dumb until I saw the pizza-as-communion shot." I can understand why … [Read more...]

Pray for Nancy Pelosi

Just pray for her. Pelosi’s office did not respond to CNSNews.com’s follow-up questions regarding the speaker’s statement that she seeks to make policy in conformance with the values of the Word made flesh. It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to speak fervently of the Word Made Flesh, and to understand that by his Incarnation God has ennobled all mortal flesh with a sanctity and a holiness relative to his own, and yet to consistently vote--as Nancy Pelosi did in … [Read more...]

Witnessing the heart as it cracks – UPDATED

It is not possible to remain unmoved as Rep. Charles Melancon (D-LA) finds the break point. "Everything that I know and love is at risk." Watch it all. Melancon's sincere pain is a rebuke to the incessant political posturing we see out of Washington, and all the artless media outrage to which we have become so accustomed. In all seriousness--because this is a very serious situation--it seems that Chris Matthews' heart is breaking, too: Allahpundit writes of Matthews: But now that … [Read more...]

A Most small-c Catholic Drama

Over at Pajamas Media, I have a piece that you might call an addendum to my weekend article at First Things. In 2009 an Arizona woman, pregnant with her fifth child and suffering from pulmonary hypertension (an often, but not always fatal complication), consulted with her doctor and the ethics committee member on call — a Catholic Sister of Mercy — and obtained an abortion at the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. As the story has gone public, the reactions have been predictable … [Read more...]

The Privileged Call for Limited Dictatorships

When I read last week that Woody Allen likes the idea of letting President Obama be a dictator for a "few years" I was repelled; but then I've found Allen to be a repellent individual for decades--since Manhattan, at least--so I just shrugged it off as the foghorn bleat of an over-privileged mediocrity looking for some attention. But then the equally mediocre Tom born-wealthy-high-carbon-footprint-lover-of-Chinese-Communist-Capitalism-I've-got-mine-you-should-not-have-yours Friedman let fly … [Read more...]

The Wussification of the Workplace- UPDATES

:::WARNING: The very funny and insightful essay and link I am about to present to you contains a variation of the "S" word and several renderings of the "F" word. If you cannot handle the "F" word in any context, please do not follow this link. Go write me a letter about how scandalized you are that any Catholic site would dare to suggest that you read something that contains the "F" word, and then, rather than tempting yourself away from charity, tear it up and pray for me, instead. You are … [Read more...]

First Things Gets a New Look!

A few days ago First Things editor Joseph Bottum sent a note around about a redesign of the magazine. Although I had no idea what was in store, I rejoiced at the notion. I've loved First Things for a long time for its intelligent and often challenging content, but visually the journal was a bit of a snooze. Today my copy landed in the mailbox, and it had me dancing around the foyer. First off, there's the cover - bold background with a line drawing of a reader who looks, to me, like a cross … [Read more...]

The Fundamental(ist) Imbalance

Nowadays, the truth of peace continues to be dramatically compromised and rejected by terrorism, whose criminal threats and attacks leave the world in a state of fear and insecurity. These are often the fruit of a tragic and disturbing nihilism. Looked at closely, nihilism and fundamentalism share an erroneous relationship to truth: the nihilist denies the very existence of truth, while the fundamentalist claims to be able to impose it by force. Both show a dangerous contempt for human beings … [Read more...]

Shahzad's grudge is recent? – UPDATED

The mainstream media has presented us with a plethora of possible motives behind Faisal Shahzad's attempted bombing in Times Square. We have read that he was a victim of the (Bush) economy, whose house was foreclosed on! In 2004, he is said to have remarked that he hated Bush (hardly a remarkable opinion) and the Iraqi war! He didn't like the drone attacks! But now it seems that Shahzad's has been a recent turning of a worm. If you stay with this story, you find, 13 paragraphs into it: Any … [Read more...]


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