More on “It’s a Wonderful Life”

A few days ago, while writing about Will Smith's new film The Pursuit of Happyness, I also found myself talking about the classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart.My L'il Bro Thom added his thoughts, and I wanted to share them:It’s a very deceptive movie – froth and cream on top, but bitter and full of bile underneath. I know now why people were so upset when it was colorized in the 80s – it needs to be told in black and white. The scene when George Bailey returns to his hou … [Read more...]

Vespers for Monday, Dec 18

The Dominican nuns of Summit, New Jersey have made a video of vespers for tonight. Not perfect (they're very apologetic about that) but perfectly lovely, and I hope they share more of this with us. They sounded like angels to me as they sang the second of what are known as the O Antiphons, which we chant in the last week of Advent, as the antiphon just prior to the chanting of the Magnificat. These antiphons are especially beautiful. They started yesterday with the O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O h … [Read more...]

The Psalm of the Common Man

For the past few days, I know, this blog has been a little on the edgy and skittish side. Those of you reading me must have developed an image of me tap-tap-tapping away at my keyboard, hair askew, wild-eyed with a caffeine overdose, hyperventilating and unable to focus.And yeah, that image would be just about right.I apologize if I've seemed a bit out there. While I was under the pressure of a couple of deadlines, Christmas and family commitments, I let email correspondence and other … [Read more...]

God forbid we should feel a little bad…

Miss Kelly is distressed to find that some hymnals (including - sigh - the one in my church) features a change in the words to Amazing Grace."Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me..." Has been changed to reflect both the freedom that comes with salvation - which is very nice - and also the decree from some publishing house on high that we never, ever sing a lyric that might suggest a negative. "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved and set me free..."Never … [Read more...]

Acedia and the Emperor of Ice Cream

Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month's newspapers. Let be be finale of seem. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.Take from the dresser of deal, Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet On which she embroidered fantails once And spread it so as to cover her face. If her horny feet protrude, they come To show how … [Read more...]

Anchoress Crashes and Burns. Film at 11:00.

So, as sometimes happens in life, everything came to a head yesterday afternoon. After a so-so day at work, during which I made arrangements with my pediatrician to get a second cardiologist opinion on a situation with Buster (my brother is not long for this world, and my 15 year old is routinely clutching at his chest and turning purple - can we say stress overload?) I took a look at my schedule for the day. It included many errand-y, Christmas-themed type things, ending with the hour's drive … [Read more...]

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?WB Yeats, The Second ComingPolly Toynbee’s mother died three weeks ago. Ms. Toynbee has written of it here, while in the throes of exquisite pain and some very plain anger:My mother died three weeks ago, less than a year after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. From the start she faced its inexorable course with rational calm, unafraid of dying but determined to avoid lingering beyond what she thought bearable. … [Read more...]


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