Newsweek not Sexist, Just Unprofessional

I've been meaning to write on that absurd, and frankly tabloid-worthy Newsweek cover photo of Michele Bachmann, mostly to give props to Terry O' Neill, of the National Organization for Women, who has kept her word since declaring that "from here on" (meaning from the point of the 2010 elections) she was going to speak up when female candidates -- even conservative ones -- were subjected to sexism. Not that my opinion would matter, but I doubted she'd do it, and she's proved me wrong; O'Neill … [Read more...]

DC's Bad Kabuki & the Next Chapter of Trouble – UPDATES

Clearly, what we are getting out of Washington is not leadership, not from anyone. It is spitefulfulness; it is deceit; it is hyperbole unto madness and maneuvering and masterful manipulation, but it's not leadership. What it is, is pure Kabuki theater, but less honest. Or maybe it's not Kabuki, at all; maybe it's just a carnival with freakshow, burlesque and a magic act, all brought forward to engage our attention in misdirection. "Look right this way, folks, (no, not there or there, there … [Read more...]

Mass Murderer with Headshots? – UPDATED

So, what are we to make of this creature who has handed Norway a horrific grief and who managed, it seems, to continue stalking and shooting his unarmed prey for over an hour? His background and beliefs will be explored extensively throughout the media, but what I can't help wondering as I look at these pictures of 32-year old Anders Behring Breivik is: were these professionally-done headshots meant for this moment? Did he have them done in anticipation of seeing them splashed all over the … [Read more...]

Tumbling America and the Narrative Thrust UPDATED

America is in the process of tumbling: she has one party interested only in "remaking" America with or without the constitution's guidance; it is a party become so expert at political maneuvering that it no longer believes it actually has to lead, build consensus or compromise -- ever -- and another party that can't manage to stick a post into a hole and call it a goal. The Democrats and Republicans remind me of nothing so much as Jules and Brett in Pulp Fiction -- the Democrats alternately sly … [Read more...]

Thoughtful pieces on Casey, Caylee, Corapi, Idols

Emails are coming in reporting a state of high tension on various Corapian threads, in anticipation of the Black Sheepdog's "very special announcement" which is promised today. You gotta give the Dog credit; he knows how to play to an audience and build up the suspense. I'm finding it kind of sad (and troubling) that so many people have made this one man such a huge part of their lives of faith. And I am troubled, too, by our society's seemingly endless appetite for high-drama and … [Read more...]

Holy Women & Everyday Hero Priests -UPDATE

"The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine genius which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms that the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope, and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness (n. 31)."--- Blessed Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem Exciting … [Read more...]

Mo Dowd, Wrong Again

I am not sure she actually reads more than summary reports on anything, and even if that's true, I'm not sure she is able to comprehend sentences that do not conform to her worldview, still I am going to take a chance and send Maureen Dowd this piece on what critics and the press got wrong regarding the John Jay study on causality (pdf) and the sex abuse issue within the church. Dowd, you'll recall, went full metal mental all over Archbishop Dolan over gay marriage in doing so tried to sneer … [Read more...]

Art, Propaganda and Evil's Easy Way – UPDATE

At 50th Annual Academy Awards bash of 1977, Vanessa Redgrave thanked the Academy for giving her an Oscar (for "Julia") despite "the threats of of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums." The respected screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky wasted no time in responding to Redgrave's provocation: "I am sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal propaganda," he said, memorably. Chayefsky was speaking to the wind. Why wouldn't the people who lived and worked … [Read more...]

Oprah's Final Show – UPDATED

Over at National Review they're running a Symposium exploring whether Oprah Winfrey's long-running talk show has been a net-positive or negative for the nation. I participated in the symposium, along with Charlotte Allen, Cal Thomas, Suzanne Venker, Danielle Bean, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Pia de Solenni and many others. It makes for a very interesting round-up of opinions My own response was quickly dashed-off and had I taken more time, I believe I would have stricken the too-easy joke at … [Read more...]

Resistance & Humility Feed Creativity

My column at First Things this week is all about the efficacy of the word "no" in our lives, and how deadening to the spirit and one's own creative juices is can be to hear only praise, and no criticism: Nothing quite so humbles as a tumble, and humility is often the deep place where creativity resides. When a successful artist or writer becomes so insulated from criticism that he never comprehends a failure, or when he has gone a decade or two without hearing the word “no” spoken in his … [Read more...]


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