The Lower Lights: Fresh Christmas Sounds – UPDATE

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Regular readers know I've been ranting for years about the need for fresh interpretations of our most beloved Christmas Carols; some of the radio stations around here have been looping Christmas music since before Thanksgiving and it's the same stuff, every year: Mariah Carey bouncing, Tammy Wynette keening, Andy Williams howling and bombast from all the new, young singers. They're all talented, but really? Is that loop all of the worthy Christmas music out there?I mean, I've given up … [Read more...]

Orthodox Nuns and “God is With Us”

After wading around in the filth of this post, I needed a palate cleanser; this seems just the ticket. Beautiful Orthodox nuns, and a lovely recording by the Mennonite Sharon Singers: We Are Not Alone; God is With Us … [Read more...]

Chelsea Clinton to NBC News – UPDATED

It appears Chelsea Clinton is going to NBC:NBC said it had hired the 31-year-old Clinton to work on projects for "NBC Nightly News" and Brian Williams' newsmagazine, "Rock Center." She will report stories for the feel-good "Making a Difference" series.The only child of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is pursuing a doctorate at Oxford and working for the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.So, she's done with the hedge-fund … [Read more...]

Penn State, Paradigms and Poor Me

With all there is to read on the Penn State/Sandusky story, here are two excellent pieces that should rise to the top of the pile:Read Mark Shea on Betrayal and the Power of a Relationship:But though lots of combox warriors are quite adept at fantasizing about how bravely they would have behaved and how vile Mike McQueary is in comparison to their brave selves, how they would have taken a baseball bat to Sandusky had they caught him in flagrante, the reality is that, if the Milgram … [Read more...]

Pieta, Signore

When my son Buster was auditioning for music school, his instructor told him to end with "Pieta, Signore" which he sang with great expression; his teacher called it his "razzle dazzle signature piece". He sang as a baritone and his 17 year-old, immature voice was charming.But it surely wasn't this! (H/T Rocco Palmo) Pavarotti in his prime. Sublime. … [Read more...]

Manna, Music and Men

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Marcia Morrissey has a really inspiring piece up at Patheos this week as she writes of volunteering with her granddaughter at Feed My Starving Children:This past week I brought my oldest granddaughter with me to volunteer as a food-packer at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), an organization committed to feeding the hungry in places as disparate as Belarus, Mexico, Niger and North Korea. [...]We heard the story of a 14-year-old girl who came to an orphanage and was first thought to be … [Read more...]

Snapshot of Brilliance: Bad Catholic, Age 18

Merciful heavens!Sacre bleu!Marc Barnes, aka the Bad Catholic has moved his blog here to Patheos, and with his very first post he has my head spinning, my synapses leaping for joy. He'd have my wordsmith mother whirling like a dervish, had she been inclined to whirling.The child's writing chops and original thinking have me gasping: "if he is writing like this at 18, what sort of fabulous monster will he be at 35?":Back when we had a faith, curses were fabulously blasphemous. ‘Sblood’ (C … [Read more...]

"Catholicism:" A Course in Revolution

Recently I posted the first of what are bound to be many, many posts raving about Catholicism; A Journey to the Heart of the Faith and urging you to purchase the book, read it and -- you won't be able to resist -- give it to everyone you know.My husband and I are giving it to our priests and the parish DRE, and we're not waiting for Christmas!And I haven't actually even written my rave review, yet. But while I figure out how to do that, George Weigel has written a rave of his own, this time … [Read more...]

Labor Day: Steyn on 16 Tons — UPDATED

If Mark Steyn were not such a brilliant social analyst (here's my take on his latest book, After America) then I would wish him to be recognized as the pre-eminent scholar and appreciator of the American Songbook. As much as I value his political stuff, I love when Steyn writes about the arts, and most particularly when he writes about music, where he is knowledgeable, funny and infectiously enthusiastic.For Labor Day, Steyn gives us two songs about labor, "Ol' Man River" and "16 Tons," but … [Read more...]

Three Little Words – UPDATE

Deacon Greg used his phone to take this picture -- an ad on the back of a NYC bus, promoting NET-NY (Where of course, In the Arena and Currents are produced, along with many other great programs).Even if the ad promoted nothing at all, I love the idea of that message being seen on the streets of New York.Or any streets, anywhere, especially in these times.They are, after all, the consoling words of our visiting angels.UPDATE: Someone writes that they liked the words, not the image -- … [Read more...]


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