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...]

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Bartoli: Ave Maria – Sposa son disprezzata

Bartoli is perhaps the most masterful vocal technician of the modern era. Not the biggest voice, not the creamiest, but my goodness, what staggering control, what flawless ownership she takes of the music. Catch the Ave Maria at .38; do you know how difficult it is to hit that note with sweetness and restraint? It's much easier to belt it out than to coddle it so gently. Awesome. … [Read more...]

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Missing Peter Falk

I knew that Peter Falk was an actor who often improvised, as his often powerful work with John Cassavetes attests, but I was still surprised to learn, first, that Falk was in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire and second, that Falk largely improvised his role.Joseph Susanka discusses it all, hereFor me, however, the single most thought-provoking performance of his long and highlight-laden career will always be "Der Filmstar," from Wim Wenders' ethereal meditation, Wings of Desire (Der Himmel … [Read more...]

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The Great, Holy Mr. Rogers

Oh, I needed to read this wonderful piece on Fred Rogers today!As for the agenda of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", it was deeply resonant with the agenda God offers us as co-creators of our life and world, and with the comfort of being held in good hands. First and always was the affirmation of unconditional love: "I like you just the way you are" is what every child heard from Fred every single day. That's a message any of us would welcome hearing ourselves.Some parents, however, … [Read more...]

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Conan O' Brien's Brilliant Commencement Address

Conan O' Brien gave the commencement address at Dartmouth college, and it is longer than usual, but stick with it for the sheer entertainment value. At about the 18 minute mark, O'Brien gets serious and personal, and the speech goes from enjoyable to sublime. Discussing his professional journey and its disappointments, he says: "There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized."You can tell he means it; between quips, he speaks passionately and with … [Read more...]

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Textbook-Free Campus; Fact-Free History, No Jobs

I have issues with textbook-free campuses, and so, it appears, does Jesse Jackson, Jr.And some of our issues are the same. I too have wondered what happens to all the publishing houses, all the paper producers, the raw-material-providers, all the book binders, all the designers, all the office-workers, all the shipping and trucking jobs that disappear if campuses become "textbook free."I am also concerned about what happens to our understanding of the past -- or even our present -- when … [Read more...]

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Accept Almighty Father – FOUND!

A couple days ago I awoke with my memory ringing back a hymn from my childhood that I had not heard in likely 42 years, and which I could not find on google.Happily, a twitter-follower, HeyJulieo found the hymn, with the melody I remember, in the 1966 Parish Mass Book - St. Joseph Edition.Can we please have this wonderful, singable, instructive and reverent hymn back? Please? … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Colbert's Covert Catechesis

Matt Emerson, who has recently served up some excellent, challenging and provocative reads for us in the Catholic portal (and will soon be launching his own column with us) considers Stephen Colbert's sly, "cloak and dagger catechesis" and why it makes him a cheerful ambassador for the church, and perhaps the "best thing going" in American Catholicism.Colbert is a practicing Catholic and so is his character, and sometimes something apostolic appears to break through. Consider the confetti of … [Read more...]

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How lovely is this?

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