Disenchanting the Villain

First Things has a review up that I liked very much of a Macbeth that the reviewer did not like very much.  Kate Havard watched a Macbeth that took all the tragedy out of the Scottish King, reducing the title character (played by Ethan Hawke) to a stumbling, unpleasant man.  She writes: Yet there’s something right about making the Scottish tyrant so vulgar and unromantic. It reminds us Macbeth is ultimately a butcher, not a hero. True, in a more nuanced Macbeth, we’d see him as both: a fallen he … [Read more...]

Philosophy Class Should Be Perilous

Over at Friendly Atheist, there's a trailer for a terrible looking Christian movie, where a noble Christian student stands up to his bullying atheist philosophy professor who begins the semester by essentially asking telling his students that they'll need to disavow religion in order to pass.  Cue the intense stares, montages, lazy apologetics, and guest appearance by a Christian rock band.Hemant Mehta titled his post "This Must Be What Christian Apologists Think A College Philosophy … [Read more...]

Prizes for the 2013 Ideological Turing Test

This year, I decided to have prizes for the Ideological Turing Test, and to have the winners pick them out for each other.  The two contestants who were most successful at aping the other side swapped books, and so did the two people who, when writing their true beliefs, were the contestant that the opposing side most wanted to have coffee with.  I asked each of them to give a few reasons for their recommendations before I made the purchases.  (And, for reasons that will become obvious, I was ve … [Read more...]

Let there be shame and confusion

A few days ago, I was praying the Midday Prayer of the Divine Office, and I was struck by the juxtaposition of two of the psalms slated for that day (Wednesday, 31st week of ordinary time).  First there was this part of Psalm 70: O God, make haste to my rescue, Lord, come to my aid! Let there be shame and confusion on those who seek my life.O let them turn back in confusion, who delight in my harm, let them retreat, covered with shame, who jeer at my lot. Which was shortly followed … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (11/15/13)

--- 1 --- I can't decide if I want to roll my eyes at the sheer number of [X] Hall of Fames that exist or to feign approval until the eventual creation of a Hall of Fame Hall of Fame, in which you can see scaled down miniatures and blown up photos of the best niche museums.  I discovered the existence of the Toy Hall of Fame this week, when they inducted two new toys: chess and the rubber duckie.    The news story says that honorees are chosen "on the basis of several factors including ico … [Read more...]

All Parenthood in a Day

In his memoir Living by Faith, Dwelling in Doubt, Kyle Cupp tells two interwoven stories: the development of his Catholic faith and the death of his daughter Vivian, who was diagnosed in utero as being unable to live for much more than a day after her birth.The story is harrowing to read. Cupp doesn't sugarcoat the grief he, his wife, and their son experienced, but he also shows how they kept looking for opportunities to show Vivian and each other love.  He writes: I came to the conclusion … [Read more...]

Knock Knock. Who’s There? A Wedding… I think

  The NYT Weddings section recently reported on a new trend for marriage officiants: marketing themselves for their entertainment potential rather than any particular ministry.  One popular officiant is the Kenny Kramer, who inspired the Seinfeld character of the same name. The bride’s parents squirmed. Seconds later, Mr. Kramer, who prefers not to be called the Rev. Kramer but rather Irreverent Kramer, pronounced the smiling couple husband and wife, and after they kissed, he reminded them of h … [Read more...]