About Matt Talbot

Some Thoughts on Vatican II, Part 1

This is not a post on the documents or formal results of the Council, but more on how things changed in a day-to-day way in the wake of it. I asked my mother (aged 83) once about what she remembered about the pre-Vatican II Church, and she said, “I remember going up to Father before [Read More…]

The Absurdity of Despair

Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact But maybe everything that dies someday comes back. –Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City” I take Mom to lunch on Wednesdays, and afterward this week we took a drive around the San Francisco Bay Area, and everywhere we went the hills were bursting with new life – the deciduous oaks were [Read More…]

Godwin’s Law Overturned on Appeal

Godwin’s Law is, in the words of Wikipedia, …an Internet adage which asserts that ‘As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1’—that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler. …there [Read More…]

Quote of the day

For all the talk about ‘populism’, what really imbues this White House is nationalism. But not just nationalism in a general sense which can have positive, communitarian aspects. It is a hateful and aggressive nationalism based on zero-sum relationships and a thirst for domination and violence. These are dangerous people. -Josh Marshall   [Read more…]

Fear, Loathing and Donald Trump

Over the next four years, I’m going to make a distinction in my posts between Donald Trump and the people who voted for him. Donald Trump is a narcissistic, grandstanding blowhard, whose presidency is likely to make the venal, corrupt incompetence of George W. Bush’s administration look like the reign of Marcus Aurelius. With his self-aggrandizing [Read More…]

The Verdict of Future History

Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from [Read More…]

Memories of Autumn

Can it be autumn already? The Autumnal equinox happened this Wednesday the 21st, and I am once again reflecting on why I love this season so much. If Spring is the season of young men’s fancies, autumn is the season of older men’s bittersweet memories. Decades ago, I first fell in love in this season. [Read More…]

Catastrophe and community; Reflections on the 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm

Almost exactly 25 years ago, in October of 1991, I was living in a small apartment in the Rockridge district of Oakland, right at the base of the East Bay Hills. I had just started a new job, and had rented an apartment on the third floor of a building that was about a 25 [Read More…]

One Black Life That Mattered

Two of my best friends growing up in Richmond were the Stanley brothers, Sertha and Ray. Sertha was about a year older than me (the same age as my late older brother Mark) and Ray was my age. For most of my childhood, Ray and I were inseparable. On the other side of the Southern [Read More…]

A Beautiful Examination of Conscience….

…that fits the present moment especially well, but could be profitably used at any time. (Via Mark Shea) [Read more…]