November 10, 2015

The poor kid. This may seem like a strange way to describe the Yale student telling a university administrator, “You should resign,” among many other less printable things, in a tone most civilized people would blush to use on a telemarketer. But since her performance has been captured on video and viewed by millions, she is going to get her just deserts and probably much, much more. She’s already been tagged “the Shrieking Girl,” which nickname, observes Kate Maltby, is... Read more

November 5, 2015

My father has been dead for more than 13 years, but every once in a while he pays me a visit. No, he doesn’t appear in the dead vast and middle of the night with his beaver up. Instead, he shows up in the words that fly from my mouth whenever I have cause to nag someone – a student, a customer-service representative, (and, in the past) a faithless or tepid lover. Even in mid-harangue, I’ll recognize that distinctive style... Read more

November 4, 2015

We’re living in a world where jocks use words like “relational” – and come to no profit by it. Two days ago in Slate, Mark Joseph Stern gloated over the role of New York Met Daniel Murphy’s fourth-game error in delivering the World Series to Kansas City. Stern’s not a Royals fan; indeed, very humbly, he claims to be “agnostic as to which team deserved to take the crown.” Stern’s grudge is against Murphy and Murphy alone, because the utility... Read more

November 2, 2015

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November 2, 2015

Any Catholic theologian who chances to read this will probably wonder, “Whose words are these, really? What renegade steward of book learning betrayed his gifts and calling by rendering the subthalamic twitchings of a member of the simple faithful in human language?” Well, the words belong to nobody but me, a member of the species Boobus laïcus – “half-devil and half-child,” as the poet says – a modern bushman with nothing but a bachelor’s degree to distinguish him from the... Read more

October 27, 2015

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October 24, 2015

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October 19, 2015

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October 17, 2015

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October 14, 2015

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