October 10, 2018

Three actual young people who know things because they’re (excellent) reporters or they actually work in youth ministry, plus also me, emoting about Adoration. BTW, I was in the middle of Sigrid Undset’s terrific Catherine of Siena and if you are looking for something relevant to read, you may find in it a defense against hopelessness. This is a time of crisis for the Catholic Church. The horrific Pennsylvania grand jury report on clerical sexual abuse and revelations about Cardinal… Read more

October 8, 2018

C.H.U.D.: In Glorious Trash-O-Vision! This 1984 classic of urban abandonment, about “Cannibalistic Human Underground Dwellers,” is as seamy and strange as its reputation promises. I loved this weird, sad film about a photographer who uncovers a spate of deaths among the homeless people who have formed a secret community in the city’s sewage and subway tunnels. There’s an unexpected subplot about an unplanned pregnancy, which gets startling symbolic weight (I think there’s literally no explanation for the shower blood scene… Read more

September 13, 2018

and discover a poignant fear inside the shell of what is, imo, a pretty mediocre movie: This is the movie’s true monster—the possibility that self-surrender in the monastery and possession by a demon are basically the same thing. “The Nun” is about fear of submission; fear of betrayal, of being abandoned and destroyed by God and the church who promised to save you; fear of giving yourself, body and soul, in the hope that this plunge into God will strengthen… Read more

September 4, 2018

Some notes about the Catholic Church. # There’s a bit in an early voiceover from Beasts of the Southern Wild where the little girl Hushpuppy is musing on aurochs, enormous wild pigs who became extinct after an environmental catastrophe. What if the end of the world is coming? she fears. And then realizes that for some people, “the end of the world already happened.” When I became Catholic I assumed I was living in an ordinarily-bad time and place for… Read more

September 4, 2018

A friend and I were talking about conversations she’d been having lately, and she wondered how or whether she should “defend the Church.” I said, “Don’t defend it!” (I should have said, “Don’t defend Her,” but I would feel badly about that.) This is not a time when we can really “defend” our Church. What we can do, I think, is confess our own faith. And we may be able to speak, to some extent, about what our Church is…. Read more

August 31, 2018

Ms. 45: Abel “The Addiction” Ferrara’s 1981 rape-revenge film, starring Zoe Lund as the mute seamstress-turned-vigilante Thana. This is an urgent thriller whose ’80s glitz and grime never get in the way of its empathy for its heroine. Even when she’s packing heat in her sexy-nun Halloween costume, Thana is more subject than object. Honestly, this is brilliant, one hour and twenty minutes of the ecstatic rage and vindication of a Kathleen Hanna howl. Some may find that Thana’s muteness–and… Read more

August 30, 2018

Okay people, it’s time to put this out there. I have completed another novel (my first one is here) and am just starting the process of figuring out if it can find an agent or traditional publisher. It’s a comedy about a woman returning to DC after federal prison, trying to reenter her old social circle of local sadomasochists and get used to her new circle of halfway-house residents; when she learns that someone she knows is being abused, she… Read more

August 27, 2018

A real variety pack today. Byzantium: Neil Jordan vampire flick about two women, whose relationship you gradually come to understand as the movie progresses, who return to the seaside town where their lives began and unraveled. This did not quite do it for me but those interested in horror tales centered on women might check it out. Born in Flames: Riot Grrrl foreshadowing classic. Punk, choppy, pointillist tale of women in revolt in a near-future New York City where a… Read more

August 24, 2018

I’m still thinking about the point I tried to make on Monday, about how talk of an abusive “homosexual subculture” in the Church usually ignores the fact that these subcultures are, specifically, closeted subcultures. That post invites three pretty obvious objections. The first objection is that the closet is a peripheral issue, or even a distraction, when the real problem in the Catholic Church is the same problem as everywhere else: power. After all, the closet is not an especially… Read more

August 20, 2018

Fang flicks for fun chicks. I did a very short (~12 mins) interview with Doxacast, the podcast of the Christian sf/f/horror convention Doxacon. (EARLY BIRD TIX STILL AVAILABLE! Do you know who both R.A. Lafferty and the Theotokos are? Do you want to know whether our God is a trickster God, or why the Eucharist is not a werewolf? GET YOUR DOXACON TICKET TODAY.) Anyway, we began with a brief riff on what might interest a Christian in horror films,… Read more

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