pop culture

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Demand Moral Beauty: It Is Our Birthright

One of the recurrent themes throughout St. Augustine’s Confessions is the nature of beauty and how beauty leads Augustine toward truth, goodness, and wisdom. Beauty is a gateway to truth, and no one better reflected this in his writings than Augustine. The rejection of beauty in our contemporary society, including from within the Church, has [...]

At the Movies with Campaign 2016

“What are we going to do?” asked the Professor. “At this moment,” said Syme, with a scientific detachment, “I think we are going to smash into a lamppost.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare By all accounts, this has been a strange campaign season, and it’s only going to get stranger, so [...]

Nostalgia for a Life “Happily Ever After”

In his new book The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin writes about how both the Right and the Left are waxing nostalgic—the Left, for the Camelot of the 1960s; the Right, for the Reagan Ranch of the 1980s. He may very well have a point—this explains the plethora of “Reagan Bush 1984” bumper stickers and t-shirts [...]

How Obergefell Really Happened

Without a doubt Obergefell was crammed down our throats, as were all the lower court decisions that overturned 34 state laws and constitutional changes voted upon by citizens. But, it is hard to see that Obergefell would ever have happened if the ground had not been prepared, if those five Supreme Court justices could not [...]

Madonna, the Archbishop, and the Duty of the Art Patron

Madonna's Rebel Heart tour has come and gone from Singapore, but in her wake she left a hanging question not only about the responsibility of artists in today's culture, but also the responsibility of those who patronize the arts. Fans in Singapore paid anywhere from $150 to $1784 U.S. dollars for the opportunity to see [...]

A Misplaced Grief: The Vatican and David Bowie

In proof of Chesterton’s dictum that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly, I pound away at the piano playing the easier Chopin Nocturnes and I grind on my violin with a confidence only an amateur can flaunt. So I am not innocent of music.  I appreciate the emotive post-war French [...]

The James Bond Cult

A British newspaper recently ran an article asking if the cult of James Bond is a new religion. It came to the conclusion that it is. I wasn’t surprised at the question posed. In fact, I was relieved that, at last, it was being asked. Only this year, that cult has grown still greater with [...]

Television: The Devil’s Tabernacle

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”  ∼Matthew 6: 22 – 23 I recently had [...]

Is Ugly the New Beautiful?

Summer has become a season of strange and stark irony. While it brings forth the beauty of the world, it also brings forth the ugliness of the age. The warmth and light are invariably attended by trashy fashion and tattooed flesh. These dog-days, there is hardly a street or a store without people who appear [...]

Tattooing Meaning

The girl in the red blouse has a tattoo. A little one—a rose, I think, high on her hip. It shows when her blouse rides up as she bends over to find a newspaper in the crumpled pile at the coffee shop. Maybe fifteen, sixteen years old, she looks to be, and well dressed. Or, [...]

Lou Reed’s Last Sunday Morning

I don’t know if Lou Reed’s life illustrates the maxim that promiscuity is a misbegotten search for God. But his lyrics do. Reed’s lyrics were certainly promiscuous—and omnivorous—when it came to sex, as well as drugs and rock ’n’ roll. But they were also filled with spiritual seeking, which is why a Vatican official paid [...]

In Defense of Nonsense

An academic scandal is afoot. Heedless of economic turmoil and a vortex of national spending, American college students continue to borrow a staggering amount of government-subsidized loans. Making matters worse, these students dump this funding not in profitable coursework like business or accounting, medicine or science, but in studying transvestite drama queens, lewd comedies, and [...]

What Does a “Realistic” Fantasy Look Like?

A Game of Thrones was first a fantasy novel by American writer George R.R. Martin, published in 1996 as the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire. Five of a projected seven titles have appeared, the last being Dances with Dragons in 2011. It was last year as well that Game [...]

The Unaccountable Popularity of “The Scream”

There seem to be two types of people in the world; those who think Edward Munch’s picture, The Scream, is an inspired and profound work of art, and those who can’t see what all the fuss is about. The anonymous buyer who paid nearly US$120 million for the pastel on board version (one of four [...]

Culture Wars? What Culture Wars?

Whenever I see a headline using the term "culture war," I briefly get my hopes up for what the news article will contain. I think to myself, "Perhaps those on the left have finally become concerned about the works of Charles Dickens being too widely read." Or, "Maybe the executives at MTV have finally realized [...]

A Mile Wide and a Foot Deep

Lent is a time for serious thinking. That does not mean morose thinking. Quite the opposite. Melancholia and even despair issue from living life superficially without engaging the profound mysteries that God sets before us. Serious thinking means that we take people seriously, and that means we take God seriously because He takes us seriously. [...]

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