Friday, February 24, 2012

Fakes, Flakes, and Fundamentally Decent Men

Romney is out with a new ad designed to let us all know that he cares.  My word, really?  Did he think that we doubted that?  He's a Mormon, a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, one of the most notoriously family-centered religious bodies in the U.S.  He has by all accounts been a good husband and father all his life—which is more, unfortunately, than one can say for the witty Newt.  Yes, Romney has a robotic image, and a "cold" reputation.  But that's doesn't mean Americans think he doesn't care.  We know he cares—he just doesn't care about what we care about.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Four Things Rick Santorum Could Say About Last Night's Debate

1) "I told the truth.  The truth is complicated.  Unlike most politicians, I believe that the American people are smart enough to understand the truth without excessive or simplistic rhetoric."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Modest Non-Proposal

Warning: Do not click on any of the links in this piece, unless you are prepared to be offended.  No, not even kidding.  Caveat lector, and all that.

The other day a friend of mine on Facebook (where else does one read the latest news, hm?) posted a piece on Tina Korbe.  Who is Tina Korbe?  Well, Tina Korbe is a lovely young lady who interviewed Rick Santorum at CPAC.  Go ahead and watch the video—the first thirty seconds, anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Choice of Gifts

Come Valentine's Day, come the advice—only half joking—to men. Don't give her a vacuum. Don't give her exercise equipment. (Not even those Nikes you brilliantly found on sale—leave them on the shelf. LEAVE THEM THERE. Thank you.) Don't give her kitchen gadgets—no, not even if she likes cooking. In fact, don't give her anything remotely practical, even if she says she likes practical gifts. Nothing says "I love you forever" like something that is going to be dead in a week or eaten in in hour. That may not sound romantic, but it is. Love, eating, and death are blood relatives—just ask an Italian opera singer.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Love in the Dark"

I've been thinking for some time (spurred in part by reading the autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux some months back) about the "dark night of the soul."  How is something so devoid of hopeor of the feelings that most of us identify with hope—not itself a sin of despair, but actually an occasion of grace?  I was going to write a post on the problem, and still may some day do so; but for the moment my meditations have turned into a poem instead.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some of These Things Are Not Like the Others

I will confess that the primary reason I would not like to see Nancy Pelosi excommunicated, despite her "obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin," is that I fear some whack bishop will immediately take the opportunity, using some variation of the seamless garment argument, to excommunicate Rick Santorum (war), Marco Rubio (married a non Catholic), and Paul Ryan (there must be something).
No matter how many times Church teaching on Church teaching is explained, some people cannot seem to get it through their heads that one of these things is not like the others.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wumpick and Safety

My Dear Wumpick,

I find it rather ironic, all this talk of yours about making your patient "safe."  Of course you would like your patient to be "safe"—safely ensconced in her little tomb, shelved among the myriads of others who have already found their way to Our Father Below.  That is the sort of safety to which all tempter aspire on behalf of their patients.  But "safe" among the humans is the same as dead. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Monarch of All I Survey

Reading over a writer’s account of her brief acquaintance with the late Christopher Hitchens, it struck me that the first problem of an atheist is that he is bound to be a lonely person. Hitchens, of course, was temperamentally lonely: so irascible by nature, so little prone to give his fellow men credit for virtue, that he was bound to isolation. Those whom he got along best with seem to have shared his critical personality and, even more tellingly, seem to have spent little time with him. A dedicated iconoclast is a dangerous person to befriend.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Romanticizing the Ordinary

Some time ago I read one of those critiques of Facebook—well written, well reasoned, and emotionally balanced. After leveling the usual charges against the defendant, the author made one final accusation: Facebook, in his judgement, tends to "romanticiz[e] the ordinary."