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TV

Did anyone miss the Golden Globes show?

The Golden Globes awards were awarded last night, but without the usual glitzy televised gala, thanks to the Writer’s Guild strike. This prompts the question—how essential is the show anyway? Sure, we get to rubberneck on the red carpet thanks to first-hand reporting from second-hand personalities like Joan Rivers and that embarrassing Bush cousin. It’s like being a bystander at the parade of animal pairs walking up the gangplank into Noah’s Ark. We get to armchair quarterback the choice of starlets’ dresses and accessories.… READ MORE >


Movies

Good Movies, Bad Religion

Good Movies, Bad Religion

In the past week I had the privilege of seeing two amazing films: There Will Be Blood (bit on the long side) and the uncut version of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (a whopping five-plus hours that fly by). Interestingly, coincidentally, both stories are set about a 100 years ago and both feature a very dark religious figure—a money-hungry pretending-to-be charismatic preacher in the American west, and a Swedish Lutheran bishop who is outright evil. On the surface, it’s easy, if trite, to point at the pernicious, hypocritical… READ MORE >


Issues

Catholic Bishops in England and Wales take on secularism

Catholic Bishops in England and Wales take on secularism

The Catholic Church in England and Wales is moving into political high gear. On Wednesday last week Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor hosted a meeting of 25 Catholic MPs in preparation for the forthcoming parliamentary battle over the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill – provoking the ire of secularists. “The church is at it again,” complained one commentator, “trying to interfere in the laws and government of this secular state.” (In fact, the British state is not secular. Unlike the US, there is no formal separation of… READ MORE >


Issues

Michael Massing: An Inconvenient Truth Teller

Michael Massing: An Inconvenient Truth Teller

Two years ago for GodSpy I interviewed press critic Michael Massing about his Columbia Journalism Review essay that criticized the New York Times for ignoring public concern about the harmful effects of pop culture on children. In an interesting twist, Massing in the New York Review of Books this week cites a GodSpy interview in an essay he’s written on the “hidden human costs” of the Iraq War. Massing’s essay reviews several books written by participants in the war, each of which reveal the brutal impact the war has had on innocent… READ MORE >


Culture

Norman Mailer, subversive conservative

Norman Mailer, subversive conservative

Since Norman Mailer’s death two weeks ago there’s been an outpouring of eulogies about the “passing of the sixties generation.” As a Catholic, I’ve always been attracted to Mailer because he perfectly embodied the contradictions of that era. Part drunken orgy, part moral crusade, the sixties at times was like a distorted, bizarro version of the Gospels. We tend to forget the religious fervor behind much of it. The very traditional Catholic historian Christopher Dawson once observed that the Catholic person is essentially erotic—driven… READ MORE >

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