The Politics of Blood

Film-maker Michael Moore has apparently praised the gulf weather for its chance of disrupting the Republican convention: “This hurricane is proof that there is a god in heaven.” Another low point in politics, though possibly one that could be passed off with a laugh—a partisan . . . . Continue Reading »

Others Taunt Me

Actually, Amanda, I think I said those lines from Robert Frost were hendecasyllabics , not hexameters . Or I may have misspoken. Regardless, hendecasyllabic they are, the eleven-syllable line passing into English ultimately from Latin. Here, for example is the meter of Horace’s alcaic stanza . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dead Rot Because the Living Are Rotten

Last night I saw The Lion in Winter , the movie about Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their three sons gathered together for the Christmas holidays. The threats, the manipulation, the backbiting—imagine if George and Martha had had three children, and crowns. One line of dialogue struck me . . . . Continue Reading »

Palin: A Nervous Joy

Sarah Palin was a nervy choice for John McCain’s vice-presidential nominee, and— nervy being right on the edge of the nerves—it makes me edgy. Palin has a lot of possibilities, which is another way of saying that the public’s perception of her could break either way. There is . . . . Continue Reading »

Sarah Palin It Is

Well, McCain has chosen, and our editor won’t be the only one relieved to see that the nod has gone to the staunchly pro-life Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin . A former beauty-queen with a passion for grueling outdoor sports and an unembarrassed attachment to family and religion, Mrs. Palin . . . . Continue Reading »

The Real Question for Nancy Pelosi

It seems to me that the Catholic bishops are missing a golden teaching opportunity. Bishops are rightly concerned that for them to publicly warn or chastise politicians because of their voting records on abortion will be misunderstood as politically motivated. All sorts of issues get dragged into . . . . Continue Reading »

Something More

Yesterday at the FT office, this Robert Frost poem came up in conversation. Technically masterful, with a regular but unusual metrical pattern, it is unrhymed and verbally simple yet laced together with a wistful lyricism that echoes between image and line. Joseph Bottum reads it as an uncommon . . . . Continue Reading »

The Spirit of Summorum Pontificum

At the New Liturgical Movement, Jeffrey Tucker argues that Summorum Pontificum is indicative of the new spirit of reform creeping into the Church, one in marked contrast to what came before: Everyone knows the more obvious specifics. Vatican II said Gregorian chant should assume primary place but . . . . Continue Reading »