R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Surviving Ozzy Osbourne

From First Thoughts

Ozzy Osbourne’s genome is being mapped by scientists to find out how he survived decades of substance abuse. Forget the substance abuse, I want my genome mapped so that I can figure out how I survived Ozzy’s music during the dolorous 1970s. . . . . Continue Reading »

Metaphysics and the Common Good

From Web Exclusives

You’ve always wanted to visit Rome, but your spouse dreams of hiking in the Alps. Your teenage son wants to go to London, while your daughter lobbies for Paris. But although everybody has substantive reasons for their preferred destination, nobody says so, and you end up in a more and more tedious argument about which place has the most convenient flights… . Continue Reading »

Slapstick Academic Satire

From First Thoughts

For a delightful romp through the academic groves, see a satirical effusion from Jason Peters over at The Front Porch Republic:  The Way to Bliss. Part David Lodge, part Jonathan Swift, part John Kennedy Toole, this collegiate reverie has some wickedly funny moments: feminist archeologists who . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics and Humanitarianism

From First Thoughts

In an important and insightful essay over at The New Republic , David Rieff makes some particularly astute observations about larger implications of the diplomatic crisis that erupted in the wake of the Israeli confrontation at sea with the Free Gaza flotilla. There is little doubt that, as a . . . . Continue Reading »

Mortification of the Flesh

From First Thoughts

I’ve been reading John Cassian’s Conferences lately, a work that along with his Institutes were written at the beginning of the fifth century. Cassian’s goal is to convey to his Latin-speaking readers the spiritual wisdom of early Egyptian monasticism, and he lived with the monks . . . . Continue Reading »

South Dakota Dreamin’

From Web Exclusives

Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the Imperial era, Livy wrote a history of Rome. He feared “the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them.” He was not optimistic… . Continue Reading »