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Joseph Bottum is the former editor of First Things.

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JB 12.19.05 Christmas is coming…

From Web Exclusives

"Christmas is coming," my daughter sang in that piercing, glass-shattering treble of eight-year-old girls. "Christmas is coming, my father’s getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat." So I gave her a stern and serious lecture about honoring her parents, . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 12.17.05 Ah, Christmas…

From Web Exclusives

Ah, Christmas time, that fecund moment most welcome in the bleak of bitter winter! Ah, Advent days, so rich, so ripe, so opulent in golden light, while like a pall of poverty the hoary frost and thin-crust snow lie hard upon the cold-pressed earth! Ah, Yuletide, when for the briefest instant in the . . . . Continue Reading »

JB 12.15.05 Vetting advertisements…

From Web Exclusives

Vetting advertisements for a magazine is always a little tricky. Editors have a financial responsibility to keep the publication going, and it’s a fairly well-established practice in the trade to accept ads that don’t necessarily match the magazine’s editorial line¯I suppose . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 12.12.05 So, Clean Gene…

From Web Exclusives

So, Clean Gene is gone , slipping away at age eighty-nine. The death of Senator Eugene McCarthy on Saturday has already touched the newspapers and Sunday morning political-talk shows with the usual obituary moment¯the obligatory hiccup of reflection in which everyone old enough to remember . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 12.10.05 So many little…

From Web Exclusives

So many little unfairnesses scrape at that raw, angry place in the heart. Money, looks, fame, intelligence. The effortless drape of my neighbor’s elegant overcoat, the easy seductive patter of the man at a nearby restaurant table, the cool grace of some winning stranger’s smile. All the . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 12.07.05 Two items from…

From Web Exclusives

Two items from last month I missed in the general rush around Thanksgiving. Or maybe I mean the particular rush. No, general rush. It’s always rushed. Rush, rush, rush. Sometimes I just want to settle back and relax a little. Calm the busy tides of commerce. Still the rapid waters of . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 12.05.05 A lively,…

From Web Exclusives

A lively, interesting discussion seems to be developing on various websites about Jonathan V. Last’s article in the last issue of FIRST THINGS, "God on the Internet." The blog-search-engine Technorati offers three pages of links to websites that mention the article. Against the . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 11.22.05 There’s a set…

From Web Exclusives

There’s a set of English town names that sound more like settings for P.G. Wodehouse comedies or Agatha Christie mysteries than real places¯Bishop’s Waltham, for instance, a little place in Hampshire where Ivy Smith was baptized this month. I mention this only because she was 101 . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 11.19.05

From Web Exclusives

Liberté, égalité, fraternité is the motto of the French Republic, but the fraternité seems to have gone up in the smoke of burning cars over the last few weeks. And so the French government has appointed a commission to see whether another distinctive mark of . . . . Continue Reading »