A Golden Age of American Poetry?

America may be declining in every other way, but former poet laureate Charles Simic says poetry in this country is doing just fine : Over the years, I had read too many essays by literary critics and even poets, which proclaimed confidently that poetry is universally despised and read by . . . . Continue Reading »

Empire Beats Godfather

Empire Strikes Back named greatest movie sequel , reports the Daily Telegraph , in one of those stories that makes you question the insight, or at least the age, of the respondents. Better than The Godfather Part II , which ranked third, behind , get ready for this, Terminator 2 ? . . . . Continue Reading »

A Sign of the Times

In the latest issue of the Weekly Standard , I argued that, to account for the press frenzy of recent weeks, it isn’t necessary to seek anti-Catholic motives in the media: Several Catholic commentators have charged that the European and American press is out to destroy the Church. “The . . . . Continue Reading »

That Was Then

One tries—with the greatest of charity, of course, and good will—to remember where these people were when bills to extend the statute of limitations were naming only lawsuits against the Catholic Church. Some of the currently proposed bills allow time-extended lawsuits against any . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Noah and Culture

Do  anthropological differences between our individualistic/wealth driven culture and the honor/shame  culture of the Middle East (throughout the ages) matter when reading text? Take for example the story of Noah and the flood. This question was asked when last I discussed the flood in . . . . Continue Reading »


A story about Amtrak’s new beef-powered train: Taking Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer train between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City sometime in the next year? You will be hitching a ride on the first beef byproducts-powered biodiesel train. The train, which runs on 80% regular diesel and 20% . . . . Continue Reading »

Indignity at the Bottom of the Lake

“To live with dignity, to die with dignity” is the motto of the Zurich-based assistant suicide clinic, Dignitas. But apparently not to rest with dignity. Divers have found, according to the British Daily Mail , “scores of urns containing human ashes” at the bottom of Lake Zurich . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Think About Immigration

With a stroke of a pen, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the country’s strictest state law governing illegal immigration—and revived the national debate over immigration. Peter Meilaender examines the issue in our latest On the Square feature, ” Defending the Innocent: Arizona and . . . . Continue Reading »

A Parish for Mad Men?

Every Sunday at 6 P.M., the Church of the Ascension, a Catholic parish on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, offers a Mass at which, according to the church website, “a jazz trio plays original compositions, arrangements of traditional hymns and music by composers such as Billy Strayhorn and . . . . Continue Reading »