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Evangelizing the Nones

By far the fastest-growing “religious” group in the United States is the “nones,” that is, those who claim no religious affiliation. In the latest Pew Research Center survey, fully 25 percent of the country—80 million people—say that they have no formal religion, and the growth . . . . Continue Reading »

On a Photograph of My Cousin Jean

As lovely as a girl aged twenty-twocan be—intelligent, slim, self-possessed,and beautiful. It’s Florida; it’s newto her, like marriage. Smiling, smartly dressed, she poses, shaded by a palm, besidea terra cotta jar. The honeymoonhas just begun, the cattleya fresh, the bridestill radiant. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Scholar and the Nymph

As he stood alone in the immense library of his college a week after Michaelmas term, mourning the arrival of his sixty-fifth birthday and contemplating the mild, pristinely white light pouring in through the high arched windows, the senior scholar reflected that over the years he had added no . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Pope Should Do. We’re Waiting

Not for many generations has the Church amassed as much prestige as it has under John Paul II and his successors. They underline (or have so far) the formidable quality of church leadership. Since John Paul II’s elevation in 1978, no nation on earth has been led better. That prestige ought to be used in an important cause, and one where it will matter. There is a desperate cause right under the Pope’s nose. What is he doing in the Philippines and South America at a moment when, throughout Europe, Christianity is dying? Continue Reading »

Fifty Shades of Pretty

Inspired by this photo spread from Seventeen magazine:  1. Blistered Red: This look is really what we as an industry are all about: ensuring that, like sex, beauty involves as much suffering and humiliation as possible. Once you have a stranger rip hot wax off your legs, eyebrows, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Dawn Eden on “Waterloo Sunset”

So here’s the correct link for Dawn Eden’s discussion of the greatest Kinks song. I made this a separate post because her Christianity-rooted discussion of the song’s appeal to beauty is a good counterpoint to my post, which is also rooted in Christianity via Pascal.  I worry . . . . Continue Reading »

The Benefits of Being Ugly

Did you know ugly folks make less money than the beautiful people? One study has revealed that “an American worker who was among the bottom one-seventh in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15 percent less per year than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top one-third — a lifetime difference, in a typical case, of about $230,000.” Daniel S. Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, proposes that to compensate these folks we should have affirmative action for ugly people
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