Be Wary What You Listen To

Dwayne Carter Jr.’s release from Rikers Prison in New York may have slipped past many news readers last month. After all, the story didn’t make major headlines but was primarily relegated to entertainment substories or headlines on pop culture website. Dwayne Carter, more popularly known as Lil’ Wayne, finished serving 8 months in federal prison for charges of attempted weapons possession back in 2007… . Continue Reading »

The Christmas Light in the Shopping Madness

My friend James Martin, a Jesuit priest, each year gives over a portion of Advent to rightly despairing of the over-commercialization (and increasingly too-early) start to the “seasonal” music and shopping of Christmas. In his pleasant but pointed snark, he warns that soon we will be seeing Santa’s image in July, along with the first “pre-Christmas” bargains… Continue Reading »

Notable Books of 2010

’Tis the season when major transatlantic publications, such as the New York Times,Washington Post, Atlantic, Economist, Guardian, and Times Literary Supplement, feature their holiday guides and notable books of the year. Seldom pleased with the selections, I’ve put together my own list of best reads… . Continue Reading »

The January Issue Has Arrived

First Things’ January issue has been sent out to subscribers, and is now available online. It is, if we might say so, brimming with intellectual variety. The issue opens with James Nuechterlein’s Public Square column, where he analyzes the roots of discomfort with patriotism, and how those who value religious orthodoxy can be patriots without being idolaters… . Continue Reading »

A Forgotten Poet

Aimé Foinpré (1841-1880) died a hundred and thirty years ago today (17 December), killed as he leapt from a second story window in Paris’ seventh arrondissement to escape the wrath of a jealous husband; he was dead even before the raven-tressed cause of contention had hastily gathered up her clothes and fled from the room… . Continue Reading »

American Empire

“Empire” comes from the Latin imperium, derived from the verb imperare, which means to command. Thus an emperor, the man who governs by command rather than consensus or consultation. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the invasion of Iraq, America was in command, not absolutely and not everywhere … . Continue Reading »

Julie Taymor’s Tempest

More famous for her Broadway productions of The Lion King and the upcoming Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark than for films such as Titus, Frida, and Across the Universe, Julie Taymor has brought a new version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the screen… . Continue Reading »

In Defense of Disgust

Relating an incident that occurred on an expedition to South America, Charles Darwin wrote: In Tierra del Fuego a native touched with his fingers some cold preserved meat which I was eating at our bivouac, and plainly showed utter disgust at its softness; whilst I felt utter disgust at my food being touched by a naked savage, though his hands did not appear dirty…Continue Reading »