The live action, as I write on this Thursday morning, is a moral dilemma concerning what we should do with a dying raccoon. I can see it from my office window.
I've finally finished watching all thirteen parts of Sir Kenneth Clark's classic series, Civilisation, and am therefore sharing my final thoughts on the series as a whole and on Clark's strengths and weaknesses as an observer of the history of western civilization.
Is good art the product of a virtuous or baptized imagination and is art poisoned by pride? I tackle these questions in an essay published in the Catholic Herald:
What is the classical muse and, more to the point, what isn’t it? Here are my musings on these questions:
I was intrigued by a friend’s response to something I wrote about Uncle Sam in light of the Fourth of July celebrations, particularly her assertion that patriotism is good but that nationalism is bad. I know this is largely a question of semantics, but I have always argued that nationalism is good but that imperialism is bad.
I’ve received an e-mail from a “homeschooling mom” enquiring about lines in The Merchant of Venice that are often seen as evidence of Shakespeare’s racism. Here is her e-mail.
This morning, as I gave our son Leo his breakfast, I pulled down the statue of St. Elizabeth of Portugal and placed her in a prominent place in the kitchen in honour of her feast day. She’s a favourite of mine, a queen who has something of the fairytale princess about her (not of the Disney variety!). I bought the statue several years ago during a visit to Lisbon to give some talks.
Welcome and enjoy the 36th installment of my lectures on Tolkien and Lewis!
The National Catholic Register has just published my tribute to the English Catholic Resistance to the tyranny and terror of the Tudors:
Are things as bad as they seem, or is there cause for hope and joy in our darkening world?