Worst Ever

Here are my personal most hated movies. 1. Evening: I cannot find words to adequately describe this film. Avoid it like the plague. 2. Sunshine: Not Eternal of the Spotless Mind or Little Miss...just Sunshine. Just awful. It goes like this....boring boring boring boring muttered conversation boring boring EVERYONE IS GRUESOMELY DEAD. 3. Planet of the Apes: What is up with that ending? Abraham Lincoln is a monkey and Mark Wahlburg is arrested by monkeys? 4. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves: There is only one possible reason to watch this and that is to hear Alan Rickman say "I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon." 5. The Outlaw Josey Wales: The End. Just kidding! Not the end. This is The End. Never mind, THIS is the end. No, wait, it isn't. Is this the end? HA! I'm Clint Eastwood, and this movie doesn't HAVE an end!


Observation on the Film "Once"

If you are a Czech immigrant to Ireland, make sure you brush up on all the proper expletives. If you do not precede every word you speak with the "F" word, no one will see what you're getting at.


What's cookin'?

Recently I've been sampling from rather a schmorgasborg (honestly, can anyone spell that word?) of books, so I thought I would give the rundown on each. 1. Anna Karenina. So I wasn't all that thrilled that I spent forty days of my life reading War and Peace last year, and had a skeptical view of Tolstoy in general. I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and that removed most of the doubt. Then I read Anna Karenina and all doubt has vanished. I concede the point, Tolstoy is a genius, and that book was amazing. Moving on. 2. Ralph MacInerny writes really funny mysteries set at Notre Dame. His predilection for bad puns (Irish Alibi, Lack of the Irish, On this Rockne, Irish get the picture) notwithstanding, they make for great reading. 3. Romola. I love George Eliot, and had not read this one of hers. Imagine my surprise when it turns out to be set in 13th century Italy! Most astonishing. 4. Grapes of Wrath. The answer is clear: leave Oklahoma. Better things await you in the Northwest. 5. Gulag Archipelago: Part II. It is incredibly difficult to find all three complete volumes of Solzhenitsyn's exhaustive masterpiece on the Soviet prison system. By luck, I've come by two. We own the first, and I found the second in Powell's. It has been awhile since I finished the first, and reading the second is just as hard. Solzhenitsyn is a little harsh, but a magnificent scholar and writer. 6. I Speak for the Silent. This anti-Soviet book was published in the thirties! Before the Gulag Archipelago was made famous by Solzhenitsyn, it was brought to at least some people's attention by Vladimir Tchernavin. Incredibly, he escaped the camps in Siberia, made it all the way back to civilization, managed to get his wife and children, and get out to Finland. I'm surprised his story hasn't been made more of. The only reason I knew of it was because in Witness, Whittaker Chambers mentions that it was the first anti-Soviet literature he ever read. I think it's apparent that I need to pull back to the days of reading one book at a time, but it's been fun while it lasted.



I've never seen or understood rightly the appeal of Presidential hopeful Barack Obama. His slogans and speeches all exhibit degrees of vagueness I would find amusing if they weren't inspiring mad devotion in people I know. This is a phenomenon I find most disturbing: the Catholic (serious Catholic) who thinks Obama is not only an option, he's the best option out there! I didn't really believe it until a few comments and conversations revealed the extent of the damage.
It's one thing for a non-Catholic to compromise on issues. But when the Catholic Church is the last bastion of hardline stances on the difficult stuff (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, etc) there is no excuse for well informed Catholics to throw ethics to the winds for the sake of a few feel good speeches. If (however unlikely) he does turn out to be the one who pulls America up by the bootstraps and fixes all our problems, you still have to ask the question: at what cost?
Hitler did wonders for Germany after WWI. He fixed the broken country. At what cost? Was it worth a few million Jews here and a few million other people there? The Germans protested to the Allies that they didn't know. They had no conception of the horrors of Auschwitz and Dechau. But we know what they do in abortion clinics. The methods they use to "terminate pregnancies" are as terrifying and inhuman as the gas chambers and ovens. We can't say that we didn't know that abortionists were tearing children limb from, or that they were poisoning them so they could slowly die in agony. Ignorance would be bliss in this case, but we've seen the nightmare of the Silent Scream.
You can make this issue complex, but I'm going to make it simple. Are you going to vote for someone who publicly commends this practice, or for someone who publicly denounces it?
This really isn't hard to figure out, but will Catholics choose listen to Church teaching and natural law?
We can only hope.