Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • January 24th, 2013Prayer and Troubleby Kevin O'Brien

    One of the things that has always struck me about the Annunciation, when Gabriel appeared to Mary and she accepted the gift of the Holy Spirit and conceived Jesus, is that in every depiction I have ever seen of this event, Mary is shown praying when she is visited.  Sometimes she has a book upon which she is meditating, but her reading is clearly an aid to prayer.

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  • January 24th, 2013Madness and the Supermanby Kevin O'Brien

    Here I am as Superman.

    Well, here I am performing a singing telegram as a Superman-type character who does not violate any copyright or trademark laws.

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  • January 23rd, 2013Blessed John Henry Newman: Father of the Catholic Revivalby Joseph Pearce

    Visitors to the Ink Desk will know that we are currently running the A to Z of Blessed John Henry Newman, selecting quotes from the great man from The Quotable Newman (Sophia Institute Press). I'm pleased that my Foreword to this book has been published in today's Crisis:

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  • January 23rd, 2013Saints Alive!by Joseph Pearce

    Those looking for signs of sanity or sanctity at Obama's inauguration need look no further. It seems that the spirit of St. Thomas More is alive and well. O, for more men of such courage in these treacherous times. For full details, follow the link:

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  • January 23rd, 2013Was Jack the Ripper Hounded by Heaven?by Joseph Pearce

    Never let it be said that we don't deal with the bizarre on the Ink Desk. I had an interesting conversation with a friend earlier today in which he mentioned, in passing, that the Catholic poet Francis Thompson is considered one of the chief suspects in the hunt for the identity of Jack the Ripper. This surprised me, to say the least. Here's the alleged evidence:

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  • January 21st, 2013More on the Manby Kevin O'Brien

    I think it's harder for a writer to capture a life of virtue than a life of vice.

    But Frank Weathers does a good job of it, and also posts lots of video clips, in his tribute to Stan the Man over on Why I am Catholic.

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  • January 21st, 2013The Hobbit and the Habit of Virtueby Joseph Pearce

    My article on the Catholicism of The Hobbit has just been published by the Imaginative Conservative.

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  • January 21st, 2013The Wrong Sort of Fairyby Joseph Pearce

    I refer visitors to the Ink Desk to the interesting discussion on my post about whether Tolkien and Lewis believed in nymphs and dryads. It's well worth reading.

    I am, however, responding specifically in this new post to Recent Convert's complaint that the elves in Jackson's movies all look outrageously effeminate. RC wonders whether others had notice this. For my part, I not only noticed it but wote about it in my book, Literary Giants, Literary Catholics. Here's the paragraph in question.

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  • January 21st, 2013Old Testament Parentingby Joseph Pearce

    This is just funny!


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  • January 20th, 2013A Peaceful End for the Perfect Knightby Kevin O'Brien

    From the St. Louis Post-Disptach...

    Hall of Famer Musial died quietly at age 92 at his St. Louis County home Saturday (Jan. 19, 2013) evening at 5:45 p.m., surrounded by family and friends and under hospice care.

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  • January 20th, 2013Walmart: Well Might We Rue the Dayby Joseph Pearce

    I note that the thorny issue of whether we should feel comfortable shopping at Walmart has raised its thorny head on the Ink Desk. This being so, I thought I'd weigh in with my own contribution to the controversy.

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  • January 19th, 2013A Beautiful Symmetryby Pavel Chichikov

    In a lovely decision – I can think of no better way of describing it – a Polish court has ruled against a law suit by an anti-clerical political party which sought to have a crucifix removed from display in the Polish Parliament.

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  • January 18th, 2013A Public Scandalby Pavel Chichikov

    What are we to make of it when the Catholic Governor of New York wants his state to pass the most permissive, most life-unfriendly abortion law in the country?

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  • January 18th, 2013Economics at Catholic Universityby Sophia Mason

    I don't often blog these days (well, write blog posts here anyway!) but this bit of news seemed worth reporting.  Catholic University has created a new School of Business and Economics, and its new Dean is the author of an excellent and illuminating article on the economy of the Shire that was published in StAR a year or so ago.  (I believe the exact issue was Sept./Oct. 2011.  We don't have the PDF up on this site, but it's shared with permission here.)

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  • January 17th, 2013Show Business in the 23rd Centuryby Kevin O'Brien

    She was playing the part of Star Trek's Mr. Spock.

    In my inter-active murder mystery, Who Killed Captain Kirk, since we travel with a cast of only two - an actor and an actress who play multiple parts in each show - this meant that I'd get to be Captain Kirk (one of my heroes - see below) and the actress would have to be Mr. Spock.  Spock became a woman in my script due to a freak accident in the Enterprise rec room involving a stationary bike.

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  • January 17th, 2013An American’s Downton Abbeyby Dena Hunt

    Like millions (maybe that’s an exaggeration) of others, I tuned in to the premiere of Downton Abbey’s third season on PBS Sunday night. The series is in many ways a reiteration of Upstairs, Downstairs back in the seventies, which ran until—well, I think it ran itself to death. finally. This kind of explication of English social hierarchy appeals mostly to Americans for obvious reasons: We’re deprived of that sort of nobility. “You address me as ‘Lord’ by reason of the fact that I’m an earl, the son of an earl, etc. I don’t ‘earn’ it because I don’t have to earn it; it’s mine by inheritance, by right, by birth.”

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  • January 17th, 2013Did Tolkien and Lewis Believe in Nymphs and Dryads?by Joseph Pearce

    This intriguing question was asked of me by a correspondent who was puzzled by the following letter by C. S. Lewis to his friend, Arthur Greeves (emphasis added):

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  • January 17th, 2013You Can’t Vote with your Feet when You’re on a Chain Gangby Kevin O'Brien

    My friend Kevin Aldrich comments on my post Cows and Computers  ...

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  • January 16th, 2013Free Advice to the United States Council of Catholic Bureaucratsby Kevin O'Brien

    The best article of 2013 so far is this rock solid piece by Christopher Manion in Crisis.

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  • January 15th, 2013You Can’t Vote with your Feet when You’re on a Chain Gangby Kevin O'Brien

    My friend Kevin Aldrich comments on my post Cows and Computers ...

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What are your thoughts on the subject?