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.

  • December 1st, 2012Is Mordor Across the English Channel?by Joseph Pearce

    No sensible person believes that the European Union is anything but a grotesque tyranny and, for this reason, I was very happy to see the UK Independence Party do so well in the recent by-elections in England. Nonetheless, I would not seek to go as far as the makers of this video who seem to suggest that France is synonymous with Mordor and that the French are in league with the Orcs. All will be revealed ...
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  • December 1st, 2012Monty Python Meets The Lord of the Ringsby Joseph Pearce

    And here's another irreverent but humorous alternative ending to The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf meets King Arthur and somehow the Ring gets mixed up with the Holy Grail. Confused? You will be!
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  • December 1st, 2012Lord of the Rings Alternative Endingby Joseph Pearce

    Brendan King has sent me this amusing alternative ending to The Lord of the Rings. It's not for the purist but I found it amusing.
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  • November 30th, 2012Titanic Hero and a Teenage Heroineby Joseph Pearce

    As the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic draws to a close, I am delighted to learn that Cady Crosby, the fifteen-year-old author of Thomas Byles: Titanic Hero, has received the Catholic Writers' Guild Seal of Approval. She is the youngest ever recipient of this coveted award.

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  • November 30th, 2012Newman A TO Z: Convertsby Joseph Pearce

    The sight of a convert is the most cogent and withal the most silent and subduing of arguments.

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  • November 30th, 2012True Freedom, Sort Ofby Dena Hunt

    In another post a couple days back, Joseph Pearce quoted Edmund Burke: “Liberty itself must be limited in order to be possessed.”  The quote reminded me of the brief lesson I used to give my high-school students before a particular assignment. At its most basic level (for high school students) freedom is understood as freedom of movement. A volunteer consents to sit in a chair and have his hands loosely tied behind him in order to bind him to the chair.

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  • November 27th, 2012Confessions of an Ex-Hobbitby Joseph Pearce

    As hobbit mania continues to spread in the build-up to the release of Peter Jackson's film, I was particularly pleased to read this positive appraisal of Tolkien's children's classic by a contempoary English novelist.

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  • November 27th, 2012Newman A to Z: Baptismby Joseph Pearce

    The Sacrament of Baptism is not a mere sign or promise, but actually a means of grace, an instrument, by which, when rightly received, the soul is admitted to the benefits of Christ's Atonement, such as the forgiveness of sin, original and actual, reconciliation to God, a new nature, adoption, citizenship in Christ's kingdom, and the inheritance of heaven, - in a word, Regeneration. And next, Baptism is considered to be rightly received, when there is no positive obstacle or hindrance to the reception in the recipient, such as impenitence or unbelief would be in the case of an adult; so that infants are necessarily right recipients of it, as not being yet capable of actual sin.

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  • November 27th, 2012Confessions of an Ex-Naziby Joseph Pearce

    Catherine Mullins - a student in the Lane Honors Program at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon - has written a research paper on my own journey from racism to conversion and my subsequent life as a Catholic writer. I thought it might interest visitors to the Ink Desk.

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  • November 27th, 2012Hobbit Maniaby Joseph Pearce

    In the build-up to this Wednesday's world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey it seems that the whole of New Zealand has succumbed to hobbit-mania.

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  • November 26th, 2012The Future of Citizenshipby Pavel Chichikov

    The other day I read a story on the BBC web site about a student in Texas who has refused to carry a radio tag that tracked her movements.  The details are here:

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  • November 26th, 2012The Church and Societyby Joseph Pearce

    I've long admired Anthony Esolen as a Catholic scholar of the first order. He has published essays in several of the Ignatius Critical Editions, of which I am series editor (www.ignatiuscriticaleditions.com), and his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy is a tour de force. In more recent months, however, largely due to his excellent articles in Crisis Magazine, he has emerged as an irrepressible and witty commentator on contemporary politics and culture from a Catholic perspective. His essay in today's Crisis Magazine displays his wit and wisdom to great effect:


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  • November 26th, 2012Shakespeare, Thomas More, and Henry VIIIby Joseph Pearce

    As mentioned earlier on this site, I was honoured to be asked to write the introduction to the first Spanish edition of the play, Sir Thomas More, which was authored by Shakespeare in collaboration with several other contemporary playwrights. Querying some of the assertions that I made in that introduction, a Spanish correspondence wrote to ask "why Shakespeare was so cautious about censorship in this play, whereas he openly signed the perhaps even more pro-Catholic Henry VIII". Here's my response.

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  • November 26th, 2012Faith, Freedom, Sin and Slaveryby Joseph Pearce

    I began the editorial to the latest issue of StAR, which is on the theme of "Faith and Freedom", with the quote from Edmund Burke that "liberty itself must be limited in order to be possessed". This epigram prompted Colin Jory, whose excellent satirical poem lampooning scientism also graces the latest issue, to send another gem from Burke's epigrammatic arsenal, connecting sin to slavery:

    "It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."

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  • November 26th, 2012Gustav Klimt and the Kiss of Faithby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from someone enquiring about the beautiful cover art of the latest issue of StAR. Here's my response.

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  • November 26th, 2012The Rich Man Explained - By George!by Kevin O'Brien

    Tonight Credo of the Catholic Laity (with the help of my friend and Theater of the Word chaplain Fr. Brian Harrison) brought in a fascinating speaker, Professor Robert P. George of Princeton, who gave a detailed talk on the challenges facing Catholics, Evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox, and other serious Christians - as well as devout Jews and Muslims - challenges brought about by the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

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  • November 26th, 2012Surprised by the Joy of Realityby Kevin O'Brien

    The voice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven."  There is always something they insist on keeping even at the price of misery.  There is always something they prefer to joy - that is, to reality.

    Thus speaks George MacDonald to the narrator in C. S. Lewis' novel The Great Divorce.

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  • November 24th, 2012In Good Companyby Dena Hunt

    Back in June, 2011, I wrote “Rights vs. Rites” in these pages as a response to the celebrated mockery of a sacrament committed in New York on the previous day when that state legislature legalized homosexual “marriage.” I suggested that marriage ceremonies performed by religious clerics should have no binding legal authority.

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  • November 24th, 2012Winning the Battle and Losing the Warby Kevin O'Brien

    Yesterday we saw the movie Lincoln, which is very good.

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  • November 22nd, 2012Newman A-Zby Joseph Pearce

    A couple of months ago, I announced that my good friend, Louis Markos, had launched the A to Z of C. S. Lewis on his website (http://www.civitate.org/markos/). Inspired by his example, I'm launching the A to Z of Blessed John Henry Newman on this site.

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What are your thoughts on the subject?