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.

  • June 18th, 2012Mark Twain and Modernityby Dena Hunt

    When I taught Freshman Composition, I tried to vary the reading selections I used as examples of rhetorical models. I didn’t do this because I thought my syllabus might become redundant—after all, my students were reading the selections for the first time—but I wanted to keep my own perspective fresh. However, I never could find a better example of comparison-contrast than Mark Twain’s essay, “Two Views of a River,” and I returned to it repeatedly over the years. It’s easy to find it on the web now just by searching for the title. Apparently, a few thousand other English instructors have had the same experience.

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  • June 15th, 2012“People Will Talk”by Sophia Mason

    This name "Mankiewicz" was familiar.  I didn't know what he had directed, but I did know I had heard of him before—a good sign, that.  The back of the VHS case assured us that we were about to see some kind of chipper romantic comedy.  The reviews around the web proclaimed it to be tiresome, anti-McCarthyite, liberal propaganda.  IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes gave it about a 7/10.

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  • June 14th, 2012The Shakespearian Tragedy Ragby Kevin O'Brien

    Recently Joseph Pearce posted Adam McNaughton's song Three Minute Hamlet.

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  • June 14th, 2012We Need Grown-Ups Not “Adults”by Joseph Pearce

    As a follow-up to my musing about Orwellian doublethink and newspeak yesterday, I'd like to vent on the adulteration of adulthood by the language-debasers.

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  • June 13th, 2012The Co-Exist Hypocritesby Joseph Pearce

    One of the great values of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is his coining of the phrases "doublethink" and "newspeak" to label the methods used by the nonsense of tyranny to impose the tyranny of nonsense. Doublethink is the holding of two mutually contradictory beliefs simultaneously, believing both in defiance of all logic; newspeak is the deliberate dumbing-down of language to prevent the complexities of thought which might cause people to question the dominant ideology of the State.

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  • June 13th, 2012Wumpick and the Troughby Sophia Mason

    My Dear Wumpick,

    So, your patient is going through one of those troughs that the man from Belfast described in his scurrilous, indecent, and, I need hardly add, inaccurate scrawl concerning the tactics we employ for the cause of Our Father Below? I hope she does not know about the troughs, Wumpick? that she has not read that book? Or at least, if she had read it (I seem to recall your predecessor mentioning it in his dossier) I hope that it was some time ago.

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  • June 12th, 2012A Little Grammar Lessonby Dena Hunt

    On the New Advent site this morning, two posts that seem so different on the surface struck a common underlying chord. Marcel LeJeune, with three humorous videos, begs us all to use words that make sense; then JoAnne McPortland laments her discontent with a less-than-traditional Corpus Christi Sunday Mass in “The Parable of the Turquoise High-Tops.” (The altar girl wore the shoes beneath a too-short alb.)

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  • June 11th, 2012Viva Christo Rey!by Joseph Pearce

    My good friend, Christopher Check, has written a superb review of the film, For Greater Glory, for the Crisis website. Read the review. See the film!

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  • June 11th, 2012The Wonderful Thomas Howard Joins the StARsby Joseph Pearce

    I forgot to mention in my preview of the forthcoming issue of StAR that we have three new regular columns being launched in this issue.

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  • June 11th, 2012Great Poems for Youthful Discussionby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from the father of a nineteen-year-old boy who is in a Catholic discussion group. The father asked me for a list of poems, which would be good topics for discussion for such a group. Here is my response.

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  • June 9th, 2012The Samaritan’s Biographyby Dena Hunt

    Many years ago, I came across a little book called “Pocket Prayers for Teachers.”  I suspect it was part of a series of “pocket prayers” for women—maybe there were pocket prayers for mothers, or nurses, or whatever. Somebody once told me it was part of a series called “apron pocket prayers,” so you know how old it was; it’s illegal now, I think, to say that women wear aprons.

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  • June 8th, 2012Digging Up the Past and Burying the Truthby Joseph Pearce

    An excavation behind a pub in London has unearthed the remains of the Curtain Theatre, at which early Shakespeare plays were probably first performed.

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  • June 7th, 2012Hamlet in a Nutshellby Joseph Pearce

    This is so funny that I simply had to share it. It's Adam McNaughton's five minute song summarizing the entire plot of Hamlet. It is not only hilarious, but also contains some pretty clever rhymes. Although, at the deepest level, Hamlet transcends tragedy and becomes a divine comedy, this five minute rendition reduces it to pure slapstick!

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  • June 7th, 2012Lamest Defense of SSM, Everby Sophia Mason

    CNN poll: Majority of Americans have gay friends, family members

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  • June 7th, 2012Pope Benedict and Corpus Christiby Fr. Simon Henry

    Zenit carries an article by Rome's Director of Liturgy Carmelite Father Giuseppe Midili, director of the Liturgical Office of the Vicariate of Rome.  He explains  the Importance and Meaning of the Corpus Christi Feast this Thursday, when the Holy Father will preside over Holy Mass in the courtyard of Saint John Lateran, and then lead the procession of the Body of Christ to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Some of what he says chimes in with the previous post so here is some of it with my own comments. 

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  • June 7th, 2012The Christian Shakespeareby Kevin O'Brien

    Coming on the heels of Joseph's recent post on Shakespeare and the controversy it has excited, allow me to share with Ink Desk readers an official press release ...

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  • June 6th, 2012Join Me at the National Homeschooling Conference in Virginiaby Joseph Pearce

    I shall be giving two talks at the Immaculate Heart of Mary National Homeschooling Conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia on June 22 & 23. Other speakers at this major event will include my good friend Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society, and Dr. Ray Guarendi. I hope you can join me.

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  • June 6th, 2012It Really Is About Religious Freedom …by Dena Hunt

    … and not about contraception at all. Nothing here is new. It’s been done before and with great success.

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  • June 6th, 2012Blessed William Greenwood - English Martyrby Joseph Pearce

    Blessed William Greenwood was one of the eighteen Carthusian Martyrs put to death by Henry VIII between 1535 and1537. Whereas the first martyrs were hanged, drawn (i.e. disemboweled while still alive) and then quartered, the fourth and final group of martyrs, one of whom was Greenwood, were simply chained with their hands behind their backs in a cell in London's Newgate Prison and left to die of starvation.

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  • June 6th, 2012The HHS Mandateby Bruce Fingerhut

    This fine piece on the HHS Mandate from Gerard V. Bradley from the University of Notre Dame Law School is well worth a good read.

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