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.

  • August 10th, 2012Hilaire Belloc - the Perfect After-Dinner Speakerby Kevin O'Brien

    I will be performing as Hilaire Belloc a lecture on "The Great Heresies" on Sunday, August 26 in St. Louis.  Be sure to come!  My friend Dale Ahlquist said, "Everyone in America should see this show."

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  • August 10th, 2012Exploring European Historyby Joseph Pearce

    Continuing my occasional practice of publishing my private correspondence with those who have written to me requesitng advice, I'm publishing an e-mail from a lady that I met at last week's Chesterton Conference. She is interested in specific periods of German, French and Italian history. Although I am certainly not an expert in the study of these periods, I  list some books from my own personal library that might be of help. I'm also forwarding her e-mail to three historians who specialize in these periods. If any visitors to the Ink Desk have other suggestions, please feel free to add them in the combox.

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  • August 10th, 2012The Beholder Is in the Eye of Beautyby Joseph Pearce

    Art for art's sake or art for God's sake? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is the beholder in the eye of beauty? These are important questions which those who wish to evangelize through the power of beauty must learn to answer.

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  • August 10th, 2012Theater of the Word’s Latest Newsletterby Kevin O'Brien

    If you signed up for our newsletter, you'll be getting this via email shortly ...

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  • August 9th, 2012The Curse of Free Verseby Joseph Pearce

    Chesterton once wrote a funny poem entitled "A Curse in Free Verse", which was not really a poem at all because, well, it was written in free verse. This was the point of Chesterton's joke, though he also had great fun in the so-called verse "cursing" a host of other modern heretics alongside the modern poets.

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  • August 9th, 2012Kevin O’Brien and Marcus Grodi get “Deep in Scripture”by Kevin O'Brien

    Many of you saw me on EWTN's The Journey Home this week.

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  • August 9th, 2012More Nonsense from a Modernist “Scholar”by Joseph Pearce

    Several months ago on the Ink Desk I highlighted the absurdity of works such as the Oxford Companion to English Literature which excluded any reference to Tolkien from their pages or which gave him only a passing and dismissive mention. I accentuated the absurdity by supplying a list of unknown, little known or entirely forgotten writers who warranted more space in such volumes than the author who wrote the greatest work of the twentieth century.

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  • August 9th, 2012A Chestertonian Oasisby Joseph Pearce

    I've just finished reading Kevin O'Brien's excellent and superbly written post about this year's Chesterton Conference (The Oasis of Joy). I can't hope to emulate Kevin's evocative snapshot of the multifaceted experience but I did want to echo his metaphorical understanding of Reno's place as being symbolic of the decay of the American Dream.

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  • August 8th, 2012Shakespeare and Chestertonby Kevin O'Brien

    Joseph's post below reminded me that yesterday although I described in detail the indescribable American Chesterton Society Conference in Reno, Nevada, what I failed to mention was that I presented a paper at the Conference on Chesterton and Shakespeare.

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  • August 8th, 2012Shakespeare and St. Thomas Moreby Joseph Pearce

    A couple of months ago I was asked by the Spanish publisher, Rialp, to write the introduction to the first Spanish edition of the play, Sir Thomas More, which Shakespeare had a significant hand in writing. The extent of Shakespeare's role in the writing of the play is controversial.

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  • August 8th, 2012Chesterton & Shakespeareby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from someone requesting information about Chesterton's apparent belief that Shakespeare was a Catholic. I'm pasting the text of the relevant part of the e-mail below. My reply follows.

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  • August 7th, 2012The Oasis of Joyby Kevin O'Brien

    "Who are you?  I want to thank you," he whispered, lying there.  On the side of the busy street.

    "Don't worry about that.  Just pray for me," I replied.

    He sat up.  Or tried to.  "Are you a Christian?" he asked.

    "Yes."

    "So am I," he said.  And he relaxed and faded back into unresponsiveness.

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  • August 4th, 2012Just Show Upby Dena Hunt

    I have a friend who’s one of those people endowed/cursed with a native helpfulness. As a medical professional, she knows that such an impulse is useful. As a friend, mother, spouse, she’s learned that it’s not always so. It can get in the way of another’s self-respect, or someone’s struggle to develop of a healthy ego, among other hurtful things. Unbridled, it can become the addiction called “enabling” and do great harm.

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  • August 3rd, 2012When Virtue Pays III: Pearl Huntingby Sophia Mason

    I hope you all enjoyed the professor on Wednesday.  Harold Hill is an instructive example of a rather curious phenomenon—call it the anti-Shtcherbatsky, the hypocrite who, due to circumstances outside of his control but relating directly to his practice of hypocrisy, ends up a good man.  (Another example of the same phenomenon, I would argue, is Shakespeare’s Prince Hal—but that is another story.)

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  • August 2nd, 2012Golly, I’m Glad I Don’t Live in Chicago.by Dena Hunt

    What a terrible country that must be. He said the Chik Filet guy (sp?) did not have the same values that “we have here in Chicago” and therefore the guy would have to be banned from Chicago. Oh, my. If I were a Chicagoan, I would now have to research quickly in order to find out what values I’m supposed to have in order to be allowed to live there. Wow. I bet their internet services have been busy. For example—suppose I like Coke and he likes Pepsi?

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  • August 1st, 2012For Your—Entertainment?by Sophia Mason

    I got into a mini-combox war over at First Things.  The article by Daniel Mattson, "Why I Don't Call Myself a Gay Christian," is well worth the read.  Take a gander at it first for the context.  Here's the skirmish that followed.

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  • August 1st, 2012When Virtue Pays II: The Right Thing and the Wrong Reasonby Sophia Mason

    If it is an acknowledged truth that virtue does pay, it is equally true that to become virtuous for the sake of the payment is practically speaking impossible. Indeed, it is worse than impossible: it is dangerous.

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  • July 31st, 2012When Virtue Pays Iby Sophia Mason

    A week or two ago I wrote a piece for the Catholic woman’s blog Altcatholicah.  I had been supposed to write something for Altcatholicah for a while, but I was running short on time and inspiration both … until I saw a certain exchange in the comment box of a previous piece on Altcatholicah.

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  • July 29th, 2012Curiosity Killed the Monkeyby Joseph Pearce

    The culture of death does not believe in having children but it's pretty adept at corrupting other people's kids. The poison seeps through the relativist schmaltz of Disney et al and it's very difficult to protect one's own children from being intoxicated by this soporifically banal dross. We have tried to protect our own children by getting rid of the television, indubitably one of the best decisions we've made. Our four-year-old daughter gets to watch children's videos on the computer and my wife does her best to monitor the nature of the programming that she sees. The Wiggles strike me as pretty healthy and fairly traditional in their approach. They even include avowedly Christian songs on their Christmas DVDs, which seems to take a degree of courage in these increasingly intolerant days. Veggie Tales are good fun, of course, and unabashedly Christian. I've grown fond of Handy Manny and his indestructible gentleness, though the world in which he moves is sanitized to avoid any mention of religion.

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  • July 29th, 2012Fighting for Religious Freedom in Mexicoby Joseph Pearce

    As the Obama regime continues its war of attrition against the Catholic Church, it seems that the Cistero War in Mexico, the subject of the recent film For Greater Glory as well as being the subject of a number of posts here on the Ink Desk, seems more relevant than ever. This being so, here are some details of an excellent new book about la Cristiada.

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