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.
February 20th, 2014Mocking Godby Kevin O'Brien
Yesterday I wrote about Bad Theater and Bad Liturgy.» Continue Reading
Today I'm wondering - how did we get here? How did we get to a point where we allow offensive art to be spread around on the streets of our cities, streets where children and families walk?
February 19th, 2014Tolkien the Evangelistby Joseph Pearce
Several people have written to me about a lecture on the web by a Catholic, a priest I believe, who attacks Tolkien's work and attacks me (apparently) for claiming that Tolkien's work is Catholic. I do not have the time or the inclination to listen to the lecture. I will, however, insist that it is Tolkien himself who claims that The Lord of the Rings is "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work". It is also Tolkien himself who states that his Catholic faith can be deduced from his work. My own works on the subject simply seek to show how the work is fundamentally Catholic and how such Catholicism can be deduced from the stories.» Continue Reading
February 19th, 2014Saint Gilbert?by Joseph PearceLast Sunday was the feast of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, fonder of the Gilbertine Order. It is, however, the possible canonisation of another Gilbert, which has been animating much discussion over the past few months. The announcement by the Bishop of Northampton that he was authorizing the opening of the cause to consider Chesterton's possible beatification has caused a good deal of excitement and controversy.Last week I was interviewed by William Doino Jr. about Chesterton's role in my own conversion. Here's the link to his excellent article in First Things:» Continue Reading
February 19th, 2014Bad Theater and Bad Liturgyby Kevin O'Brien
So I'm in Phoenix this week and I was forced to go to a luncheon performance of a play that I had no interest in seeing. It was a One-Act for Black History Month.» Continue Reading
That's right, a luncheon one-act for Black History Month.
Yes, it was as awful as it sounds.
And it's downtown. And the theater is surrounded by hideously ugly statues of naked people frolicking - totally naked men and women, doing a kind of queer "liturgical dance" with their breasts and butts and genitals flying in every direction and captured forever in stop action by the sculptor.
February 16th, 2014Answers to a Soul in Tormentby Kevin O'Brien
A correspondent has written me a long email that is a cry for help from the depths of doubt.» Continue Reading
I will paraphrase some of what this correspondent wrote to me, and give here some of the answers I gave in the email. I hope it helps those of you who may be in a similarly painful position.
February 14th, 2014The Silence of the Lambsby Joseph Pearce
The broken heart of marriage leads to broken-hearted children ...
Here's my latest article for The Imaginative Conservative:» Continue Reading
February 14th, 2014The Gates of Hell and the Everlasting Churchby Joseph Pearce
I've just replied to an e-mail from a good and holy priest in England. I'm not publishing his e-mail in order to maintain his privacy but I thought my own reply, especially the comments about the history of the Church and the gates of hell, might interest visitors to the Ink Desk:» Continue Reading
February 13th, 2014Monsters of the Zeitgeistby Joseph Pearce
When I next return to Thomas More College in New Hampshire at the beginning of March, I'll be teaching Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as part of a tutorial on British Romanticism. I haven't taught it for several years and am looking forward to engaging with its monstrous truths with my students. We'll be using the Ignatius Critical Edition of the work, which I recommend and not merely because I was the editor of it. It contains some simply superb critical essays on the deeper meanings of the novel.
As my mind turns to Mary Shelley's original novel, I was intrigued to see an article in today's Crisis Magazine about a new film adaptation, which unleashes the monsters of our own deplorable zeitgeist. The movie seems horrid but the article about it is insightful and stimulating:» Continue Reading
February 10th, 2014Future Speaking Engagementsby Joseph Pearce
I'm in the midst of possibly the busiest speaking schedule I've ever undertaken. I returned from giving the keynote speech at a fundraising dinner for the JMJ Pregnancy Center in Orlando yesterday. Here's my schedule for the next two weeks. If I'm coming to your area, I hope you will be able to come and meet me. It's always a pleasure to meet Ink Deskers on my travels.» Continue Reading
February 9th, 2014My Life in Show Businessby Kevin O'Brien
Here's a run down of the past 72 hours.» Continue Reading
February 8th, 2014Hell, Heroism & Holiness: Preview of the Next Issueby Joseph Pearce
The March/April issue of the St. Austin Review is winging its way to the printers.
The theme of the next issue is World War One: Hell, Heroism and Holiness
Highlights include:» Continue Reading
February 7th, 2014Christopher Dawson and Christian Historyby Daniel J. Heisey
Seventy years ago Sir Basil Liddell-Hart wrote a little book, Why Don’t We Learn from History? An American military historian, Jay Luvaas, used to joke, “It ought to have been called, ‘Why don’t you learn what I already know?’” A perennial frustration for teachers is wondering what, if anything, their students have been taught in earlier stages of education. Apparently no one has ever mentioned to them the name of Christopher Dawson.» Continue Reading
February 7th, 2014Explaining My Absenceby Joseph Pearce
Regular visitors to the Ink Desk will know that I do my best to post to the site on a regular and frequent basis. Such visitors will no doubt have noticed my protracted absence and might be wondering why I seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth - or at least from my place at the Desk.» Continue Reading
February 7th, 2014Reading with Knightsby Joseph Pearce
I was interviewed recently for the Knights of Columbus website, Fathers for Good, about the importance of reading for the healthy development of children. The article has just been posted:» Continue Reading
February 6th, 2014Joseph Pearce and J. R. R. Tolkienby Kevin O'Brien
In case you haven't seen it, Marcus Grodi interviewed Joseph Pearce on The Journey Home this week. Joseph talks about his journey from hate-filled neo-Nazi skinhead and prison inmate to loving Christian author, husband and father. It's a remarkable story, and Joseph tells it as well in his book Race with the Devil.» Continue Reading
January 29th, 2014Behold: A Light Shines in the East:by Dena Hunt
Behold: A Light Shines in the East:» Continue Reading
January 29th, 2014Are Progressives Really Closet Racists?by Joseph Pearce
I ask and answer this question (in the affirmative) in my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative:» Continue Reading
January 29th, 2014A Punk Rocker Returns to the Faithby Joseph Pearce
In my book, Race with the Devil, there is a chapter about my involvement with the punk and skinhead music scene in the 1970s and 1980s. At the beginning of another chapter in the book I quote from the iconic punk anthem, "White Riot", by the equally iconic punk pioneers, The Clash. This being so, I was delighted to learn that the drummer with the Clash had returned to the practice of his childhood Catholic faith. I was also highly pleased to see that C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity was the stimulus and catalyst that began the former punk rocker's journey back home. Here's the full story:» Continue Reading
January 28th, 2014On the Imperative of Snow Daysby Matthew Chominski
Writing now in the midst of winter, I’d like to address a certain sort of winter day that flits about the calendar and weather reports in an almost fantastical and mythical fashion, that is, the Snow Day. What I’d like to suggest is that there are benefits stemming from the Snow Day that go beyond the securing of safety, even beyond the momentary rest and relief it offers. What I’d like to propose is the idea that the Snow Day makes possible some deep human benefits, such that the following considerations should be kept in mind by Catholic educators when deliberating whether to call for a Snow Day or not. (To provide some disclosure, I myself am a teacher at a Catholic secondary school, though I assure the reader that what follows issues from more than just interest in having more days at home throughout the winter.)» Continue Reading
January 28th, 2014We’re Not Aloneby Dena Hunt
Sometimes, we have to wonder if all us humans live in the same universe. Most of us have seen the litany—or a portion of it—of a few among us who are regarded now as not worth “salvaging,” lives not worth—dare we say it?—not worth living. It’s a long list of those who, by today’s measurements, should have been eliminated (the real word is killed) in the womb. There are many in that litany—though only Beethoven springs to my mind at present. It’s good to know we’re not alone; we’re not the only ones who know that God’s measure is different.» Continue Reading