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 22nd, 2014Living in the Church vs. Living in a Cultby Kevin O'Brien
There's a strange phenomenon that's been at work within the Church for the past sixty years or so.» Continue Reading
A number of groups have sprung up within the Catholic Church that have become more or less full-blown cults. These groups present themselves as Catholic, but they share several of the following characteristics with cults ...
June 22nd, 2014Be Nice to Those in Lineby Kevin O'Brien
Yesterday I experienced a brutal and shocking encounter with evil that still has me reeling. It's the kind of thing I really can't describe, but one of the effects of it was a distinct desire to go to confession today before Mass. I felt dirty and needed a shower, so to speak.» Continue Reading
June 22nd, 2014More On Distibutismby Joseph Pearce
I was pleased to receive an e-mail from a businessman who had enjoyed reading two of my recent articles for the Imaginative Conservative. I'm publishing parts of his e-mail (retaining his privacy through anonymity), not because it praises me (honestly!) but because it makes some important general points about the distributist and subsidiarist nature of small business and the need for subsidiarity in the sphere of education.» Continue Reading
June 22nd, 2014Discussing the English Martyrs and the Catholic Revival in Spainby Joseph PearceAnother interview that I gave during my recent visit to Spain has now been published. In this interview, given in Barcelona and published in two parts in Aleteia, I discuss the persecution of Catholics in England during the so-called English "Reformation" and a host of the key figures in the Catholic cultural revival, including Newman, Tolkien, Lewis, Chesterton and Greene. I'm supplying the link for Spanish speakers or for those who can bear the pidgin English version in instant translation.» Continue Reading
June 20th, 2014Praying with Samuel Johnsonby Daniel J. Heisey
Two hundred thirty years ago the English language lost one of its greatest champions. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is perhaps best known today for compiling in 1755 a two-volume dictionary of the English language, often incorrectly hailed as the first English dictionary but certainly one of the most important and most amusing. His definition of a lexicographer: “A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.” He was also a prolific essayist, and today he would undoubtedly have a blog, although it would be open only to subscribers, since he believed, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”» Continue Reading
June 19th, 2014The Neglected Genius of Hilaire Bellocby Joseph Pearce
Here's my latest article for the American Conservative.» Continue Reading
June 19th, 2014Racial Hatred and Rational Loveby Joseph Pearce
Here's an interview that I gave to a Spanish magazine, published today in the National Catholic Register. I am grateful to the NCR for making this interview available in English.» Continue Reading
June 19th, 2014Art and the Mystery of Womanby Kevin O'Brien
Here's a photo I've posted before. It's a picture I took of a stained / painted glass window at a rural church in the archdiocese of St. Louis. It's by the Emil Frei studios, and I'm guessing it's c. 1910, which is when their best work was done.» Continue Reading
June 18th, 2014When Baseball Meets Cricketby Joseph Pearce
I have a feeling that I might have posted this hilarious English commentary of a baseball game before but it's so funny that I'm happy to post it again.
It's been said that Britain and the United States are two countries separated by a common language. Listening to this commentary illustrates the point. The question is whether Englishmen are more baffled by baseball than Americans are by cricket.» Continue Reading
June 17th, 2014Christians: Scum of the Earthby Kevin O'Brien
We know Christ is Lord not simply because Christ survived death and the cross, but because He survives Christians.» Continue Reading
If Truth, Beauty and Goodness bring us to Christ, it is a miracle He survives our Lies, Ugliness and Evil.
But He is the thin thread that takes us through the maze of darkness.
June 17th, 2014“You Have Two Cows…”by Brendan D. King
CLASSICAL LIBERALISM.» Continue Reading
Your absentee landlord has a herd of cattle and has assigned you two
cows for your rented plot of a one-sixth acre. Acting through his
agents on the estate, the landlord can demand as much rent as he wants
as often as he wants and routinely evicts families too destitute to
pay. With a few potato plants, milk, and eggs, you and your family
barely evade starvation. When the potatoes rot in the ground and
everyone is starving, , His Lordship refuses to. to cut down on his
demands for rent, continues exporting food, and keeps a steel grip on
the hunting and fishing rights. When he finally visits the estate, the
landlord is fatally shot in front of a hundred witnesses. A police
investigation is stymied by the traditional Irish code of silence.
June 16th, 2014What is Distributism?by Joseph Pearce
My latest article for the Imaginative Conservative has generated lots of reaction, justifying my description of distributism in the subtitle of my article as a "controversial alternative to socialism and plutocracy". I'm also pleased to see that the article has also been picked up by Crisis, which has posted it this morning. Here's the link:» Continue Reading
June 14th, 2014Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Musical”by Brendan D. King
Brothers Jon and Al Kaplan are satirical composers who specialize in spoofing serious movies by transforming them into musicals. Their targets have ranged from 1980s action films to Oscar-winners. Two years ago, the Kaplan brothers trained their aim against Tolkien's Middle Earth Legendarium.
Well, not exactly. Their real targets are Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema. And I must say that the satire is both well- merited and very funny. So, without further ado, here it is:» Continue Reading
June 14th, 2014The Controversial Roy Campbellby Joseph Pearce
Several years ago I wrote a biography of the great and neglected poet, Roy Campbell.
Considering my own admiration for Campbell I am pleased to see a new article on his life and legacy posted on the internet. The article is good and refreshing, though culpably devoid of all sources for which it is clearly dependent. My only concern is that it is published on a site that idolises and idealises idiots, such as Nietzsche, and neo-Nazis, such as Tyndall. Campbell deserves better than to find himself unjustifiably in the company of such enemies of the the True West, which is Christian. Nonetheless, and in spite of these reservations, I'm providing a link to the article:» Continue Reading
June 13th, 2014Meeting Chesterton After His Deathby Joseph Pearce
My good friend Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, has written an excellent article for today's Crisis:» Continue Reading
June 12th, 2014Our Own Dena Hunt on the Radioby Joseph Pearce
I've just had the pleasure of listening to Dena Hunt, StAR's book review editor, being interviewed on Radio Maria.
Dena talks about her time with me and Father Fessio on a pilgrimage to England back in 2006 and explains how this inspired her to write Treason, her award-winning novel set in Elizabethan England.
In the second half of the show, Jason Evert, author of a new biography of St. John Paul II is interviewed. Here's the link:» Continue Reading
June 11th, 2014Signs and Wondersby Dena Hunt
Recently I wrote a post about “those other gods” in which I speculated that the reason we are so reluctant to acknowledge spiritual phenomena in our lives is not that we’re such faithful Christians, but that we’re such faithful rationalists; i.e., it’s not as children of God that we dismiss everything “unscientific” as superstition, but as children of the Enlightenment.
Is there a faithful Christian who, in moments of doubt or distress, has not opened the Bible and let it fall to a passage in order to “see” the answer to that doubt and distress? Are we not given signs and wonders in the natural, physical world that we may understand as supernatural, metaphysical?» Continue Reading
June 11th, 2014The Lion’s Heart, new editionby Dena Hunt
I’ve just been informed by Full Quiver Publishing that the Kindle edition of my second novel, The Lion’s Heart, is now available on Amazon. The print edition will be out later this month. Here’s the link:» Continue Reading
June 10th, 2014More on My Visit to Spainby Joseph PearceAnother article about my recent visit to Spain has just been published in a Spanish website. Here's the link for Spanish speakers:» Continue Reading
June 9th, 2014On Reading Dracula (or Any Other Novel)by Joseph Pearce
Continuing my recent practice of sharing my correspondence with visitors to the Ink Desk, I was intrigued to receive an e-mail from someone who is beginning to read Bram Stoker's Dracula for the first time. Being a wise and discerning reader, he had selected the Ignatius Critical Edition of the novel but wondered whether he should read the introduction before or after reading the novel. He was concerned that the introduction would contain spoilers which would take away the joy of surprise in plot twists, which is part of the pleasure of reading a work for the first time. Here's my reply:» Continue Reading