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.

  • July 16th, 2014Famous Film Stars and the Faithby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from Spain suggesting that I write a book about film actors and directors who are Catholics. Here's my reply:

    I think your idea for a book about Catholic actors and film directors is excellent. Unfortunately, as a British literary scholar, I know very little about American films. There are, however, two new books that overlap with your suggestion. The first is Deathbed Conversions: Finding Faith at the Finish Line by Karen Edmisten (Our Sunday Vistor, 2013), which focuses on several famous film stars and directors and which is reviewed in the latest issue of the St. Austin Review; the second is The Mississippi Flows into the Tiber by John Beaumont, a comprehensive study of American converts to Catholicism: 

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  • July 14th, 2014Hilaire Belloc on EWTN?by Joseph Pearce

    No, he has not been reconstructed through computer generated images.  Actually it is Scott Bloch of the Belloc Society on EWTN's "The Journey Home" this evening. I understand from Scott that a good portion of the program is dedicated to his conversion story (from Hollywood kid to John Senior godson) but that a surprising portion of the show is dedicated to Belloc because the host, Marcus Grodi, is quite the Belloc fan. 

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  • July 14th, 2014Futility Conqueredby Kevin O'Brien

    Today's Mass Readings were on a similar theme, a theme I've written about in the past, a theme that is close to my heart. 
    The first reading was a powerful passage from Isaiah ...

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  • July 14th, 2014When People Become Things, God Becomes a Thingby Kevin O'Brien

    Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has interviewed Annie Lobert, the founder of Hookers for Jesus, an organization that helps women break free of the sex industry.

    Lobert's point is that prostitution is simply the extension of the basic principle of a radically capitalist culture: everything can be bought and sold, including people, including the most intimate parts of a person's body, including the most intimate parts of a person's soul.  Lobert is a former hooker, who has managed to discover that sex exists only in a much larger and more profound context (my emphasis) ...

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  • July 12th, 2014About Conventionsby Dena Hunt

    convention |kənˈvenCHən|

    noun

    a way in which something is usually done, esp. within a particular area or activity:

    • behavior that is considered acceptable or polite to most members of a society:

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  • July 10th, 2014What Britain Ain’tby Joseph Pearce

    My latest piece for the Imaginative Conservative is entitled "What Makes Britain 'Great' and England Greater". The reason for the slang in the title that I've chosen for this post will become clear upon reading the article. Here's the link:

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/07/makes-britain-great-england-greater.html

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  • July 10th, 2014Trivia Masquerading as Cultureby Joseph Pearce

    I've just received what must be one of the most bizarre requests that I've ever received. I've been contacted by a journalist working on what he described as "a cultural quiz show for Spanish Television".

    I quote from his e-mail:

    My work consists in writing the questions and checking if they are correct and well formulated, in order to be as precise as possible and make sure we don’t spread wrong information to our contestants and our audience. Sometimes, to do this work, I need to contact to some experts, such as you, in this case.

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  • July 6th, 2014Book Burning: Is E-Brother Bigger than Big Brother?by Joseph Pearce

    My wife has drawn my attention to this well-written and thought-provoking article about the danger of book burning, book banning and book censorship in the internet age. If you thought that Orwell's Big Brother was frightening, you ain't seen nothing yet ...

    http://awordplease.org/2014/07/03/are-your-books-on-fire/

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  • July 5th, 2014How “Frozen” Should Have Endedby Brendan D. King

    Whether or not the Disney film "Frozen" is acceptable for Christian families has caused a great deal of controversy, some of which has even spilled over onto The Ink Desk. For this reason, I have decided to give both sides the opportunity to laugh at "Frozen." The following video is therefore highly recommended.

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  • July 4th, 2014Ich hatt’ einen Kameradenby Brendan D. King

    In keeping with the recent upsurge of interest in the Great War, I have decided to post the following video, which memorializes the German soldiers who fell under the Kaiser's banner. It consists of the song, "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,"

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  • July 3rd, 2014An Englishman Ponders the Fourth of Julyby Joseph Pearce

    So what does an Englishman who has become an American citizen really think about the Fourth of July? I ponder the question at some length in my latest piece for the Imaginative Conservative: 

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/07/become-an-american-ponders.html

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  • July 3rd, 2014A True Treasureby Joseph Pearce

    My good friend, William Fahey, President of Thomas More College in New Hampshire, has written a simply superb article about the timeless value of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island: 

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/robert-louis-stevenson-treasure-island

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  • July 3rd, 2014“Heia Safari!”by Brendan D. King

    It is now often forgotten that, before 1918, the Kaiser's Germany held colonies in Africa, China, New Guinea, and the Samoa. One of these Colonies, German East Africa, is clearly meant to be the setting of this interesting tribute to the Kaiser's global empire. The song which accompanies it, "Heia Safari," was written before the Great War and remains very popular in German-speaking countries. It is accompanied by both German and English subtitles.

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  • July 2nd, 2014Paul Horgan Seeing Things As They Areby Daniel J. Heisey

    Fame being fleeting, Paul Horgan (1903-1995) seems now to be known only to a handful of fans, and most of his nearly forty books, once bestsellers and prize-winners, are out of print.  One way to dust off Horgan’s name is to look at one of the few of his books still in print, a novel called Things As They Are, first published in 1964.  It purports to be the recollections of an aging man named Richard.  Like Horgan, Richard (no surname given) grew up in upstate New York in an Irish-German Catholic family.  Because of these similarities, Horgan prefaced his novel with a disclaimer that it was not his autobiography.

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  • July 2nd, 2014Belloc in Parliamentby Joseph Pearce

    I continue my recent appraisal and tribute to the life and legacy of Hilaire Belloc in my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/06/belloc-parliament.html

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  • July 2nd, 2014Join Me and Fr. Longenecker on a Pilgrimage to Englandby Joseph Pearce

    In early June next year, I will be leading a pilgrimage to England with StAR columnist, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, We will be visiting castles, abbey ruins and priest holes in the footsteps of the English saints and martyrs and will also be visiting places associated with great writers, such as Shakespeare, Tolkien, Lewis, Belloc and Hopkins. I hope you will be able to join us and that you will spread the word to everyone who might be interested. See the link for more details: 

    http://www.catholicheritagetours.com/acfc

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  • July 1st, 2014Magic in Middle-earthby Joseph Pearce

    I've received an e-mail from a young lady expressing her parents' concerns about "magic" in The Lord of the Rings. Here's the text of the e-mail; my response follows.

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  • July 1st, 2014To Breathe as Oneby Joseph Pearce

    I am occasionally pleasantly surprised when I view something truly edifying in a palantir stone (television). We removed the palantir from our own home years ago so I tend to see one only when I'm travelling. A couple of months ago I was very pleasantly surprised to catch an episode of the new BBC series of Father Brown. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised on two levels; first, I was simply surprised to be fortunate enough to catch an episode; second, I was even more surprised, indeed astonished, to see how good it was and how mercifully free it was of politically and religiously "correct" nonsense. Then, last Friday, I caught an hour-long documentary about the cultural resistance, through the power of folk song, of the Estonian nation to the tyranny of Soviet communism. The whole episode does not seem to be available online but this two minute trailer will warm the cockles of any freedom-loving heart: http://www.tobreatheasone.com/trailer.

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  • June 30th, 2014St. Thomas More meets Rudyard Kiplingby Brendan D. King

    Tragically, "The Ink Desk," carried no reminder that June 22nd was the Feast Day of Saint Thomas More. For this I share the blame. Although my tribute to him is now somewhat tardy, I shall post a Kipling poem which, despite its not having been written with More in mind, contains a perfect description of his character. May his sacrifice never be forgotten!

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  • June 29th, 2014Groucho Marx and T. S. Eliotby Kevin O'Brien

    There's an excellent article in the current New Yorker by Lee Siegel about the strange friendship of Groucho Marx and T. S. Eloit - or perhaps the "strained" friendship. 

    And from Siegel's article we can conclude one thing: Eliot may have been a better poet than Groucho, but Groucho was a lot funnier than Eliot. 

    Of course, this will come as no surprise to anybody.  But what may surprise most of you (who aren't huge Marx Brothers fans as I am) is that Groucho was a very gifted writer, especially when it came to his correspondence.  Siegel quotes from Groucho's letters and highlights the antagonism buried beneath the superficial cordiality of the Marx-Eliot friendship ...

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What are your thoughts on the subject?