A Few Words in Defense of Negative Campaigning

  Those who take a certain pleasure in denouncing the evils of negative political advertising should have spent the last week in South Carolina. They could have plunked down in front of TV sets, especially during morning, early evening and late evening news programs, and by adroit use of the remote control seen one negative … Read more

Hollywood’s Snotty Day in Court

  It was symbolically perfect that on the same day Hollywood went to the Supreme Court to make the case for broadcast profanity, Entertainment Weekly reported that the next showing of the ABC smutcom Modern Family would feature a two-year-old girl dropping the F-bomb. The episode’s title will be “Little Bo Bleep.” Shameless. There’s no … Read more

Profanity and Pop Music

  Profanity and pop music go hand in hand these days. The pop star Rihanna recently appeared on the British version of Simon Cowell’s singing competition The X Factor dressed in a demure plaid jumper with a prim white collar. It seemed like a bow to younger viewers (and their parents). But a glance at … Read more

Yes, There Are Christmas Haters

In this special season of giving, Hollywood is willing to give people what entertainment executives think the country needs: a vicious, bloody takedown of Christmas. The Dec. 11 episode of “American Dad” on Fox exemplified those with a complete absence of Christmas spirit; it was titled “Season’s Beatings.” Father Donovan announces he is running a … Read more

The Surprising Truth About Obama’s ‘War on Religion’

  Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a new TV spot accusing President Obama of waging “war on religion.” It’s a reckless, overstated spot that exploits prejudice against gays while deliberately distorting major issues. But here’s the surprise: Perry has a point. The First Amendment forbids any law “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. It’s a … Read more

Hollywood’s Soda-Pop Statism

  The Hollywood elite’s concern for the children stops at the water’s edge of physical fitness. They simply do not touch the subject of moral fitness. On The Huffington Post, former entertainment executive Laurie David offered this pre-holiday piece of encouragement: “Thanksgiving Conversation Starter: Is It Time to Ban Soda Ads on Prime Time Television?” … Read more

Football and Money

  In the great scheme of things — greater things than worldlings imagine on a trip to the mall — it doesn’t matter a bit that Texas A & M and the University of Texas are winding up their celebrated Thanksgiving Day, football rivalry. What matters — maybe more than a little bit — is … Read more

No ‘Glee’ About Virginity

  In Hollywood, the only truly serious sexual disease is virginity. It’s a dire and embarrassing condition, desperately in need of elimination. Teenagers that still have “it” are woefully immature. They might as well consider themselves to be walking the school hallways in diapers. Along comes Fox Entertainment to enlighten us. Get ready. It’s sick. … Read more

Movies: The Horror

As Halloween approaches, our thoughts turn to horror movies — at least mine do, since I am a Halloween baby and have a disordered soul. I have followed this genre avidly and find that it contains some interesting and unexpected messages beyond Boo! While working for the Reagan administration, I was once dispatched on a … Read more

‘Tell me where the confessional is!’

On the hit show 24, Kiefer Sutherland spent a lot of time looking for stuff (bombs, chips, daughters, etc.); now he’s back in a new web-only series on Hulu, looking for something slightly different. Over at Patheos, Tony Rossi explains: When a cold-blooded hitman bursts into a hotel room to execute someone, the intended victim … Read more

Recovering a Catholic Subculture

On the eve of the last Super Bowl, two men were discussing the great American ritual of watching football on television. The older man admitted that he just didn’t do that anymore. In times past, he said, he’d seen his share of TV football, but twelve or fifteen years earlier he’d become aware that his … Read more

The Humans Are Dead

I am an unabashed Jeopardy! fan. When I come across it on TV, I have to play, shouting at the TV like my grandmother. I think Alex Trebek should be president, if it weren’t for the whole Canadian thing. I understand that all of this makes me a huge dork. And so, as a huge … Read more

One’s On the Way

Here’s something my mother sent me out of the blue (no, I’m not pregnant).  Seems like an excellent follow-up to the March for Life.  You know, that day when hundreds of thousands of ninjas march to show their support of women and babies.  I say “ninjas” because they somehow slip by the attention of the … Read more

Are Chinese mothers better?

Halfway through this Wall Street Journal article, I thought the author, Amy Chua, might be writing tongue-in-cheek. But the Yale Law professor and author isn’t joking. Titled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” Chua compares the parenting styles of what she loosely calls “Chinese” mothers with that of “Western” mothers, arguing that the former produces the … Read more

One mom’s experiment to reclaim her kids

The Independent has a story about one mom’s decision to bar the use of technology in her family’s house for six months. Susan Maushart was becoming anxious about the amount of her time her three children spent transfixed by technology. Her son was hooked on his gaming console, one daughter was addicted to social networking … Read more

9 Years Ago

Nine years ago today, my 10th graders and I were 10 minutes into an 85-minute 2nd period, doing Oedipus the King, when another teacher walked into the room and whispered into my ear that a plane had just hit the U.S. Senate building (wrong info, of course, but that’s what he said).  What to do?  … Read more

InsideCatholic Sheds Its Rabbit Ears

I’m old enough to remember three channels on our black-and-white TV, which was topped with rabbit ears. Those were the days when neighbors naughtily listened in to conversations on the “party line,” and the length of a long-distance phone call had to be carefully measured using the second hand on a wind-up clock. I’ve also … Read more

The future for Islam and the West

IC’s own Bob Reilly doesn’t just know music; he also has a keen understanding of the history of Islam and insight into its radicalization and current struggle with the West. All of this is laid out in his latest book The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist, which he … Read more

The Cinematic Future Draws Closer. Again.

This most recent press release from Relativity Media, as noted by /film’s Peter Sciretta, is a bit of a bombshell: Netflix, Inc. and Relativity Media, LLC today announced a long term agreement through which major theatrically released films owned by Relativity will be licensed directly and exclusively to Netflix for streaming to its subscribers during … Read more

Friday Free-for-All

Time for your Friday morning link round-up: Psychological exams for prospective priests have become more complicated in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal. For those who have trouble comprehending the current size of the oil spill, this will help put things in perspective. Top 25 conservative TV shows, and top 50 Catholic-themed movies. Plenty here … Read more

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