September 2015

Jobin Bernhard. Christ on a Donkey; The Pope on a Horse (16th C.)

The road show is over. The spectacle flamed up and subsided, a Roman candle of demonic sanctimony. Think of it as pre-game warm-up for the main event: the global climate summit in Paris, November 30 to December 11. The Vatican is partnering with the Obama administration, at the U.N. and later in Paris, in magnifying state control over a free society and tightening the screws on the developed world. This, in the name of saving the planet from the production and growth of those very means by which the poor can raise themselves out of poverty. Continue Reading
Bruce Dorfman. Santa Fe Silver (2010). Courtesy of June Kelly Gallery.

An artist who seeks subject matter is like a person who can’t get up in the morning until he understands the purpose of life. Fairfield Porter
Porter could easily have said the same about segments of art’s audience. There lingers a tired complaint that unless some aspect of the human condition presents itself—some scene, narrative, or vignette—an artwork appears empty, dehumanized, self-absorbed. Among this species of beholders, interest is tethered to subject matter. The art of a work is little more than a carrier for the anecdotal burden of the piece. Continue Reading
Anonymous. Illustrated Police News (19th C.). British Library Board.

You just slip out the back, Jack Make a new plan, Stan You don’t need to be coy, Roy Just listen to me Hop on the bus, Gus You don’t need to discuss much Just drop off the key, Lee And get yourself free. Paul Simon, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover
The pope, too, has a pen and a phone. Has Francis’ motu proprio trumped the Synod? Or handicapped conservatives? Hard to say. But one thing now is certain: Marriage is indissoluble except when it is not. Continue Reading
Rollin Kirby. “Trying to Turn Out the Light” (early 1930s). The Tammany Tiger.

Peronism is the highest level of consciousness reached by the Argentine working class. Statement of the Movement of Priests for the Third World, 1971 We mustn’t pay too much attention to people who talk to us of prudence. We must be fanatical. Eva Perón
By whatever varietal name you call it, populist leftism is experiencing a rebirth, with the Vicar of Christ as an attendant midwife. Jorge Bergolio grew up amid extravagant devotion to Juan and Eva Perón. The agitated history of those years and the collapse of the peronato into violence and economic ruin is well documented. Continue Reading
Reinhard Marx, Agony Uncle

It is September. Time to slide out of the hammock and get going. But on what? Headlines piled up over August. Every one of them is a depth meter that gives a reading on how far down the rabbit hole we find ourselves, as an electorate no less than a faith community. And that is very far indeed. Too far for the first day back to school. All summer, the news read like a parody of The Onion or—on Church doings—Eye of the Tiber. Continue Reading