Saturday, February 28, 2009

YOU LIVE INSIDE A BOTTLE AND PRETEND YOU'RE IN A CAN: John Schwenkler's post on "closeted Christians" in academia reminded me of a conversation I had with a young, conservative lesbian, just after my piece on ex-gay ministries was published at National Review Online.

She expressed surprised that NRO had wanted the piece; and I may be wrong, but I felt as though she was implying that she wouldn't've pitched it to them. Whereas my approach was basically, "Well, this might not work, but hey: I'll email K-Lo and see what she says." And Kathryn Lopez proved amazingly supportive, helping me when I had a hard time gaining access to the conference and sending me a follow-up email making clear that she really understood what I was trying to say with the piece. I took a chance on her.

I wonder how often we sit inside cages when the doors are wide open.

Actually, only two of these movies involve rats. But two is enough, don't you think?

The Rats: The Hulu description promises killer rats at Christmas! That would've been awesome.

In fact, the Christmas element is virtually absent. I have no idea why it was even introduced. Why not rats in Christmas trees, rats attacking Santa, rats in church? Gremlins did much better with this movie's attempted anti-consumerist theme (although Gremlins also cast that anti-consumerism in Pat Buchanan xenophobic terms, so hey, what you lose on the dogs you gain on the ponies).

Nonetheless, this is an '80s horror movie about killer rats in New York City which does not analogize street criminals and vermin. For this lack of creepy, bourgeois good-people dehumanization alone, it is to be commended.

It's also kind of hilariously delicious.

If you only want one killer-rat movie, I'll still recommend the Willard remake (haven't seen the original yet). But it turns out that I want multiple killer-rat movies; and this one is serviceable.

Welcome to the Dollhouse: Okay, I really hated this. But it's entirely possible that I missed the point, so I welcome arguments in my email inbox.

My main problem is that its genre- and tone-shifting didn't work for me. It felt as though it just switched randomly from genre to genre, rather than genuinely combining genres. In the terms of this post, it was Harry Potter, not Veronica Mars.

I was in the market for an intensely painful satire of high-school hell. Maybe some kind of combination of Heathers, Cruel Intentions, and Donnie Darko--the Grand Guignol of bullying, something which would make the audience complicit, or else maybe make the realistic portrayals of bullying seem just as absurd and degrading as the fluorescent, lamb-dressed-as-mutton-dressed-as-lamb fashions. Maybe something like this article translated to Suburbian.

Some scenes really did that. Dawn's costumes; her locker; the bathroom scene. But then you have the idiotic "Lisa Simpson bonds with Nelson Muntz, after he threatens to rape her" scene; and the kidnaping plotline, the reason for which I cannot fathom.

If other people get it, get how this movie hangs together and does something not merely groundbreaking (because I could probably buy that) but artistically great... email me, for real, because I did feel like I was missing something. Were my expectations wrong, or too specific? Did I miss the point of the kidnaping thing? I've been wrong in my first impression of movies before. But I genuinely didn't get this.

Arachnophobia: Heh, this was fine. Bog standard '80s spider horror; does what it says on the tin. Nice "city vs. country" storyline, in which although the city wins, there isn't any sense of contempt. Overall the story handles lightly a lot of elements which could become really heavyhanded, e.g. gender role reversal (the husband needs the wife to kill spiders), or "never ever ever move away from where you live, or travel anywhere else."

It may not affect others this way, but I definitely found myself a bit freaked out by shadows and similar possibly-spiders! after watching this.

Graveyard Shift: Based on the Stephen King short story, which is better. Creepy mill is creepy; filled with rats; needs to be cleaned; cleaners discover horrific Rat Queen hiding in basement. I had fun with this, because I love "out of the past"/coverup/creepy old building stories, but it's really Session 9 without the good parts.

And wow, the Rat Queen is risible. Sorry, Rattus!

You can kind of tell my problem with the movie when I say that there's a scene where someone discovers all the old mill files which have been relegated to the basement--and all I wanted was for us to get a look at the horrors hidden in those files. Those files are Annie Wilkes's "Memory Lane" book; they're Jack Torrance's memories of the speech-and-debate tournament from The Shining; they're Jame Gumb's basement with the uneven floors.

We don't ever get to see what's in them.

Anyway, the close-credits song is hilarious--different lines from the movie remixed to a dance beat! Listen to it here (with the end of the movie, so spoilerous). Best part of the movie by far.
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.

--Ps. 19:1-4
LET'S YOU AND HIM FIGHT. So apparently there's this kerfuffle in the American Philosophical Association about whether schools which require their faculty to abstain from gay sex should be allowed to advertise in the APA's job listings.

There's a petition, and a counterpetition, and my name came up in comments on the latter, because apparently I've been weaponized now? I tried to post this at Brian Leiter's site, but the comment wasn't accepted--not sure if it's in moderation, or if it's too long (for which I apologize!), or if this is just some computery glitch, but just in case, I'm reposting it here.

It's nothing new if you read this site regularly, but I figured I'd post it in case people are still finding me by Googling for stuff about this issue--if that's how you got here, I suggest checking out my sidebar under "Sicut cervus: Resources on God and homosexuality," and/or the "Gay Catholic Whatnot" and "romoeroticism" tags.... I promise to have some more interesting stuff up Saturday, inc. possibly some Gay-Catholic-Whatnot for those who can't get enough of that wonderful Duff. Plus reviews of movies about rats.
Well, now I know why so many people have been coming to my site by Googling "Eve Tushnet and John Heard"....

I feel as though I have been pushed into the middle of someone else's fight--I don't think the best model of a Catholic university is one in which all faculty must pledge to profess and follow the Catholic faith--but... fine. My take on some of the issues involved in this question.

1. Some of the arguments in the counterpetition are quite silly. ("Many of the greatest..." etc.)

2. But y'all are really arguing that "You cannot make sense of someone's sexual orientation apart from the acts that embody and constitute that identity"? Really? (This from the movement that claims Cardinal Newman was gay?--sorry, cheap shot.)

Many, many "gay people"/"people with same-sex desires"/(your term here) have chosen celibacy, for a variety of reasons, not all of which have anything to do with religion. Gay people choose celibacy as a form of fidelity to a deceased beloved. They choose celibacy because they're bitter about their experiences in a gay community (my guess is that Djuna Barnes, for example, might fit this one). And of course they (we) choose it as a form of fidelity to Christ. You can judge some of these reasons as much better than others--bitterness is something I'd try to alleviate, not recommend--but they don't make the people involved any less gay. "Between the emotion/and the act/falls the shadow," as TS Eliot didn't say....

(You're really telling me I'm... what? Straight? Nothing neither way? Romoerotic?)

I don't think this analogy works:
Though if the counter-petition's argument is that one is capable of discriminating only against those that act upon their orientation while not against the broader category of those that have that particular orientation, then it seems to me that it is legitimate to hire a person who have an orientation towards a particular religious faith on the proviso they don't act on that faith (e.g. attending services, partaking in Communion etc.)

If you're Catholic, for example, there are lots of things you're supposed to do. (Those things really are intrinsic to being Catholic.) Are gay people supposed to have sex? Is sex the vocation of the lesbian, as witness is the vocation of the Christian?

Now, you could argue that the vocation of the lesbian can be expressed in lots of different ways, including some forms of celibacy, but religiously-motivated celibacy cannot be among them. I am not sure why the APA should endorse this viewpoint.

Anyway, at least the religion analogy is much better than the race analogy; I'm not sure what I could possibly say to someone who thinks I'm analogous to a black girl bleaching her skin in an attempt to become white.

4. Finally, I understand why people want to marginalize and stigmatize religions which bar homosexual acts. But do acknowledge that that's what you're asking the APA to do.

Ahhhh, this is too long. I'm sorry.

Yeah well, happy Lent to me, I guess. I had to cut a lot of stuff from that, including my defense of Catholic universities hiring all manner of religious flotsam and moral jetsam--God and Man at Yale is wrong, y'all, and The Closing of the American Mind is right--but rest assured I know that sots and lechers and even Presbyterians can be good teachers....

Friday, February 27, 2009

YOUR AMAZINGLY AWESOME THING OF THE DAY. Via Mark Shea among many others.
UH... OOPS. Reader Dr. Weevil pointed out that I really made no sense in my earlier call for DC-area Catholic school alumni. Who I am actually looking for:

DC-area alumni of DC-area Catholic schools.

In other words: You live nearish here now, and you went to school nearish here.

The other criteria in that post still apply (LGBT/same-sex-attracted alumni especially encouraged; I don't care what you think about gay stuff; if your Catholic education was elementary, middle, or high school, that is most awesome, but college might also work).

Sorry for ambiguity, and please do email and/or spread the word!
I HOPE YOU KNOW THAT THIS WILL GO DOWN ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD: Hey, are any of you guys alumni of DC-area Catholic schools (esp. elementary and HS, but I think college might also work) and living in the DC metro area? If so, can you email me? LGBT/same-sex-attracted alumni are especially encouraged (regardless of your current religious/moral beliefs), but believe me, you can definitely still help me even if you're straighter than Anna Karenina.

Also, if people in the area wanted to put this notice on their blogs, that would be great. My email is

Thanks. Once this project is further along I'll post more about it, but for now, just shoot me a quick email and I'll give you the scoop.

EDITED to clarify that I'm looking for DC-area alumni of DC-area Catholic schools.
TODAY ON MARRIAGEDEBATE: More discussion of possible compromises on gay marriage; the most convincing take I've seen so far on how Proposition 8 passed; arguments that "gay marriage put an end to gay sex" and that "the right's baby love is undermining conservatism"... and more.

I'm going to stop doing these, really, but I want you guys to see that I'm getting new, provocative content up there every day.
THERE GOES MY WEEKEND! Audio recordings of Allan Bloom lecturing on Nietzsche, and (now with cool pix!) Plato.

Awesome, all-too-awesome.
...Only a few years out of college, Jealous quickly climbed the ranks of the nonprofit world. In 2005, he was named president of the Los Angeles–based Rosenberg Foundation, which grants money to groups working in low-income communities. Jealous whipped the foundation into fiscal and managerial shape and directed its money toward an emerging method of dealing with mass incarceration: re-entry programs that help former inmates readjust to society and find work. Jealous plans to prioritize these issues as president of the NAACP. "A hundred years from now we're going to be judged by our grandchildren," he says. "They're going to look back, and they're going to say, this country had the most incarcerated on Earth. Young black people were the most incarcerated in modern history. What did you do about it?" ...

For Jealous, mass incarceration is the civil-rights challenge of this generation. Addressing it, he says, requires more than just changing draconian drug laws; it also requires confronting poverty and a failing public-education system. Young black folks, particularly the urban poor who most need an organization like the NAACP to look out for them, are facing problems of violence, drugs, AIDS, and unequal education. ...

Jealous must figure out how to hold Obama accountable without drawing "the hate." Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton, is optimistic. The NAACP "could become the authentic supportive and yet challenging voice to the Obama administration," she says.

This is the role Jealous envisions. "It would be disrespectful not to criticize [Obama]," he says. "If we don't let the brother know when he's not living up to people's expectations, he's only going to be there four years."


(via Jack and Jill Politics)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DAY JOB: There is just a cornucopia of links up at MarriageDebate today, people. First up we have the NY Times piece co-penned by David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, "A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage." Then I have trawled the vast reaches of the interwebs to bring you this round-up of reactions to the piece. If you have seen others you think I should include, please email me at!

If you scroll past all that, you'll find scads of other fascinating links, on subjects from religious liberty to the story of a transgendered sorority brother. I also have a bunch of great links on deck for posting tomorrow--and, in general, I hope to do better about posting every day.

I am not being paid to tell you this (although I do work part-time for iMAPP), but I figured a lot of my readers would be interested in these topics. Go read!
"WHAT IS HOLY SEX? WHO NEEDS CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP?": Check out this Dreadnought discussion, & help him shape his upcoming talk at the University of Sydney....
The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.
--St. Augustine, via

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CUPID AND PSYCHO: I'm sure someone could come up with a lot of really annoying psychoanalysis of me based on the particular points at which I shift from being incredibly attracted to Bernadette Peters's witch to identifying intensely with her and back again. I'm just right--can't they see?!
IN MY HEAD, I'M ON MY KNEES: I review Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement in the latest First Things. Subscribers-only for now.

Keep in mind that when I make a statement, I'm standing behind that statement; but when I suggest, or question, it's because I think my questions are a better way to approach the complex truth than any partial or provincial comment I could make.
The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself.
--The Imitation of Christ

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ALIAS LOVE: I make myself ridiculous all over the prospect of more Bendis/Gaydos Jessica Jones complete awesomeness.
SHAMED CULTURE: Shamed Dogan (rhymes with "Club Med") is back online!

One: My basic thing about Tony Stark can be completely conveyed in the "No Handlebars" fanvid which is not the thing you get on YouTube if you search for "'iron man' 'no handlebars'"--so email me, for real, if you want to see it. That video is better film criticism than I could do in a year of Sundays.

Two: The race thing isn't the only thing about Iron Man. Honestly, one of the most debilitating things about privilege is the way that it corrupts all the things you like, all the things you love... all the things you might draw hope from. So I can say that "Iron Man" is super cool because Tony Stark is an example of leadership in isolation (as vs. e.g. Cyclops' leadership, or Emma Frost's intense focus on her lost students) but it won't change the fact that there is no Arab Tony Stark. There is no American "Vietnam movie" which is really about the Vietnamese.

And so... here's an exchange, between me and Blackadder, which I think gets at the real issue underlying my badly-defended initial post:

Him: I don't get it. Yes, Iron Man is white, and various of the other characters in the origin story are not white.

Okay. So what? What's racist about that?

Me: It's the "Dances with Wolves" thing, where non-white people's tragedies and struggles are constantly sidelined to showcase the heroic white man.... The Asians are instruments, not characters, and Rhodey, for all that he is awesome, is the traditional Black Sidekick who exists to be a character in a white man's story rather than to have a story of his own.

If "Iron Man" were one of only a few places where that marginalization happened, it wouldn't matter, but it's such a common pattern that it becomes a real problem

Him: I guess my reaction here is something along the lines of "dude, it's a comic book!"

Do we learn much about the inner life and tragedies of Stark's captors?

Of course not. They are the villainous henchmen from Act I.

Is the side kick character a, well, side kick? Again, of course.

If the treatment of the non-white villainous henchmen and/or non-white side kick were more hackneyed than is typical in such stories, then you might have a point. But it's not. The treatment of these characters is pretty standard. And to argue that, because certain characters in the story are not white, it's racist to treat them exactly as you would any other villian or side kick strikes me as being a tad unfair.

Me: But it really is about the larger pattern--who ends up as the faceless villains, who ends up as the sidekick, and who ends up with his name on the cover....

Or, let me try this another way: There really are lazy black people and money-grubbing Jews. But you'd be pretty careful if you wanted to put one in your comic, right? Not because they don't exist, but because those images play into larger cultural narratives.

This is sort of similar: It plays into a larger cultural narrative in which the only interesting stories/the only heroes/the only people with inner lives and subjectivity, are white people.

Like, the first time you see a story where the non-white people exist solely to serve the white hero's interior journey, it's no big thing, that's how stories often work, not every character can have a rich inner life. But the fiftieth
time, it gets really, really old, and each individual instance of it starts looking more and more suspect.

Him: Okay, so it sounds like the real problem is not that the villains aren't white, or that the side kick isn't white, but that the main character *is* white. Or, rather, that all the main characters are white.

And, yeah, you kind of have a point there.

However, I would note two things:

1) This isn't a problem that it particular to Iron Man. There aren't any non-white characters with deep inner lives in Spider-man either. Or Superman. Or Batman, etc. It may be more obvious in the case of Iron Man, in the same way that the racial make-up of a party may be more apparent when there is one black guy there rather than none. Nevertheless. And saying that it's okay to have white people be the only ones with real characterization in a story, but only so long as there are no non-white people in the story whatsoever, then that doesn't strike me as being very helpful.

2) We're dealing here with characters that are not being created out of whole cloth today, but that have a pre-existing history. If the racial make up of the characters is undesirable, our only two options would seem to be either to just change the race of the character (as was done with Nick Fury) or to introduce new characters and try to build them into major figures in their own right. The latter option is, ironically, what they tried with Iron Man (and are trying with Iron Man). Rhodes starts out as just another side kick, but if they follow the comic this is just a jumping off point for him to become Iron Man later on.
I've got an infinite number of places to go, the problem is where to stay.
--Johnny, Mike Leigh, "Naked"

Monday, February 09, 2009

I CAN TIE A KNOT IN A CHERRY STEM: Comics review. So everyone who knows me knows I couldn't resist the paperback copy of Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle. This is the early '80s story arc in which our hero, Iron Man, gained an origin and an addiction. I loved it with a deeply stupid love.

The covers are so bad. The front cover is basically, "John Romita, Jr. Presents: THE HUMAN THIGH!", and then the back cover is AA Werewolf.

And... I don't know a good way to put this. All Iron Man origin stories are racist. Iron Man is a white guy who experienced an epiphany in a country full of brown people, and then he came home to be important and have his own comic book title, and sometimes his black sidekick got to tag along. Honestly, there's no defending it. There are a lot of things I like about the Iron Man mythos, but I don't recommend it, for exactly the same reason that I don't say everybody should read Gone with the Wind.

So okay, that said... I thought this book was surprisingly clever and fun and (on a scale of negative-1000 to negative-100) subtle. I really enjoyed this. The art was action-comics standard, but the pacing worked, and the dialogue was what you wanted '80s comics to be, rather than what you just kind of accepted as the '80s comics norm.

I can't recommend this in good conscience. But if you are pretty sure you want the first Tony Stark alcoholism arc, I can tell you this version of it is a lot better than it had to be. It really isn't lugubrious or pro-forma the way future Tony-drunk comics can seem. And if you liked the movie, I can say that this comic is similar, for good and for ill.
GIRLS LIKE VIOLENCE: William Writes has a pretty awesome post criticizing my "Sublimity Now!" column. I don't know that I can respond, necessarily, but I guess I will ask: Can there be a peaceful rapture?

Because I pretty much think no, and his post suggests that this might be a relevant difference between us: I'll go with rapture over peace, if I have to pick.

But seriously, you should read this post, because its understanding of beauty is really different from mine and yet really appealing to me.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

ALL HONORING NATURE--UNTIL I ARRIVED: A few postscripts to my pissed-off post about that Commonweal James Alison piece.

1. First of all, I've never read Alison, and people I really respect are into him. So I completely assume that while I can't stand the excerpts in that Commonweal encomium, that doesn't necessarily reflect the context and fullness of his argument.

2. I've said before that I don't get natural law arguments, at all, ever. And so to the extent that Alison is arguing from the basis of peacefulness and natural law, I'm pretty much... against peace with oneself and against nature, as everyone who knows me will attest. As a friend of mine once said, "I hate the happy medium!"

3. On the other hand... I can't judge Alison's full argument. But I can judge the excerpt in the Commonweal article. And that was just bad. If "natural law" can be stretched like Silly Putty to cover any actions flowing from any involuntary, deep, existential inclination, then natural law is stupid.

4. An anonyreader writes:
...I will say that one's bad loves are so closely kith and kin to one's good loves that they might as well be identical twins. Almost. But there is a mutation, or a difference of some kind, that allows one to distinguish the "good" from the "bad."

So, yes, I think the bad loves can seem central, because they grow out of the good, but take a detour somewhere along the line.

I totally agree with this; more so, I try to emphasize, with gay stuff, how our desires can be made truly sublime. I try to write about how being gay in this culture can be a Christian vocation--a call to transform, without denying or ignoring or suppressing, our desires in the service of Christ.

So apparently my irritation with this one quoted, out-of-context paragraph of James Alison's has made me sound much more negative toward gay desire than I really am! Good grief.

I guess the main thing I want to say--and the reason behind the Mary Gauthier thing--is just that "nature" isn't obvious. Cultures define what is natural, and those definitions need not match up at all well with your own morality, whether or not you're an orthodox Catholic. So when you rely on "nature" arguments, you need to be fierce, be careful, and be anything other than complacent; and--my old hobbyhorse--maybe you'd be better off just leaving the "natural" category alone, and making your arguments on other grounds. Because frankly, I could make better gay-heresy arguments than the natural-law one, and it's not my actual job.

But yeah--that post wasn't about Alison's arguments, but about the part of his argument which the Commonweal author saw fit to quote; and it wasn't really about gay stuff, but about natural-law arguments and their limits.
He who is not ready to suffer all things and to stand resigned to the will of the Beloved is not worthy to be called a lover.
--The Imitation of Christ

Saturday, February 07, 2009


They say:
As Alison lays out the argument, Catholicism has long taught that people are heterosexual by nature, and that homosexual activity is thus unnatural. But this teaching conflicts with the growing recognition that homosexuality is a way of being, not simply a way of acting; unchosen, it belongs to one's nature or essence. Drawing upon the scholastic axiom agere sequitur esse (acts flow from being), Alison maintains one cannot hold both that the homosexual inclination is natural or involuntary and that homosexual acts are inherently evil.


I can't think of a really awesome way to point out all the problems in this theology except to say, "Can you really believe this, unless you believe you're a Good Person?"

I mean... think of the worst thing you've ever loved. Is that love peripheral to you, or in some complex way, central? Are you absolutely sure that no "bad" love could ever be central to someone's self-conception?

Mary Gauthier says:
Fish swim.
Birds fly.
Daddies yell,
Mommas cry.
Old men
Sit and think--
I drink.
I HATE YOU ALL. How did no one tell me that Amy Winehouse covered "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"

Thanks for nothing, blogroll! Do better when she covers "Crimson and Clover," or I'll track you down.

Friday, February 06, 2009

MULES AND WOMEN: My Ladyblog post about that article comparing Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Zora Neale Hurston; with bonus Ayn Rand, Dorothy Day, and (maybe!) GEM Anscombe....
"If there were only one steel worker in the world he could be just as interesting to a novelist," [Isabel Paterson] declared. "But the Communist theory requires that there shall be a mass of steel workers, or they don't matter."
--cited in David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito, Independent Review, "Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Zora Neale Hurston on War, Race, the State, and Liberty"

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"SUBLIMITY NOW!": My latest piece for Inside Catholic. Fire, Burke, ice, unicorns, and a man in his underpants waving a gun!
WAYS TO HELP Amy Welborn's family after the death of her husband: buying his books (royalties from his How-To Book of the Mass go to their children's college fund), and contributing via PayPal. Amy has been a constant source of inspiration to me. I hardly know what to say, so I will just point you to these other links.

Michael Dubruiel's final column includes this:
...Working with a very frail Father Benedict at the time, I was reminded of an interview that he had given some years earlier at EWTN with Doug Keck on Booknotes. During that interview, when Father Benedict’s book Arise From Darkness was first published, Doug asked Father Benedict to elaborate on something that Father had called the “big lie” in his book. The “big lie,” Father Benedict said, (and I’m paraphrasing him at this point), is to think that if we say all the right prayers and live correctly, then nothing bad will ever happen to us.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

IF FLANNERY O'CONNOR WERE MICHAEL CHABON. I posted my take on the "Bill Jemas presents: Ultimate Bible!" thing, at Ladyblog. Feel free to suggest content for Leadership Secrets of the Hebrew Prophets in the comments section!
THE WHIRLIGIG OF TIME BRINGS IN HIS REVENGES. Inside Catholic reposted an article I did for them way back in 2002, when they were still Crisis magazine. The piece is called "Outside Narnia: Christianity and Children's Fantasy," and it was my attempt to defend non- and even anti-Christian fantasy books while also promoting a few fun or even great Catholic works which had been swamped by the flood of Lewistolkein.

Re-reading it... wow, I would not write this article the same way today! Every column-inch of the praise for Tamora Pierce is humiliating to read, and in general, this is just more "pi" and ethics-y than I'd want to write now. On the other hand, the parts where I recommend John Bellairs, Margot Benary-Isbert, and (especially) Ottfried Preussler, and where I defend Susan Price (author of the world's most nihilist children's books!), are still fine.

Anyway... uh... there it is! Can you tell I'm not strong enough or humble enough to keep my old diaries?
To glory in adversity is not hard for the man who loves, for this is to glory in the cross of the Lord.
--The Imitation of Christ; and in related news....