Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: At last, LA is poised to have the museum it has long deserved: the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, opening Sept. 30. I love that they’ve named it the Museum of Motion Pictures: not the Museum of Film, which would have skewed hoity-toity and auteurish; not […]
The other day I went to noon Mass, Confession before. Around the responsorial Psalm, a woman arrived late, sat in the pew behind me, and immediately started rummaging through her purse, crackling, unzipping, dumping, rearranging. My God, I thought in my usually humble and contrite way, Shut UP already!
The opera was worth every minute of the 3 hours. The acting was superb; French maestro Manuel Rosenthal conducted. But it wasn’t the music that stayed with me. It was the Reverend Mother’s death—so excruciating as almost to be unworthy of her; so NOT a traditional martyrdom.
Simone Rizkallah interviews Heather King on avoiding ideologies, the many aspects of the feminine genius, and how the spirituality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux is one response to our personal and cultural ills.
But the shot that really got to me was of a little baby nursing. There he or she was, guzzling happily away, and the kid’s face was simply swarming: grotesque clusters of flies had settled in its nose, its ears, its mouth. Its little hand ineffectively tried swatting them away but already you could see the kid was resigned to the lifelong, no doubt constant presence of these unbearably annoying, ruinous, pests.
“I condemn equally those who choose to praise men, those who choose to condemn him, and those who choose to divert themselves. And I can approve only those who seek with groans.” –Blaise Pascal, “Pensées” Welp, I have been privately praising certain men, condemning certain men, and choosing on many occasions to divert myself. Then […]
Asking questions about such a sudden and startling phenomenon is responsible, reasonable and sane. A sense of bewilderment—how? why?—is he cry of the heart of any marginally sensitive human being.
Am I that frightened of standing “naked,” without possessions, gifts, virtues, before God? I was taught to be able to give a good account of myself at the end of the day, but giving a good account before God and before the world, it is ever more borne in, are two very different things.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Hard Times. Terkel, famously, travelled around the country talking to, among others, itinerant farmers, seamstresses, field workers, burlesque queens, con men, speculators, and union organizers.
Venice was an important center for the pigment trade. The best ultramarine, or lapis lazuli, came from Afghanistan. This deep, brilliantly saturated blue was much more expensive than gold at the time and was typically reserved for very important commissions: the robe of the Virgin in the Getty’s “Annunciation,” for example.
“Lourdes is a place for everyone, not just well-mannered religious people. You have firefighters, gypsies, the motorcyclists’ pilgrimage. The prostitutes of Paris make an annual pilgrimage and it’s the highlight of their year.”
“I picture the silence of certain souls as being like vast places of refuge. Finding themselves at the end of their rope, wretched sinners enter there gropingly, with their last drop of strength. They can sleep in peace and then leave refreshed and consoled, with no memory of the great invisible temple in which, for a short while, they have laid down their burdens.”