The Art of the Deal, and the Writing on the Wall

The Republican candidates for president would have us believe that they are strong, manly men who would stand up to Putin, destroy daesh, contain Iran, and generally “restore” America’s power throughout the world. But they cannot even stand...

Bad Popes and Public Memorials

One of the first things I noticed in Rome was the bodies. While praying in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva on my first visit, I happened to glance to my left, and there was St. Catherine of Siena, literally, lying under an altar for all to see! A...

Remembering Florence King

Louisville, Kentucky.  “Reading Florence King is like opening a blast furnace,” reporter Liz Trotta said of her years ago. That fire is now out. The writer and satirist died on January 6th in Fredericksburg, Virginia, not far from the Distr...

In the Pilsen Snow

My wife and I were married at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, on the near west side of South Bend, Indiana.  I’ve written about her before, that Church, fashioned nearly two centuries ago by the hands of her first Irish and German parishione...

Sustainability in Cities that Hold Steady

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Wichita, KS, is a large city, a regional center for manufacturing, medicine, finance, and the arts. It’s also a politically conservative place, which means that you don’t hear a lot of talk about ...

An Age of Unmaking

Over the years, I have made the case, here and elsewhere, for the recovery of the traditional work of poetry.  The habits of mind and body that we cultivate and that, in turn, shape us in the mastery of this or that particular craft do not ...

From The Multiversity Cave: General Education

Saginaw, MI This post is part of a series that will explore what prominent thinkers can teach us about today’s public multiversity, the modern university with its many colleges, departments, and other administrative units that play multiple...

A Meditation on My Porch

  I heard someone say recently, “Porches are back. They’re on all the new houses.” And I thought, “No, no they’re not.” Porches on newer houses are hardly more than façades, sort of like shutters. My shutters don’t even shut; and if yo...

Branding Disaster

Earlier this year, after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, I reflected on the conversations that may or may not ensue from the changing of a facebook profile picture.  As my facebook news feed in the last few days has changed into a wash of the ...