A Book for Today


One of my favorite novels has to do with a papal resignation: The Clowns of God, Morris L. West’s sequel to his immensely popular The Shoes of the Fisherman. West (1916-99) was a liberal Catholic deeply in love with his Church, and this book about a pope who leaves office after having visions of the end of the world succeeds as both a moving work of eschatology and a suspenseful page-turner. (West was devout in his way, which comes through in his writing; but he was also a real pro at turning out the airport-bookstore type of novel.)

Michael Potemra — Michael Potemra was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1964, and spent his childhood years in Montreal, Canada. He received a B.A. in philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He ...

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Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More