Links roundup, 4.28

60 Minutes got a rare visit to the Orthodox monastery at Mt. Athos. Watch part 1 here and part 2 here.

Why does the Easter holiday seem to resist the secularization and commercialization that has overtaken Christmas? This article tries to explain.

4 myths of the Crusades are discussed here.

A review of song lyrics over the last 30 years or so suggests a notable rise in narcissism as well as anger and hostility.

More discouraging news from the higher education front, this on the state of english composition faculty at American colleges. The article describes a recent conference of college composition teachers, which seems to be dedicated to enabling the cultural shift from literacy to anti-literacy. Grabar describes the groups agenda, “clear to me after sampling as many of the meeting’s 500 panels as I could, is devoted to disparaging grammar, logic, reason, evidence and fairness as instruments of white oppression. They believe rules of grammar discriminate against “marginalized” groups and restrict self-expression.” This is just criminal. Ladies and gentlemen – the dismantling and deconstruction of western civilization, brought to you by those who ought to be charged with preserving and developing that very tradition!

The Beastie Boys revisit their mid-80s hit Fight for your right to party in this star studded 30 minute short.

Unbelievable footage in this short video of uber-alpinist Ueli Steck setting the Eiger solo record.

JPII will be beatified May 1. The regular 5 year waiting period was waived, leading some to wonder what the rush is. But George Weigel disagrees with those who think there has been undue haste. Related note: the JPII feast day Office of Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours has been released, here in English and here in Latin. The reading is from his inaugural homily, often called the “do not be afraid” speech.

Pope Benedict gave a very rare tv interview on Good Friday. Here is the transcript, a clip, and a review here and here.

Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams recently responded to a young girl’s question as well. Well played, Williams.

David Brooks reflects on the musical The Book of Mormon.

Does the Ryan budget plan violate basic principles of Catholic social thought? This article argues that it does not.

Criticisms of Abercrombie & Fitch mount over their new push up bra for 7 year old girls.

Edward Feser takes on new atheist arguments, particularly the “one god further” and the silly flying spaghetti monster objections. I take these counter-arguments to be devastating. Those who think the flying spaghetti monster proves something interesting only manage to prove their own ignorance of classical theism.

Speaking of the new atheists. Here Feser outs them as new philistines – dogmatically and deliberately closed to the wisdom of the tradition. He writes, “Oddly, the rhetoric of the New Atheist writers – Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens among the most prominent – sounds much more like that of a fundamentalist preacher than like anything I read during my atheist days. Like the preacher, they are supremely self-confident in their ability to dispatch their opponents with a sarcastic quip or two. And, like the preacher, they show no evidence whatsoever of knowing what they are talking about.”

A fascinating look back at old Disney propaganda films.

A review of seven different movies on Jesus.

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops takes aim at a new book by theologian Sister Elizabeth Johnson. They really don’t mince words here; it is a thoroughgoing rebuke. I like this more active role on the part of the bishops, calling out lousy and borderline heretical theology when they see it.

About Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.
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