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Showing posts from May, 2014

A Virgin Forever...

I realized that I would be a virgin forever, condemned to suffer rejection and humiliation at the hands of women because they don’t fancy me, because their sexual attractions are flawed. They are attracted to the wrong type of male. I always mused to myself that I would rather die than suffer such an existence, and I knew that if it came to that, I would exact my revenge upon the world in the most catastrophic way possible. At least then, I could die knowing that I fought back against the injustice that has been dealt to me. These are words taken from the 101st page of Elliot Rodger's 137-page manifesto. Entitled "My Twisted World," it records a deeply troubled young man's effort to narrate his life. In one especially chilling passage, he muses on the abolishment of women and imagines constructing concentration camps where women would be "deliberately starved to death." In an image evocative of the Tower of Babel, he imagines having an "enormous tower …

The Monster Under the Bed

Stephen King, in the forward to 1976's Night Shift, writes the following:
At night, when I go to  bed I still am at pains to be sure that my legs are under the blankets after the lights go out. I'm not a child anymore but...I don't like to sleep with one leg sticking out. Because if a cool hand ever reached out from under the bed and grasped my ankle, I might scream. Yes, I might scream to wake the dead. That sort of thing doesn't happen, of course, and we all know that. In the stories[...]The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn't real. I know that, and I also know that if I'm careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.  As an unabashed aficionado of horror and fantasy, I know something of King's concerns: I, too, make sure my feet are covered each night by a blanket. I still hold my breath as I drive past cemeteries. I always make escape routes from buildings in the case of zombie attack. I often daydream …

Summer in the City

For the second summer in a row, I'll remain in Boston in order to pursue language study. In preparation for beginning my PhD in theology this Fall, I'm taking a course in French. Meeting twice a week during the day, I look forward to learning a new language. As this is my fourth foreign language to have studied (Latin, Spanish, and German being the others), I'm getting pretty good at learning how to read in other tongues. If only I could speak them as well!
I'll admit that I've been doing a lot of soul-searching about this blog of late. While I've not exactly tired of it, it is one more thing I feel responsible for. I don't much fancy keeping a blog that I don't update regularly, but it's hard to carve out the time to write for it. As I've gotten older, I realize that the site's "tone" has changed and I like to write reflective pieces. Yet this takes time and, sadly, time is not always something I have in abundance. 
At the moment…

Shopping for Nine

It's really only within the context of the Jesuits that it seems perfectly acceptable for two men, each balding and in his 30's, to arrive in a blue mini-van at the local Costco. After the car is parked strategically near a cart-return area, the two men check to make sure they are armed with a pen, the shopping list, and the all-important Executive Membership card. Indeed, they think nothing of arriving at 9:53, minutes before opening, and standing with the retirees and the moms as we wait for them to unlock the front doors.

Creatures of habit, they tend to shop at the same time, on the same day, each week. So it stands to reason that we know to expect Reggie to be greeting at the door, vigilantly scanning each cart as it passes by and, should he see some garbage or cast-away paper, to stop customer and extract the trash. Likewise is there a fairly set course through Costco, developed over many months, that bypasses unnecessary aisles (clothes, beauty products, engine oil) wh…

There is so much denial...

I had just poured my second glass of Malbec on Friday night, happily relaxing after a long day of travel, when one of my Irish dancing colleague's diverted the course of our conversation toward the issue of clergy sex abuse. He expressed enormous frustration that the Church has hidden "so many" pedophile priests and voice grave doubt over its ability to be trusted. 
To no small degree, I agree with him: I'm equally appalled at the extent of the abuse and I generally don't think institutions are to be trusted. I believe in Jesus whom I have come to know within the Church. I pray to God within the Church. I neither believe in or pray to the Church itself...indeed, I often pray for the Church!
Cardinal Sean O'Malley on Saturday noted that on Saturday that, "Many don't see it [clerical sex abuse] as a problem of the universal church." He continues: In many people's minds it is an American problem, an Irish problem or a German problem. The church…