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October 05, 2005

Bad Catholics

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

John Zmirak is one of the most surprising writers I know of. He's a self-proclaimed reactionary -- and how many people have you met who proudly describe themselves as reactionaries? He's an excellent explicator and appreciator of the great economist Wilhelm Ropke. I'm currently midway through Zmirak's book about Ropke, and I'm enjoying and getting a lot out of it. (I blogged a bit about Ropke myself, here.) And he's a first-rate essayist. John provides links to a lot of his online articles here. Now Zmirak surprises again with "The Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living," co-written with Denise Matychowiak. Buy it here, and enjoy a witty Flash promotional animation here.

Catholics, eh? They're so much more dramatic than the whitebread/iceberg-lettuce Protestants I grew up among. The guilt, the anguish, the inability to just chill out and let it go ... I never cease to marvel at how addicted Catholics seem to be to their faith. Whatever the downsides of a Catholic upbringing, the nun jokes, the blasphemy, and the self-torturing guilt that pumps up sexual desire all look like a lot of fun. The Wife -- religion-averse today but raised a Catholic -- likes to say, "If they get you by the age of five, they've got you for your lifetime." My own theory is that America's whitebread founding Protestants chose to allow Catholics into the country because they were starved for entertainment.

In any case, I'm looking forward to the new book -- to seeing what Zmirak has done now. And I'm fully prepared to be surprised. A sign of what an original Zmirak is can be found in the people who blurb his new book: not just a couple of theologians, but also a couple of celebrity chefs.



posted by Michael at October 5, 2005


Please excuse the temerity of my plugging another blog on yours, but anyone interested in some of the more interesting sides of Catholicism should check out my buddy Sharon's new blog, here:

Part of her intent is to provide a meeting place for her circle of homeschoolers (who do so not out of any religious protest, but just the idea that they could do it better than their public schools), so you'll see some pretty dense material (in the sense of "packed with info") on there, but there are other wonderful philosophical posts, too. Sharon has one of those very big brains that I admire and envy.

In other news, check out these hot nuns:

Posted by: Yahmdallah on October 6, 2005 8:42 AM

Now, Yahmdallah, why those barstools reminded me of A Christmas Story?

Posted by: Tatyana on October 6, 2005 9:54 AM

Maybe it's the soft glow of electric sex...

Posted by: Yahmdallah on October 6, 2005 12:50 PM

For genuine high drama I favor the Russian Orthodox. If I could bring myself to be a believer that's where I would go.

Posted by: perroazul del norte on October 7, 2005 9:52 AM

Those are some pretty great nuns!

Perroazul -- Yeah, I like Russian Orthodox too. Talk about sexy and mysterious! Too bad belief can't be willed! I hear their Easter services are something to behold, and I keep promising myself to check one out, but I never have. Have you?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 7, 2005 11:00 AM

Recent attention on New Orleans might have served as a reminder that some parts of our great nation were founded by French (and Spanish) friends o' the Pope.

Posted by: j.c. on October 8, 2005 4:41 PM

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