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When assaulted by any vice, we must embrace the practice of the contrary virtue, and refer all the others to it, by which means we shall overcome our enemy, and at the same time advance in all the virtues. (. . .) For as the wild boar, to sharpen his tusks, whets and polishes them with his other teeth, and by this means sharpens all at the same time, so a virtuous man, having undertaken to perfect himself in the virtue of which he stands most in need for his defence, files and polishes it by the exercise of the other virtues, which whilst they help to sharpen that one, make all of them become more excellent and better polished.

– St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

Acknowledgement

By Francisco Bayeu y Subías – [3], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50771068

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Well, Joker was a breath of fresh air.

I like pure escapism as much as anyone else, but I find myself too often frustrated with an unspoken rule in much of our popular entertainment: If it’s about Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, or whatever-man-or-woman, it must be presented cartoonishly.  Even when the “serious” moments occur, it has to be obvious that people are pretending.

Joker is about what happens behind the scenes (more…)

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NOTE: Video embedded for aesthetic purposes only

If you didn’t read part one, that’s fine — so long as you keep the following in mind:

I believe that what we see in [Game of Thrones] (…) is a sort of quasi “first principle” on which much else is made to rest.

Broadly, this is the movement — construed as progress — from the sacred to the secular, from religion to reason, from other-worldly to this-worldly concerns.

Let’s take a look at G.O.T.’s exact trajectory vis-a-vis religion, history, and the secular.

First, we have the Long Night. (more…)

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Yes, I know — I took way too long.

I did have a (very) rough draft written, which I soon found was no good.

I basically went with a premise similar to that of Ross Douthat — namely, that the way G.O.T. ended constitutes a missed opportunity.

Rather than using the fantasy genre as a way of appropriately unnerving people and casting a gleam of wonder on their perception of the world, it errs on the side of “getting it over with” so as to get back to what seems overly dominating of people’s interests and concerns: Politics.

On second examination I came to question that a little bit. (more…)

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Okay — so in part one we made a comparison between Game of Thrones‘ Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish and the wife from the Brothers Grimm’s “The Fisherman and His Wife.”

Whichever character you’re looking at, the trajectory is essentially the same. (more…)

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Just watched this.  Enjoy!

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Lent came a little later this year, but here it is.  Today, with ashes distributed to remind us of our mortality, we begin our 40-day journey to Easter.

All negative connotations notwithstanding, Lent has an essentially life-giving function.  During these forty days, we take the time to examine our spiritual health and to step away from things that may be keeping us from opening ourselves up to God, to the life He wants to give us.

That’s one of the great mysteries of our faith: God, who is all-powerful and needs nothing outside of Himself, nevertheless loves us and yearns for our friendship.

This being the case, it may be helpful to listen to the following Queen classic, and imagine the words being addressed by God to each one of us.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

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