Busted Halo
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Jim McDermott, SJ :
2 article(s)

Jim McDermott, S.J., is an associate editor at America Magazine.
November 30th, 2006
It Feels What You Feel (And Not Much Else)
Near the end of The Nativity Story, the manger scene is as still and precisely framed as the crèches children play with under Christmas trees. The crib is illuminated from above by a beam of starlight so tight and focused it should be coming from a nearby klieg light, rather than the North Star. The villain Herod has shown himself to be perhaps the dumbest man alive, wondering where the Messiah is while from a hundred miles away Mary’s parents gaze knowingly on the ultra highbeam light that practically screams out “Jesus the Christ, this way” like roving spotlights advertising an ancient camel dealership. Mary and Joseph have just completed their very own quiet birthing, Scientology-style,…
August 3rd, 2006
The prickly, witty, and often raunchy "Clerks" sequel proves that grace permeates the grunge, grease and grit in the lives of suburban fast food minions.
When I was in high school I had a job selling shoes at the Randhurst Mall in Mount Prospect, Illinois. It was a step up from counterboy at Walgreen’s, but not by much: nametags, minimum wage (then a whopping $3.35) and “Can I help you?” from 5-9 p.m. I lived for the 15 minute breaks. And for the cash. Like most of my peers, I worked retail because I wanted stuff: comic books, movie tickets, novels and, of course, video games. It was the dawn of the arcade era — I needed quarters for Joust and Defender, and some more serious bank for a ColecoVision. Even so, for a kid retail work is largely mindless and depressing. You can do it for a while, but you always have one eye focused on breaking out and trying…
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