Busted Halo
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Tony Rossi :
16 article(s)

Tony Rossi is a writer/producer for various Catholic media and publishes the blog "The Intersection."
September 2nd, 2008
Why John McCain’s running mate has changed the game

While watching Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, my conservative-leaning heart sank a little. “There’s no way,” I thought, “McCain will ever out-charisma this guy. And who’s he going to pick for V.P. that would garner any real coverage or excitement? Pawlenty? Romney? Capable politicians yes, but…(yawn).”
The next day, when Senator McCain named Gov. Sarah Palin as his choice for Vice President I felt kind of giddy.
Real surprises in political campaigns are a rarity. But Sarah Palin is the unexpected plot twist in a movie where you thought you knew everything that was going to happen.
As someone who’s gotten…

December 7th, 2007
Juno has wit, heart and edge

Is there anything funny about a sixteen year old girl getting pregnant? Actually, there’s quite a bit in the new film Juno….
A smart and smart-mouthed Minnesota teen named Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) finds herself pregnant after her first sexual experience with a shy, nerdy classmate (Michael Cera). Her first inclination is to abort the child and she even goes to a clinic for the procedure. But an encounter with a friend from school—along with the comically bizarre abortion clinic—results in Juno rushing out and soon after deciding to give her baby up for adoption. After searching for prospective parents in the local Penny Saver, she decides on Vanessa and Mark Loring (Jennifer Garner and Jason

October 18th, 2005
One young woman’s short, strange trip toward belief

“There is really nothing more intellectually unfashionable than Christianity. If I could have chosen something else, I would have – God just had other plans for me.”
So writes 17-year-old Marjorie Corbman in “A Tiny Step Away From Deepest Faith.” Though only in high school when she wrote the book, Corbman’s capacity for self-reflection and spiritual insight belies her young age. She not only takes us into the minds of modern teenagers, but presents questions and insights that are relevant to people of all ages, be they seekers or established believers.
Raised a Reformed Jew in a family that was half-heartedly religious, Corbman found herself yearning for meaning–“wired for worship”…

April 19th, 2005
A Review of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Early on in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi face Jedi-gone-bad Count Dooku in battle, Dooku–sensing that Anakin has grown in confidence, arrogance and power since last they met–makes the prescient comment “Twice the pride, double the fall.” The extent of that fall is at the heart of this riveting, often heartbreaking final chapter in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” saga.
Haunted by premonitions that his now-pregnant wife, Senator Padm? Amidala, will die during childbirth and frustrated by the Jedi Council’s unwillingness to name him a Jedi Master, Anakin is seduced by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine’s…

January 2nd, 2005
A Review of "Meet the Fockers"

One of the most stressful situations for an engaged couple is meeting their future in-laws and trying to make a good impression. However, the angst-o-meter rises even higher when those in-laws meet each other.
The 2000 hit movie “Meet the Parents” captured the first part of that equation with hilarious results. Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller) struggled to connect with his girlfriend’s tightly wound dad Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) but usually wound up with both feet in his mouth. After lots of awkward squirming ? and even some body and property damage, Greg managed to enter Jack’s “circle of trust” and become a part of the family. In the 2004 sequel “Meet…

November 9th, 2004
Confessions of a Reluctant Bush Voter

“When you get drafted, you’ll be sorry you voted for Bush,” some co-workers angrily told me after they heard John Kerry was going to concede.
Considering that I’m a thirty-something desk jockey who gets winded walking up the subway stairs, that is a scary thought � particularly for the U.S. military. But I didn’t have the inclination to argue about it or point out that the only draft resolutions brought before Congress recently were sponsored by a Democrat.
The reality is I did vote for Bush, albeit reluctantly. I considered a write-in vote for John McCain (who I believe would make a better President) but ultimately decided it would be a cop-out on my part. A major part of my reasoning…

October 12th, 2004
A conservative reflects on the "Moral Values" debate

Liberal Democrats are enemies of religion and corruptors of children. Or so it seems to some conservative Republicans. (Of course, to some Democrats, Republicans want to establish an intolerant despotic theocracy, so there’s plenty of demonizing on both sides of the political fence!)
After an election in which “moral values” were named as the primary motivator in selecting a candidate, the Democratic party needs to recognize its deficiencies in this area. Despite their support of social programs that benefit the poor, middle class and elderly, the “values” Democrats project leave a lot to be desired. After all, modern politics is as much about perception as it is about…

July 18th, 2004
A Modern Look at an Ancient Prayer

A few years ago, I remember watching a network news report about the beneficial effects of meditative prayer. The report first featured a Catholic women’s group that was devoted to praying the rosary. The women shown were primarily in their fifties and sixties. Then the report moved on to meditations inspired by Buddhism and Hinduism. The women who practiced that were in their twenties and thirties.
For me, that report signified the Catholic Church’s problem of attracting young people, especially with traditional devotions that have an image of being outdated. Having grown up in a Catholic family, I have an affection for some of these devotions myself and would like to see them continue among members…

May 16th, 2004
Saving the Sacred from the Absurd in Church

“Why is there a monkey on the tabernacle?” my friend asked herself as she walked into church one Sunday morning.
Apparently, a religious education teacher was planning a discussion on Noah’s Ark for the second grade and had placed inflatable animals all around—even on the small chamber which holds what we as Catholics believe to be the Body of Christ.
Aside from its Bizarro nature, that story struck me as being indicative of a larger problem in the modern Catholic Church.
Celebration timeSince the Catholic Church went through the changes
of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, there has been a greater emphasis on Mass as a communal celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection…

March 29th, 2004
Defining Success in "13 Going On 30"

“I don’t want to be original. I want to be cool.”
That’s how sweet-but-awkward thirteen-year-old Jenna Rink feels about life. She’s frustrated being young and wishes she were like the women in glamour magazines. Though her mother explains, “Those aren’t people, dear; those are models,” her argument falls on deaf ears.
Jenna’s best friend Matt is also geeky but much more accepting of himself. He genuinely cares for her and their natural chemistry is obvious to everyone but Jenna herself.
Desperate to belong to her school’s popular chick-clique, Jenna invites them to her birthday party where they repeatedly make fun of Matt. Jenna even joins…

March 28th, 2004
Love and Memory in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

If you’ve ever had a relationship you wish you could forget, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind may give you a different perspective.
When introvert Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) meets extrovert Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet), the ?opposites attract’ principle kicks in. Their coupling eventually turns rocky, so Clementine impulsively undergoes a new medical procedure that erases all memories of a specific person from your brain.
Joel is devastated?not just by Clementine’s rejection of him as a person, but by her desire to completely eradicate any knowledge of his existence. His knee-jerk reaction is to have the same procedure done on himself to take away the pain of lost love.
Head…

March 16th, 2004
A preview of Joan of Arcadia second season

TV geek that I am, September starts me salivating for new shows and returning favorites. On top of my must-see list this year is the second season of Joan of Arcadia, the CBS series about Joan Girardi an ordinary teen who has an extraordinary relationship with God. Joan has carved out a unique niche among television critics and viewers not only because of its engaging storylines, emotional and spiritual depth and frequent laugh-out-loud humor but also for its ability to portray a God who is not limited to conventional notions of the divine. As the show’s credits make clear, God appears to Joan in various guises both modern and traditional, including Cute Boy God, Little Girl God, Old Lady God–it is a…

February 3rd, 2004
Celebrity and the Search for Decent Political Advice

My name is Tony Rossi and I’m a registered Republican.
There, I admit it.
I don’t remember what year I registered, but it was before I started paying much attention to politics. The GOP seemed to share my moral values so I signed up.
Leaning GOP but not a sealed deal
In the ensuing years, I’ve become more interested in the workings of government, our political system, and the people we elect to serve the public interest.
While I still lean conservative, I won’t automatically vote for the Republican on the ballot. And since I disagree strongly with Democrats on certain issues, they can’t count on my vote either. So in a big election year like 2004, where can I?and all those questioning…

January 5th, 2004
A Skeptical Journalist Finds Herself Stalking the Divine

Stalking the Divine: Contemplating Faith with the Poor Clares
by Kristin Ohlson, Hyperion Books (2003), 272 pages.
“During most of my life I had considered faith a kind of sickness, something that softened the brain and allowed the soothing delusion of power. Now I wanted faith, but I wasn’t sure if I hadn’t inoculated myself against it for good.”
So writes journalist Kristin Ohlson in her spiritual memoir Stalking the Divine: Contemplating Faith with the Poor Clares.
Ohlson, a cradle Catholic, became a “radical communist atheist” during her teen years. Several years later, divorced and remarried, she felt a spiritual void in her life.
Serendipitous ChristmasOn…

January 4th, 2004
An Unexpected Bond Turns Everything Around in The Cooler

For years, self-help books have asserted that your thoughts influence your reality?that if you schlep through life feeling like a loser, the energies of the universe will make you a loser.
In The Cooler , William H. Macy plays Bernie Lootz, a man whose sad sack demeanor not only makes him perennially unlucky, but affects all those with whom he comes in contact. His job at the Shangri-La casino in Las Vegas is to “cool” down anyone’s winning streak that could cost the casino too much money. The simple brush of Bernie’s hand against a roulette table causes Lady Luck to make a U-turn right out the door.
Paying off debts
Shelly Kaplow (Alec Baldwin), the Shangri-La’s manager and seeming…

December 3rd, 2003
Unlikely Ways Home: Real-Life Spiritual Detours

It’s not often that a sexy cocktail waitress inspires a Catholic priest to write a book about faith journeys, but such is the case with Fr. Edward Beck’s Unlikely Ways Home: Real-Life Spiritual Detours. Story has it that Fr. Beck was having a drink in a Manhattan bar when a friend of his complained that priests only see spirituality in people who are praying in church. Like all great theological discussions that start in a bar, the conversation segued toward a waitress in a “barely legal mini-skirt.” Fr. Beck’s friend observed that he believed this waitress was a spiritual person. Incredulous, Fr. Beck asked how he came to that conclusion.
The friend said it was because of the way…

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