Busted Halo
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December 30th, 2008
Yankee (1923-2008), Shea (1964-2008)

Yankee Stadium (1923-2008)

The champagne was all over my shirt and Derek Jeter stood there laughing. I had just played his accomplice by interviewing Darryl Strawberry in the corner of the locker room so that Jeter could spray him in the face with champagne moments after the Yankees had clinched the American League’s Eastern Division in 1996. Later that year, they won the World Series for the 23rd time in their history, and an even bigger celebration ensued.
A few years before I began covering the locker room for WOR Radio, I was a young cub radio reporter following around WFAN’s Yankee beat reporter, Suzyn Waldman. Down in the bowels of the stadium we’d see all kinds of strange things. One year…

December 30th, 2008
(1962-2008)

David Foster Wallace was a famous writer, which is not that common anymore. He wrote “Infinite Jest,” arguably the most important novel of the past 20 years, and certainly the one that took America’s avant-garde out of its incessant postmodern navel-gazing. He was probably more famous for his essays, which were published in magazines like The Atlantic and Harpers…. He had another novel too, and various collections of short stories and non-fiction. He studied philosophy when he was younger and those who know said he could have been one of the most important mathematical philosophers of his generation. He also sweated a lot, which is why he always wore a white bandana in interviews and at readings.

December 30th, 2008
(1918-2008)

I had a TV in my room from a very early age, giving me control over the cultural influences that entered my world. Using my command of the dial, the most subversive thing I watched in my atheist home might have been a sweet little show that has been loved now for generations: Davey & Goliath.
Son of a Lutheran minister, Dick Sutcliffe started his career as a journalist, but soon found himself working for the church, as assistant editor for The Lutheran magazine, then with the radio division, then television. Sutcliffe, as director of Lutheran radio and television ministry, was one of the first religious officials to realize the potential of television, starting in the late 1950s. When church leaders told him to…

December 30th, 2008
(1937-2008)

It was a long shot but I thought I’d give it a try.
Tony Hendra was making the publicity rounds for his latest book, a novel, The Messiah of Morris Avenue and I was searching for a different angle from which to cover it. Two years earlier—just after the release of Fr. Joe, the New York Times bestseller in which Hendra chronicled his own journey back to Catholicism—I had done an extensive interview with him for Busted Halo and I was hoping to do something other than the usual Q&A this time around. The blurb on the back of Messiah… provided all the inspiration I needed:
“I was prepared for my usual serving of sharp Tony Hendra satire; I was not prepared for his sensitive and highly convincing exposition

December 30th, 2008
(1921-2008)

“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports…!”

That voice, heard each and every weekend for over 40 years, was the voice of James Kenneth McManus, better known to most as Jim McKay of ABC’s Wide World of Sports, a sports variety show, if you will, that covered both mainstream popular sports and obscure sports from the hinterlands of the world. When Roone Arledge, the legendary TV executive, offered McKay the job, he said, “I think I should tell you, this job will involve a certain amount of travel!”
Sure enough,

December 30th, 2008
(1922-2008)

During the nearly sixty years he graced stage and screen, Paul Scofield was a man who had little use for self-justification, and even less use for self-promotion. His press-shy ways created something of a vicious cycle. The less frequently the celebrated British actor consented to interviews, the more frequently such interviews tended to revolve around the question of why, say, he didn’t make himself more available to the media. Or, why he had chosen to appear in so few popular films. Or why, unlike so many of his peers, he had not been knighted.
It would be more correct, however, when we speak of peers, to say that Scofield had none. He was sui generis…—universally admired by the Burtons and Oliviers of the

December 29th, 2008
(1950-2008)

A young political operative who charmed a beautiful woman to marry him for his intellect despite his dough-boy appearance, Tim Russert ended up hitting it big as the moderator of a struggling Sunday morning talk show that most people considered fodder for softball questions.
That was before Russert came along and made a trip to the dentist a more enjoyable experience for the politicians who sat across from him. His impeccable preparation made Russert a journalist whom Democrats and Republicans alike both feared and respected.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger thought their friendship would mean an easy interview, his wife Maria Shriver, a lifelong colleague of Russert’s, told him to prepare more. “Tim…

December 15th, 2008
One chocolate maker believes the curative powers of lovingly prepared food can be scientifically measured

Many of us grew up being nursed to health with grandma’s chicken noodle soup. But ever wonder why it’s not quite the same when we get it from a can—or even from a gourmet counter? Jim Walsh, founder and CEO of Intentional Chocolate, says it’s all about intention. That’s why grandma’s soup made us feel better. It’s why a friend’s made-from-scratch brownies cheer us up. Walsh believes that by applying the same concept to his chocolates, he can help heal the world in his own little way.   Walsh says it goes deeper than simple goodwill; it incorporates the cacao bean, quantum mechanics, shamans from the Amazon jungle, mind-over-matter technology, Buddhist monks…

December 12th, 2008
Before "Doubt" the Oscar winner found the spirit on stage in an "unwieldy" Jesus

With the much-anticipated release of Doubt, Philip Seymour Hoffman is once again receiving the kind of critical kudos reserved for actors who are generally tagged as the ‘best of their generation.’ His portrayal of Fr. Flynn, in John Patrick Shanley’s film version of his Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play, has already garnered Hoffman a Golden Globe nomination. This is not the first time the Oscar-winning actor has dealt with difficult religious topics in his work however. In his new book, A Jesuit Off-Broadway, James Martin, S.J.—who served as a theological consultant to Doubt…—recounts his experiences as a consultant to the debut production in 2005 of the off-Broadway play “The

October 3rd, 2008
The Prize-Winning Author of Gilead Turns Again to Questions of Faith and Loss

Readers familiar with Marilynne Robinson’s 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead will already know the central plot of her new novel, Home

September 24th, 2008
A Cat, Crickets, Peaches and Ice Cream—and Immortality

My mother, the cat and I
decided to sit outside to eat
our dessert. We don’t sit there
as often as one might think.
The deck is stained
the color of our cat’s eyes.
He is always right there, gazing
through the rail – cranky, a barn cat
unable to kill, called to sit, to wonder.
The crickets scream in unison
as my mother’s silver spoon cradles
a slice of peach. She held the bite high.
My father
ate peaches and vanilla ice cream
every single night in summertime.…

That is when I knew what it meant
to live forever.
I never met my mother’s father,
but the way her eyes softened,
the way I melted too – I knew
he was a good man,
so we celebrated.

September 22nd, 2008
My technicolor memories of Yankee Stadium

My Little League team ended their season with a trip to go see the pros in action. My parents were never ones for traveling outside our suburban city limits and so this would be my first Major League Baseball game. Growing up as a Mets fan, I was upset that my first game would be at the hated Yankee Stadium…

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 2 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: American religiosity, the struggle to write a novel about Jesus that is both compelling and Biblically faithful. The perpetual virginity of Mary. Her theological conservatism and her disagreements with some skeptical critics.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness & love of Avigail. Taking on the DaVinci Code. Trying to write an exciting novel about a character

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 3 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Controversies surrounding John’s Gospel and her interactions with scripture scholars.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness & love of Avigail. Taking on the DaVinci Code. Trying to write an exciting novel about a character who is sinless, celibate and didn’t marry. Is the US a Post-Christian nation?
Part 2: Religious Obsession & The Virgin …

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 4 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Connecting directly with her longtime readers via the web. The continuity between her Vampire books and her Christ the Lord series. Love of beauty, artifice and sensuality in the Vampire Chronicles and her Catholic faith. The Catholic artistic tradition. Being a Christ haunted writer. The Eucharistic symbol of blood in her Vampire books.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 5 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: On the possibility of revisiting Lestat and bringing her vampires into a Christian context. How is her life different since coming back to faith and the Catholic Church? Loving her enemies and neighbors. Christians persecuting other Christians. The role of women and gay people in the Church. Her son Christopher’s activism for gay rights. Homosexuality in Jesus’ day.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 6 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Her spiritual memoir “Called out of Darkness” to be published in the fall of 2008. The pain of looking back on her catholic upbringing. Losing her faith at 18. Advice to young seekers. How did her conversion happen? Her regrets. Talking to God.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness & love of Avigail. Taking on the DaVinci Code. Trying to write an exciting

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 7 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: How her son saved her life and the difference between her public image and her day to day life.

View other parts to this series:
TOPICS DISCUSSED in Part 1: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness & love of Avigail. Taking on the DaVinci Code. Trying to write an exciting novel about a character who is sinless, celibate and didn’t marry. Is the US a Post-Christian nation?

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED:

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 8 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: The Catholic imagination. What is Christian art? Protestant resistance to a novel about Jesus. The long tradition of art and sensuality in Catholicism. The politics of organized religion.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness & love of Avigail. Taking on the DaVinci Code. Trying to write an exciting novel about a character who is sinless, celibate and didn’t

September 14th, 2008
The Anne Rice Interview with Busted Halo

PART 9 of the BustedHalo interview with Anne Rice on the release of her second book on the life of Jesus: Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana.
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Her support of Hillary Clinton. On the issue of abortion and being a “committed, old-guard social justice Catholic Democrat” in 2008.

View other parts to this series:
Part 1: Jesus’ Loneliness & Love & The Da Vinci Code…
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Discussion of research for the new book. Taking the Bible completely seriously as a writer. Jesus loneliness & love of Avigail. Taking on the DaVinci Code. Trying to write an exciting novel about a character who is sinless, celibate and didn’t marry. Is the US a Post-Christian nation?

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