Busted Halo
Features : Entertainment & Lifestyle
 
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April 28th, 2006
Skunks, semantics and the art of spin

The other day, while toting my inquisitive four-year-old daughter to preschool, our chat about contemporary political corruption was interrupted by a familiar smell. Taking a moment at a red light to peer in front of the bumper of my Subaru, I stole a glance of the culprit: freshly squashed skunk.
After casually directing my kid’s eyes to the poor beast’s mangled remains, the following dialogue ensued:
“Pee yew! What’s that smell?”
“It’s the smell a skunk makes when it leaves this earth, sweetie.”
“Why’s it leaving?”
“Well, its time had come.”
“Its time for what?”
“Uh, its time to move on, sweetie pie.…

April 24th, 2006
A Morality play with Mobster style

Will Vito get whacked for wearing leather? Will Paulie forgive his mother for being his aunt? Will Carmela ever succeed in building that million-dollar spec house out of cardboard and glue?
As the sixth season of The Sopranos passes the half-way mark, we need to momentarily disentangle ourselves from such pressing questions and address an even bigger issue: why is it that we still care?
It’s not because of the menace in Tony Soprano’s eyes when somebody crosses him, or the periodic explosions of violence when wise guys clash over money and respect—as fun as those things are. The answer, I believe, is that The Sopranos is not just wonderful storytelling but that it addresses moral experience…

April 20th, 2006

Do you think there can be good in the midst of suffering? Is God present there?…

April 20th, 2006
A Guide to the new reality show God or the Girl

With its mix of equal parts “The Bachelor” and “Jackass” with a spiritual twist, A&E’s new reality series, “God or the Girl” has people talking. The five-part show follows the lives of four young men who struggle with making a decision to pursue studying for the priesthood instead of staying in a relationship with a significant other.
The four “contestants” offer an accurate reflection of the diversity of young adult faith experiences, ranging from highly pious to the irreverent. While “God or the Girl” makes an attempt to honestly portray how these men struggle with their decision, it sometimes stoops to sprinkling in stupid…

April 6th, 2006

“What do you think Jesus’ message was? Do you think his death was important?”…

March 30th, 2006

Do you think there is a difference between being spiritual and religious? Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious?…

March 21st, 2006

“What do you think of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and musicians like Bono and Chris Martin who are championing for global equality and an end to poverty?”…

March 13th, 2006
The Best American Spiritual Writing 2005

A quick glance at the “inspiration” section in any large bookstore is all one needs to determine that books classified as spiritual writing occupy a large tent. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin’s The Gift of Peace nestles next to Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez, while Kabbalah for Beginners and books of Sufi poetry fill the shelves immediately below. The poems, confessional essays, journalistic analyses and riffs that fill the pages of Best American Spiritual Writing are of the decidedly literary variety, having been gleaned from mainstream periodicals like The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times magazine, as well as more specialized journals and literary magazines…

February 21st, 2006

Robert Ellsberg had some explaining to do.
When his book All Saints appeared in 1997, readers celebrated its fresh take on the lives of “365 saints, prophets and witnesses for our time.” But many wanted to know: “Where are all the women?” It was a fair question, given the book’s lopsided male-to-female ratio of four-to-one.
With Blessed Among All Women, Ellsberg returns to address the question head on. In the introduction, he acknowledges the imbalance of All Saints, but is quick to portray it as a symptom of a larger problem. “Among the wide company of official saints,” Ellsberg laments, “women are vastly underrepresented.” Blessed Among All Women…

February 11th, 2006

“Do you believe in love? How would you define it? What examples have you seen in your life?”…

January 22nd, 2006

“How many of the Ten Commandments can you name? How many do you think you keep?”…

December 31st, 2005
With Devils & Dust Bruce Springsteen rediscovers his Catholic roots

Is Bruce Springsteen a Catholic songwriter?
There’s a strong argument to be made that he is. Catholic images can be found on many of his albums, especially his early ones, and at times he seems obsessed with the search for redemption, a favorite theme for Catholic artists from Caravaggio to Graham Greene. But Springsteen’s albums have rarely been explicitly religious, and he has admitted in interviews that he has tried to keep his childhood faith at a distance.
That is until Devils & Dust. Devils is Springsteen’s most religious album to date. It reflects the concerns and anxieties of a man who, as he has grown older, has started asking the big questions that faith promises answers to. What’s…

December 15th, 2005
Disney's Narnia adaptation doesn't disappoint

“It’s not like he’s a tame lion.” It’s a single line, delivered in the final moments of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, long after the climax is complete. Nevertheless, for myself and, I imagine, legions of Narnia enthusiasts like me, its inclusion thrills the soul, sells the film, and puts to rest any nagging concerns that, well, they just wouldn’t get it right. Why? Because C.S. Lewis’ fictional world of Narnia is not just an alternate universe where animals talk, where fauns and dryads and nymphs are real, where children can be heroes and adults are hard to find. It’s much more important than that, and rarely has anyone come away touched by those elements…

November 12th, 2005
Dan Barry

Most of us can identify certain teachers or mentors who have had a profound impact on our lives. The same can be said for particular books that have shaped our view of the world. With that in mind, BustedHalo asks the question:
“What books have helped you on your spiritual journey?”
Dan Barry is the “About New York” columnist for the New York Times. He has shared a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award, and received the 2003 Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. His book, Pull Me Up: A Memoir, was published by W.W. Norton and Company in 2004 and released in paperback this past spring.

James Joyce, “The Dead” (the last story in The Dubliners)
I can’t…

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”…

October 13th, 2005

“How well do you get along with your parents?”…

October 12th, 2005
My Name Is Earl solves the world's problems in thirty minutes or less

It’s bad karma to steal a car from a one-legged woman. In fact, it’s bad karma to do most of the things Early Hickey’s done, including letting someone else go to jail for his crimes, fixing high school football games, or faking his own death to break up with a girl. Hickey, the main character of NBC’s new sitcom, My Name Is Earl, learned how important all this karma was when he won a $100,000 lottery ticket, only to lose it to the wind as a car crashed into him. His wife also left him for the illegitimate father of his child, whose black skin was always suspicious, given that both Earl and his ex-wife are white. The karma was catching up.
Bad karma has been catching up to NBC as well. For the past few seasons,…

October 4th, 2005
Though its influence among Christians in the West may be waning, the sacred art of fasting is flourishing in the rest of the world.

This October all adult and physically capable Muslims abstain from food, water and sexual relations from dawn to sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan (October 5 to November 3). Approximately one billion Muslims around the globe will be joined in their fast by about 14 million Jews worldwide on Yom Kippur (Oct 12, 13), the Day of Atonement, the single holiest day in the Jewish year. And in mid-November, Eastern Orthodox Christians throughout the world will begin their forty-day vegetarian Advent fast in preparation for the feast of the Nativity.

In every culture and religion in history, fasting has been an instinctive and essential language in our communicating with the Divine. As a religious act it increases…

September 20th, 2005

Most of us can identify certain teachers or mentors who have had
a profound impact on our lives. The same can be said for particular books that have shaped our view of the world. With that in mind, BustedHalo asks the question:
“What books have helped you on your spiritual journey?”
1) Augustine, The Confessions
No sense pussyfooting about it … this remains the template for the serious Catholic seeker, exposing the struggles of a quintessentially human soul
sometimes pompous, sometimes scrupulous, sometimes hiding behind irony or humor, but always searching. Everytime I’m tempted to think there’s something noble or original about my quest, I flip back through Augustine in…

September 8th, 2005

“Do you think sin exists? Why or why not?”…

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