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August 12th, 2008
The songwriter behind "Wild Thing," "Angel of the Morning" and "I Can't Let Go" on music, gambling and the Church of the Train Wreck

If he’d done nothing more than pen the seminal “Wild Thing,” Chip Taylor would still be a force to be reckoned with. The garage stomp classic that The Troggs topped the charts with in 1966 has become so emblematic of the genre that if you mapped the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll Taylor’s name would no doubt appear on several strands.
But Taylor has… done more…much more. During the 60s and 70s the Yonkers, NY native also wrote “Angel of the Morning” which has been a massive hit in three different decades—the 60s, 80s and, most recently, in 2001 with a reworked version by Shaggy. Taylor — who was born James Wesley Voight and is the brother of Oscar-winning actor Jon

August 11th, 2008
Andre Dubus III, the author of The House of Sand and Fog, takes on terrorism

After the attacks of September 11th, it seemed like everyone was asking the same question: Why do they (the terrorists) hate us (Americans)? Some offered various answers, and some argued the answer didn’t matter. What mattered was that the terrorists killed lots of Americans and now Americans should kill lots of terrorists. For a while trying to learn why the terrorists hate us seemed like giving them credibility. But now Andre Dubus III’s new novel, The Garden of Last Days…, takes a long, hard look at why one fictional terrorist hates Americans so much. Dubus follows Bassam, a 9/11 hijacker, from a strip club in Florida all the way through the checkpoint at Boston’s Logan International Airport, giving readers

August 4th, 2008
Depression Hurts

Recently I received a request from Susan, a longtime reader of my Pure Sex, Pure Love column:
How do you deal with a partner whose dealing with depression? Can you help—and if so, how? And where the lines are drawn between being supportive and looking after your own emotional needs, since depression doesn’t just affect the person going through it. Do you deal with a loved one’s depression differently if you are married versus dating? …
I pondered this email as I left for my final week of the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship, where one of our lectures happened to be about the recent studied of Buddhist meditation used in the treatment of chronic depression.
“Estimates are that 1 in 6 people

August 1st, 2008
Why Our Superheroes Keep Getting Edgier

Once upon a time, superheroes were simple.
Superman was virtually invulnerable; he fought for “Truth, justice, and the American way.” Batman was a handsome billionaire playboy, dishing out punishment to a deserving criminal underworld. Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel fought evil robots, mind-controlling worms, and scurrilous Nazis. All provided straightforward, idealized role models for an anxious populace facing the Depression, Fascism, World War and the Nuclear Age.
But this summer’s profitable crop of big screen superheroes is different. We’ve got Hancock’s title character, a self-loathing homeless alcoholic; Iron Man…’s Tony Stark, a vain, womanizing alcoholic-in-training;

July 29th, 2008
In the past decade, hundreds of thousands from around the world have descended on Northern Spain to trek hundreds of miles on the Camino de Santiago. What is it about this 1000-year-old pilgrimage route that attracts them?

The modern-day pilgrim who struggles across Spain to the shrine of the Apostle James faces one more challenge in a church office that gives out an official certificate to those who complete the journey on foot or bicycle. A clerk asks: Was the reason for the trip spiritual?
For many of those who hike or bike the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage trail all the rage during the Middle Ages and catapulting in popularity in recent years, it’s not an easy question. In walking a segment of the route in June and another chunk five years ago, I found that the reasons people had for undertaking the trip were often mixed. In more than a few cases, the spiritual aspect of the long trek grows on them unexpectedly. It did for me, too, even…

July 29th, 2008
A nun tries to discover what it is about SATC that women find so appealing?

To be honest, I was never a fan of Sex and the City when it was on television so I really had no interest in seeing it when it hit the big screen earlier this summer. I just didn’t think it was my kind of movie as a nun, if you get my drift. But after it had such extraordinary success at the box office—its opening night grossed more than Indiana Jones, establishing SATC… as “by far the best [opening] of all time for a romantic comedy,” according to EW.com—a call from a friend of mine piqued my curiosity. He mentioned during our conversation that he was surprised at the broad range of women he knew who absolutely loved the movie. Whether it was college-age young women, accomplished 20, 30 and 40-something professionals

July 24th, 2008

“Why do you think people are so fixated on celebrities?”…

July 23rd, 2008
Busted Halo's® Mike Hayes sends along his multimedia reports on World Youth Day from Sydney, Australia

This morning I traveled to Riverview for a Catechesis (teaching) session along with some young adults from Chicago who are active with Charis Ministries in Chicago—an organization that does retreats for people in their 20s and 30s (BustedHalo Retreats is essentially an affiliate of this organization).  Riverview is the site of a Jesuit High School where the Magis… Experiment is taking place. The Jesuits decided to gather young adults together from their various provinces and to do a type of retreat pilgrimage
the week before World Youth Day.  So my travel partners have been here in Sydney a week longer than I have.  After a brief catechesis I was able to talk with three very
impressive young

July 22nd, 2008
Navigating your relationship during a recession

My husband, Peter, is a lawyer, and recently accepted a job with Legal Aid, a non-profit organization that provides legal services for the working poor. In states nationwide, community legal services groups are expanding their personal bankruptcy practices as this economy continues to soften, and he’ll be working with many families in financial crisis.
As we spent hours talking about the clients he’s going to work with and their difficulties making ends meet, we began thinking about our own finances. Are we saving enough? Peter drives 30 minutes to work and back each day; if gas prices continue to go up, do we need to cut back in other areas to pay for that increased expense? Our savings are dwindling as the…

July 21st, 2008
Busted Halo's® Mike Hayes sends along his multimedia reports on World Youth Day from Sydney, Australia

I woke up this morning in my nice cozy hotel room thinking about my companions sleeping out in the dewy cold air at Randwick Racetrack and awaiting the Papal Mass amidst 150,000 young pilgrims. When I left them the place was packed and kissy-faced teens were starting to huddle together, others were breaking out footballs and hackey-sacks.  My only thought at leaving my 10 young adult female friends out there amongst the teens was simply: Better them than me.
However, revenge is often sweet indeed. Upon awaking a bit later than I had planned I tried to take a taxi over to the racetrack and was snubbed by all the cabbies.  No cars allowed anywhere near the racetrack.  So I took a subway to the Central Train Station and…

July 20th, 2008
Busted Halo's® Mike Hayes sends along his multimedia reports on World Youth Day from Sydney, Australia

CNS Photo
This morning the U.S. Bishops celebrated mass outdoors for American Youth at The Domain—a first at World Youth Day. It was a vibrant mass with superb music and great preaching by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago Francis Cardinal George, who is also the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since I’m traveling with Chicagoians I got to meet the Cardinal after mass and gave him a copy of my book, Googling God. He was a very gracious man and spent a good deal of time with the folks from his Archdiocese and engaged almost all of us in conversation. Considering that he’s still recovering from cancer and that his legs aren’t strong to begin with (he had polio as a child)…

July 19th, 2008
Multimedia reports on World Youth Day from Sydney, Australia

An on the spot report to start:

A consistent theme I’m finding among young adults here—and one that’s also been heralded by many members of the clergy here at World Youth Day—is the struggle of being embarrassed of being Catholic.  In secular society, religion is often a taboo subject, relegated to “a private matter” for most people. In other segments of the world, religion is a nuisance, at best, or a complete farce—something that is overly restrictive, or a fantasy that one tells themselves out of comfort. At World Youth Day those pressures simply disappear.
Below are interviews with some young adults who talk very openly about their struggles with being…

July 17th, 2008
Busted Halo's® Mike Hayes sends along his multimedia reports on World Youth Day from Sydney, Australia

Nearly 150,000 young people from all over the world have gathered in Sydney, Australia to meet, learn, share their faith…and to get an experience of the Pope up close and personal.
While there are plenty of scheduled events to attend, the most compelling aspect of World Youth Day is easily the opportunity to interact with so many different young adults from all over the globe. On the afternoon of the event’s opening I had the chance to interview some young women from Tonga—a group of islands in the southwest Pacific—…about the challenges of integrating their faith and Tongan culture. (Hear the interview here.)
My companions from Chicago and I ran off to the Opening Ceremonies later in the day

July 15th, 2008
Sirius show featured in the Sunday Times

The following story appeared in the July 13, 2008 edition of the New York Times.…
Mike from El Paso was on the phone line to “The Catholic Guy,” the afternoon drive-time talk program produced via the unlikely partnership of Sirius Satellite Radio (familiar to most people as “Howard Stern’s network”) and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
“I called the other day?” said Mike. “About how much I miss confession?” This would be the Mike who was barred from the sacrament of confession under church law because he married a divorced woman whose first marriage was never annulled.
“Yes, I remember!” bellowed the host, Lino Rulli, the Catholic guy of the show’s title. “Mike the Adulterer!

July 14th, 2008
Contributing Editor Robert Anthony Siegel is invited to read from his recent novel at Google's distinguished author series

Longtime Busted Halo® contributing editor Robert Anthony Siegel recently traveled to Google’s headquarters to participate in the company’s prestigious Authors@Google series with a reading from his most recent novel All Will Be Revealed…. The series, held in Mountain View, California, has also played host to such luminaries as Noam Chomsky, Richard Price and Salman Rushdie.
Siegel was born in New York City and educated at Harvard, the University of Tokyo, and the Iowa Writers Workshop. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, where he lives with his wife, the writer Karen E. Bender, and their two children. He has received fellowships from the Japanese

July 13th, 2008
Busted Halo's® Mike Hayes appears on Canadian National Catholic TV Network

On Sunday, July 13th Busted Halo® Managing Editor Mike Hayes will be featured on Canada’s National Catholic TV Network, Salt and Light at 7pm and 11pm (EST). The show is called “Catholic Focus” and Mike will be interviewed for the entire program by host Pedro Guevara-Mann on How to Minister to Young Adults in the 21st Century and the findings in his book Googling God… (Busted Halo® Books).
Salt and Light TV is Canada’s first national Catholic Television Network. You can watch the show live over the internet as well by going to their website www.saltandlighttv.org and clicking on “Live Streaming” just under the logo on the upper left side.
Mike will also be covering World Youth Day

July 10th, 2008
Thom Yorke and Vincent Van Gogh... undeniably distorted and utterly beautiful

Who knows, were he born a century earlier perhaps Radiohead’s Thom Yorke might have picked up a paintbrush instead of a microphone. Yorke and 19th century Post-Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh (1857-1890) occupy completely different artistic fields from different eras and seemingly different worlds, but with the release of Radiohead’s recent In Rainbows… Yorke proves yet again that—despite the 115 years that separate their births—and he is a spiritual brother of the legendary painter. There is something in each of these men that screams its way into the conscience of the world, something undeniably distorted and utterly beautiful.
Refusing to give in to the burden of past successes Radiohead’s

July 9th, 2008
You can’t spell love without evolve

For most of my adult life, I was what you might call, a casual evolutionist.  You know, the type of person who could handle your run-of-the-mill, cocktail-party conversation on Darwinism.  All the obvious stuff just seemed to make sense, like how giraffes with longer necks had a better shot than their shorter cousins.  Or that stronger lions killed more zebras than the weak ones.  Or how Donald Trump is still able to date fashion models because…
OK, well, perhaps Darwin’s theory had its limits.
But during my recent breakup with my girlfriend, Linda—somewhere between the “I swear this is the last 3 am phone call” and the restraining order—I had an…

July 7th, 2008
Declare your financial independence

This weekend, we celebrated our nation’s independence with fireworks and cook-outs. But according to a recent Busted Halo…® survey, young adults are struggling for an even more personal kind of independence this summer—financial independence.
More than 40% of respondents said they hold credit card debt, and nearly 50% are floating school loans. We’re the first generation in American history to be less well off at age 30 than our parents were at that age. And with the economy’s frequent hiccups, rising gas prices and falling home values, nearly half of respondents said financial discussions with loved ones have gotten more tense.
How can we declare independence from financial

July 3rd, 2008
Being Catholic and Being American

In a cultural climate such as the United States— where the sense of polarization along social, economic, political and religious lines seems to be the default posture — maintaining unity amidst great diversity has become a profound challenge.  As this division grows it can become increasingly difficult to hold onto one’s identity while being open to the values, beliefs, and cultures of others.
How can I be a free person while living in community?  This question is a practical application of the age-old philosophical problem of maintaining unity amidst diversity.  How can I retain my uniqueness while belonging to others is a question faced by every family, every neighborhood,…

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