Wednesday, February 14, 2007

a really quick book review

Book: Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid. 1999 Basilica Press.

Subject Matter: Especially handy if it's your dumb luck to be frequently hit up with anti-Catholic arguments from your acquaintances. Perhaps a bit too smart for your average anti-Catholic, but definitely useful against the moderatedly well-schooled variety. Topics covered include assorted papal primacy issues, reportedly heretical popes from the Middle Ages, what Pius XII was really doing during the Holocaust, and sedevacantism. Thus Madrid pretty much covers all the bases and arms the reader against assault from both the anti-Catholic flank and the More-Papist-Than-the-Pope flank.

Style: Thorough, if a little more than it needs to be in spots. Pretty readable, although a few sections and some of the longer quotes left me glazed over after a while. A little trimming in places would probably have been a good thing, but it's probably better to saturate the reader than to leave out something vital.

Tone: Generally positive. Just a wee tad snide in a few spots. Madrid seems to have long experience debating people who make the arguments covered in this book, and I'm sure the temptation of a tart one-liner is sometimes too much to resist, but it does stand out in an otherwise "just the facts, ma'am" treatement of the subject.

Recommendations: Good for those who often find themselves in debates with anti-Catholics, if the discussion ever makes it to papacy issues. Also informative if (like me) you were raised woefully ignorant of Church history and doctrine.

And since a holiday item is de rigeur for this blog:
[UPDATE: Oh, it looks like D got one up already. What the heck!]
Here Kathleen Parker offers astute (and darn funny, if you enjoy a good double entendre) commentary on the Vagina Monologues. Must-read for anyone who, like myself, has wondered what this--for lack of a better analogy--apparent exercise in navel contemplation has to do with either good drama or fighting violence against women. An excerpt:
Ensler's V-Day, unlike the lowly valentine, isn't a small gesture. It is an institution on many college campuses, a global movement and a multimillion-dollar industry aimed, at least initially, at stopping violence against women and girls.

No one can argue against such a noble cause, even if it does mean pretending that talking publicly about one's privates is a sign of intellectual vigor. But let's be honest as long as we're being open: The subtext of the monologues is implicitly anti-male -- misandrist messages pimped as high art.

For anyone left on the planet who doesn't know what the monologues are, they're a series of soliloquies in which characters wax indelicately about their delicates...

One can read Ensler's book in about two cups of coffee -- or two stiff drinks, if women rhapsodizing about their inner sanctum isn't your cuppa tea.

On a more somber note, we here in Georgia lost one of our own yesterday: Congressman Charlie Norwood, to cancer. Congressman Norwood represented his district with quiet efficiency, and a minimum of showboating. He was reliably conservative, and stood up for the needs of his district. Best of all, I always got a response from his office whenever I contacted him, and periodically received updates on issues even if I hadn't petitioned him. Now, that's what I call representation.

May he rest in the Lord.

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Blogger DMinor said...

Did we really want to say "naval contemplation?" Oh, well . . .

Nice post -- I was sorry to hear about Congressman Norwood. Here's hoping for a peaceful succession.

RIP, Charley

5:02 PM  
Blogger CMinor said...

Ooops...I didn't really spell it that way, did I?
I'll fix that right away.

5:59 AM  
Blogger CMinor said...

Shoot, D, there's not a darn thing wrong with my spelling! Would you have preferred I steer clear of the analogies and just described it outright?

6:00 AM  

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