Good Movies You May Have Missed:  Attack the Block

05/02/2013 Comments (56)

Last night, we watched the 2011 sci-fi thriller Attack the Block (from the producers of Shaun of the Dead).  I loved it!  I can't remember the last time a movie was so satisfying.

It's not meant for kids or young teens.   it uses profanity freely (although that becomes something of an inside joke later in the script), it's intense and scary, it has a few quick scenes of gross-out gore, and it shows lots of people doing drugs.  But if you are an older teen or an adult who can tell the difference between a movie that shows certain behaviors and a movie that condones and promotes certain behaviors, then you might really enjoy Attack the Block.  (There is no sexual content to this film,...READ MORE

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Comic Books:  the Good, the Bad, and the #*&%^*@

04/30/2013 Comments (73)

Saturday, May 4th, is Free Comic Book Day, and I haven't decided whether or not to tell the kids.




It's a little nutty that so many parents in the video felt the need to make a special effort to pass on their love of comic books to the next generation.  I mean, I like cookies, too, and I would be sad if my kids went through their childhoods without ever enjoying cookies; but I don't recall that they needed any particular urging to discover and pursue this form of culinary expression.  They introduced themselves to cookies just fine.

Anyway, it's relatively new for parents to even tolerate their kids' comic book tastes, much less encourage it.  Comic books have been...READ MORE

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Scat Free

04/26/2013 Comments (76)

Yesterday was the birthday of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.  I Googled "queen of jazz" to see if that's really how she's known; but I already knew that that's what she was.  My sister and I grew up wearing grooves in our LPs of Ella Fitzgerald singing the Gershwin Songbook. Such earthy elegance -- such a stunning combination of warmth and poise, passion and control.




I once told a jazz-savvy guy how much I loved Ella Fitzgerald, except for the songs with scat singing.  He laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  Somewhat offended, I asked why.  It turns out that Ella Fitzgerald is especially known for her scatting -- that she's also, in fact, known...READ MORE

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Ten Things to Do Instead of Wallowing

04/25/2013 Comments (42)

As Catholics and as citizens, we have a responsibility to be well-informed about the news, because we have a responsibility to do the right things:  write to our congressmen, elect the right (or the least disastrous) candidates, make the right choices for our kids' education, maybe boycott or support the right corporations, and of course pray for the right things.  But keeping up with the news most certainly falls under the law of diminishing returns.  After a while, reading the headlines stops informing you and starts deflating you.  You think you're filling your brain with information so you can be spurred to action, but you're really just filling your heart with despair until you feel...READ MORE

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The Theology of the Bathroom

04/23/2013 Comments (87)

Not wanting to be one of those overbearing feminist types who always doubts the words of men who are wiser far than I, let me demurely defer to the great scholar of gender studies, Dave Barry.  I can't find the exact quotation, but the basic idea is this:  if you are cleaning a bathroom and are wondering, for the eight thousandth time, why men pee on the seats, then wonder no more.  The answer is that men are jerks.

It's been strangely healing for me to remember this wisdom today.  We've had several parties at our house lately, and usually that means that the bathroom gets cleaned regularly, if with more screaming and recriminations than are usually associated with peaceful...READ MORE

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Intersex Fish

04/18/2013 Comments (114)

Do a few stretches, and then wrap your brain around these three facts:

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Who Is to Blame for Kermit Gosnell?

04/16/2013 Comments (113)

Maybe you've heard:  what Kermit Gosnell did?  It's pro-lifers' fault.

Jezebel says

 "[Gosnell's] business was able to thrive because of limited access to reproductive choice, not because of reproductive choice itself." 

XOJane says

These patients had nowhere else to go for safe, compassionate, responsible abortion care, turning to Gosnell as a last resort.  [T]his clinic existed in the first place because of restrictions on abortion access, not because of the supposed inherent evils of abortion. If Gosnell’s patients had been given another choice, they would have taken it ...This situation happened because of a failure of the regulatory system. Not because abortion is...READ MORE

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Interfaith Couples:  How Does It Work?

04/12/2013 Comments (109)

NPR's call-in show, Talk of the Nation, covered interfaith marriages the other day.  There were some interesting statistics, and I was pleased that the first caller (an atheist who married a Catholic) thought the required Pre-Cana classes he attended were thorough and useful.  The guest, Naomi Schaefer Riler, author of Til Faith Do Us Part, also said that the Church's marriage preparation courses are often used as a model for anyone preparing a couple of any faith for marriage.  Apparently only about half of interfaith couples actually discuss, before they are  married, how they will raise children!  Can you imagine?

The guest did say that the Church has recently changed its rules, and...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.