True Grit and Winter's Bone

11/18/2011 Comments (17)

By coincidence, I watched both True Grit (2010) and Winter’s Bone recently.  Both films were nominated for Oscars in 2011, and much has been made over the parallels between them: incredibly tough teenage girl, left alone to care for her siblings and hapless mother, shows preternatural courage and determination on her quest— in True Grit, to find and kill her father’s murderer; in Winter’s Bone, to find her father, dead or alive.

It’s irresistible to compare the two movies, and it’s refreshing that neither girl is made a puppet for either feminist or conservative agitprop.  But it doesn’t serve either film well to rate them against each other.  They aim for and achieve different things.


Filed under

Wegmans Erects Retaining Wall

11/17/2011 Comments (106)

Here’s something cheering:  Wegmans supermarket recently snagged the attention of Jezebel when a reader sent in this photo of a magazine for sale.  The store chose to partially cover the magazine with a black shield:


If you’ve ever seen Cosmo magazine, you might assume that the store was doing the decent thing by covering up some ridiculous starlet’s writhing, naked torso, because every month is Writhing Naked Torso Month at Cosmo.  (You know, because it’s a Women’s Magazine.  They also have Cosmo for Men, which is like having a distinct line of Meow Mix which is specially for cats.) Jezebel says of the store’s decision to cover the cover:

t’s hard to understand the rationale. . . ....READ MORE

Filed under

Making Room

11/15/2011 Comments (87)

My youngest kids are finally getting the idea that there is a baby—not an image, or a concept, or one of those weird grown-up stories, but an actual human being—inside my belly. They can tell it’s true, because they can see what is unmistakably a little baby butt, bopping around about 18 degrees northwest of what used to be my belly button.

“But—” asked my kids, “But how is there room in there for a whole baby?”

Well, I’ll tell you. There isn’t. There is no room. My midwife said today that she thought baby was “maybe a little on the big side.” Hearing that was like passing a highway sign that warns, “LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT.” Thanks for letting me know, but what am I supposed to do about it?...READ MORE

Filed under

Teshing It Up a Notch

11/10/2011 Comments (52)

I was listening to “The John Tesh Radio Show:  Intelligence for Your Life” the other day, and I thought—

Hold on, let me back up for a minute.

The reason I was listening to John Tesh is because, see, my husband was working late, I mean really late, and I kept on eating Fudgsicles while waiting for him to come home, and I still had to clean up the kitchen, and I knew I’d never put the Fudgesicles down and do the dishes if I didn’t have something to listen to.  But the kids broke the antenna off the radio, so the only station that comes in clearly is a station which sucks you in by playing something good, like U2, and then something tolerable, like Tracy Chapman, and then the next thing...READ MORE

Filed under

Deliver Us From Evil Kind of Thing

11/08/2011 Comments (62)

The time:  earlier this year.  The occasion:  a post-operative tonsillectomy visit with my son’s ENT.  She was telling me what to watch out for as his scar sites healed.  “You might see some . . . you know?  kind-of-thing,” she explained.  And then she just looked at me, expectantly.

“Nnnn-no,” I wanted to say.  “No, I do not know what kind of thing.  Because you . . .  you did not say anything!”  Grateful to have the printed materials from the hospital, I just bundled up my son and got out of that strange, vague place where they put you to sleep and remove parts of your body kind of thing.

The always-specific Rebecca Teti pointed out this dismally hilarious piece, “What Happens in...READ MORE

Filed under

Vincible Ignorance

11/04/2011 Comments (37)



courtesy of Thomas L. McDonald)

Alphonse Ratisbonne, a French Jew and devout hater of Catholicism and religion in general, converted more or less without warning, and apparently without effort.  He happened to travel to Rome in 1842, where Our Lady herself appeared to him.  He says:

All I can say is that the moment when the Blessed Virgin made a sign with her hand, the veil fell from my eyes; not one veil only, but all the veils which were wrapped around me disappeared, just as snow melts beneath the rays of the sun. . . I am asked how I attained a knowledge of these truths, since it is well known that I never opened a religious book, had never read a page of the Bible, and...READ MORE

Filed under

Vatican Does Horrible Job of Being Anti-Science

11/03/2011 Comments (56)

In a move utterly devoid of shock value to Catholics who have been paying attention at all, the Vatican has announced plans to fund NeoStem, a small adult stem cell research company in New York.  According to the Los Angeles Times,

[NeoStem CEO Dr. Robin] Smith . . . was quick to emphasize that the Vatican is not investing in her company, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Most of the collaboration will involve a nonprofit company established by NeoStem, the Stem for Life Foundation, she said. The Vatican’s role will include fundraising, launching educational campaigns, contributing to research and sponsoring the Rome conference, Smith said.

The Vatican signed a $1...READ MORE

Filed under

Unearned Love

11/01/2011 Comments (60)

As the old joke goes, I used to have several theories on parenting.  Now I have several children, and no theories.

This line rings because there are so many different kinds of children, and also because there are so many different kinds of parents.  If we all tried to raise our children the same way, most of us would fail miserably, because our personalities are gifts from God as much as our skills and talents are, and we are supposed to work with what we have.

Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something terribly wrong with one mother’s approach.  She wrote in to Slate’s advice column:

Q. I have been told that I am a cold and unloving mother because when my children get...READ MORE

Filed under

Page 51 of 65 pages ‹ First  < 49 50 51 52 53 >  Last ›

About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
  • Get the RSS feed
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.