Saturday, July 13, 2013

Can’t New York Do Better Than Weiner and Spitzer. By Andrew Klavan.

New York’s Creep-Off Election. By Andrew Klavan. City Journal, July 11, 2013.

Andrew Pochter on How to Live Your Life. By Karen Tumulty.

How to live your life: Advice from an American student who was killed in Egypt. By Karen Tumulty. Washington Post, July 12, 2013. Also here and here.

Andrew Pochter’s letter on Scribd.

Andrew Pochter

International Conference of Exorcists to Discuss the “Madonna Problem.”

Madonna in a scene from “Like a Prayer.”

Madonna to be discussed at Polish exorcists meeting. By Matthew Day. The Telegraph, July 11, 2013.

Polish Exorcists “Worried” About Madonna, Plan To Discuss Pop Star At Annual Conference. By Meredith Bennett-Smith. The Huffington Post, July 12, 2013.

For Madonna “Dressing Your Age” Is an Evolving Concept. By Ray A. Smith. NJBR, May 24, 2013. With videos.


Long the scourge of the Catholic Church, Madonna has often triggered Christian ire, once going through a mock crucifixion during one her stage shows.
Now her music and shows will come under the scrutiny of priests trained in the art of defeating demons, treating satanic possession and looking for the devil in a section of the conference dedicated to finding evil in popular culture.
“Part of the conference is dedicated to the hidden subliminal message in communication, and the choice of this subject was inspired by the woman who dares to call herself Madonna,” said Father Andrzej Grefkowic, an exorcist and one of the organisers of the conference. “We’ve been worried about her concerts.”
Although popular in Poland, Madonna has faced frequent protests by conservatives against her shows in a country where the Catholic Church retains considerable influence. She has also had to contest with calls for her concerts to be banned on the grounds she is antireligious and promotes a deviant lifestyle.
Father Grefkowic also warned of a growing risk from Satan, highlighting the increasing popularity of tattoos, body piercing, horoscopes and magic shows as ways evil could corrupt people.
Along with analysing the apparent risks posed by modern fashions and trends, the exorcism conference will also discuss ways to deal with possession. Exorcists claim that despite European culture becoming increasingly secular demands for their services are on the rise as people look for unorthodox help for the unexplained.
About 300 exorcists and lay specialists are expected to attend the five-day conference, which is held every two years, at the Jasna Gora monastery, the most holy site in Poland.

Madonna at Truth or Dare by Madonna Fragrance Launch
 at Macy’s Herald Square in New York, April 14, 2012. Aleksandar.

Madonna’s art, by joining together the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the sexual, with imagery reaching back to pre-Judeo-Christian paganism, has always been a problem for religious traditionalists. The songs and videos “Like a Prayer” and “Take a Bow” are classic examples of Madonna’s mythopoetic vision of religion.

Madonna: Like a Prayer [1989]. Video. warnerbrosrecords, October 26, 2009. YouTube.

Madonna: Take a Bow [1994]. Video. madonna, October 26, 2009. YouTube.

Madonna: You’ll See [1995]. Video. madonna, October 26, 2009. YouTube.

Missionary Creep in Egypt. By Adam Garfinkle.

Missionary Creep in Egypt. By Adam Garfinkle. The American Interest, July 11, 2013. Also here.

Whistle Down the Wind. By Adam Garfinkle. The American Interest, July 9, 2013. Also here.

The Crisis of the American Intellectual. By Walter Russell Mead.

The Crisis of the American Intellectual. By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, December 8, 2010.