Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Abject Failure of First Things

Nowadays I open up my issues of First Things with more and more disappointment. What do you find in there? An Alexandr Solzhenitsyn thing, stuff on the Church Fathers' resurgence, Cardinal Dulles on Pope Benedict, ok, ok, yawn, yawn. I get it; this is important stuff, no argument.

But nowhere within it's pages does anyone provide even an opinion on other important stuff I'd really like to see covered. Just a fer instance, couldn't one of the smart guys over there give his take on the S&W Model 640 for concealed carry? I mean, it's macho to pack something big, but cheesy Louisy! Only five rounds and loud as a frickin' Sherman tank is going to get you out of a hole in the wall bar, but kind of on the heavy side, right, even for us "revolver guys". And what's with the stainless steel? I'm inclined to think that Chuck Hawks is right -- why use a .357 for a concealed carry when it's going to "kick like hell", and I'm right there with him when he expertly states, "For the person who prefers to carry a revolver, a .38 Special snubby is hard to beat." Damn straight, Chuck.

And I don't even know what Father Neuhaus is currently packing, man. He never mentions it. Isn't that crazy? It's not even in Damon Linker's book, or so I've heard from people willing to take the proper amount of NoDoz to get through it. And what about Joey Bottum? Someone with that cool a name... I'll bet whatever it is it's got to be heavy.

And what does Hawks think about abortion? Or Ed Lovette? Beats me. And that's what's so troubling about the silence of FT on these issues. Also -- book reviews out the wazoo, but no review of Ghost Rider... what's with that? To be sure, the SCCB is silent on these things as well, but I've come to expect more from FT, maybe I'm naïve.


  1. Pauli, I'm thinking of filling in this void to which you allude-- that is, the gaping hole left by the abyssmal failure of First Things magazine to be truly hip and relevant-- by reviewing the new Killers CD on my blog and disclosing what it portends for the 21th Century new wave-power pop revival, drawing comparisons to Duran Duran and the seldom-mentioned radical transition in tone from their moody self-titled first album to their more festive, colorful sophomore effort, the famed "Rio." Does this idea excite you?

  2. Andy, of course it excites me! Finally someone who gets it. Dude, start a magazine, OK? I'll be a charter subscriber.

    I only saw DD in '92 or '93 for there "Ordinary World" tour. I can't even remember if they did Girls on Film which was my favorite DD; raw, you know. I was into the Arcadia stuff too because Mark Egan was/is one of my favorite bassists & he played on So Red the Rose. Of course I dug Rio.

    (Remember Friday Night Videos?)

    You should have seen my hair in the early 80's. From the forehead up, I WAS Simon le Bon.

  3. Fr. Neuhaus lost a lot of my respect with his take on the Fr. Maciel thing (see, and now this? How low can they go?

  4. Greg, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. But to consistently omit serious reports on firearms and comic books that the reading public demands goes beyond the lighter shade of pale, as they say.

  5. I saw them on their Big Thing tour, in 1989. Even by then, I found, the magic had worn off. They never recovered the magic they had when it was the five of them together. Think of the decline in quality that took place between 1984 ("The Wild Boys") and 1988 ("I Don't Want Your Love")! "Ordinary World" was a pretty good song, but it still didn't hold a candle to the stuff they put out in their glory years. Their revival in '04 was okay, but far from great. Now A. Taylor has quit the band again, and LeBon is talking about how they're going to be produced by Timbaland on their coming album... I despair of the greatness of the early years ever being recovered.

    So Pauli, are you aware of The Killers, or have you lost awareness/interest in the music scene since entering middle age?

  6. Lost awareness, but I'll check them out.

    The last arena-style band I got into was Urge Overkill, and I lost interest after Exit the Dragon, if not before. But Saturation was the choicest album.

  7. GregK--welcome!! How did you find us?

    Wish you were still non-moderating the Forum Formerly Known as Crowhill. But I sure do understand why you washed your hands of it. :)

    God bless!

    Diane, who has *heard* of Duran Duran, but that's about as far as it goes

  8. you guys sound like a bunch of 80's girls.

    i was a depeche mode fan myself.

  9. Depeche Commode, as the Dead Milkmen famously called them.

    Pauli (or anyone else), what are your thoughts about the Police reuiniting?