Quick Hits: Mary’s influence on culture, the need for digital independence, and more

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 13, 2018

At her blog, The Marian Option author Carrie Gress describes “Why Mary is the Best Promoter of Culture”. She quotes the Protestant Henry Adams: “The twelfth and thirteenth centuries were a period when men were at their strongest; never before or since have they shown equal energy in such varied directions, or such intelligence in the direction of their energy; yet these marvels of history...all, without apparent expedition, bowed down before the woman.”

Joe Heschmeyer, of the substantive apologetics blog Shameless Popery, has recently launched a podcast together with another Catholic blogger, Chloe Langr, simply called The Catholic Podcast (not to be confused with our own Catholic Culture Podcast, which I will be launching in April). I listened to the second episode, “Lent Through the Eyes of Mary”, which was packed full of mind-blowing Scriptural connections. This episode has been followed up with episodes exploring Lent through the eyes of Judas, St. Peter, and St. John the Baptist.

Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit or Tumblr could shut down tomorrow and its users would have no recourse for all the lost content they have created. At The Hedgehog Review, philosopher Alan Jacobs reflects on the need for us to reclaim our ability to create on the Open Web, rather than being entirely beholden to the curation of these giant corporations. That means we should all be teaching our kids to create the basic skills involved in building their own web presence independent of, but shareable on, social media sites.

At The Catholic Thing, Robert Royal offers some astute reflections on this year’s highest-profile canonizations, the spiritual value of which ought not be lost to our political preoccupations: Paul VI and Oscar Romero.

Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry has made a documentary celebrating the life of the late Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade, who eventually converted to the pro-life cause and to Catholicism: A Cold Day in Hell.

With Christopher Tolkien having stepped down from his directorship of the Tolkien Estate late last year, we are at the end of an era in two senses: First, his backbreaking labor over decades of editing and publishing a great deal of his father’s unfinished work has likely come to an end. We may see more of Tolkien’s posthumous works published over time, but they will not have been prepared by one who was so intimately involved in Tolkien’s work during his lifetime. Second, the legal possibilities for adaptation of Tolkien’s work have already reopened, with Amazon preparing the first large-scale adaptation since Peter Jackson’s films (which were so odious to Christopher that he refused to sell any more rights while he was in charge). But the likelihood of mutilation is as high as ever. At The Federalist, Nathanael Blake reflects on some of the reasons modern filmmakers, despite their facile multiculturalism, are incapable of understanding the really alien (to modernity) heart of Tolkien’s stories.

Thomas V. Mirus is an administrative assistant and writer at CatholicCulture.org. A jazz pianist with a music degree, he often takes the lead in our commentary on the arts. See full bio.

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