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Ruin it yourself

The other day, Melanie Bettinelli said something to the effect that she liked writing, but wouldn’t be able to deal with the constant deadlines of a paid blogger.  So now the truth comes out:  neither can I, which is why I write ridiculous stuff like this.

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Lesson of the day

skip doing laundry

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Words.  Have.  Meaning.

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Just the basics

Neato!  It’s the isolated vocal track of “Under Pressure” — just the two voices, nothing else.

This song, in its original, familiar form, always gave me hives because it’s like one of those recipes where you combine two fantastic and expensive ingredients, but rather than blending and melding to make something new and great, they just fight with each other.  I love Bowie and I love Freddie Mercury, but I never understood why everyone’s so ga ga about this song.  This stripped down version is a different take on it, anyway, and if it doesn’t exactly make the song work, it’s fascinating to listen to.  Holy cow, what talent.  I forgot how powerful Bowie’s voice is, and how otherworldly Freddie Mercury can sound.

This isolated vocal track of “Under Pressure” is more of a curiosity, but I just found out that there is a stripped down version of The Beatles’ album “Let It Be,” and that is something that really needed doing. (I guess they had brought Phil Spector on board to produce it, and then the main reason they made “Abbey Road” (which was made mostly after “Let It Be,” but released first) was so they could leave the world with one final actual Beatles album, since “Let It Be” kinda wasn’t.)

I grew up listening to a lot of “oldies,” and I like the whole Wall of Sound thing a lot, but setting it up behind The Beatles is like covering the Parthenon in chrome. “The Long and Winding Road,” especially, was just screaming to be left alone, and they had to crap it up with six inches of schmaltz — unforgiveable.  Here is the painful original:

and the stripped-down version, just vocals, guitar, and piano:

Whew!  Much better.

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The book my sister, Devra Torres, helped translate and edit is now available from Scepter Books:

Encountering Christ: Homilies, Letters, and Addresses of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis)     

pp56.1_EC_

 

Here is the short interview I did with her about the experience of translating Bergoglio’s words; and here is an entertaining post she wrote on her blog, giving a little preview of the riches to be found in our new pope’s words.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle.  Looks like a great read, with lots of variety.  Check it out!

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Making marriage “risk-proof” is making marriage love-proof.

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A reader writes:

 I’ve got a Catholic friend who is sorely in need of some good reading materials on the main concepts in Theology of the Body. She buys into very secular views of contraception, abortion, marriage, and sex in general, and has admitted a total lack of education regarding the Catholic teaching on the subjects, as well as a (reluctant) interest in obtaining said education.

I’m looking for something that’s intelligent, readable, down to earth, doesn’t assume that you already agree with the Church teaching, and hits all the main points without an angry polemical vibe. I checked out some stuff by Christopher West, but didn’t like it too much.
Any suggestions, smarties?  If you have something to recommend, it would be very helpful if you could say a few things about why you liked it, or what kind of audience it would be appropriate for.
Thanks!

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