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I reached a point about four days ago when I simply could no longer tolerate the music that had been keeping me going.  Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball"? Enough already.  Foster the People?  So last summer.  Usher's "Burn"? Once my favorite, and now deeply tiresome.  The mashup of Drake and Adele that seemed fresh a month…

I spent a while Wednesday night at Buffalo General Hospital with a friend whose elderly mother had been admitted with a serious condition.  The friend is a literary sort, and, although she's been preoccupied with her mother's failing health, she found time to print out poems for her various visiting friends. Mine was Walt Whitman's "Miracles."…

  In June of 1992, presidential candidate Bill Clinton built his popularity among young voters with a landmark TV appearance on Arsenio Hall's show, wearing shades and playing a funky "Heartbreak Hotel" on his saxophone. Maybe that's what President Obama had in mind when he decided to "slow jam the news" on Jimmy Fallon…

Garry Wills, the Pulitzer-winning historian who is one of the leading thinkers on Catholicism in America,  has a few choice words for the Vatican on its recent rebuke of American nuns.In a blog today for the New York Review of Books, Wills writes, under the heading "Bullying the Nuns":"The Vatican has issued a harsh statement claiming that Ame…

A new Georgetown University study says journalism majors may not be quite as afflicted by the economy as we might have thought.Here's the report from Poynter.org., which notes that recent journalism graduates have a 7.7 unemployment rate, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, and a 13.2 percent rate for all of those in the 20-to-…

Some of the most influential figures in my life have been nuns.  Foremost, there was my aunt, Sister Margaret Mary, a Sister of Charity, who not only had a Ph.D in Classics from Columbia University but also was the dean of students at the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx.  Talk about a role model!  Then there were the Sisters of St. Joseph at Our La…