Category Archives: Craig Bernthal

Book Review: Prime Directive- Check Out Sci Phi Journal

Prime Directive: Check Out Sci Phi Journal

by Craig Bernthal

The shelves of drugstores and news stands used to be crowded with “pulp” science fiction magazines: Fantastic Stories, Astounding Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Fantasy and Science Fiction, all of which sold for very little and provided a lot of entertainment. Many of them started in the 1920s and featured wonderfully lurid covers of giant flies attacking battleships or luscious blonds being carted away or molested by robots, green aliens, or perhaps just posing in front of a rocket ship. They shared shelf-space with a similar array of detective, mystery, western, and romance publications. In the twenties or thirties, at the height of their popularity, some of these magazines sold up to a million copies per issue. America and Britain had some great writers who got their start in pulp fiction or wrote it: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rudyard Kipling, Elmore Leonard and H. G. Wells, to name a few. Pulp fiction was a national writing workshop, providing an enormous market for new writers, and the product was not just formulaic. A great editor, like John W. Campbell of Astounding Science Fiction provoked wonderful, imaginative stories. This scene has now been replaced by the insipid university MFA writing program, which aims to produce sensitive stories for liberal professors, and pulp has given way to innumerable English Dept. journals. What a bad trade! We no longer see the successors to Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, or even Updike and Roth. American fiction has become the Oprah book club.

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The Abortion Question: Vice Presidential Responses Fall Short

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

Martha Raddatz: “This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role religion has played in your own personal views on abortion.” Read more →

The Positive Role of “Negative Feedback”

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.”  Winston Churchill

One of Victor Hanson’s most persuasive arguments about why democracies have an advantage over despotisms in fighting wars is that democracies are much more likely to correct their own mistakes. Read more →

Weaponized Romanticism

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

At the beginning of the 20th century, T. E. Hulme, in his great essay “Romanticism v. Classicism” defined Romanticism as “spilt religion.” Read more →

Leaving the New Episcopal Church

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

Most Christians in America probably don’t know much about what is happening in the Episcopal Church (TEC). Read more →

Paying the Piper

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

Temperance is not high in the current list of American virtues. We are the 9th most obese people on earth, according to the World Health Organization, with 74% of American’s over 15 identified as overweight. Read more →

Communiversity

Welcome to Big Brother’s “The National Survey of Student Engagement”

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

This week an on-line questionnaire went out from the thought police — oops — I mean the Provost, to the faculty in the university where I teach, asking us what we do in the classroom. Read more →

A Symphony Unheard

Go see The Nativity Story

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

Here is the plot and the theme: God creates the universe, not because he needs to, since he is complete in himself, but as an act of gratuitous love. Read more →

Peace Frogs: “Dearbornistan” and the Strange Case of the Caro Terrorists

by Craig Bernthal

Private Papers

In Frankenmuth, Michigan, among a complex of little shops that sell junk to tourists, there is a T-shirt store called “Peace Frog.” Read more →

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