“Your Buddhist and Catholic Thing”

My friend Fr. William Skudlarek, OSB, is a member of the Benedictine community at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the Executive Director of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue [MID] – a fascinating program designed to foster dialogue and cooperation between members of monastic communities from different religious traditions. I’ve had the chance to discuss…

Mavis Staples

A brief but heartfelt recommendation for “We’ll Never Turn Back,” the new recording of songs from the American civil rights movement by the almighty Mavis Staples. From a lesser talent, this would be a stiff and joyless exercise in self-righteous nostalgia. But this is Mavis Staples, the living nexus of American gospel, country, and R&B,…

FedEx’s Little Tin Full of Chinese Cash

One of the more interesting business stories of recent years is the mostly failed integration of freewheeling Kinko’s into the buttoned-down corporate discipline culture of FedEx. The shipping behemoth purchased the copy center chain in 2003 with high hopes of taking advantage of presumed synergies between the two brands. It made perfect sense: make your…

Easy Tiger

In an era when sampling and recording software render the art of songwriting more and more rare (and, in some quarters, borderline obsolete), a new Ryan Adams collection is a major event. So it is no small news – in my world – to learn that Ryan Adams will release his ninth album, Easy Tiger,…