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The Transfiguration: Trinkets on Mt Tabor, by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak
The Transfiguration reminds us that God left the apostles with no excuse for doubt. The Father spelled things out, as if to ask, “What part of ‘THIS IS MY SON’ don't you understand?”

The Unbearable Reality of Love: The Passion of The Christ, by John Zmirak
In this film we see with unbearable clarity how Jesus descended into the personal Hell each of us carries around - and purged it clean.

The President and the Pope: Reading the Signs of the Times, by John Zmirak
Ronald Reagan and Pope John  Paul II shared more than a distaste for communism. They shared an ability to read the signs of the times and act accordingly.

Pentecost: Because Fire is Cool, by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak
We like to celebrate the birthday of the Church with fire, fancy, and foreigners…Try these flambé recipes and risky (if not quite risqué) games.

Celebrating ‘All Hallow’s Eve’: The Seven Deadly Courses, by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak
This Halloween recall the festival's sacred roots by dressing as your favorite soul in purgatory and serving up these seven deadly courses.

Dark Young Thoughts: A Review of the film, ‘Bright Young Things,’ by John Zmirak
For all his cultural libertinism, director Stephen Fry imbues his new film, 'Bright Young Things'— an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s 'Vile Bodies'— with more of a Christian spirit than Waugh’s pre-Catholic novel ever had.

November 5th: Guy Fawkes Day - Go Out with a Bang by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak
Every Nov. 5th the English celebrate the day in 1605 that Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes and friends—a group we might call Al-Chiesa—tried and failed to blow up Parliament. This year marks the 400th anniversary. There's no reason Catholics can't enjoy it too—albeit giving it a bit of a twist.

"The Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living", by John Zmirak, Denise Matychowiak

"The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine, Whiskey and Song", by John Zmirak, Denise Matychowiak

Contraception, Bulimia, and Frankenfoods, by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak
If it feels good—stop it! Is that all the Catholic Church has to say about sex? A Saint Valentine Catechism.

Emily Rose’s Exorcism, and Mine, by John Zmirak
Movies about the supernatural sometimes have devastating effects on people—especially Catholic boys with neurotic dispositions, prodigious reading habits, and powerful imaginations.  Just ask John Zmirak about ‘The Omen.’

Fathers, Sons, Feuds and Myths: An interview with Alexander Waugh
"Alexander believes that the banana story was true: 'He was a very greedy little boy, and he definitely would have remembered the bananas and he definitely would have resented them. But my point in the book is that you cannot trust the testimony of a very greedy jam tart thief, who would rather have a jam tart than meet his father.'"  [Telegraph]

Interview with Stephen Fry
"'I would, in a sense, not hold my hand up to being a full artist. I think there are artists with a capital 'A.' There are people who are utterly uncompromising. I'm much more of an entertainer. I like to engage and to provoke. I certainly don't want to be formulaic.'" [Onion]

John Zmirak's Blog

Killing Women and Children First – Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by John Zmirak
The 60th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should remind us that so long as the world’s most powerful nations continue to target cities—innocent civilians—with nuclear weapons, our condemnations of ‘terror’ will ring hollow.

My Lunch with an Old Friend of Dan Brown Proves Revealing About The DaVinci Code, by John Zmirak
Is Dan Brown a convinced heretic hell-bent on bringing down Christianity, or a hack writer who stumbled on a crackpot conspiracy theory on par with alien abductions, Holocaust denial, and lizard men?

The Lion in Winter: Why ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ is Winning Over America, by John Zmirak
How did a movie about crusaders, a sacrificial lion and talking beavers gross $67 million in its opening weekend? The not-so-unlikely marriage of Hollywood and C.S. Lewis.

W for Wanker: A Review of V for Vendetta, by John Zmirak
Movies inspired by the Catholic rebel Guy Fawkes don’t come around often. But ‘V for Vendetta’ is a disappointing tract in support of terrorism—a wish fulfillment fantasy worthy of Christopher Hitchens.

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Top Ten Things for Mediocre Catholics to Give Up for Lent

Did your Lenten penances get lost in the desert? On April 1st, here are one bad Catholic’s ideas for making Holy Week suitably grim.

John Zmirak

10. Schadenfreude: That warm, grim feeling of satisfaction you get from watching planes crash, stocks plummet and presidential candidates debate. Best to dampen this enthusiasm in preparation for a Holy Easter.

9. Foxhunting: Bloodsports are generally discouraged in the 40 days before Our Lord shed His.

8. Discussing the “spiritual problems” of a friend with everyone you know, “so they’ll remember to pray for him.”

7. Writing single-spaced letters of complaint to: a) The local bishop, b) The Vatican, or c) The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights.

6. Forwarding emails of the following types:

  • Jokes that make people groan audibly at their workstations—especially any and all puns
  • Chain letters disguised as lucrative “marketing tests” from Microsoft or St. Jude Novenas
  • News of epidemic diseases that are being “covered up by the Feds”
  • Recent, unapproved Marian apparitions that warn of “U.N. one-world government”
  • Memoirs of alien abductions (especially if true)
  • Last requests from terminally-ill kids that entail forwarding an email to all your friends. (Remember, the dying children can wait until the Resurrection!)
  • Nigerian-based financial scams.

5. Hand-rolled cigars or French cigarettes (smoking the cheap ones is a penance).

4. Visiting churches with appalling liturgies, just to count the abuses (see Schadenfreude, above).

3. Lingerie shopping and gun shows.

2. Lurid daydreams—romantic or violent—about your boss.

1. Conspiracy Theories (except those involving the Masons—these are always acceptable for Catholics).

April 1, 2004

From the upcoming "The Bad Catholic’s Cookbook", by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak.

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04.01.04   Godspy says:
Did your Lenten penances get lost in the desert? On April 1st, here are one bad Catholic’s ideas for making Holy Week suitably grim.

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