Is Homework an Advantage for the Rich?

 In this week’s The New Yorker, Louis Menard writes about the French president’s efforts to eradicate homework. The move comes, Menard writes, from the argument “that homework gives children whose parents are able to help them with it—more educated and affluent parents, presumably—an advantage over children whose parents are not. The President wants to give everyone an equal chance.” The logic, as Menard explains, is based on the premise that wealthier and more educated parents give … [Read more...]

Dorian Gray on Drugs

Bryan Saunders has 8,700 self-portraits to his credit, but it’s the 50 currently on display in Paris’ Maison Rouge that have made him famous. Saunders lives in poverty and relative obscurity (largely, it seems, by choice) in conditions that eschew societal expectations about ambition, health, and normalcy. His art, too, challenges those categories, in particular the 50 self-portraits, each one created while under the influence of a different drug. Saunders never pays for the drugs, instead get … [Read more...]

The Sandwich Generation

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My girls are lucky to live only half a mile from my parents; my parents actually moved to be nearer to us after my second daughter was born, and their intention was clear—to downsize from their pre-grandparent life and spend as much time as possible with their granddaughters. The situation works beautifully for everyone involved: high-quality occasional ba … [Read more...]

Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Deep, Deep Love Story

"God tames us, drawing us into an embrace that asserts at once our uniqueness and our place in a grand cosmic scheme." “Tell me about God,” my daughter says as she wraps her arms around my neck.“Tell me about how you and daddy asked for me and then for baby sister.”This liturgy has become our twilight ritual. A prayer and the “Moon Song,” and the request to “Snuggle me ALL NIGHT LONG!” So I settle in, wrapping her in my arms and her hungry caterpillar quilt, knowing I will head downstair … [Read more...]

Kate Middleton’s Pregnancy and the Jesus Juke

CAPC co-founder, writer, editor, etc. (I’m sure he has more titles that I’m too low-ranking to know about) Alan Noble taught me about the “Jesus Juke.” For a complete definition, including examples, see John Acuff’s “Stuff Christians Like” site on the “Jesus Juke”. I learned of this term from Alan, but I’d certainly seen the concept at work long before I knew its name. It was the first thing that occurred to me when I read this piece of news: Kate Middleton is expecting! Really, isn’t this news t … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Playtime: A Neutral Zone

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.It’s common parlance in feminist theory to say that sex is biological and gender is social, meaning that sex refers to our anatomy and gender refers to the attributes cultures attach to maleness and femaleness. I’ve already written about the arbitrariness of assigning baby colors, which says more about marketing products to parents than it does about masculinity o … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Nutcracker, Inside Out

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I took my daughter’s apparel for The Nutcracker seriously. I did her hair just like the girl on the cover of Janet Shulman’s adaptation of the classic Christmas tale, the one we’ve been reading and re-reading for months. I made sure she wore her pink tutu, and she, of course, picked out the red sparkly shoes; we did our best to approximate the grandeur approp … [Read more...]

Tracking Devices: Satan In Our Schools?

Wired’s David Kravets reports that a student in San Antonio, Texas named Andrea Hernandez has been suspended from high school until she agrees to wear a tracking device that monitors her whereabouts on campus throughout the day. Apparently, Hernandez and her family object to the devices on the basis of privacy rights and religion. As Kravets writes, “The Hernandez family, which is Christian, told InfoWars that the sophomore is declining to wear the badge because it signifies Satan, or the Mark of … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Rudolph Incident

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.We started playing Christmas in July back in, well, July. I was trying to come up with something creative for my older daughter to play while we were stuck inside so much, avoiding temperatures too extreme for her newborn baby sister. At this point, playing Christmas in mid-November is just playing Christmas, but my daughter still exhibits such pure joy every time … [Read more...]

Dad Vs. Zombie

 I might be voted “Least Likely to Be a Gamer” among my CAPC cohorts, having spent my brief foray in the gaming world on adolescent adventures in Tetris and Bubble Bobble. That said, I hear a lot about the gaming world behind the scenes at our venture, so the Wired headline “Dawn of the Dad: Fathers Are the New Videogame Superhero” piqued my interest. I’m used to mainstream media portrayals of dads as deadbeats and doofuses—not as heroes—so this new spin on fatherhood seemed like a refre … [Read more...]