Beyond “Die Hard”: Some Christmas Flicks for the Cold and Creepy Child Within

A few years back I started noticing how many bleak, cheerless, or just unexpected films are set during tinsel season. That penitential stretch from just-before-Thanksgiving to just-after-New-Year's can be really hard for people. Meta-emotions are at an all-time high (It's the most! wonderful!! time of the year!) and you're intensely reminded of all your financial and familial stresses. A couple of the daytime workers at the pregnancy center agreed with me that we've been getting an unusual … [Read more...]

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“The End of Hitting Rock Bottom” and My Actual Most-Unpopular Opinion

This is a very good article from the Boston Globe (h/t Maia Szalavitz, whom you should follow if this sort of thing interests you):Shortly after 1 a.m. on March 27, Susan Knade awoke to the sound of her cellphone ringing. It was her 21-year-old daughter, Caroline, calling. She was crying. Please, Caroline said. Please, come pick me up.Nine hours before, the woman running the halfway house had told Susan that Caroline could stay so long as she passed a drug test after the weekend. But … [Read more...]

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“Can Prison Help Convicts?”: A Panel Answers a Lot of Questions (But Not the One It Asked)

So a couple weeks ago I watched this videoand it's an interesting intro to a lot of prison-related issues. I don't think it answered the question in its title, which is fine since a) Dostoyevsky already did that (twice!) and b) Dostoyevsky's answer is basically, "That's not a question that makes sense." A few notes:So Tim Carney's interlocutors are these two guys who have both served time for politics-related chicanery. The conservative one is full of bonhomie; the liberal one is … [Read more...]

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“In Single Moms’ Households, Two Heads Are Often Better Than One”: Washington Post

on finding vocation, and new paths of love, in hard circumstances: When Kimberly Taylor separated from her husband three years ago, she and her daughter, Amelia, stayed in the marital home — a four-bedroom house in Woodbridge, Va., with a finished basement and a huge back yard. It was a lot of square-footage and a financial strain. But rather than downsize, Taylor decided to fill it with someone she could relate to: another single mom.She placed an ad in Craigslist — “Mother w/awesome child … [Read more...]

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In the Year of the Dragon: Ross Douthat Writes About Guns

so I don't have to. He makes his point in his characteristically careful, suggestive style, so I will add value by being incautious and blunt: Crime hysteria leads to expansions of state surveillance and punishment that target poor and minority communities. Gun control isn't different just because you personally are a progressive. Progressives are advocating for tools that others will wield. That is still true--in some ways more true, because the fear runs deeper--when the crime is real and … [Read more...]

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Medieval English Songs for St Nicholas

St Nicholas was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages, and with all the colourful stories about him, it's not difficult to see why. There are several vernacular carols and poems in his honour from medieval England, and in fact one of the very earliest surviving English songs is a prayer to St Nicholas (one of the songs of Godric of Finchale, who died in 1170)... more (via Amy Welborn)--and you can listen to that song on YouTube: … [Read more...]

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How Can I Change the Conversation at My College Around Gay People in the Church?

The second post about questions I was asked at recent speaking events. I've written about one important aspect of this already: You have to be out there doing the work of protecting actual gay people from actual violence, cruelty, and rejection. This is part of what our faith calls us to do.But okay, you're doing that; what about changing the immensely important conversation on sexual ethics and vocation?The most glaring problem I see right now is that American culture has a vocabulary … [Read more...]

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