“When a Child Is a Second Chance”: Me at Acculturated

continuing the series of posts on penitence: When I opened Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, I wasn’t expecting to include it in this series on portrayals of penitence. The new study by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson picks up where Edin and Maria Kefalas’s 2005 Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage left off. Sticking with the same economically-depressed Philadelphia neighborhoods, Doing the Best I Can asks young men how they became fathers, how … [Read more...]

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“Demons in Exile”: Marc Maron on Addiction

Lots of stuff I liked here. I don't buy sentences of the form, "Addicts/alcoholics are all [negative generalization]" (because I'm defensive of other people, not because I think those generalizations are especially untrue about me personally) but other than that, good for him. Not sure if I still need to notify you all when there's cussing, but yes, there is....Slate: A big problem for psychiatrists when it comes to understanding addiction is that there are many of us have no experience with … [Read more...]

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Man, Last Night Was Apocalyptic!: “The World’s End”

A group of grown-up, respectable friends who have drifted apart are reunited by their very much not grown-up, not-respectable ringmaster to relive an epic pub crawl which marked the high point of their misspent youth. Also, the world ends.I loved "Shaun of the Dead" (haven't yet seen "Hot Fuzz," although I want to) so I was super-excited for this new movie from the same director/writer?/acting team of Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg. I can tell you for sure that you should go see it if the … [Read more...]

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From “Children of Light”

"How nice Quaaludes are," she said. "The world is possible with art." … [Read more...]

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“So Deep a Wound”: Garrett Keizer on “Home”

not entirely my own take on things, but it will be a while before I can write up my own response to this novel with honesty and peace of mind, I think; in the meantime, this is very spoilerous, so you should read Gilead and Home and then read this! Had I an atheist friend who asked, “Can you tell me please what this religion business is all about, not as some metaphysical hypothesis or historical phenomenon, but what it really means to be religious?” I might hand him or her a copy of Marilynne R … [Read more...]

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I Hope You Know That This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record: “The Spectacular Now”

Man, I was so close to loving this movie. Basically it's a John Hughes movie where you replace the romantic lead with a barely-functional alcoholic, which to no one's surprise turns out to be the way to make me finally love a John Hughes movie. I really, genuinely adored a lot of this and found it funny, sweet, and poignant, with at least some degree of wisdom.Most of the audience I saw it with (at Bethesda Row Cinema; it's also at E St) did not agree, and to be honest, they were right too. … [Read more...]

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“Sometimes You Want to Go Where Nobody Knows Your Name”: Me on “Home”

a searing novel by Marilynne Robinson: You have preserved my life from the pit of destruction, when you cast behind your back all my sins. – Isaiah 38:17Speaking to reporters on a plane back from World Youth Day in Rio, Pope Francis made headlines with his comment, “If [gay people] accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?” But the hoopla around this comment obscured an even more radical statement in a similar vein: “I see that so many times in the Church, apart from this ca … [Read more...]

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