Clone High: Roxana Robinson’s “Cost”

Look, I have to level with you people: This is a fairly good and poignant novel about family miscommunications and thwarted love, wrapped around a disingenuous, mediocre, and kind of infuriating novel about heroin addiction.Good stuff first, I hear that substance abusers lack self-discipline so let's eat our dessert first. The book is about a once-wealthy New England family riven by divorce; patriarch Edward is insufferably smug, his wife Katharine is losing her memory, their daughter Julia … [Read more...]

The Proper Basis for a Friendship is a Mutual Misunderstanding: Iris Murdoch’s “The Book and the Brotherhood”

The setup for The Book and the Brotherhood seems like one of those survivor's-guilt campus novels I love. Back at Oxford a group of idealistic young Marxists came together and agreed to pay for one of their number, Crimond, to write a book which would change the world. They'd support him for however long it took to compose this thing.But it took years. The rose-lip't lad of the group died, as such lads often do, and the survivors mostly drifted away from actual Marxism into (even) more … [Read more...]

Teaching and Fruitfulness: A Very Short “Gay and Catholic” DVD Extra Post

It's impossible to come up with a complete list of vocations, so don't worry, I'm not going to inflict, like, "Figure Skating and Fruitfulness" on you people. But I have been struck by how many of my lgbt Christian friends end up teaching at various levels. (This is also my excuse to link to Sarah's post on what her students learn, and mislearn, from Christian culture wars.)To me that looks like a way of living out the extremely common desire to serve the next generation: the same thing I'm … [Read more...]

In Which I Am the Last Person to Read Radley Balko’s Epic Report on St. Louis Co. Policing as Profiting from Poverty

and I'm posting it here just in case I'm actually second-to-last. ...The officer found that Bolden had four arrest warrants in three separate jurisdictions: the towns of Florissant and Hazelwood in St. Louis County and the town of Foristell in St. Charles County. All of the warrants were for failure to appear in court for traffic violations. Bolden hadn’t appeared in court because she didn’t have the money. A couple of those fines were for speeding, one was for failure to wear her seatbelt and m … [Read more...]

You Should Watch “The Cosmopolitans”

for real!:The Cosmopolitans, Whit Stillman’s new project about American expats in Paris, is several different kinds of experiment: It’s Stillman's first foray into television. It’s a return to the slightly more naturalistic style of earlier movies like Metropolitan, rather than the more stylized approach of 2011’s wise and winsome Damsels in Distress. And it's a commercial experiment, since Amazon is offering the pilot for free; the pilot’s ratings will decide whether Amazon picks up the whol … [Read more...]

For Want of a Nail: I Watch “Boogie Nights”

Over the counter with a shotgun--Pretty soon, everybody's got one.I'm in a fever when I'm beside her, desire...--U2Now I have already mentioned that there was a disturbance in my heart, a voice that spoke there and said, I want, I want, I want! It happened every afternoon, and when I tried to suppress it it got even stronger. It only said one thing, I want, I want!And I would ask, "What do you want?"But this was all it would ever tell me. It never said a thing except I … [Read more...]

Captive Virgins: St Gregory of Nyssa vs. … Well… Vs. Me, I Guess

and let's see what that title does for my search requests.Wesley Hill truffled up a really fine short article on Gregory of Nyssa's "On Virginity," which offers a much-needed corrective to the way I usually talk about vocations for celibate queer people. Here's an excerpt, but the whole thing is worth your time: ...Adults are single in greater numbers than ever before, but the singles who usually speak in public discussions are sexually active. Why is it that Christian adults who are single … [Read more...]


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