“Some Possibilities for Narratives of Friendship”: I’m at Spiritual Friendship

readin' books: I loved Wes’s post on writing about friendship, and figured I’d throw some specific examples out there to see what actual novels and movies suggest about the nature of friendship. These are very much first-draft thoughts, as I hope you guys will riff on them.“The Body” & Stand By Me–friendship as childhood. This heartbreaking Stephen King novella, which was turned into probably the best adaptation of his work for the screen, tells the story of a group of boys who go on a j … [Read more...]

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Prison Visits Under Threat, “Hamilton” Behind Bars, Art & the NYPD: Three Links from a Criminal Justice System

"Prison visits helped prepare me for life after release. Why are they under threat?": Leaving prison was one of the hardest times in my life. Re-entry is like falling out of a plane: it’s hard to land on your feet. Before I even left, six-plus years at York Correctional Institution developed in me an inability to function in a non-carceral environment. But I owe it to prison visiting rooms – which allowed some contact with the outside world – that my re-entry wasn’t as bad as it could have been. … [Read more...]

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The CV of Failures: This Great Thing

via the Twitters. And don't miss the "meta-failure" at the end!Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days. This CV of Failures is … [Read more...]

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The Rise and Saul of Practically Everything: Some movie and tv notes

Well, I've started Better Call Saul. I'm only through five episodes. I watched I think the first three seasons of Breaking Bad, hating Walter and sort of myself the whole time. Saul is more my speed. The main character is that one character type that will always, always get its claws right into my heart: the dutiful sleazebag. Make somebody both really sleazy and really willing to serve another human being, and I am there for you. (I had some sort of formative experience with Grantaire as a … [Read more...]

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Double Review: My Reality-TV Rehab Novel, Gil Fagiani’s Rehab Survivor Poetry

reviewed by Jendi Reiter: ...Logos is a collection of persona poems set at a heroin treatment center of that name, in the South Bronx in the 1960s. It comes out of Fagiani’s own experience, first as an inpatient there, and later as a social worker at a Bronx psychiatric hospital and the director of a rehab center in Brooklyn. The desperation of addiction has a way of levelling distinctions between races, classes, and professional backgrounds. The first-person narrator of some of these poems, p … [Read more...]

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“Poor Citizenship”: I watch “Behavior,” a 2014 drama of Cuban childhood and faith

review at AmCon: Behavior, the 2014 movie from Cuban writer and director Ernesto Daranas that is still playing festival circuits in the U.S., is not one-of-a-kind. It is not unprecedented; it does not break (much) new ground. What it is, is an exceptionally heartfelt, moving, and artistically accomplished example of its genre. As Brooklyn is what an Irish-American romance should aspire to be, so Behavior is the “coming of age in the underclass” story at its most luminous. more … [Read more...]

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Church Division vs. Your Vocation: A tiny Gay Catholic Whatnot post

I was at Calvin College to do a talk on "Christian Love and Kinship Outside of Marriage: Perspectives from a Gay Catholic." (Here are my notes from Calvin's Festival of Faith & Writing, tickets to which were an awesome perk for speaking.) I got a lot of great questions, including one which I super could not answer, about how architecture and city planning can move away from the post-19th c. model of single-family homes and warehouses for singles, nuclear families only, no others need apply. … [Read more...]

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