“Why It May Be Impossible to Raise ‘Free-Range Kids’”: Michael Brendan Dougherty

writes: I live in a much safer neighborhood now than the one of my youth, and in an era that is almost incomparably safer according to crime statistics. And yet I never see children playing outside unsupervised. Who would my children play with unless I organized a play date? I'll probably never see another kid knock on my door and ask if my daughter can come out to play. Couldn't she have texted instead? more (and see also "Do They Know It's Halloween?") … [Read more...]

Three Very Small Thoughts About (the Debate Over) Indiana’s RFRA

1. Cooking is an art, cakes are art, compelled creation of beauty is compelled speech. I feel like the denial that cakery is/should be expressive, that food bears meaning, is somehow Gnostic and class-biased (or sexist? if your grandma could do it, it must not be art?), but maybe that's self-parody on my part. Anyway beauty + meaning, to me, pretty clearly = art. And photography is even more obviously art, right?2. Still... I wonder how different this debate would look if more gay people … [Read more...]

“Bananarama Covering the Sex Pistols Might Be the Punkest Thing Ever”

Every word and note is a joy:Bananarama, the ‘80s UK female pop vocal group, were famous for their hits “Venus,” “I Heard a Rumor,” “Really Saying Something,” and “Cruel Summer.” Fans of the band’s bouncy bubblegum pop, might be surprised to learn the group once recorded a (completely awesome) Sex Pistols cover on an obscure 1982 soundtrack.Stylistically, they may have been world’s apart from the UK punk scene, but actually it’s where they got their start.more … [Read more...]

“Vampire Brats”: I watch “What We Do in the Shadows”

at the Federalist:Before you accept the immortal kiss of the vampire, ask yourself one question: Do I want to be doing the dishes for the rest of eternity?“What We Do in the Shadows” is a charming mockumentary from writer-director team Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, exploring the unglamorous side of vampire life (or death) in New Zealand. It perfectly mimics reality-show conventions, like the self-narration with which the film opens: “So it’s six in the evening, which is when I … [Read more...]

Where Do Men Still Cuddle?: Vlad Chituc

writes: ...If it weren’t so threatening to seem gay, there wouldn’t be a need to police the appearance of it so firmly. Culture has been giving us a choice since the latter half of the 20th Century: seem gay or be lonely. That so many chose “be lonely” shows only the depth of our collective gay panic.I’m not just speculating, as [Anthony] Esolen does. This is at heart an empirical question—in what conditions is platonic male affection common and in what cases is it restricted? One way to go … [Read more...]

“The Self-Defeating Sexualization of Gay and Same-Sex Attracted Christians”: I’m at Spiritual Friendship

yowlin': I’ve written before about how often gay or same-sex attracted people are treated as if the central spiritual and moral issues of our lives are all sexual. For some reason this story strikes me as the most poignant example. But we’re subjected to so many demands that we repeat, “I’m chaste! I’m celibate!” in order to earn an uncertain welcome in the church. more … [Read more...]

“In Search of Lost Time”: I review an art show

at the Hirshhorn: I got the idea for how to start this review when I was supposed to be praying.I try to “do” ten minutes a day of contemplative prayer, kneeling and opening my mind and heart to whatever God wants to say to me: shedding my own opinions and judgments, turning away from all screens and distractions. It turns out to be a great way to get ideas for my writing. Not such a great way to surrender to silence and inner peace. The distractions are coming from inside the hou … [Read more...]


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