AltFem Magazine Launch Party: I’m There! Tomorrow!

I'm on the first panel at this conference/party to launch "an online magazine that seeks an inclusive definition of feminism that resonates with women of faith." Uh, I'm not actually a feminist, but I hope to talk about the problems with the concept of "empowerment" as a goal--basically riffing on the issues I raised in this book review. Hope to see many of you there! … [Read more...]

“40 Non-Horror Movies for Horror Fans”: Kindertrauma

with a cornucopia, especially of interest to fans of that late '70s - end of the Cold War aesthetic. Sign me up! … [Read more...]

What Whiskey Goes With Cheese?: I read “The Spectacular Now”

This is just a quick note to say that I read Tim Tharp's Spectacular Now, the YA novel on which the movie was based, and I really enjoyed it. It's the tale of a high-school cutup and ladies' man who's also a barely-functional alcoholic. He's a generous, sweet-natured guy, fairly open about his self-deceptions, and a total cheeseball. The book is sometimes preachy in an authorial way, which I didn't care for, but most of its occasional swerves into preachiness are much more organic--high-school … [Read more...]

“Gay and Catholic” Book Extras: A Tiny Post About Marriage and Priesthood

These are topics I left out of the book partly because I wanted to focus on all the less-visible vocations available to lgbt/same-sex attracted Christians--and partly because I just don't have very much to say here. Never let it be said that I let that stop me! And ETA wow, this got longer than it should have. So, not so tiny after all....Gay/queer/ssa people do get married, to members of the opposite sex, in ways which don't fit the stereotype of the terrified closet case or self-deceived … [Read more...]

“Radio Is a Sound Salvation”: I watch “God Help the Girl”

for AmCon: On the very top level–the frosting of the cupcake, if you will–”God Help the Girl” is a musical about a Manic-Depressive Pixie Dream Girl and her nebbishy love interest. It was written and directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, and it is so twee it twinkles, almost two hours of Emily Browning’s giant eyes and sugared voice and insistent suffering, and there were times when I hated it.But beneath that thick super-sweet frosting, this is a subtle film about the stories we … [Read more...]

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...]


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