“One Nation, Under the Influence”: I review a National Archives show on US Boozin’

for The American Interest: “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History,” on exhibit at the National Archives through January 10, is a lot like a 2 a.m. barroom yarn: rambling, studded with odd and fascinating moments, but lacking the one thing that might make it all make sense. ...“Spirited Republic” is organized mostly-chronologically. The opening sections make creative use of the archival material to tell the story of alcohol’s role in early American civic history: A reproduction of Ge … [Read more...]

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Melinda Selmys’s Terrific Series on NFP

Just really important for people who care about this stuff.Also adds some complexity to Wesley Hill's (quite good) post about Christian sexual ethics and "dazzling the pagan eye"--there's a lot of suffering, confusion, loss, anger, and frustration that comes with Christian sexual discipline (even if you don't accept e.g. the Catholic teaching on contraception). That can be dazzling in its own way--e.g. you might see our solidarity in different forms of suffering, or in the way we wrestle … [Read more...]

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The Literature of Contempt: Some Rambling About DFW and Dostoyevsky

Over the holiday weekend I read through pretty much the entire Mockingbird archive of posts tagged "David Foster Wallace." Meanwhile I'm reading The Idiot for the third time (and finally retaining something other than the "worst thing you ever did" party game, I hope...) and slowly gnawing through Игрок (The Gambler) in Russian class. If you ever want to notice how super-contemptuous (презрительнейший! чрезвычайно презрительнейший!) both of these writers can get about everybody in the entire worl … [Read more...]

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Baltimore Police Van Sign: “Enjoy Your Ride Cuz We Sure Will”–The Root

for your contempt -> dehumanization file I guess: Just months after Baltimore resident Freddie Gray was fatally injured while being transported in the back of a police van, city officials are investigating a photograph of a sign inside the rear door of a similar transport vehicle that reads, “Enjoy your ride, cuz we sure will,” CNN reports. more … [Read more...]

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From David Foster Wallace, “All That”

This was the year, at five or six, that I learned the meaning of “reverence,” which, as I understand it, is the natural attitude to take toward magical, unverifiable phenomena, the same way that “respect” and “obedience” describe the attitude one takes toward observable physical phenomena, such as gravity or money. --whole story; rings interestingly against the passage from Infinite Jest about the Sergeant-at-Arms … [Read more...]

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Bona Links: LDS Church Donates to End LGBT Youth Homelessness, Celibate Partnerships After Obergefell, And More

First, more like this please: For the first time ever, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated to the Utah Pride Center.The LDS Church quietly made a $2,500 donation to the non-profit Utah Pride Center to help its efforts with LGBT homeless and youth. The money, coming in the form of access to the Bishop’s Storehouse, will provide food for those in need, the Utah Pride Center told FOX 13. more, via IP (and see here)A Queer Calling writes: This past week has brought … [Read more...]

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From David Foster Wallace, “The Pale King”

This remains largely theory, but my best guess as to [my dad’s] never dispensing wisdom like other dads is that my father understood that advice — even wise advice — actually does nothing for the advisee, changes nothing inside, and can actually cause confusion when the advisee is made to feel the wide gap between the comparative simplicity of the advice and the totally muddled complication of his own situation and path. I’m not putting this very well. If you begin to get the idea that other peop … [Read more...]

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