“The Lost Boys”: I review Jodi Angel’s “You Only Get Letters from Jail”

at the Weekly Standard:The words “have” and “get” pulse insistently through Jodi Angel’s new short story collection. What you have to do, what you get to do, what you get away with; getting in trouble, getting used to it. Sometimes Angel even doubles up on these words: “My stomach clenched a little and I got ready to get in trouble.” That tensed, hurting readiness is one of the collection’s central moods. The other is a post-traumatic numbness which can sometimes become sentimentalized and is … [Read more...]

“To Achieve Existential Fulfillment, Brokers Must Spurn Webinars”

"...and instead come to grips with their insignificance, Smith said." Yes. … [Read more...]

“In the Hour of Chaos”: I review Charles Johnson’s short stories

at AmCon: Somebody–I hope a commenter will remind me who it was–has suggested that the Left typically thinks in terms of an opposition between oppression and liberation, whereas the right typically thinks in terms of an opposition between civilization and barbarism. I would reframe the latter opposition as order vs. chaos; if we do that, it’s obvious that both oppositions are unrelentingly relevant, yet few thinkers or artists are able to hold both conflicts before our eyes at once.I just fi … [Read more...]

From Robert Stone, “Children of Light”

She let her song rise again and spread out her arms. In Louisiana the old black people called that kind of singing a bajo or banjo song, a homesick blues for where you've never been, which for them was Africa but for her was God only knows.Be there, Lu Anne sang. Be there, Sweet Jesus. Be there.She leaned back in the lounger, exhausted, When she turned to the mirror she saw her own secret eyes. No other person except her children and the Long Friends had ever seen them. She had used them … [Read more...]

“Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776?”

This is super-neat. Probably via Jesse Walker. … [Read more...]

“The Church Failed Millennials, Just Not in the Way You Think It Did”

at Christ & Pop Culture, some interesting stuff--I take no position on either of the Rachel Held Evans pieces which sparked this conversation, and obviously I'm not an evangelical Protestant so in some ways this is outside my sheepfold, but I found the critique in this paragraph quite relevant to Cat'licks as well: One thing I think the pop Evangelical church has truly dropped the ball on is talking to us about the Church. I mean, honestly, during all the Sunday School lessons, high school t … [Read more...]

“Unambitious Loser with Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives in Hometown”: The Onion

reports: CAMDEN, ME—Longtime acquaintances confirmed to reporters this week that local man Michael Husmer, an unambitious 29-year-old loser who leads an enjoyable and fulfilling life, still lives in his hometown and has no desire to leave.Claiming that the aimless slouch has never resided more than two hours from his parents and still hangs out with friends from high school, sources close to Husmer reported that the man, who has meaningful, lasting personal relationships and a healthy w … [Read more...]


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