Feeling Better: I review “Inside Out”

for AmCon: Pixar’s “Inside Out” is a charming, vividly-imagined film with terrific comic timing. Its insights are sharp and its message accurate. So why was I the only person in the theater who didn’t sniffle?“Inside Out” takes us into the brain of Riley, a buoyantly happy 11-year-old girl about to face her first major life challenge: a move from Minnesota to San Francisco. We see the world inside her head, including a control room operated by her emotions. Joy (Amy Poehler) is in charge, a … [Read more...]

“Pro Wrestling (With Angels)”: I review the new Mountain Goats album

at AmCon: CDs of “Beat the Champ,” the new album from indie folk/rock band the Mountain Goats, come with a small white sticker proclaiming: THIS RIGHT HERE IS AN ALBUM ABOUT PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING. I guess they had to get the ironic disclaimer out of the way: Yes, this is a weird thing to do, roll with it please. If you do roll with it you will find an utterly unironic tribute to the wrestling heroes of singer/songwriter John Darnielle’s childhood—and one of his band’s best albums. … [Read more...]

A Little Free Library: Read the Comments!

Via Prince of Petworth:Hi all- I live at this house and it’s my free library. We’re a house of returning citizens (ex-offenders) and we made this library (and do other things) to be a positive force in our neighborhood. The artist, a friend of ours, created a painting scheme that looks like row houses that are the covers of DC-based books. We also put up the Free Minds logo (a book club that works with kids who via Title 16 have to go to adult prison as juveniles) because they’ve supported so … [Read more...]

From Sarah Ruhl, “100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write”

There were times when it felt as though my children were annihilating me. Finally I came to the thought, All right, then, annihilate me; that other self was a fiction anyhow. And then I could breathe. I could investigate the pauses. I found that life intruding on writing was, in fact, life. And that, tempting as it may be for a writer who is also a parent, one must not think of life as an intrusion. At the end of the day, writing has very little to do with writing, and much to do with life. And … [Read more...]

Benedict Option, Part Three: It Takes a Hyattsvillage

One of the neat things about Libresco's "Benedict Option" gathering (for what this actually was, see here and here) was that we had a few people from the growing Catholic neighborhood in Hyattsville, MD. This is a little place on the Green Line (yay), an attempt to build a community where Catholic life is visible, normal, and beautiful. You can get a taste of it from a profile at Fare Forward which included this description: The community’s power for such corporal works of mercy became t … [Read more...]

“Seven Reasons We Hate Free-Range Parenting”: Megan McArdle

writes: ...Why has America gone lunatic on the subject of unattended children? Parents hover over their kids as if every step might be their last. If they don't hover, strangers do, calling the police to report any parent who leaves their child to run into the store for a few minutes. What's truly strange is that the parents who are doing this were themselves left to their own devices in cars, allowed to ride their bikes and walk to the store unsupervised, and otherwise given the (limited) … [Read more...]

Lullabies from Prison and Other Links

Let's start with this."Bringing Mothers in Prison Closer to Their Children, Through Music": Mothers in prison rarely get to see their children, let alone touch them or sing them a lullaby. But female inmates in New York City are getting a little help with the singing, thanks to Carnegie Hall. For the last few years, Carnegie has sponsored the Lullaby Project, which pairs professional musicians with women in jails, homeless shelters and city hospitals, to help them write lullabies for their … [Read more...]


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