“The Mother and the Monster”: I review “The Babadook”

for AmCon. Should've decided in advance how spoilerous I wanted to be; if you haven't seen it yet, I'd definitely recommend either skipping this review or stopping after the first couple paragraphs. One of the year’s most widely-praised horror movies, Australia’s “The Babadook,” methodically chews through a list of terrifying questions: What happens when you can’t protect your child from tragedy and grief? When you can’t protect him from the people around him? From himself? From yourself? … [Read more...]

Hell Is for Children: “Krabat,” A New Entry in the Field of Scary Christmas Movies

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.-Gal 5:1 One of my favorite novels when I was a girl was The Satanic Mill, by Ottfried Preussler. The title is not a metaphor or an allusion; the book is about a mill that is run by a man who has sold his soul to Satan. An orphan child finds his way to the mill and enters its sinister brotherhood, getting to know the other apprentices and journeymen--and, eventually, learning magic alongside … [Read more...]

Do They Know It’s Halloween?: Cracked Feels My Pain

about the decline of trick-or-treating:#1. Traditional Trick-or-Treating Is Dying The first year I lived in California, we had a huge Halloween turnout at our house. So many costumed children showed up that we actually ran out of candy, and I had to run out to the store still dressed as Princess Buttercup and fight a sailor for the last bag of Laffy Taffy. The next year, thinking we'd be prepared, we stocked up on candy early and ... maybe one-third of the kids showed up. See, the … [Read more...]

Dark, Dark My Light: “Martyrs”

Well, let's start spooky movie season with a series of horrifying bangs.All I knew about Martyrs going in was that people argued about whether it should be considered "torture porn," and that the title ended up playing a big, religiously-inflected role. I'm glad I didn't know anything else about it; I was totally unprepared for its genre shifts and plot twists. I got a lot out of it and am convinced that the movie does not treat torture pornographically--there's no chop-licking, no greasy … [Read more...]

“Five Awful Things I Learned as a Child Laborer in the USA”: Cracked

continues to tell hidden stories: We all love food, because it's delicious and without it we'd all die horribly. We also love the fact that we really don't have to worry where said food came from beyond "the store" or, if you think about it a little harder, "the ground." So what if we were to tell you our favorite foodstuffs are being harvested by tens of thousands of exploited children? This isn't some shady underground child labor ring run by the mafia, either -- it's 100-percent legal in … [Read more...]

Teaching and Fruitfulness: A Very Short “Gay and Catholic” DVD Extra Post

It's impossible to come up with a complete list of vocations, so don't worry, I'm not going to inflict, like, "Figure Skating and Fruitfulness" on you people. But I have been struck by how many of my lgbt Christian friends end up teaching at various levels. (This is also my excuse to link to Sarah's post on what her students learn, and mislearn, from Christian culture wars.)To me that looks like a way of living out the extremely common desire to serve the next generation: the same thing I'm … [Read more...]

“Mom Arrested for (Maybe) Hanging Up on Cop While Her Missing Daughter Plays at Church”: Reason

gives this story a much different headline from many mainstream media outlets. Let's find out why! Here is a story that combines some of our favorite Reason.com topics, including strip clubs, jerk cops, and America's growing willingness to make less-than-perfect parenting a crime. In this case, Florida resident Bobbey Jo Boucher went with her 10-year-old daughter to a neighbor's barbecue and left the girl there when she headed to work, instructing her to go back home when it was over. When the … [Read more...]


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