“Making Do”: I’m in Commonweal

with an actual review of Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City: Painfully conscientious, rule-bound, and motivated more by spiritual longings than by practical material concerns—these aren’t the terms in which most Americans think of low-income unmarried fathers. subscribers-only for now; I'll let you know if that changes. I had a more thematic piece on penitence in the book, not really a review, here. … [Read more...]

Lots of Really Great Stuff at Spiritual Friendship Now

including: Melinda Selmys on the Cross as gift. This post manages to take a discourse I usually find kind of impenetrable--the argument about whether and how "homosexuality" (STILL NOT A THEOLOGICAL CATEGORY) is a gift--and make it into something truly sublime. I still resist looking at "homosexuality" (is this a thing?) as a "cross" full-stop, but that's really not the point of her post, which you all should read.Jeremy Erickson has some powerful reflections on what he experienced as a … [Read more...]

Five Things for Thursday

What I've been reading."Why Young Sexual Assault Victims Tell Incoherent Stories." When my alarmed parents sat me down to draw out every detail of what had happened, trying to construct a timeline and zeroing in on specific actions and body parts, I was terrified by their seriousness. The conversation was such an important one that we had it sitting right where we were when my sister brought up the subject: on the stairs. It’s hard to give an accurate account of something when you’re under t … [Read more...]

Bring on the “Loose Parts Pit”!

in case you missed this as it spread around facebook: Ripping up the playground rulebook is having incredible effects on children at an Auckland school.Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says.The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are … [Read more...]

“Identity Theft”: I review (and LOVE) “The Goldfinch”

in the Weekly Standard: When we speak of “the permanent things,” we should mean the enduring, inescapable, and unfulfilled longings of the contradictory human heart: the helpless yearnings found across radically different times and cultures. And among these permanent desires, the need for home and the need for ecstasy stand preeminent.Donna Tartt made her name with 1992’s bestselling murder-by-paganism tale The Secret History, which explored our longing for ecstatic release from the self. Th … [Read more...]

Cracked vs. “Troubled Teen” Industry

Great piece: When I was 14, I lived with my grandparents in a wealthy gated community and went to a very prestigious private school. This was the first time I had access to the Internet on a daily basis, and it changed my life forever. I discovered metal music and culture, which inspired me to learn the guitar. My yearbook ambitions quickly went from "become a judge like my grandfather" to "become a rock star."This was not a popular change in Tori Jane, and before long my grandparents … [Read more...]

“Stephen King and That Awful Muttering Voice”: Me in AmSpec

now available in full: What do you do when you’re in a Stephen King novel, but you’re not a Stephen King character anymore? Or rather: What do you do when you’re Stephen King, but you’re not a Stephen King character anymore? more--spoilerous for the middle of The Shining, but I like this article. For more on the point I'm trying to make at the end, see here. … [Read more...]


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