“Infidelity, Love, And the New Shame”: David Zahl

at Mockingbird: Just dove into Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg’s Modern Romance, and have to say, it’s pretty great. Funny yet with a surprising amount of meat on its bones. As mentioned the other day, the book’s primary interest lies in exploring 1. the unspoken cultural imperative to find a ‘soul mate’ and 2. the resulting anxiety, frustration, and confusion that characterizes modern romance. I was particularly struck by how the word ‘soul mate’ has come to serve as a synonym for savior. A wei … [Read more...]

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Marriage Unconstrained: In Which I Argue with Myself

So I don't know if you noticed, but that Pixar/gay marriage post was really two posts awkwardly yoked together by a cartoon about singing volcanoes. And some of the latter half of the post, especially, made Christian marriage sound like a social-improvement project: Live in mutual self-gift, mirroring the love of Christ and His Bride the Church, because it will lead to a stable bourgeois society. I have these studies showing that surrender of self-will is good for child educational … [Read more...]

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“Lava” in the Western World: Justice Kennedy and Pixar

Yesterday afternoon I watched Inside Out. You'll get more from me about that later, but for right now I want to write a bit about "Lava," the short, and the weird coincidence that I saw it on the day of the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.Aesthetically "Lava" is a mixed bag--or rather, a bag with one great thing and one awful thing in it. The designs for the two volcanic main characters are charming, lovely, and just weird enough. But the short tells a simple story--it could easily … [Read more...]

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From “Infinite Jest”

Arm out like a hack's arm, Gately blasts through B.U. country. As in backpack and personal-stereo and designer-fatigues country. Soft-faced boys with backpacks and high hard hair and seamless foreheads. Totally lineless untroubled foreheads like cream cheese or ironed sheets. All the storefronts here are for clothes or TP cartridges or posters. Gately's had lines in his big forehead since he was about twelve. It's here he especially likes making people throw their packages in the air and dive … [Read more...]

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Captive Virgins: St Gregory of Nyssa vs. … Well… Vs. Me, I Guess

and let's see what that title does for my search requests.Wesley Hill truffled up a really fine short article on Gregory of Nyssa's "On Virginity," which offers a much-needed corrective to the way I usually talk about vocations for celibate queer people. Here's an excerpt, but the whole thing is worth your time: ...Adults are single in greater numbers than ever before, but the singles who usually speak in public discussions are sexually active. Why is it that Christian adults who are single … [Read more...]

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The Prison of My Person, The Shackles of My Skin

Wesley Hill quotes some powerful words from CS Lewis on masturbation and lustful fantasy: For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever … [Read more...]

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From Christopher R. Beha, “What Happened to Sophie Wilder”

Sometimes too we spoke about our classes, but only to disparage them."They wanted to talk about what we learned from Keats," Sophie said. "It's like asking what you learned from getting laid. I learned that I like how he makes me feel." (yes, I'm reading it) … [Read more...]

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