Sex Ed in the Renaissance Tavern

Over the weekend I drove to a wedding with a bunch of strangers. We got to talking about our memories of middle and high school. One of us went to either a small-town public school or a private religious school (can't remember which), one to a single-sex Catholic school, and two of us to an intensely progressive private school. And none of us had had any kind of sex ed that struck us as even marginally relevant or insightful.So look, if fools didn't rush in, would we even need middle-school … [Read more...]

Return to Osmia, Or The Resurrection of the Nose

Concussion Diary, Week Four I Think. (Previously, on "Concussion Diary"...)First of all, it's weird looking back on the first day after my concussion and remembering how I assumed I'd be completely back to normal in a couple days. Ha ha. I can work normally now--I was able to read and concentrate without pain after about two weeks iirc--but my head still hurts and I still can't sleep on my back because I have a knot on the back of my skull. Also another thing I'll talk about in a moment. … [Read more...]

Concussion Diary: And Then Socrates Collapsed Upon the Couch, Proclaiming, “I Cannot Smell My Feet.”

So a week ago yesterday I fainted and concussed myself. It's all fine, they know now why it happened and it's a truly minor medical condition for which the only lasting treatment is, "Drink more water," but I have manfully restrained the urge to whine on social media and my manfulness is at its end. This is what my week has been.WEDNESDAY I saw a movie called Demon, a Polish joint about a man marrying into a (formerly?) Jewish family, who begins to be stalked by the ghost of a Jewish girl. I … [Read more...]

“This Undertaker Buries the Bodies Nobody Else Will Touch”: MEL Magazine

profile: "People say to me sometimes, ‘We don’t go to you because you bury those people’ – the poor people,” Peter Stefan tells me in the second-floor office of his Worcester, MA funeral home. “I say, ‘Then don’t come. We don’t need you.’ You bury who you bury.” That statement might serve as a motto for Stefan, whose weathered appearance seems wholly apropos for a man who, for 41 years, has made a living burying those whose bodies have nowhere else to go – AIDS patients in the ’80s and ’90s; … [Read more...]

File Under Sacred Music: Movie Notes

Daisies: A mid-'60s Czech feminist romp, and incredibly enjoyable from the first frame to the last. The costumes and set designs are all about childlike fun; the overall ethos is, "Eat dessert first!"Victor Morton points out the way this film is women's lib, not women's rights, and like all purely liberatory gestures it can't be justified--and Daisies itself acknowledges that! It cheerfully admits that it's unsustainable and gratuitous, utopian in the fullest sense, a Candyland and not a … [Read more...]

“The Right to Look Your Judge in the Eye”: I’m at AmCon

w/the theology of the body of the defendant: Last month a Michigan appeals court considered the case of a man convicted of methamphetamine possession. Although the man received an unusually harsh sentence (30 to 120 months in prison, based in part on his prior record), the decision of the three appellate judges addresses not only the length of the sentence but also, and at greater length, the way it was delivered: via videoconferencing. The defendant was in the county jail when he was … [Read more...]

Against Air Conditioning: Aesthetics Finally Have a Say at the Washington Post!

This piece covers a surprisingly wide range of arguments, from film noir to cost savings to the human need for siesta--it isn't the expected environmental scold. I assume the author didn't write the headline. While I strongly prefer the un-AC life (I have permission from my landlady to cover the AC vent in my room with a magnetic panel, so my Literal Garret gets gloriously subtropical, with soft caresses from fresh air and the tidal howling of crickets and cicadas) I try not to tell other people … [Read more...]