Didn’t Know It Was a Devil Town: I Finally Watch “Friday Night Lights”

For years people told me I had to watch Friday Night Lights. And they all said the same four things: "Coach and Tami Taylor have the best marriage on television. I love how Dillon is its own character, and the show honors those who stay in their nowhere hometown instead of going Somewhere to be somebody. Ugh, skip season two, some dude kills a dude and it's just a soapy mess. Oh and you don't have to care about football, seriously, it's not a show about football."Some of this is true! Here … [Read more...]

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“In Fresno, A Community-Policing Ethos Builds Ties Between Officers and Residents”

from the Washington Post: Not long ago, the Hispanic residents of this gang-ridden neighborhood in Southwest Fresno would not have voluntarily spoken to a police officer, much less attended a police-sponsored block party and taken photos with the chief. But over the past decade, a sustained policing initiative marked by community meetings, Christmas gifts and dozens of neighborhood events has fundamentally altered police-resident relations. more (there are serious limits to attempts to "reform … [Read more...]

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“Leading with Humility”: Me on Spiritual Direction for Gay Christians

and other people, should they exist: Several months after I'd stopped seeing my first spiritual director because he'd been transferred to a different parish, I saw that he'd be giving a talk on Catholic understandings of homosexuality. Since I knew I wasn't his only gay spiritual directee—in fact, he'd been recommended to me by another gay Catholic who, like me, was trying to live in accordance with Catholic teaching—I was excited to hear his perspective.I ended up sharply disappointed in th … [Read more...]

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Friday Link Round-Up: The Road to Ferguson, And Some Paths Away

Hey it's my birthday, let's have some fun! This is a very, very scattershot link round-up. Mostly snagged from people I follow on Twitter and you should too.Walter Olson, "Petty Offenses and Police-Community Relations in Ferguson": It seems so random and meaningless that a legal offense as minor as walking on the roadway would set in motion what was to prove the fatal confrontation between officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown. But in the wider scheme of how Ferguson came to have its … [Read more...]

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The Mask of Obedience

Last year I wrote this really scattershot, unsatisfying post about "The Beauty of Obedience," rescuing obedience as a positive term and a category you're allowed to care about. I recognize that that post was not the tightest thing I've ever written, and in fact, I'm still kind of flailing around trying to talk about what a positive vision of obedience might look like, but here are yet more extremely scattered thoughts.I've been thinking about that terrific phrase, "the mask of command," and … [Read more...]

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High Command: Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in (and on) “Trapeze”

I've watched a few movies lately which I haven't posted about here. My one-line review of 1952's underworld soap opera Casque d'Or is basically, "Simone Signoret eats cheese off a knife. Thanks France!" Slightly longer review: Signoret is sultry in a layered performance; she's great at conveying irony and intelligence with just a quirk of her lips.Even more fun was last Saturday's adventure, 1956's Trapeze. It's playing again this Thursday at AFI, so you can catch it on the big screen! It's … [Read more...]

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Snow Day Thoughts

A series of points too small for a real post.* While I was in Boston for the US National Figure Skating Championships (of which more later!! THEY WERE SO GREAT) I also got to go with Ratty to the Museum of Fine Arts. It has some terrific Spanish painting from the Counter-Reformation era--I love this stuff, even in the court paintings you feel like you can smell the blood. The only thing that glows is the flesh of the Crucified. There's an extremism which I think some people find wearying but … [Read more...]

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