Richard Rodriguez on God of the Desert

Some crankiness, but lots of challenging stuff here: ...Well, I think obviously we would have a different experience of nature. And maybe a different notion of what God expects from us; this is said as a believer, I should stress. It seems to me that a God who would reveal himself to Abraham in a place of such desolation is at least reminding us that our place on this Earth is temporary, and this is a place – a landscape – that reminds us of just how empty it is. The word desert comes from the n … [Read more...]

Scenes from a Police State (Florida)

from the Miami Herald: Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years.He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on … [Read more...]

Working-Class Trust, Monetized Mug Shots, The Bible and Other Children’s Books

What I'm reading.First off, this post from David Lapp is relevant to my review of Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty: ...One of the striking things about Brown’s portrait is how poverty co-existed with family cohesiveness and the expectation of marriage. When these poor rural individuals and families migrated North during the 40s, 50s, and 60s, they brought with them their family cohesiveness. But while Elmer and Alice grew up poor, got married, and recently c … [Read more...]

‘Cause You Just Can’t Do Things Your Blogwatch Wasn’t Meant To

or, stuff I've been reading.The trust gap between working- and middle-class young people (related to my review here).Helen Rittelmeyer on "A Not-Quite-Recovery Memoir from 1813": "In his circle he was always the normal one."Timothy P. Carney: "Childbirth Made Me Love My Wife's Body More." Lovely.Interview with Dan Barden, whose very fun and insightful recovery-noir The Next Right Thing I reviewed here. … [Read more...]

“Broke and Alone”: I review Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

at The American Conservative: Because most of the traditional pathways to adulthood—marriage, economic independence, stable job—seem out of reach or prove to be reversible, working-class young adults have developed a new definition of maturity. This new pathway relies heavily on therapeutic culture: You become an adult by overcoming the trauma of your past, whether that involved abusive parents, drug addiction, mental illness, or less flamboyant hardships. Young adults who take on this new def … [Read more...]

“When a Child Is a Second Chance”: Me at Acculturated

continuing the series of posts on penitence: When I opened Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, I wasn’t expecting to include it in this series on portrayals of penitence. The new study by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson picks up where Edin and Maria Kefalas’s 2005 Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage left off. Sticking with the same economically-depressed Philadelphia neighborhoods, Doing the Best I Can asks young men how they became fathers, how … [Read more...]

From Jennifer M. Silva, “Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty”

In an era of short-term flexibility, constant flux, and hollow institutions, the transition to adulthood has been inverted; coming of age does not entail entry into social groups and institutions but rather the explicit rejection of them. … [Read more...]


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