“Bounce a Check? Go to Jail.”

More Reason: The Dallas Observer published a feature this week on folks who inadvertently bounce a check, which isn’t illegal, and find themselves faced with threats of prosecution. more (this is the Observer article, but the post at the Reason link adds some additional thoughts) … [Read more...]

“Love Contract”

That was the original (and better) title of Mike Bartlett's Contractions, a one-act play I saw at the Studio Theater on Wednesday. The play starts when Emma, some kind of saleswoman, is called to a sterile, glowy dystopian boardroom to speak with a corporate apparatchik about a possible contract violation. The apparatchik, also a lady, has her read the section of her contract on "romantic or sexual relationships." The contract requires all employees to notify management when they begin such a … [Read more...]

“A World of Good Intentions”

My new piece at Acculturated, continuing the marriage & family series with a look at What It Means to Be Daddy: Fatherhood for Black Men Living Away from Their Children and Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. This is a piece where I really felt the word-count constraints. You guys should absolutely pick up these books, since I know I didn't do them justice. … [Read more...]

Advent post: Perfume and Earrings

Advent time is here, by golly! And Advent is, among other lovely things, a time for penance and almsgiving. I've been thinking about things I've done well and poorly in the past w/r/t almsgiving and charity, in particular, and I'm going to blog about some of those things this week. We'll see how long this series lasts. It is sort of advice in the sense that some of you may find that my experiences are useful to you. I would also be really interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this … [Read more...]

“Reference of Frame”

I review an art exhibit, at AmCon--and this exhibit closes at the end of December, so go soon! In the past several years photographers Claire Felicie and Lalage Snow have independently published pictures of soldiers taken before, during, and after their service in Afghanistan. It’s easy to project one’s own beliefs about the war, and war in general, onto these portraits; still, they offer fascinating portrayals of how people can change. I wasn’t expecting the frequency with which the soldier in … [Read more...]

“Last Minute Banquet”

delicious, delicious parables: If the stuff that is in the Bible isn't true, if it doesn't work today and if Jesus didn't really mean what he said - I'm not interested in any of it. Thanks, but you can keep your rituals and your moral teaching. However, I believe what's in the Bible is true, it does work today and Jesus really meant what he said. And I build my life on that belief.Jesus tells a story about a rich man who invites guests to a dinner. They all politely decline with various … [Read more...]

A Vindication of the Rights of Clip-Joint Girls

Recently watched "Marked Woman," an early Bette Davis/Humphrey Bogart flick in which Davis is a nightclub hostess who tries to go up against the toughest gangster in town after he kills her sister. Bogart is the crusading, by which I mean lecturing, DA. It's actually a startlingly powerful film, largely because it takes everything about the clip-joint girls' lives so seriously: their friendships, their families, their courage, their distinctive personalities. It's about the compromises they made … [Read more...]