“Discipline and Rupture at Christmas”: I read Foucault

for AmCon:There are authors whose work so permeates our intellectual atmosphere that by the time we get around to reading them (instead of just gesturing at them), they’re simultaneously familiar and revelatory. This Advent I’m finally reading Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, and Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence. They’re unexpectedly in harmony; and their harmony, it turns out, is a carol.more … [Read more...]

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“You Are Bigger Than Even Your Biggest Mistake”: My friend Steven Christoforou

on St Dionysios of Zakynthos and the freedom of forgiveness:as you can tell, Steve has a million of these. Follow him on Twitter for more. … [Read more...]

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“The End of Hitting Rock Bottom” and My Actual Most-Unpopular Opinion

This is a very good article from the Boston Globe (h/t Maia Szalavitz, whom you should follow if this sort of thing interests you):Shortly after 1 a.m. on March 27, Susan Knade awoke to the sound of her cellphone ringing. It was her 21-year-old daughter, Caroline, calling. She was crying. Please, Caroline said. Please, come pick me up.Nine hours before, the woman running the halfway house had told Susan that Caroline could stay so long as she passed a drug test after the weekend. But … [Read more...]

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Oscar Wilde, AA, and Pope Francis on Gay People…

...or, Every day is self-parody day.I did a couple speaking engagements recently (book me! eve_tushnet@yahoo.com) where I was even more rambly and woolly than usual, and I am not a productrix of machine-like syllogisms under any circumstances. I'd like to wander through some of my answers here, to find whatever useful marginally-coherent ideas might be caught in the wool.At one point I found myself defending Oscar Wilde, Moralist. My interlocutors were skeptical, and for good reason: … [Read more...]

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Pascale Monnin, An Artist of Haitian Resurrection

Over the weekend I discovered a new artist: the Swiss-Haitian painter and sculptor Pascale Monnin. Monnin's sculptures were what struck me most. She uses raku, a technique in which glazed clay is taken from the kiln and immediately plunged into water, creating cracks across the sculpture's surface which are then filled with smoke and soot. So her faces have turquoise veins across their delicate pale skins, and the soft curves of nose and cheek are contrasted to the forking raku lines. The faces … [Read more...]

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Five Links from a Criminal Justice System: Meeting Your Kidnappers, Keeping Mothers Out of Prison, Putting Cops in Schools, And Gullah Amends

Most of these links have a theme of "aftermath," I guess."What Happened After My Kidnapping":Hello, my name is Brad Pearson. In March 2006, you were one of three people who kidnapped me in West Philadelphia.I’m writing this letter not because I’m angry at you, or upset, or hurt. The opposite, actually. While the kidnapping and investigation were difficult for me, in the end they made me a stronger man.I’m a magazine writer now, and I’ve always hoped to talk to you and Jerry and Mo … [Read more...]

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“My Side of the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest?”: LifeTeen

w/a very touching piece--last anecdote is esp striking: I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport. They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it.“Do you do all of the priest stuff?”“Yep.”“Even the Confession thing?”“Yeah. All the time.”One older lady gasped, “Well, I think that that would be the worst. It would be so depressing; hearing all about people’s sins.”I told them that it was the exact oppo … [Read more...]

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