“Who Rents, Who Buys, Who Tells Your Story?”: I review “Little Men”

for First Things: Little Men, the new gentrification drama from writer/director Ira Sachs (Love Is Strange), has a rich premise and two excellent young stars. Its thinness—its inability to satisfy the expectations it sets up—comes from Sachs's unwillingness to explore both sides of the class divide in his double story.Little Men is about the sudden, deep friendship between two thirteen-year-old boys: Jacob (Theo Taplitz), a yearning, driftwood Manhattanite who wants to be an artist, and Ant … [Read more...]

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The CV of Failures: This Great Thing

via the Twitters. And don't miss the "meta-failure" at the end!Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me. As a result, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves, rather than the fact that the world is stochastic, applications are crapshoots, and selection committees and referees have bad days. This CV of Failures is … [Read more...]

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The Only “A” You Need Is the “A” in JESUS

Just a quick post about the readings for today.The first reading s really personally meaningful t me. I looked at it every day when I was quittng drinking: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live[.] And that's what has happened for me in sobriety: I have more life now. More time. I work more; I pray more. I have more friends and more responsibilities. I have a life that is better spiritually--but also bet … [Read more...]

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Prepare for Life in Post-Christian America: Play “After Virtue”–The Game!

or, my review of Winners and Losers: “Winners and Losers,” created by Marcus Youssef and James Long and playing at Washington’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company through November 22, is a tense and springy 100 minutes of aggression hidden under friendship–and vice versa. Youssef and Long act out their own longstanding, competitive friendship, getting rawer and more accusatory as the night wears on. I’m going to use “Marcus” for the guy I saw onstage, “Youssef” for the off-stage creator, but the two … [Read more...]

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Bright College Chaplains, With Pleasures Rife (aka My Advice to Catholic Colleges re: LGBT Students)

The shortest, gladdest chaplains of life!I had the chance recently to talk to some people responsible for student life at a big Catholic school, who wanted to know how they could better serve and shepherd their LGBT students. Here's some of what I said. Also I could come to your school, btw, email me eve_tushnet@yahoo.com if you're interested in that.* Know that you're asking these students to, at a fairly young age, reject key components of what we call the American Dream. Lay celibacy … [Read more...]

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Why the Long Face? I Watch “BoJack Horseman”

for AmCon. This piece could have been twice the length--I have a lot of feelings about this show, apparently: We’ve suffered a rash of cynical, sarcastic, hyper-competent white manchildren on our TV screens: “House” was one of the purest versions of this creepy fantasy, where self- and other-loathing make you cool and insightful. Recently there has been a bit of a backlash. Leading men (Walter White, Don Draper) now display the gross and pathetic nature of entitled narcissism, no matter how well … [Read more...]

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“Et in Academia, Ego”: I review “Bradstreet Gate”

for the University Bookman: Death and defeat haunt the college novel. College novels—whether they focus on students or professors—typically tell a story in which the shining promises of academia prove not only false but absurd. College promises insight; college novels display the blankness of human depravity. College proclaims the power of reason and dialogue; college novels expose irrational passions and farcical miscommunication. College exalts the life of the mind, while the college novel is … [Read more...]

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