The real Osage County

I grew up in northern Oklahoma, so I’ve been noting with bemusement how Osage County all of a sudden has a presence in popular culture.  First there was Ree Drummond, a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, whose show on the Food Network has introduced foodies to the cuisine I grew up with and whose blog about her life on the vast Drummond Ranch has introduced a wide audience to Oklahoma culture.  Then native Oklahoman Tracy Letts won a Pulitzer Prize for his play August:  Osage County, which was then turned into a movie featuring a whole army of A-list actors, such as Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, and (of course, since he’s seemingly been in every other movie this year) Benedict Cumberbatch. The film was shot on location, so all of these Hollywood superstars lived for two months in a condo complex in Bartlesville and shot the movie in a house in Boulanger, with scenes in Pawhuska and Barnsdall.  So I had to see this movie. [Read more…]

The Rolling Stone Manifesto

Rolling Stone Magazine published an economics manifesto that “Millennials should be fighting for.”  You can read it after the jump, but I’ll summarize it for you here.

Author Jesse A. Myerson says that “unemployment blows,” so that the government should guarantee work for everybody.  But then he says that “jobs also blow,” so the government could provide a guaranteed income to everyone so that you don’t have to work.  This would give people “‘time to cultivate new needs for pleasures, activities, senses, passions, affects, and socialities.”

Other things that “blow” are landlords, “hoarders” (by which he means owners of private property), and Wall Street, all of which Myerson has a solution for. [Read more…]

Baptists want a catechism

Another example of  Baptists wanting what Lutherans have but have  neglected in order to be more like Baptists:  Some Baptist leaders are saying that what their churches need in order to address decreasing attendance and to combat religious illiteracy is a catechism! [Read more…]

Reducing religion & morality to what is “useful”

More from Daniel Schwindt on de Tocqueville, this time about how Americans–because of their rationalism and individualism–tend to see both religion and morality in terms of what is “useful.”  (Again, thanks to Daniel Broaddus.) [Read more…]

Abortion and 19th century science

Great comment on the Justice halts birth control mandate post from Kerner:

The majority opinion of Roe vs. Wade balances the “right to privacy” of the mother against the “potential human life” of the unborn child. Basically, a small group of men who were born in the 19th century, applied 19th century knowledge about biology, genetics and obstetrics to determine that a human fetus was not really human and therefore not entitled to Constitutional protection. By considering this as purely a women’s rights issue, we ended up with Roe vs. Wade. . . . [Read more…]

Stay-at-Home entertainment vs. live theater

What with Netflix, on-demand TV, Hulu on the iPad, and videos on the smart phone, more and more people are staying at home for their entertainment, cocooning unto themselves.  Even going to the movies is too communal and too much trouble for a lot of us, who prefer to wait until we can watch a new film when it comes out on Netflix, rather than getting out of the house.  But this tendency is wreaking worse havoc on live theater.

Thanks to Bruce Gee for putting me onto this column from Terry Teachout, drama critic at the Wall Street Journal. [Read more…]