7QT: Moms, Pacifist Pilots, and other superheroes

--- 1 --- I'm very blessed to have a friend who joined the Dominican Sisters at Hawthorne, and she reminded me to let you all know that they have some retreats coming up!  It's the kind of thing that is definitely worth looking at, even if you don't long to be a nun. I'm very glad I went on a (non-vocation) retreat with the Dominican Sisters at Nashville -- they had the kind of joy that hits you with a blast (like when you open an oven to check on what's inside). --- 2 --- In a less … [Read more...]

Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” And The Fertility Of Forgiveness

I'm at First Things, reviewing Beyoncé's visual album "Lemonade," which does a remarkable job telling a story about a marriage that is wounded, but not unmade, by betrayal. “Hold Up” is still dreamlike, more of an imagined, idealized anger than actual rage. Beyoncé doesn’t take second swings at her targets, she seems to have no particular animus for anything she smashes. In fact, when she knocks the top off of a fire hydrant, children rush forward to play in the spray; a perfect realization of “ … [Read more...]

Hedgehogs of Redemption and the Comedy of Grace

One of my friends has been coordinating a series of Narnia book clubs, and, prompted by our discussion of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I've written a piece for Aleteia on a particularly farcical gift of grace in that book.The most pleased of the lot was the other lion, who kept running about everywhere pretending to be very busy in order to say to everyone he met, “Did you hear what he said? Us lions. That means him and me. Us lions. That’s what I like about Aslan. No side, no stand … [Read more...]

7QT: Remixes, Underwear, & Fake Fingers

--- 1 --- I'm not going to make you wait for it (wait for it).  The video of the Hamilton cast doing their relyricized opening number to tell the tale of Sweeney Todd is up! (Part of the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit)--- 2 --- And, in another interesting bit of Hamilton reworking, there's a nice article on the alternate posters they considered for the show.  (My favorite is below)--- 3 --- And one more charming reenvisioning: the Page F30 blog rewrote an article … [Read more...]

Mercy, Justice, and How To Tell The Difference

I haven't blogged at all about Pope Francis's Apostolic exortation Amoris Laetitia, for the simple reason that I haven't yet read it! So I'm not in a position to analyze it myself or to evaluate other people's takes on it. But Eve Tushnet wrote a reflection for First Things which opens with a good analysis of plain ol' human nature, no pre-reading required: Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Ca … [Read more...]

Running the Stats on Shakespeare!

Shakespeare's 400th death day comes up this weekend, so I've done some analysis for FiveThirtyEight on which of his plays wind up taught outside English class (and offered a few recommendations of my own): Psychology students most often encounter Shakespeare’s great madmen: King Lear and Hamlet. Perhaps they’re the ones to blame for the more sexualized stagings of Hamlet’s confrontation with his mother. Oedipal productions of the play are such a trope that, in Jasper Fforde’s modern lit-nerd com … [Read more...]

When a Wedding Guide Leaves Out The Wedding Night

I'm at First Things, covering the unexpected gap I've found in the wedding planning books I've been reading. I became engaged at Easter, and, as I’ve started planning our wedding with my fiancé, I’ve noticed a suspicious lacuna in the wedding how-to's I’ve picked up. I would have thought, after one magazine’s handbook covered strategies for getting your pet turtle to join your wedding procession (they won’t walk down the aisle quickly enough, so you must tow its tank in a tulle-swathed wagon), t … [Read more...]


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