Settling Into Our Sociable Third Places

(cc Nick Allen)

I've been reading (and loving!) sociologist's Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, and, today, I'm over at Ethika Politika talking about how to rebuild some of the "Third Places" that Oldenburg praises--places outside of work or home where we come to share our lives with others.Here's an excerpt from my piece, "Learning to Linger in Leisure Spaces" We seem to need excuses to inhabit communal … [Read more...]

How Small a Promise Can a Vocation Be?


 I'm looking forward to hearing Eve Tushnet speak about her book, Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith, tonight at the Catholic Information Center in DC.  And that means it seems like a good time to blog about her book one more time.In November, I hosted a book club for Eve's book, and a lot of our discussion was focused on Eve's expansive use of the word "vocation" and how this more generous concept could inform our lives.  In the most re … [Read more...]

“You Shouldn’t Say That…” as a gift, not an attack

(cc  ClintJCL)

I'm at The American Conservative today, talking about the legitimacy of campaigns for civility and condemnations (not de jure censorship) of extreme and/or offensive speech:The Case for Civility Campaigns After Charlie Hebdo Arguing that campaigns for civility, against catcalling, against graphic sexual content in the public sphere, against “microaggressions,” differ only in degree, not in kind, from the Charlie Hebdo murders requires casting every cultural war as an exercise in annihilati … [Read more...]

Into the Weeds (and the Woods) [Radio Readings]

My new, weekly radio program, Fights in Good Faith, premiers today.  You'll be able to stream it live here on Real Life Radio at 5pm Eastern, and you can catch it again on Sunday at 1pm.  After it airs, the audio will be available on my show's page.  And, in the meantime, here's the 30 second promo for the show:Every Saturday, before the show airs, I'll be posting on the blogs to share links to all the major books, songs, concepts that I mention on the show.  So, while you're listening, i … [Read more...]

7QT: My new radio program, plus codes, calligraphy, and camels


--- 1 --- I'm really pleased to announce to all of you, that tomorrow, I begin my new weekly radio show with Real Life Radio.   My program is an hour long, and is called "Fights In Good Faith"  And the header image makes excellent use of one of the shots Sydney Angel took when I did the headshots for my book:The show will stream on Saturdays at 5pm and repeat on Sunday at 1pm (plus the shows will be archived).  And, for the very first episode, I've made sure to front-load the most  … [Read more...]

Throwing Spaghetti at the Modern Dating Wall

Lawrence Alma-Tadema's The Proposal

I've been seeing a fair amount in my feeds (both RSS and social media) about the Perils Of Flirting, and how to navigate them of late.Everything from a married friend mentioning that she gives positive feedback to the people who flirt with her well without noticing her ring, because she wants to encourage positive public flirting to a lot of internet discussion of the professor who shared how his anxiety about having any appropriate way to approach women drove him to (a) consider suicide and … [Read more...]

Struggling to Offer an Open House

comfy chair

I picked up Robert Farrar Capon's Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage after reading Melanie's post on The Wine Dark Sea on "What has Beatrice to do with Bed?"  The quotes she assembled were easily enough to get me to order the book for myself.And I suspect they're a little more generally appealing than the quote I want to highlight from my reading, so perhaps you want to pop over chez elle first?I really liked Capon's book, and, if I'm ever lucky enough to be verging on getting engag … [Read more...]