Fear of the Friendzone, Wire Monkeys, and Communion

paro-o

Why do people have so much contempt for "the Friendzone"?  Part of the problem is that we've defined romantic love as the highest form of emotional and physical intimacy, so missing out on dating feels like missing out on communion.  At The American Conservative, I'm talking a little about this problem in "Our Starved for Touch Culture." In the wake of the Santa Barbara shootings, the unpleasant underbelly of the pickup artist community (PUA), involuntary celibates (incels), and other unhealthy … [Read more...]

Making a Home for the Homely in Romance

mary sherlock

I don't follow the opera world, but critics made enough of a stir about the attractiveness (insufficient, in their judgement) of a mezzo-soprano in an English production Der Rosenkavalier for the conversation to cross over to the mainstream media.  The NYT brought together two classical music reviewers to comment, and I was particularly struck by this analysis by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim:[O]pera has a complicated history of celebrating and exploiting women, and I can’t help feeling that th … [Read more...]

When Asking for Help is Generous

thisarticle

My piece in the most recent print edition of The American Conservative came out from behind the paywall today, and it's about friendships, shared needs, Nisbet.... and massively multiplayer online roleplaying games.  If you read it, like it, and share it, you'll have a ready made excuse to ask favors of other people and look askance at LMGTFY links.  (Oh, and if you haven't heard of LMGTFY, then, here, let me Google that for you). Even new, online forms of association and friendship can suffer f … [Read more...]

A Trans-Atlantic Dating Gap

some people juggle geese

By playing the clip below, you can get a sense of my level of bafflement when I read these remarks by French GQ sex columnist Maïa Mazaurette.In an interview with New York, Mazaurette summarized the difference between the American and French approaches to sex and dating.So tell me, how would you describe the French attitude toward sex? I can only compare it to the countries I’ve lived in — Germany, and now Denmark, and I’ve made some trips to the U.S. I’d say the main difference is t … [Read more...]

Practicing Custody of the Eyes Online

"You've gotta ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

I'm covering the recent E.U. court decision that Google needed to remove "irrelevant" links from its search results over at The American Conservative today. While truth has usually been a defense to charges of libel, Google is running into a higher standard in Europe. The European Union Court of Justice, considering the threat that Google can pose to privacy, seems to be applying a standard closer to the “Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?” test.In the press release announcing their de … [Read more...]

You’ve Got a (Vowed) Friend in Me

Illustration of two parabatai by achelseabee on DeviantArt

A Queer Calling, an excellent blog run by two celibate women living in partnership together, recently did a little explainer on adelphopoiesis (also known as the brother-making rite) that some people have tried to adapt or reclaim as a blessing for same sex relationships.  The Queer Calling women don't make any assumptions about the goals of other people using the rite, but explain why it doesn't make sense for their relationship: Though we do acknowledge that all members of the Church are … [Read more...]

Prisoners are Calling. Who’s Answering?

Presidio-modelo2

Today, I'm over at First Things to talk about prisons, communities, and cell phones. Until cellphones made it trivial for a well-connected prisoner to reach the outside world, jailhouse policy has usually been more focused on information flowing the opposite direction. Texas is one among many states to have lengthy lists of books banned from prison libraries—Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Jenna Bush are among the many authors whose works have been proscribed.Jailhouse librarians and rev … [Read more...]


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