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?


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...]

Spite as a Coping Mechanism


Slate's advice columnist, Prudence, recently fielded a question from a reader who was starting to feel coarsened by zer job.  Ze works in a college admissions office, gets a lot of calls (and sometimes verbal abuse) from pushy parents.  By this point, ze writes: I really am starting to hate people in general. I get satisfaction when a rude applicant calls for an update, and I see that they have been rejected. I can't tell them their decision, though, and they have to wait for their letter. I f … [Read more...]

The Odd Contempt of Impatience


In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.I found it interesting that, in this week's chapter, Pope Francis links impatience and hopelessness.  It might be that I'm biased, since impatience is one of my besetting sins, but, at first blush, the two emotions seem opposed.  Impatie … [Read more...]

Very Boring Kinds of Goodness


I mentioned yesterday that I've not made any exciting changes for Lent (neither giving up a food nor picking up volunteer hours at the local something).  It's not that these might not be good things to do, but I didn't get a very right feeling about them, when I thought it over, and I am trying to do better about only working on the parts of acting morally that are easy for me to turn into rules to implement.Here's a very small, very dull example from earlier this week about the kind of weak … [Read more...]