“Nobody human can stand all that everlasting affection!”

The quote is from Company, the subject is Passion, as the Sondheim Symposium goes on. This installment includes spoilers for 1984.At the climax of 1984, Winston is broken by the tortures in room 101. The moment that anihilates him and represents victory for Big Brother is the moment where he cries out: Do it to her! Do it to Julia! I don’t care what you do to her, but do it to her! Tear her face off! Do it to Julia, not to me! Do it to Julia! Not me! If this is betrayal, we might assume tha … [Read more...]

I’m at First Things today!

Remember the post last week on careers and hookup culture where I eschewed punny titles in favor of non-verbal rage?  Well, I've expanded on some of those ideas and picked up a few new digressions in an essay for First Things's On the Square feature.  My essay is titled "The Sad Secular Monks" and here's a teaser quote: After graduation from college, young adults lose their deadlines. We stop making transitions as a cohort, and are expected to figure out when new stages of life begin on our ow … [Read more...]

“Careful the wish you make, wishes come true. Not free”

Yesterday, in my review of inSignificant, I started teasing the next thread of the Sondheim Symposium. For Bobby to progress, he needs to make himself vulnerable and unsafe.  We think of him transitioning into the role of servant, as Christ does.  A future Bobby, we hope, won’t still be able to be described as “Exclusive you! Elusive you!  Will any person ever get the juice of you?” as he is in “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.”If Company ends with a choice to give oneself (albeit it to an as … [Read more...]

Weakness as Strength

   I received a free copy of inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World to review as part of the Patheos Book Club, but was not subject to any limitations on my post.I tend to read and review apologetic works (or totally off-topic ones) that may be of interest to anyone in my weird audience.  So, fair warning, inSignificant is written for Christians, and is probably not of interest to the non-Christian readers of the blog.  It's also much cheerier … [Read more...]

What do natural lawyers chase instead of ambulances?

Look what I found by googling "Newton vs Leibniz"! (totally becomes relevant farther down the post)

Buried in the (correct) thread for discussing meta-questions about that gargantuan thread on natural law, Joshua Zelinsky of Religion, Sets, and Politics raised a meta-question about whether he should find natural law plausible enough to raise to the level where he cares about investigating the hypothesis.  He wrote: The following is not a critique of natural law but rather a meta-level heuristic concern about it. It seems pretty clear that once one buys into a general Catholic (or a high … [Read more...]

Aaaahhh! Aaaaahhhhh! AAAAAaaaaahhhhhhHHHH!

That's my knee jerk reaction to Hanna Rosin's new piece for the Atlantic on whether women are well served by hookup culture. I'll get a little more cogent after the blockquote: But this analysis downplays the unbelievable gains women have lately made, and, more important, it forgets how much those gains depend on sexual liberation. Single young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s, the same age as the women at the business-­school party—are for the first time in history m … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (8/24/12)

--- 1 --- No theme this week, just a number of excellent links I've not gotten around to posting when I was striving for coherency.  If you've ever gotten lost in early Church history or if you just love awesome things, you should read this story from Swarthmore about students who invented a sect to trick their history professor (and then he turned the tables!).   Here's a teaser: Our plot thickened: We introduced a Sherkite scholar—E.R. Englehardt, actually a classmate’s uncle in California. W … [Read more...]


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