7 Konigsburg Takes (4/26/13)

mixed up files

--- 1 --- E.L. Konigsburg passed away this week, so this whole sequence of Takes is going to be an appreciation of her books, especially my four favorites: The View from Saturday, About the B'nai Bagels, Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.And here's how that last one opens: Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a … [Read more...]

The rule of my heart is mine! And no other’s!

steward of gondor

In the Patheos Hindu channel, Ambaa gives her perspective on Jedis and gnosticism, inspired by the same essay by Brother Humbert that prompted me to write "Emotional Weapons for a More Indifferent Age." Ambaa explains that there's a middle road between abandoning emotions and abandoning yourself to them. Quoth she: I don’t think Hinduism calls for anyone, even ascetics, to not have emotions. But a practiced monk can see the emotions playing out over his psyche and know that they are shifting a … [Read more...]

Pardon me, are you using that education?

rosie riveter baby

In The Guardian, Keli Goff has some harsh words for women in my demographic who become stay at home mothers. In "Female Ivy League graduates have a duty to stay in the workforce" she writes: But in the long run, degrees from competitive institutions should serve as more than modern day charm school or debutante diplomas. Sadly, it appears some women and men see them as such, simply a piece of paper to affirm that a woman is good spouse material for yet another man to use his Harvard Law degree … [Read more...]

The Sin of Inconvenience

From "Reasons My Son is Crying"

I'd like to highlight a couple comments from the quite long thread on Babies on a Plane! My original intent wasn't to shame people for being bothered by screaming babies. There are few people who enjoy the sound of a human in distress (of any age), and we would be a little concerned about someone who was unmoved or pleased to hear someone cry.  My objection wasn't to the NYT letter writer being uncomfortable, but the tone of entitlement in her note that suggested the presence of a baby was an … [Read more...]

“You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody”

RocknRoll3

In yesterday's post, I talked about the unenviable invulnerability of indifference, and, it so happened that the play I saw this weekend (Tom Stoppard's Rock and Roll at the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley) touched on similar themes.  The play is structured around (among other things) resistance to Soviet-dominated Communism in Czechoslovakia.  At one point in the play, Jan gets into an argument with his friend Ferdinand (recently released from prison) about who represents a larger threat to the go … [Read more...]

Emotional Weapons for a More Indifferent Age

obiwan_starwars

Over at the Dominicana blog, Br. Humbert pulls an interesting lesson out of a schoolboy's startled question to the Dominican friars, "Are you guys Jedis?" After running down a few of the more obvious distinctions (rosaries vs lightsabers), he gets to one of the starkest philosophical differences between the two orders: [T]here is another way in which both Stoics and Jedi find themselves at odds with Christianity—in their idea that bodily emotions, or passions, are disturbances of the soul, and t … [Read more...]

What Good is Sitting Alone at Your Desk?

grindstone-nose

In The Washington Post, Elsa Walsh takes issue with Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In.  Walsh thinks Sandburg's tactics are pretty good instrumentally, but she's a bit sickened by the kind of success Sandberg is using them for: I have to wonder if Sandberg does not realize that she is going to die someday. There is so little life and pleasure in her book outside of work. Even sex is framed as something that men will get more of if they pitch in and help their working wives.Success, particularly the … [Read more...]


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