May 16, 2022

In the order in which I saw them. The Rider Named Death: 2004 tale of a group of revolutionaries in pre-1917 Russia. There are some cool loping camera shots through masquerade parties and the like, but my strongest aesthetic memories of this film, from director Karen Shakhnazarov, are the lush costumes and gorgeous, jewel-toned lighting. There’s a scene where a character looks out his hotel window which captures a certain lilac-colored nighttime that I’m not sure I’ve seen in a... Read more

March 12, 2022

for America: The new German historical drama “Great Freedom” opens with surveillance footage of a public toilet. The industrial shuddering of the film projector provides the only soundtrack as we—and someone else—watch men enter the toilets and find sexual partners. This scene sets up the movie’s plotline: Hans Hoffmann (Franz Rogowski) will return to prison after yet another violation of Paragraph 175, the law prohibiting sexual contact between men. But it also encapsulates the movie’s themes, and the artistic techniques... Read more

March 10, 2022

doin’ my thing: “God is love.” This is one of those things everybody’s heard. Sometimes you feel like it’s the most profound thing in the world; sometimes you feel like it’s a stale marshmallow, sweet at first but then dissolving on your tongue into bland nothingness. But as I’ve gotten to know LGBT people who were raised in Christian families, I’ve started to see how this incredibly common sentiment can damage people’s hearts and lives — because they were taught... Read more

March 5, 2022

Mostly horror. “The Tragedy of Macbeth”: Dang this was good. Expressionist, tilting the story far into genre horror (you’ll remember that the Coens made Barton Fink), weird and witchy and sad. The opening will remind you that Macbeth was out there killin’ folk well before anybody ever called him Thane of Cawdor. In fact, this version downplays Lady Macbeth’s role; this Macbeth seems a hop skip and a jump away from murder from very early on. Alex Hassell (Ross) and... Read more

March 2, 2022

for Fare Forward: …For Testori this sabbath conception is a microcosm of what all conceptions inherently are. Love, experiencing its self-emptying helplessness, welcomes a new and even more helpless creature. The core of this slender book is the idea that dependence and love are inextricably linked. We no longer know how to be “wanted,” Testori and his interlocutor Luigi Giussani argue, because we can’t accept our own dependence. Believing our lives must be earned, we have lost the trust in... Read more

February 28, 2022

I read Glenn Arbery’s The Boundaries of Eden: There’s a kind of American story in which innocence is not lost but sought, where innocence lies in the future and not the past. Our bankruptcy law has long been debtor-friendly compared to Europe; our storytelling, from The Great Gatsby to Meet John Doe, explores both the allure and the impossibility of a clean slate and a new name. A new life is out there in “the territory.” We long to doff the... Read more

February 21, 2022

with a sort of overstuffed article that I do think contains some good & interesting quotes, possibilities, and framing: …People live in cities for the opportunity to have connections like these. They should be the easiest places to make friends. Unlike the suburbs, which were explicitly designed around the car, the city offers the three conditions that foster friendship, as the sociologist Rebecca G. Adams told The New York Times in 2012: “proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that... Read more

February 5, 2022

Inspired by a twitter thread. My thoughts on “mixed-orientation marriages” and “romantic celibate partnerships”… let me show you them. Will I regret this? Almost certainly! MOMs first. These are marriages in which one or both spouses ID as something other than straight, usually gay but also sometimes bi or queer or whatnot. The term is generally distinguished from like ex-gay marriage stuff because the not-straight spouse is upfront about their orientation, usually was upfront about it before the wedding, and... Read more

January 28, 2022

The other day the subject of conversion therapy (therapy intended or expected to change the patient’s sexual orientation from gay to straight) reared its head once more. I know so many people who have been deeply harmed by this kind of therapy; it damaged their trust in God, it distorted their relationship with their family, it left wounds they are still living with. It brought some of them to the brink of suicide. If that’s not your story, if it... Read more

January 20, 2022

plus a brief interview: I am a recovering alcoholic; by God’s unexpected mercy I’ve been freed from the destructive habits that go along with alcoholism. But I have not been freed from the fun habits—like thinking of everything in terms of a drinking game. The following game is composed entirely of true stories: things that really happened to gay Christians I know, people who accepted their church’s sexual ethic and sought to be obedient to it. Almost all of them... Read more

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