Still tryna learn it by heart

Still tryna learn it by heart February 8, 2022

This is well stated and very hard to disagree with: “Google search is merely Google searching its advertisers pockets for some transaction money. Google Search used to convey an impression of limitless brainpower and now you can’t tap on it without being despatched to the mall. Worse yet, it’s not even a good mall.”

• Mark Evanier doesn’t usually write much about sports, but this is a terrific story: “The Man We Didn’t Believe.”

This post will, for some people, be full of immensely helpful and practical advice. If you’re not one of those particular people, then that post still stands as a reminder that, whatever your specific situation or experience, sharing your story with others may well be immensely helpful and practical for someone out there: “So here I am, somehow, me, little pure and naive Perfect Number, somehow I’m giving sex ed advice on the internet. But I have to. I have to say these things, because I needed to hear them back then, and there was no one to tell me.”

• I agree with both the title of this post and the tweet it quotes.

• Fred Bonine (1763-1941) was a capable eye doctor who ran track in college. There’s no urgent reason why you should know that, just as there was no urgent reason for Paul Campos to spend hours of his time writing and researching a 2,000-word deep dive confirming that this is all anyone really needs to know about Fred Bonine.

But I’m still glad he did that, and I’m glad I read it. (Is there a follow-up post? Of course there is.)

• “Will Minneapolis Pass a Law That Helps Renters Buy Their Homes?” We need a (better) progressive version of ALEC, so that instead of occasionally reading stories about positive efforts in one city we’re constantly reading stories about a series of positive efforts in dozens of cities and statehouses.

Some of those efforts might even gain bipartisan support.

• For now, the Old People who own more than $1 trillion in odious student debt are still alive and  still in charge, and still using every one of their remaining breaths to ensure that the Young People burdened by all of that debt will never, ever escape from it. But time is not on their side.

Eventually, those Old People will be dead and the Young People trapped in their beastly system will be able to demolish it, rewrite the rules to make them just or at least minimally decent, and all the living will celebrate a great Jubilee. That will happen. It would be nice if the Old People now in charge helped it to happen now instead of leaving millions of Young People waiting for — and thus wishing for — them to die.

• Is your refrigerator running? “Glenn Youngkin Set Up a Tip Line to Snitch on Teachers. It’s Only Gotten Weirder Since.” Glad to see this backfiring almost as much as it deserves.

• “Jason Wolter, is a thoughtful, broad-shouldered Lutheran pastor who reads widely and measures his words carefully.”

No, no he is not. The next sentence of this MPR/AP cletus safari reads: “He also suspects Democrats are using the coronavirus pandemic as a political tool, doubts President Joe Biden was legitimately elected and is certain that COVID-19 vaccines kill people.” And, we learn later in the piece, he gets all his news from Gab (“Widely described as a haven for extremists including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists, the alt-right, Donald Trump supporters, and QAnon conspiracy theorists”).

The Rev. Wolter is a barking mad white nationalist loon who appears to be measuring his words only because he’s working hard not to drop the N-bomb when speaking on the record with the big-city reporter. If he’s a Lutheran pastor, then I’d guess it’s more because of Von den Jüden und iren Lügen than despite it.

• “In August, after purchasing a 900-square-foot-Methodist church built in 1876, Lindsay and his business partner, Anna Cronin, opened Dirt Church Brewing Co. in East Haven, Vermont. It’s one of at least eight church breweries that have opened in the U.S. since 2020.”

That’s from Kathryn Post’s RNS report, “Suds in the sanctuary: Craft breweries populate vacant US churches.” One more for our growing file of stories about former church buildings. That file is likely to get pretty big in the years ahead. But, alas, not big enough, because …

• “Inside the fastest growing religious movement on earth.”

And also: Inside the fastest growing religious movement on earth.

But at least the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Benson, Minnesota, is still destined to be turned into a microbrewery in the next five-to-10 years.

• Jeffrey Salkin highlights a lovely Late Show moment between host Stephen Colbert and guest Dua Lipa. (Relevant magazine also flags that conversation. And here’s the video.)

This would have been a Huge Event for the white evangelical subculture even as recently as the W years. A certifiably famous pop star speaking fluent evangelicalese and earnestly discussing Christian faith on network television would’ve had us giddy with excitement, making Dua Lipa a subcultural cult hero hailed as the Second Coming of Tim Tebow.

But in the Trumpified and Fox-ified white evangelical culture of today, this will barely register at all because, after all, neither Lipa nor Colbert is Team MAGA. Those are the new rules.


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