Culture, High & Low

Game’s On!

ncaa-basketball-floor March 18, 2015
Rock Island, IL John Oliver has a take-down of NCAA Division 1 basketball that is funny in its way and probably more right than wrong. I’m not one to suppose that if you’re winning you’re cheating (unless you’re playing my…
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Poetry as Poison

feather March 11, 2015
Ingham County, MI Take the time to reread A.E. Housman’s “Terrence, This is Stupid Stuff,” a poem that pits beer against poetry, partying against self-inflicted suffering. That’s not quite right. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the poem…
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Saving Church for Adults

Church service March 10, 2015
Grand Rapids, MI Recently, in a posting entitled “A Culture of Millstones,” Katharine Dalton has lamented the too-colorful language her children are exposed to in church – words like whore, prostitute, pole-dance, and sleeping around.  Apparently some pastors, four in…
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The Church Localversal Part 4: Oz

WizardofOz March 3, 2015
The water doesn't give a damn what you think.
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The Academy Awards as a Religious Experience

16566368942_49ae1463c9_k February 26, 2015
The stylish crowd that walked the red carpet to the Oscars likely had not donned their Sunday best earlier in the day for a trip to church. Even so, the show still offered a look at religion as Hollywood sees…
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On Dying Where You’re Planted: The Rooted Pastor

February 20, 2015
Manchester, CT I am grudgingly accepting that you don’t choose the place; the place chooses you. I’ve moved around a lot during my time on the planet, first as luggage, then as the guy with the luggage. But I’ve been sitting…
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The Family Tree, Stripped

5400617543_8455f2cc74_b February 3, 2015
A mainland Chinese student visited my office last week, asking for a letter of recommendation for his transfer to another university. It is hard to lose a student like this—enthusiastic and bright, the sort who sits on the front row…
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Prostitute@hire_ed.edu

billboard January 28, 2015
She lost it to a goat-like man.
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Orwell and Huxley, Together Again: ‘The Interview’ and our Culture of Distraction

635532898706495971-The-INterview-poster January 23, 2015
By now you’ve already forgotten last month’s most important celebrity cause, namely the embodiment of freedom of expression known as The Interview. Hollywood has too, of course. It’s so 2014. Even George Clooney, who briefly tried to rally the…
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A Culture of Millstones

159308752_a4e58a5e57_z January 22, 2015
A plea for pastors to remember their audience.
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Christmas Comes But Once a Year; Or, Books to Buy Next Christmas

January 22, 2015
Philadelphia, PA R. J. Snell A slow thinker and slower writer—some might say the reverse—I’ve been chewing over the Christmas season for the past few days, a remembrance of things past. The issue: what, if anything, of worth does our…
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Bar Jester’s Writing Seminar II; or, How to Write Like a Philosopher

philosophers-simpsons1 January 21, 2015
If you want to write worse than the average undergraduate male, consider philosophy.
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Local Wonderings in Wichita

January 20, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] Wichita, KS, is the home to a wonderful bookstore, Eighth Day Books. (Which isn’t my favorite bookstore in Wichita, but that’s partly because my wife works at its primary rival.) One of the main reasons…
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Beyond Josh Lyman Politics: How the West Wing Miseducated My Political Generation

JoshLyman January 15, 2015
A few years ago, Josh Lyman spoke at Harvard to a packed room of starstruck student politicos. It wasn’t the real Josh Lyman, of course, because he isn’t real: he was the fictional Deputy Chief of Staff played by Bradley…
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