“Caretaking.” There are many gems in this conversation between Wendell Berry and Helena Norberg-Hodge in Orion Magazine. Here’s one from Berry:
My quarrel with “movements,” and the reason I use it in quotation marks, so to speak, is that they tend to be specialized. For example, there’s a movement now about climate change, and it has become extremely specialized, while the actual solution to a problem like that is to have an economy that takes care of everything—an inclusive economy, not just an economy of moneymaking. And so I’m always a little anxious about movements. They turn into fads, in a way, and then they peter out because they’re too specialized.
“Handcrafting Books: Labors of Love.” CBS produced a brief episode on handmade books featuring Gray Zeitz and his Larkspur Press. (Recommended by Alan Cornett.)
“A Deeper South.” Pete Candler gets lost in the South and finds out some painful histories that he wasn’t taught in school or by his family: “Only when each of us had left home and come back did we realize how strange it was that our elite education had made so little of the local culture of the city we had grown up in, so little of its most famous native son, so little of its own past.”
“Massive Scandal Alleged in College Admissions.” Scott Jaschik reports for Inside Higher Ed on parents who paid big bribes to get their children admitted to elite colleges.
“Andrew Jackson Unconquered.” Bill Kauffman reviews Brad Birzer’s new biography of Andrew Jackson. As you’d expect, the essay is a delight to read, and Jackson’s complex legacy is worth careful reflection.
“Liturgies Real and Imagined.” Trevor C. Merrill reviews two recent books by the German author Martin Mosebach. Regarding his most recent book, The 21: A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs, Merrill writes: “The more crucial question, Mosebach’s book suggests, is to determine where a group of poor, uneducated migrant workers acquired the strength to give up their young lives for the truth—a choice difficult to square with modern secular views.”
“Always On.” L. M. Sacasas draws on Walter Ong to argue that both writing and social media “heighten consciousness,” but they do so in different ways. In the context of social media, perpetual self-performance turns out to be particularly self-destructive.
“Giving the Boot.” Sohrab Ahmari isn’t impressed with Max Boot’s understanding of “conservative,” an understanding that is basically in agreement with the “secular-liberal-technocratic consensus [that] has come to dominate the West since World War II. … The consensus is characterized by a desire to maximize freedom and usher in a new global culture in which individuals are emancipated from tradition, culture, and community.”
“What Does Climate Change Mean for Having Children? Nothing.” Matthew Walther supports some fairly radical (and necessary!) anti-consumerist, de-growth policies, but he reminds us that dire predictions of the effects of climate change do not mean we shouldn’t have children.
“Decadent Societies.” Ross Douthat and Alan Jacobs talk about what a decadent society is and whether ours is.
“Listen to T.S. Eliot Reflect on Poetry.” Newly released audio from a 1950 poetry reading allows listeners to hear Eliot discuss what he thinks about poetry readings, his youthful poems, and more. (Recommended by Jeff Polet.)
“Rural Ain’t What It Used To Be: As Institutions Crumble, Predators Profit.” Travis Lowe draws on the Old Testament to speak on behalf of “widow places,” places where 4 out of 5 people have left as outside capital has moved on in search of new opportunities for exploitation.
“The Memory Keeper.” Brian Miller muses on the consequences of losing cultural memory keepers.