“We are What we Eat.” Aruna Uprety describes the deleterious effects of advertising and packaged food on the health of children in rural Nepal: “The traditional practice of growing and consuming locally grown lentils, soybean, millet and buckwheat is being replaced even in the remotest parts of Nepal by junk food in throwaway plastic wrappings. Locals here have been misled by tv commercials that have glamourised noodles and biscuits.”
“The Kinks vs. the People in Grey.” Jesse Walker recalls an album released 50 years ago by the Kinks: “Muswell eschews grand visions: Its politics are rebellious, even revolutionary, but it doesn’t want a revolution that isn’t built on real families and neighborhoods, on actual individuals and their concrete freedoms and attachments.” (Recommended by Bill Kauffman.)
“Taking Care.” Gracy Olmstead’s November issue of her newsletter considers how we might value the work and subjects of care.
“Notes on Community.” Brian Miller reminds us that “the ability to collectively organize at the smallest levels of our society might be needed again in the future, as resources decline and the consequences of a couple of centuries of fouling our nest begin to pay back in increasing dividends.”
“How Should Catholics Think about Gentrification?” John W. Miller wrestles with the trade-offs that come with gentrification and urban development: “The fight in many American cities over gentrification, the development of once-poor neighborhoods into prosperous middle-class boroughs, illuminates how we settle questions of racial discrimination, affordable housing and equality of opportunity. Poor neighborhoods crave investment and development, but not at any cost.”
“An Indispensable Conversation .” Seth Wieck describes a series of childhood friendships and reflects on the meaning of these intertwining relationships.
“Becoming Literate in Suffering.” Leah Libresco Sargeant ponders the lessons in Ross Douthat’s new book: “The book is a warning—nowhere is safe from suffering, and American culture ill prepares us for this reality.”
“Reconnecting Knowledge and Virtue.” Jennifer Frey recaps a recent gathering organized by the Classical Learning Test: “The sad truth is that contemporary education has stopped carrying the fire. It has become technocratic and divorced from virtue. But it needn’t and shouldn’t remain this way.”
“The Cautionary Tale of Francis Collins.” Justin Lee sketches a tragic narrative in which the bureaucracy of the scientific establishment chugs along despite moral and ethical dangers.
“I Have Been Through This Before.” In this heart-wrenching essay, Ann Bauer compares the experience of walking her autistic son through a shifting array of treatments to the experience of living through a pandemic: “With every new order and unprecedented decree, I saw the shape of that army of autism experts. I questioned everything—school closures, lockdowns, masks—talking compulsively about the inevitable consequences, the ways we were breaking people. . . . Are today’s experts provably better than past experts? Why should that be? Perhaps I learned from experiences that other people were fortunate enough not to have—until now.”
“Up From Despair.” Joseph Keegin reports on the happenings at the National Conservatism Conference.
“Youngkin Makes the GOP the Parents’ Party.” Brad Wilcox and Max Eden write about the education battles that, in part, led Youngkin to victory in Virginia.
“Don’t Be Too Happy Glenn Youngkin Won.” And don’t miss Matthew Walther’s contribution to post-election punditry, a genre he refuses to take seriously: “On Tuesday evening, a man won an election in a place that does not exist. The man, who had previously been the CEO of a company that does nothing, was elected governor of Nowhere after promising to do something about issues he could neither define nor describe.”
“The Man behind The Message.” Jessica Hooten Wilson reviews Winn Collier’s new biography of Eugene Peterson: “When people would seek out Peterson’s church in Montana, they would look for him at the pulpit and miss that he was the usher holding the door. The humility that Peterson admired in Myshkin, he lived out himself.”
“The Wisdom Hypothesis.” Matthew Milliner considers nuclear waste and the wisdom needed to love the earth well. In so doing, he argues that Wisdom, embodied in the Virgin Mary, is a better guide than Gaia.
“Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Wall: Love and Citizenship.” Christian Schmidt ponders the life and love of a couple who live on Unalaska Island. What makes them such good neighbors? “Available, bold, compassionate. That’s how John found himself in a school bus on weekday mornings giving out free coffee and listening, listening, and listening. Trying his best to understand, learn, and love.”