The Barbershop

The Life of Tiger: A Midwesterner’s View

Woods may be Californian by birth, and a Floridian by residence, but I believe there’s something in his latest comeback capable of stirring the soul of even the most reticent, celebrity-wary Middle American.

Redeeming the Polis in Matt Reeves’ The Batman

The majority of Americans want peace and prosperity and cooperation. The biggest question is—and this is a question that The Batman does not answer, except by implication—where are the heroes willing to build this honest, just, and prosperous society?

Actions Speak Louder than Words, or a Midwestern Accent

On return trips to Illinois, or when talking to relatives on the phone, I can tell the difference. Life is a little slower where I grew up, and the people are often more polite and considerate of others. I know from experience how considerate they can be.

Forest Rebel Cinema

With this love and materiality, these two films express the pure reality to which their protagonists are so devoted. In a world of frictionless unreality, endless abstractions, and tepid and timid loves, these films impress upon us resistance, difficulty, attachment, and the dire risk that attachment brings

Livin’ la Vida Litúrgica

A final benefit of the liturgical lifestyle is its uniting force. Liturgical and sanctoral calendars vary among Christian confessions, echoing more divisive pieties and doctrines. But when the things Christians have in common include commoner things—walks and bonfires, buns and roses—we have one more point of connection.

Buddy from Belfast: Pondering How to Belong

Belfast is a lovely movie for remembering the power that places have in defining who we are and the beauty of belonging well, even to a broken place.

The Lessor of Two Evils: How Fracking Damaged the Landscape and...

There aren’t easy answers to the problems fracking creates, and, like many industries, fracking generates losers and winners. But by spending time up close with the issues, Jerolmack models a good approach to complex problems.

“Oh, Wow.” A Benediction for Ed McClanahan

Immortality might not last forever. But I contend that Ed will—through his words and through the lives of those he touched with his generosity and his grace. All of which leads, to a simple blessing, a benediction. “Oh, wow.”

Columbiana: In Want of Cram

Neither Columbiana nor Sewickley perfectly realize the role of Cram’s ideal walled town, but Sewickley comes much closer. While not perfect, it offers a real-world example of an economically vibrant, urban community.

A Case for the Prairie: Taliesin & the Jerusalem of Weird

I had seen the worst of America: the brittle surface of “good design” shattered by rage, and the reverse snobbery of the rest of America. Still, I wasn’t about to permit myself a trip like this, with such visual and emotional assault, without some kind of further insurance.