1. The Tiger Beat goes on! David Brooks had some insightful things to say in The NY Times this week, calling Amy Chua a wimp:
Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls. Managing status rivalries, negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self and group – these and other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale.
As a counterpoint, there’s this post from Claire Potter which uses class/race language to articulate a lot of what we’ve been saying on here (and especially here) about the Law being the Law, regardless of its expression, i.e. whether it be actively or passively aggressive (ht CM). Another really interesting perspective comes from Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Atlantic. And that, as they say, is that – I declare a moratorium on Tiger Mother posts.
2. A couple of fun articles about obligation and our response to it. First, in The Onion, “Man Waiting Until His Parents Die To Do A Single Thing That Makes Him Happy.” And then, in The Wall Street Journal, a story about a couple of Giants players unwisely confessing their desire to play for the antinomian Rex Ryan, ht WDR:
“I would love to play for guy like Rex,” safety Kenny Phillips said. “He allows you to be you. He’s not asking you to hide. If you’re a guy that likes to talk, go out and talk as long as you back it up…these guys are playing for him. I’d love to be part of that.”
“I think [the Jets] chemistry might be better than ours,” said Mr. Phillips’ Giants teammate, Antrel Rolle. “At the end of the day, we’re professional athletes. We get paid a lot of money to do what we do, but we’re human. No one is a robot at this level. We do have feelings. We like to have fun.”
3. A laugh-out-loud report from the LA Times, “Menu Labeling Law Doesn’t Register a Blip at Taco Bell”.
4. An interesting column in The Washington Post examining the surprising failure of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (ht KW):
This visually rich narrative about a magical sea voyage to the ends of the Narnian earth was expected to succeed where “Caspian” had failed. That is, until several lead personalities connected to the film couldn’t stop apologizing at every turn for the overtly Christian nature of Lewis’ narratives. First, it was Liam Neeson, the voice of Aslan, who told the London Daily Mail that his character symbolizes Buddha, Mohammed and other spiritual leaders throughout the ages, as well as Christ.
5. A treasure trove of low anthropology gems in “5 Fascinating Experiments From the World of Psychology and Persuasion” over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Myth number 2 has to be the clear highpoint: “I’m in Control of my own Behavior.”
6. In TV, if you’re not watching the new Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey on PBS, written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), you are missing out. It is not only absolutely exquisite, production-wise, but chock full of insights about love and law, family and identity, men and women etc. The first two episodes are available for free streaming on PBS.org. Think Gosford Park without Altman’s cynicism.
7. Another reason to pre-register for our NYC Conference today: We are super excited to announce that Alex Mejias of High Street Hymns will be leading the music at our upcoming NYC Conference, as well as conducting a breakout session on Grace in Worship. High Street Hymns is doing the best work out there in terms of Gospel-centered hymns – their new High Street Hymnal is invaluable.
Preliminary conference schedule coming next week.
While you’re in the city for the event, don’t miss the new Take Me To The Water: Photographs of River Baptisms exhibit at the International Center for Photography: