Ethan Richardson is a contributing staff member for Mockingbird. Born and raised in Lexington, KY, he graduated from the University of Virginia in 2009, majoring in Religious Studies and English. In June of 2011, he finished two years of teaching 5th grade in the inner city of New Orleans, and now lives in Charlottesville, VA and works for Mockingbird along with serving at Christ Episcopal Church.
Another Week Ends: Helicopter Parents, Love (Not Actually), Llewyn Davis, Joe Jonas, the Inner-Hamlet, and Why?
1) A week past Black Friday, we’re well into the holiday shopping and the family travel bargaining, and so it’s no surprise that this is also when we find a slew of family sociology on the internet. Exhibit A: Slate’s piece on the Millennial Anxiety and the Helicopter Parent. In it, therapist Brooke Donatone explains that soaring rates of college- and post-graduate-aged depression and suicide, as well as the more general epidemic of “adultescent” anxiety, has a lot to do with conflict-fear, and the 20-something’s unpreparedness for disappointment and failure. Over-parenting is the cause of these “crash landings” to the…
Okay, for the record, this is not a joke. You may have thought it was enough to have moments of existential terror while off your mobile devices. Say, standing before a mighty ocean or amid a fall landscape. It can even happen while sitting at a stop light or getting off the elliptical–you know, those “What’s the point?” moments, where you have an interrupting self-appraisal of the elemental stuff of life. “What am I doing all this for,” you ask yourself, “when someday I’m going to die?”
Well, now you don’t have to wait for these moments to assault your plans,…
What hard travail God does in death!
He strives in sleep, in our despair,
And all flesh shudders underneath
The nightmare of His sepulcher.
The earth shakes, grinding its deep stone;
All night the cold wind heaves and pries;
Creation strains sinew and bone
Against the dark door where He lies.
The stem bent, pent in seed, grow straight
And stands. Pain breaks in song. Surprising
The merely dead, graves fill with light
Like opened eyes. He rests in rising.
An amazing series from Andreas Englund, photorealistic paintings of an aging superhero.
Another Week Ends: Language Limits, Nadia’s House, The Impostor Effect, Theologies of Rock, Facebook Mobs and GYPSYs
1) An amazing interview with contemporary artist Chris Martin (not that one), that I wish I could reproduce here in full, over at the (ironically named) Believer. He talks about the art world and its tendency–in being seekers and conduits of “reality”–to talk about nothing that is real at all. He also talks very bluntly about the world-glossy term, “spiritual” and limits of language:
BLVR: Some people talk about how the art world is comparable to religion. It has a community, a shared language about something ineffable, a sort of icon worship.
CM: When people have a hard time with the word…
And of course many of us invest our egos in our vehicle–whether driving ovate maxivans, equine pickups, or phallic coupes. Whether cars can continue to do that cultural work–can continue to serve as the ultimate symbol of consumption and success–remains to be seen.
This comes from Daniel Albert’s “Finding the Robot Chauffeur,” a new post over at n+1 regarding the atmospheric change in the automotive industry, from brawn or beauty, to driver assistance and driver safety. In the short piece, Albert presages the new kingdom of the computerized car, and invites the shift, saying, “The robot cars are here. If only…
When asked to describe Christianity in ten words or less, Will Campbell is known to have said, “We’re all bastards, but God loves us anyway.” I haven’t read much of his odd variety of work, but I will now. After passing in the spring of this year, the most recent issue of the Oxford American ran a tribute to the man, who was a real-life whisky priest, and a civil rights activist, and a Southern Baptist, and a Tennessee farmer, and a guitar player. Here’s what Hal Crowther had to say about his low backwoods church:
Later I had the good…
It is venturing on understatement to say that those baseball gods of irony–just a week after touting the mostly error-free bliss of defensive baseball–have come to call through five games of World Series play. Game 1 made a fool of the St. Louis Cards, and in particular cruelty, of Pete Kozma, who dribbled out two errors of his own, one of which being a routine double play that would have closed what instead became an onslaught of runs. Then there was that Little Leaguer moment between pitcher and catcher as an infield fly fell right between them, Molina as dumbfounded…
In the suburb where I grew up, I can still picture the house of a younger friend in the cul-de-sac, the split-floor entry, the metal banisters, the dirty carpet. I even especially remember the parent’s bedroom, and the mirror on the door, and I remember it because this is where their kid and I would take turns saying cuss words. We’d stand in the empty house, fourth grade or so, and try out the ones we knew—which, to no surprise, was most of them—watching our faces in the mirror as we said them. It’s funny to think about that now,…
An interesting interview with the writer and director of the new, verbally-spare shipwreck film, All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford. Chandor, whose first film happened to be 2011′s Margin Call, that I now feel I need to see, talks about the Everyman who Redford portrays, a man thrown into an awareness of his own finitude before a squall. He talks about Job, and he talks about death. The entirety of the interview is worth reading, but here are a few highlights (ht SZ):
The Atlantic: In another interview, you mentioned that this movie is about you—that it’s about your feelings about…
It may be perceived that my sympathies, which lately seemed to lie so rightly on the side of the poor overmatched hitters, have unaccountably swung the other way. I admit this indefensible lapse simply because I find the spitter so enjoyable for its deviousness and skulking disrespect… Baseball is a hard, rules-dominated games, and it should have more room in it for a little cheerful cheating. –Roger Angell
Tonight begins the 109th recorded issue of America’s Fall Classic, showcasing the likely AL and NL pennant winners: the Red Sox and the Cardinals. They come to it by various rites–2012′s cellar-dwelling BoSox…
O Being both far distant and most near,
O Lover embracing all unlovable, O Tender
Tether binding us together, and binding, yea
and tenderly, Your Person to ourselves,
Being both beyond our ken, and kindred, One
whose dire energies invest such clay as ours
with patent animation, O Secret One secreting
life anew into our every tissue moribund,
afresh unto our stale and stalling craft,
grant in this obscurity a little light.
We’re just a week out from the American release of Francis Spufford’s Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense. If you haven’t had a chance to look at our other previews, take a gander. What you will find is an arresting re-appraisal of the tradition, heart, and central figure of the Christian framework–a framework that still puts faith where it’s put best, as it “lives in life.” That’s all fine and dandy. Many writers and thinkers sympathetic to the Christian faith have made claim on this, that theology ought to be “on the ground,” that scripture…