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    "I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

    "I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

    In recent years, nearly every personal newspaper, magazine, or internet piece has been written written by someone “who is working on a memoir,” “has just completed a memoir,” or “is thinking about writing a memoir.” While some of these pieces are very good, most are unmemorable, becoming indistinguishable from previous entries within moments after reading. Why so many memoirs?

    Neil Genzlinger’s recent NY Times Book Review The Problem with Memoirs laments the market saturation. While reviewing four memoirs (none of which I’ve read), he offers guidelines for deciding whether a memoir should be published:

    Sure, the resulting list [of tens of thousands…

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    David Foster Wallace on Fear, Love and American Males

    David Foster Wallace on Fear, Love and American Males

    From the short story “Good Old Neon” by David Foster Wallace, collected in Oblivion. Narrator posthumously (sadly, foretellingly) recounts his meetings with his psychotherapist:

    “For instance, it turned out that one of his basic operating premises was the claim that there were really only two basic, fundamental orientations a person could have toward the world, (1) love and (2) fear, and that they couldn’t coexist (or, in logical terms, that their domains were exhaustive and mutually exclusive, or that their two sets had no intersection but their union comprised all possible elements, or that

    (ψx)((Fx – ~(Lx)) & (Lx – ~ (Fx)))…

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    Don’t Throw Rhat . . .

    Don’t Throw Rhat . . .

    Romans 5:20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass . . . .
    Overheard last night during debate between ESPN college football analyst Mark May and former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz about South Carolina’s play call late in its game last Saturday versus Kentucky, which resulted in a game ending interception:

    May: I totally disagree. You’re Steve Spurrier, you’re on the road in a hostile environment. They called a timeout before the play. You tell your quarterback they’re two things you cannot do.

    Holtz: No! No!

    May: (1) fumble the ball, (2) throw an interception.

    Holtz: No! No!

    May: You have the field…

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    Objects in the Rear View Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

    Objects in the Rear View Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

    Autobiographies are often unreliable, as we have long suspected and as new research now confirms. According to a Monday NY Times article by Benedict Carey, entitled Why Indiscretions Appear Youthful, not surprisingly, most people actually see themselves as morally righteous, at least in the present. And, if we do perceive a time that our morality was lacking, it was always long ago. The article outlines recent research into recollections of good and bad behavior, concluding that people “date their memories of moral failings about 10 years earlier, on average, than their memories of good deeds.”

    In recent years psychologists have exposed…

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    Universality, Sympathy, and Synecdoche, New York

    Universality, Sympathy, and Synecdoche, New York

    This comes to us from Mockingbird contributor Ron Flowers:

    syn·ec·do·che: A figure of speech in which (among others) a part is used for the whole.

    Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Synecdoche, New York

    The film was Charlie Kaufmann’s (writer of Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind among others) answer to Sony’s request that he direct a horror film. I’m guessing that the result was not what Sony had in mind, but I think I get the point. SNY traces reality through the life of Caden…

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    It’s A Miserable Life? It’s Wonderful Life!

    It’s A Miserable Life? It’s Wonderful Life!

    An interesting article appeared last Christmas in the New York Times entitled, “It’s A Wonderful Life? It’s A Miserable Life!”. It nails certain aspects of that classic movie, but ignores (perhaps purposefully) some of the Gospel-related themes. Two particularly potent examples stuck out to me:

    (1) “Now as for that famous alternate-reality sequence: This is supposedly what the town would turn out to be if not for George. I interpret it instead as showing the true characters of these individuals, their venal internal selves stripped bare.” . . . Ernie the cabbie’s blank face speaks true misery as George enters his…

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