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…
Another Week Ends: Helicopter Parents, Love (Not Actually), Llewyn Davis, Joe Jonas, the Inner-Hamlet, and Why?
Alright, kemosabes, we decided to put together a gift guide this year. Apologies in advance for not straying terribly far from our books/movies/music wheelhouse:
For the cousin who’s been asking you where to start with all this grace stuff: One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian
For the un-/underemployed recent college graduate or Teach For America burnout: Breaking Bad: The Complete Series
For the millennial son/daughter with a good sense of humor who keeps trying to shock you with his/her cynicism (but deep down just wants some love): We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider or Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
For the Star…
What do you get when you throw Owen Wilson, Harry Dean Stanton, Dawes, and The Killers into an animated Warren Zevon-shaped (eggnog) blender? You get “Christmas in LA”, this year’s Christmas single from The Killers, and another entry in their immaculate seasonal catalog. As great as the song is–the perfect mix of the Vegas band’s wonderfully overblown Pet Shop Boys-meets-Springsteen sugar rush and Dawes’ Asylum Records-meets-Big Pink-isms–the video makes it even better, especially Harry Dean Stanton’s opening salvo. “Kind of takes the pressure off,” indeed:
P.S. Mbird is in the midst of sending out our year-end newsletter/appeal. If you’d like to receive one, be sure to sign up for our mailing list! Bill Watterson’s beloved creations may or may not make an appearance.
This reflection on redemption ‘in practice’ in Disney’s movie Frozen comes from our friend Michael Belote, first posted on his blog Reboot Christianity. (And while we’re on the subject of illustrations/examples for Christianity, we couldn’t recommend more highly his Geek’s Guide to Christianity.)
Every year on Black Friday, my wife goes shopping and the boys and I go to my parents’ house. We watch some football, eat some leftovers, play some video games, and (usually) go to a movie. This year we went and saw the best theology-rich movie in years.
Seriously, this movie was amazing. It was poignant, subtle, brilliantly directed…
When the Apostle Paul defended his teachings of the gospel, there were occasions where he needed to flaunt a little bit of street cred- “A Hebrew of Hebrews” he called himself, while toting his education and family heritage. So before I begin writing about Star Wars, allow me to follow the Apostle Paul’s example.
Do you love Star Wars? Yes. It was my idol and religion before becoming a Christian.
How much do you love Star Wars? When the movie prequels came out, I made my own Jedi costume and wore it to theaters. I wasn’t yet alive when the originals came…
This one comes to us from local mod Lex Booth:
Last fall, my older brother (25) kept bugging me to listen to The Who’s 1973 ‘rock opera’ Quadrophenia, a concept album which tells a story about a kid named Jimmy who took amphetamines and rode a Vespa in 1960’s Britain… What are you trying to say, bro? Although I have no special love for classic rock, I must admit that ‘I liked it’ even after a single listen and have revisited the album many times since. When the AV Club recently made the bold claim that Quadrophenia is “cohesive and…
Mockingbird is graciously hosting my Christmas mix again this year. 2013 reveals sort of a punker/”classic” indie lean, with plenty of originals alongside chestnuts roasted with new recipes. Other genre excursions too, natch. Hope you find some new favorites to brighten your Advent and Christmas seasons. Love to hear what you’re diggin on.
Tragically, one of the most underappreciated shows on television, Estevão Ciavatta’s magnificent PREAMAR, has been discontinued by HBO as a result of their contentiousness over production rights. While we sincerely hope that HBO will change its mind or that someone else will pick up this masterpiece of Ipanema, for the time being our friend Fernanda Rodriguez has graciously compiled a very thorough and interesting interview with three of the show’s most compelling characters, Paula (Karen Junqueira), Maria Isabel (Paloma Riani), and Pepete (Thiago Amaral) . The interview transcript follows:
Karen Junqueira (Paula)
What took you to acting?
Ever since I was little I…
This fantastic reflection on Nashville comes from our friend Stephanie Phillips:
I have a confession to make: I still watch Nashville.
I realize this hardly makes me a singular phenomenon; last week’s ratings indicate I was joined by five and a half million. The reluctance of my admission finds its basis in the direction the show has taken since around the second half of the first season, when the narrative’s musical focus was usurped by suds: Rayna’s failed marriage (that was quick!); Teddy’s transgressions turning from financial to sexual; Juliette taking showers with a dude named Dante, for Music City’s sake. I considered…
It’s been a while since we’ve caught up with late night talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien. Many will remember the drama surrounding his 2010 departure from his dream job: The Tonight Show on NBC. The event prompted some serious reflection and wisdom from Conan about hardship and life– wisdom worth remembering for anyone with upward aspirations.
Since then, Coco’s been having a blast on cable TV, and he’ll be hosting his current show Conan on TBS till at least 2015, and one of his recent sketches had me laughing out loud in the office while my heart was strangely…
One of our favorite quotes comes from Thornton Wilder, the great novelist and playwright, who voiced a vision for the rehabilitation of Christianity in the midst of the Great Depression:
The revival in religion will be a rhetorical problem — new persuasive words for defaced or degraded ones.
This principle, in my view, still holds true, and it’s motivated a good deal of what we try to do at Mockingbird. Recently, Francis Spufford and Christian Wiman have been heroes in revivifying the language of faith, in respective terms of emotional intelligibility and a “new poetics of faith.” To those authors we could add…
What a gift! Prada, of all places, released a beautiful (and gently cruciform) new short film from Wes Anderson a few days ago, ht RW:
Can’t resist making three quick observations: 1. Notice who/what Schwartzman crashes into (and the posture of said person/object). 2. As we never tire of saying in reference to this, what looks like a disaster here turns out to be something else. Control lost–literally–serves as prelude to receiving. Along those lines, 3. The moment Schwartzman’s drink gets comped, aka the moment he’s shown a little kindness/grace by the people whose public square he’s just ruined, he decides to stick around. Of course, Wes seems characteristically more interested in the (amazing) scenery than the narrative, but even if these elements are purely, er, accidental, that just makes them all the more meta. Ciao!
“Seems to me your conscience has killed more people than I have.”– Alice Morgan
DSU Schenk: “Miss Morgan, I must remind you that I am a police officer and you are a fugitive of justice and, just by walking in here, you have by default surrendered.”
Alice: “You are entitled to send me back. I wouldn’t take it personally, besides, I’d only escape.”
DSU Schenk: “I have no doubt.”
Alice: “Meanwhile, John will be in prison…or dead at the hands of Tom Marwood. Now, me, I’m as guilty as sin. Name it, I’ve done it, but John’s as innocent as I am culpable. So,…
Normally we prefer to stick to the convention of not talking Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but Nick Lowe has made it way too tempting this year. His Quality Street record arrived last week and it’s brilliant! Definitely the Mbird pick for this holiday season. To wit:
P.S. In the great-job-internet department, it doesn’t get much better than this.