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Humor


Did It Have to Be Jesus? ~ Nicole Cliffe

One of the more vitalizing talks from our conference in NYC came from Nicole Cliffe, who co-founded of one our favorite humor sites, The Toast (may it now rest in peace). Be ready to laugh and cry as you hear this story of how a sarcastic Harvard grad found God.

Did It Have to Be Jesus? ~ Nicole Cliffe from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Old Ways and New Ways in Master of None Season 2

Old Ways and New Ways in Master of None Season 2

Bust out the Italo and pull out your pasta makers! Aziz Ansari’s Netflix project Master of None is back for season two, exploring the difficulties of love and relationships in 2017. The show continues with storytelling inspired by Aziz’s Modern Romance research project, a book we loved so much that we invited co-author Eric Klinenberg to #MbirdNYC16. Sadly, book deals prevented us from sharing the recording, so just trust me when I report that it was one of the best (funniest? most poignant?) talks at an Mbird gathering from someone “outside” the fold.

Season one, united by the theme of “fear…

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Defeat Even in Victory: Wonder Woman, Critical Response, and Modes of Low Anthropology

Defeat Even in Victory: Wonder Woman, Critical Response, and Modes of Low Anthropology

When it comes to writing about DC Comics’ theological inclinations, there’s no one better for the job than Jeremiah Lawson, aka Wenatchee the Hatchet. Very grateful for his take on the new Wonder Woman:

The new Wonder Woman movie is upon us, and the overall reception has been very positive. This is not just because, compared to Man of Steel or Batman vs Superman (let alone Suicide Squad), Patty Jenkins and company have given us a straightforward, charming superhero story where our heroine gets to be heroic; it’s also because you can go watch this Wonder Woman movie and never have to waste any…

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Pizza for Five Thousand

Pizza for Five Thousand

The following excerpt comes from our latest publication, The Man Who Met God in a Bar: The Gospel According to Marvin, by Robert Farrar Capon. As you’ll see, Father Capon has a knack for stirring up fresh ways to think about old, familiar stories.

Below, our narrator Marvin chronicles the spiritual revival led by Jerry, a short-order cook in 1990s Cleveland…who also claims to be God. This scene takes place in Chapter Eight, after Jerry has preached all day from a park bench.

By 3:30, when Jerry’s voice finally gave out, there had to be about five thousand people in the park. And since after that he just started talking to individuals…

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Cringe-Watching Catastrophe

Cringe-Watching Catastrophe

For the last few weeks at bedtime, my youngest son has requested that I read him a story out of a book called “Farmyard Tales.” These are innocuous little stories of Apple Tree Farm, and the family who lives there. They are sweet and lovely, and also criminally boring. They are perfect bedtime stories for a tired little kid, though, and I send him off to dreamland with pleasant little stories about goats and pigs and their little farmyard antics galloping through his head.

By contrast, my husband and I then go downstairs to our living room to fold piles of…

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"Ken M" and the Wisdom of Trolls

“Ken M” and the Wisdom of Trolls

It must have been Mockingbird that first introduced me to the “genius of Ken M.” Since then I’ve grown addicted to his commentary. Ken M (aka Kenneth McCarthy) is a 30something comedy writer masquerading as an opinionated 70something, dropping random comments on the internet. Flood Magazine called him “the world’s preeminent Internet troll,” only Ken M manages to use his superpowers for good. His comments, at times haughty-conservative, or faux-intellectual, or grumpy-everyman (but always ridiculous), are designed to draw the ire of fellow commenters.

When, for example, the Associated Press produces an article about “space junk” littering the orbit, Ken M responds:…

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A Quick Calvin and Hobbes

Church Hunters, Pt 1

This gem popped up on social media yesterday:

Robert F. Capon in the Year 3000

Robert F. Capon in the Year 3000

This comes from our friend Michael Morgan. 

Sometimes, the best stuff flies under the radar. C.f. Futurama. It may be a hard sell to call anything produced by Matt Groening “under the radar,” but it’s certainly living in the even-yet-lengthening shadow of The Simpsons. Suffice it to say that the show has aired four series finales and you’ll understand its small share of the limelight. But, unlike Sit Down, Shut up, Golan the Insatiable, and Axe Cop—other feckless Fox animations—Futurama wouldn’t die, which is a testament to its excellence.

For the uninitiated, Futurama happens in the year 3000 and centers on Fry, a 20th-century…

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The Magic in Magical Thinking

The Magic in Magical Thinking

“…conscious uncoupling…”

“…and Mexico will pay for it!”

“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

We cannot help it. Humans desperately need to square the circle. I want to find a cosmic thread or Special Sauce that allows the New York Football Giants to somehow, over about 6 coaching changes and zillions of players post-LT/Simms, to somehow get to the Super Bowl every year.

That is Magical Thinking.

But not every illogical extrapolation is as delusional as the Giants making the Super Bowl in the next few years. Not all desire-driven reality-bnding is magical. Heroin, smoking, and bacon have no objective merit: to…

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From The Onion: Alcoholic’s Plan For Turning Life Around Doesn’t Involve Getting Sober

America’s favorite news source, on point yet again. Mercy mercy me:

SAVANNAH, GA—Realizing something needed to change before it was too late, local alcoholic Darren Weller laid out a plan for turning his life around Monday that had absolutely nothing to do with getting sober. “Today’s the day that I finally clean up my act and start taking the steps I need to better myself,” said the visibly intoxicated Weller to his fellow bar patrons, outlining a series of dramatic steps aimed at improving his physical and mental health that will in no way interfere with his crippling addiction to alcohol. “No more excuses. It’s time I went back to school and finished my degree. No more pizza and beer every night. I’ll probably live five more years just by having salad and beer. Who knows, I might even start getting a run in every night before I hit the bars. Yeah, I really feel like this is a new beginning.” At press time, Weller had passed out on his bar stool, already making good on his plan to get to sleep at a more reasonable hour.

From The Onion: Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was

A day late but nonetheless a classic:

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA—According to sources, clinically depressed groundhog and weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil awoke from his slumber this early morning, peered directly into his soul, and saw but a mere pathetic shadow of the rodent he once was. “My God, is this who I am now? Is this what I’ve become?” the melancholy animal told reporters, staring hopelessly out onto the pale morning light outside his pen. “There was a time when my world was spring eternal, bright and without gloom. But that was a lifetime ago, I’m afraid.” The downcast rodent then sighed, lifted himself from his urine-soaked confines, and mustered the strength to perform his “little song and dance” for excited locals.