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Another Week Ends: Smashed Pottery, Broken People, the Laws of Beauty, Celebrity Workaholics, Moral Licensing, and Watermelon Zombies

Another Week Ends: Smashed Pottery, Broken People, the Laws of Beauty, Celebrity Workaholics, Moral Licensing, and Watermelon Zombies

First, if you haven’t seen our latest newsletter, check it out here–some very exciting things in store for the year ahead! And a huge thank-you to everyone who came or helped with the “Mockingbird at the Movies” event in Stamford, CT this past week! More screenings to come: On July 27th, we’ll be showing The Pawnbroker (1964) and on August 24th, Stars in My Crown (1950). Same venue–details in the newsletter.

1. Let’s start off with this lovely piece from The Wall Street Journal:

There is a Japanese word, kintsukuroi, that means “golden repair.” It is the art of restoring broken pottery with gold so the fractures are literally illuminated—a kind…

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Finding Our Roots: The Miniseries and the Exodus

Finding Our Roots: The Miniseries and the Exodus

This one comes to us from Heather Strong Moore.

“You can’t buy a slave, you’ve got to make a slave.” So says Kunta Kinte’s slave overseer prior to a vicious whipping. This line summarizes much of the struggle depicted in Roots (based on the 1976 novel by Alex Haley and 1977 original miniseries), a new miniseries which follows the Kinte family from West Africa in the mid-1700s through the end of the Civil War in the United States. It follows their fight to remember where this family came from in the face of the horrors of slavery and this vile institution that desired to take…

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Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me Down

Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me, Don’t Let Me Down

Last weekend, I went on a mini-staycation with some of my dear girlfriends from young adulthood. Between the group of us, we’ve suffered (either directly or indirectly) illness, addiction, money issues, mental health woes, parenting struggles, job uncertainties, and marital difficulties – in a nutshell: life. We spent the day at the pool catching up, and then stayed up late into the night (okay, 9:30 or 10 tops) discussing politics and grooming habits and all manner of subject-matter generally considered taboo at the dinner table. We did what all women do when two or more are gathered and rosé is…

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The Culture of Narcissism, Pt 4: Good News for Narcissists

The Culture of Narcissism, Pt 4: Good News for Narcissists

Here is the conclusion to the series inspired by Christopher Lasch’s book, The Culture of Narcissism. Find the rest of the series here.

“Our society is narcissistic, then, in a double sense. People with narcissistic personalities…play a conspicuous part in contemporary life…these celebrities set the tone for public life and of private life as well…The beautiful people…live out the fantasy of narcissistic success….Modern capitalist society not only elevates narcissists to prominence, it elicits and reinforces narcissistic traits in everyone.”

So concluded historian and cultural analyst Christopher Lasch thirty-seven years ago in his influential book, The Culture of Narcissism. The intervening years have only more…

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The Future’s Past: Time Travel and Justification in Fiction, the Bible and You – Adam Morton

Another fantastic breakout from NYC, this time courtesy of The Rev. Adam Morton. We should’ve posted it when we first had the chance…

The Future's Past: Time Travel and Justification in Fiction, the Bible and You – Adam Morton from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Another Week Ends: Poolside ICUs, Distracted Reflections, Simulated Apocalypses, Helicopter Observers, Urban Sombreros & Mrs Christ

Another Week Ends: Poolside ICUs, Distracted Reflections, Simulated Apocalypses, Helicopter Observers, Urban Sombreros & Mrs Christ

Couple of quick announcements before we dive in: This coming Wednesday (6/22) in Stamford, CT, we’re kicking off our summer series of “Religious Hope from the Movies” screenings at the Avon Theater. Very excited about this! The first selection is Whit Stillman’s Barcelona, and my father and I’ll be tag-teaming a short intro before the curtain lifts at 7:30pm. The following day, I’ll be speaking at Christ Church Greenwich (7pm) about Mockingbird and A Mess of Help. Spread the word – would love to see you! Lastly, click here to listen this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an…

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Let Us Now Praise Fathers: On Taking the Patriarch for Granted

Let Us Now Praise Fathers: On Taking the Patriarch for Granted

A few weeks ago one of my girlfriends asked me to pray for her husband. They were getting back some major test results and she was worried he might be critically ill. He wasn’t. Thank God. But what she said on the phone about the possibility stayed with me. She said, “I feel bad for thinking this. But there’s just so many things he does. I don’t know what I would do without him.”

I knew immediately what she meant. I do not know what day the trash goes out. I hate driving anywhere I do not have to. And the…

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David Feherty: The Addict Who Is a “Plaid Jacket at a Funeral”

David Feherty: The Addict Who Is a “Plaid Jacket at a Funeral”

If you watch only “Major” golf on TV like I do, it means that you limit your golf viewing to the four Majors (Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, PGA). My favorite day among the majors is coming up Sunday. The final round of the US Open always falls on Father’s Day–the perfect license for a full throttle veg-out session on the sofa. I’m not a golfer, but I find the Majors compelling, mostly when I hear the affable Irish commentary of David Feherty. He doesn’t sound like the other (rightfully ridiculed) dime-a-dozen commentators who speak in hush tones lest they…

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Love Imputed: Grace in Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program

Love Imputed: Grace in Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program

This one comes to us from our friend Lindsey Hepler.

At a conference in Philadelphia two weeks ago, I heard Jane Golden, the Founder and Executive Director of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, speak about her work in the city for the past three decades. Established in 1984 as a city-funded anti-graffiti project under the leadership of Philadelphia’s first black mayor, the organization is now the largest public art program in the U.S, with a collection of over 4,000 murals. Their programs address many of the city’s “intractable problems” through civic engagement, art education, restorative justice, and mental health services….

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From Grace in Practice: “Grace in Everyday Life”

From Grace in Practice: “Grace in Everyday Life”

The following is an excerpt from pages 73-76 of Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life by Paul F. M. Zahl. Soak it up!

Grace has the power of the mallet. Every other prong and heavy-lifting device that seeks to change people is an expression of law and accomplishes the opposite of what it intends. People fear that grace will give permission to be bad. This is the classic fear: that grace will issue in a license–“007”–to do whatever you want, without consequences.

Yet that never happens! In fact, the opposite happens. When you treat people gracefully, they always end up…

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Shaped By What You Love: Scottish Horror Stories, Sexy Sailboats, Soulful Cycles & Lemonade Cleanses

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A hearty thank you to all who helped put on the event last weekend in Orange County, especially Nick Bogardus and the good people at Cross of Christ Church in Costa Mesa. What an amazing and hilarious time. The rundown of the evening was:

  • An Introduction from Nick Bogardus
  • Mike Cosper telling Stories of Scottish Corpses
  • Jeff Mallinson Surfing the Tao (on a Sexy Sailboat)
  • Yours truly on Foodie Cults and Fitness Fads

Here’s a taste, pun intended:

The audio files can be downloaded via the Recordings page and we’ll have the other videos for you on Friday.

The Love That Will Not Let Us Go

The Love That Will Not Let Us Go

A few weeks ago, there was a shooting in our quiet Houston neighborhood. It was random and terrible. I hurried our kids inside and made them sit in the room that seemed safest. I had to explain to the five-year-old what was happening because he was unwilling to come inside just because I had told him to. So I blurted out, “There is a man outside with a gun. And he is shooting people.”

Thus began several hours of questions about who and why the bad guys exist. Our son kept asking me, “Why is this happening? Why haven’t they caught…

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