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Identity

The Outsider Gets Radical: Notes on Blaming the Victim and Loving the Alien

The Outsider Gets Radical: Notes on Blaming the Victim and Loving the Alien

Must have been almost fifteen years ago. I was sitting down with the chaplain of a prestigious New England prep school, and although he was being incredibly polite about it, he was sussing me out. You see, I was a stranger on campus, brought there on behalf of the para-church organization for which I worked, at the invitation of the school’s Christian fellowship group. He had every right to know where I was coming from before signing off on my presence/involvement, a responsibility to parents and administrators to ensure that students would be spared any high-pressure proselytizing while away from…

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So I Thought I Could Dance

So I Thought I Could Dance

I remember picking up the book I Don’t Know How She Does It a couple of months into my first pregnancy. The title sounded like a present-tense version of my desired epitaph, and the plot made it feel a timely read, featuring as it did a busy working mom struggling to be everything to everyone, often to “hilarious” consequence (witness Sarah Jessica Parker, in the film adaptation, endure lice in the conference room! HAHAHA!). I had set myself on the path to working motherhood over a decade before, when I chose in college to pursue a career that would combine prestige, profit,…

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Hockey Rocky: Imputation and All-Star John Scott

Hockey Rocky: Imputation and All-Star John Scott

A doozie of a story from the wild world of sports last Sunday as John Scott took the ice in NHL hockey’s 2016 All-Star game. To bring you up to speed, the trixy hobbits of the internet got involved with the sport’s All-Star voting this year, where top voted hockey players would be sent to the annual best-of-the-best event. Like the NFL’s pro-bowl, it’s more of an honor to be invited than to play, or more of a PR exhibition than a competition. Taking advantage of the online voting, a legion of hockey fans and internet trolls found the remarkably…

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I Love You, Child, As I Have Been Loved

I Love You, Child, As I Have Been Loved

Perusing some of the links in my favorite online parenting journal, I ran across an interesting little story of a mother and daughter, told from the daughter’s perspective primarily. (Full article here.) The background goes as follows: the mother is apparently in the hospital, hooked up to tubes and unresponsive. The daughter is at her mother’s bedside begging for her to respond. “Please? Mom? C’mon…you have to wake up. This whole thing is freaking me out! You’re just staring.” Throughout the story, the daughter repeats: “Mom, blink if you can hear me.”

But the daughter’s story is less about getting her mother to…

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The Gospel According to Hamilton

The Gospel According to Hamilton

This one comes to us from our new friend Cort Gatliff.

My life can be divided into two distinct eras: Before Hamilton and After Hamilton. On October 1, 2015, after months of following the online hysteria and critical acclaim, the former era came to an end when I finally set aside time to listen to the Broadway cast recording of composer Lin-Manuel Miranda’s latest, unconventional project: a hip hop musical about the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Moments after hitting play, this work of art captured my imagination in a way no other cultural phenomenon in recent memory has. So…

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Star Wars’ Finn Awakens: The Troopers, The Traitors, and Me

Star Wars’ Finn Awakens: The Troopers, The Traitors, and Me

 I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw Star Wars: A New Hope. The film came out the year I was born, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t catch it at the theater. All I remember is an image from my early childhood, a procession of characters down an aisle toward a princess on our TV screen. Even though they didn’t give Chewie a medal, and despite (or maybe because of–I’m still deciding) the existence of Ewoks, I was hooked on these stories populated by characters who were at once iconic and accessible: a peerless warrior packaged…

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From the Archives: The Modern State of The Charming Man

From the Archives: The Modern State of The Charming Man

This was written in light of news that Vince Vaughn was chosen to be the star in a film based on the 1970’s television show The Rockford Files, starring James Garner.

Grant had developed a new way to interact with a woman onscreen: he treated his leading lady as both a sexually attractive female and an idiosyncratic personality, an approach that often required little more than just listening to her—a tactic that had previously been as ignored in the pictures as it remains, among men, in real life. His knowing but inconspicuously generous style let the actress’s performance flourish, making…

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Chameleon Jesus

Chameleon Jesus

catholicgx.org

Throwing in some last minute thoughts about Christmas before tree burning commences. The incarnation is, in a way, God being made in the image of man, which is partly why the whole thing is so painful and embarrassing. It seems to me that in a weird way the cross begins at Christmas, when the second person of the Trinity is squeezed into skin. He is pushed out from between Mary’s unshaved legs, into a world of gravity and cold sores, and every passing day brings him closer to death. “If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying” (Dylan).

With this in mind, I’d…

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Mele no Duke Kahanamoku, or the Distance Between Who You Are and Who People Think You Are

Mele no Duke Kahanamoku, or the Distance Between Who You Are and Who People Think You Are

In 1962, a few years before Duke Kahanamoku’s death, the surprise-biography show This Is Your Life celebrated him by bringing onstage his family, friends, and colleagues. Ralph Edwards told the studio audience about Duke’s early life in Waikiki through his success in swimming—three Olympics, two gold medals for the 100 m freestyle, and three successive world records in the latter event—and politics—13 two-year terms as sheriff of Honolulu. The documentary also touched on his contributions to the popularization of surfing, which would later earn him the honorific “father of international surfing.” Through all of this adulation, Duke seems shocked, pleased,…

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Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

As we blanket our house with nic-nacs and expensive toys, it’s the perfect time to look back at the things that matter—or the things that mattered—or the things that at least we thought mattered at the time—to us this year. Here are Five Golden Themes for 2015—repeated stories and obsessions that didn’t just creep into the collective cultural psyche, but seemed to define it, for better or worse.

Performancism and Suicide. I had to check and make sure this hadn’t been on one of our previous year-end roundups. I thought surely, with all the times we’ve written about “the epidemic,” this…

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Home But Not Alone

Home But Not Alone

Every year I assign myself the arduous task of watching my favorite Christmas movies. No, really–it’s hard! ABC Family and AMC, between them, have helped simplify things with their impressive array of holiday fare: all that’s left for me is to check the listings and set the DVR. But watching has gotten more complicated as the years have gone by. While I was single, or first married, Love Actually radiated from the TV while I ate a quiet dinner; Elf flew by as we enjoyed a glass of wine. Since I’ve had kids, my chosen films have aired in half-hour…

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Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) On the heels of “identity” being Dictionary.com’s word of 2015, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill discusses a theme that we have spoken about quite a bit ourselves this year, namely, the increasingly fluid cultural understanding of identity politics. O’Neill takes on the phrase “I identify as…” as a telling move from what we used to say about ourselves: “I am…” And with this new movement of self-identification comes the emphasis on subjectivity, the need for one’s identity to be transient, temporal—rather than objective, fixed, given.

O’Neill describes that this rampant interest…

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