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Don’t Look Now But Your Concept Is Creeping

Don’t Look Now But Your Concept Is Creeping

It’s a pretty common conversation among parents of young children. Clichéd even. Usually starts with a reminiscence about what things were like when we were kids:

“Can’t believe I was allowed to ride my bike to the library by myself when I was 7.”
“In summer I’d leave the house after breakfast and not come back home ’til it was dark”.
“A classmate of mine and I walked to school every day of first grade, no chaperone.”
“When I was a kid, parents weren’t allowed to stay to watch T-Ball practice–and they didn’t want to.”

The next part of the conversation involves indignation about how such actions would…

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Trump Semper Accusat

Trump Semper Accusat

Another from new contributor Eric Dorman:

Election season is always nasty, brutish and long. This cycle is no different, really, except that it’s worse. There are candidates running now who make some of the folks from the past few elections look like scholars and saints. Bread and circuses, indeed.

Of course, the chief offender is Donald Trump, and most of the culture hates him for it. Left, right, center, every major news outlet regularly publishes diatribes against him or exposés about him.

Some people have thought about Trump more creatively, though. For example, Paul Zahl used Trump as an instrument for identifying some of…

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“I Should Know Better By Now”: God as the Older Brother

“I Should Know Better By Now”: God as the Older Brother

This post comes to us from our friend Julian Brooks.

Most of us have heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son and found ourselves identifying with one of the two sons. In fact, if we’re honest, we have to admit we are certainly a mixture of both. Whether we are self-righteous, angry older brothers or unrighteous riffraff, we know the story illustrates the desperate need that we all have for the unconditional love of the Father.

But have you ever noticed what happens to our perception of God the Father when we undermine the radicalness of the Gospel of Grace? I’m amazed…

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An Email Blast, A Cancelled Rally, and Straight-Line Power

An Email Blast, A Cancelled Rally, and Straight-Line Power

Among the odder stories of the 2016 election cycle so far has been Louis CK’s recent email blast urging fans not to vote for Donald Trump.

Did you know Louis CK has a new show, by the way? He’s self released it–it’s called Horace and Pete, and you can only get it through his website. Someone around the Mbird blogger crew will get to it eventually, especially since our previous profiles of Louis CK’s material have been cautiously approving. And! he co-leads the show with Steve Buscemi, which sounds incredible.

So if you’re on Louis CK’s email list, you’d have received an update…

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Richard Gossage pitching in game as New York Yankee

Goose Gossage and the MLB “Old School, New School” Collision

The New York Yankees learned yesterday to maybe be careful about which hall-of-fame ex-player they invite to Spring Training to be a guest instructor. Hall-of-fame relief pitcher Rich (Goose) Gossage was grabbed on the field by an ESPN reporter this week and asked about the “state of the game”. Uh-oh.

Here are some excerpts and my responses as a lifelong old school baseball fan who thinks Gossage is a tad bitter, kind of like me.

Gossage on “nerds who never played” running the games these days:

I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played [fantasy] baseball at Harvard or wherever the [bleep]…

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Further Thoughts on The Donald

Further Thoughts on The Donald

A post-Super Tuesday reflection from Scott Larousse:

It’s likely that history will view Donald Trump in one of two ways: a flash in the pan, or the harbinger of a change in American politics and, to an extent, society. Many of us might hope it’s the former, in part because Trump as a President would lack the experience other candidates might have and would probably be more volatile – that is, there would be a wide range of outcomes if he were President, and many would agree that the odds of an extremely damaging action by him would be greater under…

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A Deathbed Summary of the Main Message (of Jesus)

A Deathbed Summary of the Main Message (of Jesus)

Last year, the story of Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi went viral–and for good reason. The 36 year old Dr. Kalanithi was dying of lung cancer and had written an article for Stanford Medicine, in which he addressed his infant daughter in such moving terms that it feels trite to try to describe them. It turns out that the essay was merely an excerpt of a book-length reflection, When Breath Becomes Air, which was published posthumously last month. Suffice to say, it will leave you in a puddle on the ground (his widow’s epilogue – Oh My Lord). Sarah commented powerfully…

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Even Though I Ought To…I Kant!

There was an interesting article in the Gray Matter column of this past Sunday’s Times. The article, written by philosophy student Paul Henne and social science researcher Vlad Chituc, take a look back at one of central ideas of Immanuel Kant, the 18th century German philosopher who is also considered to be the central figure of “modern philosophy.” He is known for his moral philosophy, and specifically his understanding of the “categorical imperative,” that moral laws–if they exist at all–must exist universally and necessarily. Kant also believed that a prescriptive law, by definition, implies that it can be followed/achieved.

In their article, “The Data…

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The Grammar Police Gives It a Rest

The Grammar Police Gives It a Rest

This one comes to us from a new writer and friend, Emily Sherrod.

Deep in the recesses of my pajama drawer, there’s a t-shirt featuring a cartoon policeman and the label “grammar police.” It’s a relic from my high school years—when I was a little too proud of my SAT writing scores and all too willing to share my grammar knowledge with anyone around me. It has since been demoted to my pile of never-wear-out-of-the-house clothes.

Since I’ve been working at the writing center at my university, I have had plenty of appointments with students who “just need a grammar check.” As all writing…

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Cam Newton: “Show Me a Good Loser and I’ll Show You a Loser” – An Ash Wednesday Reflection

Cam Newton: “Show Me a Good Loser and I’ll Show You a Loser” – An Ash Wednesday Reflection

He’s right! Those who accept losing often continue to lose. Raise your hand: Did you lose today? Yesterday? 5 minutes ago? All of us who have tried and failed to be good spouses, parents, employees, offspring, students, football players, etc. know full well. We lose. We do. We all have lost and will continue to lose somewhere. And our attitude about it doesn’t change the fact. Cam Newton couldn’t have said it better. People who become fully aware of their depravity and shortcomings and admit it out loud (and began to accept that they are broken people in a broken world)…

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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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How Do You Preach to the Donald? (Or, Thoughts on the Afflicted and the Comfortable)

How Do You Preach to the Donald? (Or, Thoughts on the Afflicted and the Comfortable)

Donald Trump went to church last Sunday. Lots of people did. My guess is he doesn’t do that on the regular. Nor do most people who at one time or another have been religiously observant but for some some reason have been on a kind of hiatus. But you run for president and go back to church and people take notice.

I suppose it’s the job of the press to take note of such things. I don’t begrudge them. There is a curious bi-product of this kind of reporting though. It poses a kind of religiously voyeuristic Twilight Zone question: what…

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