Posts tagged "Addiction"

Alone with Oprah: Lindsay Lohan and Public Recidivism

I can’t explain why I started watching Oprah Winfrey’s network documentary series about Lindsay Lohan, simply called “Lindsay.” We lived in Manhattan when her infamous Marilyn Monroe-esque photos were published by New York Magazine. There was something about Lindsay juxtaposing herself with such a tragic and talented figure that made her surprisingly interesting. But honestly, the subsequent jail time, trips to drug rehab, and tabloid partying lifestyle made me sort of numb to caring. And then Oprah decided to make her life a pet project. And I was compelled to tune in.

The series begins on a note of hopeful promise….

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Another Week Ends: Negatively Positive Thinking, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, Love and Friendship, Fun Families, Facebook Sociology and Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories

1. Think positive! The New Yorker this week pushes back against the “think I can” trend, famously espoused by Thomas the Train – and even in adult media, too. While it’s certain that confidence often sometimes helps (Seahawks defensiveback Richard Sherman self-imputed the title “best cornerback in the league” and subsequently grew into it), it tends to break down in the long run, ht TB:

According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images,…

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Another Week Ends: Reciprocal Favors, Atheism’s Biggest Challenge, The New Yorker Profiles Francis I, Declining WASPs, Social Media Christmas Cards, Ascendant Meritocracies, and Simon Pegg

1. New Year’s Resolutions: we’ve said about all we’re going to say concerning a yearly ritual of personal bootstrapping, but some great articles this year from Tullian Tchividjian (on the spiritual side of things), from Woody Guthrie’s Sermon-on-the-Mount-standard life guide (pictured below), and finally, a wonderful Quartz article about how to make resolutions you can keep. After long study, they basically reverse-engineered the historically Christian approach to behavior change, from one perspective:

Losing weight, drinking less alcohol, and spending more time with family tend to top New Year’s resolution lists—but they are also among the most commonly broken resolutions. Although about 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of us manage to achieve these goals…

I have…

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On TV: I Am Deacon Claybourne

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…

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If Someone Steps on Your Toe, Say, “Excuse Me”: Resentment and Everyday Life

Our weekly Breaking Bad post will be up tomorrow morning, but for now – addiction just can’t be put on hold. A story of resentments, forgiveness, meat-cleavers and self-reflection, from John Z.’s Grace in Addiction:

“Imagine a guy named Gary and another guy named Levar. Gary and Levar are not great friends, but they are – or rather used to be – acquaintances. Now they hate each other.

Here’s what happened. Both Gary and Levar are smokers. One day Gary found himself sitting next to Levar in the library at their college. Gary noticed that Levar had a fresh pack of cigarettes sticking…

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Another Week Ends: AKB48, More Super Bowl, Seeing Cézanne, Failed Rehab, Humanity According to 30 Rock, Presumption vs Grace, and Creepy Lance Armstrong

1. In the “mea culpa” world this past week, Minami Minegishi of the hit Japanese band AKB48 was publicly lambasted and forced to apologize on YouTube, where people have watched her tearful confession roughly 5 million times, for the crime of staying a night with her boyfriend. No one’s ever done a fantastic job with managing celebrity expectations, but this takes the cake, ht AOC:

“As a senior member of the group, it is my responsibility to be a role model for younger members,” she said, before ending the four-minute mea culpa with a deep, lingering bow.

The most striking thing about her apology,…

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Another Week Ends: Erratic Anxiety, Lucrative Law, Backwards Self-Help, More Grace in Addiction, State of Lin-dependence, and the Flight from Control

1. A brilliant article by Eve Tushnet at The American Conservative examines narratives of moral progress in American culture – “Hedonist, Disciple, or Bourgeois?” She critiques the dichotomy between hedonism/moral license, on the one hand, and discipleship/moral progress, on the other, claiming that it misses a crucial third option: the bourgeois ethos that permeates much of American culture. I’ll let it speak for itself, and it’s well worth a full read (it’s mercifully short):

…of course there’s a third option, the life of bourgeois stability. The life of building up a reasonable income, getting married to somebody your parents approve of, doing well and…

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Wrecking Ralph: Extinguishing the Quest for Glory

Score one for this year’s winter film season! With a half-dozen movies premiering on Mockingbird’s *must* see list (including The Hobbit, Les Mis, James Bond, Django Unchained…), Wreck-It-Ralph kicks off the winter with a pixelated parable of judgment, love, and identity so potent,  you half-expected to see Martin Luther listed as a guest-writer in the credits. Okay, so perhaps I’m a bit over-enthusiastic in my praise of Disney’s newest in-house release, but when movie critics call Wreck-It Ralph “pixar-esque,” well, we’ve kind of got to take notice.

Perhaps there’s no better world to play out the drama of law-trapped characters than the unforgiving…

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My Heart Would Poison You, But God Wants My Poison Heart

Yitzhak Zuckerman

I just came across this quote from Yitzhak Zuckerman, who was a Jewish resistance movement leader in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during World War II:

If you could lick my heart, it would poison you.

Wow! You see, although a hero of the resistance movement, plagued by survivor guilt, he became an uncontrollable alcoholic later in life. So despite rightly being celebrated for his wartime heroism, Zuckerman was in touch with the darkest parts of himself. (This quote, by the way, is originally from the French documentary Shoah, which—full disclosure—I have not seen.)

While allowing Zuckerman’s words to stew in my…

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