Posts tagged "Atlantic"

The “Me” Gospel: Killers and Chillers in the Workplace

The “Me” Gospel: Killers and Chillers in the Workplace

The internet is still brimming with commentary on what “the good life” really means, a question which, in itself, may prove the point of The NY Times‘ recent must-read op-ed, “The Gospel According to ‘Me’”. In it Jamieson Webster and Simon Critchley, a psychoanalyst and a philosophy professor talk shop about today’s “church of self,” how the emptying pews of churches and synagogues isn’t representative of popular religiosity. Quite the opposite in fact–the religious faculties of the human race are doing just fine, thank you very much; it’s simply that their object has shifted. So where is our focus these…

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Ambition’s Invisible Walls and the “Good Life” Ruthie Lived

Ambition’s Invisible Walls and the “Good Life” Ruthie Lived

Over at the The Atlantic, Emily Esfahani Smith released a book review-slash-sociological study last week on the relationship between ambition and community. She sets up her article on the recently released memoir of Rod Dreher, whom we’ve mentioned on here before, entitled The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, A Small Town, and the Secret of the Good Life. Ruthie Leming is Rod’s sister, the sister who stayed home in small-town Louisiana, who embedded herself in her childhood community, who embraced the ordinariness of her present and who, in her time of great and unexpected weakness (cancer), found…

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Five Golden…Themes! What We Just Couldn’t Get Enough of in 2012

Five Golden…Themes! What We Just Couldn’t Get Enough of in 2012

One of Mockingbird’s most distinctive features is the repetition. Like Christmas itself, we’re trying to point that one “old, old story,” that ancient theme, as we see it dug up time and again. It’s dug up in all sorts of places, of course, from 18th century poetry archives to slasher films, from church basements to top-tier corporate office towers. But it’s still resonating a singular focus–the Gospel–from these unforeseen, albeit obscure, sources.

Despite the wide-spanning scopes and intentions of some of our favorite “news” sources, the same thing unwittingly tends to happen. After all, reporting the news means telling and retelling…

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Infuriating Altruism and the Evolution of a Good Samaritan: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything

Infuriating Altruism and the Evolution of a Good Samaritan: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything

A few months ago, The Atlantic published a piece called “E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Everything”. The title caught my eye, but I’ll just come right out and say it: the piece was dense and confusing – or maybe it was the theory itself, I’m not sure. You could tell there was something significant being said, but what exactly required more brainpower than us non-evolutionary biologists usually care to casually expend on a pop-science article. Enter Jonah Lehrer, who profiled Wilson (and the waves he’s currently making) for The New Yorker this past week. The issue at hand is altruism, which…

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Choking the Chicken: A Locavore’s Lament

Choking the Chicken: A Locavore’s Lament

It’s undeniable that the Locavore Movement has been gaining momentum for years now, and that having a small backyard vegetable garden is no longer a reliable counterculture identifier.  (You only grew kale from seed?) The phenomenon of buying local, eating local has settled in stride with the contemporary (and arguably ancient biblical) values for the neighbor, the gift of good land; the public awareness of a dissipating ozone layer, the (apparent) dissatisfaction with gargantuan supercenters and megaplexes; and so its arrival spawned a fecund harvest of lo-fi documentaries and hipster publications–until it became the thing, rather than a thing. It’s…

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4G, Make Me New! Planned Obsolescence and “Newness” of Life

4G, Make Me New! Planned Obsolescence and “Newness” of Life

You’ve seen the Best Buy “Buy Back” commercials, the unveiling of the newest editions of things consumers don’t have–and the stinging agony that accompanies being left behind, duped into buying into that which was built to die. It’s a clever marketing strategy, funny because it’s gesturing the truth of consumerism: both commenting on the psycho-social constraints of the consumer (no one’s denying the fact that we all want what’s newest, fastest, sleekest), while at the same time honestly naming that this exploitation of the consumer isn’t going to change. That products are going to be built to die seems to…

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The Subjective Power of an Objective Gospel

The Subjective Power of an Objective Gospel

This little reflection by Mbird’s Jacob Smith and David Zahl has made the rounds recently, first in Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology and second on The Gospel Coalition (where it generated quite the conversation!). We thought we’d repost it here for, you know, posterity:

The great Southern novelist Walker Percy once asked in his essay “The Delta Factor,” “Why does man feel so sad in the twentieth century? Why does man feel so bad in the very age when, more than in any other age, he has succeeded in satisfying his needs and making the world over for his own…

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Baby You’re A Rich Man (Blues)

Baby You’re A Rich Man (Blues)

Another gem of an article in this past month’s Atlantic, “The Secret Fears of the Super Rich” by Graeme Wood, which delves into the results of remarkable, soon-to-be published survey of the very rich (aka, folks with a net worth of more than $25 million) from Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Needless to say, it contains a veritable treasure trove of sermon fodder, including a wealth of insights about the human condition. The whole thing is worth reading, but since we know your time is precious, here endeth the puns, ht RJH:

Most of [the very…

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The Kayak and the Spaceship

The Kayak and the Spaceship

“…how could someone as smart as Freeman Dyson be so dumb?”

The cover story of the December Atlantic is the most fascinating essay I have read in a while — along with being funny, touching and just a delight in terms of sheer prose style. It touches on so many things that are of interest here at MB, including fathers and sons, the need of secular man for some kind of religion, the virtually unlimited capacity of man for self-deception, spaceships, and much more.Here are a few excerpts:

Many of Dyson’s facts on global warming are wrong, as the scientists who…

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Obesity and the Bound Will

Obesity and the Bound Will

NEWS FLASH: there’s a really interesting Mockingbird thread going on right now, started by Jeff Dean and Dave Browder, on a proposed tax on sugar sweetened drinks like Coke. It’s already quite long — take a look!

The thoughtful comments started by Herr Browder made me think of an extraordinary cover article in THE ATLANTIC a couple months ago called Beating Obesity. It touches on a huge number of things, including all the different public health strategies being considered — one of which is the soda tax. But even more important it is written almost in the form of a personal…

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I want one

Beam me up, NOW!!! One of the many awesome things in the current issue of The Atlantic is a brief piece on how, in the last few years, tricoders have become real! You could get one now. And they really work! I am sooooooo excited….
None Of Us Are Free – PZ Meets Solomon Burke

None Of Us Are Free – PZ Meets Solomon Burke

A classic quote from PZ’s Grace In Practice and yet another great reason to join us later this week(!):

One of the reasons we need to embrace the fact of the un-free will is for the sake of its effect on love. A benefit of the un-free will is that it increases mercy in daily relationships and decreases judgment… Forms of Christianity that stress free will create refugees. They get into the business of judging, and especially of judging Christians… It is judgment that drives people away from Christianity. Ironically, it is judgment – the absence of…

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