Sportswriters are not generally awarded the prestigious seats at writer’s guild meetings. But when the Library of America brings out a collection of your sportswriting, as they did for W.C. Heinz, the guild must make an exception. Imagine what Heinz’s reportorial eyes witnessed — the right crosses of Rocky Marciano, the mercurial shouts of Vince Lombardi, and the sweet swing of Stan Musial (not to mention the Battle of the Bulge). Writing his best work at mid-20th century, Heinz bridged the golden era of sportswriters like Grantland Rice with the New Journalism of Tom Wolfe. His boxing novel (“The…
Another Week Ends: Go Cubs Go!, Cormac McCarthy, Dead Mothers, Email Tics, Teen Depression, and the Church of McDonalds
1. Lots of Cubs love to be had this week. First, if you didn’t see the incredibly sweet line up of grandma and grandpa reactions on NPR this week, go there first.
And then there’s Bill Murray, at it again, giving a free Game Six ticket to a stranger from Indiana. And it was a ticket to sit right next to him!
And as if we needed any sort of Mockingbird defense of the whole spectacle—or of the whole spectacle of sports fanmanship overall—a great Science of Us bit about the power of sports teams to vicariously represent us. As the article…
For years, I lived with the nagging thought that my melancholy, pessimism, and cynicism were taking years off my life. I did not arrive at that conclusion based on research or conviction; I absorbed it from the assumption, endemic in American culture, that subjective positivity improves objective markers of healthfulness. Once my therapy regimen broke through the fog of clinical depression, I saw the difference between truly unhealthy behaviors and an intractable melancholy disposition. Even though I feel mentally healthier, will my lack of optimism or positive thinking kill me?
A recent study published in The…
From his new collection of poems, Once in the West.
Daily higher the ivy dies,
Leaf by leaf subsiding white
Like a secret that seems to rise
Through vein and vine up to his eyes
And the green of what remains.
In spite of books and better light,
In spite of air and what friends say,
A rare arrested day, brief shoots,
In spite of all he cuts away:
From the ground up to the shelf,
From the leaves into the roots,
In spite of everything he tries,
Utterly the ivy tells itself.
This deeply personal, honest, and insightful reflection on Disney’s Frozen – and our love affair with control – comes from our friend Brandi Midkiff.
Lots of people sneer at the Control Freak archetype. I do not understand these people. They seem to think loss of control would be a good time—like a roller coaster, perhaps, which is actually a tightly controlled construct when functioning correctly and not killing people. Also people choose whether or not to get on the thing, thereby exercising control; so this is not the best illustration, though I see it used a lot.
Loss of control is not an…
Next week, after nearly 25 years, ITV’s Agatha Christie-based Poirot draws to an end. Now just in case you start to think I’m more cultured than I actually am, I want to be clear that I have never watched a single episode of Poirot. It falls under the category of “shows my Dad tells me I should be watching that are usually British.” However, a recent article in the Telegraph has moved me to catch at least the end of this well-loved Agatha Christie series and perhaps to then start from the beginning.
On November 13th actor David Suchet will put the eccentric,…
There are precious few books that elicit tears; even fewer books of theology. Walker Percy echoed T.S. Eliot’s “dissociation of sensibility” in saying that the modern person “cannot think and feel at the same time.” Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace, named for the period of darkness just before Christ’s death, comes as close as any contemporary book I’ve read to proving Percy wrong. Robert Farrar Capon, that masterful connoisseur of grace, weaves together thinking and feeling, storytelling and theology, in what he described as “a watershed experience… the most important piece of writing I have ever done.” At…
[Spoiler Alert – those who haven’t seen it, run don’t walk…it’s fantastic!]
“All their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest.” -Ecclesiastes 2:23
“Put your sword back in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” -Matthew 26.52
Nolan has now traced the Dark Knight’s journey from streetfighter to hero, from hero to villain, and from villain to…recluse. Wayne has died to the world and only holds on to the shadow-life of mourning for Rachel, and Alfred drops more than a few hints that…
A well-known 20th-century Catholic theologian on non-Christian religions:
Because through his faith and love Socrates – perfectly and to the point of folly – subordinated his existence to the daimon within him, he can be an intimation of Christ: he points to the divine by himself being a highway for the divine. The same could be said of Buddha or Lao Tzu. It is from their lived doctrine that Zen developed, the essence of which is to give practical training in how to transcend one’s own consciousness, how to make the finite spirit a vessel of the infinite Spirit – a flute…
Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday.
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me
That not one hour myself I can sustain.
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
The following story appeared on a major news website yesterday:“Farrah Fawcett Shockingly Shaves Head, Hollywood Gathers to Pray for a Miracle. As Farrah Fawcett fights for her life, Tinseltown’s elite…gathered at the Beverly Hills Paley Center on Wednesday evening to reflect upon the starlet’s legendary life and hope for a miracle…”
It makes no difference who we are, whether Hollywood elite or small town suburbanite, suffering and the need for healing is universal, and we as Christians honestly believe that God still heals people today. The problem posed for most of us from a faith standpoint, though, is that God doesn’t…
On Tuesday, the NTSB released the cockpit voice recorder transcript for Flight 3407, which crashed on February 12, 2009 killing 50 people. I suppose now the finger pointing can begin as to how such a horrible accident could have occurred, just four weeks to the day after flight 1549, the “Miracle on the Hudson”. The question, though, that such news inevitably brings up by reminding us of the pain we have felt in the wake of death and loss, is not how such things happen, or who is to blame, so much as how can we reconcile our belief in…