America’s Finest News Source reports:
PHOENIX—Unwilling to cede decades of hard-won advances, local man Roger Cannon’s persistent anxiety vowed Monday that it would not let clinical depression muscle in on any of its turf. “Look, I’ve had a vise-grip on this guy for 30 years, so I’m not about to roll over now and let some despondent feelings and an overriding aversion to activity waltz in and take over his emotional state,” said the mental disorder… “Roger’s mental condition is my domain. And if all-encompassing thoughts of hopelessness and inadequacy think they can parade around like they own the place, trust me, they’ve got another thing coming.” The neurosis then promised that it wouldn’t make the same mistake it did in 2011, when it briefly let its guard down and disastrously allowed happiness to take hold.
America’s Finest News Source reports:
Another Week Ends: Blinded with Science, Stumped by Meaning After God, Paralyzed by the Law of Ice and Fire, Outmaneuvered by a Cheeseburger and Oversimplified by Gallup
1. Aquinas followed Aristotle in claiming the end (telos, purpose) of biology is medicine. Science has long been a technical discipline designed primarily to promote human flourishing / well-being. Of course, it was always contemplative to a degree, satisfying curiosity or even, as Aquinas also notes, teaching us about God. The study of creation reflects upon the Creator. One wonders what the role of science is today, what a panel of researchers would say if asked. My best guess would be something along the lines of increasing knowledge for knowledge’s sake; if pressed further, one might say that pure knowledge works to bolster happiness and/or…
Another Week Ends: Silent Treatment, 1st-World Problems, Rectify & Rev, Robinson’s Lila, Phillips’ Freud, Heresy Help, Tragic Soccer, and Soviet Propaganda
1. Under the auspices of “How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship”, The Wall Street Journal issued a perceptive and even quite touching treatise on how the dynamic of demand and withdrawal comes to poison so many loving relationships. The article starts out with the same old line about judgment and expectation snuffing out affection (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), and ‘law’ making bad things worse, with some token men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus thrown in–but it doesn’t end there. That is, while some of the diagnosis (and rather patronizing advice) falls under the heading of the perilously…
SPOKANE, WA—Ten months after altering her interests, appearance, behavior, and opinions to please her boyfriend, Michael Gartner, local woman Gabrielle McMullen is now enjoying a happy, lasting relationship with her long-term partner, the cheerful 27-year-old told reporters Friday. “When I first started dating Michael, things were a little tense and uncomfortable because there were aspects of my personality that didn’t appeal to him, but once I suppressed my thoughts and feelings and completely changed who I am, everything got better,” McMullen said of her formerly flagging romance… “Michael was clearly unhappy because he wanted me to be a different person from who I am, so all I had to do was take note of what he did and didn’t like about me and mold myself into a person who satisfied all his requirements. That really helped resolve a lot of our issues, which is why almost a year later our relationship is better than ever.”
Another Week Ends: Reboot Treaties, Father’s Day, Tolkien’s Sorrowful Joy, 5 Minutes in a Mom’s Head, and Analyzing Analysts
1. We open this week with a less-than-implausible doomsday scenario envisioned by The Onion, a world in which reboot films will come to wreak havoc on civilization. Fortunately, the newssite reported this week that “Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Enter Talks To Reduce Stockpiles Of Unproduced Reboots”. More below:
Conceding the time has come to limit the proliferation of new movies that simply rehash old ones, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. have entered bilateral talks to reduce their considerable stockpiles of unproduced reboots, sources confirmed Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters after the first day of tense negotiations, members of both sides said that while building up…
Another Week Ends: Cultural Literati Pretenders, Fake Empathy, The Search for Cool (Moms), Kurt Vonnegut, Calvary, and the Gospel Dustups
1) The Atlantic attempted a definition of “cool” this week, and it runs in tow with Shane Snow’s definition of humor in the New Yorker. Whereas humor can be defined as “benign violation,” cool is defined by Derek Thompson as “a measured violation of malign expectations.” Sounds good to me! Within this definition, cool is bound on both ends by law: cool is a response to some form of constraint or expectation, but it also must operate within an expected set of parameters in order for it to be seen as cool. If it operates beyond the parameters of its…
The well of inspiration over there just never seems to run dry! Breathtaking, ht JD:
RALEIGH, NC—Marvelling at how often he finds himself consumed by doubt and anxiety throughout the course of his day, local 32-year-old Ross Erickson told reporters Tuesday that his array of personal insecurities was versatile enough to be projected onto any type of situation. “Sure, my fears that I’m a fraud who won’t amount to anything and that I’m inherently unlikeable crop up in the usual places—like in my relationship or when I’m dealing with my parents—but what’s really remarkable is that they’re also adaptable enough to find their way into the most everyday situations, like interacting with strangers or even just thinking of speaking up in a work meeting,” said Erickson, noting that his exceptionally flexible worries could assume control and cause him to completely freeze up in scenarios as diverse as attending a friend’s barbecue, sharing an elevator with a coworker, or simply being in the presence of an attractive woman… “There’s really no limit as to when or where [my personal fears] can make me feel self-conscious and force me to analyze and obsess over every little detail involved.” At press time, Erickson was mentally berating himself, convinced he had given a terrible, embarrassing interview to reporters.
With deadlines for issue two of The Mockingbird hitting at the moment (subscribe now!), our normal Another Week Ends column takes a break today. But we won’t leave you hanging entirely. The humor links we would’ve included are as follows:
1. These Christian Tingle videos from Tripp and Tyler are things of beauty:
2. If you missed Louis C.K’s riff on ‘God as Mom’ on SNL last month, it’s definitely worth watching as we gear up for Mother’s Day. The whole thing is funny, but the more relevant stuff starts around the 4 minute mark:
3. Real Clear Religion posted a feature on…
Another Week Ends: Evil Without, Fitness Within, Gilbert and Sullivan, Jesus and “My Wife”, Relentless Popes, Concessive Friends, Bad TV Fans and Worse Tinder Dates
1. Sarah Palin this week let loose another of the brand of comments she’s known for – offensive or courageous or whatever, depending on your politics. The exact line was something along the lines of, “If I were in charge they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.” It would be a mistake to blame Palin too much; it’s hard to win primaries as a moderate these days, right or left. The more sobering news comes from the world of Stats: reporting on Palin’s comments, The Dish noted the following:
[The best recent research] reveals that vast swathes of American Christianity are…
Another Week Ends: Robots, Children, Busybodies, Grocery Store Flowcharts, Self-Hating Memories, Money-Burning Radio, Noah Dissent and Eight-Year-Old Guitar
A quick update: we had some trouble with the Kindle version of The Mockingbird Devotional, but it’s now available here. It’s been tested with Kindle Fire and should work for older Kindles, too – Paperwhite compatibility is a little dubious (if there are problems, let us know so we can gripe to Amazon) – and it should work for iPad/iPhone and Android, too.
1. The robots are coming: it’s a major upheaval we’ll see in the next few years, and one that’s flown relatively under the radar. So many avenues for exploring how we’ll relate to them, how they’ll change things – surrogate…
Another Week Ends: Secret Auden, Eagleton Deicide, Remembering Wes, Method Acting, True Detective, and Russian Tourist Tips
1. Holy smokes! Have you read Edward Mendelson’s “The Secret Auden” in the NY Review of Books?! If not, run don’t walk. It’s a jaw-dropping, incredibly inspiring catalog of the clandestine episodes of grace initiated by our all-time favorite Wystan–about as honest a Matthew 6:5 vibe as I’ve come across in ages. Lest these remarkable stories be dismissed as mere hagiography, Mendelson (author of the indispensable Later Auden) doesn’t lionize the great poet, instead tracing the ‘good works’ back to their root–which is not a sense of earning or credit (clearly) but of genuine humility brought on by piercing self-knowledge….
Another Week Ends: Self-Making Atheists, Structural Dating, Indiscriminate Addiction, Christian Metal, Guilty Pleasures, and Failed Figure Skaters
1. In The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik took the release of two new books about the history of atheism to issue one of his periodic ‘state of modern belief” pieces. Most of the word count is devoted to the question of when the burden of proof definitively shifted from atheists to believers (The Onion weighs in here), and while there are certainly some interesting tidbits, one can’t help but be distracted by: first, wasn’t the exact opposite thing was being said five years ago?, and second, the dichotomy he embraces from one of the books is downright weird, at least…