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Elevator Encounters

I have been in two heated race-related situations in the past six months. Both of them have happened at elevators. Several months ago I was leaving a doctor’s office and looking for the restroom in the corridor. A black man walked out behind me with a name tag and a clip board and I assumed […]

What Lies Beneath: The Horror Story Of Our Hidden Monsters

This post comes from Josh Irby. Josh and his wife advocate for orphaned children in Eastern Europe in partnership with the non-profit Lost Sparrows. Horror films are not my favorite genre, but I have seen my share over the years. Most follow the same basic plot-line: A city/institution/family/individual lives in peace and security, until strange […]

Learning to Love the Job I Can’t Get

Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected. – George Macdonald, Wilfrid Cumbermede During my second-to-last semester of college, I had to take a senior seminar class to finish up my major’s curriculum. Each session covered various […]

Social Media and Choosing Your Own Narrative

This post from Stephanie Phillips was originally published on Mbird in October of 2014. Safe to say that it’s still incredibly relevant. I engaged in a Facebook fight recently. This hasn’t happened in a while. I try to avoid commenting on the status updates and posts that particularly (and regularly) annoy me–not so much out […]

Performative Podcast Subscriptions (and Other Attempts at Justification)

I have a number of behavior patterns that have been with me for many years. One of the joys of getting older is realizing that all the cycles and habits you thought you would outgrow are still with you and will most likely be with you forever.  One of my behavior patterns is a cycle […]

Robert Farrar Capon on Self-Knowledge and Atonement

This excellent piece by Will McDavid was originally published on Mbird in November of 2013: Our pride drives us to establish our own righteousness. We strive all our life to see ourselves as keepers of rules we cannot keep, as loyal subjects of laws under which we can only be judged outlaws. Yet so deep […]

Spiritual Consultants at the Gates of a Great Unraveling

The Great Unraveling they’re calling it, what’s happening to our society right now. A little melodramatic, I know; headlines are just words after all, and it’s gotten so hard to tell what’s hype and what’s not, how much of what we’re hearing is Internet-land hysteria and what’s actually, well, true. So maybe “unraveling” is a […]

All the Lies I’ve Believed about the Spectrum (and the Truth)

All your sorrows have been wasted on you if you have not yet learned how to be wretched. – Seneca I just finished a binge of Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum, and the series was everything it was recommended to be: heartfelt, honest, and sweet. There was the added bonus that it was filmed in […]

What Separates the Polite from the Frank

An excerpt from The School of Life’s remarkable entry on Politeness, which might explain why the “comedy of manners” remains such an enduring genre, grace-wise: What ultimately separates the Polite from the Frank person isn’t really a knowledge of etiquette. The difference doesn’t hang upon considerations of which knife to use at a formal dinner, […]

Why Nick Cave Aspires to Mercy

As in all things, leave it to cult musician/hero Nick Cave! The August installment of his invaluable Red Letter Files is here, in which he responds to a fan’s question about “cancel culture” — a term which admittedly appears to have already outlived its usefulness (that was quick!). But if you can see past the […]

In the Name of Self-Preservation and the Greater Good

It seems like these days we get to do many things (or not do things) in the name of COVID-19. Sometimes I struggle to even see the correlation between COVID and the action it is excusing. For example, I could probably say something like, “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t call you back … you know, […]

Breaking Up with the Hot Take

When it comes to romantic break-ups, the “clean break” is something of a unicorn — admired and sought after but seldom if ever attained. It might be even rarer than the “amicable split.” At least when it comes to genuine love affairs. There are any number of reasons why clean breaks are so hard to […]