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Week In Review


Another Week Ends: Cursed Energy, Leaning Out, #ChillTimes, Nick Cave, Squadparenting, His Dark Materials, and Gerard Manley Hopkins

1. First up, the viral op-ed in the New York Times about “leaning out.” Author Ruth Whipmann responds to popular imperatives for people—especially women—to be more assertive, aggressive, what-have-you. Beneath these may be a motive to empower, but they’re coming, after all, in the form of demand. You know, the law. More expectations to be…more. […]

Another Week Ends: El Camino, Total Work, Acedia, More Judge Tammy, Nir Eyal, History’s Long Defeat, and the Only Character Jesus Ever Named

1. These two thuderbolts struck at the same time. First, from Judith Shulevitz, the author of The Sabbath World and writer at the Atlantic, comes “Why Don’t I See You Anymore?” a treatise on the ever-expanding workweek, and its stupefying impact on our family and social ties. Shulevitz, who you might guess from the book […]

Another Week Ends: Capital-F Forgiveness, Gracious Depravity, Performative Wellness, #GettingReal, Useless Value, and IDKHBTFM

1. It’s not every week we get to witness such a stunning display of capital-F Forgiveness, so let’s savor this one. I’m referring to Brandt Jean’s overture to his brother’s killer, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger at her sentencing: As far as I can tell, the clip makes everyone cry when they first watch it, […]

Another Week Ends: Lost Dog, Greta Thunberg, a Trip to the Future, Dubious Evangelicalism, David Powlison, Ken Burns and Lil Nas X

1. Jesus’s parable of the lost sheep is one of the great stories in the Bible, and also ever. A shepherd leaves behind everything in search of one lost sheep — and of course, it’s about more than that. It’s about humankind’s wandering nature and the tirelessness of God. But if you’ve heard the story […]

Another Week Ends: John Gray on Tom Holland, Leslie Jamison on Susan Sontag, Tavi on Tavi, Malcolm Gladwell on Friends, Sad Phoneless Pictures, and the Love of Ferns

1. Lots to chew on this weekend, including this genuinely positive (and daring!) review of a book we mentioned last week—Tom Holland’s Dominion—by one Mockingbird’s favorite atheists, John Gray, in the New Statesman. As DZ mentioned in his earlier post, Holland’s new book discusses how, despite the decline of Christendom in the West, Christianity is […]

Another Week Ends: American Simultaneity, Protestant Mercies, Melancholy Summers, Freedom Rock, Obvious Plants and more Daniel Johnston

1. Let’s start by heading straight to the jugular this week with “The Age of American Despair” by Ross Douthat in the Times. There’s not a whole lot to say that we haven’t said before, but hot on the heels of the tragic headlines about pastor Jarrid Wilson, it felt irresponsible to lead with anything […]

Another Week Ends: Vulnerable Stars, Moral Lovers, Generational Dysphoria, Wizard Rock, and Reading Under the Covers

1. Let’s start off with entertainment this week. It’s not that Brad Pitt’s star has fallen by any stretch. His turn as Cliff Booth in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood will likely garner him another Oscar Nomination. His 2017 divorce, however, with superstar-wife Angelina Jolie and their family of six kids, hasn’t exactly been […]

Another Week Ends: Poultrygeist, White Claw, Andrew Luck, Addictive Toughness, Self-Criticism, David and Goliath, Goop, Ex-Vegans, and Not Being Nice

1. Much of life can seem like a reaction to childhood. What our parents allowed us to do, what they themselves did, often leaves us wanting the opposite. Classic examples include the small-town teen who longs for the big city, or Nietzsche, son of a pastor, who grew up to declare in the most boisterous […]

Another Week Ends: Soul Food, Spiritual Pampering, Unfluencers, Narcopaths, Genesis, GRRM, and Luxury

1. Forgive me for going a little light on the commentary this week, first week of school and all that. Fortunately, though, there’s no dearth of material! First up, Amanda Hess penned yet another doozie for The NY Times, this time taking the new season of Netflix’s Queer Eye as an entry point to discuss […]

Another Week Ends: Lonely Girls, Religious Radicals, Anderson Cooper, Terrence Malick, Sleep Productivity, and the Sacrament of the Gospel

1. We’ve discussed the plight of teenage boys, but now there’s this research, from clinical psychologist Mary Pipher, about the increasing prevalence of loneliness in adolescent girls across America. Pipher talks about the 36% of school-age girls who report being anxious every day, who lack self-sufficiency and spend six to nine hours of each day […]

Another Week Ends: Divine Accidents, Sunday Scaries, Workism, Artificial Obligations, Drama-Free Romance, and StoryMakers

1. So you’re trying to sleep, and it’s well after bedtime, but you’re tossing and turning and unable to get comfy, and you notice you’re replaying the same scenario in your head: some vision of tomorrow, of what might happen, how a hope could be dashed. If you’ve had this experience, you’re far from alone […]

Another Week Ends: Highly Regimented Women, Every Day Carry, Olympic Suicide, Jungian Inflation, the Business of the Body, and the Same Clouds Keep Passing By

1. The joke that we used to make about cross-fit is starting to apply to mindfulness: “How do you know if someone practices mindfulness? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” Which is not to suggest that loads of people aren’t finding mindfulness exercises to be helpful and good. Mindfulness was a topic of discussion at our […]