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Posts tagged "NY"

Paying Taxes To The Pale King

Tax Day marks the release of Mockingbird icon David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel, The Pale King. Quotes forthcoming, but from the few reviews that have appeared already, it sounds predictably ripe… Italics mine. Michiko Kakutani in The NY Times: [DFW’s] posthumous unfinished novel, “The Pale King” — which is set largely in an I.R.S. office […]

James Franco and Bradley Cooper Are More Perfect Than You

A wonderfully insightful article by Carina Chocano in The NY Times Magazine, “Our Imperfect Search for Perfection,” using, among other things, the two recent Hollywood releases “The Adjustment Bureau” and “Limitless” to discuss our profoundly troubled relationship with perfection. Certainly the first time I’ve ever seen Pelagius in the Times (and certainly in conjunction with […]

Stumbling and Imperfectable

A stunning and poetic few paragraphs in Jonathan Schell’s moving reflection in yesterday’s The NY Times on the disasters afflicting Japan right now, specifically the tragic partial meltdown of several nuclear power plants: The chain of events at the reactors now running out of control provides a case history of the underlying mismatch between human […]

Social Animal Redux

A couple more items in our ongoing ‘coverage’ of David Brooks’ new treatise on human nature, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. 1. The NY Times Book Review gave some thoughtful if ultimately suspect/predictable ‘pushback’ this past week. That is, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the reviewer, Thomas […]

The Power and The Glory and Luke 19

I was intrigued by a recent article in The NY Times entitled, “Mexican Church Takes a Closer Look at Donors,” which looks at the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico. Apparently it receives large donations from Mexican drug lords. It’s convicting for several reasons, and certainly made the ash on my head yesterday feel a little […]

David Brooks Gets Inside Your Head

The final post in our neuroscience extravaganza should come as no surprise: David Brooks’ editorial in yesterday’s NY Times, “The New Humanism.” Building on the comments he made in last week’s interview with The Daily Beast, Brooks synthesizes some of the recent neuroscience findings in a characteristically digestible way, offering us another preview of his […]

Dehumanization and the Human Mind

Kicking off a day full of neuroscience is the review in the NY Times of philosopher David Livingstone Smith’s new book, Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others. Those familiar with Smith’s work, for example Why We Lie and The Most Dangerous Animal, will not be surprised to find his original sin […]

Another Week Ends: Grace & Cutting, Depression & Recession, David Foster Wallace, Burned-Over Generations, Greg McElroy, Supernatural, Arcade Fire

1. Continuing this past month’s unexpected foray into gender-related topics (i.e. here, here, here and here), Christianity Today published a doozie of an article earlier this week on its Her.meneutics site, “The Gospel of Grace for Women Who Self-Injure”. A couple lines from the conclusion (ht DB): I’m not surprised that self-punishing behaviors occur among […]

Self-Criticism, Self-Compassion and Self-Indulgence, Reconsidered

A number of insights to be gleaned from the report in Monday’s NY Times, “Go Easy On Yourself.” Not just in the sense of horizontalized Law (discipline/criticism) vs Grace (compassion) – though that too – but in the clearly universal discrepancy between head knowledge and heart knowledge, and most remarkably, in the immediate objection that […]

Technology, Honesty, Loneliness and Identity: Facebook Making Us Sad, Take 2

A follow-up to the recent post about Facebook making us sad is the full-length review in the NY Times of MIT professor Sherry Turkle’s new book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. She’s basically exploring the psychological side effects of the Internet, which of course, have an enormous […]

Sweet Emotion on American Idol?

Not being a huge American Idol person, or post-Rocks Aerosmith fan, everything in Jon Caramanica’s article in this past Sunday’s NY Times, “Steven Tyler Escapes From Idolatry,” was news to me. Those of you who’ve seen the episode in question can tell us whether it was indeed a lightning-striking instance of grace on TV or […]

"I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

In recent years, nearly every personal newspaper, magazine, or internet piece has been written written by someone “who is working on a memoir,” “has just completed a memoir,” or “is thinking about writing a memoir.” While some of these pieces are very good, most are unmemorable, becoming indistinguishable from previous entries within moments after reading. […]