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Posts tagged "Tim Kreider"


The Post-Break Up Emails of a Natural Born Polemicist

Des: Aren’t you a bit of a cad for leaving town with your girlfriend in the hospital? Jimmy: It might look that way. I’ve been through this before. After graduation Laurie and I were going to break up, but the same day she came down with terrible back spasms. I hung around the hospital all […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Wisdom of an Army Family

An irresistible if also quite sobering paragraph from an unpublished Tim Kreider essay about impermanence, “Up in the Air”:

lego_arrested_development_home_bare“My friend Robin grew up in an army family, and learned early on that she wouldn’t live anywhere or know anyone for very long, that things like houses and best friends were strictly provisional and temporary. It makes me sad to know that she had to internalize this lesson so early–kids like me, with stabler lives, were brought up with the delusion, fuzzy and comforting as a favorite blanket, that home and friendship were givens, fixed forever. But, as Robin points out, transience wasn’t just a peculiarity of her own upbringing; it turns out to be the reality of life, for all of us. Everything is contingent and ephemeral, and the flimsy little Potemkin villages of permanence and security we rig up for ourselves—real estate, possessions, tenure and retirement plans, circles of friends and long-term relationships–are easily demolished by layoffs or divorce, accidents or diagnoses, even, on occasion, non-metaphorical hurricanes.”

If I’d had it on hand this past August, it would’ve definitely been included in this sermon, “Plank to Plank”:

Speaking of both Kreider and anxiety, we are finally ready to announce the theme for the upcoming NYC conference (4/3-5)! Curious? You know the drill. Preliminary Schedule coming next week.

The Virtue of Just Showing Up (at the Hospital)

It probably won’t come as a surprise that my personal favorite book of the year, which actually came out in 2012, was Tim Kreider’s We Learn Nothing. A collection of essays on everything from Busyness and Friendship to Identity and Politics and Family to Death and Books (sometimes in the same paragraph), it’s as funny […]

Don’t Look Now But Your Soul Toupee Is Showing

We’re not finished milking Tim Kreider’s essay collection We Learn Nothing. Not by a long shot. The following passage from “The Czar’s Daughter” has made the rounds a bit and is worth reproducing here, as it touches on a dynamic we talk about with some frequency in reference to social media, namely, the difference between […]

A Referendum on Midlife Friendships

“We haven’t seen them in a while,” I hear myself observing every few weeks, usually in reference to friends with whom my wife and I have lost touch. Most of the time, the estrangement is purely logistical, schedules being what they are in a house with two working parents and two napping toddlers. But guilt […]

Another Week Ends: Book Cover Identities, Soul Toupées, Profumo’s Turn, More Superheroes, and Grace in Practice

1. Tim Kreider strikes again! Over at The New Yorker, he doubts whether people should ever design their own book cover. As good as some of Malcolm Gladwell’s material can be, his covers are the gold standard in marketing and catering to expectations. See, for instance, the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator, and you’ll see what he means […]

87 Percent of Our Mental Life

Another absolute gem from Tim Kreider, this time via his essay on the intoxicating nature of anger in We Learn Nothing. It’s just as much as riff on the pleasures–and costs–of self-justification, and while that may not exactly constitute breaking news, still, it takes guts to talk about this tendency so openly and specifically when […]

Reply All’s and The End of Civilization as We Know It

This guy. I’m telling you. This guy! He’s so good you almost want to stop writing. So gut-level and truthful and witty and articulate, yet somehow tossed off seeming. I’m talking about Tim Kreider, who batted another one out of the park with “I Know What You Think Of Me” for the NY Times. It’s […]

Sociopaths for Love Walk Among Us

How do you write about the reality of the human condition in concrete terms without coming off as sanctimonious or a total downer? I don’t know, but I think Tim Kreider may. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was so impressed with (and addressed by) his essay “The Busy Trap” that appeared in […]

Assisted Living and the Lost Art of Dying

Did you see Tim Kreider’s straight-shooting entry in the NY Times’ Anxiety series, “You Are Going to Die”? Kreider exposes a few of the predominant illusions that we embrace as a culture/species when it comes to dying, and while none of it may exactly be breaking news (or a laugh riot), his candor is deeply […]