Category: Life

CultureLifeLinks

Gender Equality and Gender War

I have a piece up at First Things today on the sexual revolution, #MeToo, and why women are always the biggest losers in a sexually autonomous society. Here's an excerpt: The two most consequential gains of the sexual revolution in my lifetime have been birth control and pornography, both of which have radically shaped the…

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BooksCultureJournalismLife

A Brief Word to Book Reviewers

-Sneering dismissal of an author is acceptable to the degree that his book likewise is sneering and dismissive. What works marvelously well in a review of Richard Dawkins doesn't in a review of Mitch Albom. You might have the same opinion of both writers, and that's fine! But responding to Mitch Albom as if he's…

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CultureLifePolitics

Defining Pro-Life Down

I have only a brief thought on Matt Loftus's recent essay (and follow-up blog post) on whether we should use the term "pro-life" to refer to issues other than the traditional referents. It seems to me that you can't make the term "pro-life" do more by making it mean less. I think that's what Matt…

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BooksLife

My Year in Books

Let's get this out of the way: Year-end reading lists are usually more helpful for making us feel guilty about what we didn't read than making us thankful for what we did. My own year of reading was certainly no exception; the pile of books that I read this year seems so small compared to…

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CultureLifePolitics

Should We Blame the Pro-Life Movement?

There is a strain of thinking among some evangelicals that I cannot get my head around. Here it is: The Republican Party's collapse of virtue and embrace of sub-moral strongmen can be attributed, at least in part, to the well-intentioned but naive single-mindedness of the pro-life movement. James K.A. Smith's brief Tweet thread seems to repeat…

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CultureLifePop culture

Children and the Peril of Internet Fame

Stop me if you've heard this before. A parent records their child doing/saying something moving/saddening/remarkable. The parent then posts the video of their child to social media. Social media reacts strongly to the video, and before you know it, the video—and the child—are "viral" digital sensations. They start trending on Buzzfeed, being re-shared by celebrities…

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BooksCultureLifeMusing

Something Better Than Friendship

Rereading my way through C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves, I was struck by Lewis's blunt words about "wanting friends" and the essence of genuine friendship: That is why those pathetic people who simply "want friends" can never make any. The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where…

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BooksCultureLife

Eluding E-Books

Mark Bauerlein's observations about the decline of e-reading and the "Persistence of Print" ring very true to my own experience. I have now tried on two separate occasions, and with two separate e-readers, to invest in digital books. Both times I just couldn't do it. My Kindle Paperwhite is a fine device, elegantly crafted and…

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CultureLifePolitics

Does Morality Matter on the Right Anymore?

The main reason I wrote my reply to Ben Domenech about Hugh Hefner, and the main reason I'm thankful to First Things for running it, is that I sensed—correctly, as it turned out—that Domenech's sentiment was more widely shared on the Right than conservative evangelicals might want to believe. "Cultural conservatives," those who argue not…

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CultureLifeMusing

Why I Gave Up Being a Movie Critic

At one time in my life I had very serious aspirations to sit for hours at a time in a movie theater, watch films, write about them, and make money (or at least, break even!). I no longer have those desires. I still love movies, and am rarely happier than in a cinema. And I…

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