An Updated Film List—and an Idea for a Fun Couples Project

Hey folks! A few weeks ago, I posted a film watchlist for myself as part of the absurd aspirations I've set for my sabbatical. It was supposed to be a way to "catch up" on cultural touchstones in film that I've missed. Well, as my long-suffering wife will attest, I've gone off the deep-end on …

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Just How Prolific Were the Leading Stars of Hollywood’s “Golden Age”?

I feel like a survivor from an age that people no longer understand… America was such a different place then.- Olivia de Havilland, The Independent, 2009 Olivia de Havilland, who passed away at the age of 104 just a couple days ago, was probably the last living icon from the so-called “Golden Age” Hollywood. As …

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A Few Interesting Articles from the News, Pt. 1

I read a lot of news articles. In theory, I’d rather spend my time reading books, but in practice I tend to spend half of my reading time on articles. So now and again, I’ll just share a bundle of interesting things I’ve read (or listened to) recently in the news. For better or worse, …

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John Lewis on “Soul Force” as Both a Political Strategy and Way of Life

A lot of powerful remembrances have been shared in the media this week about John Lewis, who, as was announced yesterday, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. I particularly enjoyed hearing excerpts from several speeches he gave – including his rousing speech at the March on Washington in 1963, and his reflective but …

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“Walking with the Wind”: An Unforgettable Tale from John Lewis’ Childhood

John never shied away from what he called ‘good trouble’... Everything he did, he did in a spirit of love. – Jimmy Carter [H]e was a griot of this modern age, one who saw its hatred but fought ever towards the light. And never once did he begrudge sharing its beauty. – Stacey Abrams There will …

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“Dying Words”: The Things Your Grandparents Can Teach You, Pt.1

Every time an old person dies, it is as if a library has burned down.- Alex Haley I may not always like their politics, but I have always enjoyed listening to old folks tell their stories. Maybe it’s my love of history. I consider all the years I had with my own grandparents – Edith …

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David Brooks on the Power of Beauty in a Storm

New York Times commentator David Brooks – icon of the nation’s political middle – made headlines last year for his book The Second Mountain, describing the deepening of his religious faith in the aftermath of a divorce. He gave a related sermon at the National Cathedral in 2017. Yesterday, the Sunday of Independence weekend, he …

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Tech Oracle Jaron Lanier on Why Social Media Makes Us Jittery and Cranky

Jaron Lanier knows the terrain of modern digital technology about as well as anybody. He is considered a pioneer in the field of virtual reality – a term he coined – having, among other things, co-founded VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and gloves. He has worked for Microsoft since 2006 …

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Are There Good “Christian” Movies? (The Results of an Online Poll)

[D]o Christian-themed movies really have to be so bad? I won't even pretend that "Soul Surfer" is the worst film I'll see this month… But it's a trite, sentimental puddle of sub-Hollywood mush, with mediocre photography, weak special effects and an utterly formulaic script…At the risk of offending many people in many different directions, Christian …

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