The Benefits of Providence in The Hobbit

At the insistent urging of my wife (who loves all of Tolkien's books) and wanting to read the book before I saw the movie, I finally read The Hobbit this December. It was, of course, great. Reaching the end, I was struck with the book's final lines: "'Then the prophecies of the old songs have... Continue Reading →


hiding behind the ironic mantle

"What will future generations make of this rampant sarcasm and unapologetic cultivation of silliness? Will we be satisfied to leave an archive filled with video clips of people doing stupid things? Is an ironic legacy even a legacy at all? The ironic life is certainly a provisional answer to the problems of too much comfort,... Continue Reading →

faith for narcissists

Chris Lehmann: "There’s a term from the psychiatric clinics that neatly captures the outlook of someone possessed of grandiose fantasies about the imperial reach of the self, and a principled refusal to acknowledge anything poised to diminish such fantasies — such as the passage of time. That term is “narcissistic personality disorder,” and it does... Continue Reading →

Wesley, the most effective response

George Will: "In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then in President Lyndon Johnson's administration, published his report on the black family's "crisis," which was that 24 percent of black children were then born to unmarried women. Today, 73 percent are. Forty-one percent of all children are now born to unmarried women. Moynihan, a social scientist in politics, proposed... Continue Reading →

As if God had stooped to whisper

A poem by Geoffrey Brock, "Sweet Recess": It's odd: the sacred world can pass for years Unseen, then fill your eyes, stopping you still, As if God had stooped to whisper in your ears Look there: the nuthatch on the kitchen sill, Feathers ruffled to fatness against the cold; The neighbor's listing shed, its siding... Continue Reading →

Sabotaged by the future

Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of... Continue Reading →

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