Conduits of Conversation
Conversation for the week
What does the Bible say about working moms? There are some articles that I wish so badly we had run on Fathom. This happens all the time, of course, because great stuff is published in all sorts of places. But this one embodies the spirit of what I love about what we want to do here. It’s an informed, thorough, and courageous critique of one of conservative Christianity’s gender arguments that (at a minimum) fuels the mommy wars and likely contributes to the sidelining of women in more conservative churches. I can think of no one, of either gender, who wouldn’t benefit from reading this piece.
What would Elizabeth McCord do? I have fallen for Madam Secretary. It’s my Netflix obsession. If I could be a part of any television family I may choose theirs. The drama, the strategy, the witty-and-historically-informed family banter. I love it all. Do you love it too?
Are you an avid fan or an avid hater? NBA basketball is my jam, but I have always disliked the Spurs. This GQ article, “Learning to Love the Spurs,” made me feel like I needed to rethink that. But I just can’t do it, not now anyway. I’m this guy before he reconsidered and I don’t yet hate that about me.
I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It was absolutely hilarious. For now it holds the spot at the best movie I have seen in 2017. That is, until Dunkirk and Star Wars come out.
Do you have a book that hooks you but you can’t seem to find time to read a page of it? That is happening with me right now. I am reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and am riveted by the first chapter. The only thing is that I can’t seem to find any time to read it.
I’ve been listening to “Can I Have This Dance feat. Chance” for about three hours on repeat.
My life as a learner of animation continues. It’s learning animation and squeezing in any reading I can in my spare time. I’m a boring guy sometimes.
Are Democrats more racist than Republicans? Someone sent me this video explaining the history of the Democratic party in America. Typically when you think of a more racially friendly political party in the US you think of the Democratic party, but it seems to be quite the reverse, at least historically speaking. The Republican party, according to this history professor at Vanderbilt, was historically anti-slavery. The rich, southern governors during the Civil War era were Democrats, the KKK was started by a Democrat, and Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, blocked every major bill advocating for African Americans. Not the image you get nowadays—I wonder what happened. Can someone help me understand?
Did you actually enjoy school? Perhaps if classes were explained like this guy explaining the history of the world, school would have been a lot more fun. All it takes is a little creative ’splainin’ and things can be wildly more interesting.
Who cares about punctuation? One of the best series ever produced on YouTube—I give to you the Comma Queen from The New Yorker. Yes, by the way, I have read her book. Yes, it is fantastic. Yes, I have friends thank you. I enjoy all of the books on typography, punctuation, and etymology. If you’d like to buy one for my birthday next month, you can do so right here.
Will robots take over the world? I wrote a few months ago about machines destroying everything, and I’m even less worried about it now after Google’s I/O conference this year. (See Sundar Pichai’s AI piece.) I downloaded the Assistant (now available on iPhone), and found that it records everything I say to it (to her?)—like literally has an audio file somewhere on Google’s servers of my voice. What does it mean that Google has so much data about me? What if I’m involved in a tragedy? Will that help my family understand what happened? Will that information be available then? Tangent, I know, but we have to think about things now—don’t we?
“How can I become more creative?” It is the question every aspiring artist, entrepreneur, and intern is asking. Creativity could increase your productivity, set you apart from the crowd in an interview, or lead to your big break. But the “how” of creativity isn’t the question we should be asking, at least not initially. The better question is, “What is creativity?” Comedian John Cleese was asked to answer that question many years ago, and I must say, his answer is extraordinary.
I don’t know what I think of Master of None. It is sincere, creative, willing to experiment with form, nostalgic, and relatable. It also tends to be shallow when it tries to be thoughtful, obscene when striving for innocence, and expects its viewers to pity a main character who has it all. In short, it is very Millennial. Some of my friends couldn’t finish season two, but it drew me in. Often despite itself. What did you think of it?
I do know what I think of the Master of None season two playlist. Mi piace molto! Allora . . .
Have you ever read C. S. Lewis’s essays? I have started reading some them for craft, studying his style and composition, and have been thoroughly enjoying them. If his lesser known works interest you, I suggest starting with The Weight of Glory. The title essay alone is worth the price of the book. Then, pick up The World’s Last Night, a mix of apologetics, thoughts on the efficacy of prayer and belief, and some short fiction. Finally, for the writers, try Of Other Worlds, a collection of essays on creative writing, imagination, and writing for children. I think you will enjoy them.