• Currently reading: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow 📚 Returning to this, after having read the first half about a year ago, on audiobook through Libby.

  • Currently reading: From Dissertation to Book by William Germano 📚

  • Currently reading: Religion and Film: Cinema and the Recreation of the World by S. B. Plate 📚

  • Enthusiastic dog owners at Letchworth State Park

  • What a sad pairing of lyrics. From Phoebe Bridgers’s “Scott Street”:

    I asked you, “How is playing drums?”
    Said, “It’s too much shit to carry.”
    “And what about the band?”
    You said, “They’re all getting married.”

    And “ICU”:

    I used to light you up;
    Now I can’t even get you to play the drums
    ʼCause I don’t know what I want
    Until I fuck it up.

  • Currently reading: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin 📚

  • Currently reading: No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull 📚

  • Is this Apostolic Fathers book (a scholarly collection of writings significant to early Christian history) deliberately designed to resemble the design of the Left Behind series (a flatfootedly literal and theologically unsophisticated fever dream of what the end of the world would look like “according to” the book of Revelation)?

    Spines of The Apostolic Fathers and other library books

    For reference:

    Spines of the books in the Left Behind series

    Strange choice, if so.

  • Michael D.C. Drout, Please Don’t Make a Tolkien Cinematic Universe:

    Tolkien is utterly consistent with this morality, even at the expense of his most cherished characters: Frodo has no other choice than to use the power of the Ring to dominate Gollum, but he still pays for that immoral act when he is unable to complete his quest or to enjoy his life afterward. Can a company as intent upon domination as Amazon really understand this perspective — and adapt that morality to the screen?

  • Herbert McCabe, on God’s name:

    ‘God’, ‘Theos’, ‘Deus’ is of course a name borrowed from paganism; we take it out of its proper context, where it is used for talking about the gods, and use it for our own purposes. This is quite a legitimate piece of borrowing and quite safe so long as it does not mislead us into thinking that the God we worship (or don’t) is a god. We always do have to speak of our God with borrowed words; it is one of the special things about our God that there are no peculiarly appropriate words that belong to him, as with the language of carpentry or computer-speak. He is always dressed verbally in second-hand clothes that don’t fit him very well. We always have to be on our guard against taking these clothes as revealing who and what he is.

    I generally like this paragraph, though I wonder if there at least three words that are not borrowed and so can be used properly of God, precisely because God has revealed Godself as: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

  • Currently reading: God Still Matters by Herbert McCabe 📚

  • Hawk against the clouds

  • Ready (almost) for the new semester

  • Currently reading: Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry 📚

  • J.R.R. Tolkien, presenting a quotation from Simone de Beauvoir as the “key-spring” of The Lord of the Rings. From “A Very Easy Death”:

    There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation.

  • I love this paragraph, from The Married Man by Edmund White (Ajax is Austin and Julien’s basset hound puppy):

    Austin had never heard any whimsy coming out of Julien’s mouth before, but now it never stopped. Julien decided that he would raise Ajax to be the next pope. He was constantly on the lookout for pious deeds and minor miracles, which would confirm his calling. Julien started calling him Pius VII, which in French was pronounced “Pissette” and also meant “little pisser.” The whole idea was mad and in the worst taste, but Julien clung to it so long that Austin suspected he took it half-seriously.

  • Currently watching: Inside the Mind of a Cat 📽️

  • The Middle Falls at Letchworth State Park near Castile, New York 📷

  • I just watched the finale of Better Call Saul. This is a bit of a spoiler, thematically at least, but: I think of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul as thematic opposites. Breaking Bad is about the corroding and self-annihilating effects of sin and evil, whereas Better Call Saul is about the redemptive possibility of love and grace.

  • Currently reading: Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire by William T. Cavanaugh 📚

  • Currently reading: Francis & His Brothers: A Popular History of the Franciscan Friars by Dominic V. Monti O.F.M. 📚