From the F3 Cville CSAUP 5/1/21 🏃
I can’t stop listening to this — Michael Olatuja feat. Regina Carter “The Hero’s Journey” 🎵
Recovery dinner after 9 miles of rucking, running, burpees, and other completely stupid and utterly pointless workouts with 40+ other men on Saturday morning. 🏃🎒💪🏻🍔
Jack’s a Real Gamer Cat™️. 🎮
Environmentalism, the Tower of Babel and the Disintegration of Culture | with Paul Kingsnorth
Howard University drops its classics department. Cornel West calls it a “spiritual catastrophe.”
My Inequity, Your Inequity
A Sinner God Calls a Saint
Books you shouldn’t read in public
Guess who’s gonna make out with strangers at Outback Steakhouse happy hour (in two weeks people don’t freak)
The Great Unsettling
Everyone loves their dog.
The virtues of masculinity
The song machines
Self-Government Starts at the Front Porch
Is There Too Much Military History?
The Question That Dictates How Christians Approach Culture and Politics
Under the spreading walnut tree
Beer Is Proof
Resurrection Isn’t Reversal
Jurassic Park Is Frightening in the Dark
O Virtue, Where Art Thou?
Behind the Black Umbrellas
Return to Ohio: Money & Anxiety in Loser-takes-none America
Rooting for the Future
Save The Last Dance: Rough Cuts, Tony Hawk, And The End
Why is this interesting? - The Drum Machine Edition
Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen
He Descended to His Enemies
The Future of Remote Work is the Opposite of Lonely
How to think Bayes
On Forming a More Perfect Union
Should We Begin to Reconnect?
Did You Kill Anyone?
Why is this interesting: The Urban Manufacturing Edition
From the Soil Up
The 50/50 Problem: How the Internet Is Distorting Our Reality
strategy and vocation
How Polarization Ate Our Brains
What Is Freedom For?
Nitro Edition: None of This is New
New blog — The Necessity of Bodies: Redux
I have become more and more suspicious of the concept of the nominal Christian
powers and demons
Atticus, Scout, and the Gift of Children
Why I kissed blogging goodbye
The Promise and the Failure of WandaVision
The Doctrine of Grace vs. the Disposition of Grace
The internet didn’t kill counterculture—you just won’t find it on Instagram
After 20 years apart, you don’t look so bad, Florida.
Enjoying the Low Country and Savannah. This place feels enchanted and haunted.
Charleston is neat.
Well, this is what happens when I neglect to post my link dump for almost two weeks.
Mapali — Rune Soup
Third Places and the Horizons of Male Friendships
Peacemaking Is Political
To Save the World from the Church Basement: On Christian Humanism
A New Progressive Era?: A Conversation with Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett
Forming Redemptive Communities Outside the Digital Public Sphere
Pasolini’s Lutheran Letters and Our Times
Do We Absolutely Disagree?
Life Outside the Camp: Cancellation, Purity, and Public Space
You Can’t Censor Away Extremism (or Any Other Problem)
Happy fourth anniversary to my beautiful, hilarious, joyful, and faithful wife @jensaplin. ❤️ Thanks for all the memories, and for keeping better records than I do.
“Schitt’s Creek” & Local Economic Power
The Spiral of Violence
I’m a philosopher. We can’t think our way out of this mess.
Toward the Renewal of Humanistic Education in America
Words and Flesh: Pastoring in a Post-truth World
two quotations on technological impermanence (plus commentary)
Growing Up 02/24/21
the warming center
The “Majority-Minority” Myth
Take me back to the canyon
“He Devises Means So That the Banished One Will Not Remain an Outcast”: Salvation and Divine Resourcefulness
On sitting out the new culture wars
Currently enjoying Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s CARNAGE. Can’t wait for the physical release.
My friend CJ Green recently published his fiction debut!
This video is probably the most Orange County thing I’ve watched in a long, long time. Maybe it’s the pandemic, or the icy winter we’ve been having here, but, much as I consider VA home now, watching this made me a little homesick.
Felt good to do this again.
Recommended reading (experimenting with posting stuff I’ve read over the last week-ish so as not to create a linkstorm)
The Front Porch and the American Dream
presentism and the Present
Ewok Banquets and Hobbit Joy
Influencers will survive Covid
Gratuity: Who Gets Paid When Art Is Free
America Drawn Inward: Assessing Bowling Alone at 20
The Jewish Space Laser Agency responds: We didn’t start the fire
Human Interaction: The Most Essential Business
New blog: Why we need bodies to heal our body
So @jensaplin insists this meme is old, but I saw it the other day and can’t stop laughing. I apologize for populating your feed with old memes.
A brief devotional/sermonette I wrote is now up at Mockingbird: Technologies, Ancient and Modern
Noah Van Niel: Manly Virtues — There’s some really good stuff in here that I’ve been mulling over for a while.
I aspire to be as impressionable as Bernie Sanders at a presidential inauguration. 🇺🇸
Between the President quoting Augustine and a prayer from an AME preacher, I would guess this is the most theologically eclectic inauguration ever. 🇺🇸
There’s no shortage of thinkpieces circulating about evangelicalism and “Christian” nationalism right now, but this one from Funmi Ojetayo at The Front Porch might be one of the best. I encourage you to read the whole thing:
The raging mob of January 6th think themselves revolutionaries, restoring America to its greatness. But what we saw was less a noble cause and more the wickedness of a tyrant and those who bow to him. Besides, the medicine for our national malaise is not revolution. Revolutions – cultural, sexual, political – have proven inadequate to meet our deepest need. We need revival and renewal; we need a new awakening.
But since so many of our national leaders, political and religious leaders, have failed us, from whence shall this revival and renewal come?
The local church.
Much has been said and written about how white evangelicalism is in thrall to the GOP, but the data actually shows that most of the partisans and so-called Christian nationalists we see in the public sphere are not regular attendees of the local church.[i] They are cultural appropriators of Christianity at best, and outright charlatans at worst. The numbers bear out the fact that most regular church attendees, who routinely sit under sound preaching and teaching, are far less partisan, are more engaged in their community caring for the poor, the alien, the widow, the orphan, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized, more frequently interacting with different ethnic groups, and readily engaging in the work of racial reconciliation.
I submit to you that revival will not come from the top, but, as is fitting for the upside-down Kingdom of God, it will come from the groundswell of local, Spirit-empowered churches and pastors working for renewal in local communities throughout this nation. It is within the local church that we can shape virtuous people, a characteristic our Founding Fathers recognized as indispensable for self-government. It is within the local church that we grasp the meekness of Christ and its winsome power. It is in the local church that we learn to be reconciled to one another, because the gospel of reconciliation pulls down dividing walls of hostility and brings previously warring factions together into one family. It is in the local church that we learn unity even amidst diversity, for there is neither male nor female, black nor white, Republican nor Democrat, but all are one in Christ Jesus, co-heirs according to promise (Gal. 3:28-29). It is in the local church that we form and conform the hearts of our people away from earthly powers, and instead toward King Jesus, away from donkeys and elephants, and instead towards the Lamb who was slain for us.
Abandoned structures from around Charlottesville’s Woolen Mills this morning.
Texas was nice. Here are some photos.
Slightly emotional. Thank you TX for bringing me a taste of CA.
Happy birthday to @jensaplin! I’m blessed beyond deserving to have you as my wife, companion, and friend. You’ve graced the earth with your presence for 30 years, and it’ll only be the better to have you for 30+ more. I love you my star-stuff.
Great day celebrating 30.
Post-Xmas dinner vibes. 📷 credit: @jensaplin
The amazing @jensaplin knows how to give good gifts.
Cville beers rarely disappoint. Windswell Hazy DIPA from Random Row Brewing.
xkcd sees me.
Mood. 📷credit: @jensaplin
Icicles from yesterday’s storm.
John Gardner’s ‘Cruisin’ Across America’ | OJ Wheels - If I had to guess why I’m so drawn to this, I’d say it’s because it showcases Southern California and the east coast, both places that I’ve called home.
John Inazu at The Hedgehog Review: This pandemic season has forced on many of us the painful absence of face-to-face relationships. When we are once again free to pursue these embodied relationships, we might discover that they also represent our best antidote to the information virus: other human beings who force us to confront complexity rather than caricature, and who challenge us to maintain friends, not just followers. But antidotes, like vaccines, don’t always come easily. They take work, risk, and perseverance
Current listening: TOOL - Fear Inoculum
Thankful for this amazing woman, and her cooking skills too. 🦃
My friend Zack recently built a dungeon generator in lieu of nanowrimo, and did a little write-up about it. I cloned the repo for it with the best intentions of contributing, but alas can take no credit for what he’s done here. Pretty neat stuff.
Our new cat, Jack, in peak cat position.
Finally made it to the Goochland Drive-In. 📍Goochland, VA
Fun fact, the unzipped archive of data is 28.4MB in size. 24.2MB is photos/videos/stories. The other 4.2MB is all JSON - likes, connections, contacts, etc. I look forward to digging into this.
I opened Instagram for the first time in a looong time today to export my data/tell people where to find me before I delete it. It is more of a dumpster fire than I even remember it, and feels like an unironic reproduction of something you’d find in a f*#king Black Mirror episode.
My good friend Kendall has a new project that I highly commend to you - Negative Love: a resource for queer Christians.
Leah Libresco Sargeant: “To give an honest accounting of ourselves, we must begin with our weakness and fragility. We cannot structure our politics or our society to serve a totally independent, autonomous person who never has and never will exist. “
this interview with John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock is a great introduction to radical orthodoxy.
Oliver Burkeman: “To stay sane, you need at least one foot planted firmly in your world: the world of your job and neighborhood, that letter you need to mail, the pasta you’re cooking for dinner, the novel you’re reading with your book group, and that guy on your street who never cleans up after his dog – the world where you can have an effect, even if I’ve admittedly yet to have one with the dog guy. “
I’m very excited for this new book from John Barclay: “But grace is both richer and more complex than we generally imagine, and I here highlight how grace is significant not just for the individual (as “amazing grace” that “saved a wretch like me”) but also for the construction of communities that find in the unmerited grace of God in Christ the basis for new forms of solidarity that subvert traditional concepts of worth.”
Thrasher magazine: cruisin’ with Ace Pelka.
Two things I love about this: 1) seeing some skate street with an old-school deck shape, and 2) seeing some familiar looking locations from Long Beach.
Daniel Herriges at Strong Towns: We Don’t Live in a World of Cartoon Villains.
I’m sure there no shortage of opinionating about Dave Chappelle’s recent SNL monologue, so I’ll throw my opinion into the mix and say it’s absolutely worth watching for yourself.
Since we’re not allowed to meet inside yet and the last two sundays got rained out, our church held a brief compline service followed by a bonfire.
Kendall Gunter at Mockingbird on Maria Dahvana Headley’s Beowulf translation: “We could say that, like many modern, feminist projects, these are Christian projects, too, belatedly finding their true voices to chastise dualist moralism. Trying to shore up our own purity (non-monstrosity) is a delusion doomed to fail. Perhaps identifying with our enemies welcomes not only them but our true, complicated selves.”
Theologically-inclined people of microblog: any suggestions for free materials for prepping Bible studies on the web? I’m trying to piece together something on Galatians 3. The most accessible resources I know of are firmly entrenched in the reformed evangelical way of things and I’m trying to branch out.
I’ve been meaning to write some thoughts about the pandemic, joy, and embodiedness, but this newsletter from Mo Perry gives voice to them better than I could have imagined. HT to @ayjay for this find.
REBUILDING A SPOT IN HARLEM WITH JERRY MRAZ - Jenkem Mag
This essay about OnlyFans, the commodification of eros, and capitalism’s encroachment of the most intimate aspects of our being is fascinating, and devastating. Lord, have mercy.
God and the Gamemaster - Alexi Sargeant at Plough.
Camping practice in our backyard. @jensaplin
New morning read. 📚
I wrote some thoughts on distraction and burnout.
Eric Miller at Mere Orthodoxy on “the market” and Evangelical colleges: “The market’s inability to measure the actual historical loss that such decisions effect on the most crucial traditions we have—political, intellectual, ecclesiastical, ecological—is simply one more sign that our grand global system is yet another idol blind to the devastation in its wake. “
David French on the Breonna Taylor case: “In the contest between the rights of a woman to sleep peacefully in her own home and for her boyfriend to defend it against violent entry and the right of the state to make a violent entry, the law should prefer the homeowner.”
Brad Edwards at Mere Orthodoxy: “Evangelicals have had it all wrong. Secularism isn’t the root of the problem, but the inevitable fruit of an individualism cultivated within a domesticated church more interested in maintaining manicured lifestyles than exploring the messy inconvenience of the Kingdom. The threat isn’t lurking out there somewhere, but in here fueling the culture wars we claim to be victims of.”
I normally post pictures here, but today’s hike to Blackrock Summit in Shenandoah National Park deserved a whole blog post of its own.
Received goods. More here darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hid…
Lovely day at Grace Estate Winery.
Neighbor from the pond behind our house visited my office today.
Since I missed Nick Cave’s livestreamed solo concert back in July, I’m very excited that it will be released as a film and an album this November. This performance of Galleon Ship from it is just gorgeous.
A fantastic Labor Day reflection from Chris Arnade: “Many Americans see work as a thing to deal with, that hopefully gives them enough stability or money to have a shot at being who they really are. … That doesn’t mean they don’t want to be good at their job, but that there are a lot of hard jobs because life is hard, and a lot of people would rather focus their energies on being good at their lives.
Work is only a part of that, let’s not try to make it the only part.”
VA beauty from our drive out to Solomons Island yesterday.
Mini vacation in Solomons Island, MD
Today Augustine sounds like Uncle Colm from Derry Girls. “So I says to myself, says I…” 📚