Mid-week links

March 01, 2023

A busy couple weeks ahead for me, but I'm here for you with the links.


With the recent announcement that the B-52s will stop touring, it’s cool to look at this piece from 2019 about the influences on, and those influenced by, the tracks of their first album.


The author of this piece killed himself last year, but this is a very good piece from 2001 about Paul Gilroy and African-American studies in America at the time, maybe with lessons for today, and you should read it.


The study of the history of cheerfulness, and a question of why in advanced circles, the acceptability of cheerfulness as a general moral stance has crashed in the latter part of the 20th and early 21st-century‘s. From Adorno to Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism, there’s a lot to think about here. This review is pretty late, but I will look for the book, as I suspect it has much to say about this.


This is the first part of a three-part interview with Daniel Mendelssohn, American writer and critic. It’s a great interview, if you read anything of Mendelssohn‘s, which I hope you have. His most recent book, Three Rings, was originally given as lectures here at UVA, where I had the pleasure of hearing them. They were amazing.


Nice review of a “biography” of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, by a poet who knows whereof she speaks, A.E. Stallings.


Good piece explaining something of the complexities of digital currency.


Somewhat cranky, but despite that not wrong, account of what has happened to American Christianity and its place in public culture.


Daniele Hervieu-Léger is an amazing sociologist, and her new book in French sounds equally good:

“She said the parochial network is waning, while the priestly resources sometimes can no longer perpetuate the model.

“The first condition for the church to change its world is to abandon the patriarchal, hierarchical and exclusive vision of the male and celibate priest and to abandon this territorial and imperial vision of its presence in the world,” she said. The church must accept its role as “a minority among others in a pluralist world.”

“If something really new is to happen to Catholicism in the West, it will probably be through the emergence of a diasporic church, made up of small, mobile affinity communities with very different orientations, which will try to keep the link between them in a federal form. For the Catholic Church, this is a real cultural revolution and an institutional paradigm shift for which it is still far from being prepared,” said the sociologist.”


Good review of a book on post-liberalism in Christianity, and against Christianity.


A review of what looks to be two interesting books by Stephen Sondheim and Mary Rodgers, both celebs (one brighter, one less so) of “the American Stage” but actually more thoughtful than that might make you think.


Finally, because this is a well-rounded blog: a good collection of tips about brewing coffee at home.


Perk up!  Be well.