Sunday, February 26, 2012

THE FINE MISMATING OF A HIM AND HER...: Something I've been thinking about without much coherence or resolution. I have a couple footnotes which I may post later, but for now I figured I'd let my readers whack at this pinata for a while!

As you know, Bob, I got a lot out of Christopher C. Roberts's Creation and Covenant. Nestled among its more central claims and arguments, it makes a very strong theological case for something I’ve already thought about, w/o much resolution, when considering the "theology of the body": Women and men are made for one another, and yet celibacy is in some way a witness to that fact just as much as marriage is. So how does that actually work?

It’s an especially weird or fraught question for me because so much of my conscious development of a spirituality which supports my celibacy has been devoted to finding chaste, Catholic ways to honor and express my love of women. So I'm very aware of ways in which my prayer life, my volunteer work, my friendships, and my writing are ways in which I can serve and love women. And I stand by that as a necessary and fruitful lens through which to focus my spiritual life. But I'm a lot more vague on how I relate, in my spirituality, to men or Man or Adam (?) or whatever I should be picturing here!

However, when I was thinking about this question, I realized that the one prayer I return to most insistently (I don't count the rosary as one prayer) is the Anima Christi. And this is such an enfleshed, almost lurid prayer, very visceral--you become inebriated by Christ’s blood and hide in His wounds. I wonder if perhaps this prayer is so powerful for me, or calls to me so much when I'm in need, in part because it does offer such a strong spiritual connection to Christ-as-Man?

I am really not able to express myself very well on this subject or form any interesting conclusions, so I suppose I'll just throw this out there and ask whether people have any reactions. And for a) the celibate, especially those celibate by vocation rather than circumstance, and b) the gay/same-sex-attracted/your-term-here among us, do you all perceive, in your own lives, a need for some kind of spiritual practice which "brings together the two halves of humanity"? Have you found ways of living as woman for man, or man for woman, outside of marriage?
CHILDREN'S LONGING FOR GENDER: I basically agree with this email from a friend. I'd add that, as she says, parents can and should meet kids' longing for gender in some ways... while resisting kids' tendency toward really rigid and sometimes destructive ideas about gender (for example, the tendency to mark out some activities which are generally fruitful for both sexes, like crying or art, as the territory of only one sex). As I indicated here, a unisex world would lack some necessary beauty--but so would a rigidly-gendered, stereotype-affirming world. Parents can teach flexibility while modeling adult life as man and woman. At least, I think they can...!
Hi Eve, this is a bit late but I have been thinking about your post about whether we can have gender roles without reducing them to functions. It's been a quandary to me for a long time, so I don't have the answer, but your opener about young kids' clothes reminded me of taking developmental psych as an undergrad. A common refrain I heard, in my feminist-leaning college, was, "I thought gender roles were something society imposed on kids, until I actually had kids." One person who had a revelation along those lines was the psychologist Vivian Paley, not so much from having kids as teaching kindergarten, which inspired her to write an entire book about how her kindergarteners tried to define themselves as male and female. Since they were years away from the business end of gender, they tended to latch on to secondary and sometimes arbitrary things. I don't remember many details after 20 years, but sometimes the kids would make up rules like "Boys skip, girls hop." So when you're looking at little kids' clothes -- at least if they aren't too little to talk -- keep in mind that a lot of these choices may have been insisted upon by the kids themselves. (It helps, of course, that there's a whole industry of children's products happy to pander to this.)

Many people outgrow that sort of thing, but still, 'the child is the father of the man,' especially when you're talking about a physical discipline like figure skating that people have to start in childhood to get really good at. But that's also all the more reason for kids to have strong adult figures of both sexes in their lives -- like, say, parents -- because otherwise the random rules their peers make up can end up defining gender for them. At five, a child isn't going to understand abstract concepts like 'icon' and 'genre', but they can look at an adult and say, 'I want to be like that,' and grow into understanding by imitation. If I do end up going to grad school in psych, it will be very interesting to find out what's happened in the last 20 years on this front. Once you've realized 'OMG gender differences are probably innate!' the next issue is, 'Now what do we do about it?'
"Two abysses, gentlemen of the jury, remember that Karamazov can contemplate two abysses, and both at the same time. We searched the house and found nothing."
--I really like this sardonic juxtaposition, from the prosecutor's final speech in TBK

Friday, February 24, 2012

OH CINEMA, WHERE YOU GONNA RUN? Some very quick notes on a few of the movies I've watched demi-recently.

The Cockettes: You can find out why I wanted to watch this documentary about an avant-garde hippie-esque drag group here--the Geerdes quote is great. I think I tried to use it in the Weekly Standard once but they scrubbed it.... The movie is a labor of love, but if you weren't there you probably don't care about the ramshackle performances, and the era's darker tints are either excused (constant stealing, preference for welfare over work, general self-centeredness) or treated much too glancingly (deaths, sex and parenting, the alleyways people ran down in the search for ecstasy). Rise Above: The Tribe 8 Documentary, which I saw a bit later, did a generally better job of actually talking about punk (and s/m, and drugs, and probably other stuff I'm forgetting...) as part of a search for something beyond the self. Even Rise Above gave very little attention to that topic, obviously the angle most interesting to me. But I also just liked lead singer Lynn Breedlove a lot more than I liked any of the Cockettes; maybe it's just her scraped-up, cadging, laughing, low-rent voice. I think Tribe 8 was the second concert I ever went to (the first was the Violent Femmes opening for the B-52s).

A Letter to Three Wives: Desperate Housewives of the 1950s. I mean that in a good way! A really well-done "women's picture" about married life, with a surprising absence of children and an unusual, souffle-light mix of candor and utopianism about class.

The Lost Weekend: Sickly, and then sickly-sweet, melodrama. Was I just born too late for this? Only intermittently seemed to capture the shame and disintegration of addiction.

Silent Hill: Love the scabby, rancid color scheme of this movie. Love the idea that the deserted, fog-shrouded and frightening "daytime" Silent Hill is actually the happy version--it gets much worse! Found the last half-hour or so speechifying and boring. Another of the seemingly endless "evil comes from people who have been hurt! Fear the weak, not the powerful!" horror movies. I could really use fewer of those--obviously it isn't entirely untrue, but when it's pushed relentlessly as the only explanation for cruelty or, as it is in Silent Hill, used to reject the possibility of forgiveness and allow the audience to wallow in vengeance, then I find it really cheap.

28 Weeks Later: Starts out really powerfully, focusing on the horrible choices made during a zombie apocalypse and the need to come to terms with those choices somehow after the immediate crisis has passed. I was super invested in this "Where did they bury the survivors?" story and was disappointed that overall that isn't the story this movie wants to tell. Still, it's fast-paced and compelling, maybe more of a suspense flick than the misery-horror show I was hoping for.
THE CULTURE OF FEAR OF DIVORCE is the subject of my article in the current American Conservative. It's subscribers-only, at least for now, but here is the opening:
If America has endured a “divorce revolution” since California passed no-fault divorce in 1969, we've now entered the counterrevolutionary phase. Divorce rates have fallen from their peak in the early '80s, the deep pain often felt by children of divorce is openly acknowledged and respected, and young Americans typically express both fear and a kind of moral horror at the thought of divorce. They are determined not to repeat the mistakes of previous generations; avoiding divorce is a constant anxiety and even obsession.

But as with most purely reactionary cultural movements, the revolt against divorce has been much better at targeting what it rejects than figuring out what it's for. In a strange, sad twist, the divorce counterrevolution has only weakened our marriage culture more.

Here are three things we've ignored as we make divorce (and divorced people) the scapegoat for broader problems of family breakdown.

more (pdf). I think this piece is pretty good. There are some things I would change, but overall I think I did what I intended. Plus I may be the first AmCon writer to praise (This article.)
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast."

--Matthew 9:14-5, today's reading

I like this because it works against the temptation to view Lent as a self-improvement project. I don't like self-improvement and I'm not good at it! This passage is a reminder to focus outward, on deepening our love for Christ as we long and prepare for Him, rather than inward on our own various foibles or even major besetting sins.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

KITCHEN... BUSINESS TRIPS?: These don't really rise to the level of "adventures," but they were tasty, so here you go.

Socca with diced apple, herbs, and grated parmesan. The cheese melts a little and the whole thing is like an herby cheese danish kind of thing. I think it was a Fuji apple.

Veggie chili w/apple. I was super-dubious about this but I needed to get rid of the rest of the apple, so I threw it into my chili. It was great! Not too sweet, not an especially prominent flavor, but definitely unusual and fun. ...Oh, and I added some soy sauce to my chili for the first time, which was also a great move.

Savory oatmeal with mushrooms. Inspired by this, I think. I sliced or chopped up a mess of button mushrooms, minced some garlic and ginger, thinly sliced a medium-sized jalapeno, and chopped up some cilantro. Then sauteed all of that in a saucepot; added quick oats and milk; stirred, added salt, dried oregano, dried thyme, cumin, and garam masala; cooked until the oats were ready, about one to two minutes; decanted into bowl and ate. This was really satisfying, earthy and filling, although next time I will use a hit of soy sauce, maybe more salt, and probably some cayenne, since the jalapeno was milder than I expected.
"THE REDEEMED SURREALISTS": I sort of review an art show, at Crisis...
In Norse mythology, the earth was formed from the body of Ymir, the father of the frost giants. His blood became the ocean, and his skull the sky. It’s a grim vision of life, and yet a strikingly anthropomorphic one: The world is shaped like a man and the man is dead.

PAVLOVA'S "DYING SWAN." Feverish. Via Ratty.
"Lord, let man dissolve in prayer! How would I be there underground without God? Rakitin's lying: if God is driven from the earth, we'll meet him underground! It's impossible for a convict to be without God, even more impossible than for a non-convict!"
--Mitya, TBK. The real crime is cutting his whole impassioned, careening, caterwauling speech. This chapter ("A Hymn and a Secret" in the Pevear/Volonkhosky translation) didn't strike me the first time I read Karamazov, but this time around it was intense and painful.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

THE HOMILY ON SALIERI. From Amadeus, not in real life, don't email me!

I disagree with one sentence in this. Can you find it? The hint is that I'm still re-reading The Brothers Karamazov....
14 SURPRISING USES FOR YOUR MICROWAVE. Some of these are deeply unsurprising (you can bake potatoes in the machine which comes with a "baked potato" button!) and others sound a bit sketch (I'm dubious about the garlic-roasting idea, though I do plan to give it a try), but I'm definitely going to use the sponge tip and probably some of the others.
GENDER AS GENRE: Twice in the past two weeks, while rooting through bins of children's clothing to find the best things for the women we serve at the pregnancy center, I've found cute little t-shirts emblazoned with figure-skating logos. Cute, ruffly, pink, indisputably girly t-shirts. And I mean, I love Oksana Baiul as much as the next person, and this program makes me want a cigarette afterward, but my overall preference turns out to be for men's singles skating. I want a way of thinking about gender which allows men and women to be different--allows Man and Woman, He and She, to be iconic realities whose divergences are as vivid as their similarities--without parceling out some activities or emotions as pink or blue.

There needs to be a way of talking about gender which neither marginalizes la difference, nor falls back on rigid and deeply culturally-contingent patterns of behavior. Saying, for example, that children do best with both a mother and a father is not reducible to saying that children need both a nurturing person and a challenging person. Gender isn't function. I've written about this here (actually, that post says much of what I wanted to say in this one, so maybe just consider this a reminder and footnote!), and I liked a lot of what Christopher C. Roberts said about it in his book Creation and Covenant.

One partial analogy might be genre. Every emotion and gesture can be found in different genres, and yet those emotions are evoked differently and those gestures signify different things depending on genre. A woman standing at her window, nervously twitching the curtain with her fingers, means something different in a romantic comedy as vs. a suspense flick. Hope is evoked differently in horror vs. noir.

The analogy is only partial. For a Catholic, while the specifics of gender are culturally-contingent the existence of gender difference is not; and you do have to pick one, man or woman are your only options within the Catholic faith as far as I can tell. Obviously those things aren't true of genre. But I hope the analogy can illuminate the possibility of talking about real difference without being reductive or functionalist, without dressing boys in the camouflage onesies and the soccer/football/basketball sleepers while girls get the flower- and butterfly-decked outfits.

I'd be interested in any thoughts you all have along these lines....
[O]ne should not so romanticize the process of moral and spiritual struggle that the Lukan depiction of Jesus as one who maintains apparent serenity and trust amidst suffering is downgraded; as though an anguished and in some ways vacillating struggle for faith is intrinsically superior to a steadily trusting faith; or as though a steadily trusting faith did not involve its own kind of moral and spiritual struggle.
--Walter Moberly, The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus, via Wesley Hill

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

VALENTINE'S DAY-JOB: At MarriageDebate right now, links on: beyond marriage, gay covenant marriage?, was Chaucer a sentimentalist?, STDs and sexual culture, NPR guy defends the "no escape" aspect of marriage, can the working class be saved?, a whole passel of links on various aspects of birth control, "living alone means being social" (for some very thin definition of "social," IMO), do mothers matter?, a divorced (and childless) couple caring for aging parents together, and the usual much-much-more. Why not subscribe to the RSS feed?
Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput made a brave, but not entirely unexpected, move when he announced that the Archdiocese would be selling its 13,000 square foot, 3-story stone mansion at 5400 City Line Avenue. The sixteen-room, six-car garage structure sits on slightly more than 8 acres of land and has been described as a "baronial home." Purchased for $115,000 in 1935 by Cardinal Dennis Dougherty at a time when the idea of a mansion seemed appropriate for a "Prince of the Church," the opulent residence now risks being seen as an embarrassment of riches in the wake of financially driven closings of Catholic schools in the area.

Archbishop Chaput is no novice when it comes to selling expensive mansions for smaller living quarters. In 1999, as Archbishop of Denver, he sold the Denver bishop’s villa and moved into the diocesan seminary. ...

The die-hards who call for 1st Century austerity fail to take into account the difference between opulent living and giving the best when it comes to what the ancient Jews believed about decorating the Second Temple of Jerusalem, built by Herod. Nearly 20-stories high and constructed by some 10,000 men, the white marble and gold edifice with striking bronze doors was considered to be a "footstool" of God’s presence. It was in this elaborate, incense-smoked place that Jesus himself prayed, and where, incidentally, he never once criticized as being too opulent or extravagant in its expression of adoration of the Father.

For over a century and a half, hard-working Catholics in the United States gave willingly to build churches that would stand the test of time. Nothing was too good for a temple, be it marble altar rails, towering frescoes or gilded high altars. Living a simpler "humbler" life should mean downsizing from a mansion to a house, not turning churches into concrete Brutalism bunkers that signify nothing.

more (via First Thoughts)
On October 19th of 1955, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Marianne Moore, was approached by a Mr. Robert Young of the Ford Motor Company and asked to assist them in naming a new series of cars.

Mongoose Civique! (via Dylan, I think)

...First, the Dubner story is a reminder of the critical importance of how we – as Christians, and as humans – understand death. For both Stephen and his mother, the spark that led to their respective rejections of their families’ religious views and their own conversions was the way in which death was dealt with by these families. As a child, Florence Greenglass wanted to understand why her family feared death so deeply that they never talked about it – indeed, never told her that her own grandfather had died – while their Catholic neighbors marked the house of the dead with a ribbon and their children freely discussed whether the newly deceased had gone to heaven or purgatory. In becoming a Catholic, she embraced Christ’s victory of death, pinning her hopes on the joys of heaven: death no longer needed to be feared. But ironically, it was a very similar frustration that led Florence’s reflective and intelligent son away from Catholicism. When his father died, the ten-year-old Stephen was deeply uncomfortable with the way in which his death was treated almost as a joyful occasion in the family, with much talk of the happiness of the deceased in Heaven – and little room for the living to grieve on earth.

It’s worth noting that Stephen did not know – at the time – that his father had been profoundly depressed, struggling for days to get out of bed; he thus could not understand what must have been very genuine feelings on his mother’s part that the long-suffering Paul was indeed in a better place. At the same time, his Catholic household failed in the same way that Florence’s secular Jewish one did: forgetting – in the adults’ resolute decision that death was, respectively, either a terrifying evil or almost a non-event – to make room for a child to make inquiry of the reality of death and to come to terms with it.

...The mementos — collected from all over the world — are random and varied, ranging from fake rubber breasts to a cast from a broken leg. Each item comes with dates and locations of the relationships, and notes by their anonymous donors.

Some are funny. The note next to a garter belt says: "I never put them on. The relationship might have lasted longer if I had."

Some are bitter. The garden gnome flew over a car driven by a husband who turned "arrogant and heartless." It bounced on the asphalt, shattering its face.

"It was a long loop, drawing an arc of time ... that defined the end of love," the note from Slovenia said.

An ax from Berlin was used by a woman to smash every piece of furniture her girlfriend had left behind.

"The more the room filled with chopped furniture, (the more) I felt better."

The text by a blue Frisbee reads: "Darling, should you ever get the ridiculous idea to walk into a cultural institution like a museum for the first time in your life, you'll remember me."

more (via Ratty)
The school did a play by Ibsen that was not to be seen by anyone except the class and teachers. Martha saw it and stopped me in the hall afterward. "You were too much in character," she said. And I, being a pompous young ass, replied, "Yes, that was what I was trying to do."

"No," she said, "you must always do something out of character. Human beings do things out of character. Your best friend does things that you would never dream he or she would do. It's part of the human condition and makes a character real. To develop a character fully, you must look at the other side of them and find the secrets that are there, contradictory things that are not obvious the first time you read the role. You have to do something out of character." I remembered that advice all my life.

--Tony Randall on Martha Graham; from Dance Anecdotes

Thursday, February 09, 2012

PUBLIC FEARS IN PRIVATE PLACES: After that New York Times piece on me was published, the best and cattiest response I saw was the comments-box punchline, "She should join a silent order." Perhaps the characters in Next Fall should also take that advice!

Next Fall--playing at the Round House Theater in Bethesda until 2/26--is a play in which the subtlety of what goes unspoken is almost drowned out by the shallow, stereotype-laden dialogue. It's about a gay couple, generic atheistic Adam and blithely evangelical Luke; when Luke is involved in a serious car accident and falls into a coma, Adam has to deal with his parents, who never knew that their son was gay. (Luke at one point said that he would tell them "next fall," when his younger brother was out of the house and in college, so the title of the play itself alludes to something unspoken, unaccomplished, something left unresolved due to fear.)

There are a lot of problems with the play, especially in the more cartoonish first act. I saw it with two friends, both of whom liked it more than I did; at the intermission I wondered out loud whether it would just be two hours of self-centered people feeling their emotions. They're just all so American in the worst way!--they know that they're right, and they're proud of their opinions. I mean, look: This is the second play I've seen in a row in which not knowing the meaning of the word "tchotchke" marks a character out as gauche, clueless, and generally Not Our Kind, Dear.

Meanwhile the religious arguments seem to start and stop almost at random. The content will be familiar to anyone who has ever made the mistake of reading the comments: What about really nice people who aren't Christian, do they go to hell? What about Jeffrey Dahmer, if he accepts Jesus will he be allowed into the pearly-gated community with respectable homos like Luke? Don't we all have our own beliefs, what about the Jews, and--most poignantly, and least fleshed-out--isn't it a sin for Luke to sleep with a man? The disputes themselves are so brief that they feel chintzy. Adam comes across like he's constantly trying to pick a fight but never willing to finish one. Luke comes across like he thinks Jesus is magic, and if you just say you believe you can do whatever you want; but if you call him on any of the many ways he takes the easy way out, he gets upset (understandably, given how blatantly Adam is baiting him most of the time, but still!).

The key moment in their arguments might come when neither of them can sleep one night. Earlier, Luke had compared accepting Christ to taking a pill which could cure one's cancer, and said that some people are so angry to have cancer in the first place that they're not willing to just take the cure. So then later they're sleepless and dejected, and Adam says that he's going to take a sleeping pill. "Make it two," Luke says. He reminds Adam of their earlier conversation and takes the pill, looking up hopefully at Adam--who looks back at him with total exhaustion and says, "If it were that easy, everyone would swallow it." Adam walks back into the bedroom with the pill still in his hand.

More interesting than the spoken arguments, though, are the character notes which go unmarked. For example, there's Brandon, a repressed Christian. (He only wears tightly buttoned-up clothing, because why even have a costumer if you don't want obvious metaphors?) He doesn't say much, and in his one big scene, a lot of what he does say is just exasperatedly agreeing with the words Adam puts in his mouth. But he's there. He's a constant presence in the hospital waiting room, steadfast, quiet, immovable. There's a solidity to him, a doggedness which is manifested both in his blunt, unimaginative dogmatism and in his silent loyalty. (He's played by the really excellent Alexander Strain, whom I saw as Spinoza in this play. He'll be reprising that role this season!)

All the play's religious questions are framed in terms of the afterlife: Is there a Heaven? Will I get there, will you? I've already written about why this is not a good way to understand Christian life! But it does draw out the deep undercurrents of fear which run through the play. Luke is creepily cheerful, and professes not to fear death at all; Adam longs for that fearlessness. In day to day life Luke is terrified that his parents will find out about his relationship with Adam, and at night he's sometimes haunted enough that he will pray after they have sex, but he still manages to project a sense of sunny confidence which the neurotic, hypochondriac Adam picks up on. Their relationship makes Adam a bit more free and less fearful, even as it causes Luke anxiety.

I like a lot of things about this setup. I like that faith doesn't actually free Luke from fear or distress--it changes his questions and challenges, so it changes when he feels fear and why. I like the framing of Christian faith as hospital and cure, something you can only receive if you're willing to admit that you're sick, and I like that Adam the hypochondriac is deeply resistant to admitting any spiritual neediness or infirmity. (Luke's evangelical parents are recovering addicts; his mother Arlene, thoroughly inhabited by the terrific Kathryn Kelley, was the only character I genuinely liked. Even if she doesn't know what a tchotchke is!) I like the suggestion that Christ the rock can give inherently weak and silly people some depth, solidity, and insight.

I just wish any of that had been pushed to its limits! I want to see Luke's faith get really tested, not just harried. I want any backstory whatsoever for Adam, whose background is basically a cardboard cutout labeled, "White gay man who came of age in the '80s." Overall it felt like this play pulled all its punches because the playwright didn't know how to portray more intense religious conflict or more uniquely-articulated faith. So all the characters' religious beliefs seemed to deflate to the level of their self-comforting American emotions, rather than their emotions rising to the level of the exalting or devastating Christian faith.
After kissing the young girl, the ghost of the rose leaps out the window... and drops down among the attendants, who spit water in his face and rub him down with Turkish towels, like a boxer. What a combination of grace and brutality! I will always hear the thunder of the applause; I will always see that young man smeared with rouge, gasping, sweating, pressing one hand to his heart and holding onto a prop with the other, or even collapsed in a chair. Then, after being slapped, sprayed, and shaken, he went back before the curtain to bow and smile.
--Jean Cocteau on Vaslav Nijinsky in La Spectre de la rose; quoted in Dance Anecdotes

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

On a moonlight night in the winter of 1835
the carriage of Marie Taglioni was halted by a Russian highwayman, and that enchanting creature was commanded to dance for this audience of one
upon a panther's skin spread over the snow beneath the stars. From this actuality arose the legend that, to keep alive the memory
of this adventure so precious to her, Taglioni formed the habit of placing a piece of artificial ice in her jewel casket or dressing table
melting among the sparkling stones, there was evoked a hint of the atmosphere of the starlit heavens over the ice-covered landscape.

--From Joseph Cornell's box construction Homage to the Romantic Ballet

cited in Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom, and Modern Dance, ed. Mindy Aloff

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"FAILURE WEEK" AT TOP GIRLS' SCHOOL TO BUILD RESILIENCE. This actually sounds like it could be pretty great.

Ratty asked if they would be showing A Boy Called Charlie Brown--a terrific yet depressing movie, in which the uplifting moral is not, "Second place is still worth celebrating!" or "You worked really hard and learned a lot--good job!" but rather, "At least you're not dead."
He who joins in singing a chorale, or who listens to the mass, the Christmas oratorio, the passion... wants to make his soul stand with both feet in time, in the most real time of all, in the time of the one day of the world of which all individual days of the world are but a part. Music is supposed to escort him there.
--Franz Rosenzweig, Star of Redemption, quoted in this interesting piece. (There's some unspoken stuff here as well about the interplay between satisfaction and surprise in the coming of Jesus, the promised Messiah in distinctly unpromising form....) Link via First Thoughts.

Friday, February 03, 2012

DEEPLY I LOVE ONLY LIFE. AND YOUR MONEY. Why did nobody tell me that there's a movie in which Barbara Stanwyck becomes a gold-digging kept woman because she reads Nietzsche?
We may well wonder whether the general disparagement of wanting to be loved may not be a typically modern phenomenon, still another form of modern man's claim to equality with God.
--Josef Pieper, About Love; quoted in Friendship: A Study in Theological Ethics