The Handmaid’s Tale has been much talked about ever since the famous novel became a miniseries on Hulu. Like any good dystopian story, the novel wasn’t meant to ask “what if” about the future so much as “how so” about the present. Dystopian stories warn us of what might happen tomorrow. Great dystopian stories plumb deeper, asking what it is about us now that could bring us there. Continue reading →
Part II—All the Colorful, Useless Peafowl [Read part I here]
In part two of O’Connor’s story, Mrs. Shortley has left the farm and Mrs. McIntyre is left with the displaced Pole and her black workers. We’re given more insight into her character through her conversations with the older farmhand, Astor. While Astor remembers well her husband, the Judge, Mrs. McIntyre is haunted by her late husband. Astor has noticed two things: The decline of the peacocks and the incline of Mrs. McIntyre’s greed. Continue reading →
For fans of Flannery O’Connor, “The Displaced Person” is a a short story that occupies a special place, not only because it exhibits her love for peacocks, but because of its more overt religious themes. The story takes place on a farm, the inciting incident being the hiring of a “displaced person” (or refugee) from Poland. O’Connor, a devout Catholic, is one of America’s most famous writers, known for her southern stories of grotesque people encountering beautiful grace.
Some preachers have concluded that because Nehemiah built a wall for the Lord, and President Trump wants to build a wall for America, that somehow Trump’s wall is the will of God and Christians must support the effort, because Trump is God’s Nehemiah for America. Because Nehemiah and because a wall. Continue reading →
I’ve followed and appreciated from “day 1” what Crash Course has done to educate people. Anyone with internet access can get access to entertaining, thought-provoking introductions to various subjects, getting a quick survey of topics.
The downside, of course, is that these speedy courses can reduce or misrepresent complex and nuanced understandings of the world. Continue reading →
The Good Samaritan is a loaded parable, packed with applications and implications. It’s one of Jesus’ most powerful reversals of cultural expectations in his time. Perhaps the one lesson we always take away from it the most is that we should always stop and help people when we have a chance, no matter the excuse. Continue reading →
“For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in [conditioning] by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.”
-Charles J. Sykes, Conservative editor of Right Wisconsin Continue reading →