The Newsroom (Season Two). Dramas get most of the love in this golden age of television, but the comedies deserve notice—and The Newsroom qualifies in that category: it’s a hilarious show trapped inside a lousy drama. Aaron Sorkin’s latest slice of romantic realism in the workplace spent its first season Monday-morning quarterbacking the news media.
While my life and mind have been shaped by both American evangelicalism and political liberalism, I feel little personal connection to either C. S. Lewis or John F. Kennedy. Like a lot of people, I have mixed feelings about both men; perhaps more importantly, I wasn't around yet when they died. In any case, neither anniversary made me catch my breath this week.
Here's what did: Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday.
Now in his seventies, Aaron Neville can still locate the incredibly sweet spot between full voice and falsetto. The R&B legend’s singing remains mellow but quietly forceful—as if he could let loose at any moment but chooses not to.
Malian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rokia Traoré has long blended West African music with occidental influences. Her fifth album, produced by P. J. Harvey collaborator John Parish, features the strongest rock element yet.
When it comes to weirdly argued crankiness, tsk-tsk-ing about lazy, entitled millennials is a pretty competitive field. But Jennifer Graham's piece last week stands out from the pack:
In colonial times, nine out of 10 people worked on food production, hence John Smith’s famous edict at Jamestown: “He who works not, eats not.” (There was no enabling 99-cent value menu then.) The millennials, alas, are trophy kids, a generation spawned not for their usefulness at harvest but because they look so precious in those matching pajamas from Hanna Andersson.
No need to respond to most of this, because in the millennial retort category—another tough bracket—we already have a winner.
Christopher Michael Jones is pastor of First Baptist Church of Hillside, New Jersey. He’s used the African American Lectionary—which I wrote about for the Century—in worship, though he doesn’t use it every week. Jones has also contributed to the AAL’s resources. I asked him a few questions about his experience.
Of the four projects I focused on in my article on alternate lectionaries, Eric Lemonholm's Open Source Lectionary arguably got the least attention—the fewest words, the fourth slot of four. But that's not because I found it to be the least interesting or significant.
It's true: the rollout of the Obamacare federal exchange has been a mess. And while the problems began with technical issues, they're threatening to become a whole lot more.
This week's Capitol Hill circus was all about who's to blame. Is it the feds' fault or the contractors'? To those of us who, whatever our political sympathies, don't have an immediate dog in the blame game, the answer seems obvious: regardless of where the specific problems originated, it was the Obama administration's job to get this thing done. And the administration failed.