In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
Here's an impressive and heartwarming little stunt, pulled off by filmmaker Nirvan Mullick with a big assist from the internets. But the coolest part is the creativity of the nine-year-old whose day Mullick was determined to make.
The Century's sort-by-lectionary-day tool exists primarily as a way of organizing past Living by the Word columns and Blogging toward Sunday posts in a useful way. But we also put other content there--anything from the magazine or blogs that happens to deal with a given lection in a way that could plausibly be useful to a preacher or worship planner. So, while our lectionary columnists and bloggers mostly focus on Sundays, the lectionary pages have also collected a good bit of content related to the additional holy days of the (weekly) lectionary.
Here are some things I read recently but didn't get around to blogging about: An anti-bullying session for fifth-graders, a guide for avoiding sexist campaign coverage, more.
So, who's playing politics with reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act? Sen. Schumer and the Democrats, or Sen. Grassley and the Republicans? Well, probably both. Yes, Democracts would love to bolster the narrative that Republicans don't care about women, even though Grassley et al. object to new provisions added to the VAWA, not the existing law. And yes, by threatening the whole bill based on objections to small parts of it, some Senate Republicans (not all of them) reveal that while they may in general favor services for domestic violence victims, it's not exactly a top priority to them. Of course both Senators Chuck are playing politics. That's their game, especially in leap years.
Bob Dylan released his first album 50 years ago this week. That self-titled debut is not the Dylan record anyone listens to most--it includes only two original tunes--and as Andy Greene details, it was not a smashing success. But it opened the door for Dylan to come back just months later and record The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which propelled Dylan's staggering career.
As I've said before, the objectivity-fetishizing conventions of straight news reporting make me crazy. It's not just the odd philosophical throwback of implying that reporters can somehow avoid writing as particular people situated in particular contexts. It's also the convoluted copy, in which even plain facts can't be stated plainly if they happen to be unpopular. So I was glad when NPR released its new ethics handbook, in which among other things the network states that it favors "truth" over "the appearance of balance" and adds that "if the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side, we acknowledge it in our reports."