Weekly Update 01
Given the fact that I flew to California and Texas for two separate trips AND bought a house in the time since the last post, I think the gap of nearly three months is perfectly acceptable, which yes I know is a very familiar refrain of mine. Of course, it’s not like anyone’s monitoring this space. So, hi.
I may be taking a risk by assigning a frequency and sequence to this post’s title, but it’s also arguably a healthy motivator since it’ll create an artificial sense of shame if I miss an entry. The name for these posts (“Weekly Update”) is a work in progress.
That said, I do think there’s wisdom preemptively collating work that doesn’t exist yet. So, in the spirit of Jay Springett’s blog, I’m publicly committing to a consistent series of blog entries. Let’s try this for at least a year and see where it goes. I’m unsure what form it will take, but I’ll take some cues from Springett’s posts and start there.
I’ve been meaning to write, and I actually have written too. But I also have a poor habit of not finishing things. I completed a rough draft of what turned out to be a short story for children (I think?), but have yet to type it up and give it a proper revision. I’ve also begun a few essays but not completed them. I’ve been writing these by hand in a notebook, and I’m ambivalent about the results. I struggle with momentum on unfinished things. Maybe handwriting, rather than typing is to blame? Or maybe I’m just externalizing my own propensity for procrastination onto superficial issues around process? I don’t think I need to write every day – I think such a demand is unreasonable for most adults with other full-time responsibilities Jeff Vandermeer will back me up on this. But, I do think some consistency is in order. And perhaps forcing myself to put unpolished things out in the world will help me maintain the habit.
So, here’s to good habits.
I spent last weekend in Washington DC and Annapolis. We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle in DC. On Saturday we visited with my parents, who finally made a move from southern California to Annapolis, MD. We ate some fantastic barbecue, crab cakes, and Italian food.
I had the opportunity to facilitate the 20s/30s Bible study at our church Tuesday evening. I can’t remember the last time I prepped and formally facilitated discussion around spiritual matters. Maybe ten years? I shudder to think what 18 year old Robbie would have subjected fellow students of holy writ to. I think this week actually went quite well. Hopefully everyone else felt the same.
I’ve read a few books since the last post. Some highlights include Jemar Tisby’s /The Color of Compromise/ and /Speaking to Skull Kings and Other Stories/ by Emily B. Cataneo.
I also David Bentley Hart’s /That All Shall Be Saved/, which is causing quite a stir in some circles. I think many of the negative reviews fail to substantively engage with the book’s arguments, and focus instead on Hart’s acerbic tone. Personally, I found his thesis compelling, but I wish he had engaged more with the relevant scriptural passages, rather than devoting just one chapter to it. Of course, being a philosopher, it makes sense that the bulk of his work is concerned with philosophical, rather than exegetical, questions. I also think his pugnacious tendencies and self-assured tone, while amusing, made the book a missed opportunity. Hart admits he expects to persuade no one – that those who disagree with him will persist in their disagreement, and those who agree with him, vice versa. While I think Hart’s arguments were compelling to someone like me who’s open to the book’s thesis, but not thoroughly convinced at the time of reading, I also think that it could have been equally off-putting. I believe in addressing “final things” (and any weighty topic, really) with some reverence and humility. Maybe that’s just my fragile disposition coming through. My argument against his tone is mainly pragmatic though; the substance of his argument deserves serious consideration, and I’d commend the book to anyone.
I’m about two-thirds of the way through Marilynne Robinson’s essay collection /What Are We Doing Here?/. I’m enjoying the way she winsomely and incisively interrogates unexamined cultural assumptions about economics, history, theology, and humanity.
I’ve seen the first two episodes of Watchmen. I think it’s a sequel to the book? Friends have said episode three is particularly noteworthy.
I signed up for Disney+ and watched the first episode of The Mandalorian. It immediately evokes memories of Firefly and carries the atmosphere and tone of a “space western”. It’s a deep-dive into an area of the Star Wars universe that, until now, we’ve only seen the surface of. For me, it’s some of the most enjoyable television I’ve watched in a while.
- the command to be reconciled - Alan Jacobs
- Toy Story 2 At 20: Mortality And Acceptance On The Edge Of 30 - The Quietus
- I Am Your Pug and I Have Heard the Call of the Wild - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
- Ruminations: Keeping Advent in the midst of marketplace hysteria - Fleming Rutledge
- /Update 11/16: Adding this one from Rune Soup that I forgot about/
- Blowing Filter Bubbles: World Without Sin