Danger Ramen is a podcast hosted by four young women who experienced Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) in their teenage years and identified as transgender men. Now in their twenties, all four women have since detransitioned/desisted from transgender identity and are able to look back on their teen years with the clarity of hindsight. They’ve formed the Pique Resilience Project to provide support for young people experiencing ROGD and to help minimize the number of teenagers harmed by significant medical choices they might later come to regret.
After years of feeling “existentially adrift about the future of the planet”, New Yorker staff writer Amanda Petrusich penned a letter to Wendell Berry and began a dialogue that resulted in this deeply wise and arresting interview, a small feast of wisdom about limitation, the meaning of neighborliness, “the evident parallel between the treatment of women and the treatment of the land”, and marriage. A preview:
Recycling can feel like hard work, especially if your local municipality doesn’t come to collect recyclables from your driveway once a month. But it’s a good thing, right? Well, yes. Which is why this recent global exposé is particularly discouraging: A Guardian investigation has found that hundreds of thousands of tons of US plastic are being shipped every year to poorly regulated developing countries around the globe for the dirty, labor-intensive process of recycling. The consequences for public health and the environment are grim.
We live in world where productivity reigns and where each of us is confronted with a non-stop torrent of digital information every day. This is a recipe for exhaustion and for losing touch with reality. It’s also the reason we must learn to do nothing.
Imagining the Kingdom: Parable, Poetry, and Gospel
From the first moment that he proclaims the kingdom of God, Jesus appeals to our imagination. He makes that appeal through the parables of the kingdom, the paradoxes of the gospel, the enigmatic and beautiful signs he gave in his miracles, and in those moments in the gospels when the heavens open and the ordinary is transfigured, seen in an utterly new light.
It’s strawberry season, the time of year when your local berry farm opens its fields for leisurely family picking. It’s a warm childhood memory, but also heavy with irony. Within the agricultural industry, strawberry harvesting has been labeled one of the most abusive and exploitive spaces. Native-born Americans won’t work in it and migrant strawberry pickers never want their families to do it either.
Some of you remember the band Pedro the Lion, a project by Dave Bazan. My daughters and I caught some of their live performances back in the mid-2000s at Cornerstone Festival and remain fans. His brutal honesty about going toe-to-toe with the God of the Bible speaks to me, though I don't share his repressive evangelical upbringing.
I always wanted to live in the apartment above The Watson Theater in my hometown. I recently discovered it’s been renovated, but I won’t be moving soon. Watsontown, like many American small towns, is no longer lived in, shopped in, or played in as it once was.
Token Ethicists and Non-existent Moral Communities
L. M. Sacasas
There are few more pressing tasks for contemporary Christians than that of coming to grips with the technological world that is rapidly developing and shifting around us, and which is becoming our primary social environment.
A few months ago, a friend introduced me to the work of the Jewish scholar, Rabbi David Fohrman. Reading his work and watching many of his videos on his AlephBeta site have been immensely rewarding for me in my understanding of Scripture. Rabbi Fohrman is a very skilled reader of the biblical text, noticing a great many things that other scholars miss.
Ezra Klein's recent interview with Cal Newport is a goldmine of practical insight and warrants repeated listening. It begins with a reflection on solitude. "The last ten years is the first time in human history that it has been possible to banish solitude from the human experience," Newport explains. "We are constantly getting input from other minds."
We live each day within a storm of information with no shortage of insightful content available to us. Within this context, it becomes easy to believe "that super-spirituality is most attainable by those who ingest the highest quantity of edifying media," as Tony Reinke puts it. This is clearly false, but it's tempting to believe it because we are all part of what Hartmut Rosa calls the acceleration society.
Guilt and shame are not the same. As Lewis Smedes once put it, "We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. A person feels guilt because he did something wrong. A person feels shame because he is something wrong."
Over at The Atlantic, Derek Thompson explores the new religion of "workism" so prevalent among millennials (who are rapidly burning out, as we saw a few issues ago). Why has work taken on the trappings of religion? Thompson notes the way in which "the American conception of work has shifted from jobs to careers to callings—from necessity to status to meaning."
In these three careful and incisive lectures, historian Sarah Williams explains the way in which private moral decisions in the bedroom have profound public implications. She does so through both personal narrative and historical argument.