5 small things I’m reading, vol. 2


The one where I realize I’m reading more than one piece about Christianity.

Life, Loss, and the Wisdom of Rivers, The Marginalian

Rivers may be among our richest existential metaphors — “Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river,” Borges proclaimed in his timeless meditation on time; “I do not think that the banks of a river suffer because they let the river flow,” Frida Kahlo wrote in celebrating her unconventional relationship with Diego Rivera — but they are also the raw material of our existence, the seedbed of civilization.

Aftersun, Close, and the Triumph of the Small, The New Republic

Lukas Dhont’s second film, Close, set in a small Belgian town, is a sumptuously shot meditation on a close friendship between two adolescent boys and its gradual, ultimately tragic erosion under the pressures of the constricting, homophobic culture of masculinity.

The Revolution That Feeds the Children, Red Star Ministries

When the pigs raided the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party headquarters in 1969, it was the supplies for the Breakfast for Children program that they sabotaged. Because it was the Breakfast for Children program that won the loyalty of the people.

“The Government Is Trying to Kill Us Now”: Scenes From a Lapsed Covid Emergency, The Nation

To make matters worse, this crisis of the family—repackaged and sold to the populace as the end of a health crisis—has intersected with the inflation crisis: food prices have shot up 10 percent from a year ago. Even at pre-pandemic levels of SNAP coverage, families across this benighted and impoverished region of the world—young and old, abled and disabled, employed and out-of-work—would still need to line up outside places like the Hazel Green Food Project, just to be able to afford bread and a few eggs. The implications of such measures aren’t lost on the people waiting outside the food bank. “The government is trying to kill us now,” Danny Blair, one of the men in the automotive bread line, told The Washington Post. “They are going to starve us out.”

Fr. Herbert McCabe, “The Class Struggle and Christian Love” (1980)

The wealthy and powerful are wealthy and powerful in part because they are better at killing; the one thing they cannot do is carry on forever the fiction that their interests coincide with the interests of most of the community. They cannot forever con people into believing that it is in their own interests and that of their families to work or to die for the profit of the ruling class. Any action that helps to expose this fiction, any action that serves to organise the working class — which is to say almost everybody in the community — in their own interests strikes a really dangerous blow at the power of our rulers, immensely more dangerous than any bullet or bomb.