The Weekend Wrap


This weekend on the Dish, Andrew riffed on SCOTUS and gay marriage while nominating George Will for an Yglesias Award, meditated on Christianity and death, told the GOP to read John Stuart Mill, and noted a charming anecdote about jazz legend Dave Brubeck.

In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Nick Olson deciphered the religious meaning of The Life of Pi, Morgan Meis learned from St. Francis of Assisi, Patrick Jarenwattananon covered the religious side of Dave Brubeck, Mary Karr told us how she prays, the LDS launched a new website about being gay and Mormon, and Nick Cave turned to the Bible for great love songs. Costica Bradatan argued that philosophy is a way of life, Susan Jacoby profiled the 19th century secularist Robert Green Ingersoll, Thomas Beller considered photography and memory, Edward Shorter highlighted the difficulty in diagnosing personality disorders, and Robin Hemley asked about the persistence of curses.

In literary coverage, Zoë Heller eviscerated Salmon Rushdie's new memoir, Lydia Kiesling reviewed Kurk Vonnegut's letters, Ben Zimmer detailed how the Oxford English Dictionary helped Tony Kushnerwrite Lincoln, and Tina Rosenberg recounted the true story of British spy novelist Dennis Wheatley. Helen Vendler worried that Ive League admissions systematically exclude artists and writers, Henri Cole pondered the relationship between selfishness and writing, Silas House revealed his writing habits, and Faith Barrett described poetry's role in the Civil War. Read Saturday's poem here and Sunday's here

In assorted news and views, Ricardo Cortés discussed the secret history off coffee and coca, Rachel White reported on the rise of red state surrogate mothers who carry children for gay couples, Emma Marris explained the uptick in liberal urban hunters, Debbie Nathan explored the nudist origins of the ACLU's defense of sex acts, and John Davis taught pot entrepreneur's about banking. Alyssa Rosenberg found the truth in a viral video about gender roles, Maria Popova praised John Homans' new book about dogs, G. Murphy Donovan held that proper meals hold civilization together, and James Flynn dissected how retirement might impact IQ. Check out another Bill McKibben "Ask Anything" video here, MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

– M.S.

(Photo: Couples exchange vows during a mass wedding for 25 same-sex partners at Seattle First Baptist Church on December 9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Today is the first day that same-sex couples can legally wed in Washington state. By David Ryder/Getty Images.)