This weekend on the Dish, Andrew provided somber reflections on the Sandy Hook shooting, linked to the video and transcript of the President's speech in Newtown, and further discussed the place of torture in the film Zero Dark Thirty.
In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Ruth Franklin revealed the religious life of Madeleine L'Engle, Walter Russell Mead pondered how we read the Bible, Stephen Mansfield detailed Lincoln's religion-inflected last words, and Mark Vernon asked if we're living in a second Axial Age. Tim Falconer noticed an uptick in elaborately planned funerals, Adam English reported on the real St. Nicholas, Joe Hanson marveled at our place in the cosmos, and Leonard Jason investigated the various sources of human creativity.
In literary coverage, Katherine Powers considered Dickens the dad, Dan Duray panned John Updike's art criticism, David Wood dissected our romantic notions of the writer's workspace, Anthony Gardner ranted about our increasing use of the plural, and Talitah Stevenson connected depression and writer's block. Keith Verones spiced up Latin lessons, Alan Jacobs ruminated on fiction's decline, Sunny Sea Gold explored why we re-watch films or re-read books, and both Michael Moynihan's "Ask Anything" videos touched on writers – he commented on Noam Chomsky here and Christopher Hitchens here. Read Saturday's poem here and Sunday's here.
In assorted news and views, Rachel Adams interviewed the author of Uganda's anti-homosexual bill and EJ Graff was confident that marriage equality will win in the end. Dan Savage applauded Amelia Earhart's monogamish take on marriage, Kat Stoeffel appraised the benefits of IUDs, and Brian Blickenstaff disrobed at a co-ed naked bathhouse in Germany. The Spectator nominated 2012 as the greatest year ever, Swati Pandey mediated on the fate of modern women, and Lapham's Quarterly tackled the theme of intoxication. Cool Ad Watch here, MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.
(Photo: People attend a prayer service to reflect on the violence at the Sandy Hook School at a church on December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images.)