The Weekend Wrap


This weekend on the Dish, we provided an array of religious, books, and cultural coverage. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, David Attenborough recalled his vision of nature without man, T. M. Luhrmann emphasized the spiritual dimension of drug-induced altered states, Victoria Beale lambasted recent books from Alain de Botton's "School of Life" imprint, and readers responded to Maurice Sendak's moving thoughts on death. Walter Russell Mead reflected on the entrepreneurial spirit of American religion, Jay Michaelson critiqued the new film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Christian Wiman explored the language of faith. Beth Haile dissected the moral theology of Les Mis, Katy Waldman hailed Milton's Paradise Lost as a progenitor of science fiction, and David Bentley Hart contemplated the religious contours of modernity.

In literary and arts coverage, Jacob Leland mused on the meaning of gluttony in famous books from the early 20th century, Hannah Rosefield deconstructed the role of obesity in literature, and Edith Zimmerman argued there's no such thing as good advice. Amy Whitaker stalked Harper Lee, Zadie Smith offered insight into how books impact the way we view ourselves, Hamilton Nolan ripped into the narcissism of young writers, Ed Park located the source of the P.G. Wodehouse's enduring popularity, and John Banville ruminated on Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. Carolyn Abbate explained how opera has evolved, Laurie Fendrich appreciated the rogue art critic Dave Hickey, and Norman Lebrecht eviscerated the Mozart industry. Read Saturday's poem here and Sunday's here.

In assorted news and views, William Pesek assessed the evolving political crisis sparked by the gang-rape and death of a 23-year-old woman in India, Amanda Marcotte pondered the implications of Internet vigilantism, James Panero put the digital age in the context of other information revolutions, Jesse McDougall explicated the science of time and space, and NASA considered lassoing an asteroid to bring it into the moon's orbit. Ben Robinson revealed the secrets to success on The Price is Right, Justin Amirkhani went behind the scenes at Medieval Times, Christian DeBenedetti tracked the rise of a black market for craft beer, Megan Garber remembered the Swedish physician who invented the exercise machine, and new research supported the case for nature's cognitive benefits. FOTD here, MHBs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

In case you missed it, read Andrew's declaration of Dish independence and all other coverage and explanation of the decision here. Find out about our core strength – amazing readers – here. And please consider becoming a member here.

– M.S.

(Photo by Flickr user Randy OHC)