This weekend on the Dish, we took a break from politics to provide our usual eclectic mix of religious, books, and cultural coverage. In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Gary Greenberg questioned psychiatry’s claims to be scientific, Barry Schwartz told us why we should settle for good enough, and Thomas de Zengotita offered an incisive critique of evolutionary psychology. Anne Kingston examined the mainstreaming of Buddhist mindfulness, Shel Silverstein described what God’s love feels like, and Richard Wolin pondered the dangers of monotheism. Christopher Hutton argued that to doubt is Christian, Vatican doctors gave their stamp of approval to JPII’s second miracle, Jim Holt thought the was universe wasn’t beautiful, and Adam Gopnik reflected on a parent’s love.
In literary coverage, Ernest Hemingway ruminated on the writer’s life, Flannery O’Connor noted why Southern writers love freaks, and Terrence Malick assigned books to his cast and crew. Mary Mann praised the cantankerous writing style of Max Beerbohm, Daniel Matthew Varley compared William Styron and DFW on despair, and wine turned out to be connected to writing in more ways than we realized. Will Glovinsky considered on attitudes toward crowds in literary history and digital modernity, Robert Frost didn’t hit it off with Ezra Pound, and Tony Hoagland suggested changes to the poetry curriculum. Victorian marriages were not something to aspire to, John McWhorter analyzed the linguistics of texting, and Jennifer Szalai investigated the various iterations of Oprah’s book club. Read Sunday’s poem here.
In assorted news and views, Viola Gad chemically-enhanced her dating life, researchers connected attractive voices to what they might indicate about the rest of a person’s body, and Jim Giles appraised Wikipedia’s demographics. Adam Baer reviewed the new Hummingbird music-notation system, Francie Diep reported on a creative way to increase the efficiency and bring down the cost of solar power, the U.S. government hoarded narcotics in the lead-up to WWII, and J. Hoberman saw a new installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Street. MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.
(Image by Dr. Manfred Anders, from Wikimedia)