The Weekend Wrap

May 20 2013 @ 9:00am

This weekend on the Dish, Andrew praised the sanity of the American people, saw the deep Christianity in an Obama commencement speech, and continued to dissect the awfulness of a recent Peggy Noonan column.

We also provided our usual eclectic mix of religious, literary, and cultural coverage. In matters of faith, dish_kumi-1doubt, and philosophy, David Zahl found the Christianity in Stephen Colbert’s message to college graduates, James V. Schall contemplated sin and faith, and Morgan Meis pondered the similarities between Kierkegaard and the New Atheists, Paul Bloom found the limits of empathy, Alex Shaw discussed why we desire fairness, Maria Bustillos came to hugging’s defense, and Todd May considered love and eternal life. Andre Dubus ruminated on the Eucharist, Jaroslav Pelikan mused on Dostoevsky’s critique of moralism, and a new Tumblr imagined Wes Anderson writing the Bible.

In literary and arts coverage, Tarn Wilson discovered an unexpected benefit from MFA programs, Caitlin O’Neil compared writing to mixing drinks, and a reader furthered our discussion of Orwell in Spain. Michael Saler revealed the deeper meaning of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Macfarlane argued Cormac McCarthy’s The Road isn’t a typical novel about the apocalypse, and Kate Chisholm charmingly described the idiosyncrasies of Dr. Johnson. Angelo Alaimo O’Donnell led her students on a literary pilgrimage, Salman Rushdie thought about a writer’s relationship with race and geography, Clive James offered an epic takedown of Dan Brown, and Sadie Stein pointed to a droll Amazon UK review of Roger Hargreaves’s “Mr. Men” series. Kenneth R. Morefield revisited the films of Roberto Rossellini, Ruth Graham analyzed wedding poetry, Clayton Cubitt explored “the decisive moment” in photography, and Jaron Lanier worried that new technology conceals the personal effort involved in creative work . Read Saturday’s poem here and Sunday’s here.

In assorted news and views, Colin Schultz thought about a new college degree in heavy metal music, Aminatta Forna chronicled the creation of the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia, Pleated-Jeans collected misheard 90s song lyrics, and Andrew Romano looked to a study about why we become addicted to TV shows. A new weed product proved especially potent, Melissa Mohr expounded on profanity, Marc Maron believed comedy to be about exposing your vulnerability, and we met two robots designed to behave as a human couple. MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

- M.S.

(Image: Kumi Yamashita‘s “Constellation – Mana no.2″. Details here.)