Let Me Help You Make Your Mind up about The OA

Though flawed, The OA is beautiful, heartbreaking, and deeply hopeful.

A Question I Hope Ronda Rousey Is Asking Right Now

Ronda Rousey lost again, but that doesn’t make her worthless.

Alien and Station Eleven Reveal the Limits of Survival and Human Nature

Two acclaimed works of fiction challenge the notion that mere survival ought to be humanity’s highest goal.

The High Price of Survival: Julian Barnes’s The Noise of Time

Sometimes an artist has to choose between living a principled life or just living at all. The novelist Julian Barnes imagines the high cost of this choice for the composer Shostakovich under Stalin.

Leonard Cohen’s Voice Is Still Needed for These Troubled Times

Leonard Cohen devoted his career to telling us that, in the midst of human experience, pain is rarely devoid of beauty and beauty is rarely devoid of pain.

John Carpenter’s Halloween and the Problem of Horrendous Evil

Sometimes evil doesn’t have a backstory; it exists for its own sake. This is what makes John Carpenter’s Halloween so effective.

Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree Is a Modern Cry of Lament

What is that elusive quality that imbues certain pieces of music with a genuine sense of pain?

The Longest Distance Relationship: Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things

Michel Faber’s science fiction novel, The Book of Strange New Things, dramatizes profound gulf between its characters and between God and humanity.