Recent Posts

Funny Beliefs 5 | Limits

This is a story of getting burned out on comedy and learning to love it again with an enjoyment story that comes through accepting limits.

From Boccaccio to Chaucer: Storytelling during and after Plague Time

Why do something so frivolous as telling stories when human lives may be at stake? Shouldn’t we be in the business of… well, surviving?

Children of Blood and Bone and the Importance of the Black Imagination in the West

Tomi Adeyemi’s success with Children of Blood and Bone is especially important for our cultural moment.

Exploring America’s Love of a Steely Savior in Jesus and John Wayne

Jesus and John Wayne is history as confession, history as lament, a type of history that hopes in a God who never puts us to shame, even as hope in America does.

Seeing and Believing 255 | Aaron Schneider’s Greyhound and Andrew Patterson’s The Vast of Night

Wade and Kevin see what Rom Hanks serves up with Greyhound, then turn their attentionAndrew Patterson’s 1950s-set sci-fi flick The Vast of Night.

Funny Beliefs 4 | Stories

It’s hard to acknowledge when we’ve made a racist or sexist joke. It contradicts stories we tell ourselves; “I wouldn’t make a racist joke” or “I couldn’t be sexist.”

How Lava Lamps Made Sex Boring Again

Walker described the lamp as “Freudian” and evocative of the primordial ooze, because apparently no one bothered to take him aside and say, “It’s just a lamp, Ed.”

Reconcilable Differences: Unity and Division via Pearl Jam’s Gigaton

First off, it’s named for the unit of measurement large enough to record melting polar ice. Gigaton wears doom on the album sleeve.

Seeing and Believing 254 | Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Truth and David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest

This week we review Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Truth and the Will Ferrell comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

Run the Jewels’ “Ooh LA LA” Video Imagines Parties Instead of Protests

Though Run the Jewels’ vision of a world that is not dominated by division and greed might be imperfect, it is a vision of hope.

Funny Beliefs 3 | Beautiful, Horrible People

What can we joke about? How far is too far? Our answers tend to be personal, which makes it hard to discuss why some humor is offensive.

How a Global Pandemic Exposes Our Desire for Authority

COVID-19 forces us to ask, who deserves authority and how is that authority granted?

“I Am Not the One Who Can Forgive”: The Quarry and the Hopefulness of Violent Grace

The Quarry suggests that the awareness of our own sinfulness violently awakens us to our need for a new life.

Seeing and Believing 253 | Jon Stewart’s Irresistible and a Retro Review of Jaws

We look at the latest cinematic political satire from former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and celebrate the 45th birthday of Jaws with a retro review.

Funny Beliefs 2 | Creators and Cultivators

Behind each laugh is a lot of work. What is the work of humor, and what does that mean for us as we create and cultivate our own laughs?

McCarthyism Was Driven by a Lot of Bluster, Paranoia, and Hearsay, Which for Legal Purposes Is a Fact Unrelated to the Present Political Moment

These hearings, like everything McCarthy had done up to this point, were fueled mainly by McCarthy’s desire to further his own career.