I have an embarrassing confession to make for someone with my pretensions to being cultured: I listen to a lot of top 40 radio. Like, tons. I’m more likely to be listening to my local mix station than NPR, even when classical music is on. As a lifelong cellist this is especially scandalous. I don’t […]Read more "Fish in a Barrel: Special “Worst Song of 2014 Crapathon” Edition"
I spent this past weekend in Waco attending Baylor’s Symposium on Faith & Culture, where I presented a paper, and heard many other good ones. The topic this year, Faith & Film, was of course right up my alley, and I’m glad I got the chance to participate. The added bonus of going to a […]Read more "Take Shelter and the Shame of Mental Illness"
This post involves a close reading of the recent film Calvary by John Michael McDonagh. Of necessity I will be discussing some plot points that could be considered SPOILERS. In my opinion this is a film where the journey is more than the sum of the twists, but if you want to walk in with ignorance preserved, […]Read more "Teach Us To Die: The Holy Week Structure of John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary"
Editor’s Note – this post originated as a status I put up on Facebook. Though I feel social injustice deeply, I rarely speak up about it, for a complex set of reasons. I feel like the line between valuable contribution and self promotion is a thin one, and I hate the idea of winding up […]Read more "Some Inadequate Thoughts on Ferguson"
If you use Facebook, you’ve probably noticed an incessant sort of targeted ad popping up in your feed of late, a targeted ad very specific in its targeting. For me, it takes a rather hideous hybrid form: because of my birthplace (Camperdown, a tiny town in the province of Victoria), and my stint of nine […]Read more "Boyhood, Buzzfeed, T-Shirts, and Shakespeare: On Criticism, Tribalism, and Relatability"
As noted in my previous post, this month is the 20th anniversary of me learning to play the cello. Over that time I’ve had the pleasure of playing in a number of different ensembles. Not counting school orchestra, I’ve played in two different youth orchestras, including the incredible one I was a part of for […]Read more "My Greatest Orchestral Hits"
Twenty years ago this month, I began the longest continuous non-familial relationship of my life. At a school in the infamous burned-over city of Flint, Michigan, I started attending a summer music camp, where I took my first awkward steps as a cellist. My mother insisted that I learn to play an instrument. I was […]Read more "Twenty Years With My Oldest Friend"