Crossing oneself is ritualistic […] the soccer player then performs on the field as if he and his team alone determined the outcome of the game, which is to say that—in a sense—he performs as if God didn’t exist after all. In “How God Becomes Real,” Luhrmann calls this the art of possessing “flexible ontologies,” because “people may talk as if the gods are straightforwardly real, but they don’t act that way.” A driver who prays that the car will stop without his using the brakes “would seem mad, not devout.” The real world, dependent on the laws of physics, runs easily alongside a highly elaborated and imagined belief-world, which shares several of the properties of fiction-making and fiction-reading. The Vineyard believers, Luhrmann discovered, learn how to “pretend that God is present and to make believe that he is talking back like the very best of buddies.” As with a fictional character, this God is at once absolutely real and not quite real. Luhrmann likens the capacity for imaginative absorption to being “engrossed in good magical fiction of the Harry Potter kind.” One of the spiritual guidebooks she consults suggests that worshippers relate to God not as an “Author,” a view that will make you “go mad or despair,” but as a “character.”Does Knowing God Just Take Practice?
Within ten minutes of opening his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell, here are the feelings that performer Meat Loaf has already felt to completion:
- Perfect, adolescent faith in the attachments of the flesh
- Motorcycle—not classically a feeling, no, but what else can be said about the lyric “I’m gonna hit the highway like a battering ram/ on a silver-black phantom bike” except that it encapsulates the feeling of Motorcycle—that is to say, motorcycle-qua-motorcycle, the Springsteenian motorcycle, the emblem of masculine longing to get out?
That’s five feelings, more than I allow myself to feel on a good day, and he cranks them out one after another in the span of a single song! And as if that weren’t a severe enough display of emotional generosity, he’s still got six songs to go! This is the way Meat Loaf drives me to speak: in exclamations, in exhortations, with my hands full of my interlocutor’s shoulders because nothing on the planet is more important or destructive than human sentiment.It’s Time to Let Meat Loaf Into Your Embarrassing Little Heart
In addition to being scandalous and sexually explicit, these cases demonstrate that medieval people spoke frankly and openly about their sex lives, in a way that we may not have imagined. They show how male family members, housemates, and neighbors not only discussed, viewed, and compared each other’s genitals but even held and stroked them in church court–sanctioned hand jobs.The Distinguished Medieval Penis Investigators
On asioita, joissa vanhempani ja minä emme enää ymmärrä toisiamme. (Se on hinta siitä, että näprään lauseita sen sijaan, että sahaisin puuta.)Pelkään, että hänestä tulee toisenlainen kuin minä
“Their ads aren’t any better than anyone else’s ads,” says Munger. “And no one’s ads are very good.”How the Cambridge Analytica scandal unravelled
(One reason road cycling has historically been so much more important in France, Spain and Italy than in the UK is that in those more sparsely populated countries getting a crowd together in one place to watch a match was difficult, whereas during a Grand Tour your sporting heroes could come to you.)Better on TV
The traditional division of Roman emperors into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ has as much to do with the factional loyalties of our sources as with any actual moral calculus: by any modern reckoning they were all terrible, even if some were better than others at maintaining peace (or order) within the empire’s frontiers and making sure its inhabitants were fed and housed.Sheets of Fire and Leaping Flames
Fight Club is a puzzle with a solution; Tenet is a lot of stuff that happens. The Protagonist is unnamed in Tenet not for any purpose, I suspect, but rather because it’s thinkbait: a puzzle in the way an onion is a puzzle.Walter Chaw: Tenet
Well, I’ve never felt constrained by any of it because at the end of the day, I know this to be true: Between action and cut, it’s mine. Now, it’s only 30, 40 seconds, but between action and cut, it’s mine. What you want to do with it after that is up to you, but between action and cut, between when the curtain goes up and the curtain goes down, it’s mine.In Conversation: Laurence Fishburne
“What’s going on in that?” Reichelt said, looking at a photo of a musician wearing lederhosen and a high-and-tight haircut. Reichelt was munching on chocolate now. I had been told that Bild editorial meetings could be rough going, but this one was running smoothly.
“That’s the folk singer Andreas Gabalier,” said another man at the table. “He going to be awarded the Karl Valentin prize in Munich, but apparently he’s some kind of rightwing hardliner.”
“What’s he doing in the photo?” Reichelt asked.
“Apparently he’s contorted his body into the form of a swastika,” the man replied.
“I don’t quite see it,” Reichelt said.
“Couldn’t it just be a walk-like-an-Egyptian dance move there?”
“Yes, it’s all a bit unclear.”
“All right, we’ll just say that some people interpret it as a swastika.”
“OK, got it.”Bild, Merkel and the culture wars: the inside story of Germany’s biggest tabloid