US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Jason Isbell's brilliant lyrics describe the struggle of blue collar life

A review of Jason Isbell's newest album, Something more than free

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

The release of Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free was as much of a mainstream media event as one can expect in this age of audience fragmentation. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts in country, rock, and folk, and it garnered Isbell profiles everywhere from The New Yorker to NPR.  


Isolated brothers rely on movies and each other in ‘The Wolfpack'

By Kathleen Manning |
Article Culture
The Wolfpack
Directed by Crystal Moselle (Kotva Films, 2015)
After watching Star Wars as kids, no wrapping paper roll in my house was safe; my brothers and I stole them for light saber battles. The Wolfpack opens with a similar scene of kids recreating movies, but only slowly does this documentary reveal the strange necessity of their movie play. 
 

The good and the bad of the ‘Gilmore Girls' revival

Pro: Emily Gilmore and Paris Geller. Con: Lorelai Gilmore hiking in the wilderness.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Culture

In the spirit of Rory Gilmore’s love of the pro/con list, this review of the long-awaited return of our favorite mother and daughter duo will take the same form. While I’ll refrain from quoting the final four words, references to it will take place as I assume most readers will have pulled a Lorelai and Rory and binged all four episodes over the weekend while eating pizza and Pop-Tarts.


Another reason to love ‘Gilmore Girls’

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are proof that families are forged not by following social and cultural scripts, but by following the heart.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

Oh, to live in Stars Hollow, where crabby but hunky Luke runs the diner, quirky Kirk holds a long string of peculiar jobs, and a single mother and her daughter can be seen as a legitimate and respectable family.

On television and in film, single mothers are too often portrayed as hapless victims, struggling to raise children in the absence of a male breadwinner. Media’s single moms live in dismal apartments in gritty neighborhoods, dress in thrift-shop clothing, and seem wearily defeated by life. They have bad posture, bad hair, and bad luck. 


‘Alwasta’ speaks to fame and power

Rapper Oddisee's new album reflects on life as a Muslim American in a post-9/11 world.

By Nicholas Liao |
Article Culture

Sudanese American rapper Oddisee inhabits a delicate space in the star-obsessed rap world—bigger than underground, but not yet a household name. Still, the D.C.-born artist is on the rise, beloved by critics and hip-hop purists for his thoughtful, intricate rhymes and self-produced beats that recall the so-called golden age of rap. 


Anthony Weiner and the delusions of American politics

The Anthony Weiner saga forces us to ask questions about the state of our politics.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

The tradition of fly-on-the-wall documentaries about American political campaigns is a long and mostly honorable one. It starts in 1960 with Primary, which took newly-invented portable equipment behind the scenes with John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey as they fought for the Democratic presidential nomination. And it runs all the way through By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009) and Mitt (2014). In between came the greatest of them all, The War Room


The Obamas: How it all began

‘Southside with You’ tells the story of Michelle and Barack Obama's first date and plants the seeds for all that comes after.

By Liz Lefebvre |
Article Culture

After seeing Barack and Michelle Obama in the public eye for the last eight years, it can be difficult to think of them as anything other than the President and the First Lady. In Southside with You, we get a glimpse of a fictionalized retelling of their first date in Chicago during the summer of 1989. 


Diana Hayes on Black women of God

Out of Black womens' struggle is birthed a spirituality that focuses on community, creativity, and the omnipresence of God.

By Emily Sanna |
Article Culture
No Crystal Stair: Womanist Spirituality
By Diana L. Hayes (Orbis Books, 2016)
 

Stories of Syria

‘Never Can I Write of Damascus' leads its readers deeper than the violence in Syria and tells stories of human resilience, beauty, and poetry.

By Bryan Cones |
Article Culture
Never Can I Write of Damascus
By Theresa Kubasak and Gabe Huck (Just World Books, 2016)

‘Stranger Things’ is all too familiar

The Netflix series reminds us of the last breath of childhood, before we realize that monsters aren’t just in stories, board games, and horror movies.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith |
Article Culture

I used to wonder when I’d finally feel grown up. I thought it would be a more cataclysmic rite of passage—like getting married, having a baby, or going to your best friend’s funeral. But I’d done all those things in my 30s, and I still felt 16 at heart. In truth, it was a small moment on the playground with my 10-year-old daughter that made me realize adulthood had arrived without my even noticing. 


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