The Right Hand of Godzilla

The Right Hand of Godzilla

This amazing review comes from Ian Olson.

Ladies and gentlemen, the slate has been wiped clean: the 1998 Roland Emmerich catastrophe lies buried, and the ignominy cloaking Godzilla’s good name like a miasma has been decisively decontaminated. Gareth Edwards’ new reboot delivers it all: character-driven drama, gnarly...

NOW AVAILABLE! Eden and Afterward: A Mockingbird Guide to Genesis

NOW AVAILABLE! Eden and Afterward: A Mockingbird Guide to Genesis

Mockingbird’s newest resource, Eden and Afterward, by Will McDavid, is available now! With imagination and deep empathy, the book brings to life some of the Bible’s oldest stories, looking at them through the lens of narrative. The symbols, motifs, situations, and characters explore the murky depths of human love, envy,...

The Day I Confessed My Sins To Louis C.K.

The Day I Confessed My Sins To Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.’s FX show, Louie, has been a breath of fresh air in the world of situation comedies. That fresh air, though, sometimes steals the wind out of my sails and leaves me drifting in open water, alone with my thoughts, convicted, waiting for rescue. I have noticed that episode...

“The Thin Fabric”: Ingmar Bergman’s Life in The Magic Lantern

“The Thin Fabric”: Ingmar Bergman’s Life in The Magic Lantern

This guest post comes from Michael Centore. It is one part of three in his series on filmmaker’s memoirs.

Three quotations constellate in my mind when I think of the subject of “excess.” There’s William Blake’s “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”; then Balzac’s “All excesses...

From The Mockingbird: When A Measure Becomes a Target

From The Mockingbird: When A Measure Becomes a Target

We are now just a couple weeks out from the release of Issue Two of The Mockingbird. It is the Identity Issue, and you won’t believe what all it has to say about, well, you. If you’re not subscribed yet, subscribe here.

In anticipation for the release, we’ll continue posting...

A Place on the Ladder: Notes from Sibling Rivalry

A Place on the Ladder: Notes from Sibling Rivalry

It was a Ken Griffey, Jr. baseball card, blue and shiny and highly-coveted by Little Leaguers everywhere. Packed in with four other no-names, it was a diamond in the rough. And it was mine. My brother, a year older, couldn’t believe I was so lucky—I mean, Ken Griffey, Jr.—so he...

Crossing Off Checklist Item 31

Crossing Off Checklist Item 31

One of this year’s books to come upon my shelf is Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and received a glowing review from our friend, Mary Karr, who said it shows well “how empathy deepens us, yet how we unwittingly sabotage our own capacities...

Wheels of Worry, Everyday Trauma, and the First Day of School

Wheels of Worry, Everyday Trauma, and the First Day of School

“Trauma is not just the result of major disasters. It does not happen to only some people. An undercurrent of trauma runs through ordinary life, shot through as it is with the poignancy of impermanence. I like to say that if we are not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, we...

2014 NYC Conference Recordings: Identity, Anxiety & the Christian Message

2014 NYC Conference Recordings: Identity, Anxiety & the Christian Message

An incredibly heartfelt thank-you to everyone who helped put on this year’s Mockingbird Conference in NYC, especially our friends at Calvary St. George’s Church. We took some risks this time around, and if reports are to be believed, it sounds like they paid off. Phew!

We are once again making the...

Latest entries

June Playlist

Shipping in two weeks! Click on the cover to subscribe.

Shipping in two weeks! Click on the cover to subscribe.

  1. The Girl I Can’t Forget – Fountains of Wayne
  2. California Man – Cheap Trick
  3. Kicks – Paul Revere & The Raiders
  4. The House That Jack Built – Aretha Franklin
  5. Shame Shame – Magic Lanterns
  6. Play On – The Raspberries
  7. Jejune Stars – Bright Eyes
  8. Talking Backwards – Real Estate
  9. Heavy Metal Clouds – Crocodiles
  10. Disco 2000 – Pulp
  11. Painted by Numbers – The Sounds
  12. Six Feet Under – Jon Auer
  13. Wall of Death – Richard and Linda Thompson
  14. Champaign Illinois – The Old 97s
  15. Brothers Under the Bridge (’83) – Bruce Springsteen
  16. Cheater – Michael Jackson
  17. Play in the Sunshine – Prince
  18. Stand Tall – Burton Cummings


Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets / Trailer from Intermission Film on Vimeo.

Checking in with Game of Thrones (4.8)

Checking in with Game of Thrones (4.8)

Spoilers to episode 8 follow:

As Tyrion awaits his trial by combat, which will determine his capital guilt or innocence, he tells the story of a cousin back at Casterly Rock who was dropped on his head by a maester and spent all his boyhood crushing beetles with rocks. The implication is clear: once everything else is stripped away, man’s base instinct is that of violence. Tyrion wanted to know why Orson Lannister killed beetles all day, and Tyrion, whose one weakness in the game is faith in others’ rationality, can’t figure out why Orson would waste his time. In Martin’s world, all…

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Misogyny, Works Righteousness, and Nerd Culture

Misogyny, Works Righteousness, and Nerd Culture

Another year, another shooting- not to trivialize this heartbreaking matter, of course, but to highlight that the best laid plans have yet to stop the phenomenon. News is continuing to trickle out of UCSB as the school, state, and country return to a place of mourning, and the op-ed sections continue to suggest solutions related to guns or mental health. Churches are returning to their prayers as well with the words “Lord have Mercy” fresh on their minds and hearts.

The dynamics of this most recent shooting are somewhat unique in that they’ve started an online conversation about nerd culture and…

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The Rationalist Delusion and the Perils of Certainty – Jonathan Haidt

Didn’t think we’d reached the end of the videos, had you? Not by long shot! Here’s Dr. Haidt’s fantastic presentation from Saturday morning:

The Ratonalist Delusion & the Perils of Certainty ~ Jonathan Haidt from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

PZ’s Podcast: Wooden Ships

PZ’s Podcast: Wooden Ships

EPISODE 169: Wooden Ships

What is a person’s duty toward the world? Do we “owe” the world our efforts and our action? If not exactly, then how are we supposed to relate to the world? “How shall we then live?”

This cast talks about Meister Eckhart, who for my money was never wrong about anything. I just never find myself disagreeing with anything he ever said. Or maybe just one thing.

Eckhart preached a sermon in which he said, “What is reaped in contemplation is sown in action.” Gosh, that sounds good.

Yet it’s the only statement he ever made that I can’t get…

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Another Week Ends: Cultural Literati Pretenders, Fake Empathy, The Search for Cool (Moms), Kurt Vonnegut, Calvary, and the Gospel Dustups

Another Week Ends: Cultural Literati Pretenders, Fake Empathy, The Search for Cool (Moms), Kurt Vonnegut, Calvary, and the Gospel Dustups

1) The Atlantic attempted a definition of “cool” this week, and it runs in tow with Shane Snow’s definition of humor in the New Yorker. Whereas humor can be defined as “benign violation,” cool is defined by Derek Thompson as “a measured violation of malign expectations.” Sounds good to me! Within this definition, cool is bound on both ends by law: cool is a response to some form of constraint or expectation, but it also must operate within an expected set of parameters in order for it to be seen as cool. If it operates beyond the parameters of its…

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The 5 Best Sports Movies You May Have Missed

The 5 Best Sports Movies You May Have Missed

Last week, as I watched 3 of my beloved TV series have their season finales – “The Good Wife” (the best show not talked about much on Mockingbird–there, I said it) “The Americans” (best 2-season binge watch currently available) and “Survivor” (the original reality show competition, accept no substitute) – it struck me that we’re entering the summer season. It’s the time of year when we go to our blue rays, On Demands, Redboxes, and Netflix to catch up on films we’ve been meaning to see, but have not because we have been too busy just trying to keep up…

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Social Un-Networking

Social Un-Networking

There are a couple of interesting tidbits for thought coming from the social media side of things. The electronic communities that have promised us relationships in this ever-fragmenting age are now enabling us to disconnect. First, The New Yorker recently informed many of us of an app called Cloak. Its purpose? Unlike other social media apps that help you “connect” with people, this one alerts you to the locations of your followers so that you can avoid them. (Yep, you read that correctly.) And then Twitter announced this month that they are introducing a new “mute” feature to enable a stealthy exit from following…

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Saul Bellow on Bookkeeping Versus Inspiration

In the great writer’s account of an unhappy, conflicted man who travels down to Africa – Henderson the Rain King - a tribal king teaches the exhausted American about the futility of ethical bookkeeping:

4006480423_8fb14fd37a“They say,” he went on, “that bad can easily be spectacular, has dash or bravado and impresses the mind quicker than good. Oh, that is a mistake in my opinion. Perhaps of common good it is true. Many, many nice people. Oh yes. Their will tells them to perform good, and they do. How ordinary! Mere arithmetic. ‘I have left undone the etceteras I should have done, and done the etceteras I ought not to have.’ This does not even amount to a life. Oh, how sordid it is to bookkeep. My whole view is opposite or contrary, that good cannot be labor or conflict. When it is high and great, it is too superior. Oh, Mr. Henderson, it is far more spectacular. It is associated with inspiration, and not conflict, for where a man conflicts there he will fall, and if taking the sword also perishes by the sword. A dull will produces a very dull good, of no interest. Where a fellow draws a battle line there he is apt to be found, dead, a testimonial of the great strength of effort, and only effort.

As a quick caveat, a generous reading of the king’s criticism of confession would perhaps see him lambasting confession as petty bookkeeping. A quick read of this (highly recommended) book would show that Bellow’s as interested as anyone in going past the myopia of mere actions to show a whole picture of human need.

“The Thin Fabric”: Ingmar Bergman’s Life in The Magic Lantern

“The Thin Fabric”: Ingmar Bergman’s Life in The Magic Lantern

This guest post comes from Michael Centore. It is one part of three in his series on filmmaker’s memoirs.

Three quotations constellate in my mind when I think of the subject of “excess.” There’s William Blake’s “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”; then Balzac’s “All excesses are brothers,” which finds its rhetorical forebear in Saint John Cassian’s “Excesses meet.” One of the “Proverbs of Hell” in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, the Blake line is often bumper-stickered into a general defense of hedonism—a misreading on par with the selective omission of the word rational in…

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From The Mockingbird: When A Measure Becomes a Target

From The Mockingbird: When A Measure Becomes a Target

We are now just a couple weeks out from the release of Issue Two of The Mockingbird. It is the Identity Issue, and you won’t believe what all it has to say about, well, you. If you’re not subscribed yet, subscribe here.

In anticipation for the release, we’ll continue posting a selection of pieces from the first issue, including this essay from Will McDavid on the “Economics of Repentance.” To read the essay in full, go to the magazine’s webpage, here.

“The first messenger that gave notice of Lucullus’s coming was so far from pleasing Tigranes that he had his head cut off for…

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A Place on the Ladder: Notes from Sibling Rivalry

A Place on the Ladder: Notes from Sibling Rivalry

It was a Ken Griffey, Jr. baseball card, blue and shiny and highly-coveted by Little Leaguers everywhere. Packed in with four other no-names, it was a diamond in the rough. And it was mine. My brother, a year older, couldn’t believe I was so lucky—I mean, Ken Griffey, Jr.—so he proceeded to, quite sneakily, remove it from my collection and place it in his own. I can’t remember exactly what happened next but, after many tears and a flurry of hand-to-hand combat, the card lay discarded on the ground with river-like creases running over Ken’s regal face. My Ken Griffey…

Read More »

Crossing Off Checklist Item 31

Crossing Off Checklist Item 31

One of this year’s books to come upon my shelf is Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and received a glowing review from our friend, Mary Karr, who said it shows well “how empathy deepens us, yet how we unwittingly sabotage our own capacities for it.” The title story recounts the author’s time as a medical actor–a “standardized patient” for med school trainees attempting to diagnose any assortment of maladies. Mixed with the humor this scenario no doubt entails, the essay is also a deeply heartfelt memoir about the writer’s actual medical history–her abortion,…

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The Right Hand of Godzilla

The Right Hand of Godzilla

This amazing review comes from Ian Olson.

Ladies and gentlemen, the slate has been wiped clean: the 1998 Roland Emmerich catastrophe lies buried, and the ignominy cloaking Godzilla’s good name like a miasma has been decisively decontaminated. Gareth Edwards’ new reboot delivers it all: character-driven drama, gnarly creature effects, epic devastation, and a high dosage of misanthropic Law to unsettle comfortable Western viewers.

Godzilla is a win because real, human characters find themselves engulfed within an unthinkable, inhuman crisis. Unlike most monster blockbusters, this film is first and foremost a drama about family. The narratives centers…

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Facebook, Politics, and True Forgiveness

Facebook, Politics, and True Forgiveness

There has been a new trend amongst my friends on Facebook that is truly terrifying. Somebody will go on another’s profile and scroll all the way back to their middle school days to find the most embarrassing pictures/videos/status updates they can find, they comment or like it, and then it appears on all of your mutual friends’ newsfeeds. So for about the past month, I’ve seen baby-faced versions of my friends with braces all over Facebook. One talked in a video about trying to become an internet sensation, one had an entire album devoted to the shoes he had…

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