The Common Good

Culture Watch

The Futility of Violence: Eastwood's Gran Torino

The other day I heard a 78-year-old man sing, through a cracked voice, one of the most moving and gentle jazz melodies, as the iconic image of a fetishized sports car being driven into the sunset was projected. And, not for the first time in recent years, I was crying at the end of a Clint Eastwood film.
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Slumdog Millionaire: In the Midst of Spiritual Winnowing, Love Wins

A few days ago, I had one of those conversations that seem to make the world spin slower, allowing me to see crystal clearly, if only for a moment.
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A Year of Reading

Although I didn't read as much or as widely as I would have liked this past year (having a baby and moving cross-country had something to do with that), I did encounter quite a few good books.
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New Year's Hope from Love All The People and The Last Lecture

As 2008 came to a close, I found myself mourning the unexpected loss of several people I thought were friends. Simply put, they chose to do venture down some very self-destructive paths.
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Cinema Review 2008: The Top Ten

I'm always somewhat suspicious of "top 10" lists, despite the fact that I've written one.
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Books for Reflection

My favorites from a year of reading:
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Life-Shaping Books for Kids

Children's literature provides one of the most uplifting, energizing, and soul-freeing pursuits for any child-or any adult who cares about children.
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2008: Cinema in Review

Looking back on the year's movies, I'm struck by how many of my favorites featured the theme of family and community -- perhaps this reflects only my current personal concerns, or maybe there's a b
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Favorite Books and Movies of 2008

Here are some books I read this past year that gave me considerable food for thought:
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The Myth of Redemptive Violence: The Day the Earth Stood Still

In the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill toward all, I went to see the remake of the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, in whi
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