Weekend Links 10.4.17


Did you see this piece of news? Russia created fake Facebook groups and advertisements to divide America during the election.

Russia was building on something that already existed, our tendency to sit back and get angry scrolling through our newsfeed. They exploited that weakness in Americans to make relationships among people worse. Here are the numbers.

I like that this will force those involved to take a stand for something. We cannot be values-neutral because someone with values will come in and stand for something or manipulate that neutrality to work for their gains (see inclusivity issues on college campuses which leads to restraint of free-speech).

I also hope that people wake up to what Russia is really about. George Weigel has written openly about it. Even Russia has noticed him.


O blessed reality! I love crafts but hate the idea of doing with children. We are all human, mostly! Here a mom dishes on her “lazy” way of celebrating the liturgical seasons with her brood.

Fascinating article about baby’s needs for a mother to be present in the early years. Unlike many pieces out there, I like the balanced perspective of this article. It argues a single point (that babies need to their mothers present for early development) but acknowledges potential arguments with straight wisdom like “motherhood isn’t about perfection,” “we don’t want to send women back 50 years” and not everyone is capable of being home with their babies because of mental health of distraction. Rather than shut down the conversation about what is best for children, we need to separate our feelings from our grasp on reality. I can acknowledge what is best for my children even if I also acknowledge I can’t give it to them. I need to be able to look at my life and not fall apart at that realization…because I am not perfect. And neither are you.

I came across this beauty on facebook. Our trip is coming up. We are feeling the pinch of the sacrifices associated with pilgrimage, but we will not give up. To review, we are heading to Detroit to join in the mass for Fr. Solanus Casey, who is on step 3 or 4. He is considered by many to be “the Padre Pio of Detroit.” We can thank Fr. Benedict Groeschel for spreading his name around the country.


Is anyone still under the impression that Disney is about making children happy? It’s about profit. So now they are demanding too much of theaters and some smaller theaters are choosing to say no.

A calm explanation on the economics of why Disney would do that.

Fashion may be in the 1990s but film is stuck in the 1930s/40s with the murdering act of franchising to death anything that does remotely well the first time around. Although modern filmmaking is capable of juggling more complex characters, more characters and more complicated plots than its primitive beginnings. So you get the convoluted mess of these comic book superhero movies. I am ignorant of most comic books so I will direct you to Stephen Greydanus’ insightful review of the most recent rendition, Thor: Ragnarok. Like Frozen, the roots are fascinating and would make for brilliant, modern storytelling, especially with some retrained CGI. But they bump it all to tell the story they want to tell because they believe it will sell more.

If you are ready for Christmas head over to any store, anywhere (except for very small number who may or may not advertise they are waiting until after Thanksgiving). Some actually find the holiday creep helpful. Imagine completely all your Christmas shopping and prep so you can really focus during Advent. That makes sense, except that holiday smells and bells activate our internal celebratory response, so it is really hard to feel like it is not time to celebrate yet. For me, I’ll probably avoid the stores in November, do some online shopping, make Christmas cards and the annual photobook and think about Thanksgiving centerpieces.

On the pro-early decorations perspective, here is a thoughtful piece. “Acknowledge the hunger for joy and peace that Christmas represents, and share how Jesus and the Church can help you find those things. Consider the struggles that person might be facing in life and how Christmas offers them the tiniest break from their anxiety.”

Summary of other news

More Hollywood superstars are being accused of sexual harassment/assault/abuse and are quickly being ostracized. It is good that women are coming forward. I wonder if it will become the witch hunt we’ve seen in the Catholic Church, “guilty until proven innocent” which can lead to tragedy for the innocent.

There is a potential case against Weinstein. What if the blacklisting is a sort of martial law because people have lost all faith in the system? This is a new thought for me. Comments?

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