February 10, 2017
Augustine, the great church father, has been such a giant on the theological landscape for so many centuries, he has become a huge, lifeless statue to some. In The Mestizo Augustine Justo González pumps life back into our view with a fresh and fascinating look at the humanity and the competing cultures at work within Augustine.Continue reading "What Augustine Offers Our Multicultural World"
February 2, 2017
It seems obligatory these days to begin any discussion of sex and society with autobiography. So here goes. I'm an old, white, heterosexual male who basically doesn't have a clue when it comes to understanding gender dysphoria. (But I guess the second half of that sentence was redundant with the first half.) That's why I appreciated psychologist Mark Yarhouse's book, Understanding Gender Dysphoria, so much.Continue reading "Understanding Gender Dysphoria"
December 15, 2016
Good news for all of us racked by guilt as a result of being raised Jewish, Catholic or Protestant! There is a whole different way to feel bad about ourselves, and it is called honor-shame.Continue reading "Feeling Bad a Whole New Way"
November 29, 2016
The hillbilly or redneck culture of poor whites in Appalachia is largely hidden from view or intentionally ignored by much of the rest of the country, as the recent election showed. In Hillbilly Elegy, J. D. Vance, who himself grew up in this culture, offers a warm yet starkly honest view of himself, his extended family and his people.Continue reading "Hillbilly Elegy"
November 9, 2016
One evening in June 1991, Michael Weisser and his wife, Julie, were unpacking boxes in their new home in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had become the new Jewish Cantor at a Jewish congregation. The phone rang, and they answered it. "You'll be sorry you ever moved in, Jew boy," the caller said and hung up.Continue reading "Fighting Hatred in an Unexpected Way"
June 7, 2016
Kevin Kelly, guru of Wired magazine, proves himself to be a polymath who is not afraid to have an opinion or two in his book What Technology Wants. His main provocative point is that technology is developing in certain predictable ways.Continue reading "Where Is Technology Going?"
April 13, 2016
The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough, paints a portrait of two heroes and celebrities who stand in sharp contrast to those of today. The brothers didn't look to maximize their fame; they simply wanted due credit. They didn't try to amass enormous wealth; they simply ran a business.Continue reading "The Right Brothers"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:08 AM
March 31, 2016
What is it like to grow up black and male in the United States? Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the highly acclaimed Atlantic article on reparations, tells us in Between the World and Me, a memoir cum extended letter to his fifteen-year-old son. It is a life in which you don't have final control over the most basic aspect of human existence--your own body. Your body can be thrown in prison or shot or just pushed aside at most any time for most any reason with little recourse.Continue reading "Between the World and He"
February 16, 2016
April 22, 2014
I was recently rewatching the 2002 Kurt Wimmer film Equilibrium when I suddenly realized this is Ray Bradbury's 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451 all over again. But it wasn't a crass failure of imagination. No, Wimmer was doing what many writers, artists and movie makers do--borrowing from a past work to offer an homage while providing a few twists of his own.Continue reading "True Equilibrium"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 11:32 AM
August 7, 2012
In a recent column, David Brooks recommends a wonderfully healthy form of personality disorder. While he begins a bit humorously, Brooks works his way to a serious conclusion when he suggests that we embrace two very different views of ourselves at the same time.Continue reading "Two Views of Ourselves"
December 23, 2011
Gift giving at Christmas is a wonderful tradition which comes to us from the wise men. They visited Jesus, and gave him gifts that honored and recognized him as king. When we give gifts to show our love and respect for each other, we follow their path.
Yet gift giving can be difficult--and not necessarily because we lack generosity. Sometimes it's simply hard to know what to give. When so many of us are awash in material goods, it is a challenge because it seems everyone has everything.Continue reading "Following the Wise Men"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:28 AM
November 21, 2011
Why did Malcolm Gladwell succeed? Is he a self-made bestselling writer? Is his story different than the story of why some succeed and others don't that we looked at in my previous blog about Gladwell's book Outliers? Does he have none to thank except his own hard work and native talent? In the epilogue to his book, he offers an answer.Continue reading "Why Did Malcolm Succeed? (Outliers 2)"
November 8, 2011
Why do some people succeed and others don't? Is it luck? Is it pluck? Is it talent the size of a truck?
That's the question Malcolm Gladwell sets himself to in Outliers. The answer he finds is, often, none of these. To make his point, Gladwell compares Christopher Langan to Robert Oppenheimer.Continue reading "The Myth of the Self-Made Man--or Woman (Outliers 1)"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:54 AM
September 28, 2011
Technology tends to consume and absolute technology consumes absolutely.
I was at a conference recently where often, when there was a break, the participants tended not to get up, stretch, get a cup of coffee, chat with those nearby or even go to the bathroom. Instead they sat there. They were not mesmerized by the presentation they had just heard. They were mesmerized by their screens—handheld or laptop—checking email, tweets, Facebook, news feeds and more.Continue reading "Consuming Technology"
May 3, 2011
Fifty years ago this month, the phrase “vast wasteland” entered the national lexicon when Newton Minow, then chair of the FCC, spoke before the National Association of Broadcasters. It even inspired Hollywood producer Sherwood Schwartz to name the sinking ship in Gilligan’s Island after him.Continue reading "Out of the Wasteland"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:30 AM
March 15, 2011
I don't often look at stats for my blog, but the last report I got had some dramatic results. While there is a pretty steady readership for Andy Unedited, two posts (here and here) had massive readership spikes. Why? Well, not surprisingly I suppose, they were picked up by a couple very popular bloggers who pointed their readers this way. But I think there is another reason as well.Continue reading "Opinionated Me"