Thursday, November 3, 2011

Links! Violence, Death, Pain, and More

Another links post, because we've all (well, 5 of the 6 of us) been sick here, and I'm down for the count for a second time, and so I've had way too much time to just poke around the internet, reading.  Here are some of the cool things I've stumbled across:

-I actually caught this interview when it aired on NPR, and it was so good. Interview with the author of "Don't Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America." I know that sounds dull and perhaps depressing, but it's actually one of the most riveting and hopeful things I've heard in a long time. Highly recommended.

-In "Steve Jobs and Death In Medias Res", John Mark Reynolds argues that the saints never die in the middle of their stories, but always at the end.

-Shannon Hale's giving away some ARCs of her new book "Midnight in Austenland" if you like her on Facebook. I do like her and her writing, so I'm passing this one on! :)

-Willa, over at Quotidian Moments, is going to be hosting a slow, thoughtful read-through and blog-through of Margaret Peterson's "Keeping House: the Litany of Everyday Life". I'm joining in and I'd encourage you to join in too; if you go look at Willa's post, you'll see that the schedule she's proposing is really leisurely and doable - and the book isn't very long to begin with. To encourage you further, here's a link to my review of the book from a year ago. As you can see from the quoted sections, it's very lovely, rich, and rewarding reading.

-Jeanne over at At A Hen's Pace has a beautiful and profound post on pain up on her blog.

-Fictional Places You Can Visit in Real Life. Anyone up for a visit to Hobbiton?

-When a motif starts showing up over and over in popular culture, it's smart to wonder why. With that principle in mind, here's another thoughtful analysis on the current popularity of zombies in today's entertainment offerings.  An excerpt:

David has grasped a breathtakingly essential point about zombie fiction: if human beings really were merely animated meat suits, then there would be no moral difference between killing zombies and killing human beings--and, as a corollary, we could kill human beings without remorse or pity simply because they were in the way. The history of the atheistic regimes of the twentieth century shows us what that looks like--what it looks like when a society arises to whom human beings are merely interchangeable animated future corpses, and which treats people as if they have no intrinsic human worth.

But if humans have intrinsic worth--if they are not mere walking bodies, if they are more than merely well-evolved animals--where does that worth come from? If the people we once loved who have died are not merely decomposing flesh, if they, the essential selves, still exist, then where and what are they, and why are they still alive? For Christians who believe in the soul, these questions can be pondered with placidity, gratitude, even joy. For anyone who does not believe in an immaterial and immortal human soul which makes us look like our Creator, though, these questions can only be rather grim to think about.

-And, the best news for last, Lois McMaster Bujold, my favorite living novelist, has finished a new book! Better yet? It's the one about Ivan. w00T!

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


Sarah said...

Oh, yay, Ivan is done! When we were at WorldCon in August, she said it was giving her fits so I wondered if it would be a long, long time before we got to see it. Not that next November isn't far enough away, but you know what I mean ;)

R said...

On the zombie thing, I figured it worked along the similar lines of the droid armies in SW: You can kill lots of them with no moral implications whatever. It's the modern-day equivalent of slaying dragons (which are now portrayed as highly intelligent misunderstood creatures, no longer a symbol of evil & thus cannot fulfill a similar role in fiction). No one can possibly be mad at you for killing them off; the perfect outlet for violence.

Jessica Snell said...

Sarah - I totally know what you mean: you want to read it NOW but you're just happy to know that you'll get to read it SOON(ish).

R - you might be right. If you don't have enemies you have to invent them?