Not My Mother

Some critics are trying to imbue mother! with significance, but these critics seem to disagree on what this significance is.

Mother! is the new movie written and directed by Daniel Aronofsky, who also directed The Wrestler (2008) and Black Swan (2010). In his latest movie, a blocked poet (Javier Bardem) and his unnamed wife (Jennifer Lawrence) live in his home that she has been restoring after a destructive fire. A dying doctor (Ed Harris) and later his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their sons appear, and their fight over a revised will is the beginning of a narrative disintegration that is inexplicably, and unsatisfyingly, explained in the final scenes.

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The Truth of Buddhism

I was impressed by Robert Wright’s Nonzero (2001) and The Evolution of God (2009), so I was eager to read his most recent book, which is Why Buddhism Is True (2017).

Wright links this book with his previous work in evolutionary psychology, and he combines this work with research in neuroscience and psychology to explain how buddhism reduces regret, anxiety, and other negative experiences and increases appreciation of beauty and other people. In particular, he uses a modular model of the human mind that developed as a result of natural selection.  Continue reading “The Truth of Buddhism”

Mayor Of The Block

I was thinking of a recent Bucktown biting when I moved into the street to avoid an unleashed dog and a tall woman with gray hair and dark skin.

I’ve often seen her holding court on the corners with other dog-walkers. They always have theirs on leashes, and she usually has a red leash draped over neck. I lowered my head and resolved to say nothing. 

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