New from Sarah Welch-Larson on Substack: 3: Discipline of Hope and Action

I don’t have much to say this weekend, except that I am having a hard time maintaining a discipline of hope right now. Art can help us make sense of the world, but it can only take us so far. It’s not supposed to fix anything. Only action can do that. And right now, I feel very small and powerless and angry. We’ve settled into a litany of rich old men and women intoning that their “thoughts and prayers” are with everyone affected by the latest mass shooting, all while doing nothing when they’re the ones who can make a change. Faith without works is dead. Fuck those thoughts and prayers.

Call your senators and hold them to account for the blood on their hands. It’s not much, but right now, it’s all I know how to do.


What I talked about:

On this weekend’s episode of Seeing & Believing (out soon), we reviewed Top Gun: Maverick and The Right Stuff. The conversation kept coming back to mythmaking in American films, and how much those films buy into (or, in the case of The Right Stuff, deconstruct) the myths they’re selling.

What I watched:

This past weekend I rewatched Drew Goddard’s 2018 movie Bad Times at the El Royale for an essay I’m writing. It was a box-office bomb when it first came out, which is unfortunate, because it’s smart and humane and gorgeous; I wish more people would seek it out. It isn’t currently available to stream for free anywhere, unless you have the live TV version of Hulu, but it is available to rent on most platforms.

What I’m reading:

I’m nearly finished with my friend Claude Atcho’s excellent Reading Black Books, which just came out last week. In it, Claude offers a close theological read of ten important works of Black literature—the kind of criticism that doesn’t seek to Christianize the works it’s examining, but that does seek to sharpen one’s theological outlook through the lens of those books.

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