There are good reasons to find the onslaught of religious music this time of year objectionable. And yet—though I want to do my part in the War on Christmas—I don’t so much object to the content of Christmas songs. It’s the music! It’s hackneyed and tired and grossly overplayed and a lot of it was never very good to begin with.[...]
The holidays can be hard, starting in October when the red and green decorations begin muscling in on the Halloween aisle.
Most Wonderful Time of the Year, you say? Oh, go stuff a stocking in it, Andy Williams!
The majority of us have more in common with the Grinch, Scrooge, and/or the Little Match Girl.
With dependable frequency, the religious views of Albert Einstein get revised and re-revised according to some re-discovered or re-interpreted quotation from his scientific work or personal correspondence. It’s not especially surprising that Einstein had a few things to say on the subject.[...]
In ostensibly liberal democracies in the West, attitudes towards free speech vary widely given different historical contexts, and can shift dramatically over time. We’re living in the midst of a generational shift on the issue in the U.S.[...]
We have become quite used to pronouncements of doom, from scientists predicting the sixth mass extinction due to the measurable effects of climate change, and from religionists declaring the apocalypse due to a surfeit of sin.[...]
That’s right, I said it. In November, the Pope will officially release a rock/pop album called Pope Francis: Wake Up! (which you can already pre-order on iTunes). And below, you can hear the first single, “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” It’s one of 11 tracks.[...]
Some of the most rigorous moral thinkers of the past century have spent time on the wrong side of questions they deemed of vital importance.[...]
I don’t think anybody really knows why they’re doing anything. If you stop someone on the subway and say, “Where are you going – in the deepest sense of the word?” you can’t really expect an answer. I really don’t know why I’m here.[...]
There is a certain kind of thinking that the Buddha called “monkey mind,” a state in which our nervous habits become compulsions, hauling us around this way and that, forcing us to jump and shriek at every sound. It was exactly this neurotic state of mind that Leonard Cohen sought to quell when in 1994 he joined Mt.[...]