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Repaso: January 11, 2013


1. Ken Myers on cultural preservation
I don’t often include stuff from the Weekly Standard here, but when they cover Ken Myers, which happened this week, I do. Myers, formerly with NPR, is the host of the Mars Hill Audio Journal, which I love.

Journalism, and spoken-word journalism especially, may be a wobbly vehicle for Myers’s work of cultural restoration. And while it’s been enriched in the last few years by Touchstone and Books and Culture and a few other publications, the field is still wide open. Most of the middle-brow secular magazines that Myers consumed in mass quantities as a young reader have gone the way of public broadcasting, letting the obsession with pop culture crowd out any cultural expressions that are more demanding and rewarding than Bruuuuuce and the thumping oeuvre of Easy Mo Bee. It’s strangely inspiring—and hearteningly American—that some of the task of “preserving cultural treasures” has fallen on a former NPR programmer in rural Virginia who fills his leisure time pondering old issues of the Wilson Quarterly. But then Ken Myers isn’t the only one who works in mysterious ways.

2. Practicing “stop-day”
Matthew Sleeth on “the only resolution that has been fun to keep from day one.”

What does the word “Sabbath” mean? It simply means “stop.” That’s all. The Hebrew people didn’t have names for the days of the week. There was one-day, two-day, three-day, four-day, five-day, six-day, stop-day. The fourth commandment says we don’t work on stop day. We don’t make our sons work; we don’t make our daughters work; we don’t make anybody in our household work. We don’t make strangers work; we don’t make illegal aliens work; we don’t make minimum wage employees work. We don’t make anything work, including the cattle and the chicken and the sheep. We stop. We cool our jets. We just idle our engines on that day… The work of our life is meant to be punctuated by rest. Musicians talk about this. They say it’s not the notes that make the song, but the pauses in between the notes. This rhythm is equally true for our lives.

3. Murder and forgiveness
Carve out a chunk of time over the weekend and read this New York Times Magazine piece on the unprecedented restorative justice process between families in a murder case in Florida. It’s simply a must-read.

4. The ascent of Barça
60 Minutes did a nice 15 minute segment on Leo Messi and FC Barcelona, including interviews with a number of players, a look at the club’s somewhat controversial way of bringing up young players, a dose of Catalan politics for good measure, and the possibility that Barça is not only the best club in the world today, but the best club ever.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Image credit: “Rest Work (after Millet)” by Van Gogh via]

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