Field Negro shares this: “Conservatives are about to find out that it’s not only those poor Negroes in urban areas who depend on food stamps. My experience has taught me that quite a few working head of households, college students, and hardworking families who are trying to make ends meet in America depend on food stamps … Continue reading
Well. I’m at 30,000 words on a manuscript and feeling ____. So I googled for a remedy, and in a round about way, found Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk. It is good. You should watch it. Ole, indeed. Someone came by these parts today looking for the crux of all writing, and found this. Perhaps my … Continue reading
In my experience, Dr. Ogletree is about as good and godly of a man as they come. I’m blessed to have studied with him, to know him, and to call him a brother. My time at Yale wouldn’t have been nearly as rich or meaningful without him. Maybe this will be the lightning rod that helps … Continue reading
You know all about those strange synergies of the internet. Today, I was listening to The Horrible Crowes. Like a lot. For some reason that only makes sense the to the tubes and wires, quite a few folks found their way here today by searching for Kamau Brathwaite’s visceral insight about Caribbean syntax : “the hurricane does … Continue reading
Context: http://www.mcall.com/opinion/yourview/mc-allentown-water-lease-community-benefits-steven-20130427,0,5645940.story http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-hockey-arena-facades-20130429,0,412778.story Allentown, make no mistake. The revitalization we’re all hoping for has been talked about in terms of risks assumed by a handful of wealthy investors. Remember, though, that it’s our tax dollars, it’s we, the people, who have hedged this bet. Like any shareholder, we are looking for a return on investment. … Continue reading
Sisters. Brothers. I’m proud and energized. The vote didn’t go how many of us wanted, it’s true. I would have been content had someone seconded Ms. Eichenwald’s motion, which seemed, to me, to be as much about transparency and prudence as anything else. These qualities are too often lacking. Mr. Mayor, if a considerable portion … Continue reading
Via Keystone Politics, via Jon Geeting, the American Lung Association, Lehigh Valley Live, and me. Here. Oh, and here’s where the Mayor and his allies on Council want to put it: Here it is by minority demography.
This. Thank you, Micha Daigle, for putting the drone crisis into crystal-clear perspective.
In Emily Opilo’s piece from Saturday, Allentown City Council VP demonstrates what seems to be an exercise in missing the point: “O’Connell acknowledged that last week’s meeting got out of hand. But past precedent dictates that bills are not discussed until they are assigned to a committee, he said. “We lost control,” O’Connell said. “We have to … Continue reading
In the past few days, some interesting things have happened here in Allentown. Rich Fegley was almost escorted out of City Council chambers for nothing more radical than invoking basic American political philosophy in a cogent, respectable, orderly manner. Michael Donovan announced his independent run for Mayor. Kim Velez got reinstated on the ballot for … Continue reading
When I was a kid, WWE (then WWF) had a slogan that would bumper their syndicated Saturday morning program: “World Wrestling Federation: What the World is Watching!” Lately, it seems as though this tag might aptly apply to the goings-on of Allentown’s political establishment and the plan to lease the City’s water system out to … Continue reading
A few follow-up thoughts on yesterday’s post, “Coming Out In Favor of Same-Sex Marriage (because of Jesus).”: It seems to me that when Paul condemns a series of activities and Greek/Roman cultural norms that get translated in our New Testament as “homosexuality,” he’s really speaking out against oppressive power dynamics that were being expressed sexually … Continue reading
Love is patient and kind. Equality? Equality is forever. Equality has been denied, and Equality is pissed. Turns out, Equality is what happens when Love grows up.
@OnFaith asks “Can America fix the Catholic Church? I admit this was a bit of a knee-jerk: @onfaith @usccb because we’re so good at fixing everything else. you want to fix the Church? give it to the nuns. — Christopher Cocca (@ccocca) March 7, 2013 But it comes in the context of many conversations I’ve … Continue reading
Lena Dunham is taking her struggle with OCD more public in the current Rolling Stone. Here’s some old stuff about that from my own perspective, transmuted into fiction. It’s not about the ritual, per se, but about the life of the mind, the strange salve, the long and short triggers. (You are good and fine).
Steven Hyden puts out some really good stuff. The fact that I can’t type the word “intervention” without hearing Win Butler tells you two things: 1) like Butler and Hyden, I’m a man of a certain age, and 2) (perhaps) like both of them, I have struggled with my share of obsession. (I also work … Continue reading
“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” I had occasion to be reminded of that recently. It comes from Marx and Engels, and Slavoj Zizek uses it as the title of a recent treatise. In his affirmation of pyro-theology, Peter Rollins takes up Buenaventura Durruti’s claim that “the only church that illuminates is … Continue reading
This Charles Taylor, not this one: The importance of being true to oneself, Taylor would argue, doesn’t affirm the right of a person to make her own choices simply because she can. He calls this “soft relativism;” rather, there is a “moral force” to authenticity that insists that individuals understand their originality. But even this … Continue reading
My friend Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is one on of the hardest working folks in the New Sincerity, which, if you think about it, is really saying something. In addition to his roles as editor at Patrol and contributor to Patheos, Atlantic and other venues, Jonathan has just published a new book with Bondfire called Not Your … Continue reading
Reblogged from CHRISTOPHER COCCA: For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers of America elected no one to the Hall of Fall today. I submit that they reconsider, and nominate myself for deliberation. And Jon Calpas, who not only pitched and played first base with grace and aplomb, but also sent one into the … Continue reading
Reblogged from My Name is Mission: Yesterday, we thought a bit about the idea of sharing our first and second harvest with our neighbors. We compared the stories of the fish and the loaves with the idea of an ongoing harvest for our communities here in the Lehigh Valley and in Northeast Pennsylvania. The day … Continue reading
Reblogged from My Name is Mission: Second Harvest Food Bank, with the support of donors from across Pennsylvania and beyond, has a network of over 200 agencies and is able to distribute food to more than 66,000 people each month across the greater NE PA region. I hope this is shocking for two reasons: 1) … Continue reading
Reblogged from My Name is Mission: This evening I was going over some notes from last year and came across thoughts from a devotion one of our leaders gave at the first Mission Leadership Team I ever went to. The devotion was taken in part from the April 2011 issue of Sojourners. I’ve transcribed my … Continue reading
Reblogged from broken liturgy: church undone: The Advent Gathering in December was a very special time. Join this month as we think about the bleak midwinter, the promise of Christmas against the New Year’s already-routines, the discovery of Epiphany, the sustained sense of longing and need, the tide of normalcy, the holy everyday, and the … Continue reading
I enjoyed this recent post from Wandering Mirages about the eponymous hero (or something) of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener. Wandering Mirages concludes that Bartleby is all things at once: But, in the end, in the tragic and evasive end, the novella had proved itself to be anything but simple and he was none … Continue reading
Scott Kraus with the details in The Morning Call last week. Related articles Helping The Arena Help Allentown (chriscocca.com) Allentown Is Brimming With Potential, and Warren Buffett Gets It (chriscocca.com) Allentown DTE Deal Historical Omnibus: Now With Little Funding! (chriscocca.com) Allentown Waterfront Development Plans Unveiled For $250M In Construction (progresspennsylvania.wordpress.com) Regionalism or Anti-Urbanism? Health, Hockey, … Continue reading
The candidate I’ll vote for in 2016 will be the one with an ambitious and progressive plan to fight our nation’s dirtiest open secret: we face a monumental public mental health crisis the likes of which have never before been seen. Mental health benefits for the poorest Americans are being lost left and right as … Continue reading
We were just talking about this on the radio last night, this being the opportunity we see everywhere in Allentown. Warren Buffet agrees. He may just buy The Morning Call. Mr. Buffett, while you’re at it, use the NIZ and move Berkshire Hathaway here, or GEICO, or something. We’ve made ourselves ripe for the picking. … Continue reading
I’ll join John Hardt and host Treymane Tatem to talk about the transforming nature of faith in community, and how it relates to Allentown’s urban context specifically.
Maybe so. If this happens, I guarantee ”About A Girl.” From your friends at Wikipedia: According to the 1994 Nirvana biography Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana by Michael Azerrad, “About a Girl” was written after Kurt Cobainspent an entire afternoon listening to Meet The Beatles! repeatedly. At the time, Cobain was trying to conceal his pop songwriting instincts, … Continue reading
Last year, I hung one of the Occupy signs on my office door. It read Move Your Money! and showed cash flowing out of giant banks and into community-owned credit unions and small financial institutions. How is no one going to jail in the HSBC scandal? The nexus of 1% interests is no secret, and … Continue reading
a wonderful time in Brooklyn on Sunday. Only wish I could have seen more people. Next time. ikonNYC at Deity.
Bill Simmons has a very interesting piece on Grantland contrasting the leadership styles of Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant. It’s partly focused on numbers (how does Bryant compare compare to Russell, MJ, Magic, Bird, et al by various measures), but there’s something extremely important buried in the story of what Simmons calls “all the other … Continue reading
Top search terms for today. Seems about right. In case you don’t know, “Many Pacquiao Talks to a Butterfly in California” is an amazing short story written by my friend John Bengan. Speaking of great publishing news from awesome people I went to the New School with, Sherri Phillips has a story forthcoming in Ploughshares … Continue reading
“The bottom line, which should trouble News Corp. and their teams at MySpace and The Daily, is that most web users already have a daily newspaper they can read across all of their devices, and it even includes super-localized updates about the people they care most about. It can be custom-tailored, with very little effort, to … Continue reading
A friend sent this to my sister with the following observation: “I think this pretty much sums up your life philosophy. I especially love the subtle Italian flag in the corner.” Yes. This is Coccaism, roughly considered.
“All across the pop culture spectrum, the emphasis on sincerity and authenticity that has arisen has made it un-ironically cool to care about spirituality, family, neighbors, the environment, and the country. And pollsters find this same trend in the up-and-coming generation from which Wampole culls her hipsters, Millennials. A recent Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll survey … Continue reading
Reblogged from Twitchy: Twitter user @IanDonovanVP gave liberals quite a thrill on Sunday afternoon when he tweeted that Paul Ryan had unfollowed Mitt Romney on Twitter. The news was so succulent to liberals that the original tweet was gleefully retweeted more than 1,000 times. Donovan had previously tweeted about Rep. Ryan’s alleged diss hours earlier without … Continue reading
After Mitt Romney’s comments about brown people loving free stuff, Bobby Jindal made an excellent point: conservatives need to win hearts by explaining precisely why they believe their policies are tailor-made to help the rich and poor. Reader, it doesn’t matter to me if you buy the premise that conservative policies, if done right, will … Continue reading
In the span of four days, we learned that Allentown Symphony Hall will be renamed Miller Symphony Hall in an effort to “de-city-tize” it (real quote) as Allentown revitalizes, and that the minor league Phantoms, for whom Allentown’s NIZ was created, to whom Allentown tax money will go and to whom the suburban municipalities wanted … Continue reading
The Green Party didn’t even crack one half of 1 percent. But they did better than the last two cycles. Does that matter? I don’t know. I’ll partly agree with reader and frequent conversant Mr. Salk: the best way forward for minor parties is grassroots. But they also need, and in my opinion, deserve, national … Continue reading
@ccocca Ha! I’ve been meaning to tell you that I mention you by name in the book. Credit you w/introducing the term to me.— Jonathan Fitzgerald (@jon_fitzgerald) November 06, 2012 Thank you, Jon! And thank you for running with it. Sincerely important and sincerely awesome. As for the BetaBeat article, yes, boasting about our voting … Continue reading
Maybe sometimes. In crisis, Chris Christie shares this perspective: I think he’s right in this case. I know I feel this way a lot when it comes to economic justice in Allentown, ending chronic homeless, and calling institutional Christianity into better concert with what I understand to be the way of Jesus. In all of … Continue reading
For years, a statement like that felt counter intuitive, even oxymoronic. Now it makes all the sense in the world. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) is on the ballot in all 50 states. Jill Stein has 85% ballot access across the country, which looks like this: Neither were included in the three national presidential debates because … Continue reading
A homily from broken liturgy:
From Kamua Brathwaite in Google Books.
Taking a cue from the pages of Superman, Lawrence O’Donnell lambasted the mainstream media Wednesday night for their failure to cover the Third Parties debate and for failing to address this little nightmare: Imagine if Congress passed a bill that the president signed that allowed indefinite detention without charge or trial. That would be issue … Continue reading
Matt Bai says Bill Clinton’s advice to frame Mitt Romney as an extreme conservative rather than the nihlist voters believe him to be was a mistake (here in the New York Times). Crux of the piece: “The bottom line here is that one can over-think this whole notion of framing your opponent. Ninety-nine times out … Continue reading
“I was taught to believe you could use words to change the course of rivers — that even the darkest secrets would fall under the harsh light of the sun…But facts have been replaced by opinions. Information has been replaced by entertainment. Reporters have become stenographers. I can’t be the only one who’s sick of … Continue reading