This week's Five Star Mixtape blog roundup is brought to you by a refreshingly constructive look at grief, growing beyond one's prejudice within the faith that produced it, a psychological move out of a dark history, experiencing a son's shift to adulthood, the love of a quiet father, the lure of the idea of authenticity, confident self-direction, the multiverse, truth and reconciliation, and Homer:
Probably the biggest finding of the past two years for me is that being comfortable being uncomfortable is a very effective way to be a human.
"How Being a Pastor Changed My Thinking on Homosexuality" by Dave Barnhart at Dave Barnhart's Blog:
Locked out of the kingdom. An evangelical program of hate. There are no better words to describe anti-gay Christianity.
Seeing black skin as anything but black skin kicks back to a dead time, a time we must acknowledge existed and consciously move to work past. We must look slavery in its face and spit.
This isn't the way it used to be. His homework in elementary school was disastrously messy. Even the paper on which it was written was bent or curled, sometimes ripped, if in fact he had remembered to do the homework in the first place.
But then not much is the way it used to be.
It should be noted that my father rarely spends time with anyone these days. His best friend died suddenly last year, and he’s never had the stomach for parties or crowds. He is a complete and utter introvert with a brilliant, sardonic mathematician’s mind. He prefers his people wedged in the pages of the thousands of books he reads, or onstage—in the characters he sometimes plays in local theatres. Real-life people and their various follies and dramas exhaust him.
Part of what makes masks (and the implication one true self) seductive, is that the removing of a mask creates intimacy. While a private revelation is legitimately intimate, it’s important to remember that “unmasking” is a performance too. Despite the seductive intimacy, removing a mask simply means revealing something that was previously hidden. It doesn’t mean that the revealed thing is any “truer” than the things you consciously expose.
…after four decades on God’s green earth, you are kind of an adult whether you like it or not. You can actually decide what you want to do and what you don’t want to do, within reason. I mean, I can’t decide that I am a wizard or that I no longer wish to pay my taxes. But I digress. The point is, a few weeks after I turned 40 I decided–without realizing it–that I no longer had to go to parties.
"On the Berenstein Bears Switcheroo" by Reece at The Wood Between Worlds:
It was probably the silliest, most outlandish thing I've put forward, but I put if out there. For those not familiar with it, I claimed that two of these "universes" in the complex-dimensional spacetime have two different spellings of the name. I will henceforth call these Universe A and Universe E. In Universe A, they are spelled "Berenstain". In Universe E, they are spelled "Berenstein". Whatever else is true, we currently live in Universe A. However, at some point, it seems that some of us once lived in Universe E. Now here we are, inexplicably in Universe A, and completely befuddled.
The time has long passed for any settler to be allowed to consider the “Injuns” who were here when their ancestors arrived to have been an amorphous blob of ignorant savages, indistinguishable and extinguishable in equal measure. That they had no cannons doesn’t undo their nationhood.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online: