population

Paul Tillich and “The Shape of Water”

SPOILER ALERT! I knew that The Shape of Water would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It checked three of the major Hollywood boxes: celebration of oppressed people, valorization of complete sexual freedom, and a Christian villain. It used to be that a black hat or shifty eyes or a foreign accent would give someone away as the bad […]

The Surprising Message of “Downsizing”

Carpathian mountain valley

SPOILER ALERT! When I saw the trailer for Alexander Payne’s new film, Downsizing, I thought the movie would be a light-hearted farce, relying principally on visual gags. In point of fact, the jokes based on the contrast between regular-size people and their five-inch tall counterparts are surprisingly rare. Most of the film deals with events within the world of the […]

Zero Population Growth

When my grandfather died in May of 2008, the possessions that meant the most to his adult children – almost all of them grandparents themselves – were things like the embroidered tablecloth filled with family member’s names or the crucifix that hung above his bed.  His wife, my beloved grandmother, preceded him in death by ten years and yet at […]

The Hour is Late

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please?  Put down the birth control.  You heard me.  Put it down and walk away. I don’t like to be harsh, but the hour is late. The citizens of many countries belong on the endangered species because they are dying out.  Never before in the history of the world have so many […]