Food for Our Minds & Spirits: The Good Lord Bird

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big, beautiful world. Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material

If you haven’t been plugged into high-brow cable television lately, it’s worth knowing that a special series on the abolitionist efforts of John Brown have been put onto screen in the show The Good Lord Bird. Ethan Hawke is astounding in the central role which is played both serious and absurd––truly a testament to “weird John Brown” as Herman Melville called him.

The show is based on a book of the name. I haven’t read it, but I gather that it is wrestling with what the show is wrestling with — how do we make sense of a person who did the most heinous things for those most noble of reasons? Brown is like a man out of time and a man out of his own moral context. He believes like a religious zealot of ages before he lived, but also had a view of race and racism that was wildly before his time. But as the show also points out — he was also impatient and impractical. And he was ultimately doomed even as his beliefs enlightened generations to follow.

The program is well worth your time if you are interested in this kind of thing — it airs on Showtime and via its streaming services.