Let’s Talk Bodies

The other day I got one of this summer’s pop hits stuck in my head – Tove Lo’s “Talking Bodies.” Not one to reject pop music outright, I will grant that the melody is catchy. But the lyrics make me feel gross. The bridge is particular frustrating:

Our baby making bodies we just use for fun
Let’s use them up ’til every little piece is gone

This made the hyper-vigilant anti-gnostic in me cringe. Here we have a song, which has probably been heard, danced to, and sung along with by millions of people, making the claim that bodies should be “used” and even “used up,” as if they are tools or objects. The implication is that the body is separate from the rest of the person, and is just not as important. Continue reading →

The Keurig, the Chemex, and Dietary Gnosticism


There’s no way that anyone could be that happy while drinking instant coffee.


Over this past holiday season, I found myself in the coffee-machine sections of several retailers, in search of an espresso maker to give my mom. None of these stores had what I was looking for, instead, their shelves were well-stocked with assorted variations of Keurigs, Nespressos, and the accompanying accessories.

For those who may be unaware, a Keurig is a coffee-making device that is designed for convenience. There’s a small reservoir which users fill with water every couple of days, and coffee – which comes in pre-measured little pods (“K-cups”) – is dispensed in seconds through a small valve. Clean-up is a breeze – when you’re done, all you need to do is throw away the used plastic pod.

If the Keurig is at one end of the coffee-making-device spectrum, then the Chemex is at the other. For those who may be unaware, a Chemex is a glass vessel that is designed for making pour-over coffee. The coffee itself needs to be ground a certain way, and carefully measured (usually with a scale). The water needs to be heated separately, and brought to a specific temperature. When it’s just hot enough, it’s carefully poured in concentric circles over the coffee. The water-to-coffee ratio is important, and varies depending on the coffee itself; one coffee shop I frequent keeps their Chemexes on little digital scales, so they know exactly how much water they’ve added. The coffee slowly drips into a glass basin, and is served immediately. Continue reading →