Posts Tagged ‘Pop-Culture’

After much of the reaction against the macabre violence of The Hunger Games, Winston Smith here offers what I think Christian interaction with pop culture should look like.  Rather than denouncing immorality that exists in the storyline (if that’s your aim, the book of Judges needs some critics), Smith looks at what in the popular book and movie appeals to us as humans, created in the image of God and fallen.

Recently, as I approached the breakfast table I caught the tail end of a conversation my teenagers were having that ended with my son explaining to one of his younger sisters, “I would definitely kill you first if we were selected as tribute.” I was only mildly relieved to find that they were talking about The Hunger Games, the novel by Suzanne Collins and recent blockbuster movie. I’d heard mention of it, but given the way it had ruined my breakfast, I thought I should investigate further…  Enjoy the rest here

Here are the top three posts from the month of December. Curiously enough, none of the posts dealing with the incarnation even made a dent. During Advent I thought that was a bit strange. Oh well!

  1. U.S. Teens of Somali Background dissapear and emerge in terrorist training camps.  This was an alarming and very sad story that I picked up on CNN. 
  2. Help Me Read My Bible Part I:  What I think Martin Luther’s advice would be for good Bible study.  There are now three posts in this category.  They include John Calvin, and a good piece guest written by Iain Boyd on Jonathan Edwards.  The Calvin and Edwards piece didn’t get too much attention but I think they’re worth your time, especially Iain’s piece on Edwards. 
  3. And finally, Governor Jindal tells his conversion story from Hinduism to Christianity…and also why he doesn’t think too much of the Episcopal Church.

One extra:  I think this post that I wrote on Dante, Sin, Repentance and Desire would have gotten in the top three if it had not been posted so late in the month.  Check it out here.

This is a challenging, complex, and immense essay written by Frederica Matthewes-Green. It tends to get off track and ramble at points, but I found it very engaging. I’ve only excerpted what was its most compelling point for me. Read the whole thing by clicking through to the next page and following the link.

There is a pop-sociology concept called “imitating the oppressor,” which means that when a group struggles for a new identity it tends to adopt the values of whoever it perceives to be holding power. Thus, anything that looked “feminine” made feminists uncomfortable, because in the opinion of men it was weak. Why we should think that men were smarter than our mothers and grandmothers was never clear. Most of the time, we acted as if men were made only a little higher than pond scum. Yet we accepted unquestioningly that a man’s life was the ideal life. Everything about men seemed more serious, more important. We felt embarrassed at our soft arms, and betrayed by our soft emotions. Motherhood was a dangerous sidetrack, a self-indulgent hobby that could slow you down. That’s the way men saw it, and who were we to argue? Whatever men treated with contempt was contemptuous; whatever men valued was valuable. And what men valued most was success.

Though I use the term “careerism” to identify this value, I don’t mean that women shouldn’t have careers. I mean rather a half-conscious ideology which holds that the most important thing in life is the rank conferred by a place of employment. It’s as bad for men as it is for women.

Careerism is a foolish idea on many levels, not least because only the most fortunate, and elite, people get to have careers. Most people just have jobs. When I was a young feminist mouthing off about how I was going to be out in the workplace and not stuck at home, my dad gave me a few wise words that, improbably, sunk in even then. He pointed out that most of the people in the world don’t get their fulfillment from the thing that gives them a paycheck. They get their fulfillment from other facets of life: faith, family, hobbies, literature, and music. For most people, a job represents only the hours they must spend each week to earn the free hours in which they can do the things they really care about. Careerism is the misguided notion that work trumps everything else. (more…)