Podcast #47: Obama Fail, Vacation FTW!

This Week: The elephant in the room this week is Obama’s speech at Notre Dame in which he attempted to take a moderate stance on an extreme practice. Ben and Rich weren’t too thrilled, and they talk about why exactly. Also, they discuss the ways people tend to think about vacation and how they should think about vacation. Try not to feel too guilty.

Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, and give a sneak peak at the week ahead. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to christandpopculture@gmail.com, or go to our contact page. We would love to respond to feedback on the show, so do it now! Subscribe to us in iTunes by clickinghere. While you’re at it, review us in iTunes! We’ll love you forever!

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  • http://nowheresville.us The Dane

    “This book is too big to easily transport to my destination so I’ll leave it behind in favour of something more convenient” is Crazy? Ben? Where did your common sense go?? Quickly CAPC contributors, let’s hunt for Ben’s senses before they escape forever!

    Ahem. So you really never determine your reading material based on what you can fit in your bag? You, sir, must have a Kindle. And so I congratulate you on your excellent taste.
    _______________________

    I don’t mind spending money on a vacation. It costs a lot to go to Cambodia or Spain and I’m okay paying that much in order to experience the world from a perspective through which I would be otherwise incapable. Reading travelogues is fascinating, but some things can only be understood firsthand.

    The Danes last blog post..20090417.teaParty

  • http://www.benbartlett.blogspot.com Ben Bartlett

    Dane,

    Two points. First, I probably overemphasized the “vacations are bad” point, because I don’t mean that they’re bad. I just mean that people are uncritical in spending money on themselves in an unconstructive and purposeless way. You’re right… there are many good ways you can spend money on a vacation.

    As for the books, I wasn’t saying people pick smaller books for transportation purposes. I was saying they choose books that are easier to read and have shorter chapters to better fit their summer lifestyle… reading while tanning at the beach, in between projects, in the car or plane on the way to a destination, stuff like that.

    For the record, I didn’t make that up. That was the result of asking about 8-10 people these two questions.

    “Do you read differently in the summer?”

    “If so, how is it different and why?”

    Nearly everyone answered exactly as I reported it- they look for easier reads to fit a different lifestyle.

  • http://www.benbartlett.blogspot.com Ben Bartlett

    Oh, and no Kindle for me… I appreciate the concept, but the price is a little rich for my blood and I’m sure they’ll continue to come out with better versions as time goes on. That said, I fully support the genius who realized that the difference between books and the computer isn’t how it feels, but how backlighting affects reading.

  • http://nowheresville.us The Dane

    Ben, I think I’ve said this before but: you need to meet a better class of people. *sweet grin / bats eyes*

    This, I think, is where our subcultures differ a lot—and maybe why I often have a hard time identifying with some of the general statements about pop culture made here on CAPC. The only people I know whose lives and outlooks change for summer are students and teachers. Students feel they deserve a break from the rigours of their studies (which I suppose is understandable, since students are largely children) and the teachers often use the summer to research.

    Everybody else just works a lot.

    Except for the stay-at-home moms maybe. I haven’t talked to them much. On days when I’ve been sick from work and happened to pass by the community pool, I’ve noticed several moms lounging their while their four-year-olds play in the pool. They are probably the category of person around here that makes the most use of summer as a paradigm shift. And this starts to make more sense as I stop to consider the summer reading tables at Borders or Barnes and Noble. It’s always easy either classics (like To Kill a Mockingbird or Frankenstein) or pink and yellow books clearly in the chick-lit arena. The first are probably aimed at students who have summer reading lists to knock down while the second table clearly markets to young moms.

    But other than that, Southern California is notoriously workaholic, so that may be why I haven’t personally encountered many whose lives change as they gear up for summer.

    As for my personal reading habits, I generally read two or three longer challenging works and then sprinkle in a couple guilty reads (quick, easy, plot-driven books) while my mind cools down a bit. I’m in the guilty-read stage right now and burned through a third of A Game of Thrones in about a day—that things reads as compulsively as Twilight (though Martin, unlike Meyer, can actually string a sentence together). With the exception of, I think, the third chapter (the first Daenerys one) when I wanted to punch Martin in the tooth for dumping a boatload of made-up vocabulary on the reader with little explanation, this has been an awesome recommendation. So thanks.

    The Danes last blog post..20090417.teaParty

  • http://nowheresville.us The Dane

    Yeah, the Kindle is still pricey. I got mine out of necessity but I’m hoping it won’t be too long before the discounts I’m earning on my purchases get me back to even-steven.

    The Danes last blog post..20090417.teaParty

  • http://www.benbartlett.blogspot.com Ben Bartlett

    Good thoughts on subcultures. You’re right that the “summer life” dichotomy affects students and teachers more. But I’m not in school anymore, and I specifically interviewed mostly people who have been out of school for between 5 and 20 years. The consistent feedback I got is that reading needs to fit a different lifestyle on weekends and vacations and evenings after work. None of the people I talked to reported gobs of free time because they were off work or school for the summer.

    And don’t trust what bookstores try to tell you is the latest and greatest thing to read, summer or no. Surely you know this? :-)

    Glad you’re enjoying Game of Thrones. You’re absolutely right about having too many made-up words and terminology. Jeffrey Overstreet’s books have the same problem. Still, the series is so long that Martin eventually tires of that game and it gets more focused on the story and less on fancy pretend words. I myself am just finishing up the fourth book, and eagerly awaiting his completion of the fifth.


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