Podcast #97: A New Leaf

After a bit of a hiatus, the podcast returns! Now a twice a month, more casual affair, every episode we’ll simply get together and talk about popular culture. What will we talk about? Whatever happens to be on our minds. It’s that simple!

This week:

  • Violent video games and the Supreme Court
  • Mid-Term Elections and a fickle public
  • Halloween and scary media
  • Brette Favre, Randy Moss and ethical sportsmen
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show & The Rocky Horror Glee Show

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About Richard Clark

Richard H. Clark is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. He has a Master of Arts in Theology and the Arts from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Louisville, Ky. He is also the managing editor of Gamechurch and a freelance writer for Unwinnable, Paste, and other outlets.
E-mail: clarkrichardh [at] gmail [dot] com.
Twitter: @deadyetliving

  • Ben

    Honestly Rich… Randi? You’re killing our sports cred, my friend.

  • http://spoonfulofhahne.com Seth T. Hahne

    Ben, you always make me sad when you say you hate Halloween and then go on to say how its really just all about people having a good time. My interpretation of this then is that you hate fun. And I don’t think that you do hate fun but I don’t know how else to get “I hate Halloween and it’s stupid” and “Halloween is people having fun” to work together. Unless this is just an inconsistency in the system and by your rules you probably should enjoy the heck out of Halloween but don’t because of some error in the system (e.g. you are a grinch, as your cohort suggests).

  • Ben

    Seth, I appreciate your concern for my happiness and well being!

    Though I think it’s stretching the truth a little to say I hate fun, it is certainly true that I view fun a little differently.

    I think the clarification would be that I hate Halloween because I do not like dressing up, or parties, or being startled, or imagining scary things, or anything along those lines. So Halloween can be all about most people having fun, but I wouldn’t include myself in the category of those who enjoy it.

    Holidays I really like include Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, and New Year’s Eve.

  • http://spoonfulofhahne.com Seth T. Hahne

    I suppose I can see that, but the rad thing about holidays is that you can celebrate them however you like. Take for instance Christmas. Like you, I’m no fan of the religious zeal with which some possess the day. And I’m not particularly fanatical about the celebration of “wintery” stereotypes that, living in Orange County, I’ve never been able to take part in. One would think that I’m no fan of Christmas, but on the contrary, the Christmas I celebrate is merely a particular celebration of friends and family through good food and the giving of gifts that I think recipients would like and be enriched by. Having sloughed off the traditions of Christmas that I find distasteful or simply not to my taste, I’ve cobbled together a celebration for myself that rivals the joy I take in Hallowe’en.

    I think you could do similarly and find an awesome holiday buried in the holiday you think that Hallowe’en is.

    Take being startled or thinking on scary things, for two. I’m with you on this. I hate being startled and I don’t take the time to pretend that I’m scared by ghosts ‘n goblins. (Or any other Capcom game!) Therefore, my Hallowe’en enjoyment has nothing to do with those things. I like hanging out with friends so I personally have found the parties to be an enriching experience in their way and I love hospitality and decorating, so hosting parties in the past has been a great joy to me personally, but I haven’t had a place to do that in five years so parties are definitely not a necessary part of the fun. And while I enjoy having a good and inventive costume for the times I’ve had somewhere to where one, I haven’t done that in years either. So none of those things are intrinsic to Hallowe’en.

    The last few years, I’ve simply stayed home watching cartoons and passed out candy to eager children and carved pumpkins. This year I did also dress my daughter up and watched her wander around with a ridiculous cape on. And that was just awesome. She in turn went trick or treating, visited a petting zoo, climbed on some pumpkins, and brought me pieces of candy. Probably any of those things would be fun for you (maybe not the carving and maybe you’d watch something else besides cartoons).

    Really, the idea of every holiday is this: you make your own fun. The day is just there to remind you to have it. Some people need the reminder and some don’t.

  • Ben

    I can agree with that. I mentioned liking the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving because they are helpful excuses to celebrate things. And I actually DO agree with the value of religious holidays as such. But I still reserve the right to dislike what holidays are reminding us of or calling us to… and while I am happy for you to enjoy Halloween, I don’t really like what it stands for (the way I do with Thanksgiving) or the type of fun used to celebrate it (as with Fourth of July).

    As a side note, it always surprises me how much it displeases people when I don’t enjoy the things they enjoy, but they don’t feel bad about not enjoying the things I enjoy. When you pursue that inconsistency, the answer basically comes down to, “well if me and the majority of people enjoy it, you should too! And if you are in the minority of people that enjoy something different, then I have no responsibility to even attempt what you like, even though you’ve attempted what I enjoy.” Not what I’d call a stellar arguement (note: Not that Seth is making that argument, I imagine he’s been on the other side of it quite a bit.)

  • http://spoonfulofhahne.com Seth T. Hahne

    Yeah, I hear you with the I-Like-Therefore-You-Must-Like-It argument. And you’re right; I do put up with it a lot. (Especialy in light of my apathy toward spectator sports and my antipathy toward gender culture.)

    For me here in this particular thread, I’m not so much saying that you should like something that I like. More, it’s just that I enjoy something and so I like to try to remove the barriers that may unfairly prevent other people from enjoying the same thing. Usually with Hallowe’en, that takes the form of removing the suspicion that the holiday is somewhere in the neighbourhood of a “high holy day for Satan” (something I actually heard last week). You, however, present a far more interesting case.

    And one that really must prove largely impossible to crack. Unless you were to just give up and treat Hallowe’en as if it were New Year’s.

    Several of the more prominent components are things you don’t enjoy. Costumes and parties. Those are fair and I can easily imagine why you might not get a lot out of any celebration that contains those things. Things like the aversion to celebrating scariness hold less traction simply because I’ve never experienced a Hallowe’en that celebrated those things. (Unless you count the tiger I painted on my walls one year.) But again, that’s my personal experience and obviously yours is different.

    I guess, in summary, keep on keepin’ on.

    p.s. my regret that others don’t enjoy Hallowe’en like I do is similar to the sadness I feel for Rich, who claims to love video games but bought a Mac. While I’m sure he’s enjoying his Mac, I can’t help but sigh wistfully at what amounts to a missed opportunity :)

  • http://www.christandpopculture.com/ Richard Clark

    Man, this Mac is so awesome.

  • Kiel

    I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that you spelled Brett Favre’s name wrong on purpose. Perhaps because his last name is so often misspelled you found humor in spelling his first name wrong. Right? If so, that was funny. If not, that was still funny.

  • http://www.christandpopculture.com/ Richard Clark

    I am hilarious!!!


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