About Anita Kobayashi Sung

17. House of Cards: “Only Us. Small. Solitary. Striving.” #CaPC25

All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of 2013.  Previous #18: Jason Isbell - Southeastern#17: House of Cards (Netflix) Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is a Democratic Congressman out for revenge after he is passed over as Secretary of State. This original web drama series produced by and available exclusively on Netflix, is set in Washington D.C.’s political scene, as Frank maneuvers and manipulates people and events to satiate his d … [Read more...]

The Ancients are Coming: Medieval Texts at Your Fingertips

As a church historian, I am not ashamed to bring my Bible to church. Usually it’s one of those compact ones (my favorite one that’s traveled around the world with me), but more recently—I’ll admit it—the Bible app on my cell phone. Nevertheless, I’m always cognizant that there was a time in history when holding a Bible in church, and reading the text for oneself, was not a possibility for most people, even the clergy. It was not until the Reformation, and then also the breakthrough technology of … [Read more...]

The Undeniable Childhood Appeal of Father Christmas

I love this article on Father Christmas, whom Americans refer to as Santa, and the fact that children around the globe still write letters to him addressed to the North Pole (which land in a post office in Rovaniemi, Finland).  Around this time of year, this post office receives as many as 30,000 letters a day, and as the articles states, it is the responsibility of the elves "to sort and reply to some of the 550,000 letters that arrive each year.”As I read of this operation, it brought back … [Read more...]

The Objectionable Fiction of ‘Immigrant Fiction’

In a recent NY Times Sunday Book Review, Jhumpa Lahiri was asked the question: "What immigrant fiction has been the most important to you, both personally and as an inspiration for your own writing?" This was her answer: "I don’t know what to make of the term 'immigrant fiction.' Writers have always tended to write about the worlds they come from. And it just so happens that many writers originate from different parts of the world than the ones they end up living in, either by choice or by n … [Read more...]

Celebrating C. S. Lewis: “The Weight Of Glory”

Editor’s Note: November 22, 2013, will mark the fiftieth anniversary of C. S. Lewis’s death. On that day, he will be given a place in Westminster Abbey’s renowned Poet’s Corner. In commemoration of this event, all this week Christ and Pop Culture contributors will be writing about the works by C. S. Lewis that have been most personally significant to them.I don’t tend to read essays over and over again as I would with the relish of a short story, but C.S. Lewis’s essay “The Weight Of Glory” i … [Read more...]

It’s National Novel Writing Month, a Time to Delight in God’s Creative Act

As I was lamenting to a friend several weeks ago about my inner urge to write fiction again, but struggling to find the time, she directed me to NaNoWriMo, or rather, National Novel Writing Month.  Unbeknownst to me, this November event has been going on for years, and it was created to jumpstart writers into what seems like the impossible: writing an entire novel in a month.  Naturally, it would most likely only be a rough draft of a novel, but as the site says, it might just be the “kick in the … [Read more...]

New Rules for User Comments: The Bottom Line for the Common Good?

In the past few weeks various Internet sites, such as YouTube, Goodreads, and Popular Science, have announced new approaches to user comments, either regulating, deleting, or getting rid of the option altogether. In response to negative reactions from regular users and commenters, these sites all defended the switch by emphasizing a desire to improve Internet communications, and by doing so to promote a common good. As leaders of society, they are taking the initiative to set new standards on … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Not So Transparent after All—Press Freedoms Threatened

After the NSA scandal, the American public has become increasingly aware of a threat to First Amendment rights, a topic of concern potentially alarming for people of faith. Even journalists covering the issue have been met with resistance as the Obama administration has taken unprecedented anti-press measures. The Committee to Protect Journalists is now openly accusing Obama of being “the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom." … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Wikipedia Closing the Gender Gap

Not long ago I wrote an article about the imbalance of women represented in film, so I was pleased to discover Wikipedia’s concerted effort to address the gender imbalance in its online content. In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, a gathering will be held at Brown University to edit and expand information of women in science, technology, and math. Earlier this year, a similar meeting was held to address women in the arts content. It’s also well worth noting: “Wikipedia, unlike other knowledge sou … [Read more...]

How Hollywood’s Bro-Fest Hurts Us All

More often than I’d like to admit, I need to fill my quota of mind-numbing movie watching. I become like the zombie in Warm Bodies and feast off the brain matter of someone else’s seemingly more interesting story, so I can escape my own for a while. Therefore, I now confess that I pretty much watched every major film that came out this summer. This puts me in-the-know about everything, because Hollywood rules the world. So imagine my surprise and embarrassment when I decided to read something (on … [Read more...]