God and Country Music: The Ethical Dilemma of Nashville Ghost Writing

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.Today, and really for the last half century, much of popular music has not been written by the performers. And in all genres of popular music, and country in particular, ghostwriting has turned into a legitimate profession. Let’s look at it this way, just about every country song that you have heard on the radio in the last twenty ye … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Ins and Outs—Reading Susan Cain's Quiet

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I love swimming with my elder daughter. We are members of the local YMCA and use the pool regularly. Sometimes we swim in lanes if there is a vacancy, because my daughter admires the swimmers who wear “special glasses and hats” while they swim underwater. Sometimes she plays on the ramp, creating imaginary houses and gardens while she fills and refills a plastic wate … [Read more...]

Labor of Love: Death of a Salesman & The Problem With Success

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America has a love-hate relationship with labor.Labor Day, celebrated first in 1882 and made a national holiday twelve years later, is all about the love: we honor the workers and tradesmen and tradeswomen, whose toils built the country, with cookouts, parades, and a day designated as a holiday from, well, labor.Yet our disdain for labor—at least the kind the holiday was founded to honor—upturns its nose at every corner: from the magical powers universally attributed to the college degree, to … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: The Price is Right! Right?

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Math isn’t my thing. That’s because numbers don’t make sense to my word-wired brain. So when it comes to making purchase decisions, I am drawn to sale signs (lower prices listed right there, before my very eyes) and what I think I should have to pay for an item (like an automated spending matrix built into my brain). It’s not mathematically sound. But this is how I’ve gotten through … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Letter to My Children’s Future Therapists

Dear Therapists:I don’t know if you’ll ever actually exist, but if you do, it’s unlikely that we’ll meet. If you do end up spending some time with my daughters, and my name comes up, there are a few things I’d like you to know. Things about me, about who I am, and what I’m trying to do with this whole mothering gig.I started thinking about you and your potential existence over dinner with friends -- the first time I got to go out for an evening with my girlfriends (without toting my baby alon … [Read more...]

The Female Gaze: Conflict of Interest

Each week in The Female Gaze, Faith Newport engages the trends, events, and issues that affect women—and the men who care about them.As the designated "women's issues" writer here at CaPC, I get unofficial dibs on incidents impacting women--which seem to increase in number around election season. Today's news offered me this little gem: A Republican candidate for Senate asserted that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" are practically guaranteed not to get pregnant. The politician, Rep. … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Teach Your Children Well

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Dr. Madeline Levine’s book Teach Your Children Well (2012) is a refreshing entry in the parenting guidebook genre. She avoids the all-consuming, one-size-fits-all, guilt-ridden parenting standards that seem to flood the current cultural tableau of parenthood. For example, her advice on page 38 consists of these remarkably reasonable words: When we construct our chi … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Accountability Beyond the Local Church

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.I pastor a church where we do our best to resolve conflict according to the outline that Jesus gave in Matthew 18:15-17. That is, if someone offends you, you ought to talk to them about it first. If that doesn't resolve the matter, take a couple of non-biased judges with you, preferably elders. Finally, if one or the other will not listen to anyone, then the matter is put before the church, … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Nike Redefines Greatness

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.It was sort of sad, really—the bungled attempts the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made to ensure their select sponsors received the bulk of the spotlight during the London games. The athletes were forced into a two-week blackout period, restricting them from any mention of unofficial sponsors. And unofficial sponsors were in no way allowed to benefit from Olympic-themed mes … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: There's No Need for Cynicism

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.Sometimes, it is easy to forget that Christians are a people whose reason for being is built on a message of good news.  If you talk to the average evangelical, or read their posts on Facebook, it often feels as if they are a people who are purveyors of bad news. The economy is in shambles, the President is doing a horrible job because he is a Kenyan socialist, gay people are ruining the c … [Read more...]


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