Eat Your Vegetables: "The Ambassadors"

High-brow Cultural Vegetable of the Week: The Ambassadors (Hans Holbein, 1533)Vegetable Equivalent: Any vegetable grown in and exported from FranceNutritional Value: A reminder of how we use art to stave off deathRecommended Serving Size: Five good minutes actually looking at the thingIn 1533, King Henry VIII of England married his second wife Anne Boelyn, creating an international furor. He had gotten Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to annul his first marriage against the Pope's wishes, and … [Read more...]

The Burden of Thankfulness

One of the recurring tropes of the sanctimonious urban fable is the teenager who imagines he's doing good by his family when he starts making money hand over fist in illegal activities -- all to the end of securing enough to cover his mom's operation. But when his mother discovers the source of the funds, she waves the cash in his face saying that she will under no circumstances accept his Dirty Money. The details may differ but you've doubtlessly seen this before. It's a clichéd story. The … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: "Thank You, God" — TV Put into Perspective

It finally happened: Our 10-year-old, cathode-ray television, complete with VHS player, broke. To be fair, the VHS player stopped working a couple of years ago, but you could still make out about half the picture even with the static. We decided it was time for a little pre-Thanksgiving shopping, in spite of all of the enticing Black Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday ads. We thought it might be nice to actually see the Thanksgiving Day parade and even read the scores of football games. So all … [Read more...]

Of Shakespeare and Conspiracies: The Real Stakes of the "Who Was Shakespeare?" Debate

Somewhere, Oliver Stone is smiling. The new Roland Emmerich-directed film Anonymous opened in U.S. theaters recently, giving anti-Stratfordians their own version of Stone's JFK, i.e., a fictional account of a popular conspiracy theory. The adjective "anti-Stratfordian" describes anyone who believes that the man who hailed from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare, did not write the 30+ plays and numerous poems attributed to him. Anonymous goes further and portrays Edward de Vere, the 17th … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Hardcore Christian

If I told you that I knew a fellow who was a "hardcore" Christian, I wonder what sort of image that would conjure up in your mind? Would you think that this individual was particularly zealous for evangelistic enterprises? Perhaps that he was in the ministry "full-time".  Maybe you would think that he was a missionary on a foreign field, or that he fasted regularly and prayed for hours at a time.What if I told you that my hardcore Christian friend was an electrician who has been married for … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: When Your Free Will Infringes upon Mine

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Dread. That’s the emotion I experienced in high school driver’s ed. The students in the first class spoke of The Video being shown that day. With actual footage of brutal and bloody car crashes, the video was meant to scare us young drivers into driving safely and soberly. I remember dreading the class and wishing I could skip it. I went to class, but I closed my eyes as much as poss … [Read more...]

Dear Driscoll, MMA is not a Measure of Manhood — Jesus is

I am a man. I present this to you, not as a declaration that I am a "manly" man, but as a straightforward fact. It's a difficult thing to talk about, not because I feel awkward about my gender, but because that simple declaration comes with a lot of baggage. When I say "I am a man," a truckload of ideas will pop into your head as to what I mean by that, and your response will vary depending upon your experience.I want to talk just a bit here about being a man, and I hope you will patiently … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: The Kitten Covers and Creative Praise

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Not everyone likes cats, but most people like kittens. Some of these people who like kittens listen to a lot of rock and roll. At least one of those people has Photoshop. Hence, The Kitten Covers.Maybe you've stumbled across this tumblr feed of late; it's been making the rounds. The designer behind The Kitten Covers works solely in the iconic — Bow … [Read more...]

The CaPC Superlatives: Noteworthy Achievements in Film, Music, Advertising, and Games

As our year-end Best in 2011 Pop Culture listings take shape, we’ve found some odd, off-the-wall nominees for a quirky Honorable Mention category. We’ll give you a few each Wednesday to tide you over until the Best Of lists are revealed. _______________________ Best Use of 3D in a Film: Cave of Forgotten Dreams — Richard Clark 3D film and a documentary about a cave: It's pretty difficult to defend the existence of either of these things, but seeing is believing in this lone case. Werner Herzog, t … [Read more...]

Podcast #105: Meditating on Penn State's Moral Failure

Podcast #105: Meditating on Penn State's Moral FailureWhat happened at Penn State is more than a typical sports-related scandal - it's a moral failure that violates inherent human law and a social agreement of common human decency. The public is rightly outraged. But what does it mean? What do we do now? Why did it happen? And what can we learn from it? This week, editor-in-chief Richard Clark hosts two CaPC writers, Nick Olson (who wrote yesterday's must-read article addressing this issue) … [Read more...]