Yeezus: Kanye Has Something To Say, But Squanders Our Good Will

by Kiel Hauck There was a time in the not-too-distant past where Kanye West’s celebrity and impact were deeply interwoven with the TMZ tabloid culture that mutually thrived from his antics. Sadly, West’s artistic triumphs served as bullet points under the heading created by his attitude and behavior in the greater pop culture consciousness. That’s not to say that the creative brilliance and social awareness of early albums like The College Dropout and Late Registration went completely unnot … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: What’s In A Name, Mrs. Carter?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.A few weeks ago, I introduced myself to another mother at my local library’s story hour. We knew each other’s children’s names, but could only refer to each other as “So-and-so’s mom.” It’s not my favorite thing to be called, yet it seems common at these children’s gatherings for adults to be known only by the possessive relational title of X’s mom/dad/grandma/gr … [Read more...]

The Retro-Gaming Renaissance and the Democracy of the Dead

 One of the more eccentric showings at this year's E3 was WayForward's Duck Tales: Remastered, a revamp of the old and diabolically difficult NES classic. Capcom released a trailer for the game a few weeks back, making DT:R the latest in a line of recover-and-restore projects currently in development.This movement really started gaining steam around March of 2012, when the old Baldur's Gate Web site went live again with a countdown ticker, eventually leading to the announcement o … [Read more...]

How to Write a Hugely-Popular Piece for Huffington Post Religion

For theological and religious types, Huffington Post Religion (HuffPo) happens to be one of the more predominant avenues toward becoming involved in the online religious discussion. They typically feature big-name scholars and established bloggers, many of whom can be thought-provoking and helpful. But no one cares about that. The real traffic goes to another type of religion piece.As I've read and followed their posts over the past few years, I've noticed a few tried and true themes and … [Read more...]

Sponsoring A Child Feels Great, But Does It Work?

During my senior year of college, I heard somebody (a chapel speaker, I think) discuss the merits of investing one’s tithes or designated offering money into infrastructure and broader community projects. The speaker claimed that it was a better use of resources than the popular route of sponsoring individuals. Armed with this new knowledge, I hopped on the bandwagon and started talking with other classmates about the benefits of infrastructure -- that is, until my roommate, who had grown up in t … [Read more...]

Patenting Genes Is Like Patenting Sunlight

J. R. R. Tolkien popularized the concept of humans acting as "sub-creators." God is the master Creator, and we are made in his image, bearing his likeness by representing him and following his example in cultivating and caring for the world. When we use the gifts God has given us to create new things, we are imitating God's creative work, obeying the first commands he gave Adam and Eve and glorifying Him by pointing back to Him as the original Creator. Tolkien applied this to writing fantasy … [Read more...]

Why Women Need Better Fairy Tales

Over at The Hairpin, Renee Lupica lists “Six Fairy Tales for the Modern Woman.”  In her fairy tales, women live fulfilling lives even when they remain single or childless; they are free from violence, successful in their work, fulfill lifelong dreams, and learn to be content with their bodies.  For example, Fairy Tale IV:Once upon a time a woman was very good at her job, and she knew she had added value to the company she worked for, so even though she was nervous, she talked to her boss, a … [Read more...]

Mad Men Recap 6.10 & 11: “Be Slick, Be Glib, Be You!” But Don Has Children, Too

Mad Men  Recap 6.10: "Be slick, be glib, be you!"Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Cutler Gleason and Chaough have an identity crisis. "SCDPCGC" is the unofficial seven letter branding, but few people know it, and fewer still get it precisely right. Near the beginning of "A Tale of Two Cities," the partners of the newly merged firm convene for a brief meeting in the boardroom, and Jim Cutler complains that they received mail addressed to Sterling Gleason and Pryce. "From who?" Roger Sterling … [Read more...]

What Stephen King Loves About Church

“A revival!” My wife pointed out the window. There was a bulky white tent in a field surrounded by large signs inviting people to come see the magnificent “Dr. Reverend” so and so. My wife and I, both from the West, were passing through the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee, and she had just finished explaining a documentary she watched about Appalachian peoples who attack unwanted visitors and feed their babies Mountain Dew. I locked the doors.Revivals have been a large part of American reli … [Read more...]

Bordering on Chaos: Threading The Needle With Immigration Reform

Nothing brings the United States Senate together quite like larding up a farm bill with goodies for their constituents. But the goodwill and cheer is about to end, as the Senate today voted 84–15 on Tuesday to proceed with debate on so-called comprehensive immigration reform. The measure is splitting coalitions in unpredictable ways, pitting natural allies against one another and deepening generational intraparty rifts.Immigration reform has eluded policymakers for at decades now. The last m … [Read more...]