On the Other Hand: Designing Your Political BS Filter

Each week in On the Other Hand, Ben Bartlett defies the common wisdom and identifies the other side of the story of cultural hot-topic issues. The world is full of BS.  You know this, I know this, everyone knows this.  And we all know politics in general and political races in particular are great examples of meaningless talk and unimportant sparring. Further, if you are anything like 84% of your friends and family, you are none too happy with your lawmakers at this point in time.  A time in whi … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Ethics, Ethics, Everywhere!

If only politics were more like business.  If only our elected officials were honest.  If only presidential history listed names like Iacocca, Welch, Buffet, or Mulally rather than Nixon, Carter, Clinton or Bush.  If only, if only, if only.You and I listen to the tone of media more then we realize, and as a result we think of politics as dirty and unethical.  Okay, I'll give you that.  I'm going to write about the recent debt ceiling issue soon and I imagine it won't reveal an ethical Utop … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Argue More! Argue Better!

Each week in On the Other Hand, Ben Bartlett defies the common wisdom and identifies the other side of the story of cultural hot-topic issues.It’s important to be nice and not argue all the time.  I’ve been hearing this my entire life, because I am hopelessly addicted to debate and it drives everyone around me crazy.  They tell me that I need to be more giving, that I need to back down, and that if I have a difference of opinion it’s better to say, “I guess we just have to agree to disagree,” w … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: What We Learn From Chick-Lit

Each week in On the Other Hand, Ben Bartlett defies the common wisdom and identifies the other side of the story of cultural hot-topic issues.Louise Mensch makes a compelling argument: Women know what they like.In this article on Chick-Lit and standards, the romance author is comfortable stating that the success of her genre is pretty simple; it's a formula.  Women tend to be attracted to fantasy worlds in which men are strong, driven, excellent providers, and easy on the eyes.The genre c … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Tattoo Removal and Memory

Each week in On the Other Hand, Ben Bartlett defies the common wisdom and identifies the other side of the story of cultural hot-topic issues.One of the most popular posts we've had here at CAPC was regarding my friend David's tattoos.  The topic draws a lot of attention from Christians, both good and bad, because of how difficult it is to interpret biblical mandates like the command to regard one's body as a temple.One might think that both sides can agree, then, that the rising business of … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Christianity and Dual-Master Bedrooms

I was struck by several articles (here, here, and here) discussing a surprising phenomenon… the rise of the “dual-master” bedroom.Apparently, large numbers  of new homes, especially custom homes, are being built with separate bedrooms for husband and wife.  I encourage you to read the articles, because they draw out the many complexities of this issue.On one hand, I can imagine Christians condemning this architectural trend without reflection.  After all, it seems right in line with the incre … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Jealousy of Youth is No Surprise

Each week in On the Other Hand, Ben Bartlett defies the common wisdom and identifies the other side of the story of cultural hot-topic issues.I get it.  Youth is exciting.  Youth means potential.  Youth means energy and vibrancy and possibility.  Youth means first loves, new emotions, political passion, and a host of other technicolor perspectives on the world.And I get that with age comes jealousy.  As David Brooks said in his NY Times column today, “Nearly every sensible middle-aged person … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Art's Place in the Workplace

It's easy for those of us who love art to forget that it has its pragmatic side too.After all, art seems to be mostly about capturing the powerful emotions, the heights and depths of transcendence, the gritty detail of despair, etc.  And mostly, we like to experience and think about it and let it stretch our emotional awareness and capacity for the world.But art can help get things done once in a while as well.  Consider this fascinating little article from the NY Times regarding several i … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Do We Need a Daily Devotion?

Each week in On the Other Hand, Ben Bartlett defies the common wisdom and identifies the other side of the story of cultural hot-topic issues. It drives me crazy when people say the measure of their relationship with God is whether or not they're, "doing their quiet times." Science and research can find some pretty amazing truths about the way God has designed us. For instance, check out this blog post (and the stuff it links to) from the Freakonomics guys. Science is showing us that repetition … [Read more...]

On the Other Hand: Obama's Picture and the Danger of Images

The television show, "Jack and Bobby" did a good job, in its pilot episode, of pointing out a funny thing about people in general and Americans in particular. We love iconic images, pictures that allow us to tell the stories we want to hear. In the show, a photo of the future President becomes hugely popular as a descriptor of his fight, character and responsibility. But as the show tells us, he was actually an asthmatic stopping to catch his breath. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. … [Read more...]


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