(I can’t) Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

Rupert Holmes ultra-’70s hit is like an inversion of O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi,” but where Henry’s tale is about selfless love, Holmes’ is about loveless selfishness. This provides us with an excellent case study for all of those lit-crit questions about authorial intent. [Read more…]

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There must be a better world somewhere

No, Texas: Accurately noticing that many Christians do not give as much as they can to help the poor is not “bashing on the Christian community” — although Jesus, James, and many of the early church leaders did bash on the Christian community for that very reason. Plus: RIP BB King; Republicans name Ronald Reagan the greatest living president; three more things that confound Louis Gohmert; and if you want to be a hero, YNATKC. [Read more…]

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Setting half the trends we know

When somebody claims to be just like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that’s usually a big clue that they’re nothing like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Also: A premillennial dispensationalist “Bible prophecy scholar” explains how Psalm 83 disproves the nuclear deal with Iran; the deadliest enemy force; the undifferentiated “we” strikes again; and an excuse to revisit Brian Ritchie’s bass solo on “Please Do Not Go.” [Read more…]

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Dig this

Since I’m not yet sure that I can recommend the new USA Network show “Dig,” let me instead recommend three alternatives — a book, a TV series, and an album — that are all kinda sorta related. [Read more…]

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The praying hands prey with deliberate cunning

Some Thursday night linkage, including: Glenn Beck is worried about the Black Problem; Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bill Cosby; the hidden curriculum of housekeeping wages; the ghosts of the Satanic panic; and G-L-O-R-I-A in excelsis at the Vatican. [Read more…]

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Learn how to use my hands, not just my head

I’m just saying that if you’re a Big Box hardware chain and you’re playing a 4-hour loop of music in your stores that includes two Indigo Girls songs, then one of those songs really ought to be “Hammer and Nail.” That’s all. I mean, duh. [Read more…]

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‘God only knows how much blood it will take’

This is a 1991 song about American bombs falling on Iraq. The bombing did not stop with the end of the first Gulf War. It continued, steadily, for more than a decade, right on through to the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, starting a second war that continues to this day. I was 23 years old when this song was recorded. My country has been bombing Iraq for more than half my life, and I am no longer a young man. [Read more…]

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Still surprised to catch you every time

It’s Sunday and I am tired. They play music while we go forward to dip bread in wine and be offered our taste of grace. This song, I think, would be more appropriate than most. [Read more…]

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