Comes now, courtesy of HeGetsUs.com, a Jesus rebranded as a neurotic millennial for a generation swimming in angst, tangled up in technology, and feeling hopeless about the future.
The map imposed upon us by Siri is utterly foreign to our own humanity, a rigid amalgam of GPS coordinates and heartless algorithms.
When I moved a bit farther out into Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs just ahead of the 2016 election, a fair number of my new neighbors’ yards sported Trump/Pence signs, with one lonely Clinton/Kaine sign holding down the corner. Eighteen months later, as the special House election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone looms, campaign signs have sprouted in many more yards and Lamb is definitely leading in my very unscientific sign poll.
Some people can’t let go of the past. Many journalists can’t let go of the future. The election brought not so much as a pause in their prognostications.
I recently scored my first senior discount. When I casually informed my wife I’d pay only half-price on an outing to Kennywood with our nephew because I’m 55, she made an incredulous huffy breath and said, “No you aren’t.”
The photo op is an example of what historian Daniel Boorstin called a “pseudo-event,” an event that takes place solely for the purpose of being covered by the press. Closely related is the staged photo, supplied by institutions of all stripes to project an idealized and in essence persuasive image via the credible medium of the press.
The legal system inspires theatrical and cinematic drama because it captures the full palette of human nature in all its emotional colors: grief, virtue, revulsion, courage, conflict, dishonesty, triumph.
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre may be the extremist voice of “the gun lobby,” but virtually every single one of us is an active promoter, and consumer, of gun culture.
Imagine you are a farmer. You invest in land, seed, equipment and labor. The overhead is tremendous but your crop grows true. Then, at harvest time, a pack of freebooting strangers charges across your land, harvests your crop, sells it at market and kicks back not a cent. To subsist, you gather up what stray stalks remain and sell them by the roadside. This is the current business model of American journalism.
Journalists, like playwrights and personal injury lawyers, love conflict. A house divided against itself may not stand, but it makes a really neat picture crashing down. This is why the news media, particularly local TV, are covering the upcoming G-20 economic summit like an impending Super Bowl or, better, a post-Super Bowl riot in Oakland.
I had two encounters with thug culture last weekend. One an annoyance, the other tragic. One white, the other black. One where I live, the other where I work.
Just as I have no right to eavesdrop on your phone calls, so the citizen–president has no right to eavesdrop on my phone calls, let alone empower a vast and secret government bureaucracy to do so.
Now Lee Ielpi is an ambassador for the dead, crisscrossing the country to talk to school and community groups about the moment that jarred all our lives and continues to shape our future.
On Tuesday Sept. 11, as midnight approached, I reluctantly reached out and turned off the television. Like every American, I felt shocked, sickened, dispirited.
Movies and television shows are stories a culture tells about itself. But who is doing the telling? And what is their point? We live in a culture that venerates the psychopath.
Two weeks ago, I was just a journalism professor with a bad attitude, but now I’m Mick Dillon, avenger of justice and world-weary shamus, poking my nose into the dark corners of home and hearth. It ain’t always pretty.
“Amadan,” for instance. There’s a word I’ll surely never hear again. It is an old Gaelic word that translated loosely – and gently – refers to someone who is not terribly bright. More specifically, when I was a boy, an “amadan” was any careless driver (see also: “horse’s ass” who pulled into my father’s path on the highway.)
In Upstate New York, the merest rumor that El Niño might touch down in Tibet is cause for the cancellation of school. I stumbled downstairs to make a strong pot of coffee.
If what happened to Abner Louima had happened in Haiti, or Honduras, or El Salvador, or Mexico, it would not have been news. Torture and execution are so commonplace in many Central American and Caribbean countries, and the ability of the press to report so weak, that only a day without state-sponsored brutality would truly qualify as newsworthy.
In contrast to Elvis’s spare, countrified arrangements of the 1950s, Chuck Berry’s tunes sounded like late night traffic jams, with guitars crashing into drums and horns swerving around staggering bass notes.