Posts in Culture
The Oscars' Popularity Problem

It comes down to the simple fact that people no longer care about the Oscars because all they seem to do is award films that the general public has never seen, let alone heard of. Popular films for the most part are kept out of the main categories and delegated to technical categories—Black Panther and A Star is Born are excellent examples of this. Both tapped into the mood of the nation, moved audiences, generated a sizable profit, were nominated for the highest prize but got nothing more than a proverbial pat on the back.

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Lindsey Gies and the American Heart

In early December, Shelby High School senior and homecoming queen Lindsey Gies was rushed to the hospital. She would spend the next 53 days recovering from a severe infection, losing both of her legs below the knee as well as her fingertips. As her illness continued to unfold, the people of Shelby rallied behind the Gies family.

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Politics Was Always Uncivil

So instead of being depressed at our current political climate, take heart! What we’re going through is nothing new in human history. For as long as free government has existed, and for as long as it will exist, people will continue to engage in mudslinging, character assassination, spreading of lies, and other outrageous accusations.

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Tolkien's Plea for Christian Unity

Sauron also tries many ways to dominate his enemies. He works not by marching powerful armies into the field, but by dividing and corrupting his enemies, the free people of Middle Earth. This is manifested in ways that are similar to the ways Satan works to divide and corrupt Christians.   

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Debunking the Science v Religion Myth

In many circles of the modern science community, theistic religion is portrayed as an anti-factual boogeyman intent on destroying human progress. Science itself becomes a religion with its own laws, clergymen, martyrs, infallible doctrine, and oral history. Any “human advancement” met with theistic skepticism or moral opposition becomes a crusade against scientific infidels whose concepts of supernatural law must be stamped out. This includes, of course, a revisionist account of the past to inspire the “heroic” progressives of today.

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Mary Oliver: A Rain, Rising

This week, we mourn the loss of another dear friend, Mary Oliver—she was 83. Her short volumes overwhelm my writing desk in my home’s library, although thousands of other volumes form a canopy all around me. They are short but today they are heavy. Like Oliver’s poems exemplify and Dr. Schramm’s extended stare out his window displays, however, this is only my library—my true “study is out of doors.”

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Bruce and the Art of Rock ’n’ Roll Storytelling

Above all, Bruce’s music reminds us what great rock ’n’ roll is and has always been about: the human condition. It’s an art of American storytelling, and nobody has done it better or longer than Bruce. The Broadway album slips seamlessly between song and speech, poetry and prose, narration and prayer. It’s passionate, vulgar, reverent, tearful, kind, angry, humble, proud, and funny. It is profoundly human, a feature that distinguishes great music from the profanely human music of lesser artists.

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Forgive, But Don’t Forget

Szekely admitting to his gross behavior and withdrawing for self-reflection is a far bigger gesture of repentance than many of his celebrity colleagues have made. It raises the question: if a public figure genuinely demonstrates regret for causing others pain (rather than merely being sorry for having been caught), should we as a society show some sort of mercy and accept their apology?

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Does Liberalism Strangle the Virtue it Requires?

Yet democratic liberalism, for all its prosperous fruits, is beginning to show underlying pathologies that cannot be fixed using its own premises. To suggest we return to the earlier liberalism of the Founders, wherein the cultivation of virtue was left to private institutions widely considered necessary, suggests the presence of a self-correcting mechanism in liberalism that has not been found, or at least has not developed a lasting consensus.

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Life Without Love Is Blind: The Philosophy of Bird Box

The recent Netflix phenomenon, Bird Box, presents two radically different understandings of life. Malorie, the main character, values survival above all else. This seems like a prudent philosophy to adopt in an apocalyptic world, but Malorie takes it to an inhuman extreme. Malorie's philosophical counterweight is represented by the character Tom. The movie subtly reveals the differences between the two characters as the plot unfolds and Malorie slowly realizes that she must embrace Tom’s philosophy of life as more than survival in order to live life well.

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Private Virtue, Our Only Hope

Although our country was founded upon this energetic contest, our Founders also stressed the importance of personal and civic virtue. Benjamin Franklin argued that “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Franklin argued that political corruption follows a lack of virtue, not of ambition.

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Why Humans Love Fire

Our redemption of fire imitates God’s redemptive work. Although all Creation is inherently good, some parts have been so twisted by the Enemy’s malice and our sin that they seem to lose much of this goodness. By using this element of Creation to bring about good things in spite of its fallen nature, we imitate our Father, who is always working to bring good out of evil. Something as simple as a campfire can and should remind us of our role in redeeming our fallen world.

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The New Kings of Rock?

Rock ’n’ roll has always been about standing up for ideas that challenge norms, inherently making it a counter-cultural and rebellious genre. Hippie moralism, however, is no longer counter-cultural, and it hardly fulfills the rock potential previously glimpsed in Greta van Fleet.

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