It's officially been three years since Pop Goes the Church was published, so I figured I'd mark the date with a little pop culture randomness...
- I had an interesting conversation last week with reporter Maya Carpenter of The Christian Post. She was writing an article about the influence of Lady Gaga and whether the church is partially to blame.
- The best actor on TV this year goes to Jason Clarke for his work on The Chicago Code. He's been in 45 different movies or shows, but is at the top of his game right now. I first grew to appreciate his art on an older series called Brotherhood.
- So what about the best actress? I'd give that award to Margo Martindale for her role on the FX series Justified. I'll be surprised if she doesn't get an Emmy for her amazing work as Mags, the matriarch of a crime family in the hills of Harlan County.
- If I ignore the fact that Scotty McCreery somehow made it to the finals, this has been the best season of American Idol in many years. Jennifer Lopez has added a much-needed depth to the judging--and Steven Tyler has added the levity. The talent has been stellar, and the story-telling has been compelling. At the ages of my kids, it is a great family show and gives good opportunity to talk about values, priorities, talent, excellence, hard work, dreams, and the rightness or wrongness of country music.
- It's amazing to me that American Idol continues to win the ratings war year-after-year. Popular opinion says every show peaks after a few years, but Idol seems to be bucking the trend. Many people held out hope for Voice as the Idol-killer, but it hasn't happened yet. Last week, for example, American Idol was in the #1 spot with 23.5 million viewers, while Voice came in #17 with 10 million viewers (source).
- I'm seeing a lot more product placement ads in TV shows to the point of being annoying. I'm guessing it is the natural outcome of a society that watches live TV less all the time, choosing rather to watch shows delayed on a DVR and thus skipping commercials. I know they have to pay for the show somehow--just wish it wasn't so annoying.
- With all the crazy talk about the end of the world last weekend--I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the media called Harold Camping an "evangelical" or "Christian preacher" rather than "whack job." I think it's guys like this that make it harder to do ministry in today's culture than any sin or debauchery. Through all the insanity, I did enjoy this article by Phil Cooke on "What Harold Camping Got Right."
That's it for the randomness. But stay tuned for an anniversary offer on Pop Goes the Church in the next few days. I'm working on a deal to be able to offer it to you for 65% lower than Amazon's price. Wait, was that a product placement ad? So annoying! (But really, I'm serious).