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Celebrity


Remembering Sy Sperling — and Your Pastor, Minister, or Priest

A timely suggestion from a pastor friend of Mbird. Pour one out (pluck one out?) for our man Sy Sperling, the greatest theologian of late-night TV ads from the early 90s and late 80s. He died in February at age 78. Don’t remember Sy Sperling? What are you, Gen Z? He was everywhere on TV […]

Miss Americana and the Heartbreaking Impossibility of Being Good

When I watched the new documentary about Taylor Swift, Miss Americana, I couldn’t help but see some of the elements from the story of my life portrayed in the story of her life. I know that sounds silly. I’m a 44-year-old mom of two teenagers who hasn’t been out past 10PM in months, years. I’m […]

Run to the Rescue with Love: Joaquin Phoenix’s Hollywood Sermon

I have always been a sucker for award shows. All my favorite celebrities in one place dressed in outrageous—and outrageously expensive—Chanel suits and Dior haute couture gowns, giving photo shoots, interviews, speeches, and performances? Yes please. I was especially invested in the Oscars this year because with a few friends I had tried (unsuccessfully) to […]

Sitting Shiva for Kobe: On the Complicated Nature of Grief, and Humans

If there’s anything the movie This Is Where I Leave You taught me — besides that Tina Fey should not do accents — it’s about shiva, the Jewish tradition in response to the death of an immediate family member. I’d heard of shiva before but for the first time saw it dramatized in the film, […]

Because It Rains: Why Kobe Bryant’s Death Hit So Hard & Wide

The following was written by Isabella Yosuico. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) Why has a death like that of Kobe Bryant—and his daughter and companions—hit so many so very hard? Even non-basketball fans have been […]

Super Bowl Psychology: What This Year’s Commercials Tell Us About Ourselves

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of Super Bowl XIV. Congratulations to everyone who got up for work today after a fun football game. As the old adage goes, the real reason for the parties we attended last night was not the sport itself, though I really enjoyed a competitive game between two great […]

A Hope for Thanksgiving: Assigning Grace Instead of Malice 

I was in late elementary school the first time I heard someone use a racial slur in my house. This was quite a feat in Mississippi where such a word was common parlance. My parents had never really commented about why we did not say it. I just knew that we did not say it. […]

When Jesus Tells a Boob Joke: Dolly Parton’s America

It has not been easy for me to listen to the new podcast Dolly Parton’s America. I feel like I am hearing a preacher point to the most self righteous places in me and calling them out. I feel a deep connection to the women in my family. And also Dolly Parton’s America is the […]

You Don’t Know Me, Fred Rogers

As a Generation X child who grew up with a stay-at-home mom in the upper Midwest, it was almost mandatory that my younger brother and I watched Sesame Street during lunch, and then afterward, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I know exactly what my mom was thinking, putting two preschoolers in front of the television like that […]

The Breakdown Is Just the Beginning: Reese and Payton’s Rules for Life

Recently, I was bequeathed a second-hand copy of Reese Witherspoon’s book, Whiskey in a Teacup, by a friend who knows my fraught relationship with all things Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine/Draper James. When said friend handed over the tome on the school playground, my eyes rolled even as my breath caught: the hot-pink cover (because OF COURSE it’s […]

Another Week Ends: Time-Wasting Projects, Serotonin, Destination Funerals, the Hope of Children, the Languages of Love, and Jesus is King

1. Ear Hustle is a podcast about incarceration. It shares stories about life in San Quentin prison and the reintegration into life that follows a sentence there. The final episode of the recent fourth season is a hard story of reconciliation between a police officer and the man who shot him and went to jail […]

On the Seculosity of Fandom, or How I Almost Got Beaten Up at a Guns N Roses Show

If you don’t move, I’ll f&%*-ing make you move, he said. I was standing in a stadium, watching the reunited Guns N Roses perform. A dream I’d harbored for actual decades, finally realized. Our seats were decent but a few rows up a large-ish party hadn’t shown, so me and my friend did what serious […]