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Posts tagged "The Muppets"

Another Week Ends: One Way Love, Platonic Tennis, Curmudgeon Law, Downton Anti-Snobbery, Ecumenical Shipwrecks, Dr. Hook, House of Cards and Justified

1. The hits just keep on coming. Spring Conference speaker and friend Tullian Tchividjian announced his next book this morning and the title will be familiar to some of you, One Way Love: The Power of Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World. Tullian, of course, is paying tribute to the definition of grace that PZ […]

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ: In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college […]

The Mouse Knows What You Want: Disney Marketing and the Celebration of Self

It’s no great revelation that Disney is a for-profit corporation with targeted marketing strategies. In fact, of all the corporations marketing to children (or the child within us), Disney has the most targeted marketing I’ve ever seen. From my vantage point, this is what Disney marketing does so well: it takes everything that we as […]

Waning Thoughts on the Waning Year

As if you haven’t read enough year-end lists, I offer you a few thoughts. Best personal experience:  Adding the fourth member of Team Stokes, Lucy Carpenter, who arrived on the ubiquitous date of November 11, 2011.  Gentleman beware:  She will be reared on a steady diet of Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson, and I’m giving […]

American Nones and a New Way of Being Religious?

Every once and a while, someone comes along and, without any clue that they’re doing so, articulates exactly what it is you’re trying to do with your life in a way that both focuses and reignites your excitement. Eric Weiner’s column in last weekend’s NY Times, “Americans and God,” was such an instance for me. […]

Another Week Ends: Generous Marriages, Creative Cheaters, Converted Grinches, Tebow Haters, Twilight Zone Xmases, Gracious Police and Walter

1. Some new research on the importance of generosity in marriage and relationships has been making the rounds this week, and the soundbites are amusing in their captain-obvious-ness. Generosity here being very close to what we would call grace, and the relational dynamic it characterizes being one that by and large does away with scorekeeping, […]

A Frog, a Bear, and a Pig Walk into a Bar: The Gracious Absurdism of Jim Henson and The Muppets

Pixar, Peanuts and now The Muppets – I guess it must be inner child week on Mockingbird! Christianity Today put up the full-length version yours truly’s “The Gospel According to Jim Henson” today, a truncated form of which appeared in the November 2011 issue of the print magazine. I’ve reproduced a few excerpts below. Wakka […]

Another Week Ends: King of Human Error, Open-Ended AA, Hollywood Junkies, Trollhunter, Craig Finn, Community and Muppets

1. Irrepressible Moneyball author Michael Lewis profiled new Mbird fave Daniel Kahneman for Vanity Fair in his recent piece, “The King of Human Error,” providing perhaps the clearest and best overview of the great social psychologist’s research yet. The anchoring effect makes for a particularly terrific addition to our ongoing catalog of human fallibility. But […]

Another Week Ends: Marriage Markets, Foxhole Religion, Reconsidering Jobs, Breaking Bad, The Strokes, Psychopathic Day Traders, Innovation Starvation and The Muppets

1. The cover story in this month’s issue of The Atlantic is making some waves, “All The Single Ladies,” in which writer Katie Bolick looks into how the recession is effecting the “marriage market.” Something of an unintentional follow-up to yesterday’s piece on Parenthood, Bolick maintains that the explosion of male joblessness and corresponding ascent […]

September Playlist

  1. Big Sky – The Kinks
  2. Song of a Baker – Screaming Trees
  3. Back to the Lake – Guided By Voices
  4. Enjoy the Silence – Nada Surf
  5. You Were So Warm – The Dwight Twilley Band
  6. Warm Self Sacrifice – Emitt Rhodes
  7. Strangers Getting Stranger – Dawes
  8. Maidstone – Squeeze
  9. I’ll Cry Alone – The Flamin’ Groovies
  10. I Found a Reason [demo] – The Velvet Underground
  11. Black Star – Gillian Welch
  12. The Death of You and Me – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  13. My Mistakes Were Made For You – The Last Shadow Puppets
  14. You Put Something Better Inside Me – Rod Stewart
  15. Heavy Church – Three Dog Night
  16. A Quick One, While He’s Away [live]The Who
  17. The Postcard – Stephen Duffy
  18. Rainbow Connection – Willie Nelson

Three Dog Night Need You Playin’ in the Heavy Church

Wouldn’t it be something if Mockingbird could kick off a Three Dog Night revival?! These guys may not have written their own songs (neither did you-know-who), but boy could they pick ’em. And they had quite the, you know, joyful sound. Some call it blue-eyed soul, some call it early 70s top-40 radio, I call […]

Another Week Ends: Damsels in Distress, Religious DNA, AA & Romans 7, Brain Shrinkage, Jim Henson, Fountains of Wayne, and Pirate Autopsies

1. A lot has happened in the world this past week. And it’s probably an indictment that the piece of news that I’ve been most focused on is the announcement that Whit Stillman’s long, long-awaited new film Violet Wister’s Damsels in Distress will close the Venice Film Festival in September. The first stills from the […]