Christ and Pop Culture

Twitter was all aflutter when a young woman posted a description of what she hoped her adult life might be 15 years from now: “LADIES imagine this, it’s 15 years from now—your son is up to bat, your husband is the hot 3rd base coach, your little girl is cheering on her big brother at the fence,&you are team mom, taking pics with a fancy camera,&keeping the scorebook THAT WOULD BE LIVING MY BEST LIFE.” The raucous wasn’t because she dared to dream but for the content. Her dream was assessed to be achingly mundane and shallow, with its hot husband, sports-playing son, cheering daughter, and photographer/scorekeeping mom. The snapshot cast is of the seemingly perfect family in their picture-perfect roles, exuding perfect happiness and harmony. The idealism was met with great scoffing and ridicule.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the components we embrace for living our best life and what those components say about our values, our dreams, and our vision of the good life. How do young people cultivate and nurture dreams about adult life without adults tearing it all down? How does online imagery influence and shape the hopes we have for living our best life? What does our scoffing at the dreams of others say about the cynicism of our age? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPCor in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. And be sure to answer our question of the day: What has most surprised you about adulthood?

More to Read from Persuasion Episode 137:

Those 'living my best life' fantasies sure took a weird turnTwitter

How the Mom Internet became a spotless, sponsored voidThe Washington Post

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 135: College Students Beware! Real Life Ahead

Persuasion 125: Post It Online or It Didn’t Happen

Persuasion 23: Angry on the Internet

Theme music by Maiden Name.

Direct download: Persausion_137.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:26am EDT

The show settles back into its regular rhythm just in time for the blockbusters of Memorial Day weekend. Scoundrels everywhere can rejoice as Wade and Kevin tackle the new Han Solo prequel from Disney, and amoral scoundrels everywhere can rejoice (possibly) over their review of the sequel to 2016's R-rated breakout smash about the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool 2.

This episode is brought to you by Plot Devices, creators of the Storyclock Notebook! Use the Storyclock Notebook to turn your ideas into stories and make the writing process less terrible. Learn more at plotdevices.co and get 20% off your first order with the code BELIEVE20.

Music interlude by Janx, "Castle in the Sky." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0. Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_153.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Are you Team Yanny or Team Laurel? That question took over the InterWebs last week as a grainy recording of a thrice-repeated word demanded us to choose sides according to what our ears heard. And true to our nature, whichever word we heard became the only real and rational response, pushing us to indignant frustration by those who heard the other. Whichever name you heard, this emotionally charged debate sounds a lot like other disagreements common today. Our ears hear one thing, and we cannot imagine why others hear something else. This dissonance is frustrating, and the emotions this stirs up causes a similar response to the Yanny/Laurel debate: We choose sides, dig in, and roll our proverbial eyes at those who think differently.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson summarize the Yanny/Laurel debate and the reactions it produced, and then they dissect how this frivolous debate mirrors the debates we have about issues of much greater import. Considering the scientific proof provided for why some ears hear Laurel and others hear Yanny, what other debates could be diffused if we understand the factors that tune a person’s ear—and heart—in ways that differ from our own? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. And what did you hear: Yanny or Laurel?

Direct download: Persuasion_136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am EDT

The guys are excited this week, and not just because their new Patreon is launching. It's James Stewart's 110th birthday this year, which gives Wade and Kevin the excuse to look back over his career and recount their top 5 Stewart moments. Listen, enjoy, and don't forget to share your own favorite performances from Stewart with us. And if you think of it, pop on over to the Seeing & Believing Patreon page and give it a look!

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_152.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

Graduation season is upon us, and if you have any graduates to celebrate you know what this means: It’s time to bestow all your sage advice to help these poor young souls from all the heartache you experienced after college.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson share their witticism of adult life. Each shares a bit of the shock that descended when “real life” kicked in post-college and how they transitioned from free spirited student to (somewhat) responsible adult. What advice would you give to college students who are just about to embark on this adventure we call adulthood? Listen in to see if it matches with a few of the things Erin and Hannah cover, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_135.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 1:03pm EDT

The weather is warm and the skies are clear, so Wade and Kevin break out the sunscreen and beach umbrellas for their summer-movie preview. Which blockbusters are they excited to break out the popcorn for, and which smaller films are they excited to be challenged by? Then they round things off with another preview of Seeing & Believing's upcoming Patreon campaign, as well as a short review of last year's contender for a documentary Oscar, Faces Places (now streaming on Netflix).

Music interlude by Wayne John Bradley, "Fresh Air." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_151.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

Each week Drew Dixon and Tyler Burns interview a CaPC writer about a recent article they have authored in order to go deeper into the subject matter. This week Derek Hiebert joins the duo to talk about his article, Ready Player Oneand the Escape From Reality. What are the practical considerations for immersive entertainment like VR? How do we set an example for the family when we are ostensibly cut off from them even though we are in the same room? Is there inherent value in escapism and entertainment to be had in mediums like VR, video games, and other digital media that exists to take you out of our reality and into another one? 

Direct download: CaPC_Digest_90.mp3
Category:digest -- posted at: 10:08am EDT

Alexa is Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant that makes your home a virtual microphone: You speak to Alexa, and it provides whatever help it is programmed to complete. By calling out to Alexa by name, you can control your lights, media system, and thermostat, as well as ask for information to every trivia(l) question that stumps you. For all the help this technology provides, it also works only by direct, simple commands. Such communication works for computer systems but does little for person-to-person interactions. And experts are concerned people will being to speak this way by default which is, in short, rather rude.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the ways that our modern communication styles are shaping the way we think and talk. Will Alexa give us practice using our commanding voice? Will it cause us to forget social graces? This is crucial, as the way we interact with others should be shaped by our status as fellow humans and image bearers, not as machines to do our bidding. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: How do you see tech changing the way you communicate with others?

Direct download: Persuasion_134.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 7:37am EDT

After the superhero spectacle of last week, Seeing & Believing shifts gears to review two smaller films: Lynne Ramsay's stylized hitman drama, You Were Never Really Here, and Chloe Zhao's exploration of rodeos and South Dakotan cowboys, The Rider. Plus, the guys make a big announcement about the future of Seeing & Believing. Don't miss it!

Music interlude by Rue Royale, "Snow on Snow (The Bleak Midwinter)." Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: Seeing_and_Believing_150.mp3
Category:seeingbelieving -- posted at: 7:16am EDT

We like our celebrities gorgeous. Until we don’t. The beauty and style of British Duchess Catherine has been all the rage since she married Prince William in 2011. But earlier this month, the InterWebs were all astir because she was just a little bit too beautiful. And as the saying goes, haters gonna hate. The trouble began when Catherine and William emerged from the hospital a mere seven hours after she delivered baby number three. As usual, Catherine was radiant, and her near flawlessness sent people into a rage. How could someone who just gave birth look that great? Outrage ensued as assessments poured in about setting impossibly high standards for the peasants of the world. How could we possibly measure up? Won’t all post-delivery moms feel like failures for not being as beautiful as Catherine? (Let’s be honest: For that matter, wouldn’t most women feel like ugly ducklings next to the Duchess?)

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the ways that we demand perfection from our celebrities but then criticize them for fulfilling our demands. From Duchess Catherine to Carrie Underwood, recent web grousing has focused on women who are known and praised for their beauty, but then dare to be so. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_133.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:59pm EDT

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