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Posts tagged "Celine Dion"

"Bring Your Baby to Hospice Day," by Sarah Condon

“Bring Your Baby to Hospice Day,” by Sarah Condon

The following is an excerpt from one of Mockingbird’s best-selling books, Churchy: The Real Life Adventures of a Wife, Mom, and Priest, by Sarah Condon. If you haven’t bought your copy yet…what are you waiting for?! Now available on Kindle and in paperback.

Parents today are raising a bunch of ice monsters. At least, that’s what the endless stream of articles explaining how to “teach” compassion seems to suggest. We are told to talk to our kids at eye level or to let them speak at great length about their feelings. We worry that we must train them to be emotionally…

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Critical Thoughts on the Evangelical Embrace of Thomas Kinkade's Art

Critical Thoughts on the Evangelical Embrace of Thomas Kinkade’s Art

A year and a half ago I wrote a post on Mockingbird about Thomas Kinkade, the prosperous “Painter of Light,” mostly responding to a then recent article highlighting his death due to a drug and alcohol overdose. I attempted to offer a thoughtful interpretation of Kinkade, his art, his unfortunate demise, and the Evangelical embrace of his work—how I see all of these things as interrelated. Some people disagreed, and others even regarded me as being arrogant about art and taste.

Admittedly, what I wrote was tongue-in-cheek at points. I’ve never respected Kinkade’s art, so I poked some fun at his expense, which in retrospect may have been…

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A (Quick) Journey to the End of Taste

A (Quick) Journey to the End of Taste

One of my all-time favorite posts from our “early years” is the NY Times Magazine article from 2009 about a man who was horrified to learn that he liked Celine Dion. The realization came during an email exchange with an official at Pandora, the free internet music service that creates custom playlists based on your personal taste. Apparently the man in question was upset by the Canadian diva’s conspicuous appearance on his curated Sarah McLachlan station—there must be some mistake! He was assured by their staff that the algorithm was functioning well. The Pandora official explains: “’I wrote back and…

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Katy Perry, Celine Dion, and the Shamelessness of Poptimism

Katy Perry, Celine Dion, and the Shamelessness of Poptimism

Another stellar entry from Joey Shook:

Once again this year, there’s been a debate going on between music writers about what it means to appreciate that dirty, three-letter genre simply known as “pop”. The spectrum of opinions (and number of those offering them) is of course quite wide—Katy Perry is “genius” vs. “Katy Perry is trash music”—and the two most notable articles (which represent both sides of the argument) have been a NY Times piece by Saul Austerlitz and an NPR piece by Ann Powers and Carl Wilson (Mike Powell’s response to both pieces on The Pitch is also very much…

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Near, Far, Wherever You Are, We Miss You Miss Misery

Near, Far, Wherever You Are, We Miss You Miss Misery

Yesterday marked ten years since Elliott Smith died. There’s a lot to be said about the troubled singer-songwriter’s work, the vast majority of which has yet to date one iota. But for today, I thought I’d share one fresh detail that seemed pertinent.

Some of us consider his performance at the 1998 Academy Awards the all-time greatest moment in the history of that particular broadcast/circus. A once-in-a-lifetime example of meekness in the midst of gaudiness, strength in weakness, both unexpected and uncontrived (to the max), not to mention breathtaking in its beauty. Remember, this was the year that Titanic was up…

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Pandora as Judgment-Free Zone

Pandora as Judgment-Free Zone

There is a very interesting article in this week’s New York Times Magazine about Pandora, the free internet music service that creates custom playlists based on your personal music preferences. I am a huge Pandora fan.

Most interesting, for Mockingbirds, is how the absence of judgment (i.e. law) in Pandora creates the space for love (of music) to flourish. Pandora’s entire system depends on a group of music experts evaluating songs in the most objective, least judgmental way possible, which often leads to unexpected musical connections for listeners, as is recounted in the following humorous anecdote:

Westergren (Pandora’s founder) likes to tell…

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