A Church Who Loves the Idea of Racial Diversity

At our church we are very passionate about diversity.  We may not have a diverse family in our belief community, but we believe in having one.  We are very quick to tell you we are very diverse, and just as quick to tell you that we are not as diverse as we would like to be.  We know you are looking for a church with ethnic diversity, but if you happen to be white, don’t be afraid of tampering with our ethnic variety ratio by joining. We are neither Jew nor Greek, neither black nor white, neither Polynesian nor Cambodian, neither Serbian nor Turkish, neither Guatemalan nor New Guinean—but our home page photo sure is.  You can’t find a more inclusive congregation than that.  Even photo models who have never even heard of our church are members.

We love to use photos of diverse, happy herds of people, people gathered into tight groups on an invisible plane, surrounded by an endless sea of white background.  Always a white void we contrast against, always white and pale.  Anyway, we are desperate to appear to visitors and seekers as a colorful cast of differing faces all unified in racially diverse solidarity, and we will pay whatever price we can for those photos, even if none of us are in them.  We will put those stock photos on our website, photos with a decent ratio of males to females, and a spectrum of whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and maybe even one Pacific Islander.  Some churches hope that one day “Muslim” will be added to the wish list, while other churches hope that one day the distinctions between “Arab” and “Muslim” will be more widely known

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Who Needs an Epigraph at the Front of their Novel?

Never use epigraphs, they kill the mastery of the work.”-Orphan Pamuk

Is Pamuk right? Are epigraphs necessary before a great work of art? Do I need to hear a completely different artist sound the most prominent note of a masterpiece before the featured artist plays?
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Paper Towns and The Idolatry of Imagination: Part 3—The Vessel

“Forever is composed of nows.”-Emily Dickenson

Part 3: The Vessel
[read Part 1: Strings and Part 2: Grass]

Quentin Jacobson had been searching for Margo Roth Spiegelman, but he had yet to go on a journey. Like Whitman, he needed to travel across the country, become exposed, truly listen for Margo. He needed to experience and understand that paper towns existed all over, with paper people living in all of them. “The world is full of people,” he comes to say, “full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently mismanaged.”
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Paper Towns and the Idolatry of Imagination: Part 2—Grass

PART 2: Grass
“You shall no longer take things 2nd or 3rd hand…nor feed on the specters in books.”-Walt Whitman

Who is Margo Roth Spiegelman? Is she a popular elite brat? Is she a culturally hip closet poetry nerd? Is she a deviant runaway? Is she a selfish drama queen? Is she damaged goods? Or is she just a tangled up girl whose strings are broken?
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Paper Towns and the Idolatry of Imagination: Part 1—Strings

“Doing stuff never feels as good as you hope it will feel.”

Part 1: Strings
John Green’s novel, Paper Towns, soon to be a film, can be read as a kind of spiritual parable. With the exception of TFIOS, his three other novels seem to follow a similar formula: Eccentric yet normal teen boy falls for unattainable and eccentric girl because she is such a mystery, and she becomes a puzzle for him to solve as much as a love interest to pursue. Academic references must follow. Were it not for the occasional sexual controversy, Green seems to be begging for his books to be taught in school, pushing aside bulky classics less relevant to teens.
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10 Reasons I am not a Hipster

10 Reasons I am not a Hipster:

1. My bike has gears, and the maintenance I do on it consists solely of pumping the tires.

2. I did like the Avett Brothers before they were cool, but I also still like them, and do not believe they have sold out.

3. I have never voted Democrat, and just because I’ve been fair to Obama doesn’t mean I like him. Continue reading