Sunday, September 13, 2009

back and ready for...something.

Having overcome the various tribulations involved in naming furry freeloaders and HAND CANCER, I am ready once again, dear readers. to Recommend Something To You.

I rarely get a chance to read anything for fun when I am in the grasp of the semester, but I recently read Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture
by Daniel Radosh.

I am sort of obsessed with Christian pop culture. I am not a Christian nor do I have any interest in becoming one, but the bizarre grasp - you could say the stranglehold - the religion has on the culture, science, and politics of America fascinates me. So I'd wanted to read this book for a while and after only a small battle with my university's library (apparently they only have 1 copy and it's just for undergrads, WTF?) I was able to borrow a copy (but I strongly suggest you buy one through my Amazon store, because there's a recession going on, and I have a lot of student loans).

Radosh resists the trap of sneering intellectual contempt for the stuff he studies, even when I feel it's warranted, and for that he should really be commended. The book is organized as a series of adventures as he goes to a Christian rock festival, a "Jesus junk" convention, a Christian theme park in Florida, etc. While I was admittedly hoping for it to be more amusing than it was, Radosh has a lot more sympathy and empathy than was necessary.

Anyway, the Christian pop culture industry is insidious and worth $7 billion a year in America. If you ever wondered about the banalization of culture, about why well-organized groups throw a fit every time a film's released that has a bad word in it, this book goes a long way towards explaining why in an entertaining, accessible way. It is Recommended. Enjoy!

Also recommended: Hell House, 2001, a great documentary about Christian "hell houses". Entry to follow. Maybe. Depends how bad this semester eats me alive.


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