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God-talk Miscellany V

Here are a few tidbits to read with your morning coffee:

1. First off, from way off the main media beat comes a great little piece from Gwinnett County, Georgia: Lessons learned from science fiction/fantasy by Rob Jenkins (an associate professor of English and director of the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College). Jenkins is far from perplexed by the interest in the genre exhibited by his two younger sons—in fact, he’s all for it. The value of the genre (besides pure enjoyment)? “There is indeed evil in the world, whether it’s Lord Voldemort, Sauron, The White Witch, The Emperor or Osama Bin Laden. But good people can overcome evil if they see it for what it is and have the courage to fight it.” Here, here! This blog also likes the good versus evil theme—one of this genre’s many themes that often generate lots of God-talk (as you can see by the comment exchange in response to this blog’s Some rambling sci-fi thoughts).

2. In GetReligion's Preachers and pornographers unite, Daniel Pulliam gives us heads up on the entrance of religious broadcasting into the discussion as to whether or not consumers should be able to pick and choose their channels instead of receiving it pre-packaged.

3. We return to GetReligion for Where did all the men go (again)? in which Terry Mattingly probes a bit more into the speculation behind male flight from the pew.

4. This Washington Times piece takes a brief look at how Church artifacts migrate from their older original homes to everywhere from pubs and Hard Rock Café to the brand new churches popping up in the South and West.

5. This somewhat disturbing NY Times article looks at how Product Placement Deals Make Leap From Film to Books–in this case, books geared towards young girls. Right now, its only make-up. But, oh, the horizon is endless (as we’ve seen in TV and film). I’m with the author on this one: “By now, television and movie viewers have become used to this kind of thing: when they see sneakers or cars on a show or in a film, they generally assume that these appearances have been paid for by the companies that make the brands. But product placement in books is still relatively rare. The use of even the subtlest of sales pitches, particularly in a book aimed at adolescents, could raise questions about the vulnerability of the readers.” Ya think? As they say over at GetReligion: Lord, have mercy.

(Image: by Mike D on