Pop Culture Picks: July Edition

At the start of each month I write a post detailing my current pop culture obsessions; the things I'm watching reading and listening to that are "giving me life". Feel free to add to the conversation by leaving your own suggestions in the comments. You may see something you suggested feature in the future!

Currently Reading (Book and articles): 

Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud. The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen: Anne Helen Petersen has quickly become one of my very favorite authors. She writes about culture on Buzzfeed and her articles are the perfect mix of academically researched and immanently readable. Post election she has written some of the best articles on the cultural of Evangelicalism I've ever seen from an "outsiders" perspective. If I could link to every piece of hers I would but I would particularly draw your attention to her pieces about How Dallas is one of the most refugee friendly places in the country, how a new type of evangelical woman reacted to Trump, and her piece on the Ivanka (read: white woman) voter

After you read those, take a moment to pick up her latest book. In it she profiles ten different celebrity woman that can be categorized as "unruly" in some way. (Hillary Clinton, Serena Williams, Lena Dunham, Kim Kardashian to name a few). She understands that the celebrities of our time and the way we react to them are an accurate barometer of our head space as a country. So when Kim Kardashian refuses to perform her pregnancy in the "cute" way we have not just expected but demanded of all women celebrity or not, the culture rips her apart. If you are interested in celebrity and media studies this book scratches that itch. If you think celebrity and media study are not serious topics worth your time, read this book to see how wrong you are. We are all affected by the culture in which we live. Peterson's book entertains and teaches in equal measure. Read it!

Currently Listening (Music):

Starlight by Bethel Music: When the "culture" of church gets hard for my deal with (as it so often does), music becomes more important than ever. I got to see Bethel live a few months back and it was truly the most refreshing musical/worshipful/holy experience I had in quite awhile. Listening to the album that tour was based on is like going back to that moment over and over again. Great music for me always comes down to the lyrics. Good lyrics soothe my weary soul. There have been moments lately where I feel overwhelmed and scared. To the point where taking a breath seems a challenge. In those moments I repeat these words over and over again.

You are closer than the very oxygen I'm breathing in. I breath you in. You are God with us. You are here with us. Immanuel Immanuel. You are infinite. Your glory has no end. Jesus. Jesus.

Currently Listening (Podcast): 

Vanity by Renovation ChurchThe church my sister and her family go to in Atlanta has just started a new series based on the book of Ecclesiastes. If you're familiar at all with the Bible you know that this book is...not the cheeriest book you could read. And maybe that's why I'm finding this series so wonderful. The world isn't the cheeriest place you could be right now. And I'm a little tired of the church pretending everything is fine. I welcome the willingness to dig into the hurt and confusion and find that there is just as much as hope to be found in books like Ecclesiastes as there is in other more "uplifting" parts of Scripture. If you have found yourself in the same place I've been lately when it comes to church may I suggest this podcast? I think it'll speak to you in a way that will make you feel better not just about your present, but your future. 

Currently Watching (TV):

Glow on Netflix: Lady wrestlers in the 80's. Oh I'm sorry do I need to say anymore than that? Because honestly that sentence alone was enough to get me to binge watch this whole series in one weekend. Ten glorious episodes. Funny, full of heart, and just an all around good time. I dare you to watch this trailer and not immediately go to Netflix to watch the whole series. It's that good.

There we have the picks for July. Join the conversation by leaving your own pop culture suggestions in the comments and I'll be back in August with more Pop Culture Picks!

Janelle SaaybeComment