“C” is for Cookie . . . and CONTROVERSY: 7 Quick Takes XXXVIII

by | Dec 13, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Music, Pop Culture, Pope Francis | 12 comments


Just when I think I’m the controversial Catholic blog, Haley goes and makes the internets mad by insulting CCM (that’s Contemporary Christian Music for those of you who, like me, didn’t know what CCM was). Anyway, I think her larger point was lost on the many people who commented that the Christian radio station was my only option if I didn’t want to force-feed my children Miley Cyrus 2.0 and Lady Gaga.

Her point was that it SHOULDN’T be our only option. Christians should be out there making GREAT art and GREAT music and GREAT literature and GREAT architecture. We shouldn’t be satisfied with lesser artistry just because it’s marketed to us as Christian.

As usual *I* want BOTH/AND. I want my kids to listen to great music that also won’t scandalize them. And say what you will about this era, one thing we do have plenty of is OPTIONS. If I don’t like what’s on the radio, and sometimes I don’t, I can make an iTunes playlist and we can listen to that instead.

In fact, as my boys were doing their big Advent desk clean out this morning, they asked if they could make a new playlist. And they did. It included pieces by Johnny Horton, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, They Might Be Giants, The Blues Brothers, Ylvis, Elvis, Anna Kendrick, and Weird Al Yankovic. Each one a work of art. Well, perhaps not, but each one catchy and fun and morally acceptable (whiskey IS the devil, is it not?).

I really like what Jon Foreman of the band Switchfoot had to say on the subject: Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing Christian Songs


Hey, Pope Francis is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. 

He was in, um, mixed company to be sure:

Time’s other 10 finalists were: President Obama, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Syria President Bashar Assad, Iran President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Edith Windsor, and singer Miley Cyrus.

I suppose the only thing worse than having beaten Miley Cyrus in a competition would be to have lost to her.

The Vatican, was remarkably gracious about it all.


Speaking of Pope Francis . . . I found this article to be an interesting look at why it seems that Pope Francis is now getting it from both sides, liberals and conservatives. It makes the point that he has been unwilling to stay within the accepted “Catholic issues” boundary zone. The conservative line on Catholics is that we’re to focus on sexual issues and not on social or (heaven forbid) economic issues. But Pope Francis just won’t stay in his box.

The division of the fullness of Catholic thought in America has rendered it largely tractable in a nation that was always suspicious of Catholics. Lockean America tamed Catholicism not by oppression (as Locke thought would be necessary), but by dividing and conquering—permitting and even encouraging promotion of its sexual teachings, albeit shorn of its broader social teachings. This co-opted the full power of those teachings, directing the energy of social conservatives exclusively into the sexual-culture wars while leaving largely untouched a rapacious economy that daily creates few winners and more losers while supporting  a culture of sexual license and “throw-away” children. Without minimizing the seriousness with which we need to take issues like abortion, gay marriage, and religious liberty, these are discrete aspects of an overarching “globalization of indifference” described by Francis. However, we have been trained to treat them as a set of autonomous political issues that can be solved by one or two appointments on the Supreme Court. Francis—like JPII and BXVI before him—has upset the “arrangement.” Rush and the gang are not about to go down without a fight. If only they could get that damn Marxist to talk about sex.

Read the rest at The American Conservative: Would Someone Just Shut That Pope Up?


I guess it’s not quite winter yet, but it has been cold. All over the country. And let’s not even start on Canada. (Christie? Are you guys okay?) It’s even been cold here in LA. Okay, I guess not cold. But it has been “cold,” for us.

“Cold” as in leaves and people’s hair have been moved by the wind, a windbreaker might feel insufficient, and, yes, I think those might be CLOUDS.

Let me let Jimmy Kimmel and the slightly panicked reporters of Los Angeles County tell you all about it:

update: Not to worry folks, it was back to the mid 70s today. Whew!


I cannot believe what this artist/photographer can do with rocks.

See more at Twisted Sifter: The Art of Rock Balancing by Michael Grab
Crumbly Pictures

I really love the new Sesame Street film parodies starring Cookie Monster. We hardly ever have time to watch the show anymore, but people keep posting them on Facebook, so I’ll pull them up to show the kids. This latest one is their favorite:

And speaking of Muppet Gandalf:

Sesame Street: You Shall Not Pass

Chicken Feed

And, finally, if you happen to be two weeks postpartum and you have two fifty pound bags of chicken feed in the back of your van and you forgot to tell your husband about them because he totally would have moved them for you but you forgot to tell him and you are all out of feed in the feed cabinet and your son needs to feed the chickens . . . EVEN then you really shouldn’t carry in the two fifty pound bags of feed, because you will probably be slightly miserable the whole rest of the day.

But on a happier note, I mentioned that Lulu and I had had a bit of trouble on the nursing front, but that is all sorted out and nursing is going quite well. Fortunately, we have moved past the “can be used as a floatations device” stage and have arrived at “even though oxygen is flowing, the plastic bag may not inflate.”

Happy Weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Micaela Darr

    It was actually cold here in LA. Like really cold. I can say this because our hear didn't get turned in until Tuesday (thanks, Gas Co!) and we were miserably cold. Okay, not Canada or Michigan cold, but chilly-under-heavy-blankets cold.

    I'm totally with you on #1. Both/and all the way.

  2. Carly

    Stopping by via Conversion Diary for the first time. Thanks for sharing! I live in Canada so really appreciated the clip from Jimmy Kimmel about the weather in and around LA, though I had to use the Google to convert 50F to celcius. Turns out, it's around 10C for us – which basically means we're wearing lightweight pants, short sleeves with a light sweater and maybe even shoes without socks. :o) It's all about perspective!

    Glad to hear the nursing is going well – congrats on the new babe!

  3. Tacy

    Thanks for the music recommendations for kids… off to check them out! 🙂

  4. Katharine B.

    Love the Jimmy Kimmel clip, the line around Starbucks was tragic!

    Thanks for the music too, I'm always on the look out for good clean songs.

  5. Anonymous

    I'm sure others have suggested this, but for those folks who spend a goodly amount of time in the car AND have some extra disposable income, SiriusXM radio has a really great kids channel that plays music everybody can enjoy – They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies (who are now doing kids music), Justin Roberts, Lunch Money, movie soundtracks, and other artists and bands who do music that is catchy and fun and totally clean. Highly recommend! You can get the tiny package for ~$8/mo. Or just add Justin Roberts to your music feed. 😉

    They also occasionally play pop songs, often throwback ones from my youth. The other day we heard some MC Hammer and my 6 year old said, "What am I not supposed to touch, and why doesn't he want me to touch it??"

  6. Christine

    I didn't realize you had chicks! Is this your first time raising chickens?

  7. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I was going to share that Switchfoot article with you, but you're all over it.

    Also, my history teacher in high school is the lead singer's aunt or cousin or something. So, I'm pretty famous…

  8. Nanacamille

    It was really cold in San Diego too. In fact cold enough that it was going to take an entire day to heat up the pool to swim temp so we settled for the "cuzzy" as Frankie calls it. Sorry to all of you who live in really cold places. Nanacamille

  9. Nanacamille

    Jimmy Kimmel was absolutely hilarious. It is all so true about LA aka Lala Land. Nanacamille

  10. Maia

    Every time I have a newborn (so…only 3 times) I consider becoming an LC because breastfeeding is just that awful for me. So, on that note, SO Glad nursing troubles got sorted.

  11. Rhonda Ortiz

    Love the Jimmy Kimmel! Cracks me up. (Says the native-western-Oregonian-used-to-mild-temperatures-now-living-in-Michigan-pass-me-the-Starbucks-please.)

    Visiting via Jenny's blog. 🙂

  12. Anna Yager

    We were in NorCal (Mendocino) when the cold front came in and for a WEEK it never got warm enough for the night's frost to thaw. We used to live there but don't remember it ever being this cold for this long. We drove back home to Mexico this past week and I didn't take my sweatshirt off until I was within 100 miles of home [we're right on the the Tropic of Cancer]. Thankfully it's t-shirt weather here – that is, t-shirts outside at night!

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