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Atheist Love Song

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This just came up on my itunes. It's probably my favorite New Order song, which is saying a lot.

Him and Her (But Mostly Him)

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First, check this out:

Then, consider this point: It's not the least bit surprising that Parker and Stone get so much about Mormonism right, in ways that entertainment produced by Mormons for Mormons never can. Parker and Stone have talked about doing and obviously indeed do a great deal of research and fact-checking about Mormon doctrines, attitudes and behaviors. Their interest is in discovering and portraying Mormons accurately--including LDS contradictions, such as their arrogant niceness--instead of reinforcing the basic tenets of the faith and avoiding difficult questions. So it's not surprising that the South Park guys arrive at all sorts of great insights about Mormons, and that their portraits of Mormons and Mormonism are faithful and accurate as opposed to faith-promoting and proper.

Over on Main Street Plaza, I've been involved in a series of discussions of mixed-orientation marriages between gay Mormon men and straight Mormon women (or gay man/straight woman MOMs, aka gm/sw MOMs), which many of you will know is a topic I've been writing about for years. Indeed, the discussions were prompted in part by an essay I published in Sunstone a few years ago the subject.

One of my contributions to the discussion was this comment about "You and Me (But Mostly Me)," one of my favorite songs from The Book of Mormon musical. I wrote:

It works perfectly in the show with two male missionary companions, in part because it's an attitude enough 19-year-old Mormon guys have. But imagine it sung with a young Mormon man and his fiancee: it works even better. Both of them very likely accept that she is "the side dish on a slightly smaller plate," precisely because that's how they've been trained to see marriages: he is the captain, she is the mate.

In a subsequent thread, Chanson wrote

Hell-o!

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Via a friend on Facebook: the opening song of the BOM(M).

It's pure aural joy! I cannot stop listening to it.

You'll be able to buy the whole soundtrack soon.

Last night I stumbled into an exchange of love notes on Facebook: two friends going on and on and about how great the other is, detailing the origins of their friendship, thanking the people who brought them together, etc.

I stopped reading after a few sentences, and avoided the thread thereafter.

There are many kinds of bad Facebook etiquette and I've certainly been guilty of several of them. I've even indulged a little in Facebook PDA's, though I try to keep it short.

I admit, I invest a lot of time in Facebook, because I like the basic format of saying something significant about my life in a sentence or two. I find Twitter's format of 140 characters a little too limiting, but Facebook is about the right space for me to say something I care about. I once posted something about how I even consider making daily summations of my life something of an intellectual and/or spiritual discipline. At one point I started recording all my status updates somewhere else, but then I forgot to continue. I keep saying that one day I'll go back through my entire FB page and make an accessible record of the good updates. (Which, I must say in all honesty, is most of them.)

Double Double

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this is fucking genius, and interesting for so many reasons, including Ramirez's embodiment of gender duality, and the way everyone is so bilingual that they can all switch languages in mid-sentence.

Theology You Can Dance To

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In keeping with my last entry about a pop culture exploration of theology, here's some theology you can dance to. It's not like I ever forget that Depeche Mode is one of my all-time favorite bands, but if I ever did, the fact that Martin Gore wrote a catchy dance tune about the dark night of the soul would remind me.

Everybody Sing That Last Line

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A friend posted this on Facebook, and I reposted it there, but I have to share it here. It's SUBLIME. It's PERFECT, one of the best things western civilization has ever produced. We should beam it into outerspace along with a statement affirming that this is one of the finest, most complete representations of our culture.

I mean, it's really funny, so funny that I have to start watching "Extras," the show the clip came from. And will you check out Mr. Bowie!?!!! The man will be 63 on January 8, 2010, and look at him! He's still gorgeous! He still has a fantastic voice and what looks like his own hair! I have long believed that he is the coolest person the 20th century managed to produce, and this reconfirms my opinion. He was Ziggy Stardust, and the Thin White Duke, and the freaky guy in Labyrinth, and he provided the voice for a character based on him on Spongebob, and now he does this! Is it any wonder I worship him? I think it must be completely awesome to be him, and to know him.

Anyway. If you haven't already seen it, watch it. Enjoy. I bet you'll watch it twice, and post it to YOUR facebook page too.

Somehow I missed the fact that the Strokes' first album, Is This It (is this WHAT?), had two different covers, one for the open-minded people across the ocean, and one for the prudes on the west side of the Atlantic.... You know, Americans, who are either Christians or feminists. The former object to anything that might arouse someone, and the latter object to the objectification of women and their bodies.

I found an image of the British cover because the Guardian has named the album the fourth best album of the current decade. I personally found the album boring and forgettable when I encountered it with the prudish American cover, but I will certainly remember it from now on. And I won't be listening to the Strokes ever again.

After reading that article, I clicked on a link to a story about Adam Lambert and what was or wasn't wrong with his kissing a guy during his performance at the American Music Awards. (Side note: I didn't think there was anything wrong with the kiss, and I agree with this assessment about the offensive nature of some of the reporting on it.) To summarize: nothing wrong with men kissing men; why isn't anyone questioning larger issues in the performance, including the fact that

Darling Lily

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Something that surprises me is how surprised other people are to learn that I have been a devoted fan of Lily Allen for several years now. OK, I acknowledged months ago that my music collection is dominated by earnest British dudes, but what, I'm not allowed to have nuances and layers?

"I just thought you'd find her a bit...young. And frivolous," one friend said. "I thought I'd be able to convince you eventually that you'd like her, but I never imagined you would've discovered her and grown to like her on your own," another told me.

But I did. I was intrigued by the reviews I read of her first album, Alright, Still--it kept showing up in all these "Top Ten Albums of 2006" lists. So when it was finally released in the US, I bought it, 'cause what the hell else was I going to do with twelve dollars and change?

And I LOVED it. OK, there were a couple of totally stinky songs on it that frankly I prefer not to think about. But overall, the album was so...cheerfully foul-tempered. So seriously frivolous. So innocently filthy. I loved the contradictions.

I would have said that NO ONE could ever improve on the way the Smiths would match really poppy, happy, upbeat music with totally dark lyrics, but Lily is pretty good at it in her own way. "Alfie" is my favorite song on the first album, an aggressively happy, boppy song sung to and about her little brother, Alfie, who sits in his room all day smoking and doing drugs. It has this really annoying grammatical redundancy (my mon frere), but I can forgive that, 'cause I just love the song SO MUCH.

Fifteen Albums

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Here's a Facebook meme I was tagged to participate in, but because I prefer my blog to Facebook I'm doing it here.

Instructions: This is harder than you may think! Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that, no matter what their critical or commercial significance, shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!

So. Here's my list, in chronological order of when they entered my life or made their impression.

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