Intro: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Sectarian Review Podcast. Today’s episode is going to focus on a mini-controversy from early July, when Mere Orthodoxy published an essay by Brad East called “Against Pop Culture.” In the essay, East argues (or at least seems to) that Christians should not partake of pop culture as an essential part of their Christian practice. The piece was heavily commented upon in social media, including by Yours Truly, and became one of those “internet things” for a couple of days. The next day, East tagged me and others in a Twitter post that linked to a clarification he wrote and between the two essays, I think that there is a lot to talk about here at the Sectarian Review.
Joining me today to do so is Coyle Neal!
Q1: Before we get into the weeds of philosophy, theology, and pop culture, can we summarize the main points of East’s original article? (Try as much as we can to keep his follow-up out of our heads).
Q2: In the follow-up, East tries to clarify that he was not Against Pop culture per se, but rather against a movement within Christians that supposedly pressures people into consuming more pop culture. What do you make of this idea? It was rather surprising to me as that has not been my experience at all.
Q3: So let’s focus on the original piece, and try to be fair to his full intention. One main point he makes that has some legs for me is the seeming endlessness of binge-watching. Can we talk about how the technology of pop culture delivery might shape us. Medium is message etc…
Q4: What do you make of his generational claim about attention spans and what not? Does pop culture have a corrosive impact on us, making it harder to sit through more difficult,but gratifying material.
Q5: As educators, how much should we push against pop culture and toward the “classics?”
Q6: I want to talk a bit about content here before we go. I am fairly liberal with regard to watching things like horror etc, but there is a debate among Christians about such matters. Where do you fall on the whole “be careful little eyes…” argument?