The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 27, 2018
End of October, beginning of November. Halloween. Reformation Sunday. All Saints. Time to change the clocks. The midterm elections. Let’s get some calories for stamina, eh? Thanks for joining us for Brunch today.
Coming in early November…
From the Publisher: Sometimes the chaos and questioning of everyday life can be overwhelming. In his customary warm style and down-to-earth perspective, chaplain Mike Mercer here offers a solution: to approach these issues in a spirit of discernment, reflecting the psalmist’s words, “Show me your path.” The book applies a faith perspective to making choices and finding one’s way, using practical examples and stories. In addition, questions for reflection make this a good choice for parish prayer groups and book clubs.
This book is being published by Twenty Third Publications. Follow the link and you can download a sample and pre-order. Thank you for your support!
It’s crazy campaign ad time…
We’re getting close to the 2018 midterm elections, and televisions all across America are playing non-stop cringe-worthy ads trying to get people to vote for (and more importantly, against) candidates on all levels of government.
Here are a few of the worst and most curious. We begin with one from my own state, where Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly is fighting to keep his Senate seat against his challenger, Mike Braun. Donnelly’s ad really makes me laugh — here he portrays himself as more of a true conservative Republican than his Trump-supporting Republican challenger! Then, what’s really funny is that he apparently stole his ad’s style from the TV program “Veep.”
Here is Stephen Colbert introducing a truly excruciating example:
Here’s a candidate on the left telling the right to “Take that!” shamelessly using kids and an element of surprise that is certainly not designed to win any of his opponent’s voters.
Finally, here’s a medley made up from excerpts of the most memorably forgettable ads of these midterms:
Which leads me to ask a question or two. I myself cannot imagine that I would ever, ever be swayed to vote one way or another by any campaign ad. Would you? What does it say about our level of civic awareness and just general human thoughtfulness that political ads seem to be so successful? If they’re not, why do candidates and political action committees spend so daggone much money on them?
A few oddities from the week…
Finally, I have no clue what to say about this…
Some Halloween stuff…
Here’s a piece for Christians at The Calvinist International exploring the history of Halloween that comes to this remarkably common sense conclusion:
Halloween is a modern secular holiday designed to let kids have fun without getting into too much trouble and also to sell a bunch of candy and movie memorabilia to adults.
According to the New York Times article Who Actually Listens to Halloween Music?, which reports results from Spotify:
Here are the top five states in which people listened to the largest proportion of Halloween playlists over the past 10 days:
2. West Virginia
And here are the states where Halloween music was most popular 10 days before the holiday in 2017:
3. New Hampshire
4. West Virginia
Who knew Utah was so Halloween crazy?
I was also interested to learn that the town where I went to high school, Downers Grove, Illinois, is in second place for listening to Halloween music on the day itself, while my birthplace, Oak Park, Illinois, comes in fourth.
And what are the songs people are listening to on their Halloween playlists? Here are the top ten:
1. “Thriller,” by Michael Jackson
2. “Monster Mash,” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett
3. “Ghostbusters,” by Ray Parker, Jr.
4. “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” by Blue Öyster Cult
5. “Highway to Hell,” by AC/DC
6. “This Is Halloween,” by the Citizens of Halloween
7. “Werewolves of London,” by Warren Zevon
8. “Somebody’s Watching Me,” by Rockwell
9. “A Nightmare on My Street,” by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
10. “Black Magic Woman,” by Santana
Give the people what they want!
Scary-good Landscape Photography…
Here are a few of the great shots from the 2018 Landscape Photographers of the Year (New Atlas) award winners:
We’ve looked at a lot of ridiculous stuff today. How about we end with something sublime? Here is Thomanchor Leipzig singing Luther’s great hymn of the Reformation, Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott, accompanied by organist Ullrich Böhme.
May Reformation Sunday, no matter what your faith tradition, find you exulting in the grace and love of God.