Posts Tagged 'Culture Making'

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I, Phone: Love and Addiction in the Age of Distraction


 

Our smartphones are doing something to us.


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Cultivate Hospitality This Christmas with Your Words


Nervous about politically charged conversations over the Christmas holiday? Give peace and goodwill a fighting chance with wise words and a hospitable culture.

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Chasing Down Justice, Mercy and Good Samaritans in ‘Fantastic Beasts’


 


Spoiler Alert: Stephanie Carney did her best to not spoil any major elements, but we cannot guarantee all major plot points are protected.


As the credits began to roll at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “I really liked that movie.” At first, we couldn't quite put into words why (it was more than the comfy reclining seats and the XD surround sound that was making my husband a bit giddy). I realize there are many opinions on the “magic” movie genre in general—I understand and I respect these views. But for me, there are three-ish reasons why I love Fantastic Beasts.

The value of understanding the world and culture you live in cannot be underestimated. Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), a British wizard visiting New York City is also a magizoologist, an expert in magical creatures. He strives to understand magical creatures for their own good but also to educate the magical community so that these creatures won't be killed senselessly out of fear. When his creatures escape, he says: “We're going to recapture my creatures before they get hurt. They're currently in alien terrain surrounded by millions of the most vicious creatures on the planet—humans.”

Later, the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (Carmen Ejogo), shares this: “Magical beasts are terrorizing no-majs [non-magic people], and when no-majs are afraid, they attack.” I realize we're talking about magical creatures and fantastical people, but these lines resonated with me. Sometimes, we just don't bother to understand people.

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Have Courage, Be Kind: ‘Cinderella’ as a Guide in Our Troubled Times


 


I feel a bit like Henny Penny. The sky may be falling. For real this time. I don't believe I'm alone in feeling depleted of hope. I'm battling but I'm sinking. These last months and especially these last few weeks my mind has run the gauntlet, slamming into shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, disillusionment and fear. My heart asks, have we have lost the ability to be kind?

As I've processed, one story continues to resurface: Cinderella. Yes, I'm serious. I love fairy tales and never tire of remakes and spin-offs. And Disney's most recent remake of this classic tale is fabulous. I realize some people would rather pluck out their eyelashes one by one than watch a “chick flick,” but everyone should watch Cinderella. It will be good for your soul.

We know the plot so well, it becomes a children’s story and nothing more. But place yourself in her glass slippers, figuratively. Loss. More loss. Cruelty. Injustice. Betrayal. Uncertainty. And although we know her story ends with a heavy dose of happily, her journey was far from easy. The beauty and encouragement come from how she chose to walk through so much heartbreak and injustice.

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A Galaxy of Warm Places: Why Neighboring Makes for Better Politics


 


Americans have had it up to here with this election cycle. Anger, frustration, hopelessness and a deep cynicism have descended on the American political landscape like an unwelcomed fog. Social media’s penchant for turning our timelines into personalized echo chambers tends to result in a thickening of the mist. We shout our memes louder and louder in the hopes that the people who “think like us” can stay together. We hurl our “truth bombs” blindly at the other tribes lost somewhere out there in the abyss.

But many Americans are wondering how we got here and how to find our way to clearer skies. Not that there was ever an “Eden” of political culture in our country, but today seems to be particularly, well, crazy. What happened? Can anything be done to change the state of politics in America?

David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times, thinks that something can be done. And the answer is right up Summitview’s alley.

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