Notes from the Margins

Hey all. Just wanted to let you know I am writing a bi-monthly column for Christ and Pop Culture on the topic of the kingdom of God, marginalized peoples, and popular culture. I know, right? Dream gig! My first one is (ostensibly) on Beasts of the Souther Wild, but I get to rant a little bit at the end too (read it here). I would love for any suggestions on anything pop=culture wise that you would like to be addressed. Where are people in the margins being portrayed well (Beasts of the Southern Wild)? Where are they not (um, Honey Boo Boo, reality TV in general)? And what is in that weird in-between (30 Rock, Macklemore, etc). I would love to hear some ideas, so leave them in the comments plz.


But seriously, it is great to be able to write out some of what I am learning during my apprenticeship year with my mission organization without overstepping any personal boundaries (popular culture is quite large and anonymous). Taking a break from blogging about my personal life has already shown rich fruit in my life of journaling and prayer; meeting up with others in my organization has also lended to me not feeling so isolated and therefore “driven” to write out stories that might be shared prematurely.


Thanks everyone for reading the incredible posts we have had so far in the War Photographer series. I am excited to continue this conversation, and excited for the many more voices who will be added to the discussion.


Again, I won’t be posting here every time I write my column, so if you want to stay connected you can like my FB page or follow me on Twitter.

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7 thoughts on “Notes from the Margins

  1. Cate says:

    Speaking of margins, what about the representation in our culture of people with special needs? I can think of a few recent examples… Temple Grandin, “Becky” on Glee, going back to Boo Radley and Forrest Gump. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

    • Yes! Which ones do you think are the best?

      • Cate says:

        “Becky” on Glee, definitely. Sassy and selfish, rude and sexual… most often it seems that people with developmental disabilities are portrayed as either (a) the eternal child, perfectly innocent, sweet, and lovable or (b) the tortured, anti-social genius. One of my favorite Becky lines was from the most recent Glee episode… a gaggle of girls are sitting together after a Sadie Hawkins dance, discussing their successes… Becky hollers out, “I got to third base, bitches!!!” Soooo great… a small sign that our society has made a bit of progress since the 70’s when people with down’s syndrome were systematically sterilized in institutions.

  2. I think margins and current conversation and for some reason I think modern immigrants. So much marginalizing language around immigrants (at least in the red state I live in). Watching my husband go through the naturalization process, I cringed at how dehumanizing it was, the treatment was pretty poor. But once accepted – he was treated with immediate respect and welcome. Actually, I see the same in Christian circles. We speak so poorly about non-believers (oh, the stench of that phrase) and treat them like targets, then once they ‘accept Christ’ we treat them as family. I think we have mixed portrayals of immigrants in our culture – they build this country and make it strong vs. they are lazy, often un-documented or worse. Just a thought…

  3. Well, crud. I thought I had already liked your page. Well, I have now. :>) Did you see “The Visitor” last year? Superb film about immigration issues. Wes Anderson films and the yearning in the human heart he speaks so beautifully about. Reality TV and how truly ugly most of it is. Except, of course, for the ones I like. :>) Who out there is dealing with some of the more subtle pieces of racism in our culture? Deidra Riggs blogged about some of those issues in October (31 Days in My Brown Skin) and I wondered at the time – who is writing about this? Who is making films about this?


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