books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

When isn’t the internet making me angry or sad? I WILL NEVER QUIT IT.  Here are the things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week:

The Personal God of Katy Perry (Buzzfeed)

My relationship with Katy Perry is rife with contradictions.  I liked her early music immensely and still think Teenage Dream is one of the best pop songs of the past decade.  But she’s said and done things that are totally racist and firmly anti-feminist, and I’ve always found some of the religious things about her to be…flawed (for lack of a better word).  So this piece at Buzzfeed about Perry’s own brand of Christianity is fascinating to me:

What Katy Perry prays for, Katy Perry gets. She was just 11 when she asked God for “boobs so big that I can’t see my feet when I’m lying down.” It was the kind of prayer no one would expect God to take seriously, but Perry hails from a religious background that believes in a God who is eager to answer anyone’s prayers, no matter how small (or, ahem, big), as a way of proving His existence.

Like, okay.  Far be it from this atheist to say, “That doesn’t really sound like something god would be super worried about,” but also, really?  Perry was raised in the Pentecostal church, and it’s a sect of Christianity that believes in speaking in tongues and more:

Another observation Luhrmann makes is how much some charismatic worship songs “are almost sexual, with a touch so light that the suggestion could slip past.” She cites the song “Dwell,” which includes a line, addressed to God, in which the supplicants ask the man upstairs to “Come and have your way.” Perry subverts images and practices in this way — from religious to sexual — on her song “Spiritual,” from Prism: “Lay me down at your altar, baby/ I’m a slave to this love/ Your electric lips have got me speaking in tongues.”

At any rate, it’s an interesting read and if you’re at all interested in how Perry reconciles her “cartoonish” pop star image with her faith, it sheds some light on it.

Part Deux or Part Doh: My Girl 2 is the Best Bad Movie about LA (Decider)

A lovely little trip down nostalgia lane to one of my favorite terrible movies.  I wanted light things to think about this week, clearly.

Watching My Girl 2 as an adult is, naturally, a little less romantic and endearing or an experience than when I was eleven, as I can see the broad strokes of emotional manipulation from miles away…Of course, this isn’t a film for adults, even if Richard Masur and Christine Ebersole are featured prominently in a subplot that tackles relationships and commitment. No, this is a movie for pre-teens, and if the major lesson I took away from watching it again is: never grow up, because all the things you used to love will slowly turn to trash.

 The Any Book Book Club (Book Riot)

A short, thoughtful post on the traditional book club group dynamic and the concept of the “any book” book club, where members read freely and share what they’ve read with the group as a whole:

Have you noticed the particular gusto with which someone will tell you about the last book that got them really excited? Or made them cry? Or made them stay up past their bedtime to finish it? No offense to the traditional book club structure, but that’s the book I want to know about.

As a member of a book club myself, this was particularly relevant.

What got you reading and thinking this week?


2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

  1. I found your post to be very interesting. I wonder if once people become famous that their ideals change and sometimes go away. Or, I wonder if this is something she says to the media just to be quirky or liked. If one finds it either way, that is. I’d hate to think she believes totally different than what she’s quoted. Let’s face it, it’s not easy stating your true opinion and not having to drop a few thousand fans for it. Although, I must say, she just lost one with me. It’s difficult separating the music from the person.

  2. I read Kerouac’s On the Road last week. I enjoyed it as a travelogue and a time capsule of 50’s America. But I despised Dean Moriarty and his attitude towards women.

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