Five for Friday: Laugh-Out Loud Ad, Silent Dylan, Vatican Speaks on Cremation

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CHICAGO, IL (October 28, 2016) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Hilarious Election Ad from Texan Politician Goes Viral

How could you not vote for this guy? At a time when candidates are doing all they can to cast their opponents as evil incarnate, this candidate airs a self-deprecating video that has been called the best political ad of the year.

Vatican: Cremation OK, But Don’t Scatter Ashes or Keep at Home

Until 1963, the Catholic Church only allowed burial. Then the Vatican opened the door to cremation, and since then the number of Catholics wanting cremation has continued to grow.

From the article: “Only in extraordinary cases can a bishop allow ashes to be kept at home, it said. Vatican officials declined to say what circumstances would qualify, but presumably countries where Catholics are a persecuted minority and where Catholic churches and cemeteries have been ransacked would qualify. The document said remains cannot be divided among family members or put in lockets or other mementos. Nor can the ashes be scattered in the air, land or sea since doing so would give the appearance of ‘pantheism, naturalism or nihilism,’ the guidelines said.”

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The Meaning of Bob Dylan’s Silence

Poet and critic Adam Kirsch does not mince words regarding how he feels about the Swedish committee that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature.

From the article: “There is a good deal of poetic justice in this turn of events. For almost a quarter of a century, ever since Toni Morrison won the Nobel in 1993, the Nobel committee acted as if American literature did not exist—and now an American is acting as if the Nobel committee doesn’t exist. Giving the award to Mr. Dylan was an insult to all the great American novelists and poets who are frequently proposed as candidates for the prize. The all-but-explicit message was that American literature, as traditionally defined, was simply not good enough. This is an absurd notion, but one that the Swedes have embraced: In 2008, the Academy’s permanent secretary, Horace Engdahl, declared that American writers ‘don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature’ and are limited by that ‘ignorance.’”

Adolescence No Longer Bridge Between Childhood, Adulthood

A number of changes in the world, including the rise of the Internet, have rendered the idea of adolescence obsolete, according to the author, but as one commentator quipped, “The irony is that the t-shirted people who build most of our consumer Internet tools live in a world where adolescence never ends.”

From the article: “Although we still use the term ‘adolescence,’ its cultural signals are mostly irrelevant. It no longer describes the period of training required to function as an adult in the 21st century, nor does it distinguish the boundary between the knowledge of children from those who have reached puberty. For parents, adolescence is an untrustworthy way to understand how their teenage children mature: they cannot clearly connect the sexual practices of their young progeny to stable mating in marriage, nor can parents see how schooling during adolescence will lead their offspring to satisfactory adult work. The idea of a tentative moratorium that gets resolved once teenagers create stable identities seems far-fetched, since the identities of even those in their 20s and sometimes their 30s are still in flux.”

Short Videos TED Says Will Recharge Your Brain

The next time you’re caught watching videos at the office, just tell your boss you’re recharging your brain.

From the article: “ ‘The misconception is that the videos always need to be funny,’ explains TED’s media archivist Anyssa Samari, who collects these special clips year round. ‘Sometimes you just need something to clear your mind.’ ”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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