Lex Luthor, Capitalist Villain

In an earlier post I compared the political economy of superheroes in the DC and Marvel universes. And today I have a piece up at The Stream examining the figure of Lex Luthor, the crony capitalist villain featured in Batman v. Continue Reading...

The Corruption of the Best is the Worst

This year will deliver major superhero ensemble films that provide alternative views of the limitations and proper exercise of power. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered this spring to uneven reviews, and Captain America: Civil War is due out later this summer. Continue Reading...

Love, Community, and The Walking Dead

The sixth season finale of The Walking Dead aired last night and sets up an anxious off-season of waiting and deliberation about what will happen next. I may have some more to say about the larger dynamics of the show as the survivors in this most recent season have really transitioned from concerns about mere survival to actually building community with longer-term plans. Continue Reading...

From Bard to Barber: Jars of Clay’s Stephen Mason on Vocation

For most musicians, the prospect of a long and stable career in the arts is a lifelong dream. For those who actually “make it,” aspirations can shift in surprising ways. For Jars of Clay, a popular rock band who achieved success in the 1990s — and wrote the music for Acton’s film series, For the Life of the World — that vocational reckoning came late in their careers. Continue Reading...

Cultural Depictions of Communism and Christianity

As the author of a book titled The Roots of Coincidence, Arthur Koestler would appreciate the coinky dinks of the past week. First, I finished re-reading Koestler’s two nonfiction works of 20th century European madness, Dialogue with Death and Scum of the Earth. Continue Reading...

The Joyful Seriousness of Christmas

As Christians living in a secular age, there’s a temptation to use Christmas as a wedge to wage epic new battles to restore Christendom. But despite the flurry of hackneyed “War on Christmas” tropes, there is, alas, something rather amiss. Continue Reading...

Aslan’s Song of Stewardship

When we think about “stewardship,” our minds tend to revert to the material and the predictable. We think about money or the allocation of resources. We think about growing crops or creating goods or financial investment and generosity. Continue Reading...

The Tragedy of ‘Mockingjay’

“Mockingjay — Part 2,” the last film based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling Hunger Games trilogy, opened this past weekend to high sales that, nevertheless, fell short of the other films in the series and industry expectations. Continue Reading...