The Common Good

Culture Watch

Video: Flobots on Faith - The 'Rise' of New Music for New Movements

FlobotsFlobots are a Denver-based, hip-hop/rock alternative group, whose powerful activist lyrics explore issues from globalization and poverty to war and peace. Their influences include civil rights activist (and Sojourners contributing editor) Vincent Harding, who has a cameo in their newest music video...

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Paul Newman's Lesser-Known Legacy

With the passing of Hollywood legend Paul Newman, there is a significant legacy that many in the mainstream media are unaware of.
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The Legacy of Wartime Slurs

I thought our culture had no more use for wartime curses. Granted, my sophisticated analysis is nothing more than noticing if people are calling me any names, until I realized
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Lakeview Terrace: Somewhat Thoughtful Thriller

The number one film at the U.S. box office this past weekend was Lakeview Terrace, Neil La Bute's somewhat thoughtful thriller in which an LAPD officer harasses his new neighbors; the cop is black, the neighbors are an inter-racial couple. If the ethnic identities were switched, the film might never have been made; and if it had, it would have been a far less interesting film -
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Fomenting a Fair Trade Chocolate Revolution

During a recent trip to Seattle, I took a tour of Theo Chocolate, the first and only organic and fair trade chocolate factory in the United States.
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Randy Newman's Harps and Angels and the Fall of the American Empire

Randy Newman might be surprised to see himself mentioned on a progressive spirituality blog. In his five decades of making music that is alternately brilliantly satirical and elegant (and sometimes both), he hasn't often smiled on religion or religious people. In spite of his skepticism about spirituality, he also has written some of the most beautiful love songs I've ever [...]

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Ordinary Radicals Film Premieres Sept. 4

On Sept. 4, I'm going to Philadelphia to attend the premiere of The Ordinary Radicals, a documentary directed and produced by Jamie Moffett, co-founder of The Simple Way. The trailer gives a sense of this project.

While I can't speak for the others who were interviewed for this film, I felt my role was to serve as a cheerleader [...]

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The Dark Knight: A Tribute to George W. Bush?

The Dark Knight, unlike many summer blockbusters, is actually an astonishing movie -- a stunning fusion of craft and entertainment, which manages to be both gripping in an edge-of-your seat fashion, and philosophically interesting. It's a violent film in which none of the brutality is played for the audience's pleasure, and although it's a comic book story, it takes place in a [...]

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Rene Marie's National Anthem Controversy (Good Art Gives -- but Doesn't Always Sell; part 2, by Melvin Bray)

[... continued from part one]

Rene MarieAnd that is my back door into discussing the recent exploits of Rene Marie, an artist based in Denver, Colorado. (I wanted you to understand my presuppositions and how I define my terms.) Rene Marie was [...]

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Tina Beattie on The New Atheists (interview by Becky Garrison)

The New Atheists: The Twilight of Reason and the War on ReligionBecky Garrison recently e-mailed Tina Beattie, author of

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