miley cyrus

Seven Deadly Sins: A Playlist


Rolling in the Deep — Adele
Mama Said Knock You Out — LL Cool J
Lazy Song — Bruno Mars
Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler — Pink Martini
Rich Girl — Gwen Stefani ft Eve
I Want It All — Queen
Eat It — Weird Al Yankovich
Can’t Stop — Miley Cyrus
I Want You to Want Me — Letters to Cleo/10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack
I’m Sexy and I Know It — LMFAO
I’m the Best (clean version) — Nicki Minaj
Devil Went Down To Georgia — Charlie Daniels Band
Jessie’s Girl — Rick Springfield
Dancing on My Own — Robyn

Year of the Woman


Malala Yousafzai’s quiet strength was in sharp contrast to the “sexual freedom” claimed by Cyrus and Beyonce JStone/Shutterstock

The year 2013 may well come to be known as the Year of the Woman.

Women of high socio-economic status both applauded and lamented the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, while women of a certain age waxed nostalgic over the 50th anniversary release of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. Those under 30 were surprised that the latter book existed, and those in their middle years realized the reading assignment that somewhat bored them as inapplicable in college was now vitally important, as they struggled with work/life balance and debated whether to stay home with the kids or remain in the paid workforce.

The “mommy wars” raged, and were fueled by controversial statements and work policies by women in positions of leadership. Stay-at-home moms and paycheck-earning moms stared one another down across a divide narrower than they realized, and bloggers everywhere called for a united female front.

Pope Francis Tops Facebook’s List of Most-Talked-About Topics

Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

Pope Francis greets the crowd in St. Peter’s Square. Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

ROME — It’s official, but no big surprise: Pope Francis is now the most-talked-about person on Facebook, according to information released Dec. 10 by the social media giant.

Pope Francis took the top spot, followed closely by Royal Baby George.

Miley Cyrus’ Contribution to Feminism

Miley Cyrus at the 2012 VMAs, s_bukley /

Miley Cyrus at the 2012 VMAs, s_bukley /

Ever since the most recent MTV Video Music Awards aired, there has been a breathless competition online to see who can be more offended by Miley Cyrus’ highly sexualized performance. Yes, I watched it, and yes, much of it made me pretty uncomfortable. It was hard for me not to imagine my own daughter a dozen or so years from now, longing to replicate the gyrations and sexual gestures of another – but similarly overt – pop idol.

Basically, it was lowest-common-denominator entertainment: hardly anything new in the music industry. Madonna did as much and then some decades ago, so why is this particular incident such a big deal?

For one thing, one of the most lurid moments of the performance had her grinding in a compromising position with a married man nearly twice her age. Interesting, though, that the criticisms of Miley online have far outweighed those of Robin Thicke, the married man in question who participated in said grinding. Suffice it to say that women historically have been held to different standards of sexual expression than men, and when in doubt, blame the woman. Not that her dance was appropriate, but it tells us more about ourselves when we obsess about the shenanigans of the young woman than the borderline adulterous displays of a much older man.

Weekly Wrap 8.30.13: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Watch Martin Luther King, Jr. Go on 'Meet the Press' in 1963
As part of NBC News' look back ''Remembering the Dream,'' David Gregory takes us back to 1963, when Martin Luther King, Jr., was preparing for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

2.  The Ethics of Syrian Military Intervention: The Experts Respond
Religion News Service asked a panel of theologians and policy experts whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria in light of the regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. Would the “Just War” doctrine justify U.S. military action, and what is America’s moral responsibility?

3. The Women Who Sang Out for Civil Rights
"In our day and age, when young women make the news for singing and performing in vulgar, suggestive, and less than life-giving ways, the anniversary of the march is—among many things—a much needed reminder of the transforming power and legacy that women can have with their voices and with song," Enuma Okoro writes for Christianity Today's Her.Meneutics blog.

4. When Miley Cyrus and I Were at Church
"There is no place for finger-pointing by people who hide their sins in privacy at those that broadcast their mistakes to the world." David Moore at Fuller Theological Seminary's The Burner Blog puts judgey Christian bloggers in their place with this piece on Miley Cyrus' VMA performance heard 'round the world. 

5. How Poverty Taxes the Brain
Emily Badger at The Atlantic Cities points to an interesting new study on brain capacity and poverty. One chilling statistic: "the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults."

6. Seeking Nonviolent Solutions in Syria
Writing in the July issue of Sojourners magazine, David Cortright outlined reasons why the U.S. should avoid military intervention in Syria. 

7. Seamus Heaney: 10 Best Poems
Irish Poet Seamus Heaney died in Dublin on Friday at the age of 74. The Telegraph compiled a list of his best works. 

8. Hurricane Michele Bachmann? Groups Hope to Name Storms After Climate Change Deniers
From Alex Brown at National Journal: a new petition from Project Name Change and 350+ Action Fund is asking the World Meteorological Organization  to change naming conventions to shame Congress members, like Sen. James Inhofe, who deny climate change — hoping for future weather reports like: "Marco Rubio is expected to pound the Eastern Seaboard."

9. The Winners in Immigration Control: Private Prisons
Aubrey Pringle at The Atlantic shines light on one big force behind anti-immigration reform efforts: the private prison lobby, which, according to the article, has shelled out $1 million on lobbying so far this year.

10. Kid President Explains It All. 
The latest installment from everyone's favorite child president shows more ways to make the world awesome. "EVERYONE DESERVES A PARADE."

Miley Cyrus, the VMAs, Sex, and Moral Outrage

I didn’t watch the Video Music Awards last night, but this morning I noticed that Miley Cyrus is getting all the attention.

Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe gives voice to the moral outrage that many are feeling. She just couldn’t stop lambasting Miley for her performance:

That was really, really disturbing … That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed … probably has an eating disorder … That was disgusting and embarrassing … I feel terrible … That was really, really bad. They [MTV] should be ashamed of themselves … She is a mess … I don’t want to see that ever again on this show … It was pathetic.

Well, Mika’s vehemence intrigued me, so I found the video on YouTube and watched it. It's bad. Awkward might the best word I can find to describe her performance, and it only became more awkward when Robin Thicke joined her onstage. Then it became awkward and demeaning. And I was instantly reminded of why I don’t watch the VMAs.