the Weekly Town Crier

London's Town Crier copyWhy hello there. How are you? How was your week? Open any good cans of worms? I mean, come on, what fun is life unless you really think deeply about issues and discuss them with people who might disagree with you? Don’t we all get better when we humble ourselves to consider other people’s opinions?

I mean, something weird and unexpected and less preachy.

Welcome to the Weekly Town Crier. This is where I collect links I found interesting throughout the week. I pass them along for your consideration and then we come back to discuss. It’s all really good fun when you think about it.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Visit our family blog: “The Thomas Ten.”

Browse Large Hearted Boy‘s list of “100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads.”

It’s the most wonderful time of year: year-end list time!

  • Browse American Songwriter’s picks for the “Top 50 Albums of 2015.”
  • Browse Design Week’s picks for their favorite album covers.
  • Browse Flavorwire‘s picks for “The 50 Best Independent Press Books of 2015.”
  • Browse as the KEXP DJ’s make their picks.
  • Browse as Pandora reveals the top 100 “thumbed up” songs of 2015.
  • Browse Piccadilly Records‘s choices.
  • Browse Rough Trade‘s picks for their favorite albums of the year.
  • Browse Stereogum‘s picks for their favorite new bands of 2015.

Browse other random lists:

  • Browse Dazed‘s picks for “Ten artists you should be listening to in 2016.”
  • Browse NME‘s picks for the “100 Best Songs Of The 00s.”
  • Browse Pitchfork‘s 2015 Holiday gift guide.

Listen to Amazon‘s playlist: “Indie For The Holidays.”

  • Browse The Portland Press Herald‘s list of “Five Christmas albums that pluck heartstrings without fraying nerves.”
  • Download “Relevants” Christmas playlist.

Read as Christianity Today asks four questions to determine: “What Is an Evangelical?”

See “Rock Stars And Their Cars” at NME.

Read as BBC reports on a new trend in British law enforcement/civil rights: “Subculture abuse classed as hate crime.”

Read as NPR wonders “Why Do Young People Like Socialism More Than Older People Do?”

Watch Tony Hawk skate the first ever horizontal loop.

See a map of America’s favorite swear words by region.

Read/listen to NPR’s profile of Sam Phillips: “The Man And The Mistakes That ‘Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll’.”

Read FACT”s report: “Wu-Tang Clan have sold Once Upon A Time in Shaolin to a “private American collector” for a price “in the millions.”

Read the Daily Beast‘s report: “Your ‘Craft’ Rye Whiskey Is Probably From a Factory Distillery in Indiana.”

Oregon joins Northern California state parks in offering free entrance on Black Friday.

Learn from Paste‘s suggestions: “How to Sleep in Your Car (with Pictures).”

Read “True Myth,” Pitchfork‘s conversation with Sufjan Stevens.

Read as Salon considers “Thomas Jefferson vs. the Bible: What America’s founding father really thought about religion.”

Read Rolling Stone‘s piece: “Pope Francis Calls Christmas ‘A Charade’: ‘The Whole World Is at War’.”

Last week belonged to A Tribe Called Quest. Apparently, this week belongs to Star Wars:

  • See “A Japanese Star Wars knock-off almost as weird as the original.”
  • Ever wonder “What It Would Look Like If David Lynch Directed Star Wars”?
  • Read Boing Boing‘s piece: “Alan Moore‘s brilliantly bonkers lost 1980sStar Wars comics.” Have you seen them?
  • Read as George Lucas says: “I’m done with ‘Star Wars'”.

Remember “When Meth Was an Antidepressant?

  • Do you know “How LSD Microdosing Became the Hot New Business Trip”?
  • Read as Boing Boing considers “Microdoses of LSD and mushrooms as an alternative to Adderall (or coffee!)”

Read Pitchfork‘s piece: “Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy Working on Memoir.”

Read Alana Massey’s beautifully written piece: “Theological Scars”.

Read The New Yorker‘s Piece: “Unfollow: How a prized daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church came to question its beliefs.”

Read as The Washington Post considers: “NPR is graying, and public radio is worried about it.”

Read FACT‘s piece: “The biggest album of all time is now intrinsically worthless” and download Michael Jackson‘s Thriller for free in the process.

Read AV Club‘s report: “Innocence ends for good as Winnie The Pooh’s skull goes on display.”

Browse as the New York Public Library recommends “31 Bookish, Brainy, Beautiful Blogs for Readers.”

Browse LitReactor‘s picks for “10 Albums Based on Books and Literature.”

Browse Time‘s suggestions for “The 12 Worst Habits for Your Mental Health.”

Browse The Telegraph‘s picks for “The 10 most overrated films of all time.” What do you think?

Ever wonder “How to make facial hair grow faster”? Browse these “tips, tricks and myths”?

See  the “Amish man wearing his full traditional clothing” who “clocks great time in marathon.”

Read The Atlantic‘s piece: “Donald Trump Threatens Religious Liberty.”

  • Read Boing  Boing‘s report: “Donald Trump confirms, then denies, his father’s arrest at a KKK rally.”
  • Read as CNN considers “Why some conservatives say Trump talk is fascist.”

Meet “the man who’s been photographing David Bowie for 40 years.”

  • Trace David Bowie’s musical evolution through his hair.”

These portraits show the dramatic effect of good lighting on changing perceptions of people’s appearances.”

Meet the “Florida cop fired for joining a death metal band on stage.”

Browse Paste‘s picks for “7 Thanksgiving Beers Without Pumpkin.”

  • Browse SF Gate‘s list of “11 beers you think are craft but have ties to big breweries.”

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that John Carpenter is developing four shows for TV.

Consider “The Uphill Battle for International Acts Touring in America.”

See “The Entire History of ‘Doctor Who’ Illustrated as a Tapestry.”

Read as NPR considers “Justin Timberlake And The AC/DC Rule.”

Read Rolling Stone‘s report: “Robert Carlyle Talks ‘Trainspotting 2′”

Read as Hypebeast considers “Are Expensive Running Shoes Really Better for You?”

Read as Sojourners considers “Pixar‘s New Film Takes Gamble on Hindu Theme.”

Read as Apple Music’s “Jimmy Iovine thinks finding music is too difficult for some women.”

Read as Christianity Today considers “What ‘The Hunger Games‘ Taught Three Millennials.”

Read Rolling Stone‘s report: “Tom Petty to Curate Own SiriusXM Channel.”

Read as The Atlantic considers why it’s so difficult to know who really writes pop music hits.

Browse Flavorwire‘s picks for “10 Perfect Books to Cozy Up to As You Cook, Eat, and Drink This Thanksgiving.”

Read Paste‘s report: “Frank Miller on Dark Knight IV Details: “It’s none of your damn business.”

Read NPR‘s report: “Evangelical Groups Tell Political Leaders: ‘Jesus Was A Refugee'”

  • Read NPR’s piece: “What Does the Bible Say About Refugees? Depends Who You Ask.”
  • See the photo series “Where Syrian Refugee Children Sleep.”
  • Ever wonder “How ISIS Got Its Flag”?
  • Read as “Stephen Colbert cleverly points out the obvious Christian flaws in the GOP’s opposition to Syrian refugees” according to The Week.
  • Read as NPR offers “4 Things To Know About The Vetting Process For Syrian Refugees.”
  • Browse “What The 2016 Candidates Would Do About ISIS, In One Chart.”
  • Read as Slate wonders: “Why Are People So Scared of Syrian Refugees?”
  • Read the CATO Institute‘s report: “Syrian Refugees Don’t Pose a Serious Security Threat.”
  • Read as The Washington Post considers something apparently no one has ever thought of before: “Want to stop Islamic terrorism? Be nicer to Muslims.”

Read as The Gospel Coalition considers “One Trait that Set Apart the Earliest Christians.”

R.I.P. The Microsoft Zune.

R.I.P. “Cynthia Robinson, Trumpeter and Co-Founder of Sly and the Family Stone.’

See “The nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno recreated in Lego.”

  • See “12 Works of Literature Recreated in LEGO.”

Meet “A bookstore built on a concept: 100 of the world’s most engaging people each choose their top 10 “desert island” books.”

Browse Time‘s list of “10 Things Millennials Won’t Spend Money On.”

Browse “17 Books Everyone Should Read, According to Bill Gates” at Time magazine.

Read as Justin Taylor considers “What To Do If You Are Offended or Confused by Flannery O’Connor‘s Stories,” because it’s going to happen at some point.

Browse “The FOODBEAST Guide to In-N-Out Burger’s Menu Hacks.”

See “The best way to explain to your kid why there’s a limit on “screen time.”

Read Stereogum‘s piece about the Pogues‘ Shane MacGowan’s Dental Work that’s Coming This Christmas.

Read as The Washington Post considers: “Is Stephen Colbert too liberal for his own (ratings’) good?”

Read Consequence of Sound‘s opinion piece “Why holograms are the future of live entertainment.”

Read as Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke says the British government tried to bribe him.

See “The pen that can mimic every colour in the world.”

Read as Smithsonian considers “Why a Yam Is Not a Sweet Potato.”

Read as The Atlantic wonders “Why Affluent Parents Put So Much Pressure on Their Kids.”

Read Boing Boing‘s report: “LAX to build terminal exclusively for celebrities and generic, boring rich people.”

See “55 Vintage Book Covers Brought to Life.”

Read NME‘s report that Ringo Starr will auction the “first-ever copy of The Beatles‘ ‘White Album‘ ”

Preview Eagles Of Death Metal’s First Interview About Paris Terrorist Attack.”

Read Salon‘s piece: ““It’s unacceptable to give religious privilege only to those who believe in the supernatural”: The Satanic Temple challenges the religious right.”

See illustrations that “perfectly capture what real love looks like.”

Consider with Noisey “How Freaks and Geeks Predicted Our Adult Personalities.”

Browse “The John Waters Guide to Holiday Party Etiquette.”

Read Christianity Today‘s report: “How 1,000 Women Who Aborted Feel About the Local Church.”

Read The Guardian‘s profile of Public Enemy’s Chuck D.

Browse Noisey‘s picks for the “Ten Strangest Bands From TV.”

Consider “A Brief History of the Government Suppressing Music” at Noisey.

Revisit David Lynch’s Twin Peaks-themed Japanese coffee ads from the 90s.”

Read NME‘s report that Morrissey has proof his record label blocked the release of a single in honor of the Paris attacks.

Read AZ Central‘s report that hosting the Super Bowl was a flop for Glendale, AZ.

Browse this list of 16 People Sharing “The Best Thing They’ve Ever Heard A Child Say”

See “3D Printing Classical Paintings for the Blind.”

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that “John Frusciante just gave away a boatload of music for free download.”

See “New Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” at Lost at E Minor.

Hear the previously unreleased demo for R.E.M.’s classic track “Fall On Me”.

Read about the Georgia sheriff who paid out of his own pocket to place a sign urging people offended by right-wing-whack-jobism to not visit his town. OK.

Read about the artist who has created a “synthesizer using his own stem cells.”

Read Time‘s report: “Watches Are Bad Investments—With One Notable Exception.”

See Colossal‘s post: “Art Meets Cartography: The 15,000-Year History of a River in Oregon Rendered in Data.”

Read as Noisey considers “How A Kid Running An Obscure Music Forum Became The Target of the UK’s Biggest Ever Piracy Case.”

the Weekly Town Crier

Town CrierSo there I was, knee-deep in the fog and quagmire and you’ll never guess what I came across . . .

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, here are a bunch of link that I have found interesting for one reason or another. You may or may not find them as equally interesting. That’s your problem, not mine.

Whatever. Links. Interesting. You get it. Or then again maybe you don’t. Either way you don’t have to be rude about it.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Visit our family blog: “The Thomas Ten.”

Browse Large Hearted Boy’s list of “100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads.”

It’s the most wonderful time of year: year-end list time!

  • Browse Design Week’s picks for their favorite album covers.
  • Browse Rough Trade‘s picks for their favorite albums of the year.
  • Browse Stereogum‘s picks for their favorite new bands of 2015.

Read as Noisey offers: “How to Show Off Your Great Taste in Music With a Perfect Year-End List.”

Understand “Socialism Vs. Capitalism” according to The Onion.

Browse Noisey‘s list of “The 25 Albums Found at the Bottom of Every Used CD Bin.”

Apparently, this is A Tribe Called Quest’s week:

See North Korean interiors that look “Suspiciously like a Wes Anderson Film Set.”

Read a consideration of “Why Science Needs Metaphysics.”

See “Disturbing Vintage Medical Illustrations.”

Consider Ozy‘s piece: “What If Cancer Simply Can’t Be Cured?”

Read The Guardian‘s profile of The Melvins.

See “The Daily Life of Darth Vader.”

Read Paste‘s report that Kurt Vonnegut‘s Cat’s Cradle will be made into an FX miniseries by TV’s Fargo creator.

Watch as Alan Moore gives advice to unpublished writers.

Read Christianity Today‘s report: “Evangelicals Lag Behind Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses on Church Involvement.”

Inspired by REI, California State Parks Free on Black Friday.”

Read BBC Earth‘s report: “We Know The City Where HIV First Emerged.”

Read as The Atlantic considers why so many men do not seem to like funny women.

Read the Atlantic‘s report that men overeat in front of women to impress them.

Read Clickhole‘s piece: “Jim Henson’s Newly Discovered Journal Reveals The Muppets’ Fascinating Backstory.”

Read AV Club‘s profile of Malcolm In The Middle.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that Val Kilmer is confirmed for Top Gun 2.

Find out “How to Build a Home Climbing Wall.”

Read “Relevant’s” piece: “Horror’s Most Influential Filmmaker Is a Committed Christian.”

Read about the Dad  who “Found a Wonderful Use for Restaurants’ Leftover Crayons.”

Read The Wire‘s piece: “The Most Likely Person to Read a Book? A College-Educated Black Woman.”

See advent calendars for book lovers.

Read as Vogue considers Instagram’s impact on book sales.

Browse this list of “10 Reasons Not To Read American Books On Leadership.”

Read as The Guardian profiles (the artist once again known as) Prince.

Listen to Marc Maron interview Elvis Costello.

Hear Bob Dylan‘s phone calls.

Read Christianity Today‘s piece: “Christian Community Doesn’t Require Our Blind Trust.”

Read The Guardian’s report: “‘Young earth’ creationists making $90m full-scale ark to ‘bring the Bible to life'”

Read Okay Player‘s report: “Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins National Book Award For ‘Between The World And Me.

Read as NPR considers “Does It Pay To Pay Teachers $100,000?”

Read as Time considers the 30th anniversary of Calvin and Hobbes.

Read AV Club‘s piece: “Calvin And Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child.”

Read as AV Club considers “How iTunes is increasingly alienating actual music nerds.”

Read as the New York Times wonders how those penny book sellers on Amazon make any money.

Read Slate‘s piece: “An Oral History of the Nerdier Half of Freaks and Geeks.”

Watch a macro video of how a ballpoint pen rolls across the paper.”

Read about the “Unseen Charlotte Brontë story and poem discovered.”

Browse “7 Southern murder ballads and outlaw folk songs based on true stories.”

Browse Paste‘s picks for “The 12 Best Neko Case Songs.” What are your picks? And read Rolling Stone‘s profile of Neko.

Read about “Wes Anderson’s Love Affair with Literature.”

Read/listen to NPR’s piece on a “New Album Of Previously Unheard Jeff Buckley Recordings.”

Read/listen to NPR’s profile of Stan Lee.

Browse The Phoenix New Times‘s picks for “The 25 Best Songs About Metro Phoenix.”

Read as Entertainment Weekly considers “The surprising similarities between Dostoevsky and Vonnegut.”

Browse Design Weekly‘s picks for “The 50 best record sleeves of 2015.”

Browse Paste‘s picks for “10 Country Albums For People Who Don’t Like Country.”

See “Artist John Bisbee’s Life of Sculpting with Nails.”

Read as “President Obama reassures anxious nation that he’s not the singer from Korn.”

Read as “Kendrick Lamar imbues a root vegetable with literary meaning” at AV Club.

Read “The story of the surgery that made Ben Carson famous — and its complicated aftermath.”

Browse the Art of Manliness’ tips for “How to Be an Awesome Uncle.”

Read Flavorwire‘s piece: “Aziz Ansari and Mindy Kaling Have Very Different Approaches to Indian Identity — and There’s Room for Both.”

Read about “The reason the Star Wars movies were released 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3.”

Read NME‘s piece: “Paul McCartney says John Lennon‘s ‘whole life was a cry for help’.”

Read as “A Psychologist Faces Her Own Anxiety.”

See “every Harry Potter move reenacted with kittens.”

Read “12 People On The Kindest Thing A Stranger Ever Said To Them.”

See Hayao Miyazaki‘s Princess Mononoke remixed as an 8-bit video game. See Studio Ghibli Characters as traditional Japanese wood-cuts.

Read as Alister McGrath guest blogs for NPR: “Like It Or Not, We May Be ‘Meaning Junkies.'”

See the “Unnerving Photos Depicting Our Obsession with Digital Devices” by French artist Antoine Geiger.

Browse “7 Artists Who Paint with Everything (Except Paint)” at The Creator’s Project.

Meet the Artist Behind the Eiffel Tower Peace Sign” at Slate.

Read: “Chance, By Design: The Scientific Concept of Randomness Is Consistent With Divine Providence” at First Things.

Read as The Atlantic considers “When Empathy Becomes a Meme.”

Read as The New Yorkers asks: “Can Reading Make You Happier?”

Read The Telegraph‘s piece: Art does heal: scientists say appreciating creative works can fight off disease.”

Browse Noisey‘s list of “11 Albums That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.”

Read “Copyfraud: Anne Frank Foundation claims father was “co-author,” extends copyright by decades” at Boing Boing.

Read Smithsonian‘s report that “Whisky Grains and Coffee Grounds Could Help Clean up Nuclear Waste.”

Read Paste‘s piece: “Trying to Understand ISIS? You Need to Read These Six Stories.”

Read The Art of Manliness‘s piece: “How to Handle Being Out of Your Depth: 6 Tips from a Con Man.”

Read about the Memento re-make we’ve already forgotten about.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that Ryan Gosling has been confirmed for the Blade Runner sequel.

Read The Atlantic‘s report: “Exercise Is ADHD Medication.”

Read BBC‘s report: “Anonymous ‘declares war’ on Islamic State.”

Read Mother Jones‘s profile: “Yo La Tengo Is Here for the Long Haul.”

Read Sojourners‘ piece: “Beyond Bathrooms: Christians Need to Get a Clue on Transgender Issues.”

Do you know: “What are the seven wonders of the world?”

See “How Shia LaBeouf Reacted to Every One of His Movies” at Slate.

See “All the Bacteria Growing on a Child’s Hand.”

Browse 22 Words‘s list of “37 Embarrassing Things People Wish They Had Learned a Bit Sooner.”

See at The Creator’s Project: “Street Artist Paints Murals onto Melting Icebergs.”

Read Reuters‘s report that Anonymous has declared war on ISIS.

See all 82 of the failed businesses next door to Bob’s Burgers.

Watch the Second Democratic Debate in Under Four Minutes.”

Read as Sessions X considers “Why CBGB Was Insanely Important.”

See coconut lamps.

Read as Slate wonders “Does Apple Still Deserve Its Reputation for Brilliant Design?”

Read ProPublica‘s piece: “What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much”.

Read Rolling Stone‘s report that the Star Wars movies will apparently last forever.

Read Colossal‘s piece: “Artwork is Work, Supporting the Arts Means Paying the Artists.”

Read Newsweek‘s report: “Coffee Lowers Overall Risk of Death by 15 Percent, Study Says.”

Read about the “transdimensional” thief who claims to have traveled to another dimension and brought back an unreleased album by the Beatles.

Read as VinePair considers whether or not the craft beer bubble is about to burst.

Read/Listen as Christian McBride compares bassists to football’s offensive line.

Why I Cannot Reconcile Mixed Martial Arts With Christianity

violence-preventionI often have to repent of being rather contrarian. I sometimes find pleasure in being the odd man out, in thinking differently and it’s oftentimes driven by arrogance. But I’ve got something bothering me; an issue which I seem to view differently than many other Christians. And rarely has it left me so unsettled as this week when my Facebook feed was filled with photos and videos of two women beating each other up in the name of sport.

I know there are many Christians who love and even practice mixed martial arts but I simply cannot reconcile the two. In fact, I do not believe that they can be reconciled. Let me explain.

While there are many verses we might consider, I think that much of the Bible’s position might be summarized by Psalm 11:5: “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” This alone should give us pause because it does not simply say that God hates violence but the one who loves violence.

And there is no escaping it: MMA is sanctioned violence. Yes, I understand the arguments about how it promotes self-discipline, perseverance and all around grit. I even understand the argument that it is safer than boxing and that it is, after all, a sport. It is not street violence and it involves highly trained professionals. But it is still violence and I just don’t see any way around that. I also realize that I am calling in to question all full-contact sports and, though I am OK with that, for today I want to reserve my comments to MMA.

I am not sure that I am a pacifist and I understand that the Bible does not outright ban all violence. In fact, the story of God’s people is filled with violence, some of it commanded by God Himself. Yet that violence always had a purpose. MMA is violence for the sake of entertainment, glory and money. This is violence without any redemptive value. Violence as entertainment should not be accepted by Christians no matter how “skilled” the participants or how great their athleticism.

After all, how does one “win” an MMA match? Two fighters enter the octagon and fight until the referee deems that one has taken enough beating, someone is knocked out or simply gives up. The fights may not be “to the death” but how is this very far removed from the days of gladiators?

What’s more is that, in the race to make MMA and Christianity to be seen as somehow compatible, many Christian fighters (the very fact that we call them fighters means that we recognize that the sport cannot be separated from violence, even if it is consensual) citing verses like Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” in their victories. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the Apostle Paul did not mean for pummeling someone into submission as part of the “all things” Christ strengthens His followers to do.

I am not a pacifist. I believe in variations of just war theory. I own guns. I understand that there may be times in life when violence is unavoidable. Police, soldiers and others may have to partake in violence because it is unavoidable. But MMA is avoidable violence. Christians must choose to participate or support MMA. They must make a conscious choice that this form of violence is compatible with their faith in the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) while Proverbs 3:31 tells us to avoid the ways of the man of violence.

Jesus told His followers to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) rather than retaliate and Jesus blessed the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). Psalm 17:4 tells us that the words of God lead us away from violence, not towards it. Elsewhere, Proverbs tells us that it is the the “treacherous” who desire violence (Proverbs 13:2). Jesus tells us to live at peace with one another (Mark 9:50) Zechariah tells us that Jesus will guide His people in the “path of peace” (Luke 1:79). Paul says equates not knowing God with also not knowing the way of peace (Romans 3:17) and that God calls His people to the way of peace (1 Corinthians 7:15) while the writer to the Hebrews tells us to “strive for peace” (Hebrews 7:14). I understand that these verses are about war, murder, disunity and the like but I think their trajectory is clear: to follow Jesus means to pursue peace.

MMA, though consensual and certainly involving great skill, is simply sanctioned violence. All arguments in its defense must at some point explain how it is not violent. I see this as the central issue and I simply cannot reconcile a God who prompts me to peace with taking in violence as entertainment. In the end, it’s about trying to reconcile our cultural intake as much as possible with seeking out peace rather than violence.

I know many Christians, follow, support and participate in MMA. I would love to hear from you as long as you don’t beat me up over mine.

Refugees, Terror Threats and Seeking the Path of Peace

800px-Entering_Arizona_on_I-10_WestboundIn response to the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris this past weekend, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently joined the chorus of elected officials trying to block the incoming flow of refugees.

As a citizen of Arizona, Ducey does not speak for me on this issue. In fact, his actions have prompted some thoughts.

I am not an elected official, much less governor. But I am a Daddy to eight children and I know what it means to want to protect them. But I have come to learn that what I think is best in protecting them may not always be what’s best to help them grow in to being responsible, loving adults.

I understand Governor Ducey’s reaction. But that’s exactly what it is, a reaction. It is reactionary. Reactions can be thoughtful But most of the time they are not, they are rushed and rarely get to the heart of the issue at hand. And the more I think about Governor Ducey’s statement, I can’t help but filter it through my own faith and how that faith would prompt me to react.

My faith prompts me to bless others because of the blessings I have received.

My faith pushes me to consider others as more important than myself. Yes, I might get hurt. Yes, it will most likely cost me but my faith enters into serving others with full awareness that I might get hurt and that it will cost. That’s what love is.

My faith dictates that I am not the arbiter of who deserves help and who does not. My faith pushes me to help, to seek the better, not primarily for myself but for others, even my enemies.

My faith demands that I seek the welfare of the disenfranchised, care for widows and orphans, clothe the naked, feed the poor and shelter refugees and seek the path of peace.

My faith says to meet hate with love, to somehow diffuse violence with love.

My faith casts out fear rather than being ruled by it.

My faith strives for peace and orbits around reconciliation.

My faith does not make sense and sometimes feels next to impossible to live out in real life, especially when wondering how a government ought to respond to terrorism.

You may not share my faith but surely you can agree that violence only begets violence. Hatred and fear boil over, dissolving reason. Retaliation knows no end. Rejecting others because we “might get hurt” only leads to separation and separation never sprouts unity. Disunity fosters ignorance. Fear plus ignorance equals . . . Nothing good.

While I understand that my faith does not dictate government policy, I at least want to live somewhere that is known for valuing people, rather than rejecting them. I don’t know how to do this other than to urge my elected officials to rise above fear mongering and do my best to love others. That seems like as good a place to start as any.

Is Pastoral Aspiration Permanent? What Happens If It’s Not?

a-preacher-in-blackI used to be a pastor. Generally speaking, it was something I loved doing. I was exhilerated when, through my equipping, believers began to not only take responsibility for their own spiritual well-being but also for those around them (Ephesians 4:11-13; Galatians 6:1-2, etc.). I love teaching, preaching, discipleship, counseling and leadership development. In many ways, it was my dream job and I’d love to do it again some day. But after ten years of pouring out our lives for others, our church’s needs shifting from visionary to implementation and some major family changes, I resigned.

I would not say that I had reached “burnout” (a topic I’d like to write more about soon, especially considering the stigma of spiritual failure and the spiritual machismo surrounding the idea. But more on that later.). In fact, part of the reason I resigned when I did was to protect myself and my church family from burnout. There were, of course, many factors that led to the decision to resign but they may all be summed up simply by saying that I didn’t want to elder at that time in my life.

This isn’t something many pastors talk about. In fact, you’re led to believe that your’e somehow selfish or that your faith must be in question if you entertain the idea. But I think it is something Paul himself understood deeply. When introducing the characteristics of spiritual leaders (overseer, elder, bishop, pastor, etc.) Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:1: “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer.”

A lot of time is often spent on the idea of “aspiring” to the office of elder when men go through whatever their local church’s process to become an elder might be. A lot of time is spent talking about the difficulties that lie ahead; almost trying to talk the potential elder out of it. Are you sure? And this is good. There might sometimes be people who, though they might possess the right characteristics, simply don’t want to serve as an elder in a local church. Someone taking on the task of caring for other people’s souls should do so wide-eyed and they should certainly want to do it because, though incredibly rewarding, it can also be incredibly difficult.

What seems to be discussed less is the question of whether or not this aspiration is permanent? Just because someone had that aspiration at one point in their life, is it simply assumed that they want to continue indefinitely? Is this something that should be gauged at regular intervals and if so, how? Some churches impose “term limits” on their elders and have a rotating board of elders but I’m not sure that designated periods of time are necessarily the best option.

Complicating the issue is the fact that this “aspiration” is certainly tied to one’s spiritual health, but it is not correct to simply say that if someone does not wish to serve as an elder then their spirituality is not healthy. And yet, there is a sense of guilt often experienced by those who realize that, for whatever reason, they don’t want to serve at that time of life.

I wish I had some practical answers to wrap up with but I don’t. These are issues I’ve been wrestling with for over a year now. What I have concluded is that, in many cases, we need to be more sensitive to those in leadership. It is a very difficult thing when your job is tied to your spirituality. It can be really hard when your job is to care for people who will often criticize the way you try to serve them. How can we make sure that our leaders are there because they want to be?

What if it were as simple as our leaders being approachable and open and people treating them as real people; with care? What if it were as simple as our leaders being humble enough to realize that there might be seasons to leadership and the best way to lead is sometimes to get out of the way? We need to make it easier for those in spiritual to be real people.

I don’t regret my decision to resign and I think it was the right time to resign when I did. But after nearly a year away from vocational ministry, the call to serve in that capacity is returning and I’m trying to make sense of it all. In some ways after this break, I “aspire” to serve more than ever. But what about those who are struggling? How can we be sensitive to those who may be second-guessing? How can we encourage those to stay who should and give freedom to those who realize that it is not their time in life to serve in that capacity?

I’d love your thoughts.


the Weekly Town Crier

Town CrierWell howdy do Scooby Doo? What’s up Buttercup? Hope to sure by golly that you’re having a heckuva day. If not, why not? What’s got you so blue, Sue? Turn that frown upside down. Because, you know, things aren’t usually as bad as they seem. Except for then they are. Then that sucks. I’m sorry for you. Is there anything I can do to help?

In the meantime, here are a bunch of links I’ve found interesting. Maybe that will help? Maybe not. Either way.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Visit our family blog: “The Thomas Ten.”

See the first pictures from the set of the new Clash biopic.

Ever wonder how much the Pentagon paid your favorite sports team for its patriotism?

See the personal tattoo machine.

R.I.P. Gunnar Hansen, the Original Leatherface from ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’.

R.I.PAllen Toussaint.

R.I.PMotörhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor.

See “Fordite: a rare mineral only found in old Detroit auto-painting facilities.”

Browse Phoenix New Times‘s picks for the 20 best kids’ movies of all time.

Browse “A History Of Insane Art Prices.”

Watch David Lynch perform ‘Polish Night Music” with Marek Zebrowski.

Read Laughing Squid‘s report that Youtube has released an app dedicated solely to music.

Read/listen as NPR considers the process of editing tracks for airplay.

Read as The Atlantic urges: “Study Theology, Even If You Don’t Believe in God.”

Read about the woman who “shredded $1 million before death to spite relatives”.

Read as Trevin Wax asks Christians: “Does Your Facebook Rant “Honor Everyone?”

See an art instillation made from thousands of dead bugs.

Read The AV Club‘s report: “Sony to stop making Betamax tapes decades after everyone thought it did.”

Read as “Talib Kweli reviews Pitchfork‘s review of Talib Kweli.”

Follow “The Strange Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe‘s Hair” at Atlas Obscura.

Watch “Veterans Talking About How They Felt About Killing Someone.”

Browse as 20 musicians pick their favorite music memoirs.

Read/listen as Gordon Lightfoot tells Steve Earle  how/why he “wrote The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Browse this visual collection of 15 beautiful turntables.

Read as U2‘s Larry Mullen says ‘the music industry is broken’.

Learn how to make a “terrarium in a coffee pot.”

See “Typewriter portraiture.”

See Bill Nye get gritty Photoshop makeovers.

Listen to “Steve Albini and Ian MacKaye Interview Each Other.”

Browse Time‘s list of “The 5 Things Your Kids Will Remember About You.”

See “Willy Wonka cast members reunited after 43 years.”

Peep The Creator’s Project‘s piece: “Fibonacci Sequence Makes “Perfect” Celebrity Portraits.”

See restaurant that “only serves food from countries the US is in conflict with.”

Read about the recent study claiming to find that “religious” children are more selfish.

Read The Denver Post‘s report that Adidas is offering to help high schools eliminate Native American mascots.

Read The Atlantic‘s piece wondering if “Dorms for Grownups” could be a solution for lonely “Millennials”.

Read Christianity Today‘s piece on the Southern Baptist Convention: “The Southern Baptist S(p)ending Crunch.” The missions agency of the largest US Protestant denomination faces a $21 million deficit. Could it spell the end of the fulltime missionary?”

Watch a man interview himself . . . 38 years later.

Read as The Atlantic considers Albert Mohler and “Hating Queerness Without Hating the Queer.”

Read as Pitchfork remembers Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous.

Browse Lost at E Minor‘s collection of “Movies and their colour palettes.”

Read as Paste interviews Son Volt‘s Jay Farrar.

Read Arizona Central‘s report: “Mormon church issues rules aimed at gay members, their kids.”

Read The Atlantic‘s report: “Karl Marx’s Resting Place Has an Entry Fee.”

See the Japanese restaurant where you catch your own fish.

Ever wonder “What people talk about before they die”? A hospice chaplain shares.

Read Reuters report that Apple employees must submit to bag searches.

See a machine that visualizes the wi-fi waves surrounding us.

Watch NOFX get lectured on selling out.

Read Salon‘s piece: “Our stuff is burying us alive: Hoarding and the mountains of garbage we call “collections”

Read Newsweek‘s report that Sea World is phasing out its killer whale performances.

Read “The Unfair Truth About How Creative People Succeed” at Entrepreneur.

Read as Aziz Ansari talks to Pitchfork about the music on his new show, Master of None.

Read BBC Earth‘s report that dogs can tell if you’re untrustworthy.

Read The Gospel Coalition‘s piece on “Why Denominational Identity Still Matters.”

No friends? No problem. Japan’s Moomin Cafe has stuffed toys to keep you company.

Read about the UK couple being fined after installing an anti-child noise repellant outside of their home.

Read bout the who spent time alone in caves as part of an experiment on the effects of isolation.

Hear the “Aztec Death Whistle” used to intimidate enemies.

Read Vanity Fair‘s piece: “On the Existential Beauty of Peanuts.”

Read Time‘s report: “Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged Sweater Sells For $137,500.”

Get the clip on manbun at Groupon.

Read The New Yorker‘s piece on “The Curious Persistence of Poetry Shops.”

Read FACT‘s report that vinyl sales have had another record-breaking year.

Read as The Washington Post considers “The problem with following your passion.”

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report that (the artist again known as) Prince once fires Questlove from DJing to show Finding Nemo instead.

Experiment with the “Bob Ross lorem ipsum generator.”

Read Time‘s report that “Early Morning is Actually the Worst Time to Drink Coffee.”

Read as “Relevant” wonders “How Much Should I Care About Ethical Food?”

Read Pitchfork‘s report: “Michael Stipe Opens for Patti Smith With Covers Set.”

Read AV Club‘s Character Study piece: “With Lady Eboshi, Princess Mononoke presents something more subtle than a villain.”

Read reports that Joe’s Crab Shack has become the first US chain to do away with tipping.

See an octopus typewriter.

Read as “Spotify names its most streamed track of all time.”

Read about the voice of Charlie Brown who is being charged with an assassination plot on the sheriff of San Diego.

Browse Paste‘s list of “15 Really Polarizing Foods.”

See the very cool photo series The Mystical Origins of Fruit and Vegetables by Maciek Jasik.

See “The loneliest whale in the world.”

Liberal Compared to Whom And How Did I Get Here?

political-logosUnless you live under a rock off the grid, you’re probably painfully aware that it is presidential election season once again.

As embarrassing, awkward and vitriolic as American politics can be, it can also be a valuable time to (re)consider our political/social convictions. We take for granted that we get to exercise our right to vote but we do not so readily acknowledge that the regular rhythm of the political system presents the critical opportunity to re-visit our opinions and ask why we hold to the positions that we do.

It can be an opportunity to reinforce our preexisting biases and remind ourselves how lucky we are that we’re right. But it can be more than that. The rotation of political seasons can also be an opportunity for self-examination and, if we’re lucky, growth, and possibly, even change. Just as people change over the years, it is only natural that our political views will change over time as well.

I was once the President of the College Republicans at a private Christian university. I once volunteered to put up signs for a Republican presidential campaign. But this year, as presidential politics begin to boil, I have found myself in the curious position of being characterized as liberal. said I side 95% with Bernie Sanders. Several other political quizzes have confirmed these sentiments, one even telling me that I am “solidly liberal.” And of course we can trust online political quizzes, right?

Regardless of the merits of any one particular political quiz, I am very interested in the consistency of my results, especially in light of my own past political leanings. It’s made me wonder what has changed. I am fairly culturally conservative on several key social issues such as marriage and abortion and I am certainly considered a theological conservative. So how am I considered liberal and, liberal compared to whom?

The obvious and snarky answer, of course is that I’m liberal compared to those right of me on the political spectrum. But what does that really mean and how did I go from openly identifying as Republican to now being told that I should feel the Bern? How did this happen and in particular, which of my views shifted?

As I’ve considered this, it seems to me that the issues that have pegged me as “liberal” are issues primarily dealing with social justice. I believe the government should offer a “safety net” for those struggling to find their way and that most people who receive government assistance are not freeloaders. I believe we should rely less on military force. I believe the government has a responsibility to care for the environment. I believe that “trickle down economics” only serves to increase the wage gaps and actually harms the people at the bottom of the system rather than giving them a leg up. I believe that the free market economy is equally part of the problem and I believe that healthcare should not be driven by profits. I believe that our school systems should not have to beg for budget overrides every year. I believe that the “war on drugs” is a sham. I oppose the death penalty. I believe that our current model of mass incarceration amounts to social injustice. Not to mention the fact that our prisons should not be run by for profit companies. And I believe that Christians should be more than simply “one issue” voters. This paragraph has already given many of my family and friends conniption fits.

I came to these convictions not necessarily through politics but by faith. As I strive to become more like Jesus, I can’t escape the fact that my faith demands care for the poor (Exodus 23:6Leviticus 25:25; Leviticus 25:35; Leviticus 25:39). My faith demands that we care for refugees (Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 10:19, etc.) I believe our social systems, especially our justice systems should not favor either the poor or the rich (Leviticus 19:15), etc.

The issue, of course, is the question of what the role of government is in all of this. These commands, of course are not meant as government policies for our modern systems but were primarily for the Israelite theocracy. So how, if at all, do these issues relate to the modern Christian and our modern government systems? I believe that though these commands were for Israel, they communicate something deeper: humans should care for one another. Any approach that simply says “every man for himself” will inevitably not only leave some behind but will eventually result in injustice, especially against the less fortunate. I do not believe this can simply be chalked up to saying that some people don’t work as hard as others.

As an extension of humanity, I believe that governments should share in our fundamental human concerns. This, I think is how I’ve come to be labeled as “liberal.” Many of my fellow Christians (and please understand, I am not questioning their faith, simply acknowledging that we have different interpretations. of how our faith should be applied to everyday life and politics) believe that the government should do less, be smaller and have very little to do with actually helping people.


As a person of faith in Jesus, I own the fact that these obligations fall first on the Church but I believe that the government is an extension of our humanity, not a replacement for it. The church should take the lead in caring for the poor, in housing refugees, etc. but the government should bear some of this responsibility simply because we are all humans. It would be great if the American church took care of all of these issues but we aren’t and so, we need to look to other avenues to fulfill our duties to one another.

I’m still trying to work through a lot of these issues and don’t claim to have any better understanding than anyone else. All I can say is that, as I’ve begun to wrestle with the clear demands of my faith, I have been considered by others more and more “liberal.” I don’t know what to make of this.

I know that many of you disagree with my thoughts. I can’t wait to hear from you because I believe that opinions (and please remember, that’s what these are) are sharpened through dialogue. I’m simply sharing my own journey, so please be respectful.

the Weekly Town Crier

Town CrierWell I don’t know why you have to get all snippy about it, there Snoopy. I mean, come on. It’s not like it’s really a big deal. Chillax already, yo.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Visit our family blog: “The Thomas Ten.”

Watch a short documentary about an evangelical Christian who has left the Republican party over gun rights.

Read as The Gothamist talks to Anthony Bourdain about “Sushi, Tipping & His New Graphic Novel.” Also read as Bourdain says: “‘Every Restaurant in America Would Shut Down’ if Donald Trump Elected‘.

Hear a clip of James Franco narrating Slaughterhouse-Five.

Browse “Vintage mug shots of iconic actors and musicians.”

Read Hypebeast‘s report that “Vice Media Is Working With Disney to Have Its Own TV Channel.”

Read as The Guardian wonders whether or not the Star Trek television reboot can “live long and prosper in the Netflix era?”

See the “Henry Rollins Driving App” that “Tells You How Hard It Would Have Been to Get There in the 80’s”.

Read as The New Yorker considers “Humans of New York and the Cavalier Consumption of Others.”

Read Time‘s report that Seattle’s famous “gum wall” will soon be scraped clean.

Read FACT’s report that David Lynch’s Twin Peaks reboot has been delayed until 2017.

Read Time‘s report that “Ireland Plans to Set Up Heroin-Injection Centers.”

Read The Telegraph‘s piece: “Bearded men ‘more likely to be sexist’.”

Ever wonder “Why You Can’t Draw a Perfect Circle?”

Read as “Relevant” considers “The Problem with Saying ‘All Lives Matter’”.

Read reports that The Greatest American Hero is returning to television.

See the $43 million gas station the U.S. military built in Afghanistan.

Read as Phoenix New Times profiles Huss Brewing Company.

See the world’s most expensive cocktails.

Read Stereogum‘s report that “Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged Cardigan Up For Auction.”

Read as “Relevant” wonders: “Is Technology Killing Relationships?”

Read as “Students in public school say Christianity is being forced on them.”

Read about “The scientist who transplanted monkey heads.”

See a new-fangled contraption that lets you bicycle and ski at the same time.

Apparently Subway‘s footlong subs are now a foot long.

Browse “8 Pearls of Wisdom from Hayao Miyazaki” at the Creators Project.

Read as Christianity Today considers “Why Guatemala Elected an Evangelical Entertainer as Its New President.”

R.I.P. ‘Happy Days’ Star Al Molinaro.

R.I.P. Fred Thompson, former U.S. senator and actor.

R.I.P. noted intellectual René Girard.

Read as Salon considers “The frightening effects of indoor pollution on our brain function.”

See a  “Living, Hearing Copy of van Gogh’s Ear.”

Praise the  “Return of the Flying Toasters”!

Read Salon‘s piece: “Too poor for pop culture.”

Read FACT‘s report: “Napster returns in Canada as music streaming service.”

Listen to Animal Collective’s 24-minute improvised jam “Michael, Remember

Read as Rachel Dolezal admits: “I Was Born White.”

See a squirrel feeder that turns unsuspecting hungry little critters into Cybermen.

Read as José González tells Salon: The most interesting music isn’t on the radio.”

Read as The Atlantic considers “The Decay of Twitter”.

Read/listen as PRI considers “Why we may be headed to a completely cashless society.”

Read about Willie Nelson‘s crusade against corporate influence on the ever-growing likelihood of legalized marijuana.

Hear “Musical Illusions” at RadioLab.

Read as the Guardian reminds us that “There’s more to life – and people – than academic skills.”

Read Boing Boing’s report of the new Marwencol book.

Read Interview‘s profile of Laurie Anderson.

Read about the night David Letterman devoted to just one guest; Warren Zevon.

See Sennheiser’s new $55,000 headphones.

See “random splash of seawater, magnified 25 times.”

Browse the Telegraph‘s list of “The world’s most ‘hipster’ neighbourhoods.”

Read as Pitchfork considers the link between punk and country: “Why So Many Punks Grow Up to Be Cowboys (and Cowgirls)”

Read “Bernard Sumner on Ian Curtis and His Joy Division Bandmates.”

Read as The Village Voice‘s attempt to interview Jonathan Richman is met with a hand-written letter.

Watch Danny Elfman Play Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” For The First Time In 20 Years.”

Hear Mariachi covers of Morrissey.

Read as Christianity Today tries to come “to Terms with a Post-Christian World.”

Read NPR’s report that Amazon has opened a bookstore in Seattle.

Read as Slate talks to Sarah Vowell about her new book Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.

Read Paste‘s report: “Kenny G Wants to Break His World Record of Holding a Single Note on the Saxophone.”

Read about Jon Stewart’s new deal with HBO.

Read as The Atlantic wonders “Is It Harmful to Use Music as a Coping Mechanism?”

Read Time‘s report that “Guinness is Going Vegan.”

See the “Library where you can check out dead animals.”

Read The Washington Post‘s report: “Google confirms it will launch a drone delivery service in 2017.”

Read about the backlash against Manhattan’s decaf coffee shop.

Read Paste‘s report: “Activision Buys the Makers of Candy Crush Saga for $5.9 Billion.”

See Istanbul’s Breaking Badthemed cafe.

Read The Atlantic‘s piece: “The Closest Look Yet at Gentrification and Displacement.”

Browse “The Popularity of Music Genres, 2005-present.”

Read NME‘s report that Steven Moffat has said that Doctor Who will last at least five more years.

See “Every Watch James Bond Has Ever Worn.”

Read Time‘s profile of the documentary What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy.

See “how Richard Scarry books have been updated for more P.C. times” at the AV Club.

Read as “J.K. Rowling Reveals the American Word for Muggle.”

Read Alternative Press‘s piece: “These songs are the most effective at getting you out of bed in the morning, according to science” to help you get your daily groove on.

Hear T.S. Eliot reading from his last major work

Read NME‘s report that James Franco has signed a record deal for an album and film derived from poems he’s written about Smiths songs. The album will feature Smith’s bassist Andy Rourke.

See the 67-year-old woman who fronts a grindcore band.

the Weekly Town Crier

Town Crier

Yeah, whatever, nevermind. Where is my mind?

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Visit our family blog: “The Thomas Ten.”

Read the New York Times‘ piece “Independent Musicians Find Unexpected Rewards in Streaming.”

Watch Keith Richards Teach Matt Sweeney Some Acoustic Licks” at Stereogum.

Watch a Japanese Kokeshi Doll Emerge From a Spinning Block of Wood” at Colossus.

R.I.P. Joe Moss, manager of the Smiths and Johnny Marr.

See “Dually Sinister and Playful Solarplate Etchings by Jaco Putker”.

Read Time‘s tips: “How to Avoid Having Your Posts Show Up in Facebook’s New Public Search”

Browse Consequence of Sound‘s “Brief History of Prince the Weirdo”.

Read as Clickhole asks “How Many Of These Hayao Miyazaki Films Have You Seen?”

See the “new Super Mario Bros. speedrun record.”

Read Slate‘s piece finding that “Highly Religious People See Little Conflict With Science”.

Read Smithsonian‘s piece finding that “27 Percent of U.S. Adults Didn’t Read a Single Book Last Year.”

Read about the upcoming tour of Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx holograms.

Read Uncut‘s piece: “The story of Television, by Richard Lloyd”.

Read Consequence of Sound‘s report: “Anthony Bourdain to open giant Blade Runner-themed food market in New York City”.

Browse CNN‘s collection of “7 terrifying airplane seat patents.”

Read Vox‘ piece: “The philosophical problem of killing baby Hitler, explained.”

Read AV Club‘s report: “Wes Anderson would like to make a horror movie”.

Read as Consequence of Sound reports “Maynard James Keenan wants nothing to do with Tool, or their fans” and Phoenix New Times‘ report: “Maynard James Keenan Has Two Things On His Mind: Puscifer and Wine. Tool Fans Will Just Have To Wait“. Also Read NME‘s piece: “Tool frontman labels band’s own fans as ‘insufferable retards.’ And don’t forget Keenan’s response to the hoopla surrounding his original remarks: “Our core fanbase aren’t fanatics. They’re music lovers & artists & good people. Its the fanatics that are insufferable,” Maynard James Keenan says.”

See “Newly Digitized ‘Phenakistoscope’ Animations That Pre-Date GIFs by Over 150 Years”.

Read KTAR‘s report that Phoenix has been named one of the top pizza cities in the country.

Ever wonder “What Happens When Your ‘Jeopardy!’ Response Goes Viral.”

Read as Aquarium Drunkard interviews Phil Cook.

Read as Paste reports that “Ballast Point is Going Public”.

Read as NPR considers the enduring appeal of Dungeons and Dragons after 40 years.

Watch free documentaries.

Read/Listen as NPR wonders “Why Are Old Women Often The Face Of Evil In Fairy Tales And Folklore?” and read as the Atlantic wonders “Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?

Browse “Augustine’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers”.

Read Food and Wine‘s report that Canada has a burger stuffed with peanut butter cups.

Read “A Deeper Look Into The Life Of Mansa Musa – The Richest Human Being Who Ever Lived.”

Read Wall Street Journal‘s piece “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.”

The Keurig of Home Brewing Batches Craft Beer at the Push of a Button.”

Take “A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day.”

Listen as Terry Gross talks to Carrie Brownstein about her new memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl. Also read Noisey‘s interview and read Spin‘s interview.

See a $39,000 knife.

Read Stereogum‘s interview with Son Volt’s Jay Farrar. Also read amNewYork‘s interview.

Read as the Daily Beast speaks with Ta-Nehisi Coates on “Why Whites Like His Writing”

Read as the Los Angeles Review of Books interviews Stephen King.

Read PopMatters‘ interview with Kurt Vile.

Read/Listen as Gloria Steinem speaks with Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.

Read about the French vending machine that will print you a short story.

Read Relix‘ interview with Jason Isbell or read The Planet Weekly‘s interview.

Read/Listen as NPR talks with Elvis Costello about his new memoir Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink.

Read as James Franco speaks with Variety about adapting William Faulkner’s The Sound and Fury for the screen.

Read Rolling Stone‘s report that Phil Collins is unretiring.

Read Paste‘s report of the new (unauthorized) Beastie Boys musical, Licensed to Ill.

Read BoingBoing‘s piece: “The more unequal your society is, the more your laws will favor the rich.”

Read Steve Martin‘s picks for “5-10-15-20” (featuring “people talking about the music that made an impact on them throughout their lives, five years at a time”).

Read Hi Fructose‘s profile of Mark Mothersbaugh.

Read as Consequence of Sound’s report: “Study suggests Spotify doesn’t have a negative impact on record sales.

Read as Richard Mouw considers the ever-growing Christian opposition to Halloween.

Watch the trailer for the upcoming Dave Navarro documentary detailing the murder of the Jane’s Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist’s mother.

Read FACT’s report “Jimi Hendrix’s London home to open as museum.”

Read Pitchfork‘s report that Digable Planets are reuniting for a Seattle show.

Browse “the 9 rarest plants in the world.”

Read The Guardian‘s profile of Mark Hogancamp, subject of the fabulous documentary Marwencol.

Read Hypebeast‘s report: “Apple Records Largest Profits in Corporate History.”

Read as NPR considers Ben Carson’s Seventh Day Adventism.

Read about the Hatian roots of zombie myths.

Read Salon‘s report about Katy Perry campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

See a “floating” record player.

Read about the Japanese manga series revolving around a cast on unemployed men who decide to become great housekeepers to attract women. The series was pulled by the author after several men complained.

Read about the sock company making a point about differences through mismatched socks.

Read as Techly wonders if the music you listen to is having long-term effects on your brain.

Read a profile of the “hyena men” of Nigeria.

Watch an animated Bill Murray interview from 1988.

Read The Guardian‘s report that Anonymous plans to release the names of approximately 1,000 Ku Klux Klan members.

Read The Stranger‘s interview with Richard Bishop about the reissue of Sun City Girls’ class Torch of the Mystics.

Read this report that Goonies 2 has been confirmed, including the full original cast.

the Weekly Town Crier

Town CrierEver wonder Whatever Happened to Gus (Guru Re-Mix)?

No, well, here we are again. With that same old song and dance again. I say this, you hear that and ’round we go into oblivion.

Or, welcome to the Weekly Town Crier. It’s the online place where I collect links of interest and pass them along for your interest. Do enjoy.

Buy my art here or here or contact me directly to purchase originals.

Visit our family blog: “The Thomas Ten.”

See Sony’s new lightbulb that’s also a Bluetooth speaker.

Celebrate the anniversary of Fine China‘s Jaws of Life with a vinyl reissue.

Read The Independent‘s review of PJ Harvey’s new poetry collection, The Hollow of the Hand.

Read as Elvis Costello talks books with the Boston Globe.

Hear John Lydon On World Cafe.

Browse as Mojo makes their picks for the  “Top 20 Albums Of 2015 (Q3)”

Browse the finalists for the 2015 National Book Awards.

Read Billboard‘s report that Grateful Dead founding member Phil Lesh has been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

See Larry David impersonate Bernie Sanders.

Browse as Pitchfork considers “A History of Sleep Music”.

See “Napcabs,” rentable napping spaces in the middle of the airport.

Read Rolling Stone‘s report: “David Lynch to Publish Quasi-Memoir ‘Life & Work’ in 2017.”

Read as The Quietus reviews the new documentary about a lesser-known guitar legend: “Voice Of The Eagle: The Enigma Of Robbie Basho.”

See Salvador Dali‘s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland.

Read as the noted theologians at Salon  consider whether or not Jesus went to Hell.

Read as Slate considers how a crappy patent melted the Eskimo Pie company.

Read about the “1,200-year-old Viking sword discovered by hiker.”

See the work of “Heavy-Metal Quilter Ben Venom.”

Read Mental Floss‘ report: “Dick Cheney Once Complained That Donald Rumsfeld Drank Too Much Coffee.”

Read/Watch at Stereogum as “Chilly Gonzales Uses Music Theory To Show Why The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” Is So Appealing.”

Read the AV Club‘s piece “Digging up the origins of the “Indian burial ground” trope.”

Did you know that “You Can Hire a Personal Instagram Photographer to Travel with You”?

Read NBC‘s report: “The Big Lebowski 2 Announced: Filming Begins January 2016.”

Read Pitchfork‘s piece: “Quentin Tarantino, Johnny Cash and the White Fantasy of the Black Outlaw.”

Read as Digg asks: “Will We Recognize Alien Life When We See It?”

Browse as Stereogum makes their picks for the “50 Best New Bands of 2015”. What do you think of their picks?

Read/Listen as Fresh Air interviews singer/songwriter Iris Dement.

Watch “The Very First Episode Of Bob Ross’s ‘The Joy Of Painting'”.

Browse “A listener’s guide to the Drive-By Truckers, the definitive modern Southern band.”

Read Consequence of Sound‘s interview with Lemmy.

Browse the 2015 “gorilla vs. bear halloween mix”.

Read as Paste interviews Sarah Vowell about her new book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.

Read as members of Erasure consider their own discography with The Quietus.

Browse as SXSW releases its first round of players for the 2016 festival. Too soon?

Read Brooklyn Vegan‘s interview with Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller.

Listen to Bret Easton Ellis interview Kim Gordon.

Browse as the AV Club collects cover versions of Bob Dylan’s classic “Like A Rolling Stone”.