Welcome to the first ever installment of Literary Cuisine. This series of blogs is posted every Saturday and recounts 5 gourmet pieces of entertainment that I have consumed this week and want to share with my readers. Without further ado, let’s begin…
1: Dope (Film)
Dope, a film starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, and Kiersey Clemons, is a story about a couple of “geeks” living in an area of LA with lots of crime and violence. Malcolm (Moore) is a straight-A student who loves 90’s rap and dreams of going to Harvard. One day while biking home from school, he is invited to a drug dealer’s birthday party and suddenly gets unwillingly involved in a heart pounding chain of events. Two weeks ago, if you had asked me about this film I would have shrugged and claimed no interest. When the Oscars and the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag started trending, I began looking into films that had been snubbed. Now it is clear the Oscars have a problem, but can we be honest? Are we surprised? The Oscars are corrupt and have been for quite some time. That being said, Dope was one of those films snubbed from the awards. And man, is that a shame. This film was dope – PUN INTENDED! The story was engaging, the characters were unique and interesting, the acting was top notch, and even the cinematography was interesting. The best word I can think to use after seeing this film is underrated. It was, quite literally, unlike anything I have ever seen. I highly recommend everyone check it out. It’s on Netflix Streaming right now!
2: Behind the Magic (Podcast)
Okay. Right away, let me say that I am biased toward this show. I am friends with the hosts and used to podcast with them. They have been around for quite a while now and recently entered their 5th season. What is really cool about their show is that it isn’t just once a week like the typical podcast. It is every weekday. That is such a challenge but these guys handle it with ease. They are amazingly consistent and always entertaining. And they are just awesome people to be frank. One awesome new addition to their 5th season is Friday live shows at 10:30pm EST. Check out their first one here! It was a blast and I highly recommend you join the party and get your fix of all things Disney! Check out their website by clicking here!
3: Muslims of Irving, Texas (Article)
There is a podcast I love called Literary Disco. When they announced that their next episode was going to be discussing an article from Esquire, I quickly went to read before listening. That discussion can be heard at this link. I read this article, Muslims of Irving, Texas, before work last Monday morning. I had an idea what to expect but what I didn’t expect was the impact the article would have on me. After reading the first few pages I felt sick to my stomach. The author talked about Christians standing outside of mosques with guns, claiming that the Muslim religion was harboring terrorists. The ignorance, that laughbly and disturbingly occurs far too often with Christians, felt like I was being slapped in the face over and over again. As a Christian myself, my mind is always boggled when I see people who claim to have given their hearts to Jesus yet act directly against his teachings. Now I know this isn’t only a Christian issue. It is a religion issue. One of the Literary Disco hosts brought this point up and it is an important point to make. I won’t say this article is perfectly objective. But it is an article people need to read at this moment. If there is one thing I can’t tolerate, it is ignorance. Please, read this article. You can get a free trial of Esquire to read it. Articles such as this are very important in the religious discussion. Read the article here.
4: Relevant Magazine (New Magazine Issue March/April)
When I was in college, I craved a source of Christian commentary that wasn’t reserved. I wanted a modern take on culture that still looked at the world with a Christian lens. Then I found Relevant. Relevant aims to be…well, relevant. They interact with culture and try to have an objective look at what is going on in the world. Living intentionally is their goal and I am all for that. Their newest issue doesn’t disappoint. Articles aside, Relevant is always a visually appealing magazine. The quality of the desktop publishing is astounding and their is no magazine that I subscribe to that is up to par on this scale. Now to the articles, they were all fantastic. It just so happens that they have an article which also discusses the topic of Muslim fear mongering in this country titled Fear Not written by Matthew Paul Turner. I read this article the night after reading the Real Muslims of Irving, Texas so the topic was hot on the brain and while this article was very different from the one in Esquire, it was still excellent. The issue primarily focuses on music, an annual tradition for the March/April issue of the magazine. They feature bands such as Rend Collective (one of my favorites), Borns, Cage the Elephant, Gallant, and more. The magazine also dives into Hollywood and all of the faith based entertainment being released, why it is important to support the #blacklivesmatter movement, as well as Stephen Colbert in an article titled the Rise of the Cool Catholics. I highly recommend you check out this issue. It is great! Subscribe to Relevant here.
5: Judah & the Lion; Folk Hip Hop N’ Roll (Music)
Let me get something off my chest. My favorite band is Mumford and Sons. Yes, I am a folk music guru and I’m not ashamed. When I first heard music that contained a ton of banjo, I thought, “what is this hillbilly crap?” But then one day when I was going through a dark period of my life, the music spoke to me and I haven’t looked back. Judah & the Lion were one of the first bands I discovered after my love of folk music bloomed. Their first EP was a worship album which I enjoyed to death. It was so different from typical Christian music yet could also be held to the same standards of secular music. Then they released their album Kids These Days which I consider a favorite. Seriously, it is amazing. Go listen to it. When Folk Hip Hop N’ Roll was announced on social media, I admit I pumped my fist in the air. I was super excited and made sure to preorder a physical copy because…because I still love CD’s, okay? After listening to the album, I can’t say it surpasses Kids These Days for me. However, it is still pretty enjoyable. One thing that stands out to me on this album is the energy. When you listen it just sounds like these guys are having so much fun. And on top of that, they are grappling with a lot of big issues like accomplishment in your 20’s, being fed up, and disconnection in a world that is hyperconnected. I can’t offer much more beyond that since the album is so fresh but I highly recommend it. When it comes to Judah & the Lion, you will never be disappointed! Order it now on iTunes.
Like this blog? Be sure to like this entry and share it on social media! And tune in next Saturday for another segment of Literary Cuisine.