Category Archives: Pop Culture Influences

Life is a Circus!

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FB Banner Feb 2016 Circus

Please note the great artwork from Tom Foral.com, and Mary of the circus, courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Original air date: Monday, February 01, 2016

Is it just us, or does life feel like managing a three-ring circus? If you’re ever thought of running away to join the circus, perhaps you don’t have far to run. Malayna has found the circus metaphor has helped her reduce stress and offered cheer, even if only from imagining the background music. Join her and Stacy as they talk about what the circus has symbolized to generations of kids and the young at heart, how it has been depicted in film and television, and how we can enjoy life as a circus!

Notes & Resources:

Music Videos:

Step Right Up! 6 Circus-Themed Music Videos

Movies:

  • Tim Burton films – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Big Fish, Batman, Beetlejuice, with Danny Elfman Soundtracks – colorful, patterns
  • American Horror Story
  • Leap of Faith – tent revival
  • Dumbo
  • Water for Elephants
  • The Greatest Show on Earth
  • Wings of Desire

Finding Ourselves in Media Images

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Finding Ourselves Think UP

Original air date: Monday, January 25, 2016

As kids, we learn from media images about what’s possible for us, and everything seems possible! Superheroes, space travel, inventions, whatever we can imagine. As we get older, we get a glimpse of how society functions, and as teens, we learn to emulate and identify with images that reflect how we want to be seen. But at some point, we limit our possibilities by over-identifying with the examples we see, and under-identifying with the underlying Truth of Spirit expressing in, through, and as each of us. Join us as we share some tools to find and reclaim our True selves beneath society’s images! Self-empowerment through media!

MLK Day – Great Show!

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Living Into the Vision of MLK – click to listen now from our archives at Unity Online Radio or download the podcast from iTunes!

To celebrate the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malayna and Stacy have invited a friend from our well-spent youths in Unity as a guest expert! We’ll talk with Dr. Scott Bowman, Criminal Justice Professor and Social Justice Advocate, about how we can depict MLK’s vision in entertainment and media, how we are all still called forth to make new choices to reach for it, and where we’re seeing it become reality. From Straight Outta Compton to Black-ish, to The Force Awakens, join us in raising our vision higher!

Dr. Scott Bowman = Texas State University Criminal Justice Professor, Social Justice Advocate with a minor in Religious Studies, he has published scholarly works on the subjects of race, crime, and juvenile justice including as the editor of two volumes of the books – Color Behind Bars – Racism in the U.S. Prison System – Racial over- and under-representation in the U.S. prison system is not simply “black vs. white.”  HE KNOWS THINGS!

MLK’s Vision = from “I Have a Dream” speech – “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

And from his book Strength to Love :  “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Check out these links for more info about things we discussed:

Black Lives Matter

The Daily Beast article by Jen Yamamoto “Racists Urge Boycott of ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Over Black Lead…” Oct 19

Within Our Lifetime – Take Action to End Racism

Now listen!  ; )

Changing Seasons in Nature and Television

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Original air date: Monday, January 11, 2016
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As human beings, we are attuned to the changing of nature’s seasons, but the seasons seem to be behaving differently than we have come to expect. And as we deal with this unexpected change, we find the predictable schedule of television seasons has changed drastically. The few fall season and summer reruns have shifted to include midseason replacements, online viewing, and binge watching. Do we even know where we stand in the flow of time anymore? Join Malayna and Stacy as they explore the parallels of seasons and how to make the most of all of them!

NOTES:
  • The lyrics to the song “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” come from Ecclesiastes (with some help from Pete Seeger) and hit #1 in 1965 when sung by The Byrds.
  • “Seasons of Love” – from the musical RENT
  • Malayna liked connecting “seasons” with “seasoning”, since both add spice to life, but Stacy wasn’t entertained by the wordplay!
  • We talked about Summer Seasons
  • How Netflix and Amazon have changed TV viewing
  • And tips to make sure our bodies, minds and spirits stay in tune with nature.

Christmas Evolution in Film and Song

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Original air date: Monday, December 14, 2015
From tales in print to today, storytelling has evolved into modern media that continues to find new ways to evoke the feelings associated with the holiday season for each era and generation. Many of our most beloved songs today came from movie soundtracks. Really! Join us as we celebrate the Christmas spirit in a Pop Conscious way!
1Yes Virginia
This letter, written to a newspaper in 1897, continues to inspire the wonder and power of BELIEF… and it’s the theme for the Christmas Eve Service put together by Stacy for Unity of the Oaks!
 

Here are some of our favorite Christmas songs from film soundtracks (with links to youtube clips!):

Lessons From Scrooge and the Grinch

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Click here to listen now from our archives … or here to go to the iTunes podcast.

The busyness of the holiday season may cause us to feel Scroogey, Grinchy, or just overwhelmed and grumpy. We’ve got ideas to keep us all focused on what’s really important. Using the Advent theme of faith, we’ll look at some ways to keep the season fun, authentic, imaginative, treasured, and heartfelt. Nonsense and tomfoolery included.  

one-on-one-jim-carey-560

This image from amc.com shows two grumpy Jim Carrey depictions.

With that as our description and starting place, I feel, and this is Malayna here, that we did some good work!  I’m not just feeling Scroogey and Grinchy but at least four-of-the-seven-dwarfsey. Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey and Sneezy.

So we looked at what it was that made Scrooge so grumpy.  He was afraid of not having enough.  We’ve all felt that. But we can turn it around and instead decide that what we have is enough, be grateful for it, invest it wisely and release it lovingly. Doesn’t that feel better?  Scrooge felt better when he made authentic heart-connections that weren’t about money, but about sharing and just being together.

The Grinch was grumpy because he didn’t understand what everyone was so giddy about. He was annoyed because he had no connection to it and no investment in it, so he sought to destroy it.  But what he learned was that it wasn’t about the stuff, but the FEELING.

SO if YOU find yourself thinking “F That”…! Use this handy mnemonic device instead and remember that faith is just about what we choose to believe.  Faith is always at work, and we can choose how to direct it-– negatively or positively.  So let’s choose these:

F Fun with Friends and Family First
A Authenticity, Attention on what’s important,
I Imagination, Intention, Interaction, Investment
T Time Together,  Talent, Treasure,
H Heart, Home, Hope

When you act from these ideals, it doesn’t matter if you even buy anyone gifts or cards. In fact, we give you permission NOT to spend a dime.  If you do spend money, don’t do it out of obligation. Use a little imagination and maybe choose to invest your money in something you want to support–like a friend’s business, or a community project, maybe something that supports a charity. You get the gist!

Here are a few friends we’d like you to check out:

Jenny Hahn Studio has artistic gifts that uplift and inspire. Prints and pendants and 2015 ornaments (oh my!) – http://www.jenspaintings.com

Geeky Teas has geeky tea blends, fandom inspired gifts, British goods, (and it’s also a cat rescue.) – http://geekyteas.com/

Whimsical Forest has geeky baubles like The Mortal Instruments & The Twilight Saga mini book charm bracelets, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone mini book charm, Twilight mini book charm, Dr. Who inspired goodies,  Pirates of the Caribbean inspired Mermaid’s Tears necklace, I solemnly swear that I am up to no good bottle opener key rings, and a Deathly Hallows necklace!  http://whimsicalforest.storenvy.com

AND we talked about some movies that fit with the topic, of course – here are just a few about awkward family gatherings:

  • Four Christmases (2008) – Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn
  • Christmas Vacation (1989) – Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo
  • A Christmas Story (1983) – Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin

And a few more with the keyword “Faith”:

And here’s the theme song to help you remember to keep the F.A.I.T.H.!

 

Forgiveness & Gratitude for Health

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Click the link above to hear the playlist, or the link below to hear the show!
Original air date: Monday, November 16, 2015
Malayna’s back went out, so while laying down for a few days, she meditated upon the Unity Twelve Powers and saw how lessons of strength might help her heal. She used Myrtle Fillmore’s technique of offering and asking for forgiveness from her body. This reminded her of the Hawaiian forgiveness practice of Hoʻoponopono, and then, of course, pop songs started providing a mental soundtrack. Join Malayna and Michele Coles as they examine both spirit and silliness, entertainment and enlightenment, to inspire health for mind, body, and spirit! It’s good for you!

Dedication to Something Bigger

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How do all of these images connect?  Listen and find out!
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Click the link below to listen from our archives, or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes!
Original air date: Monday, November 09, 2015

Today we remember those whose dedication to a cause was so complete that they gave their lives to change the world. This includes war veterans as well as spiritual leaders like Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr., but there are also those who gave themselves to something bigger and found the impact differed from their intention. A great example is Hedy Lamarr, who would be celebrating her 101st birthday today. A successful actress in 1930s and ’40s Hollywood, her scientific curiosity led to inventions intended to help the Allies during World War II, but we now use them as the basis of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications. Join Stacy and Malayna as they explore the inner call that pulls us forward and honor those who stepped forward to meet and create their destiny.

Milking That Pumpkin

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So because we at Pop Conscious LOVE Halloween, we dragged the celebrations out as much as we possibly could!  All three of these episodes feature Malayna and team member Michele Coles, and we are grateful for the magical brain of Rev. Kelly Isola who helped us with the final stretch.

View our Pop Conscious gallery / companion piece on Beliefnet.com!

Beliefnet halloween 2015

It turns out that October is a busy time! Both Malayna and Stacy were traveling for Unity work, but Stacy’s took her beyond the reach of wi-fi or manageable scheduling, so yay Michele!

Click on the show title links below to listen to the episode from our archives, or you can go to www.unity.fm/popconscious to peruse our other selections.  You can also go to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast!

Chick Flick Oz Purple Clover

Halloween Life Lessons 
Original air date: Monday, October 19, 2015

As we approach Halloween, we are surrounded by images that bring up thoughts of mortality. Interestingly, October 19 marks a little-known holiday called Evaluate Your Life Day. So we’re going to use these in combination, along with our Youth of Unity Fall Rally theme of The Cycle of Self-Love: Realize, Release, and Replenish, to make life lessons from seasonal fun! We’ll use the costumes we choose, the treats we indulge in, and find reasons to celebrate life in it all.

Mad Monster Party

Halloween Brings Light to Darkness
Original air date: Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween celebrations help us make light of dark concepts, so that maybe we’re not so afraid of the dark. In this episode, we’ll focus on the most lighthearted fun: cartoons, funny commercials, and comedic expressions of things like monsters, the undead, and things that go bump in the night. Join us as we bring the shadows to light, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself enlightened!

Great Pumpkin

All Souls’ Day the Pop Conscious Way
Original air date: Monday, November 02, 2015

Malayna is at Unity Village and so is special guest Rev. Kelly Isola who will join with team member Michele Coles to talk about the metaphysics of the Great Pumpkin! They’ll also touch on the celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and All Souls’ Day from a pop culture and Unity perspective! Let your spirit out to play, and join us for more fun with fall and flights of fancy.

Pumpkin Spice Pop Conscious

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FB Banner Pumpkin SpicePumpkin Spice Pop Conscious – click to listen now!

Original air date: Monday, October 12, 2015

What is it about pumpkin spice that makes us feel like it’s time to celebrate a change of seasons? If that doesn’t do it for you, what does? Seasonal shifts have been marked in different ways throughout history. Join Malayna and Stacy as they look at the things that make them feel a fondness for the fall and compare modern homages to traditions from the past. We’ll find them in stories from and about days gone by (like Outlander) and ones that have been retooled for today (like Sleepy Hollow). Get your favorite flavor of latte and join us for some fall fun!

Malayna’s Pre-Show Notes:

Pumpkin Spice Pop Conscious

What is it about Pumpkin Spice that makes us feel like it’s time to celebrate a change of seasons? If that doesn’t do it for you, what does? Seasonal shifts have been marked in different ways throughout history. Join Malayna and Stacy as they look at the things that make them feel a fondness for the Fall, and compare modern homages to traditions from the past. We’ll find them in stories from and about days gone by, (like Outlander) and ones that have been retooled for today (like Sleepy Hollow). Get your favorite flavor of latte and join us for some Fall fun!

 

Fall begins a time of looking back, pulling in to nourish our roots, and our core. It deepens in winter with hibernation, comfort. Then the New Year starts us looking forward again, toward Spring’s newness.

 

What is Pumpkin Spice anyway?

Pumpkin pie spice is an American spice mix commonly used as an ingredient in pumpkin pie, similar to the British and Commonwealth mixed spice. It is generally a blend of powdered cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and sometimes allspice. It can also be used as a seasoning in general cooking.

Allspice-à Columbus Day!

Allspice (P. dioica) was encountered by Christopher Columbus on the island of Jamaica during his second voyage to the New World, and named by Dr. Diego Álvarez Chanca. It was introduced into European and Mediterranean cuisines in the 16th century. It continued to be grown primarily in Jamaica, though a few other Central American countries produced allspice in comparatively small quantities.

Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta,[2] turkish Yenibahar, English pepper[3] or newspice, is the dried unripe fruit (berries, used as a spice) of Pimenta dioica, a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world.[4] The name ‘allspice’ was coined as early as 1621 by the English, who thought it combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.[5]

Ayurvedic medicine comprises the idea that there is a balance within the human body that is both physical and spiritual. This balance can and should be maintained by various means. One of these means is the proper spicing of foods.

  • A spice can be warming or cooling, which means they affect the balance of the digestive system.
  • Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, are warming.

 

DAILY WORD rather skillfully acknowledges the loss when a shift happens, as well as the good, for Columus Day.

I believe today we are learning to honor the ancient wisdom of our indigenous countrymen, as well as the tenacity with which they’ve held on to their knowledge and culture.

As we shift from a mentality of conquest and competition to one of cooperation and Unity, we learn to honor different perspectives and experiences, and learn from them.

Parliament of World Religions has Indigenous people’s programs. Rev. Molly will be representing Unity!

http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/ – reclaiming the heart of our humanity – working together for a world of compassion, peace, justice and sustainability – 10,000 People. 80 Nations. 50 Faiths

Urban Dictionary.com

pumpkin spice latte

A drink from starbucks that many white girls drink during the fall while dressed in boots (typically uggs), yoga pants (or leggings of some sort), and a jacket.

Excerpts from:

http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/man-loves-pumpkin-spice/1233778/

In Defense Of Pumpkin Spice: Why I’m Proud To Be A Basic Dude

Lester Lee in Culture Oct 5, 2015 • 6:06pm

It’s a part of the American tradition; pumpkin spice is a delicious gift from the gods.

Autumn happens once a year, and I’ll worry about the extra calories in the winter. Well, actually, winter hibernation is all about collecting calories to get through the cold. So, if anything, you’re just getting a head start.

If pumpkins aren’t your thing, cool. You have 10 months this year to live your empty, meaningless, pumpkin-free lives. But from October 1 to Thanksgiving, leave me alone…

Respect new American traditions, and enjoy pumpkin spice.

 

Woman who asked question about pumpkin spice latte during Hillary’s Facebook Q&A swears she’s not a plant By Nikki Schwab, U.s. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com 29 September 2015 — Hillary Clinton said she stopped drinking pumpkin spice lattes because of the calories …The ‘fun’ question was asked by Claire Celsi, an Iowan with ties to the Clinton campaign 

 

TVs NEW FALL SEASON!

Bones, Castle, Sleepy Hollow, Grey’s Anatomy, Quantico (Priyanka Chopra!)

iZombie, Supernatural, American Horror Story, Vampire Diaries/Originals, Haven (Syfy) An FBI agent encounters residents with supernatural abilities in a small Maine town in this dramatic series inspired by Stephen King’s ‘The Colorado Kid.’

Walking Dead, Talking Dead

DaVinci’s Demons, Grimm, Ash vs. Evil Dead

 

OUTLANDER

Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ SAH-win or /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/ SOW-in Irish pronunciation: [sˠaunʲ]) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.

The Folklore of Outlander:

Silver Petticoat Review

Additionally, “according to Irish mythology, Samhain…was a time when the doorways to the Otherworld opened, allowing the spirits and the dead to come into our world” (“Samhain,” Wikipedia). In fact, Halloween (or All Hallows Eve) descends from this ancient pagan festival.  According to the Celts, “On that day all manner of beings were abroad: ghosts, fairies, and demons–all part of the dark and dread” (Santino, “The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows”).

Significantly, when Claire travels back in time, it is soon after an old Sowen (Samhain) ritual is performed by a group of druids at the standing stone circle. Ancient legends and mysteries surround both the stones and the Eve of Samhein (when considering the Celtic tales), such as the Eve opening the worlds between the fairy realm (and other realms) into the human world.

Spiritual Humanism.org

Fall Equinox

In the Northern Hemisphere the Autumnal Equinox, occurs around September 23rd or 24th. It is also known as Michaelmas, Mabon, and Harvest Home.

Traditionally, the Japanese marked the spring and fall Equinox with higan, a seven day period in which they remember their ancestors by visiting the family grave, cleaning the tombstone, offering flowers and food, burning incense sticks, and praying.

The Polish Feast of Greenery involves bringing bouquets and foods for blessing by a priest, then using them for medicine or keeping them until the following years harvest. The Roman celebration of the Fall Equinox was dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things.

A feast was celebrated with a traditional well fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble of the fields after the harvest. Another tradition of of the Autumnal Equinox is the use of ginger. All manner of foods seasoned with ginger are part of the day’s menu from gingerbread to ginger beer.

In England, the last sheaf of corn harvested represented the `spirit of the field’ and was made into a doll. Corn dolls were drenched with water representing rain or burned to represent the death of the grain spirit. Large wickerwork figures were also constructed to represent a vegetation spirit and burnt in mock sacrifice. Farmers and merchants gathered at fairs. Often a large glove was suspended above the fair, symbolizing the handshake of promises and openhandedness and generosity.

The tradition of celebrating the end of summer with a ‘burning man’ has been enthusiastically revived in the US as a festival of performance art and creativity. Participating in your own burning man celebration is a powerful way to connect with humanity, past and present.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was first published in 1820. by American author Washington Irving, while Irving was living abroad in Birmingham, England,

The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement. Other residents say an old Native American chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows here before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.

Edgar Allen Poe

PoeMuseum.org – Called “America’s Shakespeare,” Edgar Allan Poe created or mastered the short story, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry and the horror story. His dark genius has invited children and adults to read and love literature for over 150 years.

The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry.

From Wise Bread.com – Living Large on a Small Budget -31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall

* Jump in the leaves* Go apple picking* Celebrate Oktoberfest* Admire the fall colors*Go to a fall festival*Go for a bike ride* Go to the farmers market* Pickle and preserve* Have a bonfire* Go camping*Visit a winery *Stock the root cellar* Take a family picture*