Monday, May 25, 2009

On Christian Movies and Music

There is a great post from the Acton Institute on sub par Christian movies. It points out that Christian and conservative writers have not mastered the art of narrative, therefore most Christian and conservative themed films are dreadful. Read the whole post. It is well worth a few minutes.

I would put Christian music in the same boat. The lyrics can be quite inspirational, but with few exceptions the music behind the vocal melody is absolutely terrible and often times makes me envy the deaf. While I am a self avowed music snob, I can't help but think that the terrible, and often cookie cutter, music drives people away who would otherwise give contemporary Christian music a chance, especially non Christians.

If you look hard enough, you can find a few Christian bands that write half way decent music. A few this music snob enjoys are: Decyfer Down, Jonah 33, Hymns of Eden, and We As Human. Even a few secular musicians have written some music with Christian imagery. Alice Cooper put out two albums, Brutal Planet and Dragontown, that one critic compared to C.S. Lewis in Cooper's use of imagery at various points.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Targeting the Older Folks

Peter Drucker is closer to being vindicated. More goods and services are being marketed to consumers 50 years of age and above. The recession has played a role in this as have demographic shifts, but businesses are also finally realizing that the over 50 segment of the population is the wealthiest.

The Oldsters are also tech savvy. Over 50 percent of Kindle owners are 50 years old and above. A piece of interesting anecdotal evidence on Oldsters and technology comes from churches installing the projection screens in the front of the sanctuary to reduce the need for hymnals and readings printed in the bulletin. I've heard that the Oldsters are usually the loudest to object to the screens, but once they are installed they love them because they can see the words better than in the hymnal!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Family and Entrepreneurship

This brief essay points out the vital role of the family in transmitting business skills to the next generation. When entrepreneurs work in a family business before starting their own business, these new businesses are 10 to 40 percent more successful than they would otherwise be (that is one heck of a range, but that's beside the point). So it appears that much entrepreneurial skill is transmitted outside of a classroom; no big shock there. This is the primary reason I have very little good to say about child labor laws.

The most troubling aspect comes in when considering the weak family bonds many possess. For instance, the black rate of business ownership is below that of whites. How much of this is due to a distressingly low number of black children having the opportunity to work in family businesses? This creates a self perpetuating cycle. The current generation has a low rate of business ownership and thus the next generation has a lower rate of business ownership and thus fewer opportunities in life.