Posts Tagged ‘the Jonas Brothers’

John’s Especially Vague and Pusillanimous Predictions for Super Bowl XLIV

So we already heard from Tim (and, for that matter, from Michael Weinreb) some especially specific predictions for tonight’s game. Well, I’m not that audacious, but I feel compelled to give you my insights for the Super Bowl. As such, here are some predictions: Continue reading

Miley Cyrus vs. Taylor Swift

As far as I know, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift do not hate each other. In fact, they appear to be on rather friendly terms in this YouTube video. At one point, Miley even referred to Taylor as her “best friend.”*

*Although, to be fair, she’s also applied that term to her dad, Nick Jonas, her YouTube talk-show co-host Mandy Jiroux, Liam Henson, the “Leslie” of “See You Again,” and, of course, God. Miley may have more “best friends” than any pop star in history.  

So there is no obvious enmity between the two of them, but I feel like there should be. It seems to me that there should be a Highlanderesque, there-can-only-be-one vibe to their relationship. There can be no peaceful coexistence between these two stars.

From where I sit, these two are completely interchangeable. They’re both young singers who sing bad country-infused pop songs about what kind of shoes they wear. They both sing primarily for a vast audience of girls between the ages of 11 and 19. They both dated a Jonas Brother. They’re both from small towns. They’re both (ostensibly) wholesome. They both play the “gosh-I’m-just-so-overwhelmed-by-all-this-attention-since-I’m-from-a-modest-small-town” card, even though they’ve each spent over 25% of their conscious lives as superfamous sensations.

This seems like it should create a natural rivalry. And yet, even with a music media that loves pitting artists against each other unnecessarily (Britney vs. Christina, *NSYNC vs. Backstreet Boys, The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones, Kanye West vs. 50 Cent), not very much has been made of these two as potential rivals. In fact, most people don’t seem to consider them very similar at all. Continue reading

In Defense of Atheism

Last week Josh offered a pretty sound criticism of agnosticism, but neglected to mention the elephant in the room: atheism. Part of the reason agnosticism is such a popular position, as Josh says, is that “atheism” is still a dirty word: Atheists are dogmatic, unreasonable, and extreme. These perceptions, however, are based on several popular myths about atheism. Atheism properly understood is not only reasonable, but, in fact, the only reasonable religious position.          

Myth #1: Atheists believe there is no god. This myth is largely the result of syntactical sloppiness. I, too, used to get tricked up by the difference between, “I don’t believe in any god” and, “I believe there is no god.” I thought that atheism meant the latter, which I was unwilling to support.

But this is an unfair standard. Atheism is not a belief, but the absence of a belief. Just look at the etymology: Theism means, “belief in a god” and the prefix a means without. If you are “without belief,” then you are an atheist. Continue reading