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Opera Company Of Philadelphia ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ Flashmob (Again)

Posted this back in 2010, but someone else reposted it recently and it is so good.
(Flashmobs seem to have faded away, haven’t they?)
Anyway, in this case it’s not so much a flashmob as a Random Act Of Culture.
The Opera Company Of Philadelphia have continued to perform these, and if you click through to their youtube page there are renditions of Verdi at a Cheesesteak Diner and Mozart in a Library, among others.
While not featuring the massed number here, part of the treat is that each performance seems out of place but finds a home in strange environs.
Now, if you haven’t seen this you’re in for a treat, if you have it’s as good as you remember.

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Say It With Flowers (via Mike Wittmer)

Mike Wittmer went to a school concert where he was bemused to see parents with bunches of flowers to present to their children after a group singing performance and makes some observations about the over celebration of the ordinary deeds of our children.
This may be the most subversive thing you’ll read today.

An excerpt:

Why so much fuss over a normal performance? The principal last night opened the concert by promising that what we were about to see would “take our breath away.” Really? One hundred kids singing “Little Drummer Boy” is perfectly fine, but anyone who got goose bumps needs to get out more. Why isn’t it enough to have our children sing a standard Christmas song and then thank them for their standard performance? Did any of the children behind her really think they were going to amaze and wow their parents with “Fa-la-la-la-la”? And if that really did take our breath away, what words would be left to describe the truly amazing events of life?

Read the whole post *Say It With Flowers* at Mike Wittmer.

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Ten Fourth Of July Facts (via Today I Found Out)

Happy fourth of July to US readers, wherever you are.
Here are ten fourth of July related facts.
Source: Today I Found Out.

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Rent-A-Mourners (via TIME)

A TIME online portal has a featurette about a UK company that provides mourners to attend funerals for a fee.

Worried that not enough people will show up your funeral? Let Rent-A-Mourner help. The ingenious and aptly-named company allows concerned parties to pay for professional grievers to fill a funeral home and make sure that the deceased gets a fitting and extremely well-attended sendoff.
For approximately $68 a head, the U.K.-based business will send “professional, polite, well dressed individuals” to attend your funeral or wake, and will weep, wail and generally appear sad about the passing of whatever person happens to be filling the casket for about two hours. Rent-A-Mourner promises that your paid grievers will be “discreet” and “professional,” according to its website.
Read the rest of the article here for more details.

The article points out that similar practices are part of non-western cultures.

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“When You Try To Make A Story Out Of Persuasion Then You’ve Done Something Wrong To The Story”

Thoughts on the difference between being a Christian who creates and Christian creativity by Jeffrey Overstreet at The Rabbit Room.
It’s helpful you find yourself considering a book, movie or music and wondering ‘Is it Christian?’

Something that has stayed with me is this quote from Katherine Pearson, which Overstreet uses in his essay.

Novelists write out of their deepest selves. Whatever is there in them comes out willy-nilly, and it is not a conscious act on their part. If I were to consciously say, ‘This book shall now be a Christian book,’ then the act would become conscious and not out of myself. It would either be a very peculiar thing to do—like saying, ‘I shall now be humble’ — or it would be simple propaganda…
Propaganda occurs when a writer is directly trying to persuade, and in that sense, propaganda is not bad.. . . But persuasion is not story, and when you try to make a story out of persuasion then you’ve done something wrong to the story. You’ve violated the essence of what a story is.

I think the essence of that quote is that it’s one situation to create a story and then find out it reflects a Christian theme, but something very different to start with a Christian theme and then compose a story communicate it.
They are different activities.
Read Why I Want to Be George R. R. Martin’s Neighbor by Jeffrey Overstreet at The Rabbit Room.