Living in Imaginary Worlds

Recently I discovered and fell in love with a podcast called Imaginary Worlds. Host Eric Molinsky explores many of the fictional worlds we know from pop culture, but often with a unique and very intelligent spin. It was his five-part series on Star Wars that hooked me (which will come as no surprise to anyone who knows my lifelong devotion to that franchise), and made me think about the movies and expanded universe in new ways. In one episode, historians and Star Wars scholars discussed the cultural/political factors in 1977 that led to the original movie becoming such a phenomenon. Subsequent episodes delved into the “Han shot first” controversy from an ethical standpoint, asked whether the Empire saw itself as evil or was taking what it saw as reasonable steps to bring order to a chaotic galaxy, featured a rabbi who compared the Star Wars expanded universe to the rabbinic commentary on the Torah called midrash, and debated whether “Slave Leia” could be seen as a symbol of female empowerment or was a misogynistic wrong turn in the character’s journey best left forgotten. I listened to those episodes multiple times, then went back and listened to every episode since the podcast began in 2014. It got me thinking about how much of my time is spent in imaginary worlds, not just when I lose myself in fiction, but when I do my job as a chaplain. Continue reading “Living in Imaginary Worlds”

If It’s Good Enough for Stephen Colbert, It’s Good Enough for Me

I’m excited for the arrival of September. It will bring with it slightly cooler temperatures in Charleston, less crowded days on the beach, Clemson football game weekends with my boyfriend, and the debut of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Ever since the final episode of The Colbert Report, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the host’s return to television. (And this very insightful interview in GQ only made me a bigger fan.) In preparation for his new show, Colbert has been doing a Late Show podcast, and I found the latest episode more interesting and relatable than any other so far. By the end I was thinking, Stephen Colbert is just like me! Continue reading “If It’s Good Enough for Stephen Colbert, It’s Good Enough for Me”