Saturday, February 9, 2013

The New Sincerity

I'm not going to say too much about this one but I recently read Jonathan D. Fitzgerald's book, Not Your Mother's Morals. Fitzgerald is the editor of, writes for a bunch of other well known publications, and commonly spurs my thought process along.
His book highlights the New Sincerity found in today's pop culture; a progression from a few decades marked more by cynicism. He charts the progression of culture a little bit, gives a brief rundown of his personal engagement with culture while growing up within conservative Christianity, and finishes with a call to embrace this form of authenticity.

A quote in the second half of the book sums things up nicely:
Today, at this unique moment, writers, actors, musicians, and artists elevate authentic expression over manufactured image. This means that they reach back through the decades and choose from a wide array of values, selecting those that most often align with who we are and what we believe at our core. They understand that some situations are inherently better than others, and they're not embarrassed to suggest that we pursue those. This process puts morality front and center; the New Sincerity compels us to consider not just what we want, but also what is right.
Perhaps my favorite example that Fitzgerald uses is Conan O'Brien's charge to his (young) watchers to not be cynical.

It's certainly not perfect, but this little EP of a book is worth the read. Former church-mate and avid blogger, Amy Peterson, gives a much better analysis of the book on her blog or you can just read the book in an hour or two on your Kindle (currently $3.99 on Amazon).

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