Putting the Cult in Culture
"To Build a Throne": My Essay on James Hampton

“To Build a Throne”: My Essay on James Hampton

Read my latest piece, “To Build a Throne” (In Touch Magazine), which reflects on the work of African-American janitor James Hampton, who secretly built a 177-piece collection of throne-room furnishings for the return of Christ before his death in 1964. Photos courtesy of the Smithsonian. Excerpt: “If God chose to enter the world in the...
The "Eric Campuzano Attic Tape" Bootleg: The Prayer Chain and I, Part II

The “Eric Campuzano Attic Tape” Bootleg: The Prayer Chain and I, Part II

ORIGIN OF THE BOOTLEG When I was a freshman in college at Southwest Missouri State University—now Missouri State University—I received the cassette below in the mail from Prayer Chain bassist Eric Campuzano. As I mentioned in my other post about the Prayer Chain (read it here), I was in the habit of writing the band...
Book Review: "When a Daughter Dies," by Ben Witherington, with Ann Witherington

Book Review: “When a Daughter Dies,” by Ben Witherington, with Ann Witherington

I had to check the date more than once. Ben and Ann Witherington lost their daughter Christy on January 11, 2012. On March 15th—only slightly more than two months later—Ben and Ann released an eBook titled When a Daughter Dies: Walking the Way of Grace in the Midst of Our Grief. Only a few months prior,...
Film Review: "Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story"

Film Review: “Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story”

To all four of you readers who frequent this blog to see if I am giving something away (I am not). I have recently begun reviewing things on Amazon. In the past, it made me shudder to think about publishing unpolished content anywhere, let alone on my blog, but I frankly no longer care. You...
CTJ's Zelda Essay in the Baylor Lariat + Zelda Window Display Photos

CTJ’s Zelda Essay in the Baylor Lariat + Zelda Window Display Photos

Today, the Baylor Lariat published my latest essay. It is a nostalgic piece about the original Legend of Zelda, which was released for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Read my essay here. My contribution is a companion piece to Huy Bui’s essay, which is about the game Bioshock. The title of my essay,...
Book Review: Joel Heng Hartse's "Sects, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll: My Life on Record"

Book Review: Joel Heng Hartse’s “Sects, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: My Life on Record”

Shortly after my daughter Evie was born in October, one of my Twitter friends and followers, Zondervan author David Jacobsen, was kind enough to send me a copy of his book, Rookie Dad. I planned to review it at a time such as this, but then David derailed the whole thing by directing my attention...
The Tragicomedy "La Femme": FREE Album & "Behind the Music"-esque Retrospective

The Tragicomedy “La Femme”: FREE Album & “Behind the Music”-esque Retrospective

ABOUT “LA FEMME”: Tracks 1-9 were produced by Scott Patterson. Tracks 10-12 were recorded live at the Nu Brew Coffeehouse in Springfield, MO by Bryan Carlstrom. Tracks 13-15 were recorded as demos to cheapo boombox by one Chad Thomas Johnston. All lyrics and music were written by Chad Thomas Johnston except 1) “Grace” (Lyrics/Music by...
Book Review: Katherine Willis Pershey's "Any Day a Beautiful Change"

Book Review: Katherine Willis Pershey’s “Any Day a Beautiful Change”

The best memoirs seem to spring from the fingers of writers who have an excess of something-or-rather in their lives. This excess begs to overflow the confines of their hearts and minds, and spills onto blank pages in the form of words that feel undeniably alive. Anne Lamott, in writing the transcendent Traveling Mercies, overflowed with rugged...
An Open Letter to Everett True: 5 Songs from the Boy Who Listened to "Nerdvana"

An Open Letter to Everett True: 5 Songs from the Boy Who Listened to “Nerdvana”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I originally posted this piece on January 9, 2012. On April 1, I received a tweet from Everett True regarding this piece. It said, “I reckon we should reprint that on Collapse Board. what d’ya think?” He posted the article on the evening of April 2 here. At the top of the piece,...
IMAGE Essay: "The Disrobing Trees" + The Radiohead/Plato Paper I Mention Therein

IMAGE Essay: “The Disrobing Trees” + The Radiohead/Plato Paper I Mention Therein

The Disrobing Trees Today on IMAGE Journal’s “Good Letters” blog, you can read my latest essay, “The Disrobing Trees.” In the essay, I briefly allude to a paper I wrote in graduate school while sitting in front of a window that allowed me to observe a tree undergo its annual autumnal transformation. Below—for better or...
What Werner Herzog Got in Zee Mail From Us

What Werner Herzog Got in Zee Mail From Us

In 2008, I pitched a documentary idea to New German Cinema director Werner Herzog via snail mail. I sent the same pitch via email. His office completely ignored my snail mail, but replied to my email. In a tone that was both kind and playful, his employees explained that Mr. Herzog was otherwise engaged with...
Difficult to Wine About Such Grape People!: Press Update

Difficult to Wine About Such Grape People!: Press Update

Danny J. Gibson (@DJGKCMOUSA) has become the (slightly burnt) toast of the Kansas City art scene this fall. He’s been on KC’s NPR affiliate, KCUR, featured in The Pitch, celebrated in New York City’s Felt & Wire, interviewed at length on one of @BARRR‘s A. D. D. Podcasts, and celebrated on numerous blogs as well. Just when Danny...