Go ahead, get that tattoo. Your boss shouldn’t mind.

Nora Flanagan, chair of the English department at Northside College Prep. (Chris Walker / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Tribune: The research, published this month in the journal Human Relations, surveyed more than 2,000 people and found that the inked were just as likely to be employed and to earn as much as the uninked, regardless of the number, visibility or offensiveness of their tattoos.

That was a surprise to the study authors, as previous research has found that hiring managers widely perceive people with tattoos to be less employable than those without, even in recent years when the popularity of tattoos has surged. That negative perception is driven in part by other research that has found customers frown upon being served by or buying from people with tattoos, which years ago were associated with countercultural delinquents.

“We thought with this new information we are certainly going to uncover some discrimination,” said lead author Michael French, professor of health economics at University of Miami Business School.

But the study found no adverse employment outcomes for the tattooed, regardless of whether they were men or women, blue-collar or white-collar workers, in management or not. In fact, having one or more tattoos was associated with slightly higher employment and more hours worked, the study found.

To read entire article, click HERE

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We are loved

Bloody Redemption by Charlie Mackesy.

British artist Charlie Mackesy says that the story of the prodigal son is most central to him “It is subversive and flies in the face of religion, religious sensibility and moral high ground. It suggests we are loved not for what we do but because we exist. It cannot be earned; it is a gift. This is the most liberating truth in existence, that we are loved, known, forgiven and free.”

Check out his art HERE.

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Sting: ‘The Church’s Music and Liturgy Fed This Artistic Soul’

Sting at the Giudizio Universale show, Rome, July 27, 2018. Photo: Foto Studio Giusto_Carabella

National Catholic Register: You’ve said in interviews about your contribution to the show that you were immersed and well-schooled in the music of the Church. What particular influences — musical and religious — were important to you in making the composition?

Sting: I was an altar boy and I learned the Latin Mass but I loved plainsong, I loved Gregorian chant, Sung Mass. I still think I carry some of those cadences in my composition when I compose. So I’m grateful for that. [The Dies Irae] is normally done in a very minor key, a very doom-laden key, and I lifted it to a major key so it would be hopeful. I excised a lot of the very dark verses about Muslims being burnt in hell, and I thought it should be much more ecumenical. And then I love what Pope Francis said about God: he said “God is mercy,” and I thought that was a profound and simple statement that people had kind of forgotten over the years. So with the Last Judgement, if God is mercy, then there’s no judgment at all, just forgiveness. I don’t know if that’s heresy or not, but it works for me. So at the end of it, I put Deus Misericordiae [God’s mercy]. It’s not in the original text, I just added it and took liberties. I was surprised that the authorities seemed to like it and let it go. But I was happy last night to hear it and see it in that context, because it is an educational tool.

National Catholic Register: How much of a role does your faith play in your music, today and in the past? 

Sting: It was both positive and also a little frightening. I was a very serious child so I used to get cosmic vertigo, ontological vertigo. The concept of eternity for me was really troubling, not only eternal damnation but eternal heaven — it just seemed like Mass that would never end. I thought: I don’t want either [laughs]. Eternity still horrifies me but at the same time being put into that conundrum — philosophical conundrum — was perfect to forge an artistic angst, an artistic struggle. Plus the history of the Church, you know blood and death and torture and all the rest of it, the Last Things. And the music and the liturgy fed this artistic soul. I’ve benefited from it, but I’ve also suffered from it.

To read Edward Pentin’s entire interview with Sting, click HERE

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RIP Lorrie Collins, rockabilly star

Lorrie Collins, shown with brother Larry (Deke Dickerson)

Los Angeles Times: “Lorrie Collins died on Aug. 4 at 76 in Reno, where she had been living in recent years. Her brother, Larry Collins, revealed the news via Facebook. He said her death was the result of complications from a fall.

“Initially regarded as something of a novelty act because of their youth — Lorrie was 12 and Larry 10 when they started performing professionally as a duo in 1954 — the Collins Kids soon became one of the best-kept secrets in rockabilly music, the early hybrid of country — often referred to as “hillbilly” music — and its driving, rhythm-and-blues infused offshoot soon to be known as rock ‘n’ roll.

“Although Lorrie never achieved widespread fame, many early-rock aficionados put her on a par with some of the greatest singers in pop and country.

“I think she’s criminally underrated,” said roots-rock guitarist and bandleader Deke Dickerson, who backed the Collinses for numerous performances in the last quarter century….

“The sister-brother act was a study in striking similarity and contrast: she looking elegantly beautiful with a cool sensuality on camera, her 2½-years-younger brother a ball of energy with a geometrically perfect flattop haircut and a prodigy on the double-neck electric guitar he mastered under the tutelage of country musician Joe Maphis. Both typically dressed in eye-popping fringed, western outfits and boots, their names inlayed into the necks of their respective guitars.”

Read entire article HERE

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X exhibit at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa

Grateful to catch the exhibit celebrating the 40th anniversary of X, the legendary Los Angeles punk band, at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Katy Perry’s meeting with the Pope

Katy Perry, who met the pope in April, talked about her mother’s hope she one day “come back to God.” (Reuters)

Excerpt from Vogue Australia

Katy Perry: “My mom has prayed for me my entire life, hoping I’d come back to God. I never left Him, I was just a little bit secular, I was more materialistic and more career-driven. But now that I’m in my 30s, it’s more about spirituality and heart wholeness.”

… “I’m such a big fan of Pope Francis. It’s a combination of compassion, humility, sternness and refusal. He is rebel – a rebel for Jesus.”  “He is bringing the Church back to humility and connecting with people. He’s very humble and not frivolous.”

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Hawke of Ages

By Tyler Daswick, Relevant

Ethan Hawke is preoccupied with three questions: why we’re born, what we’re doing here and why we have to die. They’re eternal, essential ideas. And in his latest film, the acclaimed First Reformed, Hawke is grappling with each of them. He plays a priest in an existential crisis. … Critics are calling Reformed, directed by Raging Bull and Taxi Driver’s Paul Schrader, one of the year’s best movies— and Hawke shoulders almost the entire thing. As his strain becomes evident, the viewer is forced to ask the same questions as the character. There’s a lot behind Hawke’s performance: the actor’s own formative church upbringing, a deep-rooted artistic philosophy and a lifetime of occupying other people’s minds.

Hawke take-aways:

  • “Faith is a supple and moving thing, because you see a lot of adults with different points of view,” Hawke says. “A lot of people turn off when you talk about religion because they think they’re about to be preached to or told they’re lost. My family never really did that. I grew up with a lot of different people who had very supple minds, and it made talking about why we’re born and why we’re here and why we have to die a lot more of an exciting conversation. I was raised in a dialogue of faith. I’ve always been trying to figure out how to integrate that aspect of my life into my creative life.”
  • “One of the great things about going to church is you see yourself as a member of a community,” he says. “I think it gave me a great framework to survive the pitfalls of early celebrity. It teaches a fundamental humility. One of the problems of making it in the arts is how it fans the flames of your ego. It’s really easy for young people to lose context. You need a sense of humilit to keep learning and keep growing.”
  • “The spiritual life is hard to dramatize,” he says. “Issues of faith have been omnipresent in my waking life, and yet, very few of my movies are spiritual in context. Film isn’t oriented toward what makes us alive. It loves girls taking their tops off. It loves guys pulling out guns. It loves Camaros. Things that we are desirous of — alcohol, sex, love, power, money — make a tremendous amount of noise, but in silence, we often hear a more gentle voice inside ourselves.”
  • “When art is good, it’s connected to what I would call a spiritual life. At its best, art has always made me feel the way I wish church did. It makes you feel like you don’t have to be ashamed. It makes you feel like you’re not alone.”

Read entire article HERE

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Presiding Bishop Michael Curry meets backstage with U2, Bono to talk about Reclaiming Jesus

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry met backstage this week with U2 and front man Bono at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the Episcopal Church leader and the globally renowned rockers discussed Curry’s Reclaiming Jesus initiative.

The meeting happened in the evening June 25 just before the first of a series of U2 concerts in New York on the band’s Experience + Innocence tour. A photo released by the band shows the foursome posing with Curry.

“I know of no other group that has sung and witnessed more powerfully to the way of love than U2,” Curry said June 27 in a written statement to Episcopal News Service. “It was a real blessing to sit with them to talk about Jesus, the way of love, and changing our lives and the world. They are an extraordinary community gift to us all.”
“I shared with them our commitment to reclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the center of Christian  faith and life,” Curry said in his statement to ENS. “And this means a way of faith with love of God and Love of neighbor at the core. A love that is not sentimental but a disciplined commitment and spiritual practice infusing every aspect of life, personally, intra personally and politically.”

Read entire story HERE

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‘I Never Thought I Would Talk About It.’ So Florence Welch Put It in a Song.

Onstage Ms. Welch stalks the floor with the fervor of a preacher, raising her arms in exaltation and executing balletic spins. Credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns, via Getty Images

By Melena Ryzik, New York Times

Her fall tour for “High as Hope” is her biggest yet, with headlining stops at arenas like the Hollywood Bowl and Barclays Center in Brooklyn. At a preview show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last month, the stage heaved with flowers and moss and baby’s breath hung overhead, like clouds. Beforehand, she’d joked that the tour “could be called, like, ‘On Nightgowns and Spiritual Confusion’ because that’s what it is, I’m in a nightgown being confused about things in a loud way.”

But when she walked onstage, de-accessorized and barefoot, in a shell-pink lingerie gown and lace-edged bed jacket, there were no doubts. She stalked the floor with the fervor of a preacher, raising her arms in exaltation and executing balletic spins. In the end, she made her way into the crowd, for a communion. “Tell someone you don’t know that you love them,” she instructed. “Make it awkward.”

In real life and in performance, Ms. Welch is looking for connection. “I quite like the idea of putting really big, unanswerable spiritual questions in pop songs,” she’d said earlier. “We can be together in this moment, and celebrate the not-knowing, and perhaps feel closer to each other. We can jump up and down. If you just dance about it, you will feel better.”

To read entire news story, click HERE.

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Hawaii’s quest for a new type of independence

The Royal Family of Hawaii.

“Hawaii is the only American state that was once a kingdom. The royal family was overthrown in 1893 with decisive help from President Benjamin Harrison and US Marines,” writes Stephen Kinzer of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University in the Boston Globe. “Soon afterward a new president, Grover Cleveland, condemned the overthrow as “an act of war” and asked Congress to return the royal family to power. Congress refused. Instead, in 1898, it voted to annex Hawaii. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted to the Union as our 50th state.
“Native Hawaiian culture is enjoying a renaissance. Cities and towns have passed ordinances stipulating that most streets should bear Hawaiian names. Clubs have sprung up to promote traditions ranging from hula dancing to navigation with double-hulled canoes. The University of Hawaii has opened a center for the study of native Hawaiian law. Courses in the Hawaiian language, which not long ago seemed on the brink of disappearing, have become steadily more popular. Some elementary schools offer instruction in Hawaiian only — a far cry from days when schoolchildren were required to speak English and punished if they did not.

“History, like ethnicity and geography, makes Hawaii distinct. The arrival of European and American mariners set off a series of devastating plagues. Within sixty years of Captain James Cook’s arrival in 1778, the native population had fallen by more than 70 percent. The mariners were followed by hundreds of Christian missionaries, most of them from New England. They were horrified by native customs and worked tirelessly to suppress them. Some of their descendants went on to assemble vast sugar and fruit plantations, depriving natives of their traditional land. A handful of them organized the 1893 uprising in which Queen Lilioukalani was deposed, ending a monarchy that had ruled for nearly a century. They succeeded only because the United States, by prior arrangement, immediately recognized them as the legal government and landed Marines to secure their power.”

To read Stephen Kinzer’s entire article on the restoration movement of the Kingdom of Hawaii, click HERE.

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