Generally I read a book on the way to work (I walk), today I walked out the door checking Twitter. My friend Kelly Stone (@KellyMarieStone) reTweeted: “RT @michaelgungor: A bit of a fiery rant about Christian media, wine, and yes, zombies. (http://bit.ly/t3Zfzz). Compelled by curiosity I followed the link.
Wow. Amazing. It turns out its the blog of Michael Gungor, who I have previously never heard of, and his post is a few of his thoughts on “Christian” media.
By “a few of his thoughts,” I mean 2,969 words of awesomeness!
You have to read it (click here). I know you’re thinking, “3000 words? really?” But you know, it’s worth it. Some things can’t be packaged into tiny 250-300 word capsules. Maybe that’s part of the wonder I felt when reading it, that Michael didn’t care to shorten his thoughts, or abbreviate his point into separate posts. He just put it out there: Ready or not, here I come.
And that’s also the point of his post, that “Christian media” has become more a marketing machine than culture of artistic impression, and God forbid, creativity.
His focus is music, but I would also agree this point is true with books. I read quite a bit, maybe more than the average Joe (my bookshelf), but most of the fiction I consume is not Christian, as it generally annoys me in the first few pages.
I am writing a novel and in doing so have read the “bibles” on writing, and the “what not to do” sections could be filled by many “Christian” novels written by the higher selling authors. They have a “feel” to them that’s easy to pick out, much like Christian radio stations, which are easily distinguished even before the “Jesus loves me” lyrics can be heard.
Not that it’s entirely bad, but the eerie feeling is one of inadequacy, of missing the empirical standards set by many secular authors like Stephen King, Philip Roth, Dan Brown, and John Irving.
I know my ideas may never be bought into by the larger marketers (oops, publishers), but that’s why I must create it. That is why I cannot settle for the subpar, call it “Christian” and expect people to like it. The Christian public may buy it, but like me, they are likely tired of the same old crap they get handed.
And so I raise my Guinness and toast to writing the way I want, to making my posts 2,969 words if I must. *chug chug*