The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 13, 1996 · Page 60
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 60

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 13, 1996
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Page 60
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GOD POPS UP IN CULTURE J oan Osborne and Dog's Eye View sing about him. Delia Reese and Roma Downey do his work on TV's Touched by an Angel. Greg Kinnear answers his mail in a new movie. Pick up books and the comic page, join in online chats about him — God is everywhere. Why does God seem more ubiquitous in today's cultural scene than the World Wide Web? "God is in popular culture because God is present in people's experience and consciousness," says Paul Schervish, a Boston College sociologist. "The question isn't 'Why is he there now?' — God's been in popular culture since ancient times — but 'How rich is the portrayal?' Popular culture is potentially either the richest or the most watered- down version of God." Osborne's hit song One of Us asks: "What if God was one of us?" Dog's Eye View meets God on the subway in Everything Falls Apart. Me'Shell Ndege- Ocello realizes in God Shiva "we are in truth, the truth we seek: God." And Tha Crossroads finds rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony "prayin 1 , prayin', prayin'." The God of pop culture is not necessarily a Judeo-Christian God. He (or she) can be any form of pure love and power. "Because God is for everyone, we'll never run out of stories," says Martha Williamson, executive producer of CBS' Touched by an Angel. "I think the show's success lies in the fact that God is an inclusive God. God exists and wants to be part of all our lives — if we let him." Seek and ye shall find: • A fall Angel spinoff, Promised Land, starring Gerald McRaney as a God-inspired human helping others in need. • A November movie, Dear God, in which con man Greg Kinnear works in the post office answering mail addressed to God. And Nora Ephron's Michael, starring John Travolta as an archangel sent by God to Iowa, is due at Christmastime. • Dozens of new books. Publisher Susan Petersen of Riverhead Books estimates that one-third of the company's 25-30 annual hardcover titles are about God, religion or spirituality. Although, as Petersen notes, "the Bible is always a best seller," God has gone "much more mainstream" in '90s books as aging baby boomers—who buy the most hardcovers — examine their lives. Just why boomers, the most influential cultural The fall: Top to bottom, Greg Kinnear In Dear Cod; Delia Reese and Roma Downey of TVs Touched by an Angel; John Travolta In Michael; singer Joan Osborne; and Neale Donald Watech's Conversations With God, one of several spiritual books due out this month decisionmakers, pop God into culture is clear to some of them. "We're getting closer to our millennium," jokes cartoonist Wiley, 45, whose comic strip "Non Sequitur" often features Homer, "a reluctant soul" who is reborn into different lives when a "" God-like being clicks a computer mouse. The idea of eternal existence, says Wiley, "offers comfort." The fine line between praising and commercializing the Creator lies in the sincerity of the creators of pop culture, say today's artists and social observers. When popular culture does succeed in "permeating the everyday with mystery," says Schervish, it infuses life with more profound meaning. And it doesn't matter whether insight, meaning and a new relationship with God come through your CD player, TV or online service: "If you were God, would you complain about the attention?" — By Pam Janis - Dow Corning Bankruptcy LEGAL NOTICE If you have ever had a surgical implant, you may need to act now to preserve your rights. To preserve >our rights no\\ and in the future, \ou must Tile Jaiiuan 15, 1997. Breast Implant Knee Implant Joint/Toe Implant Penile/Testicular Implant Tissue Expanders Injected Silicone Fluids TMJ Corrective Surgery/ Siliastic® Sheeting Hip Implant Chin Implant Nasal Implant Contraceptive Implants Dow Corning Corporation has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. As part of the bankruptcy process, Dow Corning Corporation ("DCC") is required to provide notice to those who believe they have a claim or may have a claim in the future caused by the use of long-term metal, silicone, or silicone-containing implantable devices, silicone raw materials, and other materials manufactured or sold by DCC or Dow Coming Wright Corporation ("DCWC"). To preserve your claim against DCC relating to these products, you must file a claim to be received by January IS, 1997. If you do not file a claim form, you may lose your right to bring any claim against DCC in the future. Filing a claim form does not necessarily entitle you to compensation. You must file even if you have no problem with your implant, or if you don't know if DCC manufactured or provided materials for your implant, or if you already registered in other Implant litigation, including the Breast Implant Global Settlement. For more information about the bankruptcy, implants made or sold by DCC or DCWC, the filing process and/or to receive a claim form, call the toll free number listed below, or write to: Dow Coming Claims Administration Facility, P.O. Box 7500, Midland, MI 48641-7500, or visit the World Wide Web site at http://www.lmplantclauns.com (all for an information package and claim 1 -800-997-1700 The above is only a partial list of applicable implants. By order of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division. Dow Corning Corporation, Debtor, Case No. 95-20512' 11 -AJS

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