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Guest Voices: Meet Jason R. Tippitt

Please allow me to introduce myself; I’m a man of poverty and passion. (Apologies to Mick Jagger.)

I’m not exactly new here, but my arrival is something like one of those stories you hear where a band hires a fan to be the new singer. Except the previous singer didn’t leave. And we don’t really sound alike. But we’ve known each other a long time.

So this isn’t really that at all. I’m a longtime fan of this blog, but usually silent, though I’ve been reading it off and on since the beginning, and I’ve known Elizabeth Donald much longer than this blog has been here or since the word “blog” was not a typo, for that matter.

We share an interest in creative works. We both write. She publishes, and I get ideas that stall out before they’re done. (It’s a work in progress.) She is a queen of things that go chomp in the night; my tastes run more toward dragging real-life horrors out into the day.

She loves roller coasters. I have occasionally considered but never committed to buying a roller coaster-building simulation for my computer. 

I introduced her to comic books eons ago. She tried to introduce me to Laurell K. Hamilton (her books, anyway), but it wasn’t a good fit. I think we’re in agreement that constant crossovers have killed the joy of comics for us. (Editor's note: I call it the Crisis of Infinite Crossovers.)

Things we’ll be talking about here — well, I’ll be talking about them and I hope you’ll chime in, too — include how religious and spiritual themes appear in pop culture in unexpected places, the ways that comedy treats human sexuality, and the topic of what (if anything) celebrities “owe” to their fans and vice versa.

I won’t pretend to be all-encompassing in my knowledge of popular culture. I’m a guy of a certain age from a certain background who’s had certain experiences and known certain people. There are gaps in my knowledge which, the internet being the internet, I’m sure will be made known to me with a quickness.

At times, I will contradict myself because I’m a human being and we do that. Try to respect that complication in me and I’ll try to give you the benefit of the doubt as well. Life is a learning process.

The most important things I’m keeping in mind as I approach this — more like going to work at a store you’ve frequented, really, because no one has ever wanted to hear me sing — are these two facts:

There’s endless space on the Internet. “Running out of news hole” — a term only print journalists (and survivors of the industry like Elizabeth and myself) will understand — does not apply here, though exceeding readers’ attention spans does.

And the easiest way to annoy Elizabeth Donald is to

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Jason R. Tippitt is a former newspaper journalist and seminary dropout now caring for family members full-time three counties past nowhere in Tennessee. He is co-author (with Elizabeth Donald) of “I Live With It Every Day,” featured in her anthology SETTING SUNS.


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