Pop Xulture Newsletter 2 – Focusing on Doctor Who. 3/31/22
Hey friends, thanks for checking out my Newsletter. Today was a big day, I had two articles publish so let’s celebrate!
It’s been a long time coming but my Doctor Who article finally published on Christ and Pop Culture! Also published today was a piece on the Progressive Insurance Dr. Rick ads. And for y’all on Substack I’m working on an article about creativity, focused on a few points from John Cleese’s Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide. Let me know in the comments below if that’s something you’d like more of.
The Doctor Who article began when I pitched an article (using the artifact of Stig’s Inferno) on the theme of “perspective.” It was declined but Christ and Pop Culture asked if it could morph into something on “parenting” and I pitched the Doctor Who iteration in June 2021. Many circumstances delayed publication but after nearly ten months, the article posted today. You may want to check it out to see the contrast in what you’re about to read.
A lot changed in almost a year. When I started writing the article, Series 13 didn’t have a release date and now only two episodes are left to air. And when I initially started brainstorming, the biggest concern about my son was his homework, now his driver’s license is looming (for me) in the near future. Okay, enough of me jabbering, here is the Exclusive, original section:
Section 3: An Adventure in Safety and Time
We say we seek peace and quiet but find ourselves frantically rushing around as if unmitigated busyness is real adventure breeding contentment. In “Praxeus” the Doctor rushes off in typical fashion, but companion Yaz is determined to stay behind and recover some important technology. The Doctor’s agreement to leave Yaz is pivotal because it underlines her trust in Yaz but it also gives Yaz a taste of high stakes danger on her own. As humans we need adventure. It’s why God gave us taste buds and it’s why bed-ridden kids read adventure stories and watch YouTube. But, just like learning styles, adventure is different for each child.
Not every kid wants to be an intrepid explorer. Sure, my son still wants to be Indiana Jones, but my daughter wants to be a comic book colorist. Setting up for success means adventure is unique to each child. As parents we must resist the urge to overprotect. Especially with first or only children we must straddle the fine line between keeping them alive and teaching independence.
When my son was born he couldn’t breathe and had to be rushed to another hospital’s NICU. It was tough on my wife and I, but it gave us a unique perspective: our son wasn’t ours, he was God’s. Recognizing my fear of the unknown wasn’t fun but ultimately it brought peace. My son almost dying wasn’t an outlier: the second we’re born, our clocks are ticking down to death. Optimistic, I know. So God loved us at the beginning not because of anything we’ve done but He knows our physical bodies are dying. We don’t have a Time Lord’s ability to regenerate. But we are heading toward something worse than physical death, we’re all dying spiritually.
That’s what God meant in the Garden when He told our parents Adam and Eve if they ate the fruit they would die. I find it interesting that between the disobedient act and the punishment, God gave instructions on how a mom and dad are supposed to train their kids to be independent. It’s as if God is saying, “Now that you know why life is tough and your kids clearly have a sin nature, be sure to train them to handle the difficulties and adventures of life by themselves.”
But then, in the following disciplining punishment, God prophesied that Jesus would overcome Satan and death with spiritual life (Genesis 3:15, Romans 15:20-27). This gives hope and strength to train our kids in independence while relying on God’s eternal salvation. The balance of adventure with safety was highlighted when I watched Doctor Who’s episode “Ascension of the Cybermen.”
The Cybermen convert people to be part human, part machine. Knowing the Cybermen will stop at nothing to wipe out humanity, she gets her three human companions out of harms way. The danger was simply too great. But she didn’t send them back to earth and helicopter parent over them or abandon them either.
The Doctor trusts that she’s trained her companions to handle what’s next. In the same way, we need to constantly calculate how much risk our kids can handle. Not what we’re comfortable with, what they can handle. Acceptable risk. Breaking an arm may be okay, death is not. Losing the competition is permissible, pressured into cheating is not.
When Series 11 began, Ryan had been abandoned by his dad and didn’t like his step-grandpa Graham. It was easy for Graham to try and be protective of Ryan when their adventures first started. But it was by following the Doctor’s example of positive attachment theory in watching for risks while providing a safe environment to return (the TARDIS), that taught Graham how to parent.
In time, Ryan began to appreciate Graham as a mentor but also a friend. Graham struggled with the right balance but he always tried to have Ryan’s back so his grandson could become his own man. Parenting is about setting a physical example, so our kids have a reference for their spiritual relationship with God. As they become independent from us, they should become dependent on God (Genesis 2:24 and Proverbs 22:6). But we’re not in control, remember Solomon’s proverb said, “It’s their responsibility to make wisdom their own, you just do your best in training them” (from the original Fogleistic text).
[END EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE CONTENT]
It changed a lot, huh? I think it changed for the best and that’s due in large part to editing. A special thanks to the editor of the Doctor Who article Jason Morehead and to Mary Massie for her beautiful photography of my TARDIS tattoo (see article). Alright, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading!
Thanks, in Him,
-Chris (the Bearded Wonder) Fogle