The Bigger Picture

Home Town Takeover: A Little Reno, A Little Inclusion, A Lot of Love

Ben and Erin Napier, hosts of HGTV’s Home Town Takeover.

HGTV’s new “it” couple and hosts of the smash Home Town, Ben and Erin Napier, are back in a new limited series, Home Town Takeover (HGTV, Sundays, 8:00 p.m. ET/PT). This time around, the Napiers are using their home renovation talents to breathe life into the floundering small town of Wetumpka, Alabama, as seen in the Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney film, Big Fish. And if you’re not careful, you may just pick up a thing or two about inclusion and community along the way.

Home renovation shows are nothing new. HGTV has perfected the art of combining likable hosts, adventures in house hunting and home repair, and the requisite “unforeseen” bump in the road to create the enviable HGTV happy endings we’ve come to expect. But Home Town Takeover takes these familiar pieces and turns them into something bigger and more meaningful than the sum of its parts.

The Bigger Picture

What’s a ‘Normal’ Guy to Do With All These Marginalized Groups

Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Recently, a friend told me he posted a meme on social media that he thought was perfectly fine until a friend pointed out to him that said meme might be offensive. My friend informed me that he removed the meme and proceeded to render a heartfelt apology. But between his confession and mea culpa, he sandwiched a question: is an Oompa Loompa meme offensive to Little People?


I Said, “Happy Holidays!”

Aaron Burden,

Some people get all bent out of shape by use of the phrase “happy holidays.” I suppose it’s because they prefer others greeted them exclusive with the phrase “merry Christmas” this time of year or not at all. Personally, it makes me happy when people wish me good tidings of great joy (or any amount, for that matter).


No Cuts, No Butts, No Coconuts: When Marginalization and Privilege Cut the Line.

Image by Rob Bye,

Let’s say you arrive at your favorite restaurant for a meal as soon as the doors open. You speak with the seating hostess and ask how long is the wait? She tells you there’s no wait and asks how many in your party. You respond one. (Roll with me on this, I hate eating alone in a restaurant, too.) She tells you to have a seat, you’re next.


How I Talk to Christian People About LGBT Issues

This post was in response to this letter penned to me on Medium in response to my article How I Talk to White People About Racism.

So “how do I talk to Christian people about LGBT issues?” Without sounding cavalier or insensitive, I like to think there no LGBT issues. There are only human issues.

But if we have to break the challenges that LGBT people face out into a separate category, I think talking about them with Christian people is pretty much like talking about any other hot topic with anyone else

The Bigger Picture

America in Retrograde

A growing number of Americans are horrified by the recent spate of violent events related to race over the last few years. To me it’s like a watching a bad reality show entitled, “America in Retrograde.” If only the state of our union was just a TV show, I imagine lots of viewers would be scrambling for their remotes.