The Irreverent connection
Also, it's the end of the year!
Welcome to (what might be) the last edition of Modern Relics for 2022. Last year I said I was going to take a break in the last half of December, but then I wound up doing a bonus edition anyway. So that might happen and it might not — I’m giving myself the gift of doing whatever I want.
Before I get to the (maybe) last batch of posts and my little retrospective, I want to announce that I was a special guest on the Tea With Queens podcast! I spoke with Dizzy Bility (aka Petey Walter) and Nick Summerfield about the intersection of religion and queer life, and also how Dizzy exposed my secret relationship with my housemate (who is now my fiance).
Give it a listen and leave some nice comments for the queens so hopefully they will have me back and I’ll get some more free wine and parsnips.
I’m always happy to be on a pod. If you have a podcast and you’re in need of a guest, feel free to get in touch.
A gift? For me? :)
In case I don’t do a special Christmas edition
I watched Irreverent
Bear with me, I’m about to post an L. Last week I wrote about the new Australian comedy/drama on Netflix (or, Peacock in the US), Irreverent without having watched it or heard any detail about it. Immediately after publishing, Matt contacted me to say…
No I did not! I knew nothing about this! It turns out the show’s creator Paddy Macrae is son of former Uniting Church president Rev Alistair Macrae. That’s a pleasant surprise. Then, as I was watching, I noticed an Easter egg referencing my own church ministers Radhika and Adrian Sukumar-White. I screamed.
I immediately texted Radhika — do you know Paddy Macrae? Yes she said, he went to our church for a while a few years ago and that’s why we’re referenced in his new show. Why, didn’t you know?
I did not know! Apparently everyone around me just assumed I was already across it. Friends, never give me that much credit. I will never be annoyed about someone sharing something they think I’ll like if I’ve already seen or heard of it. Anyway, with the enormous disclaimer that I’m now awfully biassed, how was it?
It wasn’t perfect, but I loved it. It’s a little bit Seachange and a little bit Rake, with even more organised crime. The real reverend Mackenzie sticks around as a cartoonish buffoon that contrasts with the cool, fake reverend Paulo perfectly. I straight up loved the city slicker Bishop of Brisbane. In true Aussie drama style the small town folk annoy you and then you fall in love with them. There was a funeral early on in the season and I cried.
The last episode teases a second season, and I really hope it happens.
White Lotus season 2 happened
Watch the whole video on YouTube (age restricted).
This clip isn’t from White Lotus we just stan Aubrey Plaza. According to White Lotus creator Mike White, season 3 will be “maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality.”
Oh, you’re writing a season of one of my favourite shows specifically according to my interests? That’s how I know there is a God and he loves me :)
Here’s some more nun content
Amy Grant loves God and loves the gays
Crossover Christian music superstar Amy Grant will be hosting her niece’s same-sex wedding on her farm. Now the question is: Will Amy still get an invite to the Dove Awards?
No Denethor, Bob doesn’t deserve it!
Lastly, it’s the end of the year
Bing bong! I think we made it! I’ve really enjoyed writing Modern Relics in 2022, even as meeting my self-imposed deadlines became more and more challenging towards the end of the year.
I’ll save the full breakdown for the two-year anniversary of the newsletter in May, but after a period of pretty rapid growth earlier this year, things have slowed down a bit.
I’m sitting on 316 free subscribers (up from 99 this time last year), but I was on 280 in early October and my gains have been modest since then. My open rate is still around 50% and my churn is low, but if I want to keep growing I may have to mix things up.
I don’t exactly know what that means! I’m always looking for feedback about what’s working and what’s not, but here are a few ideas of my own:
Themed posts similar to when I wrote about Christian video games and the Christian music industry
More posts that jump on particular trends and fandoms — one of my most popular posts ever, Jesus Christ Superstar at the Olympics, was discovered by ice-skating fans and benefited from search engine traffic
Possibly, guest posts — I plan to take all of June 2023 off for my wedding and honeymoon, but would like for Relics to continue while I’m gone if possible
More deliberate cross-promotion with other newsletters
So, if you’re running a newsletter and would like some free content and/or you don’t mind writing a guest post for me, hit me up.
Thanks so much for reading this year. If I don’t post again in 2022, have a lovely end of year break, and I’ll see you next time! In the meantime, please join the Modern Relics Discord and/or post things in the comments and chat here on Substack.