For those who don’t know, this summer I’m working at University Townhouses Cooperative (UTC), a subsidized housing complex where I build fences and move appliances. Today was a particularly humid day, with an official temperature in the 80s but a heat index that felt well into the 100s. Most of the day was spent taking breaks from the heat, or filling water bottles, or wondering if a breeze will pick up, or wondering if it won’t.
At long last, the inevitable thrust of the day led us inside into the much more forgiving world of air conditioning. Under the shady branches of a cool electric fan, we spread our weary selves upon the oasis of swivel chairs that was my supervisor’s office.
I have been wanting to write this post for a while. Since Vatican II there has appeared among the Catholic faithful a division between “liberal” Catholics on the “left,” “traditionalist” Catholics on the “right,” and just plain Catholic Catholics who think both sides are absurd. I consider myself in the third group. In other words, I am Catholic.
Catholics of three varieties. Left: “liberal.” Middle: “conservative.” Right: Catholic.
Our world constantly asks us to get “in touch with” ourselves. Even the old philosophers said “know thyself.” Yet, after millennia of supposedly doing just that, the human race still has no idea who/what it is.
The great thing about Christianity is it doesn’t ask the impossible of us. It asks the ironically easier task: “Know God, and let Him know you.” Yes, it is far more possible for the transcendent Divine Being to know us than for us to know even ourselves; and by Christ it is now easier – somehow, mysteriously – for us to know the Unknowable God than to know our selves. And that’s fine. In fact, it is – somehow, mysteriously – the way things should be.
I haven’t posted in a while. I tend to not get very personal in my posts – at least not explicitly – but allow me to talk about some things that are very relevant to my life and very non-theoretical. (You’ll read this post and think yeah right, this is ALL theoretical. It’s not. It’s personal).
The lesson of this last year can be summed up in one phrase: Everyone, everyone, is messed up. Continue reading
If you want to know where a civilization is going to end up, all you have to do is look at the art that is most typical to that civilization. Our own Western commercial postmodern civilization is no different. Our art involves pop, pastiche, remix, and irony. And there is no better example of the art of NOW than the following mash-up by DJ Earworm. It perfectly expresses on every level the spirit of our times. Visuals, lyrics, message, meaning, tempo, medium, EVERYTHING is a PERFECT window into our times:
You can tell a lot about a culture by the art it produces. You can tell even more about a culture by the art it consumes. Continue reading
In the style of Evan Richard’s brilliant cinematography blog, I’ve captured screenshots of the breathtakingly cinematic “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) by Mel Gibson. This film should have received much more accolade than it did given its technical and artistic achievements.
The Cinematography of “The Passion of the Christ)” (2004)
Cinematographer: Caleb Deschanel
Nominated for 2004 Academy Award for Best Cinematography