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One of my college art professors and an award winning editorial illustrator in his own right, Robert Meganck, has a great read on the importance of context in our society. I felt it a worthy read as any other and had to share it with you guys.
On January 12, at 7:51 a.m. a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeve T-shirt and Washington Nationals baseball cap positioned himself against a wall next to the L’enfant Plaza Metro station. He pulled a violin out of its’ case, turned the case around, put a few dollars in it as seed money and began to play.
During the next 43 minutes while he preformed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. After 3 minutes, one middle aged man turned his head to listen before moving on. Shortly after, a women threw a buck in the case. In the time that he played, seven people stopped for a moment to listen, 27 gave money for a total of $32 and change.
The violinist was Joshua Bell, a onetime child prodigy and an internationally acclaimed virtuoso. Three days prior to the Metro station performance, he played to a filled house at Boston’s Symphony Hall where OK seats went for $100.
The violin was a $3.5 million Stradivarius. The music was some of the most beautiful classical music ever written.
More at the jump. Maybe Brian and or myself can address this later ourselves (when my plate isn’t piled so high).
By George Lucas
WHOAZ, Kemiro reporting in, it’s been a while (it usually is) but I was thinking about this and what it means, or at least how I understand it…and this 3rd post got the wheels turning — I wanna take a stab at it.
(off topic: I think it’s funny that spell check doesn’t correct the word ‘wanna’)
Note: Part of my argument was skewed against a misread point that Brian made, that God made man to sin and not made man capable of sin, which puts a different spin on everything, but I reallllly don’t feel like revising this whole thing line by line, so just kinda read it and get the jist of it, the big picture, aight? Ciao ~<3
If Paradise on Earth is pointless, is Heaven pointless? The world beyond this one that we aspire to; not just in death, but in life here. I find that when Jesus is referring to ‘Inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven’ in the gospel he doesn’t just mean, the place we go when we die, but making it “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” If war, poverty and suffering, even competition ended overnight, while giving glory to God, here on Earth, is that a failure? Is that a life bereft of meaning or purpose?
Lets posit that God knew that Eve either would eat the fruit of knowledge, or she wouldn’t. But he knew that we *could* sin. Because if God knows what we will do then free will is an illusion. Rather, lets propose that God knows all that we are capable of within our universe, every possible choice and every possible consequence. God didn’t create us to fall. God created us before any other reason, to love us. He created us in this Earthly paradise, knowing that if we fell from that Grace, he would be there to love us through it all anyway. He would be there to send Noah, to send Moses, to send, ultimately Christ Jesus.
And with Noah and Moses, again, choice is what carries us forward. God chooses us all the time, and we turn away, afraid. The story begins with God choosing us but the story continues because they- the chosen ones – choose.
God’s creation, Man (and Woman), disobeyed God, and in doing so, chose death. God could have forgiven Adam and Eve right on the spot, but what would they have gained from that? What would they have learned? What does any loving, responsible parent do to a child who gravely misbehaves? They punish them. They discipline them. The old testament is basically humanity’s discipline (our, whooping, our time-out, if you will) at the hands of the God who loves us. And when God saw that the time was right, he raised us again, in the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. He freed us from Death, the Parent brought the Child out of their sulking, weeping solitude.
Man has free will, but men are finite beings under an infinite God. Whatever we can possibly throw at him, he knows the front and back of any path we choose. If I got in my car right now and left everything behind and just drove until I ran outta gas without a cent to my name, God would be ready for that. Parents don’t have children so those children can “suffer and sacrifice and so on,” they have children because their love is great enough that it can’t help but extend from them to creation. That love has to manifest as knew life, and then, new love. We raise our children to be good, but when they are bad, we have to be ready to deal with it. Knowing that misbehavior, those steps backward aren’t the end of them, that we can still be loving, be loved, and be holy.
God isn’t one possible outcome, He is every possible outcome, and they all lead back, to Him.
(and to bring it back to 1)
The problem with the Trek universe is that God isn’t present, not that the world is perfect. It’s not perfect…. because God isn’t there. Our ultimate purpose in this life, never mind the fictional one, is to give glory to God. We do that through our actions, loving each other, and teaching each other, through the highs and lows of love. We do that in our prayer, our worship, our behavior, and our charity to our neighbor. It’s when we do these things that we are closest to God and the most alive. But without the ultimate force of love in the universe guiding us it doesn’t matter if the world is in total harmony or completely war-torn and starving to death. From my own personal experience, three things I know of have brought me the closest, within inches, of God: Making love to a woman, great acts of spontaneous generosity, and fearing for my life/safety. On a gut level everyone pursues these in some form or another as best they know how. Some people just don’t see religion as ‘exciting.’ [In Trek] We’ve supposedly ‘transcended’ religion, faith in God. But in that universe we haven’t transcended anything, we’ve just thrown it (and thus, ourselves) away.
[Addendum by Brian]
This is actually a really remarkable analysis of a massive cultural problem. I’m going to have to do a writeup on this later.
[Addendum by Kevin]
THAT’S WHAT I WAS HOPING FOR! I might as well, but seriously, good stuff here.
I went home to Newport News this weekend for my youngest niece, Sasha’s baptism. I held the honor of being one of her God Parents, and it was a good weekend to pay my folks a visit. It all took place at the church I grew up in, St. Vincent De Paul on 34th street. We arrive early, before mass at 9:30am, and I’m surprised, and honestly perplexed at what I find. A small group of people, about 5 or 6 of them, most of them older folks, praying the Rosary in the sanctuary, out loud (emphasis on loud), as people slowly trickle in for mass.
I’d never seen anything like it. It was quite possibly the most distracting and obnoxious thing I’d ever witnessed at a church. I tried to ignore it and not let it get to me, but I couldn’t help it. They were being inredibly loud with their prayer and not because sound carries very easily in the sanctuary. I step outside before I completely lose it. I’ve been thinking about it since then, and I can’t see what they were doing as anything posititive. Sure, pray the Rosary to your heart’s content but… why make a scene out of it? For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why you would do something like that. I mentioned it to my mom and she was telling me they usually do it in the parish hall, adjacent to the sanctuary, and are even louder. All prayer is good but this just struck me as showing off. Look everyone, look at how religious we are! Can’t you see we’re religious?!
1 ‘Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.
2 So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
3 But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing;
4 your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
5 ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
6 But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
7 ‘In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.
I don’t mean to rant, if it’s coming off that way. However witnessing this just filled me with frustration and anxiety, revulsion and bewilderment. I felt like I was going to suffocate or pop at any moment. For the life of me, I can’t justify their practice. I’m curious to know when it started and how long it will last. My concerns are, aside from being loud, annoying and obnoxious, with an utter disregard to their fellow parishioners who come in, kneel, and pray/meditate quietly before mass, what is the ultimate purpose of such a public display, other than to be seen? I feel like they’ve completely missed the point, the same way people wearing gaudy, diamond studded (or ‘blinged out) crosses around their necks (all the while rapping about how much money they have or how many hoes and bitches they get on the daily), thanking god for their success and riches have completely lost the Gospel’s teachings.
There’s a clear line between public prayer, communal worship, and this type of behavior whose purpose is to stand out from the group and be noticed. I wonder if they even realize what they’re doing.
Absurdity of absurdities.
In the past I’ve written at length about the work out of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s ‘Team Ico’. Well they’ve finally released footage of their third and latest project, tentatively titled Trico (Shadow of The Colossus was titled Nico before it was unveiled (Ni means Two in japanese)), and finally, we have footage of the third game, which looks like it exists in the same universe and will undoubtedly inspire, leave me in awe, take my breath away and give me vertigo. Behold, Project Trico!