Thursday, September 29, 2005

everyone needs their very own slogan.

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come back in 30 seconds - my slogan changes.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Avast Matey!


Monday, September 9th is Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Just thought you should know, you scurvy dogs.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Tomorrow I am finally going to see my beloved Atlanta Braves play. I say finally because I have been a fan as long as I can remember, but I've never had the opportunity to see them other than on TV. So thanks to the Montreal Expos for sucking so much they moved to Washington to become the Nationals so that now I have a National League park close enough to take a day trip to see the Braves.

By the way, Andruw Jones for MVP and Jeff Francoeur for Rookie of the Year.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Artsy Fartsy

My response to an article someone sent me on the issue of faith, art, Kinkade, sentimentality in art, etc.:

On Rothko and Kinkade (goodness, how did those two ever end up as co-subjects of a statement together?!), I think it is true that both elicit an emotional response from the viewer, but in my (not so) humble opinion, art is more than the ability of something to elicit an emotional response. I think that in order for art to be art, there has to be some sort of intent on the part of the artist, some sort of content. I'm not sure what that content or intent should be called, but it has to be more just doing it because it looks “cool”, will sell, etc. For example, J, N, T, and K were over at our house a few weeks ago, and the topic turned to this very subject. J referenced a news magazine type tv show he had seen. In this show, the reporter went into some really swank upscale New York clothing store and found a white t-shirt that had permanent wrinkles in it. Just a plain white t-shirt manufactured in such a way that you could not get the wrinkles out of it because this is, apparently, the style ("hey, I'm finally dressing in style!"). It was selling for something silly like $500 or so. The reporter, wanting to do some sort of expose' on how modern art is a rip-off or whatever, decided to buy the shirt frame it with the price tag still hanging on the shirt in such a way that you could see the price under the glass of the frame, and take his 'art' to local galleries and see if they would display it. (I guess the intent was to say how artists aren't really doing anything special; any of us could 'create' modern art) Galleries wouldn't hang it, because they didn't think it was art. But here's the important part of the example, the reason I typed in this whole example. R (the only artist of the 6 of us who were having this discussion) pointed out that the concept was, at least potentially, beautiful. She thought it could be a good piece of art. The reason it wasn't, and the reason that gallery owners wouldn't show it had nothing really to do with the physical object the reporter had brought in, it had nothing to do with whether it could elicit an emotional reaction (it probably could). It was because when they asked him about his work, he had no answer. Behind the physical object, there was no content. No reason for him creating this thing, other than to pretend to be all 'artsy' (and presumably show the modern art world for what it is – a scam out to rip you off). Had another person set out to make a statement about consumer culture, or superficial value judgments we place on things and people, or our desire to fit into an arbitrary social pecking order, this very same physical object would be art, and potentially good art. But that content was not there. It was simply an empty expression.

That's (one reason, at least) why, though both have the ability to elicit an emotional response from the viewer, Rothko is an artist and Kinkade is not.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Books and Xianity, Part Deux

I poked my head into a christian bookstore the other day, killing a few minutes before I had to be somewhere. Browsing the book section (it's kind of funny that there is a book section in a bookstore isn't it? Maybe just a little funny?), I noticed something kind of disturbing, at least disturbing to me. What I wanted to look at were theology-type books. But I couldn't find them. What I could find were many, many books of "christian fiction." In theory, I have no problem with "christian fiction" existing (except for the general idea that I don't think christians should be promoting the division of "sacred vs secular" in any type of art medium, e.g. music, visual/fine art, etc.). But certainly that should not make up 90% of the books in a christian bookstore, or any bookstore for that matter. So that made me kind of sad.

In thinking about this, I began to think about other types of books that seem prevalent in either christian bookstores, or in the religion-christianity section of a general bookstore. Aside from fiction, there are an unusually large amount of books on morality. All that is well and good. But the message of these books, at least the popular ones, seem to be about the immorality of those "out there". That is, they are books about why "we" are good and need to be on the watch for the evil of "them". It just seemed odd to me that books written by people who proclaim the name of the One who said "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5) are focused so much more on the evil of "them" than on the evil of "me." Not that immorality of others should be ignored, but there seems to be plenty of immorality going on by "us", enough at any rate to keep us busy or at least warrent at least as many books as the immorality of "them." But then again, nobody wants to pay money to read something that convicts and challenges them. Paying money to read about how bad those outside my group are is much easier and certainly much more satisfying emotionally.

On another note, I was at Borders a while back, and noticed something that I thought was really funny. So funny that I had to go grab the wife and tell her (for the record, I'm not sure if she thought it was as funny as I did, but she humored me). I was poking around the philosophy section. Next to the philosophy section, they have their Metaphysics section. Not good metaphysics a la Aristotle, etc., but the weird new-agey kind. Anyway, next to that was the New Age section. Next to that was the section entitled Astrology. Then the section entitled Astral Projection. Then (this is the funny part) there was the section entitled Speculation. If your not laughing, at least a little to yourself, here's why I found this funny. The section was actually called Speculation, and it was in the row of sections that progressivly, let's face it, weird and more and more absurd. And by calling the section Speculation, it was as if they had given up on trying to make this stuff sound even remotely plausible.

Ok, it was at least funny to me.

Making fun of bookstores is so much fun.