The list goes on and on, and these are names from only the past few years. These are all Christian leaders who abused power for purposes of their own gains and desires, leaving a wake of countless broken and victimized souls in their self-indulgent trails. These are only the ones who finally experienced some manner of fall from grace after the exposure of their sinful deeds became too staggeringly extensive such that they could no longer vanquish them all. Who knows how many more cases are still successfully under wraps?
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Ravi Zacharias coverage, more disclosures about abuses--some thoughts on how vicariously living through favorite teachers, preachers and artists is probably how "we" let "them" keep harming people
The term evangelical industrial complex is very niche but there's a transcript so you can read or listen, whichever is faster for you. I mention this separately because I think there's a larger theme than just Christian popular level culture industry patterns but to springboard past that it won't hurt to mention this.
Julia Duin has a lengthy piece at Politico on charismatic/Pentecostal prophets and how prophets in those movements fed into fantasies that Trump won 2020
Thursday, February 18, 2021
a lookback on something I wrote about Joss Whedon in 2017: revisiting the one-trick quippy pony in 2021 as having a rep parasitically dependent on actresses who were better than the lines he wrote for them decades ago
Whedon's really gone much farther on the good graces of actresses better than the dialogue he writes for them than he may have deserved.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Julia Duin comments on the predictable labeling by some clergy of VP Harris as "Jezebel" and usage variables of the term
To no one's surprise "Jezebel" means something different coming from clergy than taken as the name of an online magazine. The propensity in the US to wear insults as badges of honor doesn't mean what Jezebel is recorded as having done in the Samuel-Kings literature is praiseworthy. Framing someone on false charges of blasphemy against god and king so as to procure a vineyard so the king can get a vegetable garden is eventually punished by Yahweh later by way of the prophets of Ahab being deceived by a lying spirit to go to his death in battle, despite being warned by a prophet that this was going to happen. In other words, within Jewish and Christian literature Jezebel's misuse of royal power "could" be compared to figures like Nixon and other presidents but not necessarily (yet) to someone who only recently got sworn in as VP.
As Duin expounds in her piece what Baptists and Pentecostals mean by "Jezebel" or "Jezebel spirit" won't always be the same but there's no version of it that is "positive" which is why some clergy have publicly rebuked the use of the term to describe VP Harris, which is a big chunk of Duin's piece.
As in Ross has already figured that an updated or revised edition of his recent book Wagnerism needs to now include a reference to Mr. Rogers.
... Tiarks writes: "Although his ego was at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Richard Wagner’s, Rogers took Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk approach, writing all the scripts, as well as the lyrics and music for the more than 200 songs performed on [the show]." I will see if I can incorporate that provocative insight into a revised version of Wagnerism. Years ago, Jim Smith told me Rogers enjoyed reading my New Yorker columns; it's the best compliment I've ever received.
To say that Fred Rogers ego was at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Richard Wagner's might be an understatement of a year. What's the Wagnerian connection? The total work of art, the way Rogers could compose music and write stories and develop characters. We don't have to like Richard Wagner as a person or enjoy his music to appreciate that without Richard Wagner's operatic legacy Scott Joplin might not have aspired to composing Treemonisha. Michael Jackson could arguably embody in his whole persona the Wagnerian ideal of the total-work-of-art and popular level defenses of Jackson's legacy zero in on the fact that Jackson wrote songs, could sing, and also dance, in other words, whether Jackson's advocates know it or not they are explicitly arguing for the creative significance of Michael Jackson on Wagnerian terms of the synthesis of arts.
Ethan Iverson notes the passing of Chick Corea and mentions the jazz pianist's conversion to Scientology, (early) Corea admirer Terry Mattingly at GetReligion notes how few obits have much to say on that topioc
... What puzzled me, of course, was this statement: “Corea converted to Scientology, and the religion’s teachings informed much of his music from then on. …”
The word “informed” is interesting. However, my journalism question, in this case, was practical, rather than philosophical.
Hear me out. If the science fiction of Hubbard and the religious teachings and methods of Scientology played such a major role in Corea’s art, maybe the Times team could have included a sentence or two explaining that? Maybe a few practical examples or, perhaps, a quote from Corea (or Hubbard) demonstrating what this influenced looked like, in practice?
These religious teachings shaped “much” of his music? That implied some pieces composed by Corea were influenced by these teachings more than others (as opposed to J.S. Bach signing “Soli Deo Gloria” at the end of every piece — from, logically enough, sacred choral music to solo organ masterworks).
This was, apparently, an important force in the life of a great artist. Maybe it was worth a few sentences?
So, throwing that out for consideration.