Saturday, June 26, 2021

Rex McGee Creation for Solo Banjo #5 in F minor

okay, before I sign off for the toaster oven weather weekend, let me throw out another sample of Rex McGee's 24 Creations for Solo Banjo.    No. 5 in F minor

The part in the middle cultivating a rising buzzy crescendo off the drum head of the banjo is fun. 

Wendy Alsup at Modern Reformation on "The Model for Christian Manhood", the farmer in contrast to the soldier

When I used to lead women’s ministry at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, I helped organize our yearly Women’s Retreats. The men, however, never had Men’s Retreats. They had Men’s Advances. Retreats, as they saw it, were for sissies. 

Nevermind that the larger church adopted the concept of retreat from Jesus’s example in the Gospels. Jesus withdrew/retreated on several occasions, the Greek word meaning to make space away, to retire to make room for something else. In contrast, the men at Mars Hill Church were not discipled to withdraw to make room for Jesus. The Men’s Advance had quite the reputation for being a boisterous weekend filled with conversations about sex and UFC fights. Perhaps the men did spend some quiet time in prayer and Bible study, but if they did, no one talked about that aspect of the Men’s Advance when they got home. 

Since the release of Kristin du Mez’s Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith, evangelicals have been buzzing about her portrayal of the recent history of conservative evangelicalism. I didn’t need to read Jesus and John Wayne to believe the author’s main conclusion—that American evangelicalism has had a long affair with warrior masculinity, to the point that evangelicals are willing to sacrifice character for leaders who are willing to kick some butt. My experience of American Evangelicalism from the independent fundamentalist churches of my youth to Mars Hill Church as an adult fit the one du Mez described. I was caught up in the warrior model of Christian manhood for a while. I looked to marry that kind of man for myself.

The warrior mentality that has emerged in the last fifty to seventy-five years of evangelicalism is not new in Church history. It was bred, for example, in actual warriors during the Crusades, to devastating effects. It has been used metaphorically to describe Machen and his warrior children or in the popularization of the warrior as the model for Christian manhood among Baptists on the heels of the rise of dispensationalism with Scofield and Ryrie. In Scofield’s end times scenario, Christ raptures a marginalized church valiantly holding off secular opponents. The gates of hell are biting at the church’s heals, with liberal wings falling left and right. Only those who valiantly fight to the end will be found holding on to the fundamentals of the faith.

I would like to argue that the warrior mentality is not the Biblical paradigm for Christian manhood, or womanhood for that matter.

After the implosion of Mars Hill Church and a divorce I didn’t want, I moved from Seattle, Washington to my grandparents’ farm in South Carolina. My elderly father still shares crops with the farmer who rents our land. For the last six years of my life, rocking on my screened porch overlooking the fields, recovering from both my divorce and the cancer diagnosis that followed two years later, I have been detoxing from the poor discipleship around sex and gender I received at Mars Hill and the warrior mentality for Christians, particularly Christian men, of my upbringing. The fog has cleared in my brain, and the true model for Christian manhood and womanhood has become as clear in my head as it actually is in Scripture. I stare at it every day.

Land. Seed. Work. Harvest.

The model for Christian manhood isn’t a warrior. It’s a farmer.  ...

I went to, I think, one mens' retreat (advance, whatever).  I have not been a fan of mens' retreats.  I talked with a friend of mine who also went to the same retreat and we both considered how depressing it was.  We were given homework modeled on the Jon Phelps "Reverse engineering your life" paradigm and we were supposed to write down if we'd be married or not; how much we would weigh; how often we'd have sex; how many kids we'd have, how much money we'd be making and ...

John McWhorter says you are not a racist to criticize critical race theory, Freddie deBoer insists that CRT is a consolation prize for the failure of police reform

The early writings by people like Regina Austin, Richard Delgado, Kimberlé Crenshaw are simply hard-leftist legal analysis, proposing a revised conception of justice that takes oppression into account, including a collective sense of subordinate group identity. These are hardly calls to turn schools into Maoist re-education camps fostering star chambers and struggle sessions.

However, this, indeed, is what is happening to educational institutions across the country. Moreover, it is no tort to call it "CRT" in shorthand when:

1) these developments are descended from its teachings and

2) their architects openly bill themselves as following the tenets of CRT.

Is anyone taken seriously actually proposing that students should learn nothing of slavery in school, or that students should never be taught that racism is anything but cross-burning and the N-word? Or, is it that a certain kind of person goes about ever hungry to accuse people of this aim, in order to fulfill their duty of identifying racism wherever they can find it?

In a dialogue premised on good faith, we can assume that when politicos and parents decry “Critical Race Theory,” what they refer to is the idea of oppression and white perfidy treated as the main meal of an entire school’s curriculum.

In other words, the issue here is not whether schoolkids should learn about racism. A certain kind of person loves to stand and breezily say that there are swarms of people out there who don't want kids to know about racism – and they say this with admirable oppositional poise but not a shred of evidence.

Rather, what most of us (as opposed to the Establishment in schools of education) think, and are correct about, is this:

1. Young children should not be taught if white to be guilty and if black to feel a) oppressed and b) wary of white kids around them (and if South Asian to be very, very confused …).

2. Young children should not be taught that the American story is mainly (note I write mainly rather than only, but mainly is just as awful here) one of oppression and racism. Not because it’s unpleasant and because sinister characters want to “hide” it, but because it’s dumb.

It is willfully blind to the complexity inherent to history, not to mention reality itself. Just as resonant a case could be made that America is founded on sexism, or classism – and the cases would be equally simplistic propaganda.


I'm not particularly for or against critical race theory because, for anyone who has read anything I've written at my blog in the last fifteen years, I am far more interested in finding practical and theoretical solutions to how "classical" musical forms can be adapted to American vernacular styles.  

John McWhorter on the classics at Princeton and language requirements, Daniel Walden at Current Affairs assures the classics aren't going anywhere; a digression into PNW aboriginal gift economy and how their slavery system can get skipped past in some writings

[1]“Gift economy” is a broad term used to describe non-market societies or social relationships wherein goods or valuables are given rather than being bought with money or bartered for. Such relationships are widely attested in ancient literatures—the Iliad and the Mahābhārata are both rife with examples—and persist in, among other things, the potlatch ceremonies held by indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

there's podcasts on the late Mars Hill and related themes this week. Mark Driscoll tweets "You need to deal with YOUR sin, and let God deal with THEIR sin". If Elijah and Elisha took that approach they wouldn't be in Samuel-Kings, would they?

Yesterday Warren Throckmorton highlighted three podcasts.

I have not gotten around to listening to the Veterans of Culture War podcast or the podcast episode from The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. Other things have been more immediately pertinent.  However, I hope to listen to those podcasts soon.  Meanwhile, however, I can report the following.  One of the advantages of never being on Twitter to begin with is that you can't be blocked from seeing stuff like this:

Monday, June 21, 2021

Ethan Hein on John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen", some observations about harmonic rhythm and all the songs that came after the original that missed that part of its rhythm

Ethan Hein has gotten around to blogging about one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite blues musicians, John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen".  His analysis is well worth reading. Go give that a read before you read what I'm about to add about how many subsequent tributes to this classic blues song miss a crucial concept called harmonic rhythm.