Man as Art

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There is a reason to draw a strong analogy between the human person and the work of art. This connection first tickled my brainstem when I saw that both exist for their own sake, but the fact that art transcends the category of use is just one of its aspects, an aspect which, taken on its own, is an insufficient explanation of art itself. There is another way in which the work of art and the human person are similar -- in freedom. To explain this, I need to describe the act of writing … [Read more...]

The Egoism of God

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Our modern difficulty with the idea that we are created by God may well spring, not from any lopsided view of God, but from a lopsided view of creation. These are corporate days, and creation brings to mind the world of business, that is, creation which serves a useful purpose for its creator, whether by the accumulation of profit or the convenience that it brings. But God is not a capitalist. He does not seek to gain by creating us. God is an artist, and art has the remarkable quality of … [Read more...]

How Not to Despair or A Kierkegaardian Analysis of Typhoon

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All I really want to do with my life is convince you that the indie-rock group Typhoon are a) awesome and b) channeling the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard, but to do this I first have to explain humanity's desire for goodness and the concept of despair. It's an odd route round, but what else are you going to do, your job? Right then. Homo sapiens -- may they be fruitful and multiply -- experience a desire to be themselves. This is utterly strange. Rocks, trees and bacterium are laughing at … [Read more...]

Typhoon and the Goodness Revolution

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My will to live in some semblance of communion with my culture has been snatched from despair by the fact that I can say, in all seriousness, that a certain 11-piece indie-rock band from Portland is best understood through the lens of the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. If this is a reduction of the marvelous music Typhoon has so far produced, my only defense is that all writing about music is a reduction, so leave me alone, my ego is as sensitive as a bladder after two large coffees … [Read more...]

Why I Am Not a Heterosexual

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Before beginning this immature polemic against the concept of heterosexuality, I need to preemptively acknowledge the two primary reactions the Internet will have, thereby negating their distractive powers. They are: and Now that we've shaken these from our system, I want your ears. The idea that a person is heterosexual is stupid. This claim is the beginning of what will surely take years to articulate, but we really must begin with something, and deconstruction sounds as fun as … [Read more...]

What’s in a Name?

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Most names are classifications. I window-watch the heaving mass of green and gold and say "tree," and this name places the thing in a mental "class" of similarily heaving objects, the class of "trees." Rock, sling, giant, corpse -- all these "names" are fundamentally classifications, names that allow us to understand a thing by referring to its species. But a personal name does not refer to a species. There is nothing about the name "Michael" that groups its named object into a class. Many … [Read more...]

Dear Gordon Gee

Dear Gordon Gee, I understand you are still under fire for referring to Catholics as "those damn Catholics." The Huffington Post, in particular, is indignant that you did not apologize sooner. The Huffington Post is, of course, full of shit, and thus, in contrast to that constantly feigned indignation which exists for the sole purpose of garnering pageviews, I would like to extend my whole-hearted gratitude for your reference to Catholics as "those damn Catholics." I live in a world -- … [Read more...]

Eyeball the Enemy

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Eye-contact is a fascinating phenomenon. With our beloved, it is a delight. With a stranger walking down the hall, it is unbearable. This leads to the exciting game by which I -- knowing full well that I am about to cross paths with the aforementioned stranger -- pretend not to know it at all. I keep my head down, fascinated -- for some inexplicable reason -- with the movement of my feet, and only at the last moment look up, make eye-contact, and acknowledge the other’s presence with my most … [Read more...]

Virtue is an Experience of Reality

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When, in a moment of absentmindedness, I practice a virtue, my reaction to the fact is not that "I'm being good," but "Oh, so this is how it is." Before the moment of virtue -- be it patience or prudence -- I stumbled blindly without knowing my blindness. In the light of virtue the universe is illuminated and what was obscure makes sense. Virtue reveals the very consistency of existence. The virtues are not additions to life, supplementary goodies we tack onto our behavior -- they are … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Porn Sucks

I don't think opposition to the pornography industry is a religious issue. Here's why: 1. Sex Trafficking The word pornography comes from pornos, prostitute, and grapho, to depict or write, meaning "depicting prostitutes." We seem to be waking up to the possibility that the word's etymology may very well be a description of reality. Pornography is fundamentally an experience of bought sex. In the purchase of pornography, we pay for sexual arousal. We do not simply pay money for a video -- … [Read more...]