The Egoism of God

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 use … [Read more...]

How Not to Despair or A Kierkegaardian Analysis of Typhoon

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

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 and ro … [Read more...]

Ritual, Evidence of Eternity

The eternal can be well worn, but never worn out. It is always experienced as an over-abundance, an aching paradox between the more-than-can-be-imagined and the never-enough. The eternal cannot be grasped, contained, or experienced at one time, and so Van Goghs are gazed at again and again, the act of sex tends toward a sex life, and I cannot outgrow Bach's Cello Suites -- I hear more of them in every hearing. Eternity demands repetition, a ritual of again-and-again played out by those seeking … [Read more...]

5 Reasons to Kill Christian Music

As humans endowed with free will, intellect, and the burning desire for transcendence, we should stop making Christian music. Here's 5 of 100 reasons why:1. Writing a "Christian" song reduces Christianity to a modifying adjective.The well-intentioned creation of the Christian genre deems Christianity as equatable with as any other genre, like "Easy Listening". Thus our earth-shaking, intellectual and faithful assent to the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is degraded i … [Read more...]

Is Man No More Than An Ape?

Man is a self-glorified ape. He occupies no special place in the Cosmos -- a bigoted, specieist idea -- and the differences between him and his hairier, happier relatives are merely quantitative. Man has more intelligence as he has less hair than the gorilla, and this alone is the reason for his apparent apartness from the animal kingdom and his puffed-up sense of dominion over the earth.The ape uses rudimentary tools to feed itself. The human uses complex tools to feed himself. The ape li … [Read more...]

Useful Lust

To love is to experience the infinite on earth. This is apparent as the taste of cheddar cheese, but I'll prove it nonetheless.For the lover, some is never enough. His is an all-or-nothing deal, for better or worse, in sickness or in health, and any statement that dares to render his love finite -- that is, to give his love an observable ending point -- is a contradiction and a squirm-inducing lie.To prove my point, do your utmost to justify the following the statements: "I'll love you … [Read more...]

The Metaphysical Mystery of the Buddleja americana

I would like to vindicate an undeniably stupid experience, and make a largely ridiculous claim.It involves a Buddleja americana. A butterfly bush.My buddleja grows in droop, like a girl's bangs in the 90's, right next to the patch of driveway designated for parking my car. The car slides under the droop, and I perform a daily bow when exiting or entering to avoid being punished with a mouthful of over-pollenated purple.I bring all this up only to say that I see my dear, darling B … [Read more...]

Beauty: So Much More Than We Think

One of the more vapid mistakes of our culture is its constant equating of beauty with prettiness. Certainly, a thing of beauty might be called pretty. But prettiness, likability, and shininess make a thing beautiful as throwing glitter on a pile of feces makes it art.This is beautiful:This, not necessarily so:To elevate eye-candy to summit of beauty is to render it unable to give evidence of the supernatural in Nature, limiting it to the cute, the sexy, the shiny, and the otherwise … [Read more...]

Humans Are Useless

Beauty begets love. A flutter and twitch of female lashes can crush a man's heart like a Bud Light can under a steamroller. A father who spends the day immersed in the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley returns by night with hugs for his children and a softer touch for his wife. Beauty begets love, as sunlight wakens sleepers, and I hope this an obvious experience, if not an obvious phrase.Love likewise begets beauty. Beautiful art is a "labor of love." Love has poetry gush from the dry well of … [Read more...]