Wednesday, March 12, 2003
If the powers that be are the boot which, to borrow Orwell's phrase, presses down upon the human face forever, apocalyptic is the speech of that human face. Apocalyptic denies, in spite of all the appearances to the contrary, the "forever" part. For both the very human wielder of the boot and the very human face beneath it, apocalyptic has a way of curing deafness and educating the mind.I think I've downloaded a treasure - the .pdf introduction to David Dark's book Everyday Apocalypse: the Sacred revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons and other pop culture icons. Dark's got a cool name and in Sarah Masen a greatly-gifted wife and between them they produce some very thoughful reflections on art, faith, contemporary culture.
The book's the product of much of this long-term work. Dark insists that 'apocalyptic' is less about mass destruction and more about "revelation". It's a more "watchful way of being" in the world. Dark sees apocalyptic insight in "the wisdom of popular culture", including The Simpsons, Beck, and Coen brothers' films, which, in their various ways, "expose the moral bankruptcy of our imaginations." Apocalypse is "an affirming yet honest estimation of ourselves and a call to other-centeredness in the here and now."
I'm frustrated that on the Min. Wage I can't make my usual impulse-purchase; I'll have to wait till Easter to read the rest of it. But the intro's meaty enough to be going along with.
It, now and forever, is bigger than we think. It is always more than what we have in mind ("Why do you call me good?"). I'm grateful for and in dire need of whatever art can keep me awake and alive to the mystery, whatever keeps me paying attention, whatever reminds me that none of us (and no ideology) are possessors of the final say. ... apocalyptic art unveils the fact of the matter: the kingdom of the world is becoming the kingdom of God and it doesn't depend upon our acknowledgement or faithfulness to it within our highly-charged present. It's coming anyway. It is and was and is to come.