“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not "perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
“In the relation to God, unconditional exclusiveness and unconditional inclusiveness are one. For those who enter into the absolute relationship, nothing particular retains any importance—neither things nor beings, neither earth nor heaven—but everything is included in the relationship. For entering into the pure relationship does not involve ignoring everything but seeing everything in the You, not renouncing the world but placing it upon its proper ground. Looking away from the world is no help toward God; staring at the world is no help either; but whoever beholds the world in him stands in his presences…” (from I and Thou
“When I attempted a few minutes ago, to describe our spiritual longings, I was omitting one of their most curious characteristics. We usually notice it just as the moment of vision dies away, as the music ends, or as the landscape loses the celestial light… For a few minutes we have had the illusion of belonging to that world. Now we wake to find that it is no such thing. We have been mere spectators. Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face turned in our direction, but not to see us. We have not been accepted, welcomed, or taken into the dance. We may go when we please, we may stay if we can, no one cares. Now, a scientist may reply that since most of the things we call beautiful are inanimate it is not very surprising that they take no notice of us. That, of course, is true. It is not the physical objects that I am speaking of, but that indescribable Something of which they become for a moment the messengers. And part of the bitterness which mixes with the sweetness of that message is due to the fact that it so seldom seems to be a message intended for us, but rather something we have overheard. By bitterness I mean pain, not resentment. We should hardly dare to ask that any notice be taken of ourselves. But we pine. The sense that in the universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, the bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret.” (from The Weight of Glory
Days of Heaven
The Thin Red Line
The New World
“Truth is the truth of Being. Beauty does not occur alongside and apart from this truth. When truth sets itself into the work, it appears. Appearance—as this being of truth in the work and as work—is beauty. Thus the beautiful belongs to the advent of truth, truth’s taking of its place. It does not exist merely relative to pleasure and purely as its object.” (from “The Origin of the Work of Art.”)
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (I Corinthians 13:12)
“All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered.” (from The Medium is the Massage
And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid
(from “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“And as I sat there brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s long dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it, He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.” (from The Great Gatsby
“All representations, even the most abstract, infer a rendezvous with intelligibility or, at the least, with a strangeness attenuated, qualified by observance and willed form. Apprehension (the meeting with the other) signifies both fear and perception. The continuum between both, the modulation from one to the other, lie at the source of poetry and the arts.” (from Real Presences
“What is the nature of a being that is able to produce art? Man is finite. He is, as one could say, mixed of being and nonbeing. Once he was not. Now he is and some time he will not be. He is not by himself, but thrown into existence and he will be thrown out of existence and cease to be for himself. He is delivered to the flux of time which runs from the past to the future through the ever-moving point which is called the present. He is aware of the infinite. He is aware that he belongs to it. But he is also aware that he is excluded from it… Out of the anxiety, and the double awareness that we are finite and that we belong to infinity from which we are excluded, the urge arises to express the essential unity of that which we are in symbols which are religious and artistic.” (from On Art and Architecture
“Poets have, indeed, often communicated in their own mode of expression truths identical with the theologians’ truths; but just because of the difference in the modes of expression, we often fail to see the identity of the statements.” (from The Mind of the Maker
Over the Rhine
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be.
Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy.
And I use these words pretty loosely.
There's so much more to life than words.
(from “Latter Days”)
“He will grant thee a hiding place within Him, and once hidden in Him he will hide thy sins. For He is the friend of sinners... He does not merely stand still, open His arms and say, 'Come hither'; no, he stands there and waits, as the father of the lost son waited, rather He does not stand and wait, he goes forth to seek, as the shepherd sought the lost sheep, as the woman sought the lost coin. He goes--yet no, he has gone, but infinitely farther than any shepherd or any woman, He went, in sooth, the infinitely long way from being God to becoming man, and that way He went in search of sinners.” (from Training in Christianity
“In what belongs to the deeper meanings of nature and her mediation between us and God, the appearances of nature are the truths of nature, far deeper than any scientific discoveries in and concerning them. The show of things is that for which God cares most, for their show is the face of far deeper things than they; we see in them, in a distant way, as in a glass darkly, the face of the unseen. It is through their show, not through their analysis, that we enter into their deepest truths. What they say to the childlike soul is the truest thing to be gathered of them.” (from The Voice of Job
The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
“In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror.” (from East of Eden
He woke up, the room was bare
He didn't see her anywhere.
He told himself he didn't care,
pushed the window open wide,
Felt an emptiness inside
to which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate.
(from “Simple Twist of Fate”)
“What is the malaise? You ask. The malaise is the pain of loss. The world is lost to you, the world and the people in it, and there remains only you and the world and you no more able to be in the world than Banquo’s ghost.” (from The Moviegoer
Lost in Translation
“Church is to be participated in and not consumed. The point is not what one gets out of it, but the worship of God; the service takes place both because of and despite the needs, strengths, and frailties of the people present. How else could it be?” (from Dakota
“Whenever I think of Edward, I think of playing catch in a hot street and that wonderful weariness of the arms. I think of leaping after a high throw and that wonderful collaboration of the whole body with itself and that wonderful certainty and amazement when you know the glove is just where it should be. Oh, I will miss the world!” (from Gilead
“Preaching the gospel means announcing Jesus as Lord of the world; and, unless we are prepared to contradict ourselves with every breath we take, we cannot make that announcement without seeking to bring that lordship to bear over every aspect of the world.” (from What Saint Paul Really Said
It's weird to think of all the things
That have not been keeping up with the times
It's ten o' clock the sun is down
Just begun to set the western hills on fire
I hear that you don't change
How do you expect to keep up with the trends
You won't survive the information age
Unless you plan to change the truth to accommodate the brilliance of man
The brilliance of man
(from “Letter From a Concerned Follower”)
“Gazing at some detail like a bird or a cloud, we can all ignore its awful blue background; we can neglect the sky; and precisely because it bears down upon us with an annihilating force it is felt as nothing. A thing of this kind can only be an impression and a rather subtle impression; but to me it is a very strong impression made by pagan literature and religion. I repeat that in our special sacramental sense there is, of course, the absence of the presence of God. But there is in a very real sense the presence of the absence of God. We feel it in the unfathomable sadness of pagan poetry; for I doubt if there was ever in all the marvelous manhood of antiquity a man who was happy as St. Francis was happy.” (from The Everlasting Man
Gus Van Sant
"I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor--it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by." (Ecclesiastes 3:10-15).
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?—it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” (from On the Road
"Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee..."
“Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen."
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Having lived in Kenya the past 2 years and admittedly removed from popular culture I am amazed that someone so seemingly devoid of talent but all image could become so popular. What does it say about what we value?
Gaga is, at the moment, the most interesting entertainer available. But, she is like a living Tweet. There isn’t much going on under surface level, and her recent attempts at being vocally political don’t mask this, but expose it. If there is something deeper, probably satire and dark humor, if anything, one cannot focus on it. She flits to another wild outfit, new album, or outlandish episode. She could launch tens of full-blown fashion trends per year, but she never wears any one thing more than once. And this, is really Gaga. Like the Dada art movement 1916-1923 (right after WWI) the Gaga era is too about transience and meaningless barrage of sight and sound bits, that leave us disoriented and restless, as much as they themselves are so.
I am not so much alarmed; it seems a natural progression of postmodern to its obvious eventual disintegration (or implosion). A counter-movement should be at its heels, for some. Unplugging and being more unavailable. (If history tells us something. Notwithstanding that many in the Gaga era can’t see past themselves to appreciate history.)
We have a generation of “generalized autism” bringing with it aberrant communications that are now the norm, though not normal or life-giving.
I feel compelled to offer a counter-argument. I think spectacle is the point of Lady Gaga, and why is that such a bad thing? We’re not talking about Stefani Germanotta here. We’re talking about an affected stage personality, an extended performance art piece. The outfits, the dancing, the over-the-top everything, it’s all rather amazing. I find her socially awkwardness highly appropriate for what she does. She’s not a politician, she’s an artist. It’s refreshing to see a pop star flick off the establishment & refrain from spending countless hours in interviews complaining that no one understands her.
Is she my favorite artist? By no means. Could I listen only to Gaga? No way. But I do think Paglia’s remarks reek of an older generation grumbling at youngsters today. Yes, things are changing, and that means good things as well as bad.
I really like Rachel’s point, but can appreciate the overall sentiment of the article. A few things:
1. A while back I heard a local Columbus news personality speak to a group I was in at school. She talked about how local news had changed. When she first joined the news team, she did a serial piece that went 10 minutes for 3 consecutive nights on the 11 o’clock news about a convicted rapist in prison. This was 2007(?) and, she was convinced that because of our generation (I’m 23) and our lack of attention, that she could never, ever air that now. She’d be lucky to get one night with three minutes. Even the NEWS has to get cut quicker.
2. This blog post, and the psychologist you interviewed, portray this as a bad thing. It’s much to early to tell if it’s a bad thing or not, and it will be another 10 years, at least, before a judgement can be made. All we know for sure right now is that it’s *different*. Which brings me to….
3. Lady Gaga is at the apex of this *difference* or even *change*. It feels weird to be the “older” people now and not part of the new generation doing thing their way. At my age (close to yours, I believe) we have one foot firmly in each generation.
Is Lady Gaga leading a change in culture?!
Lady Gaga to me represents to me the problem with youth today. All style and no substance. Lady Gaga isn’t a person as much she is a product. Also, people praise her for being “different” or “creative”, but again, it lacks any substance. It’s all a gimmick and our the youth today love it because it entertains their ADD mind. I just heard Kesha’s new song today and it’s a complete replica of her first song “Tik Tok”. It will be a huge hit regardless because it’s catchy, artificial and temporarily entertaining.
Why do women like Madonna and that Duke girl get praise from feminist for being sexually crude? They condemn women like Sarah Palin, regardless if you agree with her views or not, has I think has helped make a forward step for women in politics.
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I have very little exposure to Lady Gaga because I don’t listen to radio stations that play popular music and when I heard all the hype, frankly, I just didn’t care. But I saw her perform on Ellen and I was quite surprised. The girl can sing! Since I’ve heard her compared to Madonna and Britney I thought she’d be all show and no talent – but I was wrong! And while she’s pretty she doesn’t look like most of the Pop artists that seem to be a manufactured perfect style/face/body product to attract attention. I kind of like that.
Then again, maybe she feels she has to be weird because she doesn’t have the current cultural equation to win a following. I was just happy to hear she could sing.
Have you seen this ad?
The first time I heard a Lady Gaga song on the radio, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe she had a career. And then it kept going, and going, and going. Why and how is anybody talking seriously and with any sense of intrigue about this “artist”. I love your article, but I wonder if by spilling any ink (or the metaphoric ink of blogs) we are just helping her exact her plan of destruction and pointlessness on mankind as we know it.
I’m kidding…a little. This is an incredibly interesting post, I just really don’t like Lady Gaga.
Paglia is very well on track with the aesthetic choices of Lady Gaga’s wardrobe, physicality and performance. But that is within her music video/stage representation. I wonder what Paglia’s thoughts are when Lady Gaga actually speaks, constructs sentences to make a point or non-point, sits down to an interview and even conduct an exposé as in a recent Rolling Stones article.
Though there may be a tinge of generation gap within the London Times article there is no doubt that Gaga bespeaks of postmodernism and fragmentation. If mash-up is a culture then her style might very well be a “mash-up” style. If Gaga represents the short bursts that is representative of youth culture today then what are her intentions with short bursts? And it is not just Gaga who is a part of the short attention span and short burst messaging. There are certain characters of news media who are just as robotic as Gaga. I feel as if this reply has gone on far enough so consider this (or not):
As society further pushes upon our minds the need for short term information, fully knowing that information overload is imminent, we are sold digital appendages to help us with the overload. I don’t know if this is the golden age of new media but possibly down the line our devices will become the tools in which future generations will want to get away from, for they will know that there is no freedom within them, only without them.
I just read this the other day, very interesting.
I also find it interesting that Gaga, along with other celebrities like Usher and Alicia Keyes, have just announced they will not be using social media until $1 million is raised for the AIDs charity, Keep A Child Alive.
Read more here