tag : bright yellow-green apples: "a kind of faith in drag"

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"a kind of faith in drag"

figure 45.1. growing themes

Greenbelt was a resoundingly enjoyable weekend, as ever. Well, mostly. It was given an extra tinge of unwelcome drama the first night, when I lost my tent. After wandering around like a homeless bat for a couple of hours I finally gave in and, wrapped up in kid's trade justice banners, slept in one a marquee. Things improved significantly from the next day, after refinding my stuff and meeting pretty much everyone I know somewhere along the way.

I missed Dave Thomlinson's thoughts, and the great Archbishop Rowan wasn't there this year, so the highlight cam from unexpected quarters. I like suprises. The series of talks given by Betty Spackman hit just the right tone - eccentric and rambling, but packed with countless little germs of ideas. I suspect the things she came up with will be mulled over here during the next few weeks, as with other stuff about pacifism & war, and internet faith, and social activism, and [pre-]modern spirituality, and commercialisation of worship.

Anyway, one of the main themes our Betty explored was how kitsch is such a pervasive feature of our modern Church. She tried to draw a distinction between relics, and other Christian material things, and kitsch materials. Relics sit with the stories that we have (the gospel etc.), making sense within the kaleidoscope of diverse symbols that communicate our ideas visually. Kitsch items, on the other hand, are inherently limiting - in that they pare down the possibilities of a visual exploration of our faith to a few assumed types. The angels are all so often cute and sugary, for example - precious, even.

Being twee is no bad thing per say, but if it's about making Christianity safe and reassuringly predictable, then kitsch can mean the repression of life in all it's fullness. She made a stirring call for all involved in the arts, to freely play with our Christian narratives however we might feel called. To go where it seems right, and let the creative act do the talking. It's up to God to work out its implications of our artistic output in other people's reactions, rather than for us to assume and control how it might be taken.

On the first day, before my whole tent fiasco, I happened to glance at the short grass by the entrance to the site. Here I spotted a little plastic tab. It was a scrabble piece, with the letter A on it. Thought fairly mangled and dinted, I still thought it worth picking up. I've carried it with me, and will probably add it to my shrine - when that comes out of hiding. Though I'm trying to work out what the significance might be...


Blogger Martin said...

This page took ten minutes to load to read the comment. I did admittedly go away and come back, but if I ever see Forex Trading Training anywhere, I will be happy to personally destroy them.

Are you finding the blog really slow to load up? Seems to be fine for me for everyone's but yours and mine...

9:39 AM  
Blogger Barnabas said...

Hey I agree with Martin, blogs are very slow today, perhaps it's something to do with the spammers!

Glade you enjoyed Greenbelt it was really good, hope to go next year.

11:45 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

That particular spammer has been carefully removed, however they found me.

I don't know about any slowness, perhaps the system's just having a bad day. Do computer programmes get the blues?

2:48 PM  
Blogger Barnabas said...

Yes they do! They also get the common cold.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Lorna said...

my problem is that I can't get into some comments at all (at the momemt blogger is ok though as you can see :)

anyway - just a thought - A for Alpha. The beginning :)

Be blessed

5:50 PM  
Blogger hatchris said...

"Do computer programmes get the blues?"

Possibly not, because they have neither head nor shoes. Nor can they get a bellyfull of gin.

LIke the alpha idea, but you're unlikely to find a scrabble piece with an 'omega' on it. :-p

Glad you enjoyed, I will be back at greenbelt next year for sure!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Barnabas said...

A - Alpha I like this idea, maybe the begining of something, a new chapter in your life opening. God wanting to start something a new in your life.

1:21 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Well aparently Cowgirls can, according to a book mum once read, so I assumed the same principle applied. It's probably best to stick to John Lee Hooker and his pals, though.

Perhaps that alpha idea's a go-er, I'll keep the thought in mind for a while.

4:04 PM  

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