"When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything." ~UMBERTO ECO, (Foucault's Pendulum)
Dear St. Cynic,I just have a quick question for you but couldn't find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger. Please email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org when you get a chance. Thanks.Barbara
There are a lot of angles that I could take on this but...Doesn't our world have a shortage of truly eccentric people who are not trapped in poverty and caused to be completely powerless?Yes... yes it does.So, what's the problem then? Maybe if we had someone like this elected as priminister....
Craig,You wrote, "Doesn't our world have a shortage of truly eccentric people who are not trapped in poverty and caused to be completely powerless?Yes... yes it does.So, what's the problem then?"Could you explain more of what you mean by this?
Well, I skipped a lot of bits of logic in what I said there, so it's probably a good idea to explain it.When I started thinking about what my reaction to the video selection should be, I quickly realized that rather than 1 harmonized perspective, there were several ways that I could think about it. This probably points to an opportunity to dig deeper and look for some sort of personal meta-perspective, if you will.1. The first and most obvious way to look at this is to condemn it, demanding that a presenter like this should make some effort to conform to either reason, tradition or generally excepted standards of behavior.2. The second way to look at it might be to assume that God is actually talking through this guy in the way that he presents it. Many people might say, who am I to judge what this person expresses spiritually. (I don't feel great about how I've explain this potential perspective, but I'm not sure how to fix it).2b. I could alternatively try to say that God speaks through everyone all the time in his own way.2c. It seems dangerous as he could be mentally ill, on drugs or demon possessed. If he's actually God's prophet it would be negative to label him as one of those things. But, we can say that he's a very hyper man with crashing moments. Searching my mind for a schema to attach with the crashing and hyperness, I find little except people at raves and a performance that I saw by Grand Buffet one time.So, those are sortov the first places that a person could go with respect to a video like that. There probably are a lot more places that you could take it which brings us to what I call option number 3.3. As a spoken word performance this is very good and interesting.... and if people wish to pay this man a salary for his spoken word performances, isn't that something that can be celebrated by those who love the arts? 3b. At this point it's easy to become judgmental because of the unknown. Let's look at the options: i) If we knew that this man was speaking God's word, that would be awesome. ii) If we knew that this man was doing some kind of phony parody, it would be at least interesting. iii) If we knew that this person was crazy, he would be an enjoyable eccentric and probably homeless. iv) If we knew that this guy was tricking people, as long as it wasn't harming anyone, we might condemn it but it would at least be an impressive trick. But because of the uncertainty, it's easy to condemn him completely and not even give him the status of an artist. I think that he's at least an artist. I mean, look at the discussion and interest that he has created!In the human pursuit to separate the wheat from the tares, we often toss out the most creative and unique people. There is a great shortage of people who are able to embrace and express their weirdness without being crushed by society and pushed into obscurity or homelessness.I sometimes think that it does more for the spirit to see someone who interesting empowered than someone who presents well. ie, Harper presents well, Chretien was interesting. Matt Ford is weird, an eccentric who has somehow found a place and has been lifted into a position of power. He obviously doesn't present well. You can't always go by who presents well. I mean, Hitler presented well, but I'd sooner vote for Frank Zappa to run a country... or just about anyone, I guess.The point is that true eccentrics get squished or forced to change, so perhaps the proper response to Matt Ford is not that of the critic or even of the strict adherent, but rather of the artist... ie., "My, what a beautiful thing it is you are doing, my Ford. I'm glad that you have the opportunity to be who you are."
Woops, I meant Mr, not My.
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