Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

We Need to Gather to Zion Culturally

July 12th, 2016 by The Junior Ganymede

The JrG is pleased to share this guest post from our friend Aardvark.  He proposes a cultural variant of the Benedict Option.

Sometimes I find myself envious of Lehi and his family, or of the early saints; they had somewhere to go. Things got weird, they saw that things got weird, so they packed their bags and left. Sure, I’m glossing over a whole host of important details that would make me less envious of those two parties, but suffice it to say, lately I feel the the desire to leave for the wilderness and gather very keenly.

 

Alas there are few empty places in the world left to run to, and short of an explicit call to gather from the prophet there are most likely not enough people willing to leave that could make any self-imposed exile sustainable in the long run. It seems that we are left with the Benedict Option as our first step. This idea has been covered on this blog recently and previously, as well as in other places so I’ll avoid rehashing what it is.

 

Ultimately, it seems that many people I speak with think this isn’t even available as a first step for us anymore. It seems that we are in the world a bit too much these days. For Mormons this appears to be the crux. We have many of the necessary structures in place already to execute a highly successful Benedictine withdrawal, but our desire for respectability keeps us trying to straddle the line. As modern culture continues its willful descent into a Hieronymus Bosch painting, we’ll get pulled down along with it.

 

As has been observed by others on this blog, we as Mormons have outsourced much of our cultural and social economies to the broader culture; shunning the world then simply will not work. On the one hand, we are too reliant on it for our entertainment. On the other, we cannot retreat or hide from the onslaught of a decadent culture forever, hiding behind rocks that progressively get smaller and smaller. What we need to do, is replace it. Yes, let us replace the decadent culture around us with a rich beautiful culture infused with the sense of divinity we lay claim to as Latter-day Saints. And when I say culture, I don’t mean we should pick off the lowest hanging fruit. I aim for us to retake the ultimate expression of a society’s culture: its theater, dance, music, architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, and other fine arts. (more…)

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July 12th, 2016 12:00:19

The Creation of Adam

April 27th, 2016 by Vader

I have been regarding Michelangelo’s great work.

(more…)

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April 27th, 2016 11:44:43

Stephen Fry is an impostor

March 30th, 2016 by Jeeves

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March 30th, 2016 09:31:23

Delicacy can have a power of its own

March 26th, 2016 by Vader

… I remember an interview in London Magazine with Dylan Thomas, Welshness incarnate. This was at a time more verbally puritanical than ours, and the interviewer reported that he had asked Thomas his views on Welsh nationalism and that “his answer consisted of three words, two of which were ‘Welsh nationalism.'”

–Thus Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century

(more…)

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March 26th, 2016 23:31:15

“An Honest Experience of Art”

April 07th, 2015 by Bartleby

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April 07th, 2015 12:07:48

The Session of Christ

November 28th, 2014 by Vader

I’m not sure why I’m growing to like this painting so much.

De_Grebber-God_Inviting_Christ_to_Sit_on_the_Throne_at_His_Right_Hand

Sometimes art just hits you the right way.

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November 28th, 2014 18:58:22

The sacred Artist

November 12th, 2014 by Zen

When Wilford Woodruff was the 4th President of the church, he had a curious experience in the temple. He wrote in his journal,

Two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.

Everyone of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them.

I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others.

When Brother McAllister had baptized me for the 100 names I baptized him for 21, including General Washington and his forefathers and all the Presidents of the United States–except three. Sister Lucy Bigelow Young went forth into the font and was baptized for Martha Washington and her family and 70 of the ‘eminent women’ of the world.

After politics, the most prominent and frequent occupation of these eminent men and women, was artist, usually as author, though there were also actresses,a playwright, painters, a sculptor and singers.

This included people such as Goethe, Washington Irving, Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte,  and Elizabeth Barrett Browning among many others.  Here is a list by occupation.

This is what came to mind, as I read an article today about how the culture war about marriage has been lost. Movies and other media emphasize the exciting single life, with few exceptions. For instance,

According to a former editor of Marvel Comics, one reason why the graphic novel has nearly universally eschewed marriage is that it “kills a good story.” Whatever could be exciting about Clark Kent if he were to remain married to Lois Lane? Not much, apparently, because DC Comics erased the 1996 marriage from history, returning Superman to bachelorhood, the preferred state of our superheroes.

This affects how we think of life, and what we can relate to. This is a significant reason why homosexuality has entered the mainstream, as same-sex marriage is now as well. If I had the money to change the world, I would commission a TV show. Or possibly one on Youtube. It would have excitement and passion, life and death, love found and love lost… and it would have families. Happy marriages. It would have people keeping the commandments and others not, but with the consequences of a broken law. It would help people see a better, higher way of life.

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November 12th, 2014 14:29:55

Kitsch

September 03rd, 2014 by Vader

When the world no longer speaks meaningfully to us, we shout into the void and pretend the echoes come to us from on high.

–Thus Roger Kimball

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September 03rd, 2014 13:39:10

His Majesty is a notable patron of the arts

August 13th, 2014 by Vader

Although his tastes run towards highly abstract art. Symbolic art he tends to dismiss with a snort of disgust, rather as J.R.R. Tolkien was dismissive of literary allegory.

(And I can’t believe I just compared His Majesty to J.R.R. Tolkien. I feel like I need to go scrub my mouth out.)

This morning, over breakfast, he had this to say: “Rather rude of those German artists to preempt the Obama administration.”

It seems His Majesty is as contemptuous of symbolic politics as he is of symbolic art and allegorical literature. Which, come to think of it, sometimes seem like they’re all the same thing.

I don’t recall ever hearing him express an opinion on religious symbolism. He is not a believer, naturally, and I’m not sure I want to broach the topic.

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August 13th, 2014 09:19:37

“Art”

February 20th, 2014 by Inigo Montoya

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February 20th, 2014 11:59:06

My kind of sacred art

February 01st, 2014 by Vader

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February 01st, 2014 18:24:52

Defending the indefensible

January 28th, 2014 by Vader

This article names some of the rubes trying to do so. Unsurprisingly, many are from what passes for our artistic elite.

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January 28th, 2014 10:47:14

Humor

January 23rd, 2014 by Vader

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January 23rd, 2014 11:48:33

The Internet

November 23rd, 2013 by Vader

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November 23rd, 2013 17:02:37

Lord Vader’s hideous gargoyle mask

September 22nd, 2013 by Jeeves

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September 22nd, 2013 15:00:58