The Junior Ganymede is proud to present a guest post from our friend at Gently Hew Stone.
I loved Aardvark’s recent post about gathering to Zion culturally. That essay made many important points that need to be considered deeply. My post is meant to stand on that one’s shoulders and go a little farther.
In the middle of what might be the essay’s most important paragraph, Aardvark said, “This is not a call to turn the next generation into a generation of artisans and scholars.”
Actually, it should be, and I’ll make the case that it is. Our need to save this and future rising generations is absolutely a call to produce more artists and educators—more people whose profession it is to build and transmit culture. (more…)
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…)
Conservatism is in crisis because few still believe in the rational and color-blind rule of law — because there is not enough genuine American liberalism left to conserve.
— thus Ralph Hancock.
His Majesty was playing marbles with the cats this morning.
From His Majesty, who was looking with distaste at the racks full of tabloids:
Sigh. I’m so grateful I’m not a celebrity. They seem to have very difficult lives.
Well, they seem to have a lot of First World problems, anyway.
… These are people suffering from a form of phantom limb syndrome. Instead having had a leg chopped off that they can still feel, it is their sense of the divine that has been amputated. The result is this weird nature cult run by billionaires.
Trigger warning: Kardashians are mentioned in the article. (Really, how could it be otherwise?)
… 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
His Majesty didn’t come to breakfast the other day.
Take the time to click through some of the links. Particularly the link on things overhead at Whole Foods.