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Offline Matthew

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Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
« on: December 17, 2017, 07:44:14 AM »
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  • Number DXLIV (544)
    December 16, 2017
    Culture’s Importance – I
    When God is “dead,” then culture dies.
    In His “rebirth” its one hope lies.

    “When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my gun,” is a famous quote (often attributed to Reichsmarchall Göring, but coming actually from a Berlin play of 1933), which may be taken to mean that culture is not the ultimate source of the values often attributed to it. Often the word serves as a fig-leaf to cover over the West’s deep-down apostasy by a shameful but long-standing hypocrisy, to which some gun-owners may be instinctively tempted to put a violent end. One American of our own time who realizes that culture depends on religion or its absence is Ron Austin, who has written in December’s issue of the magazine First Things an article on pop culture, arguing that it is neither pop, nor culture.
    Austin is a veteran Hollywood writer-producer who spent nearly half a century producing pop culture, mostly for television. He is a member of the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, but also a Fellow at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California, which gives him at least a handle on the true dimensions of “culture.” For instance towards the beginning of his article he writes, “The key to understanding modernity and its ultimate failure lies in the many failed efforts to find replacements for religious faith . . . . It was the mass media fostering a “pop culture” that was the most influential and powerful substitute for a meaningful world-view . . . ” Pop culture, says Austin, is an idol . . . as such it is phony . . . it is neither pop nor culture.
    Austin defines “pop” as belonging rather to the people than to any elite. He admits that pop culture has considerable popular appeal today, but he says it is synthetic and industrial in nature, deriving as it does from no natural or organic way of life, so it is not truly popular. “Culture” is difficult to define, but he takes it to mean a way of life with shar ed values and with the means to express it. Culture in this sense can only grow organically like a tree, at nature’s speed which cannot be forced, and it requires a shared memory with a sense of the past, a continuity of meaning, goals and standards. But “pop culture” erases the past. Therefore it is no true culture. Austin recalls the decades of his own life from this point of view.
    In the 1950’s and 1960’s he remembers a growing alienation from the past in which the mass media played a crucial part. In the 1970’s a counter-culture of fragmentation and narcissism grew, with more entertainment than ever, and with it an increasing detachment from reality. The medium itself was becoming the message, and morality was based on subjective emotion, which the media packaged as a product for profit. Entertainment replaced thought or analysis. If not fatal, the disease was highly contagious. In the 1980’s the attempt to restore past values failed in the USA, Europe and Russi a. In the 1990’s some false hopes came to an end, but the mass of consumers were more fragmented than ever.
    However, in the 2010’s the Catholic Faith does give Austin some hope. True culture depends on human beings being human, he says, and humans have for true models Our Lord and Our Lady. True culture will be replanted, and the Light will return.
    Austin is on the track of the real problem, even if his treatment of the problem and of its solution is relatively lightweight. It is today’s total environment, or culture, which is so dangerous for souls and their salvation. It has become totally normal either to disbelieve in God, or if one believes in Him, not to take Him seriously. The past has little to tell us (except the Six Million, of course). Immorality is unimportant. There is no such thing as an order of nature to be respected. Technology saves. Freedom is all. And this sickness is highly contagious, because it is so “liberating.” Heaven help us!
    Kyrie eleison.
    P.S. As a minor resort to the elite culture of yesteryear, in the true sense of the word, a session of Mozart parallel to the “Beethoven Blast” of two years ago will be held here in Broadstairs, from Friday, February 23rd to Sunday, February the 25th, of next year. Details will follow.
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    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
    « Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 04:24:27 PM »
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  • Neo-trad Pop-Culture



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    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi


    Offline obscurus

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    Re: Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
    « Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 05:40:29 PM »
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  • In a certain sense the question of culture and what should be the foundation for the Faith - grace builds on nature -- is more fundamental than being fixated on the Crisis in the Church.  How do we act as men in the world...how do we understand humanity in its depravity and in its glory? I think it was Dr. Senior who lamented the fact that no one can understand St. Thomas Aquinas anymore because they don't know how to think. We haven't been raised with culture...we haven't been raised with the classics. We don't have the tools to think anymore. We think in sound-bytes and we want our religion fed to us without any thinking on our part. Yet in all this there is no need for despairing because there is always an opportunity for us to realize our deficiencies and at least attempt to rectify our shattered background. 

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
    « Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 07:41:29 AM »
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  • Number DXLVI (546)
    December 30, 2017
    Culture’s Importance – II
    From God alone comes culture that is best.
    In trash must wallow the God-forsaking West.

    Let us resort again to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, for some politically incorrect common sense on the notion of “culture,” which he is taking in its broadest but real sense as the values, standards and way of life of different peoples at the national and international level. The enemies of man and God wish to homogenise all nations in a global mush which it will be that much easier for their Antichrist to dominate in the worldwide tyranny of which they dream. Almighty God, on the contrary, establishes an astonishing variety throughout His Creation, because the ordered variety of creatures best reflects His own fullness of being. But any ordered variety means a higher and a lower, in other words inequality. That is why His enemies wish to level everything down in the name of equality – “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” for example. Catholics on the contrary must wish for all creatures to be as varied and as unequal as their Creator meant them to be. Putin is in this respect on the side of Almighty God.
    He was here talking to an international group of youngsters attending the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students held in Sochi, Russia, last October. See http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55842.
    India, our neighbour to the left, has a population of 1.2 billion, and China has a population of 1.5 billion. As for the United States, it continues to receive more and more immigrants; and, as far as I understand, its White Christian population has recently become a minority, less than 50 percent of the total US population. What I mean to say is that the world is going through dramatic, global change. I am not saying this is good or bad, just that global changes are taking place.
    You have said Russia is a vast territory – indeed. But from its western to its eastern borders , it is a Eurasian space. As regards culture, even language, language group and history, it is all undoubtedly a European space insofar as it is inhabited by people of European culture. This I say because it is what we have to preserve if we are to remain a significant centre in the world – and I do not mean that in the military sense or any other such sense. We should not divide peoples according to their ethnicity, and we should not look back in history, thinking, say, of the war between France and Russia from 1812 to 1814, rather we should look to the future for ways to build a common future and follow a common path.
    This is how we can preserve Russia and its people as a global centre that is significant for relations with Asian countries and the American continent. If we fail to preserve Russia, it will be divided into minor quasi-national associations of States that would eventually lose their significance in the global sense as independent centres. If we do preserve Russia, this will be a great advantage for the development of all mankind as well, because Russia is a major part of the global culture and it certainly has to be preserved.
    Indeed. A leading part of men’s culture has always been their literature, visual arts and music, because human beings of all times and in all places stand especially in need of stories, pictures and music to express and share what is going on inside them. That is why theatre and cinema which can combine all three are so influential, especially cinema today. In literature Russia boasts a number of world-famous authors: Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekov, Solzhenitsyn, etc.; in music, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc.; in cinema, Eisenstein and Tarkovsky have international reputations. Putin is right – thanks to Russia’s long winters and deep thinkers, his country has much to contribute to world culture that is far superior to the heap of democratic trash presently expressing what is goi ng on inside men.
    Pray for Putin not to be assassinated, because God’s enemies hate him, not without reason – he is leading his country towards its Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will put off, at least for a while, the Antichrist. May She protect him.
    Kyrie eleison.
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    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
    « Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 07:45:40 AM »
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  • If you doubt the value of European culture, just put on a recording of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker and then immediately follow it up with some modern "hip hop" music, which doesn't come from anything resembling Europe. Listen back and forth a couple times, and then ask yourself if all cultures are of equal value, sophistication, or advancement.

    Common sense should give you an answer, if you have any left.

    For that matter Chess is a more advanced game, meant for more advanced thinkers, than a simplistic game like "Go Fish". It's a fact.
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    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
    « Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 09:31:51 AM »
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  • "You have got's to "evolve" Bro Matthew!"
    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

    Offline Wessex

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    Re: Eleison Comments - Culture's Importance I (no. 544)
    « Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 09:41:07 AM »
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  • Without training to appreciate what is quality and being exposed to it at a young age, the cultural landcape ends up being desolate and prey to wild animals. It is impossible to argue with people today who say that culture evolves and making comparisons is wrong. Without doubt those endless noises we suffer that is called music hardly reflects our European tradition but are echoes of primitive aliens emerging from the world's jungles. Western universities and media empires will want to put me to death for saying this but their incurable subversiveness conspires to demolish the past or subject it to political correction. 

    The irony here is the Soviets were hanging on to the past at a time when western counties were demolishing theirs. Putin is repeating this stance in the face of terrible influences. The problem is the world's youth, unless properly guided, want all the goodies out there and would turn the world upside down for them. In this regard ageing populations are going to feel more and more under siege as civilisation breaks down further and the jungle gets closer.    

     

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