Friday, June 24, 2011
Posted by everettg at 6:45 AM
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Posted by Joel Riley at 1:49 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2011
...is acting up off our blogs, as we're not getting picked up. Joel opines on Kafka and Derrida, thoughts on the (Pentecostal) teens being all right in Word, while Momo has some good stuff on the NBA Finals.
Posted by kdc at 12:33 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Germans vs. The Zionists vs. The Capitalists (with the Winner obtaining the rights to claim Kafka as their own)
Franz Kafka, author of Metamorphosis, one of the weirdest, most compelling books I read in high school is up for grabs.
Sure, he's been dead for nearly 90 years, but Kafka still matters man.
Basically, before Kafka died, he told his friend, Max Brod to burn all his papers upon his death.
Brod, thankfully did not burn said papers. Instead, Brod took papers and moved to Palestine (which became Israel). Out of these papers, many letters and books by Kafka were published posthumously.
And today, those papers that Kafka requested to be burned but never were burned are still around.
And we are talking about Millions of dollars worth of papers, some of them have never been read....(one manuscript from the pile of papers went for 2 million back in the 60's).
The paper's currently reside in Israel in a vault under "ownership" by two sisters.
The Two sisters who inherited the papers from Max Brod want to sell the papers outright. (Claiming private ownership, desiring money, capitalism, blah blah blah).
But here's the debate....The Israeli Library is claiming the papers are rightfully theirs on behalf of all Jewish people, in consideration that Kafka was Jewish.
The German Library is claiming that the papers should be theirs arguing that Kafka wrote in German and that it can better protect the papers (in consideration that it's archives are carefully maintained and that it already possesses one of Kafka's manuscripts).
But this trial is far more fascinating than I just described it as...
if you have time, read Judith Butler's article on the topic which includes some brilliant analysis....it can be read here: LINK
Here is one of the more fascinating bits Butler picks up:
If Kafka is claimed as a primarily Jewish writer, he comes to belong primarily to the Jewish people, and his writing to the cultural assets of the Jewish people. This claim... becomes all the more (controversial) when we realise that the legal case rests on the presumption that it is the state of Israel that represents the Jewish people....
First, the claim overcomes the distinction between Jews who are Zionist and Jews who are not, for example Jews in the diaspora for whom the homeland is not a place of inevitable return or a final destination...
The implicit understanding is that all Jews and Jewish cultural assets – whatever that might mean – outside Israel eventually and properly belong to Israel, since Israel represents not only all Jews but all significant Jewish cultural production....
and now through claiming significant works by those who happen to be Jews as Jewish cultural capital that, as such, rightly belongs to the Israeli state.
In summary, when the National Library of Israel claims Kafka's paper on behalf of all the Jewish people, and because Kafka is Jewish, Israel is in a sense saying that as a State, Israel defines Jewishness, and also speaks on behalf of all Jews, even those who don't live in Israel. AKA even though Kafka Never stepped foot in Palestine (which would become Israel), and was entirely a European citizen, Israel is claiming that He was really one of their own.....even when he didn't know it.
As a Jew by ethnicity, I don't like this. I am not a Zionist.
Posted by Joel Riley at 2:04 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
That said, I have recently delved into the philosophy of the "hated" postmodern philosopher, Jacques Derrida (pictured above). Derrida, the "father" of deconstruction, was nothing like the stereotypical caricatures that I had grown accustomed to which said Derrida thought truth was "relative." In fact, before he died, many postmodern philosophers went to great length to derail Derrida's ideas.
What has interested me especially, was Derrida's religion that he was outspoken about before he died. Much of this unique religion is covered in the book The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida's which has sparked my fancy.
The religion of Derrida, is quite paradoxical. He considered himself an atheist, but yet he would pray at least nightly, sometime to the point of tears.
What is so interesting to me is not so much the atheism, nor the fine intricacies that Derrida went about to define his religion as a "Religion without religion" and who prayed to a "God without God."
But rather what has been so moving to me is the sincere humility Derrida went about his religion and prayers...
In short, Derrida realizes first and foremost, that he is human. and thus he is fallen and fallible. And the human tendency is to think that our world revolves around each one of ourselves.
But yet, we know the world doesn't revolve around us, and we are not the center of the universe.
Thus prayer in a way, is a way Derrida seeks to rid himself of self. He wants to love people, and thus in prayer he attempts to repent of himself so that he won't get in the way of love.
Derrida is the one who had me speechless when he asked "what do I love when I love my God?"
And in that one question I felt as if I had entered into a question that was absolutely divine....
When I pray, who am I praying to?
Of course, I am praying to Jesus who died for my sins.
But am I letting Jesus be Jesus in my life?
Or is the Jesus I pray to and confess my loyalty, an idol image where I have constructed Jesus to be the Jesus that appeases my own life and lifestyle?
Is my Jesus just the Jesus that I follow because He makes me secure and tells me that I get to go to heaven when I die?
That is why I love the way Derrida asked the question: He didn't ask : "who do I love when I love my God?" But rather, Derrida asked "What do I love when I love my God?"
Perhaps, in our most fallen nature, we aren't following a who when we follow God, but rather a what in the form of a carved image that satisfies us and our anxieties.
Thus, for Derrida, prayer is not just a lifting up of God, but it is also just as much a repositioning of one's self in relation to God as to not distort our view of God,
Posted by Joel Riley at 9:47 AM
Monday, June 06, 2011
The KJV turns 400! In a series of short essays and poems, Harper's magazine offers some "re-imagining, revising, and refuting" of history's bestseller from some of today's significant literary figures, including the incomparable Marilynne Robinson (who states about these days, "The Bible is much thumped and little pondered).
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Here's another article for your consideration. Personally, I am not offended by the tag line "Jesus, a Prophet of Islam." Although I can see how a great majority of Christian believers would feel threatened by the claim. I recently met a guy named "Isa." I said "Oh, your name means Jesus." He was a little startled by my assertion, as he was encountering someone who had at least a passing familiarity with his religion and wasn't threatened by the fact that he was a Muslim.
Posted by everettg at 6:16 AM
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
The real point is this article about radio.
Here is what we learn: Radio DJs were ordered by a CBS radio head to start informing the audience more and more the name of a song and the artist of a song.
Apparently, the the past couple decades have been marked by less and less DJ talk (including the identifying of a certain song.) because for some reason radio executives thought people didn't like hearing other people talk. They thought we only wanted music.
They were so wrong.
Because, we really, could care less about the music.
We actually will listen to whatever our contextual peers listen to.
Thus we care more about the brand name behind the music (e.g. who sings the song) than the song itself. That is, we care more about what the music represents via the artist who sings the song because it identifies with the culture we want to align ourselves to.
Take me, for instance...I like finding music that you haven't ever heard of. Yes, I'm that guy. Thus, when I listen to music, my question is, who sings this song? And if you haven't heard of the artist who sings the song, I will like it. It's that simple.
(I kid, I kid).
Okay, this is all cultural critique that is not in the article about the reentry of song and artist titles within radio.
But, I stand by my assessment because the article doesn't do the best job at explaining the importance of this transition except some consumer speculation....
However, there is one thing that must be considered regarding the article and radio:
The article vaguely mentions that it was the music studio heads who made the recommendation to the CBS radio boss to put song title and artists over the air with the song itself.... this also translates: "Hey, we need money, and radio is failing and we don't want to acknowledge that radio is failing to the likes of smart phones & iPods because that may mean their jobs, so they have to find small details to change on radio to convince themselves that the problem with the decline of the music industry is not because of the internet but rather because DJs are forgetting to mention song titles on the airwaves.
Posted by Joel Riley at 7:30 PM