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Showing posts from May, 2016

What is Social Justice?

In late 2015, I was working on a paper for one of my undergraduate courses, Western Religions in Society and Culture, and the topic I had chosen was the relationship between Christianity and social justice. The very first order of business I intended to tackle was laying a foundation for the meaning of social justice. I thought it would be a laughably easy task, and with a sly grin on my face I headed on over to Dictionary.com where I came across this result: "the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within a society" (n.d.).After I had read this, I was surprised to say the least. What is fascinating is that the definition suggests that social justice is multi-directional. It infers that both a fullness and lack of advantages make up social justice, that it is an entity that cannot exist without both components. I had expected that the definition would mention some utopian result, and perhaps, the process that reaches said utopian result. The definition does not rend…

Summer Reading and Music List

Here's what's on my summer reading / music list. Whether I will complete the reading and listening is not guaranteed - although I do plan to finish The Man Who Was Thursday by tomorrow ... being Thursday. And yes, I will be using original publication dates for the literatureevenif you literary critics think my versions have been anglicized to the point where they aren't"authentic enough". How pretentious of you.

Reading:
1. G. K. Chesterton - The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)
2. Francis Schaeffer - True Spirituality (1971)
3. Tertullian - De Spectaculis (197-202 AD)
4. Saint Augustine - Confessions (397-400 AD)
5. Dietrich Bonhoeffer - The Cost of Discipleship (1937)

Music:
1. The Apprentice - The Epic Struggle (2004)
2. Classical Masters - Best of Beethoven (2009)
3. Various - The Best of Classical Piano Favorites (1995)
4. Various - Great Composers - Bach (1988)
5. M83 - Junk (2016)
6. Wheat - Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second (2003)
7. Various - Cathedral of…

The Ethics of Self-Expression

You've heard it before: "X is important because it's an opportunity for self-expression". What does it mean for something to be important? "Marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence: valuable in content or relationship", so reads the definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster. Anyone with a remote understanding of human life also understands that consequences follow from self-expression. But what is to be said about the moral implications of those consequences? To say that self-expression is 'important', I suspect, is not at all to suggest the linear idea rendered by the definition of the word, but rather, is to implicitly replace the term with 'virtuous'.

But is this replacement successful? The simple answer is no, the replacement is not successful. Why not? The replacement fails because the term 'important' solely deals with fecundity. The term 'virtuous', on the other hand, transcends fecundity and has to do w…

Of Dusk

In a field of wheat at dusk. My knees painted deep by strokes of flaxen brush. My feet tremble from the cold glow of moon. In darkness, nothing's coming for me soon. When the light's emptied out, what remains? In the night, I think about my days. By a chance of sight, I see some florets crash. Crash to the ground like soldiers and aeroplanes, the ones who felt the fate of chance. When I think on the times I crashed, there's a catch in my throat. What resonates, a single note: I have always returned to dusk.

What Does it Mean to Grade Art with a Perfect Score?

It appears that the question at hand mostly pertains to either written works or music, at least, beyond the walls of academia. The foremen of academia will put their fingerprints on anything: essays, research, photography, poetry, sculptures, paintings, you name it. And although art competitions do exist outside of the academic setting (the often unmentioned Darwinian mode of existence that students must participate in - that's not even an indictment, by the way), the free artist has a choice of whether or not to submit their work to such competitions. In short, academia requires competition while art done out of free choice does not.

First, why infer that written works and music are the sole substances that are graded beyond the academic setting? Perhaps I am biased since I repetitiously take into account reviews for written works and music, but I don't think that other forms of art are judged in the same way. At the very least, other forms of art (I'm especially thinking…

A Short Note on Editing/Design

Less than a half hour ago, I began the arduous process of capitalizing every letter that requires (and some that don't necessarily) capitalization. The charm of all lower case letters has worn thin by this point and considering that the content of my writing gets better with time, I don't find it useful to be so negligent toward basic orthography. Also, I don't consider myself a hipster, so there's no point to making myself vulnerable to that suspicion. I should be finished updating all the posts within a couple of days. That said, the title (and header) of the blog will continue to be all lower case, simply because, I think it looks cool. I'm also thinking of updating the background and possibly the layout of the blog. Though I like the image of the cats on the fringe, I wouldn't mind some new scenery.

The Door