Category Archives: Popular Culture
Last Sunday, a controversial art piece in Stockholm’s Moderna Museet set off a firestorm of controversy throughout the world. Afro-Swedish artist Makode Linde created and participated in the piece, which has explicit undertones of race, which most have deemed racist in nature. I have a heavy heart as I reflect on this piece, attempting to humbly consider whether there is a time when we must stand up against certain expressions of art. This is what brought me to this difficult state of reflection:
“Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth (Swedish Minister of Culture) was invited to open the festivities by performing a clitoridectomy on the cake, which she did by slicing off the part of the cake depicting female genitalia. She then proceeded to feed that part of the cake to a performance artist, done up in blackface, his head protruding through the table.” As the video below indicates, the artist screams in excruciating “pain” as the knife slices at the genital regions of the cake, adding an auditory element to the artistic experience. And it was an experience. In many pictures taken, men and women stand around sipping their wine, as they watch with smiles and laughter at the “shock art” before them. Read the rest of this entry
As a life-long Unitarian Universalist, the premise of Holy week, which begins with Palm Sunday and leads up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, our denomination has always put a greater emphasis on the miraculous ending rather than the horrible event that led up to Easter. The theology taught in most UU communities, at least from my experiences in church, weighed more heavily on the infinite possibilities of “new life” after a tragedy of such grandeur as the one depicted in the religious texts of Christians. The new life is not necessarily eternal life, but rather a renewed life of hope, dedication, and passion.
Unfortunately, this comes at such a great loss in the Christian historical narrative: the crucifixion of Jesus. I believe an important part of the message of holy week is left out or at least overshadowed by the ultimate focus on the sacrifice made by God and the undeserved reward that all people receive when “it is finished”. This is the brutal reality that the powerful elite, militarily, politically, or otherwise, have and use their power to eliminate perceived threats to their hegemony. And it is for this reason that Good Friday should truly matter to all people and not merely Christians. Read the rest of this entry
On Tuesday, a critical victory came in the national movement toward LGBT equality, as a federal appeals panel ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Prop 8, which was a voter created amendment to the California state constitution, has been the face of the marriage equality fight for the past several years since its passage in November of 2008.
For some time now, it seems as if the road to marriage equality will not be from a top-down approach (federal legislative action), but rather as a slow, meticulous journey from liberal state to liberal state, to moderate to moderate, and perhaps one day to more conservative states, as well. This has been relatively successful. In the last eight years since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage, a total of six states plus D.C. now have laws on the books affirming equality. On Monday, Washington state will become the seventh state to tie the equality not. However, now that Prop 8 has been struck down, and as the dust settles from the celebrations that span from San Diego to San Francisco and throughout the rest of the country, a greater, meta-discourse is found in its wake. Read the rest of this entry