Empty Days

Thursday, February 05, 2004



Being in the dregs these days, read Jean Genet this morning for uplift - since his books are mostly about how to find beauty while being (or facing) the scum of the earth. High poetry. Very efficient.

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Also went scavanging on other blogs for something to jump-start my mind. Found this quoted by TSO. Here applied to religious life, but I read it in a rather wider sense and it applies even better [excerpt from Trower's Turmoil and Truth]:
The second tempation for the bored religious is to use scholarship as a distraction. The danger lies in scholarship's being a presentable activity. If the members of a religious order are living in luxury or acting immorally everyone can see they are going off the rails. But no one can see the decline of faith, hope and charity in the soul of a religious sitting behind a pile of learned books. A well-known biblical scholar has described how he started studying Scripture because he found his fellow religious too boring to talk to. But in this frame of mind, what is the use of studying Scripture which is so largely about loving one's brothers, boring or not?
I don't know if one is allowed or not to steal quotes quoted on other blogs but I guess it doesn't really matter.

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"Presentable activity" is really the key here. While tweaking the IE today, inspected some options I never check and found this striking phrase in the Content Advisory settings: "No sexual activity portrayed. Romance." Yes, indeed. Here is the shortest answer ever to all those wonderings of mine when watching some symbolically sexual love-making scenes in films accompagnied by pseudo-classical supposedly-romantic music. There is a strangely contradictory impression produced by this combination of naked skin and a soupy score - just try to turn the sound off for a moment.

I don't know exactly how this relates to the above quote but I feel there is a direct, though perhaps underhand, connection. Sex is "presentable" as long as there are enough symbolic pointers to let you know it's not really sex - it's romance (because it sounds romantic?) :-0

Notably, some porn movies also lay over a non-descript music score so you don't hear all the supposed humping and bumping going on. And the interesting thing is that it does indeed make quite a difference to the overall impression. And just to check this out: imagine some soupy film-music while watching this stuff and you'll see why I keep wondering about these things.





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