Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Magic At Its Deepest

Sarah here.
Just reading Harry Potter book 3 and came across this line, "When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them." This had me remembering an exchange I had with David yesterday that I wanted to share.

A friend a long time ago said that you become what you are afraid of. Paralyzed by the truth of that thought yesterday (my list of things I am afraid of is impossibly, "I can't believe I still exist", gods help me, long), David and I had a suspended silence sit-down. Amid the recondite, thickening clouds, the voice we hear when we think "David Dark" cut clear as day with this line:

We become what we love.

Hope that one rings through when anyone out there finds themselves caught in the fear storm.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

There's Nothing I Can Do

This isn't a tee-hee, "Remember the 80's?!?!?" post. I was tempted to only offer the audio as way of avoiding this impression but got to thinking the video might afford at least a little illumination. I'm a sucker for what I take to be neglected significance within popular expression generally regarded as disposable. And I think Peter Godwin dropped something rather deep, subversive, and McLuhanesque upon the public with "Images Of Heaven" (see text below). I think he's chronicling what he thinks is happening to him in his relationship to images. Dude doesn't like what's going on in his own head and he's saying so. Think Charley Patton's "Lord, I'm Disturbed" or Elvis Costello's "Psycho." The fellow isn't kidding around. Eighties earnestness formed (and forms) me, I admit. I don't think of it as prudish or obvious or overwrought. I file it as a sort of religio-poetic meditation/confession on the topic of what Blake calls mind-forged manacles and what William Burroughs has in mind when he tells us to look hard at the Naked Lunch at the end of the long, newspaper spoon. How do we characterize our relationship to the objects of our mediatized contemplation? What is the nature of the proselytization we're undergoing? What are we building up on our karmic accounts? I don't have a title for the mix I have i mind, but Godwin's jam will lead it all off, followed by Arcade Fire's "(Antichrist Television Blues)" and PJ Harvey's "This Mess We're In." Other suggestions are welcome. And don't we think The Killers would be very pleased if they reproduced the sound of this one in the studio? Isn't it what many of us are going in for? And doesn't it sound like John Taylor's bass?
Lettuce know your thoughts.
"Images of Heaven" P. Godwin (my attempted transcription)

Nothing is sacred
So, give me your soul, my love
Nothing is wasted
On someone like you

Somebody killed me
Then tore out my heart, my love
Somebody thrilled me
With photos of you

And there's nothing I can do
The media made you
There's nothing I can do
'cause you don't exist
you don't exist

Just images of heaven
that take me to hell
Images of heaven
Of something to sell
Images of heaven
Images of heaven

Something possessed me
An image of you, my love
Video visions
That play on my mind

Nobody blessed me
With power to reach, my love

One cheap illusion
Can still be divine

And nobody believes
In this new religion
Yeah nobody believes
'cause nobody sees
nobody sees

These Images of heaven
That take me to hell
Images of heaven
of something for sale
Images of heaven
Images of heaven

Images of heaven
Images of heaven

And there's nothing I can do
The camera made you
There's nothing I can do
'cause you don't exist
You don't exist

Just images of heaven
that take me to hell
Images of heaven
Or something to sell
Images of heaven
Images of heaven

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sarah brings us the following from Dorothee Soelle:
The insight that the way to God in Jewish thought leads via the
neighbor, that is to say, via the woman next door who gets on my
nerves and always listens to the wrong music, is one of Judaism’s
greatest gifts to humanity. I believe in that but also with the desire
that my neighbor who reads nothing but the tabloids will someday also
enter the way to God...
Radical humanism has its own language difficulties. It
cannot pray and cannot wish for more than what seems possible. But we
all need the “more” we call transcendence. We need a guarantor of the
rights of the poor, the superfluous and disabled, a guarantor that is
greater than our reckoning. In that sense, we are all incurable,
“religious.” It is an illness we cannot get rid of in the life of

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Calm (down) Sunday

Sarah Here.
Just noticed while Jesus weeps for J-town he wails, "if you only recognized what makes for peace". And wanting to get in line with this "Some of all people...". Happy Palm Sunday everyone. "Save us".

Word has arrived that
peace will brim up, will come
"like a river and the
glory...like a flowing stream."
Some of all people will
wondering wait
until this very stone

-Margaret Avison

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Face Rank

I commemorate today's release of THE SACREDNESS OF QUESTIONING EVERYTHING with the most compelling photograph of my own face I could find. I'm also including some especially good blurbs as I have yet to figure out (or find a friend to hire or help me to figure out) how to put them on an opening splash page. Here're a few:
"David Dark serves up a unique blend of pop culture and high culture, generously seasoned with religious texts. The result is an immensely readable, profoundly subversive, and deeply prophetic book." — Andrew Bacevich, Author, The Limits of Power
"David Dark is my favorite critic of the people’s culture of America and the Christian faith. He brings a deep sense of reverence to every book he reads, every song he hears, every movie he sees, but it is a discerning reverence—attentive to truth and Jesus wherever he comes on them. He is also a reliable lie detector. And not a dull sentence in the book." — Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message
"Brilliant and charming and insightful as always, Dark comforts both my soul and my mind with this synthesis, part memoir and part essay, of the culture around us and the culture within us." — Phyllis Tickle, Author, The Great Emergence
"David Dark is one of our wisest authors, and I plan to read everything he writes. The Sacredness of Questioning Everything will comfort questioners, doubters, and skeptics with assurance that their questions can be faithful, and it will challenge the complacent with an ethical summons to wonder. It invites everything to give life—and faith—a second thought, and did I mention that it’s beautifully written?" — Brian McLaren, Author, Everything Must Change
On the prospect of helping the thing go gangbusters...
Be seen in public reading it as often as possible.
Spread word.
Place it on the top of whatever stack of books you have in whatever place your sitting.
Review it for Amazon.
Ask your library to order a copy.
Tell people who bring in people to talk to other people that I'm a...um...silver bullet or something.
Start a discussion group.
Figure out how to create/facilitate the circumstances that lead to me sitting at a table in front of a camera talking to Stephen Colbert.
We're having a thing tonight at the Portland Brew at Twelve South (7:00). I'm hoping it'll be the beginning of a bunch of people I like coming to like other bunches of people I like...the beginning of a bunch of beautiful relationships...Maybe someone(s) will fall in love. We'll have more things like this in the weeks to come.
"Face Rank" is a reference to Scott Westerfeld's Orwellian, McLuhanesque mash-up of Sales Rank and Facebook in his tag on to the Uglies trilogy: Extras. It was a good, prophetic word delivered unto me today by one Sarah Masen.
I hope my book enriches lots of people. Lemme know what you make of it if you have the chance.