Monday, February 14, 2011

This is dumb...



Another post about nothing...
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I don't know who she thinks she is but Lady Gaga is delusional - Anderson Cooper interviewed her last evening on 60 Minutes and it turns out she imagines herself as some sort of intellectual-sociologist-performance artist-therapist - healing the world.  We are living in Sodom.
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That's a lie!  Lila Rose.  So people think that because Old Testament Biblical figures lied, it's okay to lie.  That is such fundamentalist bullshit. 
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And then.... and then....
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I've tried to be nice to Spirit Daily lately, but my patience is wearing thin.  There is a post up today regarding effeminate images of Christ (according to the author something of a plague since the Renaissance no less) as being responsible for driving men away from the Church.  Claiming artists have depicted Christ as androgynous - while world visionaries and mystics have described Jesus as anything but.  WTF?  You base your reasoning on spurious and subjective mystical experience? 
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I hate it when people who know absolutely nothing about art and whose only exposure to good art happens to be the kitschy reproductions found on holy cards or cheap religious store framed copies of copies, attempt to criticize the masters.  Fra Angelico was beatified without a miracle - JPII said his art was his miracle.  His depictions of Jesus certainly do not look like Neanderthal Man.  A very famous, conversion-working image of the Sacred Heart is often criticized as effeminate, although the original is not, some copies may come off so.  Nevertheless it depicts a young man lovingly presenting his heart to the viewer - moving countless souls to devotion in the past couple of centuries.  (Shown above.) 
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The writer at Spirit Daily cites the testimony of former priest Francis MacNutt-case and some nutty psychiatrist's near death experience as evidence Christ looked like the Incredible Hulk or something.  The author claims no one represents Christ in a manner men can relate to.  He suggests classical images should be replaced with manly ones... probably lifting weights and kicking ass.  The author goes on to say many artists have feminine traits that they may have translated into their art.  What an idiot.  Is Michelangelo's depiction of Christ effeminate?  Michelangelo was said to be a little light in the loafers, yet even his woman are butch.
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The know-it-all at Spirit Daily ought to stick to his Catholic tabloid news stories covering fake apparitions and mystics and occult stories.  His point of view is just as stupid as the pseudo documentary on embedded sexual imagery in classical iconography such as the San Damiano crucifix.  I wrote about that here.  What sophistry.  I think the sexual issues these people bring up are with the beholder.       
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Art: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pompeo Batoni, 18th century.  The artist lived in the baroque period - the same period uber-Catholics can't seem to get enough of with all the architectural ornament and liturgical lace and satins.  Maybe what remains of all of that should be done away with too.

29 comments:

  1. Never argue with an idiot or an artist.

    You're gonna lose both ways...

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  2. If these "authorities" are correct and Jesus' popularity nose-dived due to his seeming androgyne than why is Lady Gaga so popular? Androgyne is in, dude, uh, lady, uh, Cher! Whatever. Hey, how much like Madonna did she sound last night? Yeah, helps to be over 30 sometimes doesn't it?

    Remind me never to wear shoulder pads with points on them. Thanks, hon.

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  3. michael r.2:02 PM

    For a post about nothing, I sure learned a lot! I did not know that Fra Angelico was beatified without a miracle....and who didn't JPII beatify?

    I don't know anything about the controversy over depictions of our Lord, but I have to admit that I have always felt a bit uncomfortable with depictions of the Sacred Heart, precisely because I thought Jesus looked somewhat fem. (I grew up in a home that was enshrined with a framed depiction inside the front door. My dad always blessed himself when entering our house, which I now find profoundly beautiful. I guess psychologists could have a field day with this.)

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  4. Well it looks like you might not know there was someone made Bishop even before he became baptized or was a Priest.

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  5. Pablo made me laugh - thanks Pablo.

    Cath made me laugh more - thanks Cath.

    Michael. So anyway - this is why icons are better for some people I guess.

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  6. Please don't get me started on lady Gaga. But this much I will mention: she is a fetishist and exhibitionist, who likes to rehash the deviance of the 80's and 90's Madonna. She's just very unoriginal and, as far as I'm concerned, irrevocably untalented.

    Don't care for Spirit Daily. I once came across a Protestant Fundamentalist site that looks like just like it, but with different disillusions.

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  7. Jesus says: Will you be my Valentine? I'll be yours. I will give you my heart.

    My favorite depiction of Jesus is Christ Pantocator, at St.Catherine's Monastery on Mt.Sinai. For the artists out there, it is encaustic on panel.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spas_vsederzhitel_sinay.jpg

    And for a he-man version,it's tough to beat Christ in Majesty at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IqM53hCQmrc/S-Arplkc4MI/AAAAAAAAEVo/3uOhSEaOBm4/s1600/jcjudgeeyes.jpg

    http://www.beliefnet.com/imgs/lede/christ_basilica2.jpg

    Happy St.Valentine's Day, Terry.

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  8. Thanks Eve - same to you. I love that particular icon myself. Very powerful image.

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  9. Hi Tom - posted your favorite Valentine song today!

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  10. A friend and I once discussed what we thought Christ really looked like. She said He would be quite ordinary - it would have been His personality and goodness that attracted people to Him and His way.

    Though I did like Jim Caviezel's portrayal of Christ in the Passion movie I felt he was too "good looking." You do not want your actor playing Christ making the ladies (and the gay guys) thinking "wow, he's hot." Those images stay in your mind.

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  11. Angela - more evidence you are very close to Him. You and your friend are exactly right. Read Isaiah 53.

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  12. More than the feminization of Christ in art, my complaint is that that sometimes an artist gets a little too "into it" when depicting the Body of Our Lord, or of the Saints, and that creeps me out. The Beauty of the body can be depicted without sexualizationand that proper balance is part of the finesse and skill --and duty-- of a relgious artist to convey. I think El Greco is one of the finest examples of depicting our Lord reverently and masculinely while conveying so much expression and emotion. Some may feel even El Greco's Christ depictions are feminine-ish, I suppose, but that may be from a misunderstanding of Mannerism.

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  13. Yes, sir, you did. And I thank you.:0)

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  14. “You shall not see Me again until you say ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’.”

    Robert Powell gives a great performance as Christ:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PynPakQ38_o

    Christ was manly, the Son of Mary.

    The Jews tried to belittle Christ by asking if He was Mary’s son, for it was a Jewish custom to belittle a man by calling him the son of his mother.

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  15. Practically every Jesus I have seen at least RESEMBLES a MAN....far too many paintings of women, even the Blessed Mother, even by illustrious masters, look like men's bodies (complete with BULGING biceps) with women's faces photoshopped on them.... "butch" is being far too kind..

    Sara

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  16. Is your figure less than Greek, is you mouth a little weak, when you open to speak are you smaaart? Oh,it is a beaut. Thanks Chet. Thanks Terry. Thanks Lord....( Idiot when it comes to art but love that jazz...)

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  17. Sara ... Michelangelo's female sculptures are wretched, to say the least. I think he used male models and added "breasts". Needless to say - that ain't how it works.

    I don't think I've ever seen an image of the Blessed Mother that didn't look feminine, though.

    Personally, I think it's cool how art can depict different "sides" of Jesus - from the Christos Pantokrators to the Sacred Heart images, they all do more than just show an image.

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  18. Robert Powell's portrayal of Jesus still brings me to tears .. I saw the movie when I was in high school and away from the Lord. Had no idea who the actor was but his portrayal still captivates me.
    Art is such a gift of God whether it's in painting, sculpture written words or acting. It's man reaching out from his heart to picture what he longs to see.
    Whose to say which is right..as long as it doesn't dishonor the Lord.
    +PAX

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  19. I loved Robert Powell's portrayal as well. I loved that scene with Peter and Matthew - during the parable of the Prodigal Son.

    I like what you said: "It's man reaching out from his heart to picture what he longs to see."

    Thanks Caroline.

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  20. Maria - I couldn't respond to your video - but thanks. Sorry to hear about the setback - I will continue to pray.

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  21. I suppose it is all rather subjective, isn't it.

    Perhaps they should re-drape the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

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  22. Yeah, let's get back to those chunky, macho, manly depictions of Jesus - like the ones of the light-footed beardless shepherd in the catacombs. (Those effeminate persecuted Christians were just transferring their own delicate dispositions into their work.) Like the many rather skinny ones throughout the middle ages. Like the San Damiano crucifix that talked to the macho St. Francis.

    The ironic thing is that the article, with its let's get rid of these feminine Jesuses and start doing manly Jesuses regiment, is actually a very effeminate reaction.

    Art does not work that way. And anyone who tries to make it work that way does one thing: produces shitty art.

    Are there some horrible effeminate Jesuses? Sure. There's also some horrible manly Jesuses.

    The shroud of Turin shows a manly face, yes, but if you look at it longer you will see the face actually has a lot of delicacy in it.

    Michelangelo's figures aren't to be looked at in the way one looks at a portrait - it's about the force of the creativity behind it all. For him, the male figure was the ideal because it suited his genius. His art is about the first person created - Adam, who suggests the powerful force of creation in being formed from the dirt. (BTW, it's also always funny when a medievalist tries to critique the baroque. It makes for some good laughs.)

    Spirit Daily had a link not too long ago, saying "Check out these paintings!" of an artist on the news whose work made me cringe.

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  23. Worse than "feminine Jesus" are old holy cards depicting Him as blonde and blue eyed.

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  24. *
    Adam was far more beautiful than Eve.

    Having been created from slime, not dirt or dust, God fashioned Adam first in His (God's) image.

    He used the worst to make the best.

    We cannot give soul to images of Christ that would justify our belief in His beauty.

    Christ was a manly man.

    DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) ... does nowhere within it claim the act of wanting masculine Jesus is a feminine response.

    Claiming that it is becomes another Liberal invention. And we know how Liberals can re-invent and invent things.

    Many people see and are moved by how Jesus appears to them in artwork, the poor, the aged, the homeless, and so on.

    Myself, when I am at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, what I see is the most terrible presence in all creation; one that will one day invite me in, or cast me out.

    The Devil and all his legions, all his supporters in the world and in the future world cannot drag one soul into Hell.

    With the smallest of breaths, God can blow us all into Hell.

    That is a terrible presence.

    (by the way, there is no such thing as shi**y art. Just uncompleted works).

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  25. It is an *effeminate* response. Not a feminine response. That is, it is not vigorous enough to see that you cannot just start saying, "Let's do Manly Jesus from now on."

    Art doesn't work that way. You just end up with crappy art.

    The response in the article is also sort of like one of those teetotalling old ladies making rules for how things are going to be better.

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  26. Terry,

    Nice fire for our Lord.

    Love it.

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  27. Terry, whether I agree or disagree with you on any given point, you're the only human being I'd ever say this to. Don't ever stop blogging.

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  28. Jeffrey - so good to hear from you - just for you and because you said that - I never will stop. You keep going too. God blees!

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  29. the first Batoni I saw was his War and Peace, I think at the museum of art in Chicago. Great artist.

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