Friday, December 05, 2008

Pop Culture Roundup

I've been reading Jurgen Moltmann's The Crucified God. I actually tried to get through this a few years ago, but for some reason never finished. This book is as much a critique of the church as it is a theological analysis of the meaning of the cross. In fact, Moltmann argues that there's no way the two can be separated; that the cross is a critique of the church in and of itself: it challenges the church's seeking out special societal privileges, the church's theologizing of the cross to the point that it becomes numb to its horror, and the use of christological titles (Christ, Son of God, Logos, etc.) without the lense of the crucifixion. Moltmann argues that the cross jars, or is meant to jar, most of our theological and ecclesiastical assumptions. He also undergirds a lot of his thinking with an eschatological hope (laypeople's terms: future fulfillment of God's new order). He argues that the cross is a beginning point for that hope becoming fulfilled, which is the redemption of all creation (as opposed to limiting such redemption just to some individuals who "accept Jesus into their hearts" and such). I've been chewing on that last one for a while. It tastes good.

I've heard a few CDs this week:

~Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero - NIN's signature industrial sound. I've only listened to it once through so far, but I think it warrants another.

~Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope - My new musical crush is now Regina Spektor. I picked it up suspecting that I've heard at least one of her songs before, and sure enough "Fidelity" is the one being given significant airplay. What I love most is how unique every song is. You can have harder drum beats on one, then more pronounced classical piano on the next. Aside from that, her lyrics are witty, charming, intelligent, visually dynamic. So this led me to her
Wikipedia page, which almost immediately states that she's associated with the New York anti-folk scene. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the page for that, which yields this explanation:
The music sub-genre known as anti-folk (or antifolk) takes the earnestness of politically charged 1960s music and subverts it into something else. It is still highly debated what exactly the defining characteristics of this sub-genre are, as they vary from one artist to the next. Nonetheless, it is fairly accepted that the music tends to sound raw or experimental; it also generally mocks the seriousness and pretension of the established mainstream music scene in addition to mocking itself.
Of course, to get a true sense of whatever this style of music actually sounds like, I clicked on the link to I've been listening to this for the past few days (along with Ms. Spektor, of course).

Around the web, check out All the movie trailers you'd ever want to see.