Culture Making is now archived. Enjoy five years of reflections on culture worth celebrating.
For more about the book and Andy Crouch, please visit andy-crouch.com.

photo
"Carillon, Amsterdam, September 2006," by David Urbano, at Les Rencontres d'Arles Photographie :: via lens culture
Nate:
Nate:
from the All Known Metal Bands book site



The 300 page book All Known Metal Bands is a simple listing of every heavy metal band name that exists or has ever existed, in every genre, that I could find, in what turned out to be a year and a half of research. Where a name was used by more than one band, the name is listed once for each band. The pages are black, the type is silver, and it will make you want to do naughty things. Of the 51,000 bands listed, the most commonly used name is Legion. There are 24 bands named Legion. There are 20 bands named Genocide, and 20 called Requiem. There are 2 called Cryptic Stench, but there is only one Black Darkness.

Nate:

The tradition of the sworn virgin can be traced to the Kanun of Leke Dukagjini, a code of conduct that has been passed on orally among the clans of northern Albania for more than five centuries. Under the Kanun, the role of women is severely circumscribed: Take care of children and maintain the home. While a woman’s life is worth half that of a man, a virgin’s value is the same - 12 oxen.

The sworn virgin was born of social necessity in an agrarian region plagued by war and death. If the patriarch of the family died with no male heirs, unmarried women in the family could find themselves alone and powerless. By taking an oath of virginity, women could take on the role of men as head of the family, carry a weapon, own property and move freely.

They dress like men, adopt a male swagger and spend their lives in the company of other men.

Andy:
from Apology, chapter xxxix, by Tertullian (Rev. S. Thelwall, trans.), 197 A.D.

I shall at once go on, then, to exhibit the peculiarities of the Christian society, that, as I have refuted the evil charged against it, I may point out its positive good.  We are a body knit together as such by a common religious profession, by unity of discipline, and by the bond of a common hope. We meet together as an assembly and congregation, that, offering up prayer to God as with united force, we may wrestle with Him in our supplications. This violence God delights in. We pray, too, for the emperors, for their ministers and for all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for the prevalence of peace, for the delay of the final consummation.

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Google Trends
Nate:
Nate:
Nate:

This annual incantation is more than one man’s act of madcap devotion. It is also a peephole into the love affair with Western music that goes on every day in this pine-wooded outpost in India’s northeast. Shillong, a British-era hill town that is now home to dozens of boarding schools and colleges, is its hub, especially when it comes to rock.

On Mr. Dylan’s birthday weekend a visitor could drive down a narrow, rain-soaked road and hear young men with guitars serenading, or stumble upon thousands gathered under a Christian revival tent, singing modern gospel in their native Khasi. On a football field, at twilight, you might be pulled into a mosh pit of teenagers dancing to a Naga tribal blues guitarist, or on a Sunday morning find schoolchildren in a chorus of 19th-century hymns in a prim Presbyterian church.

“God has given us a special gift — the gift of singing,” marveled the Rev. J. Fortis Jyrwa of the Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Assembly here.

Many theories are offered for Shillong’s fascination with rock and the blues. Some argue that the area’s indigenous Khasi traditions are deeply rooted in song and rhyme. Some credit the 19th-century Christian missionaries who came from Britain and the United States, introduced the English language, hymns and gospel music and in turn made the heart ripe for rock. Some say the northeast, remote and in many pockets, gripped by anti-Indian separatist movements, has not been as saturated by Hindi film music as the rest of India.

[S]ometimes Mark’s Gospel has been called the first Christian book, in large part based on the reference in Mk. 13.14 where we find the parenthetical remark, “let the reader understand”, on the assumption that the ‘reader’ in question is the audience. But let us examine this assumption for a moment. Both in Mk. 13.14 and in Rev. 1.3 the operative Greek word is ho anagin?sk?n, a clear reference to a single and singular reader, who in that latter text is distinguished from the audience who are dubbed the hearers (plural!) of John’s rhetoric. . . .  [N]ot even Mark’s Gospel should be viewed as a text, meant for private reading, much less the first real modern ‘text’ or ‘book’. Rather Mark is reminding the lector, who will be orally delivering the Gospel in some or several venues near to the time when this ‘abomination’ would be or was already arising that they needed to help the audience understand the nature of what was happening when the temple in Jerusalem was being destroyed. Oral texts often include such reminders for the ones delivering the discourse in question. So in fact it is not likely the case that the reference to ‘a reader’ in the NT functions like it would in a modern text.  The reader in question is not the audience of the discourse or document, but rather its presenter who knows the text in advance and can appropriately and effectively orally deliver its content to the intended audience or audiences.

The Colbert Report
Nate:
Nate:

Take the huge dry lake bed. Choose a stick. Make the largest sand drawing on Earth.

Next on the list could be - aliens see it, make contact. Well, even without aliens, this art is more than mind-boggling in its scale. It’s planet-altering.

Jim Denevan made the world’s largest freehand drawing a few weeks ago on a dry lake in Nevada. How big is it? Three mile across, which took 100 miles of walking to draw the pattern.

[. . .]

Even though esthetically it’s a welcome addition to the landscape, it is also a sort of a transient mark - like a cloud, or a river-bed. Immense in its scope, and lasting only a moment in the large scale of things.

We asked the artist, how long did this stupendous artwork last?

“Completely erased in a rainstorm the next week… It felt strange to work so hard and not see tide come in. But rains did come which is sort of the same thing.”

Nate:
a Boing Boing post by Cory Doctorow, 21 June 2008

In this Disney podcast, Chief Imagineer Marty Sklar enumerates Mickey’s 10 Commandments of Theme Park Design.MP3 Link(Thanks, Avi!)

Nate:
from "Explainer: Why we still use sandbags to stop floods," by Jacob Leibenluft, Slate, 20 June 2008

Researchers at the University of Manitoba conducted an experiment (PDF) in which they asked two groups—one made up of professional engineers, the other of volunteers given standard instructions—to construct a dike using standard sandbags. The professionals were able to create a sandbag dike 12 feet tall that proved quite effective. But the 6-foot-tall dike prepared by the unsupervised volunteers failed when the water reached its peak level.

Nate:
a Tomorrow Museum post by Joanne, 18 June 2008

NYT reports on an NEA census: “Among artists under 35, writers are the only group in which 80 percent or more are non-Hispanic white.”  Tayari Jones responds, “A question worth thinking about is whether this means times are good or hard for writers of color. On the one hand being so darn rare makes us attractive, or at least it does, theoretically. But on the other hand, the scarcity suggests steep challenges.”

a more than 95 theses post by Alan Jacobs

Bumper stickers such as “Make Love, Not War” and “More Trees, Less Bush” speak volumes about a vehicle’s driver — but maybe not in the way they might hope. People who customize their cars with stickers and other adornments are more prone to road rage than other people, according to researchers in Colorado… .

The researchers recorded whether people had added seat covers, bumper stickers, special paint jobs, stereos and even plastic dashboard toys… . People who had a larger number of personalized items on or in their car were 16% more likely to engage in road rage, the researchers report in the journal Applied Social Psychology.

“The number of territory markers predicted road rage better than vehicle value, condition or any of the things that we normally associate with aggressive driving,” say Szlemko. What’s more, only the number of bumper stickers, and not their content, predicted road rage — so “Jesus saves” may be just as worrying to fellow drivers as “Don’t mess with Texas”.

Szlemko admits that he is not entirely surprised by the results. “We have to remember that humans are animals too,” he says. “It’s unrealistic to believe that we should not be territorial.”

[here, via Slashdot]

The quotations, images, and embedded media in this blog are the work of the credited authors, artists, and publications, and are employed in the spirit of fair use, commentary, and criticism. We always link to the original source of material we cite. If you think we’ve missed something, let us know. The inclusion of media on this site should not imply its owners’ endorsement (or for that matter awareness) of this book, blog, or the blog’s curators and commentators. Though we hope they’d like us.

This is must-read stuff, and not just for artists. It’s food for thought for any Christian wishing to make a meaningful contribution to their world.


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Jennifer, professional soprano living in Madison, Wisconsin

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