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About jfutral

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  • Occupation
    lighting designer, production manager
  • Favorite movies
    Big Trouble with Tim Allen
  • Favorite music
    All except smooth jazz. Smooth jazz is from the devil
  • Favorite visual art
    Klee, van Gogh, Rothko, Pollock, Kandinsky, Klimt

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  1. HolyCow what a great thread. I have nothing but the utmost respect for everyone here and what they have posted. I haven't read thoroughly yet, but I am inspired to add my no-cents/sense worth. As for myself, I am solidly (as much as I can find consistent definitions) in the Nones, veering into the Dones. I, too, have the conservative evangelical background—So. Baptist, Presbyterian, Columbia Bible College influenced, non-denom, Word of Faith (never as a believer in Word of Faith, just hanging with my neighbors), Pentacostal melange. I've been involved in the arts my whole life, been a professional for almost as long as I've been "saved". (I don't really believe in a punticular salvation anymore, but it is a definition of a part of my life, so I keep it, with caveats. I've grown weary of so much of US Christianity, I don't think I have time nor would you have interest in reading the list. And it has amended over the years. These days I am tired of the whole Christian and Arts discussion. Just when I think we have made progress I am slapped with throwbacks that make me think we are still in the 70s/80s. Schaeffer/Rookmaaker unknowingly influenced concepts. I know a couple of guys who are trying to liberate the arts in the Church, bemoan "utilitarian" uses of the arts in Church, but then turn around and put their own utilitarian ideas on what they consider "the right" kind of art. I just can't do it anymore. I have less reductionist conversations with non-Christian artists. Not always, but more often. As for the atonement discussion, I've long been a fan of the Christus Victor ideas, but have been recently been turned on by something I've never heard of before, Scapegoat theory. I don't really believe a systematic theology is truly helpful, but there is so much bad theology driving bad behavior going on in the Church, I have no idea how that can be corrected, r at least turned more to humility and less like lines of demarcation. I don't think many Christians actually believe the worldview they preach or teach. But it makes for great contrast for why the "world" is wrong and "we" are right. Not enough time to finish reading everyone's sharings. Will later, though. Joe
  2. In light of today's political environment and contemporary ideas, I found this an interesting article. Still not sure what to think. I mean, I know what I think, but I don't know how to keep obvious work of an artist within a specific context of appreciating art, but not really appreciating the content. I wouldn't hang it in my house, but from an art history perspective I think it has its place. Does it have a place in a museum? https://medium.com/@yewtree2/balthus-sexualized-children-7af1feeed76b Joe
  3. And then there's this: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/11/court-says-secretly-filming-nude-young-girls-in-bathroom-isnt-child-porn/ "I know porn when I see it". Well, apparently not always. [ETA] An actual quote from the article (not my associative quote above) "The court added that the video producer's 'subjective intent or purpose of sexual arousal or gratification' is immaterial." Joe
  4. As much as I try to avoid reductionism, I think it is as simple as more people hate Hillary than hate Trump. Additionally, more people hate Hillary more, than the people who hate Trump, and I think that includes others who normally vote Democrat. I don't think it had anything to do with candidate positions or policy or political correctness or other intellectualizations. How do you lose against Trump? How do you win if you are Hillary? I got nothin' to much say about the evangelical vote for Trump. Makes no sense to me. Either people are lying to us or lying to themselves. Either way, people are lying about something, and not just the candidates. Joe
  5. Living in Atlanta and working with companies like Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre and also Jomandi in the old days, I've lit a number of his plays and worked a number of the August Wilson Monologue competitions. His works have always enthralled me. They are tough plays to direct well, much less act convincingly. I never met him, but I have worked with a couple of his protege's and others who knew him quite well. I don't know his thoughts on segregated theatre, but since I work with some of those "segregated" theatres my take is that they are important in the same way that "black lives matter" is more relevant than simply "all lives matter". There is a perspective and experience that, while universal in the underlying theme, is also uniquely black and wants to be addressed directly. I don't think it is possible to point to one heir apparent considering Wilson's far reaching influence. But Flight is an amazing work. Joe
  6. You mean adult themes, nudity, and sex like in the bible? What I have found to be true more often than not is that your work as an actor will exist within the context of your life. How you live your life beyond the role you play will be the anchor of your witness. Your life is what will lead non-believers to think of you as a hypocrite or not, not the words you say in a play. The only people I have found that would consider that you talk the talk but don't walk the walk are other Christians. If that is the witness you are concerned about, sure, okay, let your bio speak for you. Personally, with the few exceptions of those who understand what I do for a living, I don't much care what other Christians think. Joe
  7. Don't get me wrong. I don't actually think the influence is, in and of itself, bad or wrong. It is just largely unrecognized or denied, whether it is a Benthamite view of art (music in particular) or even just a poor understanding of art and culture overall. The problems of art in the Church are pretty much the same problems outside the Church. And, ironically, a lot of the problems the Church has outside the Church are the same problems of art, or at lest philosophically. Joe
  8. Not to drift off topic, or at least not too far, I was drawn to, at one time, and am sympathetic to Mako's Culture Care movement. But even with this I find a certain exclusiveness in the approach. The voices seem to have to be particular voices with a particular bent, almost click-ish. I can't put my finger on it. With regard to arts advocacy and culture, and maybe to the point of this discussion, I don't think the Church realizes how much we are influenced by culture at large, no matter how much we try to espouse "in the world, but not of it". Maybe both the Church and the non-Church are tired of the debates. I tried to read Nancy Pearcy's book, _Saving Leonardo_. So many presuppositions in a book denouncing contemporary presuppositions. Never once asked, much less answered, _why_ the shift from Christian presuppositions or even whether those presuppositions _should_ have been abandoned. Joe
  9. I think you are conflating a couple of issues. First is time frames. How Lewis may be regarded, within Christian circles and without, now is not the same as in his lifetime. And truly may address the OP and the quoted writer's issues, as far as I'm concerned (complete with today's broadly accepted or contested presuppositions compared to Lewis's time). And writing overtly about Christian themes in just about any 20th century setting will always have political and career implications. But that doesn't mean he didn't speak to a broad audience, and that he wasn't heard and engaged, certainly on an intellectual basis, by his peers. His peers may not have agreed with him, may even have held his Christianity against him (particularly if they were atheists _with_ him), but he spoke and was heard by many, certainly more than just about any Christian intellectual today. So the question remains. Where are the Christian intellectuals of today and, if they exist why aren't they more broadly heard? I think Justin hit on a few key points.I think. Also, both broadly and probably especially within intellectual circles, with probably few exceptions (and I feel I am being generous here since I can't really think of any exceptions), Christians have lost integrity and the trust of those we may want to speak more directly to outside the Church. After all the 20th century intellectualism we may have tried to establish, we were constantly countered by how Christianity was exemplified, such that no matter how well we could logically and intellectually argue for Christianity, our actions regularly undermined our words. Why _should_ any one take us seriously? Why should we be heard by everybody? Joe
  10. I think Justin pretty much nailed it. I think you and likely Jacobs are trying to parse out differences that ultimately still all collide. How does one speak to everyone when everyone either isn't listening or just plain doesn't care? Which leaves only two possible points, why is everyone not listening and/or how exactly is one speaking to everyone that everyone should listen? I think both points exist in tension. On the one hand there really is a much broader group of speakers which in itself will create some sort of fragmentation. People can't listen to everyone, so they become selective regarding who gets their attention. Then as the speaker/writer, if you actually want to be heard you have to also listen to what people are listening to and decide are they hearing what you are actually saying, or, if not, how do you bring them around to what you are saying. how many Christian intellectuals have there been at any given time that everyone (or at least many people) listened to? Are we really that short of speakers now? Then, also, as the Christian Intellectual, why should anyone listen to you? Never mind if Christians can even be taken seriously any more when what we say does not equal what we do. Everyone could and would listen to Lewis because he earned the ability to be listened to. He wasn't insular, sure, but he had the chops to function in non-religious environments as well as religious. He paid his dues. He earned the respect of the non-religious intellectuals even when they disagreed with his Christianity. How many Christian intellectuals today can say this? I don't know or have those answers, just asking them to find out. Joe
  11. I interviewed one of my favourite artists around today a couple years ago, Suzy Schultz. Just thought I'd share it with you guys. Not sure why it never occurred to me until now. But there you go. She is a figurative painter at a time when abstract is pretty much the only thing selling. As much a fan of abstract that I am, I find her work extremely compelling. Hearing her words were equally so. She is talented and articulate. If you want to skip the interview, here is her site. Joe
  12. Another article to ponder. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/health/porn-public-health-crisis/index.html Joe
  13. I'll start with my conclusion. What NBooth said. Of course I know what else Lewis said in the essay. I brought it up, not to support a position, but as another voice and perspective on what I think are the questions we choose to face, our choices in framing the discussion, when discussing pornography. Also, I think Lewis undermines his conclusions precisely on his process. He is both right and wrong. You don't have to see pornography when viewing pornography, no matter how difficult the laden intent in the work might make such an examination. Propaganda is not intrinsically bad art by nature of being first and foremost propaganda. (In a lot of ways the question of pornography gets caught up in much the same inadequate presuppositions as "why is Modern art so bad?" or the "Beauty is in crisis" fear mongers.) I am not saying the answer is that art or pornography is in the eye of the beholder so much as most answers, whether judicial, academic, or moral are actually based on "the eye of the beholder" when deconstructed, no matter how dressed up in intellectual reasoning. Lewis is proposing the same thing he decries as insufficient. And it is insufficient and incomplete. We keep asking the wrong questions. To me, after years of examining this question (and probably many more years yet to come), is how do we get past "eye of the beholder", either as justification or accusation? Lewis just shows to me greater minds than mine haven't come up with an adequate answer to that question. I appreciate you looking for the questions we may have missed. I do think about this quite a bit. Mostly because typical discussions seem more about power than sincere examinations about how we can better serve each other. Rather than "how do we control this evil?", the real question, imho, is "how do we love one another?" Isn't love the only real way to extinguish, prevent, or otherwise answer evil? Does pornography love God or my neighbour... or my spouse? Joe
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