Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why we fight

John C. Wright passes along this news:
David Marcoe is organizing an interdenominational Christian conference for novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, comic book writers, game designers, and the like for late in this summer. Here is his announcement:
Studying here in Rome, I live in the the midst of ancient beauty. In fact, I’m just down the street from St. Peter’s square, which I walk through on the way to my job or architecture class. The church around the corner, where I attend several classes, is home to a lively local parish (the priest is a real character) not much different than my old congregation, except that the is Baroque building that could serve as a picturesque movie set. Indeed, we’re saturated in beauty, as we study the words of Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. I’ve laid eyes on wonders, on the works of Caravaggio, Bernini, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and others. And you can see them quite by accident, walking off the street and into practically any church in the city.
And as I experience all this–that vast tradition of Christendom’s art and literature–I think of the business of “culture making” today; at least ninety-five percent of the major commercial works dealing with mythic, moral, or religious subject matters are being made by non-Christians, with Christians coming along to produce second and third rate “me too!” knock-offs. I think it needs to stop.

So, what I’m doing is contacting people I know and organizing a professional get-together for Catholic and Christian writers–novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, comic book writers, game designers, etc.–for the late summer. Why? Because Catholics and Protestants lack on either side of an equation that needs to be balanced. Protestants are generally more entrepreneurial and comfortable with engaging the popular culture, but lack a significant aesthetic tradition to draw on. Catholics have a vast tradition to draw from, but have trouble translating that tradition into a contemporary context. So, in organizing this conference, I want to approach the problem from three directions:
 Read the rest there. Today Martel ponders the mission of the manosphere:
In my last post, I described some of the various perspectives floating around the manosphere.  For those of you not in the mood to click, I’ve divided us into exploiters (have a blast before it all goes to hell), avoiders (go Galt or ghost, refuse to participate), and fighters (do whatever it takes to keep it from going to hell).  It’s perfectly possible to have sentiments that coincide with all three, such as a PUA that uses his blog to attack feminism.
We all recognize that things are incredibly off, that we’ve got countless strikes against us.  When we consider our moral compass, insane amounts of debt (governmental, student, consumer, etc.), the sheer banality of our political class and lack of leadership that even seems remotely equipped to recognize (let alone do something about) the struggles ahead, the successful leftist takeover of our academic and religious institutions, our inability to face reality (fiscal, human nature, etc.), and about two dozen other obstacles I don’t have time to list, it seems hopeless.
 He's right when he says that we are both too pessimistic and too optimistic at the same time. The ultimate war is already over: Christ won. It's still possible for individual Christians to lose their personal wars with the world, the flesh, and the devil. Liberalism has pretty much won the war for Western civilization and I don't expect to see it fall within my lifetime. Even if I weren't Catholic, I'm just not temperamentally suited to be either an exploiter or avoider as Martel describes them.

So I choose to fight. It's what compels me to write this little blog even if no one ever reads it. All men, not just Catholics, should be committed to truth. I didn't put Solzhenitsyn's quote as my byline just because it sounds cool. He was the greatest author of the 20th century and one of my personal favorite authors. We don't have to worry about show trials or gulags today. He still has a lot to teach us about being mentally and spiritually tough when the world seems to be going mad.

If we're to have any hope of getting the Titanic to change course, we have to fight in whatever ways we can. For most of us, including me, we won't have big roles to play. It'll be a matter of loving God, loving our neighbor, and doing our duty. If we want to change the culture we have to start with ourselves. If we have the talent for artsy stuff, then we have a duty to use that talent for the glory of God and the edification of our neighbor.

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