Friday, April 15, 2011

The Augustinian Amanda Palmer. Also, metal keeps you sane.



According to William Cavanaugh, Augustine believed our desires were socially formed, not simply internally generated, and are often unclear to us. Not only "I don't know what I want", but also "I don't know why I want what I want".

Amanda Palmer probably wouldn't thank me for describing her as Augustinian, but her "In My Mind" does in some way describe this understanding of desire. (In fact, I'm struck by the song's echoes of Paul in Romans 7.) Palmer resolves the tension by self-acceptance, i.e., the person she is is the person she wants to be. That's not a particularly Augustinian resolution, but there's truth in it.

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Lee links to a great Atlantic article by James Parker ("How Heavy Metal is keeping us sane") which begins - of course - with Black Sabbath:
Black Sabbath created heavy metal. We can say that with a satisfying kick-drum thump of certainty. Cream was heavy; Hendrix and Led Zeppelin were heavier still; in Japan, the Flower Travellin’ Band was shockingly heavy; but Black Sabbath, from Birmingham, England, was heavy metal. No joy here, nor any wisp of psychedelic whimsy. From the first note, this band sounded ancient, oppressed, as if shambling forward under supernatural burdens.
Parker uses "Lord of this World" to illustrate this. But if you want my opinion, there is no more terrifying song than "Black Sabbath". Ozzy's screams are chilling:

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About Me

I'm Rachel's husband and Darcy's daddy. I'm a Hoosier, an accountant, and an Episcopalian. Politically, I'm a progressive who believes in the preferential option for the poor. I use the blog as a sort of journal - to interact with my reading and sketch out ideas.