Christian existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Fri, 01 Jul 2022 17:36:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Christian existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 A world-renowned center for the study of Kierkegaard – St. Olaf College https://willtoexist.com/a-world-renowned-center-for-the-study-of-kierkegaard-st-olaf-college/ Wed, 29 Jun 2022 20:25:15 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/a-world-renowned-center-for-the-study-of-kierkegaard-st-olaf-college/ Busts of Howard and Edna Hong feature prominently in the Hong Kierkegaard Library’s new location at Steensland Hall. Photo by Evan Pak ’19 The Hong Kierkegaard Library serves as the official worldwide repository for books by and about Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th-century Danish theologian and philosopher widely regarded as the first existentialist. With a collection […]]]>
Busts of Howard and Edna Hong feature prominently in the Hong Kierkegaard Library’s new location at Steensland Hall. Photo by Evan Pak ’19

The Hong Kierkegaard Library serves as the official worldwide repository for books by and about Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th-century Danish theologian and philosopher widely regarded as the first existentialist. With a collection that comprises some 19,000 volumes, it is the largest collection of writings by and about Kierkegaard outside of Denmark.

The work of nearly 95% of the world’s leading Kierkegaard scholars has been informed by the Hong Kierkegaard Library. Each summer, approximately 50 scholars from around the world come to the St. Olaf College campus to conduct research. The Hong Kierkegaard Library also welcomes 20 senior or recent undergraduate college and university graduates every July as part of the Young Scholars program. And a Danish language course is offered each summer, allowing scholars to examine smaller phrases and passages in Kierkegaard’s native language.

Edna and Howard Hong, founders of the Hong Kierkegaard Library.
Edna and Howard Hong, founders of the Hong Kierkegaard Library.

So how did St. Olaf come to be home to a world-renowned center for the study of Kierkegaard? The library foundation is built on the private collection of former students of St. Olaf Howard ’34 and Edna Hatlestad Hong ’38. Howard Hong taught in the university’s philosophy department for 40 years, and together the pair spent decades collecting a huge body of literature by and about Kierkegaard. They became internationally recognized for their work in translating most of Kierkegaard’s published writings and reviews from Danish into English, winning the National Book Award in 1968. The Hongs donated their collection to St. Olaf in 1976, and the Hong Kierkegaard Library was born.

The collection has not stagnated since that initial donation, growing and improving ever since. In August 2021, the Hong Kierkegaard Library received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help restore 100 rare books held in the collection that were printed before 1856.

This spring, St. Olaf named Anna Louise Strelis Söderquist the new curator of the Hong Kierkegaard Library.

St. Olaf Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Gordon Marino has been curator of the collection since 1995. He has published books on existentialism and articles in publications such as New York Times Review and the wall street journal. Thanks to a generous donation from Krestie Utech ’59, the lower level of the new library space has been dedicated to Marino, who will retire in August 2022.

This spring, St. Olaf named Anna Louise Strelis Söderquist the new curator of the Hong Kierkegaard Library. Söderquist earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research and has taught courses on Kierkegaard’s work around the world, including at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center in Copenhagen. Additionally, she has presented philosophy conferences on several continents, including the International Kierkegaard Conference held at St. Olaf’s.

“Kierkegaard’s work still has a burning relevance for us today, wherever we live and whatever our origins, for he meets his reader in the depths within, where the personal, yet universal, questions about whom l ‘we are and how we should live,’ she said. said.

Kierkegaard’s work is always relevant to us, wherever we live and whatever our origins, because he meets his reader in the inner depths, where the personal, but universal questions about who we are reside. and how we should live.Anna Louise Strelis Soderquist

K. Brian Söderquist has been appointed to the college’s new Kierkegaard Chair of Christian Philosophy.

When Söderquist arrives at St. Olaf to assume her role as curator, she will be joined by her husband, K. Brian Söderquist, who has been appointed to the college’s new Kierkegaard Chair of Christian Philosophy. This chair was created in 2021 to advance research and publications concerning the writings of Kierkegaard and Christian philosophy.

Söderquist earned his Ph.D. of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center at the University of Copenhagen and has lectured on Kierkegaard’s work in Denmark for over two decades.

Learn more about the newly renovated space that houses the Hong Kierkegaard Library in St. Olaf’s accompanying magazine article, “The Storied History of Steensland Hall.”

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An EPIPHANY confused by the vagueness — Review https://willtoexist.com/an-epiphany-confused-by-the-vagueness-review/ Fri, 24 Jun 2022 18:24:46 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/an-epiphany-confused-by-the-vagueness-review/ There is no account for alchemy, fruitful or withering, when assembling a piece. You can edit the script online, set the stage, assign roles to your best ability, but once a production is underway, it’s gone. This is perhaps what explains the colossal imbalance which finally tips the scales, in the last fifteen minutes of […]]]>

There is no account for alchemy, fruitful or withering, when assembling a piece. You can edit the script online, set the stage, assign roles to your best ability, but once a production is underway, it’s gone. This is perhaps what explains the colossal imbalance which finally tips the scales, in the last fifteen minutes of Brian Watkins Epiphany, who had regularly leaned towards Marylouise Burke throughout the evening. The work, which premiered in the United States in the intimate Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, did not survive this inequality.

Set in a creaky old house – the Clue board game nestled in John Lee Beatty’s well-appointed setting is surely more than just a coincidence – it sees the nervous and lovable Morkan (Burke) welcoming disparate guests for a celebratory dinner Epiphany, the lesser-known Christian holiday commemorating the revelation by the Magi of the exalted pedigree of a certain baby. If you weren’t aware of the festivities, well, neither are most of the guests.

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Reunited partly because of Morkan’s grandmotherly attraction, partly because the popular Gabriel should appear and give a speech, neither of them are too sure what they are doing together (there is Index Again!). They gradually introduce themselves as the restless Morkan welcomes the eight of her planned nine guests: Aran (Carmen Zilles), the newest arrival and Gabriel’s “partner”, explains that he can no longer come.

Their conversations are designed to be erratic, fraught with awkward interruptions and pauses. They are all, with the exception of Morkan, haughty intellectuals just self-centered enough to recognize their flaws, but too set in their ways to change. They talk about climate change, the politics of fear, and the fact that we’re all going to die soon enough. More wine?

But it’s not Knives out Where get outIn place Epiphany aspires both to absurd existentialism in its forced discomfort and to classic conversational table theater in its premise. Sprinkled all over the place, like the gin that one of them almost pours on his accidental stab wound (because the stuffing is also rearing its ugly head!), is a slew of religious connotations that remain unnecessarily obscure despite the heaviness with which they are posed.

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

“You are saints for coming here,” Morkan told his guests. Uh-huh. Everyone is waiting for a distant Gabriel to come and deliver. Yeah. The prophetic-looking, angelic-voiced Aran wears neutral dresses that suggest Yeezy Season 17. Mmmm!! All this signals too much, but means too little.

And then Burke, whose performance thus far has been a masterclass in physical spontaneity, delivers a speech so incredibly devastating that I felt revolted at the previous 90 minutes. None of the undergraduate thesis that preceded could prepare an audience for the weight of its revelation, nor the force of its delivery. And just when I thought she would carry the piece towards enlightenment, she plunges back into darkness through turns of writing.

That Burke could flex her acting muscles isn’t an epiphany, but that she could transcend the realm of muddled writing into pure dazzling? It’s a revelation.

Epiphany is performing through July 24, 2022 at the Lincoln Center Theater on West 65th Street in New York City. For tickets and more information, visit here.

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Extra, extra! News and Views June 15, 2022 – Catholic World Report https://willtoexist.com/extra-extra-news-and-views-june-15-2022-catholic-world-report/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 09:00:52 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/extra-extra-news-and-views-june-15-2022-catholic-world-report/ Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix celebrates Mass with members of Region XIII of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on February 12, 2020, during their ad limina visit / Daniel Ibanez/NAC Denver, Colorado, May 7, 2021 / 12:10 p.m. (CNA). The Bishop of Phoenix supported […]]]>
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix celebrates Mass with members of Region XIII of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on February 12, 2020, during their ad limina visit / Daniel Ibanez/NAC

Denver, Colorado, May 7, 2021 / 12:10 p.m. (CNA).

The Bishop of Phoenix supported this week a recent letter of the Archbishop of San Francisco declaring that Catholics cooperating with abortion should not come for Communion.

“Woe to us bishops if we do not speak clearly about the grave evil of abortion and the consequences of any Catholic who participates in the act or publicly supports it in word or deed,” the bishop said. Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. said in a May 6 statement.

He responded to a May 1 letter from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on “human dignity of the unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in public life.” Olmsted called it a “powerful defense of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of all human life”.

Referring to bishops who fail to clearly denounce the evil of abortion and the Catholics who support it, Olmsted condemned “a false patience and pastoral concern that year after year remains silent or speaks in abstractions as the slaughter continue with the full support of Catholic politicians”. under our spiritual care as bishops.

The Bishop warned that the reluctance to speak out in such cases is pastoral failure rather than charitable politeness.

“Such ‘patience’ is false because it is devoid of love and truth, and thus rather unmasks a deadly apathy toward one who professes the Catholic faith but whose public acceptance of abortion puts his eternal soul at risk. danger of damnation and the risk of dragging countless numbers to hell by their example,” he said.

Bishop Cordileone wrote in a May 1 pastoral letter that any Catholic cooperating with the evil of abortion should abstain from receiving the Eucharist. In his letter, he included a section on Catholic officials who advocate for abortion.

“You are in a position to do something concrete and decisive to stop the massacre,” Cordileone wrote, addressing these politicians. “Please stop the slaughter.”

“And please stop pretending that advocating or practicing grave moral evil – one that suffocates innocent human life, one that denies a basic human right – is somehow compatible with the Catholic faith. It’s not. Please return home in the fullness of your Catholic faith,” he wrote.

The topic of Holy Communion for pro-abortion Catholic politicians has become particularly relevant with the election of Joe Biden, the first Catholic US president in six decades.

Biden has publicly advocated for the protection of legal abortion, including codifying Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Biden has also supported taxpayer funding of elective abortions and has taken steps as president to allow taxpayer funding for pro-abortion groups in the United States and abroad.

The United States Bishops (USCCB) may address the topic of “Eucharistic coherence” at their spring meeting in June. However, if a document is presented on this subject, it will deal with the teaching of the Church on the general dignity of receiving communion, and will not constitute a specific incitement to deny communion to Biden.

A source close to the USCCB told the ANC on April 29 that at the June meeting, the bishops’ doctrine committee could present a “general document” on the general dignity for receiving communion; alternatively, the bishops could wait until their fall meeting in November to vote to consider such a document.

In its own apostolic letter beginning in early April, Olmsted wrote that Catholic teaching views the Eucharist as Christ’s transforming sacrifice on the cross, and that Holy Communion should only be received worthily. The Church teaches that to receive Communion, baptized Catholics must not be aware of having committed a serious sin since their last confession.

This teaching is not “partisan,” Olmsted wrote, adding that it certainly applies to political leaders who support evils such as abortion and euthanasia.

“Holy Communion is reserved for those who, with the grace of God, make a sincere effort to live this union with Christ and his Church by adhering to all that the Catholic Church believes and proclaims revealed by God,” wrote Bishop Olmsted, explaining that the Church’s teaching on this subject has “always been clear and based on the Scriptures”.

This is why the Church “demands that Catholic leaders who have publicly supported gravely immoral laws such as abortion and euthanasia refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly repent and receive the Sacrament of Penance,” he said.

Olmsted recommended that all Catholics read Cordileone’s letter, as well as “all people of goodwill who desire to know why the Church cannot and will not change its traditional defense of motherhood and the most vulnerable in the uterus”.

The bishop also recommended that the faithful read a recent post on the question written by the Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila.

“When the Church downplays the danger of an unworthy reception of the Eucharist, she fails to properly love those who continue to put their souls in danger,” Bishop Aquila wrote in his April 14 article published in the magazine. America.

“Exchanging ‘civility’ and ‘commitment’ for eternal life is not a good exchange, and it is especially negligent for me as a bishop to remain silent when people whom I am called to love can put endangering their eternal soul. It’s a danger to them and a danger to me,” he wrote.

Individual bishops have spoken and written on the topic of “Eucharistic coherence” in recent months.

In March, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois told a Canon Law Society of America regional conference that Catholics who publicly and stubbornly advocate for abortion, including politicians, can and should be denied communion under canon law.

“I’m talking about their outward actions. If they live in a way or hold positions contrary to the teaching of the church, then the minister of Communion must deny them the sacrament,” Paprocki said.

During his homily at the Vigil for Life Mass in January, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas taught that Catholics should not receive Communion if they contradict the “fundamental” teaching of the Church. ‘Church.

However, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. and Bishop William Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware — Biden’s home diocese — have said in the past that they would not deny Communion to a politician who consistently pushes for permissive abortion laws or policies.

Msgr. William Koenig was chosen last month as the new bishop of Wilmington, with his episcopal ordination scheduled for July 13.

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego also said in an online dialogue in February that denying communion to Catholic politicians stubbornly pro-abortion would be construed as “weaponizing the Eucharist.” He said bishops teaching “Eucharistic coherence” under President Biden was not a “good idea.”


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Yoko Ono’s Art of Challenge https://willtoexist.com/yoko-onos-art-of-challenge/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 10:02:21 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/yoko-onos-art-of-challenge/ But Maciunas was an inveterate organizer – a problem, since he happened to work with avant-garde artists, the kind of people who didn’t like to be organized. For years he tried to collect these cats. He opened FluxShop, where Fluxus art – mostly cheap plastic boxes filled with odds and ends – could be purchased. […]]]>

But Maciunas was an inveterate organizer – a problem, since he happened to work with avant-garde artists, the kind of people who didn’t like to be organized. For years he tried to collect these cats. He opened FluxShop, where Fluxus art – mostly cheap plastic boxes filled with odds and ends – could be purchased. (The walk-in business was not buoyant.) At one point, he planned to buy an island and build a self-sufficient Fluxus community there.

The island adventure didn’t pan out, but Maciunas eventually realized his idea by buying and renovating derelict buildings – more than 20 of them – in midtown Manhattan for artists to live in. and work there. The company ruined it. He was sued by tenants because the renovations weren’t up to code and the lofts couldn’t pass inspection, and he was badly beaten by goons hired by one of his creditors. In the mid-1970s, he fled the city for a farm in Massachusetts, where he died of cancer in 1978. But he had given birth in SoHo. It will become, in the 1980s, the world capital of contemporary art.

Maciunas’ slogan for Fluxus was “Purge the world of ‘Europeanism’!” and when Fluxus debuted in West Germany in 1962, a grand piano was shattered. Ono, who was invited but refused to attend, did not like breaking pianos. “I’m not someone who wants to burn ‘La Mona Lisa’,” she once said. “That’s the difference between some revolutionaries and me.” But she shares something with Maciunas. She is a utopian. She would be happy if the whole world could be a Fluxus island.

In 1962, Ono returned to Japan. She discovers that the Japanese avant-garde is even more radical than the New York avant-garde. There were many new schools. The most famous today is Gutai, who was born in Osaka in 1954. Like Fluxus, Gutai was performance art, low-tech, using everyday materials. One of Gutai’s earliest works was “Challenging Mud”, in which the artist throws himself into an outdoor pit filled with wet clay and struggles for half an hour. When it emerges, the shape of the clay is presented as a work of art.

Ichiyanagi had returned earlier – the marriage was breaking up – and he arranged for Ono to perform a concert at the Sogetsu Art Center, Tokyo. Outside the room, she mounted what she called “Painting Instructions”, twenty-two sheets of paper attached to the wall, each with a set of instructions in Japanese. The instructions resembled certain works of art created by young artists in Cage’s New York circle – for example, Emmett Williams’ “Voice Piece for La Monte Young” (1961), which reads, in full, ” Ask if La Monte Young is in the audience, then get out,” and Brecht’s “Word Event,” whose full score is the word “Exit.”

Inside the hall, with thirty artists, Ono performed several pieces, some of which she had done at Carnegie Recital Hall. It’s unclear what the audience’s reaction was -Brackett says he was enthusiastic- but the show received a poor review in a Japanese art magazine by an American expat, Donald Richie, who mocked Ono for being “old fashioned”. “All his ideas are borrowed from New York people, especially John Cage,” he wrote. This was not an attack from an incomprehensible traditionalist. It was an attack from the cultural left. Ono was traumatized. She entered a sanatorium.

But when she left, she picked up where she left off. She remarried Tony Cox, an American art promoter and countercultural type, and in 1964 she published her first book, “Grapefruit», a collection of event scores and instructional pieces:

piece of sun

Watch the sun until it becomes square.

piece of fly

Fly.

Collector’s Coin Ii

Break a contemporary museum into pieces with the means you have chosen. Gather the pieces and put them together again with glue.

They are like Brecht’s “Word Event”, but with a big difference. “Word Event” was meant to be played, and artists came up with various ingenious ways to execute the “Exit” statement. Ono’s pieces cannot be played. They are instructions for imaginary acts.

In an essay for a Japanese art journal, she invoked the concept of “fabricated truth,” meaning that the things we make up in our heads (what we wish we could eat for dinner) are as much our reality than the chair on which we sit. “I think it’s possible to see the chair as it is,” she explained. “But when you burn the chair, you suddenly realize that the chair in your mind hasn’t burned or disappeared.”

What Ono was doing was concept art. When concept artists hit the big time in the late 1960s, his name was hardly ever mentioned. She does not appear in art critics Lucy Lippard and John Chandler’s landmark essay, “The Dematerialization of Art,” published in 1968. But she was one of the first artists to do so.

In 1965, she returned to New York and in March presented another show at Carnegie Recital Hall, “New Works of Yoko Ono”. It was the New York premiere of his best work, a truly awesome piece of art, “Cut Piece.”

The performer (in this case, Ono) enters fully dressed and kneels in the center of the stage. Next to her is a large pair of scissors – fabric shears. Spectators are invited to come on stage one by one and cut out a piece of the artist’s clothing, which they can keep. According to the instructions Ono later wrote, “The performer remains motionless throughout the piece. The piece ends at the choice of the performer. She said she wore her best clothes when doing the job, even when she had little money and couldn’t afford to ruin it.

Ono had performed “Cut Piece” in Tokyo and Kyoto, and there are photographs of those performances. The New York performance was filmed by documentarians David and Albert Maysles. (Brackett, oddly, says the Maysles’ film, rather than a live performance, is what people saw at Carnegie Recital Hall.)

In most Happenings and event art, the performers are artists or friends of the person who wrote the score. In “Cut Piece”, the performers are unknown to the artist. They can interpret instructions in unpredictable ways. It’s like handing out loaded guns to a room full of strangers. Ono is small (five-two); the shears are large and sharp. When members of the public begin to cut the fabric around her breasts or near her crotch, there is a real sense of danger and violation. In Japan, one of the cutters stood behind her and held the shears above her head, as if to impale her.

The score required Ono to remain expressionless, but in the film you can see apprehension in her eyes as audience members continue to take the stage and stand above her brandishing the scissors. , looking for another place to cut. When her bra is cut, she covers her breasts with her hands – almost her only movement in the whole room.

More immediately, “Cut Piece” is a concrete enactment of the striptease that men are supposed to perform in their heads when they see an attractive woman. It militarizes the male gaze. Women participate in excision, but it is because it is not only men who are part of the society that objectifies women. The piece is therefore classified as a work of feminist art (created at a time when almost no one was doing feminist art), and it clearly is.

But what “Cut Piece” means largely depends on the audience it’s being played for, and Ono originally had something else in mind. When she made the piece in Japan, a Buddhist interpretation was possible. It was “the Zen tradition of doing the most embarrassing thing for yourself and seeing what you come up with and how you handle it,” she said.

The piece also stems, Ono said elsewhere, from a story about the Buddha giving everything people ask of him until he finally lets himself be eaten by a tiger. Ono offered everything she had to strangers, which is why she always wore her best clothes. “Instead of giving the audience what the artist chooses to give”, as she puts it, “the artist gives what the audience chooses to take”.

In 1966, Ono traveled to London to participate in the Destruction in Art Symposium, where she performed “Cut Piece” twice. It was not read as a Buddhist text during these events. Word of mouth after the first performance led to the second being mobbed, with the men eagerly cutting off all of her clothes, even her underwear. It was Swinging London; everyone assumed the play was about sex. After London, Ono didn’t play it again until 2003, when she did it in Paris, sitting on a chair. This time, she explained that the work is about world peace and a response to 9/11.

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The Funniest Adult Swim Shows, Ranked https://willtoexist.com/the-funniest-adult-swim-shows-ranked/ Sat, 21 May 2022 20:49:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/the-funniest-adult-swim-shows-ranked/ Cartoon Network is a children’s animation and storytelling genius by day, and a crazy, steamy, cartoonish treasure by night. Declaring “All kids out of the pool”, adult swimming takes over the family-run Cartoon Network as its goofy, experimental, and often surreal late-night alter ego. The programming block includes replays of universal favorites like family guy […]]]>

Cartoon Network is a children’s animation and storytelling genius by day, and a crazy, steamy, cartoonish treasure by night. Declaring “All kids out of the pool”, adult swimming takes over the family-run Cartoon Network as its goofy, experimental, and often surreal late-night alter ego. The programming block includes replays of universal favorites like family guy or Futuramastreams great anime such as cowboy bebopand released a slew of original series that went on to become one of the best adult animated shows of all time, even harnessing the live action on a dedicated anime channel.

adult swimming is more than a niche television block, as its crude sense of humor, gonzo gags and reverence for violence have established a prominent presence in pop culture, influencing animation, comedy and d countless memes; for example, Initiated describes the TikTok trend of creating replicas of something called bumpers, short branded clips played between shows on Adult Swim. So let’s look at the list of the funniest adult swimming shows that helped the alternative bloc become its own beloved network.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

12 Check it out! with Dr. Steve Brûlé

From the world of series by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, Check it out! with Dr. Steve Brûlé is adorably unpleasant. This parody of a talk show in the visual style of an old VHS tape is hilarious and more than a little disturbing. John C. Reilly has many brilliant performances up his sleeve; however, he is, quite simply, perfect as the titular character. His character’s eccentric antics and utter incompetence feel genuine – and C. Reilly’s ingenious improvisational skills make it a real knee-jerk.


11 orel moral

orel moral market, so other sadcoms, like BoJack Horseman, Rick and Mortyand Anomalised could run. Appearing as a typical satire of Christian fundamentalism, orel moral got darker in later seasons in a sincere attempt to address heavy themes like family dysfunction, depression, and drug addiction – which made it possibly the most heartbreaking cartoon of all time and ultimately caused the downfall of the series. Despite its cancellation, this stop-motion comedy-drama gem pioneered a new approach to adult animation: not a raunchy dark comedy full of jinks and F-bombs, but a frank and funny comedy-drama. , heartbreakingly.

Related: Best Stop-Motion Animated Movies, Ranked

Metalocalypse is like a satirical limerick of heavy metal culture crammed into an 11-minute episode format. The show centers around Dethklok, the most successful death metal band in the world. Despite the parody, the show’s dedication to metal culture and attention to detail, along with great artistry, is worth noting. The soundtrack is written by guitarist Brendon Small, who also serves as show creator. The animation is faithfully synchronized with the music, with each shot crafted so that the fingers are positioned in the correct chord slots, adding to the authenticity of this fun tribute to death metal; the show’s fictional band even toured.


9 Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Aqua Teen Hunger Force was published in the first original adult swimming programming in 2000. This mad malarkey of a show managed to lock in the much-desired audience of 18-34 year olds, as The Guardian Remarks. It follows an anthropomorphic junk food gang hanging out in New Jersey. Early episodes had loose superhero/detective vibes, but later on, ATHF set up as a casual trip with a hot hip-hop soundtrack. Since its release, ATHF has been considered everything from comical gold to trash to insane art object (and even a terrorist fear) – but above all, a cherished audience and the longest-running show in adult swimming until Robot Chicken took his place.

8 The Eric André show

A fever dream in a bottle, The Eric André show bludgeons its viewers with a nonstop train of absurd and crude sketches – these moments are both outrageous and revolting. The Eric André show has been a perfect meme generator even before the meme appeared as a concept in the public psyche. Perhaps because of Eric Andre’s deranged flippant charisma, this unsanitized punk-rock parody of a talk show catapulted from its niche into a mainstream satire of celebrity culture.


7 Harvey Birdman, lawyer

Excerpt from the cartoon Hanna-Barbera Birdman and the Galactic Trio, Harvey T. Birdman finds himself a defense attorney; a damn good one at that. Harvey Birdman, lawyer is a masterclass in using nostalgia to draw viewers in without destroying the original characters. Familiar animated characters, like Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, and Captain Caveman, are repurposed in an unexpectedly wacky setting resembling a modern world with modern problems. It is also perhaps one of Stephen Colbert’s best dubbing adventures.

6 rick and morty

What basically started as a Back to the future parody, rick and morty broke all viewing records at lightning speed and became number one on Adult Swim most watched series. It wasn’t really the sci-fi elements that made this show so beloved, but rather the dark ethos of rick and mortywhich is a mixture of existentialism, nihilism and absurdism coupled with characters representative of different lines of thought.

Related: If You Liked Rick And Morty, You’ll Enjoy These Shows

Fan theories, episode breakdowns, gag explanations and hidden meanings have set YouTube and Reddit on fire. By playing this game of references and jokes that you will miss, rick and morty becomes a true postmodern tale, the kind that literally invites the viewer to join the titular characters on their adventure.

5 Space Ghost Coast to Coast

Space Ghost Coast to Coast is one of the weirdest talk shows of all time, and its affinity for surreal humor has essentially given Adult Swim its trademark craziness. Eric Andre in particular is known to have taken inspiration from it, trying to emulate the feel of this sheer madness in The Eric André show. Once a famous superhero, Space Ghost uses his network of famous friends to become a spacey talk show host with a knack for witty banter. The magic of photomontage allows legendary guests, from Tommy Wiseau and Jack Black to Zoe Saldana and Conan O’Brien, to appear for an interview with a cartoon character, all of which turn out extremely awkwardly. The show spawned several “spinoffs”: Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Showand others.


4 Robot Chicken

What happens if the Teletubbies are cast as Power Rangers? The end result is repulsive and ridiculous television, a stop-motion parody of everything dear to the average American viewer. A surprisingly successful (and Emmy-winning) modern classic from Seth Green, Robot Chicken ruthlessly parodies American pop culture. The sketches are random, but when they hit, they’re incredibly quick-witted.

3 Tuca and Bertie

Netflix’decision to cancel Tuca and Bertie caused a ruckus on Twitter. Luckily, Adult Swim saw the show’s incredible potential and picked it up. A bold show about women for women, Tuca and Bertie struck a chord with a generation of 20s and 30s who tried to survive in a gig economy while coping with the crippling understanding of being alive – through dark and often self-deprecating humor, of course.


2 The Boondocks

Too often, racially conscious creators end up making colorblind shows, which honestly isn’t the best representation. Politically charged and beautifully animated, The Boondocks walked through this sanitized portrayal of the black experience, instead offering multi-faceted black identities and discussing black cultural authority, referencing hip-hop, Tyler Perry, R. Kelly, Martin Luther, Oprah, and even more. As a result, The Boondocks has its jokes and soul in equal measure, setting itself apart from all the other adult swim shows.

1 The Venture Bros.

The Venture Bros. presents a ridiculous world of superheroes and villains bound by bureaucratic red tape. This Adult Swim staple deconstructs superhero tropes, deftly capturing viewers’ attention by parodying genre clichés, but always in a clever and inventive way. Stunning storytelling paired with crisp, stylized animation elevates The Venture Bros. from a simple parody that depends on its source material, and into a grand self-contained experiment of wondrous character development, clever humor, and opulent absurdity.


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Think you can find meaning in the multiverse? Good luck. https://willtoexist.com/think-you-can-find-meaning-in-the-multiverse-good-luck/ Mon, 16 May 2022 15:28:29 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/think-you-can-find-meaning-in-the-multiverse-good-luck/ It’s a tired cliché that the movie industry is derivative. Anyone who owns both “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” on DVD could speak of similar authority. But the most unique ideas about our culture are found in such repetition. With my apologies to Tipper, our media do not shape us; rather, our societal neuroses produce media […]]]>

It’s a tired cliché that the movie industry is derivative. Anyone who owns both “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” on DVD could speak of similar authority.

But the most unique ideas about our culture are found in such repetition. With my apologies to Tipper, our media do not shape us; rather, our societal neuroses produce media in our image. It might seem odd to end the 1990s with two meteorite extinction movies, but then again, a country that has recently learned more than it needs to know about its president’s inclinations might yearn for sweet annihilation instead.

So what do we think of the recent cultural takeover of the multiverse? For anyone who doesn’t follow Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter, the multiverse is a theoretical concept that swaps the conventional understanding of the universe with a concept where all possible permutations exist simultaneously. For example, there could be a universe where your skin is blue, or where you’re the fifth Beatle, or even one where you’ve chosen to do something more productive than reading this.

Two films currently in theaters, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” playfully entertain this theory. The popular animated television show “Rick & Morty” has made it its daily bread for years. (If you don’t know “Rick & Morty,” ask the nearest 13-year-old boy you meet. If none are available, just insult the show on social media and they’ll find you.)

So, what societal desire do these media satisfy, enough to warrant sufficient leeway for mutual coexistence? Simply, everything. The multiverse is modernity’s groping grasp for meaning, transcendence masked under the guise of tolerable science. In a world in a rush to abandon religion, the multiverse attempts to fill the growing void left in its wake.

“Doctor Strange”, “Everything Everywhere” and “Rick and Morty” all feign nihilism, even absurdism. Nihilism in the multiverse has a certain meaning. It’s hard enough being alone in the universe, but when there are trillions of universes and thus trillions of versions of yourself, you even lose your authenticity. There is no lonelier place than a crowd.

Rick Sanchez in “Rick and Morty”. (IMDB)

But, interestingly, these three media ignore the implications and insist on their pre-eminence in a bored cosmos. Protagonist Rick Sanchez is still the smartest scientist in the world he enters. Michelle Yeoh’s humble laundromat owner in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is wanted across the multiverse because only she has the skills to defeat a transuniverse evil. And our universe’s “Doctor Strange” turns out to be the only version of himself who doesn’t betray his friends.

Reincarnation believers are infallibly convinced that they were Charlemagne in a past life. None suspect that they cleaned his chamber pot, or perhaps the pot itself. The same goes for supporters of the multiverse. They statistically understand that they’re just a pinch on the galactic donut, but can’t get rid of the idea that they’re somehow the filler. A character from “Everything Everywhere” denounces the fact that since the emergence of the heliocentric theory, humanity has been steadily retreating from cosmic significance.

Christianity asserts that despite our location, we are created in the image of God and can therefore safely reconcile our conflicting meanings. But the secular world cannot justify this innate self-esteem. The world always needs a savior, and somehow the savior who rises is always the public’s substitute. Everyone is just a supporting character; they, and therefore we, are the protagonists of reality.

The contradictions continue with the moral. By the logic of the multiverse, moral relativism should be the name of the game. Yet, oddly enough, none of the multiverses pursue this ethical freedom. Instead, they opt for a more blurred frame. In the cinematic multiverse, a declawed Christian ethic becomes, quite literally, a universal moral code.

Look no further than one of the many climaxes in “Everything Everywhere” (it makes “Return of the King” look pithy), where a character says “we have to be nice, especially when we don’t know what is happening .”

Michelle Yeoh, center, in “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.” (IMDB)

It’s a really wonderful trick. It dissolves any demands on traditional restrictions, reducing morality to a peacefully vague platitude. In a truly indifferent multiverse, true kindness has no real rationality besides failing to rock the proverbial boat. In another highlight of this film, Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn uses her cross-universe knowledge to satisfy her various fighters with material or sexual satisfaction. But this is not true benevolence, it is rather a pacification through satiety. In the morality of the multiverse, “benevolence” is more sedative than love.

The real danger of the multiverse is that it supersedes not only the fruits of religion, but even God himself. The main thesis of “Everything Everywhere” is that our lives have no meaning in the infinity of the cosmos, so any meaning that can be found in creation resides in matter. But that’s like saying we have to pretend oxygen exists to breathe.

Likewise, the message of “Doctor Strange 2” is that if you can’t be happy, you can at least find comfort in having a version of yourself living your best life. The sky becomes our own earth. The multiverse provides a do-it-yourself solution to age-old questions of purpose and the afterlife. Perhaps most telling is a late quote in “Everything Everywhere,” where our hero states that “the universe made me your mother.” Rather than killing God, the multiverse subtly replaces him. God remains a Father, but a cool father who allows you to drink in the house.

If this take on the metaverse sounds like a freshman course in existentialism, that’s because it ultimately is. The cinematic portrayal of the multiverse is fundamentally juvenile, allowing budding Sartres, too cowardly for Camus, to have their cake and eat it too. The Multiverse is essentially the Netflix version of Theology; when presented with thousands of options, it becomes far better to scroll instead of just selecting.

As Chesterton said, the danger of losing God is not that we believe in nothing, but rather in anything. Even all at once.

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Under oath at Brooklyn Steel | The Stony Brook Press https://willtoexist.com/under-oath-at-brooklyn-steel-the-stony-brook-press/ Sun, 15 May 2022 08:56:10 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/under-oath-at-brooklyn-steel-the-stony-brook-press/ Above: Below performing at Brooklyn Steel on March 17. Photo by Buscar Photo. As spring break was coming to an end, I thought I’d let it end with a bang. On March 17, Underoath played to sold-out crowds at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg with bands Stray from the Path, Bad Omens and Spiritbox. It was […]]]>

Above: Below performing at Brooklyn Steel on March 17. Photo by Buscar Photo.

As spring break was coming to an end, I thought I’d let it end with a bang. On March 17, Underoath played to sold-out crowds at Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg with bands Stray from the Path, Bad Omens and Spiritbox. It was a great experience for my first metal show with an energetic crowd, tons of moshing and enough cathartic energy to get me through this semester.

Stray from the Path will perform at Brooklyn Steel on March 17. Photo by Slade.

The show started around 7 p.m. with Stray from the Path – a hardcore punk band from Long Island – taking the stage first. They went through tracks like “Outbreak”, “Goodnight Alt-Right”, “Fortune Teller” and “Guillotine”, songs that encourage fans to be proud of who they are. Between songs, they reminded the audience to go against the system and hold corrupt cops and politicians accountable.

Singer Andrew Dijorio opened the show with a political statement. “You are all welcome to come to a Stray from the Path show, but let’s be clear – no to racism, no to fascism and no to the alt-right!”

After Stray from the Path finished its set, we all patiently waited for Bad Omens. They arrived with an elaborate display of lights, opening with the title track from their recent record, THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND. Frontman Noah Sebastian appeared with silent but stunning mastery of the stage, wearing an all-black outfit and a singular black glove. The stage plunged into darkness for a while, then came alive with the song “ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE.”

Bad Omens will perform at Brooklyn Steel on March 17. Photo by Slade.

“Welcome, Bad Omens Cult,” Noah said from behind a ski mask as the crowd cheered. The band then went through a set that mixed new tracks with older ones, like “Dethrone” and “Like a Villain.”

Then it was time for the last opening band, Spiritbox, led by Courtney LaPlante. As someone who grew up looking up to women in rock like Lacey Sturm and Brody Dalle, seeing Spiritbox perform was a delight. LaPlante had excellent vocal control as she transitioned from shouting to singing. She has a great screaming style that is on the low end, more like a throaty growl sound. She interacted with the crowd a few times, including a funny moment when she told the mosh pit throwing a beach ball, “you’ll get your ball back after class.” Courtney also shouted Underoath, asking the crowd to applaud them for the struggles they went through as a group. The Spiritbox set was a mere ten tracks long, spanning songs from “Rule of Ninesto “Circle With Me” and ending with “Eternal Blue.”

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox at Brooklyn Steel on March 17. Photo by Slade.

Around 9:30 p.m., a single spotlight illuminates the scene. A type of robot appeared, illuminated by the projector and its helmet.

“Good evening,” he said. “Thank you for coming to the Underoath Voyeurist concert. Your presence here marks a lifetime of events that must have happened just as they did to bring you here.

He then explained the show’s guidelines, asking the audience to look around and feel each other’s presence. Then he would invite us to reflect within to reflect and feel our own breath – the whole talk was akin to guided meditation.

The exercise then ended with the crowd raising their arms as Underoath came on stage to play “Damn Excuses”, the opening song of their Voyeurist album. Unlike the other bands – namely Bad Omens, who performed songs from their latest album – Underoath stuck to their classic songs for the majority of their set. Only a few tracks were from their most recent albums, like Erase me and Voyeurist.

This type of setlist makes sense; a majority of Underoath fans, at least of the New York show, are more familiar with their older stuff anyway. Early 2000s albums They only seek security and Define the main line are considered the most iconic and a key part of their history as a Christian metalcore band. In 2018, the Erase me diverted era of this sound, with the band stating that they were no longer Christians. They explained on their “Making of VoyeuristPodcast that Erase me is a controversial body of work that came as they began to redefine themselves. This album also marked the return of drummer Aaron Gillespie, which was an adjustment for the band.

But, despite all that, Underoath has grown so much. They gave Gillespie the spotlight a few times to showcase his drumming skills, which kept the crowd mosh and moving with the music. Underoath aren’t a Christian metalcore band anymore – they’ve evolved a lot in their sound, and a lot of Erase me focused on their current relationship with faith and identity. These themes of existentialism continued Voyeurist as they continued to blend contemporary and electronic elements with their established sound. Erase me was Underoath’s most commercially successful album; with it, they even earned a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance. But such an experimental record could only alienate part of their audience.

The middle of their set merged past and present. At one point, the crowd joined in a rousing a cappella performance from the bridge of “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door,” then thrilled by the intensity of “No Frame.” On a nostalgic note, “It’s Dangerous Business…” is the first Underoath song I’ve ever heard. At the time, it was the loudest song I had ever heard…and the rest was history.

Underoath live at Brooklyn Steel on March 17. Photo by Slade.

After going through several high-energy songs, I was surprised to hear the opening chords of “Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear”, one of the few overtly denominational songs in Underoath’s earlier discography. The song is from their 2008 album, Lost in the sound of separation, one of the last albums Aaron Gillespie recorded on before his departure in 2010, and it uses Aaron’s vocals alongside Spencer’s screams – a fine example of what makes Underoath melodies so memorable. The song is about what life would be like if one didn’t serve God or was unwilling to forgive others, and just before the breakdown at the end, all the members sing, “Good God, can you still take us home? Hearing this live was incredibly powerful, especially knowing all that Underoath has gone through publicly and the backlash they have received over the years from the church.

Underoath ended his set with “A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White”, from They only seek securityand then “Pneumonia”, the instrumental finale of Voyeurist which pays tribute to the death of guitarist Tim McTague’s father.

Overall, the show was an incredibly moving experience. It was great to hear the songs I grew up with and even to hear bands I didn’t know before. Considering it was my first metal gig, I was a bit shy at first, but the gig itself was great, and I’m proud to say I did well in my first mosh pit. As I walked out of the show, I thought back to when, in high school, I used to do lyrical posters of Underoath songs. I realized that I finally got to hear all of those songs live – the songs that formed a big part of my love for metalcore. It was so much fun and honestly a little therapeutic. Everyone in the mosh pit had great energy, were incredibly nice and concerned about everyone’s safety, and sang the songs that each had meaning to us – it was cathartic. Maybe I’ll do some crowd surfing on the next tour.

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Presidency 2023: How do Southern politicians dance to the farce or reality of brokering a united, progressive nation? By Tiko Okoye https://willtoexist.com/presidency-2023-how-do-southern-politicians-dance-to-the-farce-or-reality-of-brokering-a-united-progressive-nation-by-tiko-okoye/ Wed, 11 May 2022 13:52:01 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/presidency-2023-how-do-southern-politicians-dance-to-the-farce-or-reality-of-brokering-a-united-progressive-nation-by-tiko-okoye/ The prospect of artificial crises looms as the ruling party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – and the main opposition party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – head to their respective nominating conventions to crystallize their candidates to the presidency. In the meantime, we must learn to express our gratitude to Almighty God […]]]>

The prospect of artificial crises looms as the ruling party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – and the main opposition party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – head to their respective nominating conventions to crystallize their candidates to the presidency. In the meantime, we must learn to express our gratitude to Almighty God that Nigeria still manages to stand tall despite the tremendous bombardment it has suffered and continues to suffer on the political-socio-economic fronts.

Truth be told, nations have collapsed and governments have been overthrown for less than a tenth of the poor results of senseless acts of bad governance that Nigerian politics has witnessed. Are Nigerians uncompromising optimists and ‘the happiest people in the world’ as someone claimed many years ago, or are we just hopeless complainers and curmudgeons whose comfort zone is being able to bark without biting?



This explains why the theory of existentialism has piqued my interest quite recently. It fundamentally opposes the rationalist tradition and positivism, while emphasizing that we are each responsible for creating purpose or meaning in our own lives. If this is true – and I have no reason to think otherwise – the remains of the iconic “father” of the theory, the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, and other legendary representatives, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus among others must all be turning violently in their graves as they take a transcendent look at the siddon-looking Nigerians!

But there is no denying that Nigeria is finally at the “mother of crossroads”. Apart from the events that led to the civil war, the stability and unity of our homeland have never been so threatened. But rather than seek win-win compromises, a particular group of politicians seem determined to sacrifice this nation’s peace, unity and progress on the puny altar of misplaced vested interests. Most notable is the crystallization of essentialism – as opposed to existentialism – within politics itself.

Essentialism is a philosophy that calls for introspection and the search for one’s “essence” which already exists. This fosters a rights mentality which explains why some believe it is their “birthright” to rule and the fate of others to remain as hewers of wood and fetchers of water. This attitude is now reproduced in the form of intrigue and power games as the APC and the PDP prepare to choose their candidates.

“All things being equal” (ceteris paribus) is a very popular phrase in economics, but it seems to have crept into our national lexicon. All things being equal, it doesn’t matter what part of the country a president comes from. All that would have mattered was if he impressed the Nigerian public by achieving legacies that would add real value to the lives of beleaguered citizens.

But we cannot run away from the reality that this country has been afflicted with a long, chronic illness of failure in both leadership and follow through. It bears repeating that no geopolitical area in Nigeria has the permanent right to sit metaphorically on the ‘security council’ of dividing the cake while others – the real bakers of the cake – ephemerally languish in the ‘assembly general” toothless.

To ease the growing tensions, a kind of gentleman’s agreement was reached between the political parties which saw power alternate between North and South. Furthermore, conventional wisdom has guided political parties in ensuring that their presidential tickets balance the two major religions of Islam and Christianity given the secular nature of the country. The first and only time since the beginning of the presidential system of government in 1979 that a presidential ticket from a major political party satisfied the first “rule” but violated the second “rule” was that of the combination of the Social Party- Democrat (SDP) of MKO Abiola (a Muslim from the South) and Babagana Kingibe (a Muslim from the North) in 1993.

But too much water has since flowed under the bridge. No major political party would dare to enter an electoral contest on such an “insensitive” ticket lately. Which explains why the leaders of the two main parties that merged to form the APC – General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) of the Progressive Change Congress (CPC) and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), couldn’t show up. on a joint ticket in the 2015 elections. A Buhari/Tinubu ticket satisfies the balance between North and South but violates the religious balance as both are Muslims. This is how Professor Yemi Osinbajo entered the scene opportunistically.

After eight years of Buhari – a Muslim from the North – conventional wisdom holds that it is now the “turn” of a president of southern origin – preferably a Christian. It is therefore incredible to see the absurd and dishonorable ways in which the Northern political elite has practically thumbed its nose at Southerners. While one can understand the desperation of a serial presidential candidate like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who sees the 2023 presidency as his last hurrah and his final opportunity for a long throw defying the odds of Hail Mary in Aso Villa, the same cannot be said for the much younger contestants. Patriotism should be made of tougher things.

It seems to me that powerful and highly connected Northern cabals are financially enabling increasing numbers of Southerners to declare their day-to-day presidential ambition as a means of undermining Southern solidarity and making it harder for them to reach consensus. between them. It’s a tried and true divide-and-conquer strategy aimed at sparking an endless family feud, while outside parties, posing as benefactors, step in to take home the coveted prize that is the object of their bickering. .

And make no mistake, the Northern cabals in question have a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, and even a plan D, should push turn to push.

Plan A is to get the APC and PDP to nominate presidential candidates of northern origin. Plan B kicks in if Plan B experiences a miscarriage.

Plan B is to get one party – the PDP – to nominate a northerner as a candidate if the other party – the APC – for some reason nominates a southerner. Then, the North will play two cards in the actual election in 2023: the regional and religious cards, while banking on the South-East and South-South bloc votes, whatever the cost for the more attributes. broad equity. and righteousness. Did I hear you scream Tufiakwa! If so, keep dreaming! That’s why there’s all the juggling and mind games to figure out which party would hold its nominating convention before the other – to figure out where the first candidate to do it comes from!

If plan B fails, plan C will be triggered. This would involve spending as little time as possible in political limbo before power shifts to the North. And that is how former President Goodluck Jonathan has become a beautiful wife to the northern cabals, as he can only spend four more years in office. Truth be told, I don’t think Jonathan is truly in love with the same APC that dishonored him. I see it as a strategy to force the hand of a nervous PDP to hand over the ticket to him as the consensus candidate.

Plan D can be seen as the last resort when all the calculations and permutations built into Plans A through C fail and the North reluctantly recognizes that the real situation and needs of this country are best served by conceding to the South its ” turn” to produce a president in 2023, after Buhari leaves office. Under this plan, Northern politicians would engineer the emergence of a Southern collaborator to rule effectively by proxy.

In the final analysis, Southerners can only raise the stakes by supporting – in as united a voice as possible – that the name(s) of any Southerner(s) who support(s) a candidate for the Presidential North or a Nicodemus haunter(s) returning to Egypt as a running mate in the 2023 presidential election would be written into the book of infamy and see his/their generation(s) – including those who have yet to see the day – forever tainted with ignominy and opprobrium. Dramatic situations require drastic measures.

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Presidency 2023: farce or reality of brokering a united and progressive nation? https://willtoexist.com/presidency-2023-farce-or-reality-of-brokering-a-united-and-progressive-nation/ Wed, 11 May 2022 10:16:22 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/presidency-2023-farce-or-reality-of-brokering-a-united-and-progressive-nation/ Atiku sees the 2023 presidency as his last hurrah and his final opportunity for an odds-defying long throw from Hail Mary in Aso Villa By Tiko Okoye The prospect of artificial crises looms as the ruling party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – and the main opposition party – the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) […]]]>

Atiku sees the 2023 presidency as his last hurrah and his final opportunity for an odds-defying long throw from Hail Mary in Aso Villa

By Tiko Okoye

The prospect of artificial crises looms as the ruling party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – and the main opposition party – the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – head to their respective nominating conventions to crystallize their presidential candidates. In the meantime, we must learn to express our gratitude to Almighty God that Nigeria still manages to stand tall despite the tremendous bombardment it has suffered and continues to suffer on the political-socio-economic fronts.

Truth be told, nations have collapsed and governments have been overthrown for less than a tenth of the poor results of senseless acts of bad governance that Nigerian politics has witnessed. Are Nigerians diehard optimists and ‘the happiest people in the world’ as someone claimed many years ago, or are we just hopeless complainers and curmudgeons whose comfort zone is being able to bark without biting?

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This explains why the theory of existentialism has piqued my interest quite recently. It fundamentally opposes the rationalist tradition and positivism, while emphasizing that we are each responsible for creating purpose or meaning in our own lives. If this is indeed the case – and I have no reason to think otherwise – the remains of the theory’s emblematic “father”, the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, and other legendary representatives, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean -Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, among others, must all be turning violently in their graves as they cast a transcendental gaze upon siddon look Nigerians!

But there is no denying that Nigeria is finally at the “mother of crossroads”. Apart from the events that led to the civil war, the stability and unity of our homeland have never been so threatened. But rather than seek win-win compromises, a particular group of politicians seem determined to sacrifice this nation’s peace, unity and progress on the puny altar of misplaced vested interests. Most notable is the crystallization of essentialism – as opposed to existentialism – within the regime itself.

Also read: There is no way to kill the Igbo beetle!

Essentialism is a philosophy that calls for introspection and the search for one’s “essence” which already exists. This explains why some believe it is their “birthright” to rule and the fate of others to remain as hewers of wood and fetchers of water. This attitude is now reproduced in the form of intrigue and power games as the APC and the PDP prepare to choose their candidates.

“All things being equal” (ceteris paribus) is a very popular expression in economics, but it seems to have crept into our national lexicon. All things being equal, it doesn’t matter what part of the country a president comes from. All that would have mattered was for him to impress the Nigerian public by materializing legacies that would add real value to the lives of beleaguered citizens.

– Advertisement –

But we cannot run away from the reality that this country has been afflicted with a long, chronic illness of failure in both leadership and follow through. It bears repeating that no geopolitical area in Nigeria has the permanent right to sit metaphorically on the ‘security council’ of sharing the cake while others – the real bakers of the cake – languish fleetingly in the ‘assembly’. general” toothless.

To ease the growing tensions, a kind of gentleman’s agreement was reached between the political parties which saw power alternate between North and South. Furthermore, conventional wisdom has guided political parties in ensuring that their presidential tickets balance the two major religions of Islam and Christianity given the secular nature of the country. The first and only time since the beginning of the presidential system of government in 1979 that a presidential ticket from a major political party satisfied the first “rule” but violated the second “rule” was that of the combination of the Social Party- Democrat (SDP) of MKO Abiola (a Muslim of the South) and Babagana Kingibe (a Muslim North) in 1993.

But too much water has since flowed under the bridge. No major political party would dare to enter an electoral contest on such an “insensitive” ticket lately. Which explains why the leaders of the two main parties that merged to form the APC – General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) of the Progressive Change Congress (CPC) and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), couldn’t show up. on a common ticket in the 2015 elections. A Buhari/Tinubu ticket satisfies the balance between North and South but violates the religious balance as both are Muslims. This is how Professor Yemi Osinbajo entered the scene opportunistically.

After eight years of Buhari – a Muslim from the North – conventional wisdom holds that it is now the “turn” of a president of southern origin – preferably a Christian. It is therefore incredible to see the absurd and dishonorable ways in which the Northern political elite has practically thumbed its nose at Southerners. While one can understand the desperation of a serial presidential candidate like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who sees the 2023 presidency as his last hurrah and his final opportunity for a long throw defying the odds of Hail Mary in Aso Villa, the same cannot be said for the much younger contestants. Patriotism should be made of tougher things.

It seems to me that powerful and highly connected Northern cabals are financially enabling increasing numbers of Southerners to declare their day-to-day presidential ambition as a means of undermining Southern solidarity and making it harder for them to reach consensus. between them. It’s a tried and true divide-and-conquer strategy aimed at sparking an endless family feud, while outside parties, posing as benefactors, step in to take home the coveted prize that is the object of their bickering. .

And make no mistake, the Northern cabals in question have a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, and even a plan D, should push turn to push. Plan A is to get the APC and the PDP to nominate presidential candidates of northern origin. Plan B kicks in if Plan B experiences a miscarriage.

Plan B is to have one party – the PDP – nominate a northerner as their candidate if the other party – the APC – for some reason nominates a southerner. Then the North will play two cards in the 2023 elections proper: the regional and religious cards, while still betting on the South-East and South-South bloc votes, regardless of the cost to the broader attributes. of fairness. and righteousness. Did I hear you scream Tufiakwa! If so, keep dreaming! That’s why there’s all the juggling and wits about which party would hold its nominating convention before the other – to determine where the first candidate to do so comes from!

If plan B fails, plan C will be triggered. This would mean spending as little time as possible in political limbo before power shifts to the North. And that is how former President Goodluck Jonathan has become a beautiful wife to the northern cabals, as he can only spend four more years in office. Truth be told, I don’t think Jonathan is truly in love with the same APC that dishonored him. I see it as a strategy to force the hand of a nervous PDP to hand over the ticket to him as the consensus candidate.

Plan D can be seen as the last resort when all the calculations and permutations built into Plans A through C fail and the North reluctantly recognizes that the real situation and needs of this country are best served by conceding to the South its ” turn” to produce a president in 2023, after Buhari leaves office. Under this plan, Northern politicians would engineer the emergence of a Southern collaborator to rule effectively by proxy.

In the final analysis, Southerners can only raise the stakes by asserting – in as unified a voice as possible – that the name(s) of any Southerner(s) who support(s) a Northern presidential candidate(s) or fanatic(s) returning to Egypt as a running mate in the 2023 presidential election would be written into the book of infamy and see his generations – including those who have not yet seen the light of day – forever stained with ignominy and opprobrium. Dramatic situations require drastic measures.

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Tim Keller and the Evangelical Elite: Where Are Their Minds? https://willtoexist.com/tim-keller-and-the-evangelical-elite-where-are-their-minds/ Wed, 04 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/tim-keller-and-the-evangelical-elite-where-are-their-minds/ This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Logan Zepperi. Logan holds a Masters of Philosophy from the Talbot School of Theology, a Bachelors of Science in Philosophy, and is currently a graduate student in Clinical Psychology. His work includes policy and business research, pastoral training, facilitation, and essay contributions to several publications […]]]>

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Logan Zepperi. Logan holds a Masters of Philosophy from the Talbot School of Theology, a Bachelors of Science in Philosophy, and is currently a graduate student in Clinical Psychology. His work includes policy and business research, pastoral training, facilitation, and essay contributions to several publications like the Claremont Institutes,The American Spirit.”

Tim Keller: America’s evangelical watchdog?

Recently, pastor and theologian Tim Keller ventured into the Twitter verse to make a new name for himself as an arbiter and diviner of evangelical political engagement. Through hopeful attempts at rational discourse, he tried to balance his personal dissatisfaction with the conservative evangelical electoral bloc while deftly avoiding the relentless barrage of blame from progressive evangelical elites and their ever-watchful eye under which his New York Church flourished. However, last week Keller’s remarks on Twitter on the theological contradictions of conservative and politically engaged evangelical churches should make one wonder if he has finally lost his mind.

Keller writes in his first tweet,

Here are two Biblical MORAL standards: 1) It is a sin to worship idols or any God other than the true God and 2) not to kill. If you ask evangelicals if we should be prohibited by law from worshiping any God other than the God of the Bible, they would say “no”.

He continues this reflection in his second tweet,

We allow this terrible sin to be legal. But if you ask them if the law should prohibit Americans from aborting a baby, they will answer “yes”. Now, why make the first sin legal and NEVER talk about it and the second sin illegal and a major moral/political talking point?

At George Orwell’s 1984there is an oft-quoted line, “The party told you to reject the evidence with your eyes and ears. It was their last, most essential command. The problem in modern political discourse is that we have often emphasized the wrong side of this thinking – Orwell is less concerned with party politics and power than with the supreme authority by which party propaganda convinced the world to deny its own common sense. GK Chesterton makes a similar case in his book, Orthodoxy,

The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid. The determinist makes the theory of causation pretty clear, then finds he can’t say “please” to the maid. The Christian allows free will to remain a sacred mystery; but as a result his relationship with the maid becomes sparkling and crystalline.

The practical objection to Keller’s theory of the world is that his theory seems to prevent him from seeing the practical effects of the world. Is there no practical difference between the woman who idolizes her own dress and the woman who deprives her own child of life? Is there no difference between the man who extinguishes his love for God and the man who persuades a woman to extinguish her child?

Of course there is.

But, for Keller, the problem is not only to deny the practical sense, he is also wrong in theory. If a man’s worship of money causes him to commit fraud or theft, he is guilty before our law. If a man’s worship of Baal causes him to sacrifice his child by fire, he is guilty before our law, even to his own death by capital punishment. The boundary has been drawn, very clearly and for a very long time, between the relationship to God, by which God only can judge our conscience and its relation to society, by which our actions can be judged as a tree is judged to bear good or bad fruit. When one distinguishes between the worship of false idols and the choice of abortion, this principle can be applied, and applied clearly and consistently.

Keller continues in his third tweet,

At the very least, it shows a lack of knowing how to apply the Bible to politics. Since we can’t just say, “If the Bible says it’s a sin, it should be illegal,” how do we choose which morality to uphold politically? Please don’t say “I just want to see the 10

He continues in his fourth tweet,

… the commandments have been law in society. It’s too simplistic and we’re not doing it already. The Bible tells us that idolatry, abortion, and ignoring the poor are all serious sins. But that doesn’t tell us exactly HOW we should apply these standards to a pluralist democracy.

Chesterton once spoke of this kind of “crippling pietism” when he wrote:

The old humility was a spur that kept a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot preventing him from continuing. For old humility made a man doubtful of his efforts, which could make him work harder. But the newfound humility makes a man doubtful of his goals, which will cause him to stop working altogether.

Keller’s argument begins with “How can we distinguish which sins should be legal and which should not” and then ends, “So how could we decide?” He took the complexity of the world as an excuse to refrain from looking for a solution, instead of taking the complexity of the world as an excuse to work harder in the hope of finding one.

As Keller continues in his sixth through tenth tweets,

We must help the poor, but the Bible does not tell us what political strategy (high taxes and government services versus low taxes and private charity) to use. The Bible compels my conscience to love the immigrant, but it doesn’t tell me HOW MANY legal immigrants to admit to the United States

…every year. I know abortion is a sin, but the Bible does not tell me what is the best political policy to reduce or end abortion in this country, or what political or legal policies are most effective for this purpose.

Today’s political parties will say that their most lines up morally with the Bible, but we are allowed to debate it and therefore our churches should not have disunity over questionable political differences! This is also why I have never publicly[sic] or privately tell Christians who they should vote for. Nor have I ever told anyone that they

should vote Democrat or Republican. Depending on politics, we may find more or less alignment with biblical morality. I believe that all Christians should be active in politics, but it is not wise to identify Christianity with any particular party. For more see:

Sigh. People focus on the example (abortion is a physical evil) and not on the principle. You can learn the same thing about gay marriage…why codify this morality in law and not others?

I [Logan] would be hard pressed to be convinced that Keller would adopt the same argument he adopted on abortion, if it were slavery. If a party were for slavery and a party for its abolition, would Keller argue that it’s just hard to know which one to support or which policy to pursue? Would he view slavery or murder as morally insignificant issues that should divide the church?

Instead of comparing one moral dilemma regarding damage to the image of God (i.e., slavery) with another moral dilemma regarding damage to the image of God (i.e., abortion), Keller took a permutation of a familiar argument that atheists have made against Christianity – treating all sins as equal and comparing an atrocity to an offence, or what can be judged by man to what can only be known to God . But then again, I guess such heinous acts against an image of God are far too complex for such a simple guiding principle as this: you won’t kill.

However, there is one criticism that I believe falls squarely on the evangelical academic elite. In the TV series rick and mortythere is a episode which looks more like a parody of WW Jacob’s book monkey paw than Ray Bradbury’s Something bad this way comes. The episode features the Devil opening a trinket shop, selling trinkets that grant his customers wishes with disturbing side effects. During the episode, Rick confronts Summer, his granddaughter, several times working at the Devil’s Trinket Shop. This leads Rick to open his own “de-trinket” shop next door, dedicated to exposing the devil as a fraud. During the final confrontation, Rick, upset with the arrangement, tells Summer that she’s “working[ing] for the Devil”. Summer responds, “At least the devil has a job. At least he’s active in the community.

The evangelical academic elite, for all their libraries, shelves and impressive publication records, have largely failed to fulfill the oaths of office. Our culture is in the midst of considerable and widespread political turmoil, and when the church petitions its academic elites, they are answered with endless shrugs and spectacularly worded “I-don’t-know-c ‘is-complicated’. And even worse, as Keller illustrates, they often land on comments that grossly violate the distinction between how one can desecrate one’s conscience and how one can take the life of an innocent.

To be fair: we know it’s complicated; we know it is difficult; we know that expressing a belief is unpopular. However, what we need is a positive and firm vision of the modern Church. We need someone who will hold to the foundations of a clearly stated, unashamedly affirmed, and unashamedly upheld gospel of Christ – in all its doctrines, especially those concerning the image of God in man. And this is where Keller’s comments are insufficient, very short. His comparisons assume that there is basically little, if any, value in destroying a God-image bearer.

Therefore, in response, I will begin. The church has always believed that abortion is not just a grave sin, but that abortion is murder – it is murder an innocent carrier image of God. And we should, as Christians, explore all possible avenues to reduce or ban it. But more than that, we need to force people to understand why it should be banned and why it shouldn’t be. This is our job as a Church, our role as the prophetic voice of culture.

For some, this will mean the adoption of public policies; for others, it will mean expressing yourself on whatever platform you might have; even more, it may mean spending a late night talking to your friend who thinks abortion is the only way out. More so, it may mean donating a few dollars to help a crisis center; and, again, even more, it can simply mean praying that God will help those who can reduce or ban abortion. As the parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates, we need to help our neighbors, those who need help at hand.

If the evangelical elite cannot add or change this statement on abortion, then we have to question the purpose of the academic elite, because they are not even active in the community.

Featured Image: Frank Licorice, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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