Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Rhetoric Teacher: Old Credenda

On Joy:

Joy is the priest of the emotions. The mediator, the mitigator, the inciter of chocolate riots. What is joy? Joy is looking to the laughably cloud-disheveled heavens with a prayer of thanksgiving on your lips, thanking the sovereign God that He saw fit to place you here, to bring your footsteps to the appropriate place so that you might see the pretty girl walking away and the man on the bike watching her and not the curb. Joy is the look you give him when he sees that you are the only witness, and you see that he has sprained his wrist.

On Weather:

Everywhere I look, I see a world of images that could end up abused on Christian posters and cards, tagged with verses in a juxtaposition that makes God seem merely quaint. But God does revel in a whitened world cross-lit by a pink sunset. If He didn't, I assume He would stop doing it. But what the Christian card won't show you is the other side of rime frost, the cost of white-wrapped bushes, and that's what the freezing fog can do to your sidewalk. You can see the spiked ice ornaments left on each pine needle, but the sheet of ice left beneath your feet is invisible.

If I am a consistent Christian, a connoisseur of the divine personality, then I should be able to enjoy the pink light on the frosted trees when I am warm and cocoa-filled beside my own cheaply lit indoor version, or while I lie on the frigid ground with a broken hip, unable to reach my cell phone. Unless I've slid all the way beneath my car, and can't see anything.

On Remodeling a Roof:

Rain on an old roof slick with grit and malicious thoughts. Boom-flown death sentences. It's my roof. I would not risk my life for it, but that is what I am doing. It is a game now. I cannot go inside and make life stop, or lie on my back and watch my ceiling slowly collapse beneath bursting tarps. It is no longer so much a game of points. Now we are playing dodge-ball, or buck-buck. We're riding bulls. It is about surviving. It is about not collapsing. It is about laughing. When I stop laughing, then I have stopped standing back up. I would rather ride one of the forty foot girders off the roof than fold now. God wants me on the angry bull. It pleases Him, and I can find no greater pleasure than that. No joy greater than sliding down a roof in the rain, trying to catch a truss. I will not become that kid on the playground who can't win and so squeals, "Stop it," and something about his mother. It is better to be beaten. I hate that kid—the kid who never could never appreciate a nosebleed—and my mother's the one who turned on the sink.


rebec said...


And thinking.

Ashley said...

You really are anti-Thomas Kinkade, aren't you?

Jesse Broussard said...

Yeah, I am. I think he is a representation of a crippling problem in the modern evangelical church: that of a loathing of evil that will not even view it. As opposed to seeing the Lordship of Christ throughout everything, he portrays the Lordship of Christ over an idealistic utopia.

But, as the name lets on, utopias are, well, not here. So instead of dealing with the world as God made it, he turns his back, and in his little hissy fit uses the parts of God's world that he likes and approves of to create a world that he would create, were he God.

That's all fine and dandy; he can do what he likes, but then you have people who view his paintings as what the world should be like, because of their cowardice. These people end up doubting the promises of God, because they have been listening to the "prophets" who said that there was nothing wrong, people are good, and at least you're not as bad as some people we could mention; people who said whatever they thought their audience wanted to hear.

And no, Kinkade is not some type of great Satan; he's probably just a guy who likes painting sappy pictures. I might even like him, were I to meet him. So why bash him? Because he is the apple of this tree, and we are called by God to speak the truth and expose deceit, in whatever form it takes. If mocking Kinkade by showing his paintings to be sappy backgrounds for romance novel covers has a sobering effect by shock value alone, then yes, by all means go for it.

As far as justification for the means? It's late; I'm going to bed. Read Serrated Edge for a Biblical defense of mockery or Contours of Post Maturity to see it in action.

See you in a couple weeks.

Ashley said...

Blah Blah Blah.
I like his paintings because they are pretty-End of story. I don't look for the special meanings hidden in the glittering snow covered roof-tops about how he would have created the world, had he the chance.

See you soon!

(and if you hate on my wall art I will beat you with it!!!)

Wodehousian Fun