Today I was reminded by my loyal readership of her existence. So as to keep her entertained and engaged…: a digest post of thingies, each of which deserve some in-depth cultural studies type treatment by someone who has knowledge and understanding of how human beings think, i.e., not me.
First, a television show from Down Under in which the “game” pits advertising firms against each other to “sell the unsellable.” You would think this means they’d sell an old Taurus or used toilet paper or something, but in this case, the task is to sell the end of religion. Two approaches here–the first employs a scientific/progress frame to connect religion with outmoded folk beliefs (e.g., the earth is flat), while the second treats religion as a root cause of violence and intolerance and therefore, the root cause of social dysfunction. Interesting to watch the panelists line up behind science for science’s sake, and behind the second video because it does not question or challenge one’s belief, only that the existence of classes of belief that are religious has negative but avoidable consequences. Finally, worth noting that despite our little American preoccupation with ourselves as the “land of the free” and etc. it is inconceivable that such a thing would get on the air here. (h/t Drek)
Also on the question of church and churchiness, here’s a great image thread in which Catholics–for once–come out on top. (note that I’m not embedding these 8–or whatever–pictures, but they will still be on the test). You’ve got to agree…epic win.
Finally, I keep telling people that my next book, on slumming, keeps writing itself. Here’s some evidence. Promotional video from Keszler Gallery in the Hamptons, and Bankrobber Gallery (in the UK) all about hauling two pieces of street art by Banksy away from the street in Palestine. The video doesn’t show the pieces in situ because–or so it says in the article linked next–they were first removed by a Palestinian entrepreneur and were discovered “laying” in a stone mason’s yard. As these folks (NY Mag) say:
Keszler and Bankrobber say that this show presents a unique and important opportunity both to preserve these pieces and give people a chance to view the paintings. Yes, for a mere $425,000, you too can own a decontextualized installation, once meant to reflect the absurdity and pain of systemic unrest, and now expertly cleaned up and for sale in the Hamptons.