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Wednesday, July 07, 2004
I got the links up! If anyone has a link they would like to be added let me know.
Email me by clicking here.
I am interested in posting links to sites about valley artists, arts and culture organizations, etc...
If your site has something of interest to Brownsville or the Rio Grande Valley/Rio Bravo Frontera Region or if you are a Brownsville/Frontera native who has a site or weblog you want to share, then let me know!
***Links will be posted with discretion. The Art of Brownsville WILL NOT post links to web pages that discriminate regarding race, ethnicity, creed, color, national origin, language or native tongue, sex, age, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.
I know the red-tape is a downer, but for the most part this blog will remain an inclusive forum where all people can feel comfortable to get a cultural fix. That doesn't mean that there will be no room for discussion and commentary. If there is one thing that I strongly believe about art is in its ability to allow artists and its audience a forum upon which to create discussion and evaluation, and for the most part it is an inclusive medium that allows all sorts of perspectives, conclusions and analysis upon it. What is also so great about art is that you can change your mind about it later if you want, which won't usually come back to bite you.
For example, I was reading the commentary section in today's Brownsville Herald editorial page and was pleased with the replies people sent in concern to a viewpoint entry about a certain liberal columnist from the New York Times. So far, the Herald has not posted the replies online but from what I can recall, there were two replies commending the Herald for providing the public with columns from different points of view. In my opinion, I don't think there can ever be a political comment without a biased perspective. It's the ugly game of political public relations. So in awareness of this, I would better appreciate an editorial forum that can provide me with as many different perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum, thus allowing me to make my own decision as to what I want to believe. That people, is the beauty of democracy, that is freedom...give me the beautiful and the bad, the Michael Moores and Rush Limbaughs, The Herald and El Rocinante, The New York Times and The Washington Post, the Renaissance Art and the Avant Garde! I am sounding like a Walt Whitman knock-off. ::chuckle::
So on the topic of Renaissance Art, here is another more controversial example of appreciated democracy that just knocked my shoes this week. Dan Brown's novel The DaVinci Code generated an incredible amount of response among the religous community and public for the controversial theories it reveals in concern to the origins of organized Judeo-Christian religion. Here is a snippet from an interview on the Da Vinci Code website:
"THE TOPIC OF THIS NOVEL MIGHT BE CONSIDERED CONTROVERSIAL. DO YOU FEAR REPERCUSSIONS?
I can't imagine why. As I mentioned earlier, the theory I reveal is one that has been whispered for centuries. It is not my own. Admittedly, this may be the first time the theory has been unveiled within the format of a popular thriller, but the information is anything but new. My sincere hope is that The Da Vinci Code, in addition to entertaining people, will serve as an open door for readers to begin their own explorations.
HAS ANYONE IN ORGANIZED RELIGION COME OUT IN SUPPORT OF YOUR NOVEL?
Yes, many people in organized religion have come out in support of this novel, and, of course, many have come out in opposition as well. The opposition generally comes from the strictest Christian thinkers who feel the idea of a "married Jesus" serves to undermine His divinity. While I don't agree with this interpretation, this is immaterial because the dialogue itself is a deeply empowering and positive force for everyone involved. Suddenly, enormous numbers of people are passionately debating important philosophical topics, and regardless of the personal conclusions that each of us draws, the debate can only help to strengthen our understanding of our own faith. Much of the positive response I get from within organized religion comes from nuns (who write to thank me for pointing out that they have sacrificed their entire lives to the Church and are still considered "unfit" to serve behind the altar). I have also heard from hundreds of enthusiastic priests. While many of them disagree with some of the ideas in the novel, they are thrilled that their parishioners are eager to discuss religion. Father John Sewell of St. John's Episcopal Church in Memphis stated it particularly eloquently in the press recently, saying: "This [novel] is not a threat. This is an opportunity. We are called to creatively engage the culture and this is what I want to do. I think Dan Brown has done me a favor. He's letting me talk about things that matter."
So here you have two people from the opposite sides of a spectrum (Dan Brown and Father John Sewell), agreeing that the benefits of disagreement are more good than bad. They see opposition not as a threat or detrimental, but as opportunity for exploration, evaluation and spiritual growth. How awesome is that! To balance my excerpt from Dan Brown's interview, here is a response to the DaVinci Code by Opus Dei, a catholic organization that is addressed in the novel quite extensively.
So in short my point is, The Art of Brownsville will be a platform for the discussion of art and culture in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley/Rio Bravo Frontera. I just used the examples from politics and religion to get some points across about the importance of having different perspectives and dialogue in our life; to take conflicts of interest as a beneficial challenge by trying to understand them, to learn from them and to ultimately make our own decision. We have to freedom to do so. So appreciate democracy by using your individual rights and privileges to form your own beliefs. Ignorance is a price too high to pay these days.
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