"the artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life."
- w. edward brown

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Well, today I'm moving most of my stuff out of my apartment. You don't realize how much stuff you accumulate over two years, but it adds up. I won't have access to my computer for the next two weeks, as it will be in transition, but after June 1, things will be on their way to sorted out in my new house. I will still be avaliable with my cell, so give me a call if you need me.

Just one final critique today, and a lot of hauling boxes... almost done with another year of college!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Almost there...

Well, 2 classes are officially over, both my Advanced Drawing and my final core class Intro Sociology are examined and done... As for my others, Asian Art Monday afternoon, Painting Wednesday afternoon, and Ceramics sometime in between/whenever as it's an independent study.

We are moving out of our campus housing this Thursday, but seeing as our lease doesn't start till June 1, I'll be relying on the good graces of art friends for a while, bumming a floor off them.

I can't wait to move out, I can't wait to move into my new house, and I can't wait to get this year over with.

Summer work starts the 22nd, and hopefully things will be as exciting as last year!
Almost done!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Calvin Spoof

Dear Family and Friends,

I don't know if you all have heard, but the Calvin Chimes spoof 'Cliche' a send up of the Back to God Hour's 'Today' has hit hard. With the refusal to publish it under the censorship of the newly empowered 'Spoof Review Committe', the publication made its way on to the web. By now, stories have appeared in both the GR Press and WOOD TV 8 (the local NBC) and numerous postings on Calvin Matters (the faculty and staff online forum) have shown that this is not going away quietly.

The link: www.calvinspoof.com

Please don't see the cover and click off. Don't just read a few and leave. If you do decide to read, be sure to at least (after reading a few) make it to the bottom and read the entry for June 30. PLEASE don't dismiss this as unthought out fluff. This has a message that is applicable for everyone I know.

For those who want to read Calvin's 'Official' response it can be found here: Calvin's Response

There are multiple things being addressed, issues of the Calvin community, issues of donor money and impact at Calvin, issues of social justice, issues of gender relations, issues of purity and holiness... the list goes on.

One of the biggest issues critics raised is whether or not the use of scripture and prayer is allowable in satire. From my point of view (and from knowing many of those who worked on the spoof/satire) this use of scripture and prayer came from a true concern with how scripture and prayer are so often misused by shallow expressions of faith in our community. Bible verses are taken out of context and misused (I've heard preachers do it), and I see the spoof as showing this.

Is it funny? I laughed so hard at some of the entries, I cried.
Is it offensive? At times, yes. But we have to look at why it is we are offended, for at least in my case, the offense comes when the critique hits too close to home.
Is it blasphemy? I never think it crosses the boundary, and I truly believe this is a sincere call to reform in our consideration of our faith. Satire is meant to shock people; just think of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"... or more applicale his "An Argument against Abolishing Christianity"... talk about Christian satire!

I also think that Calvin has stepped too far in censoring. There is the idea of Voltaire that "I hate what you're saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" that I truly believe in. In this I am not talking about mean or hateful things, but rather things which I don't agree with, but are problems and issues that need to be dealt with.

In my opinion Calvin has turned its back on honest critique. If you don't believe that this is an honest call for change, read the last entry, June 30. It is in this entry, after all the poking fun of and making light of, that the Chimes staffers who participated in this, honestly brought it back to the Lord. In my opinion, those who would like to see the spoof gone, skipped over that last entry and only saw what they wanted to see. They only saw the big issues raised, the questions that must be answered, the hits too close to home, and the accurate read of the situation, not only at Calvin, but of the broader CRC community that the spoof found.

I defend the spoof in its entirety for what it represents to me, a call for serious contemplation and reflection on what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century in the Reformed tradition.
I know that this spoof will offend some of you. I know that this will hit close to home (it did for me). But please understand this in light of the sincere prayer from the June 30 meditation:

"Lord God, give our readers a spirit of understanding and humility. As we go out to reform our fallen world, remind us that we too are fallible. Amen"

So friends and family, sorry about the length, but I leave you with these things to ponder, and I pray that Calvin will not become an irrelevant institution because of its unwillingness to laugh at itself now and then and hesitation to reexamine the issues that surround it.