Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Image of Bruce Lee

    I would like to take a moment to examine why I think Bruce Lee is an inspirational figure for many people. He was a martial artist but he also has broadcast his talents on the few films that he has played in. He played roles where he was cast as an outsider who had to overcome rival gangs or crime syndicates. But at the same time, he was able to showcase his martial talents which were unrivaled at the cinema. His fighting kept his audience engaged as much as his simple charismatic line delivery. So, his films show an enhanced image of his character which people find attractive.

   I also realize that my previous post was about how following someone who you can personally call 'teacher' is not the path for those who hold to the cross and what it represents. But at the same time it would be naïve to think that we will shrug off our roll models once we learn the truth about influence and those who practice it. So, revisiting someone like a Bruce Lee in comparison with a Carl Trueman, for example, would show how influence differs widely considering that their goals and methods of impacting others, who happen to find them intriguing, are not the same. 

  Thus, having a large cult following makes one person defensive while for another it propels them forward. And the means by which each of these influencers, Bruce and Carl, are going to be emulated by their audiences have value because of how they portray influence as something to be unmasked or, in another way, to be considered unimportant compared with their respective messages that they have pushed for. It is just that their audience members (not all) seem to think that just their personas are being communicated instead of the values of marital arts from one and the cross from the other.

Friday, June 15, 2018

On the cults of those who follow a Magnus

I would like to respond to this article about how the author resisted the temptation to start a fan club:


The author, Carl Trueman, starts off by recounting his beginnings of his professorship at Westminster by the East Coast. He was asked by a group of students to talk theology in a public venue, or rather a local meeting place. And then he goes off to discuss the dangers of personality cults for young impressionable students, who often feel a sense of camaraderie when they find a prof. that they like.  

And he argues that: if you worship a professor or teacher or pastor, you will come to be like them, warts and all, and probably in an exaggerated way. That is why so many professorial disciples sound like cheap, lightweight versions of the original; they are basically idolaters, and what you see in their lives and language is the inevitable result of their idolatry. Then he brings up the cross.

The process of becoming impressed with a professor or teacher or pastor is not what the cross teaches us about how to go about engaging such influencers. To become addicted to those cults or to join those who end up modeling themselves after them tend to try to act like them, but instead of being told not to be like them, we are reminded that this idolatry splits up families and churches.

Back in my college days, I'd absorb the material to digest it for the final exam. And students outside of the class might find it quite strange to walk in on any given lecture because the way that Music does University, for example, is different than the way normal departments train students for their life after their professors impress them. Taking the same class together gives you an insider's view.

So, if our motivation is to follow an influencer around to be like them, perhaps that is not a cross-like way of approaching them. And I think back how often I mimic my own influencers unintentionally because they seemed to be powerful and attractive persons, who I can gain insight and prestige from to feel superior to those outside of my peer group. So, if we are aware of this maybe it's not too late.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Con't the Conversation

I am going to be in dialogue with this piece from a past posting from late last month:

So, I was reading about a Knight, who traveled around Europe seeking to defend her honor. And I also have read about the Orient, the Far East, through a book that I picked up, but then abandoned it like finding an empty house at a dead end street. If you knew that there was an empty house, and you had no reason to go inside, you would turn and walk away. Would you not? If you have searched all of its rooms and found them to be worthless, then you should leave before you become a person without any reason at all. So, I stopped reading my Japanese book, and went on from there.

    When given a section of fiction writing, I like to try to understand the character's motives by looking at what or who they associate with. However, this would be autobiographical, so consider the Knight from the Canterbury Tales instead. He traveled around Europe seeking to defend her honor, which is found in the prologue that introduces him among all of the other pilgrims. So, he is a traveler with other companions on his way to Canterbury. At this point, I would like to say that historical awareness of the surrounding events would be helpful but not necessary, so that you don't have to stop reading just to look up where all the places are in relation to what Chaucer is saying. 

    So there is the disconnect between the significant social events that historians inquire into and the significant literary works that critics duke themselves over with. This disconnect or better yet the categorization of these two methods is important because some people confuse these things to their own shame. There is overlap but I need to continue to beat the dead horse, until things start to make sense for you. And from that let's consider why the author stopped reading his Japanese book, since that conclusion does not seem to follow from the above. The answer is that there was a literary reference that set up the ordinary ending. How boring, right?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Prince Hal against Falstaff aka Fight at the London Bridge

    I started off this Spring by wanting to read John Donne, but I was over with him, until I found a copy of the Canterbury Tales, which I bought with credit at a local bookstore. But I then noticed that I had additional credit, so I looked at the cheap bargains and got a Sudoku puzzle book as well as a Russian dictionary for English users, who I happen to be one of. And I used English all my life but I thought that Russian would be a good choice, since it's a bit different than English. So, I got this Oxford Russian English dictionary, which I have used as a reference to learn this foreign language that is spoken in Russia among other countries. So, Donne led to Russian but then I got this Henry IV part I play that I would like to talk about now with those who enjoy English as a foreign language.

    So, Henry IV part I is the store edition, which I bought because if I wanted to get the expensive edition, then I would sink into the tale instead of telling you what the play is about, but I only have read about a few scenes so far, and could not tell you the entire plot or any detailed descriptions of the characters. In fact, there are sources dedicated to just one character, for example, where the author takes you through a play of Shakespeare's by explaining just one character as the basis of the entire play. For example, Hamlet: Poet Unlimited by Harold Bloom comes to mind, but I am sure that there are others out there, if you are interested in following your favorite characters around Shakespeare's plays. So, Falstaff is a good example, since he appears in several of his plays such the Merry Wives of Windsor, which I have never seen a performance of. So, Bloom is still a looming presence here as I discourse Henry IV part I, which I have gotten recently on store credit.

    Thus, I would like to introduce into my conclusion an element that I did not yet write about: Prince Hal, who takes the opposite way of acting compared to Falstaff. Whereas Falstaff is a fat old knight, who gets into mischief; Hal is a young price, who has a bad reputation that he uses to his advantage by poking fun at the knight. So, Falstaff is the dominating presence, who seeks to make Hal into one of his own by absorbing whatever he says and then returning that back into his own advantage. So, the audience is with Falstaff but Hal acts as a counter measure against the excesses of the fat old knight of Eastcheap. So, I had to fit in Hal to explain the importance of Falstaff, who has seemed to have won the contest before I even picked up the copy of the play at my local bookstore.

Friday, April 13, 2018

the French Connection

A few coworkers from the outside have raise their questions about this confused post from Feb.:

     There were a few animals that met in a man-made house. The snake, the rabbit, the ox, and the monkey talked about the impact of the natural disaster. The snake said that he would prevent another disaster like the first. The rabbit suggested that she might be a victim if another one happened. The ox saw that there was no way that another one will happen. And the monkey agreed with the alert ox.

    The rabbit was then upset with the monkey because he was abrupt. The rabbit began to shed her fur, which fell in clumps and made the rabbit worry even more. She made comments about her shedding and the ox decided to ignore them. The rabbit turned to the ox and the snake started to slither away. The ox made irrational noises, which could be heard from the outside. They then ended the meeting.

    It is painfully obvious that the rabbit is at the center of attention because all of the other animals just ignore the complain of the rabbit. Now, does that rabbit have a ‘Real World’ counterpart to the character in the story? No, since fiction disguises all personal identities, the rabbit is without any 'Real World' counterpart whatsoever. If you thought that the snake, the ox, or the monkey cared at all about her, then you seemed concerned about something that should not concern you at all.

   So, was it right for the rest of zoo animals to leave the rabbit in the state that she was in? Once the rabbit expressed her feelings that she might be a victim of the natural disaster, then that was exactly when all of the other barn animals left her because they had nothing to say to her. Notice, that she was left alone in the house and that no disaster happened. Maybe you should ask yourself, "what is not being said here?" So, the 'meaning' is learning how to look outside of one's man-made house, but that answer won't solve your 'Real World' issue now, won't it?