Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Digital View of our Themes

1. Ad Fontes: I think we are becoming increasingly interested in the past and the "sources." One example I can think of is my brother's obsession with classic hip hop music. There is plenty of hip-hop music today that he could listen to, but he chooses and actually enjoys the classic hip hop sound much better. There is something about the "classic" and "original" idea of something that makes us gravitate toward it more than what is mainstream in our culture.

2. Brave New Worlds: In a sense, I think this whole digital culture we have now is a New World. I'm taking a Digital Culture class and we're studying Digital Rhetoric by Douglas Eyman. He implies that this digital world is so new, that we don't completely know what to do with it yet and we don't fully know what the consequences are going to be in the long run. With that being said, I think our digital culture and our courage to venture into this new world is brave (especially by those who are not digital natives).

3. What A Piece of Work is Man: Yes, what a piece of work is man as displayed in their Facebook updates and tweets. On one hand I think that we are able to see the goodness in people on a wide-scale through the digital world. The Church is able to spread news and messages of our divine nature to thousands in an instant. People can share good acts of people on their pages with all their friends. This reminds me of a video that I watched on Facebook that my cousin posted about a man who gave a homeless man $100. The man followed the homeless man to see what he would do with the money, only to discover that he went to the store and bought all the other homeless people in the community food. Videos like this show us the goodness of man. Other posts (I'm sure we're all familiar with) are less positive, sprinkled with swear words (probably misspelled, too) and other trashy or unnecessary photos. I think more than ever we're exposed to the wonder that is man.

4. Plough Boys and Bibles: Like the Reformation, I think there is an increase in self-awareness and the ability to find things out on our own through the internet. It might not always be about religion, but information is now easily accessible to thousands. For example, the Church has answered a number of controversial issues on the website, a place where anyone can find it, read it, and maybe even do more research on their own. The Church welcomes members and non-members to investigate on their own and they are able to do that partly through the internet and its website.

5. Typographia Conservatix: Jacob mentioned that the printing era is dying out and I really hope it doesn't. I still would prefer a hard copy of a book over an ebook. The Church has encouraged its members to bring electronic versions of scriptures and other things to Church which is a different spin on this theme since the printing is electronic now. Which makes it even more wide-spread and even easier to use.

6. Sprezzatura: One thing that I think is still dominant in our digital culture from this theme is having the air of doing difficult things with ease, the court "swag." This shows in our digital world through the types of things people post. We want to post pictures of the interesting things in our life, to show others that we have cool life, to show our fancy activities and fancy clothes, to show that we have an air of "court swag." In our class discussion we talked about how most of our posts, if taken honestly and realistically as a reflection of our lives would be quite average. Yet, through our posts and this digital age we continue to highlight the extraordinary and interesting part of our lives to show that we are adventurous and well-learned like those in the court during the Renaissance.

1 comment:

  1. Ad Fontes as a sort of "originalism" or "retro mystique" is an interesting idea. What about Petrarch made him seek out the great Romans of antiquity?

    My hip-hop preferences definitely intersect with your brother's. I think the Black Eyed Peas's first two albums were their only good ones, and I'd just as soon listen to The Roots as Jay Z (and, if we're playing Jay Z, it's his old stuff). But, along with a number of old-school rockers, I also listen to a lot of obscure modern stuff -- if you've never heard of Shad or Grieves, it's because I'm the only one in the valley that listens to them. But hipster cred aside, I think what makes these musicians more appealing than the mainstream is a combination of lost art and unappreciated genius, both of which have a sort of essential humanity to them. The classic hip-hop techniques, flows and concepts have mostly been relegated to the sidelines in favor of hard beats, rapid tempos and wanton sexuality.

    I'm trying to imagine Petrarch and Cicero with this sort of lens. Did Petrarch see the works of Cicero and Homer as less corrupt and more technically proficient than contemporary works? Is this the general appeal of Ad Fontes? Do we still study Shakespeare because part of us believes that Stephen Sondheim is an over-popular hack?

    The sources survive in subtle ways through modern lit, but we think that they are more than that and it's important to ask ourselves why.