Proof that I can bring liberal Christian view to anything

I attended a poetry event yesterday evening that included a man reading a poem while dressed as a bear, a poem about insects infesting vaginas, and a poem that is sure to end a marriage, if it hasn’t already.  Oh, and a painted penis (and I don’t mean a painting OF a penis).

In the age of Honey Boo Boo and Kim K’s booty, this is the level of spectacle required to get attention to poetry.  Our daughter is the absolute queen of this sort of spectacle, and my husband and I like to support her artistic endeavors, so we are frequently in the audience for this sort of thing.  Otherwise, I would probably never in my life attend an event that included penis-painting.

Now that we have ceased to be shocked by their bacchanalian shenanigans, we enjoy ourselves as outside observers of this counter-culture.  I’ve developed an affection for these young (and some not-so-young) people with their defiance of the conservative norms that I’ve lived by.  A healthy culture needs a counter-culture, a group of people who are pushing the boundaries of what society considers acceptable, who explore the mental dark corners and wild places that most of us avoid.  Margaret’s events bring a strong dose of humor to this exposure, but they are exposure nevertheless.  They are anarchic, they are sometimes offensive, they are pure spectacle.  And last night it occurred to me why this kind of art is important.  First, it is a howl of freedom.  But, more subtly, it insists on showing us the dark, messy, wild aspect of being human, the parts that we conservative, clean-living folks would rather forget about.  And it is therefore the antidote to the sin of Pride, to the notion of self-mastery, to the idea that on our own we could ever be as clean as we like to seem.

In short, it forces us to consider how desperately out of control we really are and why we need salvation.

2 Responses to “Proof that I can bring liberal Christian view to anything”

  1. Tommy Venet says:

    Kathryn you struck a chord in my heart with this article. It is a well written and honest assessment of these awesome people and their endeavors…I attended last year and was blown away by their love,talent,creativity and camaraderie. These fabulous people inspire, re-charge and motivate me. Being from an earlier generation and a former hippie I feel as though I traveled back to the future when I am in their presence. I love these poets dearly. I also see where Margaret acquired her literary talents. Thank you for this close to my heart review. Tommy

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