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Friday, August 03, 2007

aesthetic of self denial: environmentalism/anti-consumerism

Why is environmentalism so not fun? Because, at some level, it preaches a message of self denial. Drive less, consume less, change the way you live. In this way, environmentalism and the larger "anti-consumerist" movement represent a modern, non religious variant of the aesthetic of self denial in the West.

I think the weakness of this whole version of the aesthetic of self denial is that it fully enclosed by capitalism. It is, in fact, a critique of the natural and probable results of industrial revolution and as such only retains it power so long as those excesses are present.

Any extension of these idea to the time before the industrial revolution is ridiculous, so that limits the power of the idea as well. But, on the other hand, it's lifestyle is more relevant to the problems of today then sitting in a cave in the Sinai Desert and not eating all day. So it has that going for it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hot Right Now: Monks, Monasticism, Asthetic of Self Denial



icon, originally uploaded by catdirtrecords.


Man, there is no denying the significance of the "middle ages" in modern culture. Peep comic con, peep heavy metal, peep... um... harry potter? THE MIDDLE AGES. One of the coolest aspects of the middle ages in my mind were the monks. And I'm not talking about druids here- I'm talking about monks. Christian monks.

The real ill shit when it comes to monks is not the peeps everyone thinks of- the Sean Connery, castle dwelling 14th century italian monks- no no- those monks are wack. The real monks are the one's from the near east before the adoption of Christianity as the official faith of Rome. They were straight up gangsters- and the practiced a strict, strict version of christianity that is more like a vibe you would equate with eastern religions today- mediation, self denial- that kind of shit. And they lived in caves in the middle of the desert. Hell yeah.

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