Can art be mad?

Dr. Leonard Peikoff has an interesting lecture where he compares the most abstract of modern art and schizophrenia:


What do you think?

RIP: Leonard Nimoy – Star Trek’s Spock and legend of stage and screen

Excellent spiritual look at the life of Leonard Nimoy from The Geek Girl Project:


RIP: Leonard Nimoy – Star Trek’s Spock and legend of stage and screen

Friends and Fans Mourn Leonard Nimoy's Passing

Leonard Nimoy, 83, passed away at at his Bel Air  home in Los Angeles Friday, February 27, 2015 of end stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy had announced he was suffering from the condition last year. Nimoy, better known as his character from Star Trek, Mr. Spock, with a stage, screen, and television career spanning over 60 years, has left an indelible mark on our culture to this day.

The son of Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants began acting as a child in local and children’s theaters in his home of Boston, Massachusetts. He entered the Army in 1953, eventually serving in Army Special Services in which he  wrote, narrated, and emceed programming and even starred in a film for the Navy on  Combat Psychiatry during the Korean War.

Leaving the Army, he began working in Hollywood, mostly as a “heavy” in film and on such television shows a Perry Mason, Bonanza, Rawhide, The Untouchables, Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits,  and Dragnet. He began to receive more small rolls in films, such as an Army sergeant in the 1954 sci-fi classic Them.

While on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., shortly before his most iconic role, he met and forged a friendship with another actor that would last his lifetime: William Shatner. Nimoy went on to say later of this friendship, “We were like brothers.” Spock, a role that Nimoy had a love/hate relationship with over the years, became the role that he was most recognized as, even going as far as to name his first autobiography, I Am Not Spock in 1975. Despite this original resentment with being recognized more for his character than for himself, he did come to terms with this later in life, titling his second autobiography, I Am Spock in 1995.

Nimoy was much more than Spock though. Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, he embraced his faith. He produced a film, Never Forget,  based on the pro bono lawsuit of  William John Cox on behalf of Mel Mermelstein whom Nimoy played, an Auschwitz survivor, refuting Holocaust deniers. He stated in 1995, “If every project brought me the same sense of fulfillment that Never Forget did, I would truly be in paradise.” He also lent his voice  as a narrator and voice artist for such programs as NBC’s In Search of…, The History Channel’s Ancient Mysteries, and animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire in 2001, voicing Galvatron for the Transformers: The Movie in 1986 and Sentinel Prime in Transformers: The Dark of the Moon in 2011.

Not only was Nimoy an actor, producer, and writer, but he also was a photographer and recording artist, producing 5 albums with Dot Records, the first being Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space. He went on to do several more albums with songs with science fiction, cover versions of popular music, and folk music themes, incorporating singing and spoken word. Some of the more memorable of these songs being Proud Mary and Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.

Nimoy left us a nugget of wisdom in his final Tweet, which he signed off with LLAP “Live Long and Prosper.”

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Coptic Christians murdered by ISIS recognized as martyrs

The Coptic Christian’s murdered by ISIS in their gruesome public beheadings were added to the Coptic Churches list of Martyrs and the icon pictured above was done to commemorate their martyrdom. Check out the whole story.

You might ask what this has to do with SuperversiveSF, i’m not sure, but this is important and worth mentioning. I hope I have the courage to die as bravely as these brothers in Christ when my time comes.

Why are Christian movies so awful?

Vox has an interesting article up asking why Christian movies are so universally awful. You can read the whole thing here and it is mainly discussing 50 shades of Grey and the christian alternative to it Old Fashioned, the main selling point of which seems to be, “We definitely aren’t 50 shades of Grey”.

The deeper question it asks though, is why this sort of christian film making, music and all the rest is so universally awful. I’m slightly surprised over all because I would have thought the answer would be obvious. This sort of “christian” art production tends to be awful for the same reason that SJW art tends to be awful. They each have a message they want to push and they will sacrifice everything about good story telling to making sure they force feed you the message. The messages are obviously different but the underlying problem is the same, they are making propaganda not art.

A good deal of contemporary Christian art is predicated on the sacred/secular divide: As Christian film critic Alissa Wilkinson noted, “Christians, and evangelicals in particular, have been really, really prolific in making pop culture products that parallel what’s going on in mainstream cultural production.”

To illustrate this point, Wilkinson references a poster many ’90s Evangelicals will remember quite well: the “If you like that you’ll love this” chart. The chart features two columns. The first reads, “If you like that.” It contains the names of secular bands. The second reads, “You’ll love this.” It contains — you guessed it — Christian bands with similar, if sanitized, sounds.

If the chart were around today, it might say “If you like YouTube, you’ll love GodTube,” or “If you like Twitter, you’ll love Gospelr.” Or “If you like — and/or abhor — S&M sex, then you’ll love this movie about chastity.” These artistic replacements are intended to satisfy the Christian’s cravings for the secular, harmful version.

The end result is that the Christian product seems like a knock-off, a cheap alternative.

It isn’t problematic that Christians “borrow ideas” from Hollywood and put their own spin on them. Every film genre does this. But given the Christian doctrine of creation, it is certainly surprising that so many Christian filmmakers — and artists in general — would choose to mimic someone else’s vision, rather than cultivate their own.

It’s surprising because, in Christian theological terms, God is not the one who makes knock-offs. In the opening chapters of the Bible, God creates the universe, and he tells Adam and Eve to enjoy it all — except for that one tiny tree over there. It’s Satan who comes along with a counterfeit offer: What did God really say? Did he really give you true freedom? He may have given you a garden, but I’ll give you an apple. If you like that, you’ll love this.

Modern Art Madness

Can you tell the difference between art produced by a child and a modern artist? Business insider has a quiz up that asks you to Guess what art sold for at auction comparing modern art works to childs art projects. Can you tell the difference? Most of the questions have 3 options so a chicken should score about 30% just guessing. Can you do better?

Art is selling for record prices these days. Christie’s recently held the biggest art auction ever, selling half a billion dollars worth of art in a single evening.

But look through the auction results, and you may find yourself scratching your head.

In this quiz, we’ll test your art savvy: Some of these works are incredibly valuable, while others were posted by the proud parents of grade-school children on Flickr. Can you tell which are which?

Take the Test Now!