Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is Seattle really *this* embarrassing?

NY Times article

From an article on a Seattle pastor, who reconciles "Calvinism" (a doctrine that preaches that nothing we do on earth matters for our salvation, which is predetermined) with, uh, some stuff done on earth (wearing a skull t-shirt!!).

That there will always be some WILDLY uncool "cool" Christian dude ("Hey guys do you like PEARL JAM?") with facial hair is such a given, it doesn't require any commentary. So, when you are reading this Times article, prepare for some surprises as you try to stomach the suggestion that THESE things are "edgy":

  • "a black skateboarder's jacket and skull T-shirt"
  • " 'the cussing pastor' "
  • "fashionably distressed jeans and taste for indie rock"
  • "his taste for vintage baseball caps"
  • "members say their favorite movie isn't "Amazing Grace" or "The Chronicles of Narnia" — it's "Fight Club." "
  • "The front desk, black and slick, looked as if it ought to offer lattes rather than Bibles and membership pamphlets."
  • "retro T-shirts and [...] intimidating facial hair"
  • "the worship band was warming up for an hour of hymns with Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." "
Basically, here is an article the entire subject of which is this "bad boy" preacher, but not a single word suggesting that, if you knew this person, he would be the lamest guy you knew. Vintage baseball caps! Bruce Springsteen! Bad facial hair!! This image is so ludicrously uncool, it's hard to stifle your laughter as the author of the article treats these cultural signifiers of regular dude-ness as though it were 1991. Is a latte some kind of satanic marker that I'm unaware of?

Here is the most embarrassing thing you'll hear someone say this week, but it's even more embarrassing printed in an article about how tough and renegade the speaker is:

'He came to admire Martin Luther, the vulgar, beer-swilling theological rebel who sparked the Reformation. "I found him to be something of a mentor," Driscoll says. "I didn't have all the baggage he did. But you can see him with a quill in one hand and a drink in the other. He married a brewer and renegade nun. His story is kind of indie rock."'

Yikes! This Martin Luther guy is even cooler than Joey Lawrence!

1 comment:

Stuart Schrader said...

Maybe it's just because I've been indoctrinated with the sociology canon in the last few months, but I thought this article (and the "pastor") missed out the main point, which is that, as Weber says, Calvinism had an elective affinity with the beginning of modern capitalism. This pastor dude should capitalize on that and sell his religion as a get-rich quick scheme. One potential problem for beer-swilling facial-hair rockers is that laziness is verboten in said ethos. Bummer, dude.