Friday, 5 February 2010

7 Quick Takes (XXVIII)

1. In case you were curious, I did not encounter the Jehova's Witness people on Saturday, as I was sleeping in when they came by. I also went for a walk in the woods this day.

2. I don't recall anything terribly fascinating happening at St. Thomas' on Sunday. One of the newer Lay Readers did the service all by herself, which I thought was unnecessary. While a Morning Prayer service does not really require a server, and so the officiant usually tells the server for that Sunday that they are not required to be up there, I make a point of serving anyway. After all, I wouldn't want to do it alone. Furthermore, this was the Lay Reader's first time officiating without the deacon with her. However, I wasn't serving, so if she told her server that she didn't have to do it and her server chose not to, it really isn't my place to say, "Well, then, I'll just butt in here and serve anyway!"
I went for a walk in the woods this day, too.
3. I fell ill on Monday and took the day off work. This persisted throughout the week.
Over the course of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I watched the entirety of Battlestar Galactica, Season 3. The whole thing. I don't usually go overboard like that, but I found the show fixating. It has pretty much anything that someone would want to watch. Action. Romance. Politics. Intrigue. Strategy. Honour. Dishonour. Friendships. Sex. Domestic disputes. Medicine. Religion. Philosophy. Timely ethical quandries. Spaceships. Prophecies. Hallucinations (which can also be prophecies). Sexy robot-clones. Babies.
What I like about Battlestar Galactica is that it doesn't use science-fiction strictly as a form of escapism; it uses the possibilities science-fiction provides to create a number of emotionally-engaging scenarios which encourage us to ask questions about our own society. Furthermore, it does not posit that developing new technologies is an answer to society's problems, but instead shows characters making political, social, and individual decisions to solve these problems (though the solutions do not always work). And unlike a lot of science fiction, it looks at religion not as a human byproduct due for removal by a rational society, but as quite possibly true. That is, the religious prophecies in Battlestar Galactica tend to be right, and metaphysical/supernatural things happen which the characters find themselves unable to explain. By the same token, the show is honest about religious pluralism and the darker sides of some religious traditions. Overall, it's quite refreshing to see a science-fiction show demonstrate this awareness, sensitivity, and openness. In my experience, sci-fi is either relentlessly scientistic-atheist or else very biased towards Eastern and perhaps New Age sources.
Consider this a plug for the show.

4. I went for a walk down to Conn Creek on Tuesday, hoping that fresh air and excercise would clear my system and help me get better. While I discovered a number of trails in a new section of this bush, I also was exhausted far quicker than usual and did not feel well that evening. (Or, felt worse than usual.)
What I like about the bush around Fort McMurray is that there is such diversity in so small an area. You consistently find new "areas" that have different vegetative growth, different geological conditions, and therefore a different aesthetic. (Most forested areas are equally as diverse, in my experience, it's just that I don't get to explore them as extensively as I can here.)
I also watched some Corner Gas this day.

5. Wednesday... Wednesday... I think I read a lot and watched more Corner Gas. The life of the ill is unexciting.
Oh, I spent some time revising my fiction idea. This means that the first half-dozen to a dozen pages that I wrote are now irrelevent.

6. On Thursday I went to the hospital to see if I had an inner ear infection, but, no, I just have a stomach virus.
I think they design hospitals to exacerbate your symptoms. I felt more unwell than usual there.
Anyway, I watched many TED Talks yesterday. Many. If I watch the right ones, I get very excited about new media.
I had an idea some time ago, but I think that here and now is a good time to unveil it: Religion is the oldest form of multimedia. It is a whole experience that involved so many different media/genres. Consider entering a church or cathedral (Catholic, Orthodox, or High Anglican make the best examples here). In one service, you most likely get these artistic forms (ie. media):
  • architecture
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • furniture design
  • stage arrangement/blocking
  • floral arrangement
  • incense
  • lighting (candles)
  • fashion/clothing (vestments)
  • embroidery (vestments again)
  • instrumental music
  • singing (often different styles and different languages)
  • rhetorical oration (sermon)
  • theatre/performance (rituals like the Eucharist and responsive readings)
  • chanting
  • narrative writing (Gospel and OT readings)
  • discursive writing (Epistle readings)

In other congregations you would have dance and choreography and, perhaps, film. These are all presented in a 360 degree environment in a carefully planned sequence (which itself is laden with meaning). Furthermore, it's interactive. We may think that blending genres is avante-garde, but scholars tell us poets have been doing it since at least the Middle Ages. I would say that people have been blending genres since humans began to worship, and I don't care if you're a creationist or an evolutionist, I think we can all agree that worship is pretty darn old.

7. I went to work for three hours today. I did some stuff that I needed to do, and then I went home. I'm still not feeling well, and I thought I was wasting my own time and my employers money being at work today. I won't get into it.
The boss for the moment said that I should go home, that I was likely burnt out and just needed the break. I suppose it's possible that my illness is really my body's way of taking a week off and compelling me to follow suit. Stupid body.

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1 comment:

Rae said...

Walks in the woods are good. I miss them, but I guess that it would be wrong to complain about walks by the ocean.

I like your thought about religion being the oldest form of multimedia. I am not sure how one would separate out which cultural elements are entirely "religious" and which are extra-religious, but I suspect that you are correct.

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