Tag Archives: art

Chariots of Iron Stained Glass Chariot

20 Nov

I’ve posted this up on my main craft blog, but I thought it would be relevant here. (Check out the craft blog if you get a chance)

The other day I found some materials to make stained glass like crafts and hit upon the idea of making a light box for one of my favorite podcasts, The Chariots of Iron. I took their logo, enlarged it, cleaned it up, altered it to look like stained glass, and then spent all night long until the sun came up working on it.

You don’t understand free speech!

12 Jul

A minute ago I learned on the BBC international news broadcast that a court in Russia has ordered a group of artists to pay a fine and face possible jail time. Their crime? They did an art exhibit on censorship which included pictures of Mickey Mouses’ head superimposed on Jesus’ body. They were found guilty of “inciting religious hatred” and the exhibit on censorship was censored. I feel like I could explode right now. They had some orthodox clown on the radio saying how he supports freedom of speech, BUT, you can’t insult other people. That’s not fucking freedom of speech!!!!! No! You DO NOT support freedom of speech you tyrannical asshole! Freedom of speech means people can say whatever they want (no matter how offensive) as long as they are not infringing on other’s rights! If I wanted to paint a homosexual orgy painting with all the major religious figures engaging in sodomy, then I can draw it! It is my right!

“Inciting religious hatred” is like imprisoning a rape victim because her short skirt was “inciting lust”! The artists have the right to draw those paintings! They are not criminals! If a bunch of orthodox nut cases start rioting, then THEY are the criminals. They are the ones out in the streets breaking property and hurting people, not the artists exercising their freedom of speech. Look, there are not many things in this world that are black and white issues, but free speech is one of them. Either you support it or you don’t. Either you support the right of other people to offend you or you do not. It is the foundation upon which progress is built. I have a sick feeling most people don’t support this radical idea of free speech. Fine, take it away, watch the world delve back into the dark ages. Perhaps when enough people have suffered, when enough blood has been shed, perhaps then you’ll finally understand the importance of free speech and why generations before us died to protect it.

The rape of reason

19 Jun

I just finished watching Agora, the story of the famous female philosopher (and possibly Atheist) Hypatia of Alexandria.

In case you don’t know about Hypatia of Alexandria, here’s a quick bio: Born sometime between 350 and 370 CE, was a Greek woman living in Roman Egypt, was one of the first notable women in mathematics, also taught philosophy and astronomy. She was also a neoplatonist.

In March of 415 CE, a mob of angry christians attacked Hypatia and dragged her to their new Caesareum church. There  they took tiles and broken clay pots and proceeded to cut the skin off her body. When she was  completely flayed they burned her alive.

This was all condoned and encouraged by “Saint” Cyril of Alexandria. Under his reign all non-christians were persecuted, murdered, and imprisoned. The great bastion on knowledge, the Library of Alexandria, was pillaged and burned. The murder of Hypatia is considered by some to mark the end of classical antiquity.

Why is it that so often throughout history mobs of religious fanatics feel they have to burn books and destroy art?

I know why, but it just makes me sick. When I see art being destroyed, any kind of art, I just want to vomit. When people do it for religious reasons it makes me want to kill them. For instance, in the movie Agora, when the christian mobs go running through the library burning and destroying the greatest collection of knowledge in the world, all in the name of religious ignorance, nothing would give me more pleasure than to walk around them with a chain saw and calmly disembowel them all. Same is true for anyone who destroys art or books.

What is with this urge to make life as shitty as possible? Just watching those mobs sack the library, they’re like mindless insects infected with a virus. They scurry around killing and burning, compelled by this bullshit they’re infected with. They must destroy all that is good a beautiful in the world because it does not fit with the truth they have decided upon. How I wish I could kill them all.

It’s a power thing really. There is a reason why whenever a dictator takes over the first thing he does is persecute the intellectuals. Uneducated people are easily controlled. They don’t question, they don’t think, the dogma of religion suits them perfectly. Books and art are a threat to those in power. They compel people to think. When you are certain beyond all doubt that you, and only you, have knowledge of absolute truth, destroying art that disagrees with you is no shame. It just shows your insecurities and lack of faith by destroying art. What do you have to fear from a book or painting if you have the truth? Shouldn’t your truth be strong enough to stand on it’s own without the help of book burnings? It’s true that religion hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

An Atheist visits a Cathedral

11 Aug

While I was in the UK for the past 3 weeks, I visited several old churches, the most grand of which was York Minster Cathedral.

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Now, despite being an Atheist, I LOVE visiting old places of worship, whether they be pagan, christian, or whatever. (I visited some old temples of Mithras while I was there too) Most normal houses of worship are small, humble buildings, but cathedrals are enormous, bold structures. They stand out along the skyline; they are built as a statement of god’s power, and the power of those who commissioned the work.

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I must admit, when I walked in my jaw dropped. I was just in awe of the sheer size of the place. I felt insignificant and fleeting in the face of the enormous stone pillars which have held this monument up for centuries. The beauty and intricacy of the artwork and statues took my breath away. I was reduced to a small child, wandering around aimlessly, captivated by it all.

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And that is exactly what the cathedral was meant to do. That is exactly the affect the builders wanted to illicit. Cathedrals, unlike regular churches, are propaganda machines in their very structure. They are meant to overwhelm the visitor with their size, complexity, and beauty. They are supposed to make the visitor feel insignificant in the presence of god.

I admitted to my self that if I went to church every Sunday in a place like this, I would feel more compelled to believe. ( I still wouldn’t believe, but I can see the allure of the place) Here is the twist to think about. Believers who are amazed by the place as much as everybody else see it as a symbol of god’s might and the insignificance of mankind. What they don’t stop to think about it who built the place. Humans built the place. Humans carved the artwork, cut the stones, and constructed the intricate stained glass windows. No one ever stops to realize that cathedrals are just as much a monument to human engineering, to the human spirit, as they are to god.

That’s insulting

1 May

As my religions class is winding down for the semester, we’ve been participating in class debates. A topic that has come up several times is what to do about something that some people find offensive. We’ve talked about controversial art work, cartoons, songs, books, and even about just verbally criticizing a religion.

Usually when the religious people in the class see something that is offensive to them they think it should be banned or censored. But why? Why should they be given special treatment? What about people who they offend? What if their entire religion offends me? Can I ask for it to be banned? What if the image of the crucifix offends me? Can I say that it is obscene and should be banned?

They see a symbol of their savior, I see a Roman torture and execution device that signifies their belief that all human beings are wicked sinners who need to buy their product if they want to be saved. It offends my intelligence and my views of the essential goodness of humanity. It’s insulting.

But no, for some reason they feel they deserve preferential treatment.