Sunday, February 7, 2010

neo-Christian punk rock... Screaming anyone?

Although I've been planning a spectacular new blog post, I did not want to forgo the abundance of time and free fast internet that accompanies my visiting the pets at Mummy's house! So I thought I would share with you an idea that occurred to me in the past which has now reoccurred after watching these videos on Panti's blog, of two young people giving their "testimonies" at a 'born again' (?) Christian gathering. Watching the above evoked feelings of fascination, irritation, confusion and discomfort as is what happened when I watched the documentary Jesus Camp. But I think these "testimonies", the descriptions and experiences of invocation, are more interesting and complicated than some people allow for. This is what I said in response to Panti's blog:

I find these videos of young people and kids fascinating because it's like neo-Christian punk rock. On one hand they are being completely exploited and manipulated and on the other hand they are, from what I can see, accessing a space where they can freak out physically and vocally about whatever negative stuff is happening to them. By this I mean addiction, competitive relationships with their friends, self-hate - obviously it's completely ironic that he's "recovering" from the shame of homosexuality by repressing his own instinctual desire, and being encouraged that this denial is healthy which is what is fucked up and further, is totally at odds with the gush of love and acceptance of self the fella seems to experience at the end of his "testimony", which is actually really powerful. It kind of reminds me of the video footage and photographs depicting female Beatles fans having fits in the audience, the noise of which completely drowns out the sound of the music in one particular clip that comes to mind. I used to think any ONE of those women would make incredible front women - what with all that energy to dispose of... And I often found myself wondering if they were actually interested in the music at all, or was it the forum they were passionate about... The same question can be applied to the above - do these kids just need a place to rock out?

Odd observation:
I was very preoccupied with the writings of certain female mystics last year, and continue to be, so find it very interesting that the young woman says "I was on the floor screaming, I couldn't even contain it". In a particularly lucid and passionate passage by Saint Teresa of Ávila (who inspired Gian Lorenzo Bernini's the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa), she says:

I found myself dying of the desire to see God, and I knew no way of seeking that other life except through death. This love came to me in mighty impulses which, although less unbearable and less valuable than those that I have described before, robbed me of all power of action. Nothing gave me satisfaction, and I could not contain myself; I really felt as if my soul were being torn from me. O supreme cunning of the Lord, with what delicate skill did You work on Your miserable slave! You hid Yourself from me, and out of Your love You afflicted me with so delectable a death that my soul desired it never to cease!

Screaming anyone?

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