Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Point of Impact

00 'Byzantine' Fashion. Blasphemy. 06.03.13

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Some time ago, the public saw the new collection from famous fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana. They based it on Byzantine (New Roman) church art, including faces of the Virgin and the saints from icons, and holy Christian symbols serving as accessories and jewellery. We saw large crosses like those worn by bishops and other ecclesiastical regalia located below the belt of models, images of saints were painted on heels or on the genital area of clothing.

The reaction of the fashion world was quite subdued… critics accused the designers of lacking novelty and of using an overly-literal depiction of religious images. In fact, for a long time, the world of pop culture and show business has been accustomed to the frequent use of the sacred Christian symbols… jewellery in the form of a cross and pop divas prancing about in nun’s habits are quite commonplace. In addition, frankly satanic symbols are common in mass pop culture; it’s become a huge industry. Inverted crosses, pentagrams, and all the trappings of Satanism are an integral part of the subculture, including a subgroup of aesthetes associated with a cult of drugs and getting high, found in a wide range of rock music… from the psychedelic to the so-called “metal”.

Because Dolce and Gabbana toyed with Christian symbols in their fashion designs presented to the public, one could call it an exercise in sophisticated anti-Christian mass culture… was it just ordinary bourgeois boredom… was it even a kind of perverted “return to tradition?” However, this event is much more significant than just another attempt to put sacred Christian symbols into the mass industry of show business, for modern people have forgotten their true meaning. It shows the actual state of Western civilisation, which is post-Christian, or, rather, anti-Christian, and its idiosyncratic nature. We could describe this condition as “the point of impact”. In artillery jargon, this term refers to the point where a projectile hits the ground. In the current socio-cultural situation, we can talk about the final convergence of two vectors… mass culture and avant garde élite culture. These vectors mutually influence each other; they act as mutual catalysts, heightening their mutual velocities, leading modern civilisation into the abyss of rebellion.

The so-called modern élite culture includes contemporary art, rock music, and experimental cinema; it was and is a laboratory of mass culture, a factory for the development of meanings and images used by the fashion, entertainment, and advertising industries. This esoteric laboratory tests the readiness of the public conscience to accept new meanings and images. This testing takes place in the form of the removal of all conceivable constraints of traditional consciousness by levelling and destroying all its forms, especially religious ones.

The successive erasure of cultural memory, of the civilisational memory of God, accompanied by the destruction of religious codes has cultivated decomposition as an art form; it’s the source of the piles of money earned by the producers of mass culture. Fact is, this product, like any other, has its marketing and sales laws. That is, the person consuming it would then need to experience this again and again, thus, ensuring the reproduction. However, one doesn’t approach grounded and knowledgeable individuals (уцеломудренный), rather, one appeals to ciphers with a broken and disjointed will, because popular culture is addressed not to grounded and knowledgeable individuals with individual will, instead, it appeals to those who’ve subsumed their individuality in subordination to the zeitgeist.

Thus, popular culture has two successive and interrelated objectives… to dismember the human person, to excite their easily-aroused psychophysical instincts (e.g., sexual or of destructive urges), to spur them to act on them impulsively. Algorithms for working this equation were developed in the laboratory of avant garde culture and contemporary art. This contains a deeper meaning, a kind of anti-sacrament in contemporary art. If the Christian sacrament intends to bring reconciliation to a human soul soiled by sin, then, this anti-sacrament aims to bring about a complete destruction of the soul, taking something meant to be solid, smashing it, and scattering it to the winds.

To trace the basic trajectory of modern culture briefly, to recognise this laboratory in which, in particular, the anti-Christian strategy of mass culture germinates, it’s necessary to mention some figures that blazed its paths. They came from the radical wing of contemporary art, they founded the “trend”, which is moving (and which will move in the foreseeable future) modern civilisation. Of these radicals, in the first place, one could mention a member of the so-called “Vienna Actionism“, Georg Nietzsche, who exhibited his “work” in Moscow a few years ago. Mobile and fixed exhibitions from his Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries were supposedly illustrations of the Gospel events and use Christian symbols, including a crucifix submerged in a terrible and bloody bacchanal of naked body parts portraying an unbridled orgy. He used both artificial and real blood; he butchered animals and birds. This eerie pagan mystery went far beyond good and evil, being a demonstration of extreme satanic possession, in which the human form is completely lost.

In addition, one can’t fail to notice the activities of other known “artist” Oliviero Toscani, who works mostly in the genre of postmodern photography, often used in advertising. His photographs are widely used as advertising images; a clothing company used images that depicted Catholic priests kissing nuns. The advertisement was posted in Rome near the Vatican City walls, which resulted in a major scandal, which led, in turn, to a sharp increase in sales. This situation, by the way, in many ways illustrates the relationship of contemporary art and pop culture; it only stipulates that anti-Christian themes successfully work on the flywheel of mass production industry.

Most often, the objects of attack by “contemporary art” are the most holy and sacred symbols of Christianity, including the crucifixion. Blasphemous images of the Lord on the cross are a favourite “satire” of postmodernists, such as the image of a drunken crucified frog, with a beer in one paw and an egg in the other (Martin Kippenberg), or a series of photos of crucifixes immersed in glass cups filled with urine (Andres Serrano). It’s impossible not to mention the recent events that took place in Moscow and some other Russian cities. This was a series of exhibitions with a controversial anti-Christian theme and protest actions in some churches {that is, Pussy Riot was profoundly WESTERN; it had NO Russian roots whatsoever: editor}. It only exists on the periphery of our civilisational vector; however, post-Soviet contemporary culture repeats the verities of the West in the 60’s.

Thus, the glamorous, but no less blasphemous, collection of Dolce and Gabbana is an extension of and a watershed in the general anti-Christian vector of apostasy in the development of modern civilisation. Pop culture, which includes the world of fashion, draws techniques, meanings, and images from the laboratory of avant garde culture; it reproduces them, turning them into a well-packaged consumer product. Reproduced with stunning accuracy, one sees that the images of Christian art no longer inhabit a sacred space; one doesn’t even recognise them as relics of a bygone European culture. Now, they’re nothing more than scattered fragments, shards that lost their lost meaning, ghosts whispering of the existence of a dead European Christian civilisation. This posthumous existence of culture, revealed to us by two fluky sodomites, should finally lead us to an understanding of our place in the world and of our Christian cultural mission. In the final analysis, the death of Christian culture is our common problem; one can only say with bitterness the words of King David… The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God (Psalm 13.1).

NB:

Click on the URL below, the original Russian post has more images of this “creative” designer’s work…

BMD

6 March 2013

Andrei Yakhnin

Pravoslavie.ru

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/jurnal/59947.htm

Editor’s Note:

I’ll simply say this… the Left is more profoundly conservative in a real sense than any of the Righties are. The Right trumpets individualism and anarchic shrugging off of all limits (that’s what laissez-faire economics is all about). The Left says, “We’re in this together; we have to share what’s there”. There are more believers amongst communists in Russia than there are amongst pro-Western crapitalists. Reflect on that. Gennady Zyuganov was right… Christ WAS the first communist, and if we wish to have a godly and moral society, it basis MUST be rooted in socialism, not godless grasping crapitalism. ‘Nuff said…

BMD

Saturday, 24 March 2012

24 March 2012. A True “Point to Ponder” From One of My Kitchen Cabinet

Cooperation and the Corporate Good are Christian values… Greed and “Personal Responsibility” are Anti-Christian pseudo-values. What does that tell you about those who trumpet the virtues of Capitalism, Corporate Rule, and Consumerism (the Three Deadly “C”s)? Remember, the Scripture tells us that the Anti-Christ will “fool the ‘elect'”… that is, he’ll look like God, not the Devil. Then, reflect on what Radical American Sectarianism really points to… it’s scary, isn’t it? Christ or Jayzuss? Almighty God or the Almighty Dollar? It IS up to you… 

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Contrary to the “thinking” of “conservative” pseudo-“Christians”, egalitarianism isn’t antithetical to Christianity, but a lack of egalitarianism is indicative of paganism, as paganism’s polytheistic. Each individual (or in more primitive homogeneous societies, each group) feels himself subject to his own god or goddess. At a practical level, this means that the distinctive values, standards, goals, and laws of each deity govern the lives of that deity’s worshippers. Thus, pagan society’s polyvalent… a single moral standard doesn’t govern the lives of men, and, except by force majeure, no god, and no corresponding set of human values, is superior to any other one. Consequently, pagan societies tend to become inegalitarian (“unequal”). Different standards for different groups inevitably leads to factional competition (not cooperation); and, in time, force majeure, indeed, becomes the rule… might soon comes to make RIGHT. Zeus rules because he is strongest, for no other reason, he’s certainly NOT the wisest.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/jungians-and-gnostics-8

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

23 August 2011. Two of Whiteford’s Fanatical Cult Followers Attacked a Friend of Mine… Hands Off, Knuckleheads!

This typifies “Carol S” and Andrea Vangor… that’s all one needs to say. Do we want such Sectarian attitudes amongst us? I certainly don’t!

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It’s impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

William McAdoo

US Secretary of the Treasury (1913-18)

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Editor’s Foreword:

I’m going to give you two unhinged diatribes by Whiteford’s besotted parishioners attacking Kristi Koumentakos. I’m proud to call Kristi and her father Alex my friends. Hey, if these nappy-wearing schmidiots were attacking me, well, I’d leave ‘em be… I wouldn’t validate their nasty and boorish vapourings by acknowledging them. You guys know what I say, you know what they say about me, and you’ve made up your own minds on the matter. I don’t need to defend myself further. However… they attacked a friend of mine… that’s NOT kosher in my book. If you attack anyone in my family (or in Nicky’s family… bar none), or savage any of my friends, you’re my enemy, and I’m your implacable foe… full stop. That’s the Russian way… that’s the Slavic way… hell, that’s the decent way. No good Christian stands aloof when spiteful sorts attack family members or friends. I’ll take a ton o’ shit from those who pounce on me (I’ve gotten used to low blows and hidden coshes by now). On the other hand, expect a Zaporozhian reaction if you attack my family or friends.

Firstly, I’m going to give you the posts, then, I’ll give my commentary. You can guess the tone of it… the cruelty and self-possessed hypocrisy that these konvertsy brats show is breathtaking…

BMD

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Diatribe One:

It is true that seminary education is no guarantee; however, no seminary education is no guarantee either. It has as much to do with the individual as it does the education. Yes, indeed. But those who have not met Fr John have no idea of the totality of his ministry… the internet is only a small portion. Fr John has a growing wonderful parish in the Houston area, while sadly, there are some Orthodox priests in this country who are “museum curators and undertakers”… nice historic buildings but not much spiritual growth there. What really bothers me about this recent discussion is that it seems people don’t want to be told how to live or what to do, even when it comes from the Bible or the Church Fathers. Is this where American Orthodoxy is heading… to be like the Roman Catholic church in America where the church officially teaches one thing, but everyone ignores it and does what pleases them? Or, so that we don’t have to be hypocrites, let reshape the Church as we please?

Just wondering,

Carol

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Diatribe Two:

You are so right, Carol. I have to suppose that some people think they’re being bullied when they lose an argument for which they are not equipped. If you can’t debate a point about Orthodoxy based on the Scriptures, the Fathers, or the Councils, you just can’t win. No point in getting upset about it. It’s generally our pride that hurts, and it’s our pride that makes us want to lash out when we lose the argument. Surely, a lot of this attitude comes from the years of scandal in the OCA. People just got into the habit of disrespecting the clergy and can’t break it. They… we… all suffer, too, from the modern disease of fancying that our feelings are of paramount importance. It’s amazing how many adults still cling to this belief even in a tough economy. The hardest thing for any of us to learn is how to accept correction for the good of our souls. Winston Churchill said that he always enjoyed learning but did not enjoy being taught.

Andrea Vangor

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The Russian Market: Satan Reigns There

Vasili Ostrovsky

2004

John Whiteford is a rabid rightwinger… THIS is what he believes in… THIS is what he propagates… may God have mercy on him and those he’s misleading… anyone who argues for the “Free” Market argues for the demonic empowerment of wealth and greed, there’s no getting around it.

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Editor’s Afterword:

These diatribes are breathtaking in their self-centredness and hypocritical judgement of the entire world about them. “What really bothers me about this recent discussion is that it seems people don’t want to be told how to live or what to do, even when it comes from the Bible or the Church Fathers”. Izzat so? An ignoranus convert is jumping up and down demanding to be heard… well, Missy… the first thing that you have to do is to acquaint yourself with what the REAL leaders of the Church say (such as Patriarch Kirill and Vsevolod Anatolyevich), not what your benighted cult guru Whiteford says. Secondly, stop bugling about the bible and the Fathers… you obviously don’t have the intellectual or spiritual background to “discern the spirits”.

You’re no St Serafim Vyritsky, who prayed for a thousand days and nights on a rock for the victory of the Soviet forces in the VOV… you’re no Patriarch Sergei Stragorodsky, who accepted a living crucifixion in order to save the Church (Elder Vitaly of Jordanville spoke of Patriarch Sergei’s great podvig)… you’re no Fr Mikhail Shuvar, who sealed his faith in his blood. John Whiteford is a rightwing lunatic who supports the enemies of the Church in the rodina. I’ll tell you who stood up for the Church and stood TALL… the Communists stood up and defended the Church when American-financed and -led “Westernisers” attacked the Church in the Ukraine. The Komsomol activists formed armed bodyguards around the bishops, they protected the parish churches from Uniate and schismatic mobs, and they treated the clergy with real (not phoney) respect. Your precious John Whiteford supports an evil rightwing political ideology that’s in active opposition to everything that the Church teaches.

You shouldn’t be attending to such a detestable anti-Christian man… listen to His Holiness, instead! The patriarch said that many people have given their souls over to the devil, falling under the influence of thoughts and behaviours “that obsess modern mankind today, without even mentioning their complete enslavement to the rule of the sensual passions. These people think that they’re heroes, that they’re strong… because they have power, because they have money and influence, they can satisfy any of their desires and whims. They feel themselves free of all bonds, including those from God. They don’t realise that their ‘power’ is just slavery, that they’re pathetic puppets of the devil. Only when they realise that everything’s failed, when their life’s broken, when they find out that there are no friends, no lovers, or no family with them… that there’s nothing left to them but their passions… only then could some of them, unfortunately, not all of them, come to comprehend what’s happened to them”. Kirill Mikhailovich is talking of the demonic and greedy ideology of Neoliberal “conservatism” (he also speaks openly of the fraudulence of the “Free” Market)… the US Republican Party has been hijacked by those who openly fly the black flag of nihilism… His Holiness attacks the very consumer society that John Whiteford defends by his espousal of depraved unbelievers such as Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin (the latter snake is particularly vile as she’s a Jayzuss Jumper).

Also, note, “I have to suppose that some people think they’re being bullied when they lose an argument for which they are not equipped”. I beg your pardon! I’ve FORGOTTEN more about Orthodox history and culture than these silly semi-converts have EVER known or shall know! I shall NOT dignify this with a long counter-argument. Simply look at the following video links… they’re the fruit of our Orthodox Russian culture:

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THIS is why these semi-converts have to shut up. They’re bezkulturny suppliants… they’ve NOTHING to teach us… they’ve no culture, no narod, no real history (they’ve had no Smuta, the Mongol Yoke, or the VOV… all these posturing poseurs taken together don’t equal one blokadnik who survived the 900 days). This is especially true of loudmouthed former Sectarian heretics; for Sectarianism (which is a satanic simulacrum of Christianity) has given the world no novelists, no musicians, no composers, no dancers, no actors, no dancers, and no poets. By their fruits, ye shall know them… indeed! The fruit from our Orthodox Russian culture is abundant and sweet… the fruit from Sectarian posturing is meagre and bitter (as these two diatribes illustrated even to the slow learners). Where is their Ilya Glazunov? Their Valentin Rasputin? Their Valery Gergiev? Their Natalia Bessmertnova? They don’t have any, which is proof positive that, since they have no fruits, they don’t have God either.

Stay away from Kristi! If you continue, I’ll hear of it, and I’ll defend her to the utmost. I’ll not allow self-absorbed ignorant harpies to attack my friends, and that’s that. Don’t mess with Russians, or with our friends, or you’ll find out what we’re made of. To end this, here’s a poem that illustrates our attitude:

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St John the Baptist Chapel in the Piskarovsky Memorial Cemetery

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Здесь лежат ленинградцы

Здесь горожане — мужчины, женщины, дети.
Рядом с ними солдаты-красноармейцы.
Всею жизнью своею
Они защищали тебя, Ленинград,
Колыбель революции.
Их имён благородных мы здесь перечислить не сможем,
Так их много под вечной охраной гранита.
Но знай, внимающий этим камням:
Никто не забыт и ничто не забыто.

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Here Lay Leningraders

Here are city dwellers, men, women, and children
Next to them, Red Army soldiers.
They defended you, Leningrad,
The cradle of the Revolution
With all their lives.
We cannot list their noble names here,
There are so many of them under the eternal protection of granite.
But know this, those who regard these stones:
No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten.

Olga Berggolts

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Albany NY 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

30 July 2011. A Point to Ponder… Who’s the REAL Foe?

Here’s how Christians and Muslims truly get on… don’t listen to Fox News or to John Whiteford…

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This is from an article in the Spectator that I found interesting:

It’s a shame that [they] didn’t spend more time explaining the threat that secularism poses to the Christian world. Nobody raised the idea that aggressive Islamism is a response to aggressive secularism. Our “decadent” secular societies appal Muslims across the world, and they’re prepared to resist violently what they see as our “imperialist” liberal culture. Christians often catch the sharp end of their anti-secular rage. This isn’t in any way to excuse Muslims who commit violent acts. However, the problem starts with a domineering liberal secular culture that leaves religious people (Christian, Muslim, Sikh, whichever) alienated and angry.

If there’s “Christianophobia”, the threat comes from aggressive secularists, not from Muslims, as the Italian court case Lautsi vs Italy illustrated abundantly. Furthermore, most secular people aren’t our enemies. Who’re our enemies? The godless rich who worship at Mammon’s altar (including those who make a loud profession of their “Christian” beliefs)… “I believe in money; I don’t believe in God”. Interestingly enough, they’re the enemies of most secular folk, too. We shouldn’t be attacking those who’re just as aggrieved by the present situation as we are. Beware those who whip up anti-Muslim hatred… do check out their agenda. Many (such as Hilarion Alfeyev) are more closely tied to the oligarchs (and their grasping and soulless greed) than is comfortable for a Christian…

BMD

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