quinta-feira, 13 de maio de 2010

How to look good and still miss the point....

Today I sent a video, a very cool one, to my friends. It is a video that shows some of the absurdities that happen every Sunday morning.... How manipulative and artificial a church can be!

Here it is:

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

I said to myself, “Wow, at least somebody inside the system is having guts to denounce it.”

But you know, I have two problems: I have good friends that are aware of a lot of stuff, and I have this terrible habit of never considering that I'm done.

So a friend of mine did with me what I like to do with others. He asked me: “Are you sure?”. As I have been trained in critical thinking I always like to continue digging in search of answers for the important questions for critical minds: Not how and what, but WHY? In the interest of WHOM? For the sake of WHAT? Who wins? Who loses? And I found out that, the video, that stage, that structure and the lot of resources spent on that piece were really strange...

That stage belongs to somebody; all that equipment was not fantasy nor was it rented just for the sake of denunciaton; somebody knew the video was being made; the irony was not directed as self -criticism, but in order to criticize others....

Then, I found this other video ( and this is not a comedy...) made by the very same group, revealing where the stage was, to whom the equipment belonged , who were there, etc.

Title Package: "I Love My Church" from North Point Media on Vimeo.


There is a tendency that has become commonplace these days which is tryng to imagine what so- called postmodernism really is.

Since the late 90's there has been a lot of "bla bla bla" about postmodernism. But you know what, I prefer to call all this what Boaventura de Souza Santos calls: postmodernism of enthusiasm. This enthusiastic form of postmodernism is in an attempt to find something that will overcome what ever is now considered passé, whatever is no longer keeping up the hype, whatever is no longer satisfying (which, by the way, all the system's and empire's proposals end up doing).

It is the postmodernism that which clamors for more speed to win the race, gives more of the same medicine to heal the disease it has caused, builds more structures over the debris of the older ones without caring for the original soil that has been destroyed by the preceding one. This kind of illusion is exactly this: a kind of magic trick to distract people while the rulers keep the world running in the same direction. Because of this, I generally call this kind of postmodernism only a hyper-modernism.

I like to think that modernity as a 14 year-old girl that one day arrived in a factory and sent home all the old foremen saying: “ Ok, you can go home now, I have my own ideas about how to run the factory, I will bring light and growth to it, we are done with you, Good-bye”. Guess what would happen to the factory? And guess what is happening with our world?

Postmodernism has the chance to look like a 8 years old girl coming to replace the 14 years old one. And this can become even more messy. D you agree?

But.... thinking a little bit more, the 8 years old girl has a chance. And this will happen if, instead of trying to emulate the 14 years old one, at the end she stops trying to be more than she really is and assume she is only a little girl, and gives up and does what little girls know well: CRY and SCREEM “MOOOOMMMM, DAAAADY , GRANPAAAA, GRANDMAAAA, come and HELP ME”

By doing this, we could, in front of the present modern situation and crisis call back the old guys, the traditions and the grassroots; to help us to re-start the local parishes, the home churches; to learn, really learn, from the monks committed to simple life, to observe as learners to the original peoples and ask them to help us to recover the soil of our lives. We can try to let them teach us how to turn off our microphones, and start building other kind of cathedrals where the walls will be built by the limits of our naked voice; listening to those encouraging us to break the asphalt of our parking lots and transform them into gardens; dismount our structures and be brave enough to send people back home to their neighborhoods and ask them to use their money, resources and energy in their local setting and inside of a network of love here and there, in the world were they have real connections; to invite the traditional people to teach moderns what means a WE that is not the sum up of a bunch of “MEs”, but that WE is much more what defines who I am; to ask the peasants to show us how to accept human scale as the limits into were the Lord has planned as to live. With all that has been writen here, learn from them and try to embrace again three lost aspects modernity have stolen from us: the importance of limits, the beauty of renunciation and the expansion of the sacredness. To resume: to start dealing with modernity crisis not by going forward, but looking backward to what has been called by another master (Gustavo Esteva) a kind of Grassroots postmodernism.

Ah... by the way.., where was the stage?

Look at this website...


Well, maybe what I thought was subversive ended revealing that it is only the next wave saying, from the center of Empire, "Hey, come here, we have now the last Coke in the desert.... drink us, and you will never feel thirst again. This is how you must be from now, forget the old model, we have the new one for you to copy."

What about me? Well, I'll keep going to that old well , with the pure simple water, without addictives that can really kill my thirst forever.

10 comentários:

Dago disse...

Missing the north point... it seems?
Or am I not getting it?
I love the videos, but... are they criticizing themselves? Based on their webpage, they are exactly what they make fun of: planet cool-christian.

Claudio Oliver disse...

this is my point, they are criticizing the mirror.. but I don't know the guys.. the fact is that who is irrelevant, the what is that matter. As our dear caetano says "To Narciso, what is not a mirror is always uglly"

Jim Henderson disse...

It is the postmodernism that which clamors for more speed to win the race, gives more of the same medicine to heal the disease it has caused,

You are more insightful than I will ever be which is why your ideas are likely to be ignored -:)

Claudio Oliver disse...

yeah... you are right... but what can I do??? This is the burden.. but at the end, I have friends like you

Rene disse...

This is simply unbelievable! The first video is cool. But when you see the second and then the website, the whole thing becomes comic. Double fun! I loved it:‘Criticizing the mirror’. Great text Claudio! Rene

Rubinho Osório disse...

Por essas e outras, além do simples fato que Jesus nunca propôs a institucionalização da sua Igreja, é que deixei de ser membro de igreja.
Foi muito bom, apesar de deprimente, ver os videos e ler teu texto.

Claudio Oliver disse...

Valeu Rubinho
Estamos ai, sem membrezia na instituição, mas membros uns dos outros como membros somos de Cristo. VEndo-nos, não nos vendo e estando juntos sempre que possível

Mark Edwards disse...

I think some here may have missed the point.
Some critique and criticise. Others build the kingdom.
What would Christ have us do?
Be a critic slinging from the sides from the safety of a blog?
or reach people for Christ?

Claudio Oliver disse...

Hi MArk, Thanks for passing thru...
You are right.. some build their kingdons, it all that they cna do. Because the only One that Built The Kingdom was, is and will be God, the builder, forever. UNfortunatelly, even with our best effort, we can't do nothing to help him... because he doesn't need help based in His almighty will.
What would Christ wnat us to do?
BE loyal to him and remember that we always bring the evil within us and among us, not outside us, as an egg layed there not to be nested ... or it will give birth to a snake.
Come and visit me , you are welcome to my neighborhood and house. Come and see bro, there are much more dangers and threats than a superficial reading of an opinion in a blog can reveal, and more than reach people, there is a lot of adventure in be there in His name and reveal his grace and presence in our daily lives. Go ahead man, continue doing what He called you to do, and feel welcome to come, see and be a guess in our place , anytime you want. much love

Alexandre disse...

Ola Claudio, meu nome é Alexandre Almeida, tenho 31 anos, trabalho como cinegrafista e editor, moro em Brasília, te conheci através do site THE WORD OF THE PEOPLE, e eu queria te dizer que sou um admirador do seu trabalho aí em Curitiba, ví alguns vídeos sobre o seu projeto de evangelização e adorei, Deus tem te usado como instrumento de benção.
Gosto muito de vídeos que usam situações reais e com personagens reais para falar a o nosso coração como os do The work of the people. tenho vontade de fazer alguns trablhos como esses aqui na capital.
Recentemente fui ao Haiti, e fiz um vídeo sobre a situação de lá, realmente até então não sabia a dimenção sobre esse trabalho que é árduo, difícil mas porém gratificante, imagino.
Para mim ser missionário é: ultrapassar todas as fronteiras das coisas que são possível a Deus e chegar onde aquela pessoas que precisa de conforto, o milagre; A voz de Deus.

God Bless.

Um forte Abraço Cláudio.

Alexandre Almeida