Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Graffiti – an Art or a Crime?

Graffiti is a pretty big thing in New Zealand. Under every bridge, in every hard to get to place, It’s everywhere! But the question that keeps coming up: Is it art? There isn’t a clear yes or no answer to that question, but there are many different opinions and theories on the subject. What I am going to say is that there isn't a clear yes or no answer because the answer is yes and yes.

Now many snobby classical artist and those who appreciate their art, would usually say that it is not art. They would say the same things about graffiti that they said about Impressionism, Abstract and Cubism. They would say that it is not art, and that only their way of doing things is really art. In fact art doesn’t have rules, you can’t have rules. If art had rules it would be a science. The only reason art ever does have rules, is so people can break them. So, that means that graffiti is therefore art, not necessarily art in the way we think of it, but still art.

So that isn’t the problem then. The problem people have with graffiti (or the only problem reasonable people should have with graffiti), is that it can be destructive. The fact that people create their art on other people’s private property is the problem. This is the vandalism part of it, this is the crime part of it. This big argument that is going on, hasn’t reached a solution because the people on “opposing sides” of the argument, aren’t actually on the same argument. They are arguing different things. One side is argueing that graffiti is an art form, and others are arguing that it is vandalism. They are bot right, but they are taking about different things. In reality, both these groups are extremely narrow minded.

Neither of them is looking at the big picture. Those who are saying it is art, are overlooking the fact, that usually where they do their art is on people public property. And those people generally don’t want that art on their fence. However, the people complaining that graffiti isn’t art,are overlooking the fact that is still art. Even if it is somewhere it shouldn't be. If Leonardo da Vinchi painted the Mona Lisa on their fence, they would complain calling it vandalism. But because the Mona Lisa was painted on a canvas it is considered one of the greatest painting in history. Now I am not saying that people should go inside and do their graffiti on a big canvas. That would no longer be graffiti (or street art if you prefer the term). So how do we fix this problem? It’s simple really.

Many city's in Australia have attempted to stop vandalism by providing specific walls, dedicated to street art, where graffiti artists can go and do their work without breaking the law, or damaging property. By doing that, street art can continue in its age old traditions.

So, this argument is ludicrous and narrow-minded, Graffiti is art. But it is art in the wrong place. If both the ‘artists’ and the ‘victims’ opened their eyes a little they could see that. If we made specific environments to channel these artists talent and passion, we could solve the problem very quickly.

However, knowing bureaucracy I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Dan Brunskill

P.S This is an essay that I had to write for school, not what I usually have in the way of my blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Teaching We Have Neglected

Some of you may have heard that I started a course on Teaching the Bible, at East West College of Intercultural Studies, recently. The course is taught by Gerald Chee, who is wonderful.
But throughout the last two weeks a few interesting things have come up. Things, I think, are worth a mention. It basically sums up into saying, we don't teach the bible properly. Or we don't teach the bible enough, in many cases. Let me talk about this some more.

"The written word defines and introduces the living word."
Many churches don't focus on the Word. Sermons often feel like motivational speeches. I've heard many sermons about "being on fire for Christ, and living life for him". But they rarely go deeper into the Word of God, but without the word of God we can't "live life for him", because the word is what tells us how to live life for him. So they are telling us to do things, they haven't quipped us for.

"The word of God is sufficient for the work of God."
Another thing churches and Christians often spend a lot of their energy on, is miracles. Everyone wants to see miracles. People go around hopping from church to church trying to find the "anointing", but miracles are nothing compared to the word. Sure they're great when they happen, but that's not what our faith should be built on. Our faith should be build on the Word of God.

"The Focus on the Immediacy of Salvation"
We were given an article to read for class, it was by Joseph T. Bayly (I included the link at the bottom of the page), basically he asked Canon T.C Hammond's opinion on Christianity in America. And he said that he was impressed by our shallow treatment of the doctrines of sin and law. And he also said that we introduced children and adults to salvation, without first giving them a foundation in the knowledge of personal rebellion and sin. And he said that by offering this immediate salvation it gave a the result of people having a low view of Christ, grace and righteousness. What Canon Hammonds was trying to say was that we were, and still are, giving people immediate salvation before explaining the full deal (Gerald Chee likened it to insurance salesmen). We need to teach people the whole bible (which, by the way, doesn't have to take years, you can give an overview of the bible in 20 minutes) before offering them salvation.

Well there's something to think about. Maybe I'm wrong, or have completely misunderstood what Gerald has been saying, but I thought that was interesting.
Have a look at the link I have provided below, its an interesting little article, and it not very long (A page and a half).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

50 posts and they're still rubbish.

This (if I get around to publishing it), will be my 50th post. An event that should be worth commemorating. But to be honest, its not.
The only really good blogs I have written I could count on Von Stauffenbergs fingers. And the reason: I let myself write about anything anytime. That doesn't work.
So I need direction, I need a subject. I need something to inspire me.
I watched the movie Julie and Julia recently, it was basically about some lady called Julie who was madly obsessed with an old celebrity chef named Julia, and she did a blog where she cooked her way through Julia's cook book, in a year (365 days, 500 and something recipes). And wrote a blog about it. Along the way she had several meltdowns, nearly got fired and almost got a divorce. No need to say I won't be doing Julia Child blog! But that sort of challenge is exactly what I need.
So, I want your ideas (all three readers that is)! What should this blog become? It needs to be completely remodeled and renamed (away from the stupidly bland "Dans Articles").
So, suggestions please!

P.S The only things I have considered so far is a review type thing, books or music or something. And believe it or not, cooking was also considered. A sort of documentation of all the meals I make. But I'm not sure.