Pop Xulture Newsletter # 8 – The Great Wave. 10/24/22
Hey Everyone! Welcome back to another iteration of my Newsletter where we talk about pop culture through a spiritual lens.
Today my article “I Got Richard Pryor’s Help Moving” was published on Christ and Pop Culture (CAPC). It was a therapeutic way to work through my frustrations of being forced to move for the second time in one year. Because of the move (and evacuating because of the Fairview Fire) I got behind on some other stuff. Which means I didn’t get to tell you about last month’s article “Daughters and Daddies: Giving Louise, Eleven, and Kamala the Confidence They Need” also on CAPC. It was born out of a theme I noticed in current storytelling where daughters’ misconceptions were corrected by fathers (or father figures).
Again, because of the move, my podcast: “Thoughts Beyond Thought” was on a brief hiatus but we recently published “Episode 5 | Episodes Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Check it out. We took a serious look at fear but had a lot of fun on the journey! We have another three episodes recorded and I think we’ll be releasing them pretty quickly because you – our adoring fans – won’t stop clamoring for them.
In other lies (such as clamoring fans) the contest from my last Newsletter, was a huge success. But don’t worry, just because no one responded (yet?), doesn’t mean I don’t still love you. In all seriousness, I think I made the contest too difficult and for that I apologize. I will do my best for future giveaways or contests to be more fun.
And speaking of more fun, I just published another article just for y’all: “The Big Bang Theory’s Healthy Sexual Adjuration.” Well, if I’m honest, it may not be all that fun but man, this is an important (yes, uncomfortable) conversation.
Back in August of this year I published the article “The Great Wave off Kanagawa: Foreign Yet Familiar” on CAPC. From the beginning of my research, I was interested to find that the artist Hokusai often contrasted man-made creations with nature. The following is a section which never really fit into the final piece, but I still find fascinating.
Untitled Section from “The Great Wave” Article
When “The Great Wave” image was created in 1831, the city of Edo (now Tokyo) pictured on the mainland was the biggest city in the world with one million inhabitants. An incredibly busy city and yet the pinnacle of Mount Fuji was visible above any architecture. But by 1968, skyscrapers began blocking Tokyo’s view of Mount Fuji from inside the city.
One of the central comparisons Hokusai used in his work was drawing contrasts between the manufactured and the natural. Explaining how “The Great Wave” inspired other artists, Dr. Leila Harris says, “Impressionist artists in Paris, such as Claude Monet, were great fans of Japanese prints. The flattening of space, an interest in atmospheric conditions, and the impermanence of modern city life—all visible in Hokusai’s prints—both reaffirmed their own artistic interests and inspired many future works of art.”
The line about the “impermanence of modern city life” haunted me. The pandemic has caused many to realize how temporary contemporary life can be. Not just death and destruction but our living spaces, jobs and workplaces. This Forbes article gives the perfect illustration from the Ise Shrine started in 685 C.E. “You can either consider it 20 or 1335 years old, since it has been systematically reconstructed in an elaborate ritual every 20 years since the seventh century.” The idea is that the style, not the physical building, is meant to live on.
Can we say that about ourselves? Maybe the reality of the impermanence of our routines was designed to force us to give up the illusion of control. It’s possible that the manufactured control versus the balance that can only happen by enjoying the natural, cannot coexist.
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Thanks so much for reading this Newsletter, I appreciate your support. I literally and figuratively and orchestrally do this for you, so it means a lot when you read all the way down this far! Until next time.
Thanks, in Him,
-Chris (the Bearded Wonder) Fogle