Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Would Jesus vote green? VIII

Guilt
The problem is not simply out there; it is also in here. And many of us are all too aware of this. And so, the fourth common response is guilt.

We hear of waste, and think of what we recently tossed away; we hear of oil depletion and we think about the size of our car; we hear of water shortages and think of our decadently long shower this morning. Of course, there is a difference between feeling guilty and being guilty. And we often feel guilty over things not our fault, or over minor things, while ignoring our larger errors. And not everyone is equally at fault. There are powerful decision-makers, such as corporations and governments, whose decisions carry more weight than mine or yours. We might not all be as guilty as some.

Nonetheless, there is something quite appropriate about feeling guilt and shame. There is something right about it because we do bear some responsibility, collectively and individually, for many of the serious problems faced by our world. Our lifestyle, our attitudes so often reflect a me-first approach, whose environmental, social and personal costs are becoming more and more apparent. Many of us presume that we deserve our standard of living, or vote for politicians who will maintain and increase Australia’s affluence before all other considerations. We are often greedy and envious, wanting to hoard and consume more things than our neighbour. Or apathetic about the suffering of others. Or unthinkingly wasteful. We are usually happy to ignore how products make their way onto the shelves. And so often we are simply thankless. Having received so much from God, do we say thank you? Jesus said that our life is more than the abundance of possessions, that loving God and our neighbour are more important than financial security or chasing our dreams or the perfect romance or the pursuit of happiness. Do we live like this?(more)
I can't remember the actual name, but fifteen points for the best suggested title of this painting. If anyone can find the actual name (and give a link to prove it), then perhaps I'll give them twenty points.
Series: I; II; III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX; X; XI; XII; XIII.

19 comments:

Rachel said...

Talk about guilt...I'm from the US! I'm still asking myself the question of how I'm supposed to live as a wealthy-ish person living in a rich nation at a time in history where we have education, healthcare, and opportunities like never before. I just don't know.

peter j said...

I'll guess the title.

'Nice red tie'

byron said...

Good try - I'll need a few other people to offer guesses before I award any points...

Anthony said...

What about AWAs: Reshaping the Australian Workforce?

linden said...

Not so much a title as a caption...

'Bob, immune to criticism, ignored their warnings that his acne was getting out of control...'

byron said...

OK - maybe I'll still award points for later guesses, but these deserve some reward. Can't believe I offered a whole fifteen points for this one...

I'll break with my usual practice and instead split the fifteen between you.

Pete - I'll give you four.

Anthony - how can I resist? This one made me laugh out loud. Seven.

Linden: Four as well.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Tough searching for the actual title on this one. How 'bout "Every Smoke is doing you damage."

byron smith said...

I'll pay five for that. Nice.

Anthony Douglas said...

I realise you've stopped offering points, but that doesn't stop me claiming them, does it? I was inspired by Moffitt's audacity to increase my margin, and while buying a copy of 'your' book is easy, it costs money, and this is just as valuable point-wise.

It's from Gino Severini's 1913 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'. It makes a nice cover image for Joyce's book of the same title.

So that's twenty points...perhaps ;-)
(or fifteen, for being the best title, in Severini's opinion!)

byron smith said...

Incorrect. I have since discovered the painting's true title, and to prove your guess, you needed a link. I have already awarded points for best guesses, so I now need the actual title.

byron smith said...

I realise this is very tough, hence the twenty points. But I have checked the title on the net and have found the image, so it is possible.

Anthony Douglas said...

It may be that the publisher got it wrong, but the link gives the title, and if you look at the cover, it's the same picture.

I'm sure he didn't use English, but if you want it in the original language, I can look around.

Anthony Douglas said...

Well, there does appear to be some debate over the correct title. This one claims it is the far less interesting 'Self Portrait'.

I guess in this case, the old 'can't judge a book by its cover' saying is proved true.

byron smith said...

Hmmm, ok, I'd missed the attribution at the bottom of the back cover, thinking you'd just linked to the text of PAYM (I had only read the first couple of lines, which are of course the famous opening lines of the book. I hadn't realised that the back cover blurb began with that quote).

However, my research indicates that that title is incorrect. Perhaps an overzealous editor wanted the work's title to match that of the book. Nonetheless, it would be somewhat odd for Joyce to take a relatively minor art work as the title of his first major novel. The original work was actually painted a year or two before Joyce's novel was published. If you followed the clue on the back of the book and searched for the Bridgeman collection in London and then look at works by Gino Severini, you'll find this.

But even then, you would not be looking at the correct image. :-)

I have never been to the Bridgeman collection in London (and I am almost certain that they do not allow photography), but this image was taken by me and legally. And it is indeed of a painting by Gino Severini. But it is not Self-Portrait, 1913.

It is Self-Portrait, 1960, a reproduction of his earlier work made by the artist and currently hung in the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

I'm sure you wanted to know all that.

Since you were close and on the right track, I'll give you thirteen, which, along with the seven you got for AWAs, brings your total from this post to twenty.

byron smith said...

Ah, I hadn't seen your second comment when I started my reply. I'll give you the extra seven then... [sigh]

Anthony Douglas said...

I dunno - the other book covers all used the 1913 image, so maybe I don't deserve it.

Perhaps I should have tried 'Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man (Who Wishes He Still Looked Younger)'!

byron smith said...

Or perhaps the earlier version was a prophecy of the artist's coming dissolution, which was complete by the (then accurate) 1960 version?

I don't know anything about his life, so no slander is intended here...

Anthony Douglas said...

Conforming to the First Law (or is it Second?) of Chapman on preaching, that if you start early enough on your sermon, illustrations will come to you, I offer the following...

This weekend's sermon on Acts 2 will open with the issue of identifying the Spirit (from Acts 2). How do you recognise he who is so divinely discreet? I have had kicking around in my mind the phrase used by Yves Congar - 'The person without a face' - and you can see where I'm going, right?

Where could I possibly find an illustration of a person without a face that I could possibly misidentify???? It came to me eventually ;-)

byron smith said...

Hahaha - good stuff. Hope your congregation enjoy it.