Good and Evil and Video Games

Binding of IsaacI’ve never been a video game person. My parents—whether by design or by chance, I can’t say—never had gaming consoles in the house. Being able to play a video game is not something one easily picks up past a certain age. I’ve always been content to watch other people play. That all changed a few weeks ago when my boyfriend set up his PlayStation 4 in my living room and downloaded a free game. It’s called “The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth,” and it’s got all the components that would appeal to an uninitiated video game player—color graphics, basic gameplay, and hundreds of power-ups and bosses to keep you interested. I started playing one day on a whim and was immediately hooked.

Guided By Our Sense of Beauty

Observatoire-seriesThe subjects of Noémie Goudal’s Observatories photographs aren’t real. Look closely at the architecture. Notice the grid of seams. They’re made of print-outs.

Goudal says she places the structures “as if they were a story being told. The viewer knows it’s fiction; he can see the paper, he can see it’s a construction. But still gets into it. It’s telling a narrative.”

Unfinished Work

Sagrada_Familia_nave_roof_detail

“The sad thing is they could try to finish it/But I don’t think they will do it.”—The Alan Parsons Project

When Antoni Gaudí began work on the La Sagrada Família Basilica in 1883, he knew he would never complete the project himself. He took his time on the Gothic and Art Nouveau structure, supposedly commenting “my client isn’t in a hurry.” Construction continues today and the plan is to have it completed in 2026 to mark the century since Gaudí’s death. On the album Gaudí, the Alan Parsons Project laces through its tracks a sense of loss for what’s left unfinished with lines like, “Follow the light of truth as far as our eyes can see/How should we know where that may be? How should we know?”

Intersections On the Way

Rocks in Water

1.

There is a cruciform linkage at the point of the Sabbath in the Decalogue that, try as I may, just will not be reduced to a graphic of the cross. What a teaching tool that would make if I could just figure it out. It’s an intriguing, if daunting puzzle. If you want to play along, then imagine the first three commandments as the vertical pier of our our relationship with God, and the last six as the horizontal beam of our relationships with mankind. They hinge at the point of the fourth commandment, the Sabbath. Please, try it for yourself and let me know how it goes.   

Calvary and the Virtue of Self–Sacrifice

Calvary

“Self–sacrifice? But it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed.” —Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

My favorite film from last year was an independent movie, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh entitled Calvary. If you are not yet familiar with it, shame on you because Tom Sturch wrote a wonderful piece on it just a few days ago on this website, linking the eight-day structure of the movie to the “Octave of Christmas”, which many in the ancient church celebrated. They did so because one day, i.e. Christmas day, cannot really contain the significance of what actually happened in the incarnation two thousand years ago. Something that big we should celebrate for eight days!