Monday, January 26, 2004

I looked at Sitemeter today and found a link from google to this post. Rereading it now, it's a bit rough, but all in all not bad. Here's one paragraph:

What is it Kitsch?
We live in a world of language. We comminicate by way of language. As I wrote elsewhere, the difference between a lover who sounds convincing when expressing his/her love and one who sounds like a fool, is the language. It is the language or the gesture that 'convinces'. It is the telling of the story that makes someone into a convert, to love or christianity, not the story.
The interesting thing, to me, about religion is that it elides the obvious: that it is the mediating form that attracts people to one specific faith or another. The language of faith/ the rhetoric of faith/ the demonstration of faith... is faith. We can not escape the means of communication and mediation, even, or especially, when that escape is the object of our desire. It's all brilliantly circular, though no believer can accept such a definition.
But what is kitsch? Kitsch is unmediated faith. It is the equivalence of the plastic Jesus with Michangelo's Pieta. That is a standard definition. But what does it mean? It is belief without rhetoric. In a sense it is the only actual demonstration of a faith in something outside of language, or out of the world. It is the only example of a faith where the rules of rhetoric and representation do not apply. And that very fact makes it off limits to discourse; makes it considered absurd, even by the vast majority of the faithful.