Category Archives: Religion

Mad studies

At AMS this year a friend told me about an academic subspecialty I hadn’t heard of before, “mad studies.”* Mad studies is the offspring of disability studies and seeks to draw the sting from invidious words like “mad” just as … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectuals, Mind, Philosophy, Religion, Society, The Modern | 5 Comments

The doctrine of performerly abnegation

If you spend much time around classical musicians, you will be very familiar with the idea that those who perform best, interpret least. Stick to the score and change nothing, not so much as an accent mark or slur. Don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Concert Culture, Performance, Religion, The Maestro-Industrial Complex | 5 Comments


This is the third installment of a series of posts on magic. (The first two are here and here.) Last time, I argued that magic (you know, the pentagrams-and-incense kind of magic, not the sawing-ladies-in-half kind), however outré it may … Continue reading

Posted in Magic, Philosophy, Religion, Weird Studies | 4 Comments

Battlefield medicine

J. F. Martel, the author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice (a wonderful book about which more soon, I hope) sent out a tweet a few weeks ago: @JF_Martel @davidbmetcalfe Market-driven spirituality: the Romanization of “eastern spirituality” (starting … Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs, Religion, Technology | 4 Comments

Sun Ra vs. The Overseer, Round 1: Judgment

Where we ended up last time:  various commentators [have] compared Space is the Place to The Seventh Seal, where a medieval knight plays a similarly high-stakes chess game with Death. The chess game in The Seventh Seal is realized fully enough for chess fans to reconstruct it and comment … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Jazz, Magic, Religion | 1 Comment

The Cold War Never Ended, II

OK, so what I was saying last time was that THE COLD WAR NEVER ENDED Actually, from one point of view, saying that the Cold War never ended is not so far from common sense. Putin’s Russia has been pursuing the … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Politics, Religion, the cold war never ended!, Weird Studies

Listen to the divine

Phil Ford From James Kochalka’s sketchbook diary American Elf, New Year’s Eve 2007.

Posted in Religion, Sound