Wednesday, August 12, 2009

stuff that’s making me weep

This makes me weep. It makes me want to hug my children, scream in anger and change my buying habits.

It’s also, intellectually, a superb example of culture-making, of poetic and ethical imagination amid the practices of everyday life. Let me explain. I’ve been talking a bit recently about culture making, drawing from the superb book by Andy Crouch , Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, to remind us that in response to cultural change, any and all of us can be culture-makers. Rather than condemn, critique, copy or consume, in echoes of Genesis 2, humans can be culture-makers.

I also want to add a number of nuances to this notion of culture-making. First, to add in Richard Kearney’s The Wake of Imagination in which he argues for imagination as both poetic and ethical. The first, poetic, relates to our commitment to create, as God’s image-bearers. The second, ethical, invites us to create in ways that focus on the other, on the least, on the marginalised, aware of the absent voices.

Second, Michel de Certeau’s, The Practice of Everyday Life and his insistence that culture-making occurs in the midst of the ordinary and everday.

So for me this Radiohead video brings these strands together. Consider that it arises from a pop-culture world which is now our globe’s ordinary and everyday. It is also set among the everyday activities of getting dressed for school, an activity which ‘000’s of Western kids, like my kids, do each day. Further, it is an act of both poetic and ethical imagination, a video clip that forces us to think about who makes our shoes, and how they spend their every day. Third, as a piece of music and as a video, it is an act of culture-making, refusing to condemn, critique, copy or consume, but creatively addressing an issue in our world today. In so doing, it offers us a challenge: as a result of that video, what will we do? Consume? or act?

For more on Radiohead videos.

Posted by steve at 03:15 PM


  1. Very challenging video Steve. Thanks for posting

    Comment by Aaron — August 13, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  2. Hey Steve,
    My son Aidan is doing a speech on child slavery at his school – sitting down with him listening to what he has to say as a 12 year old makes me weep… I am sure he will appreciate this video

    Comment by Michael — August 13, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  3. how on earth can that gorgeous red headed wee baby Aidan be a 12 year old!

    mate, time flies,


    Comment by steve — August 13, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

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