Thursday, September 23, 2010

Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise

The Avett Brothers have a relatively new music video out. It is pretty wonderful. As a pure piece of art it really adds the fourth dimension to painting. We are all used to seeing the illusion of three dimensions represented on a canvass. What this video does (and it is probably not the first) is add the passage of time to the painting itself. Unlike most animation, where multiple drawings are created and shown in sequence, this video is a series of photos taken of changes made to a single canvas. The time passes in a real sense in that what came before is gone. All that exists on the canvass is the present.

The story that the video tells is also about the passage of time. An empty field is bought, developed into a housing community and then a commercial center that eventually decays and returns back to being an empty filed. The song, as is often these days the case, is far less sequential or direct in its message. Many interpretations could be made, but one offered here…

There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light,
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right,
And it comes in black and it comes in white,
And I’m frightened by those who don’t see it.

All of us in western culture—defined as it is by Christian values—have a desire and a belief that we desire to do good. However, we all have a dark side in spite of our best intentions. We are selfish, fallible and at times downright bad. Recognizing that is important, but as our culture has turned its collective back on God, we have also given up on conscience and guilt. We deny evil. That would have been unthinkable even nine years ago, but the track we are on is set by the prevailing worldview and not any of the daily evidence with which we are confronted.

When nothing is owed, deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man who’s elected
If you’re loved by someone you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it.

Not only are we in denial of the wrong we all do, we have created a lie for a lifestyle that denies any guilt or expectations. Whatever we want is what we call right. There is no wrong. We turn to society for our needs. We convince ourselves that love is not demanding. We determine our own truth. We have deluded ourselves.

There was a dream and one day I could see it
But like a bird in a cage I broke in a demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream till I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out.

Those that see the lies upon which we have built society have an obligation to speak up. It is not enough to see it. To retreat into our own sub-culture committed to Truth. We need to impact the culture around us.

Here's a taste of the song:

Go buy the video on iTunes! It is worth it.

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