Losing the ‘e’

eBecause you haven’t seen a post for OH SO LONG. I’d like to introduce you to a new word, (Well it was new for me and it doesn’t look all that common). I am enough of a word freak to actually subscribe to dictonary.com Word of the Day. Trusty Google Reader (although I’m still considering the ‘trusty’ definition) spat out this one sometime in the last 24 hours.

virtu: love of or taste for fine objects of art; also, productions of art.

Throw an ‘e’ on the end and you know what it means, remove the e and the actuality of the thing can go vastly downhill.

Let me provide an example:

This evening I had the pleasure experience of watching The Piano. The producers/directors/scriptwriters… yes it was a combined effort, successfully managed to extract the ‘e’ off of virtue. The movie is a fine piece of art but not exactly a fine piece of “moral excellence”.

The same could apply to Children of Men (Which I saw yesterday and did very much enjoy). The plot is gloriously intriguing, but some of the visuals far from peaceful and long way from right.

It is NOT a hard and fast rule, beautiful pieces of art do not have to be risque or downright crude. It is a totally exclusive variable, which really makes it not a variable at all.

Movies have ratings for a reason. I do just wonder though if over time the ratings have eased off in some kind of strange adaption to our ever desensitising hearts and minds.

Should we as Christians only take our virtu with an ‘e’? Only fill the eyes of whatever bodily and spiritual part of us with, “..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…excellent or praiseworthy…” – Philippians 4:8?

And then how does watching say, World News fit into that?

You cannot pretend that violence, that war, that rape, that crime, that abuse, that injustice doesn’t happen. It does.

And so clearly we cannot ignore that.
I understand that there is quite an extreme surface difference to watching something for entertainment and something that confrontly real, but honestly – how often do those lines blur?

We go mental at a group of school boys that filmed an abuse and sold it for entertainment. Rightly so. Yet don’t we see some watery alternate version of it on a daily basis?

How much of watching the news is because we actually care? How much is simply because we’re interested and intrigued and ‘need to be informed’? For what purpose? Does that make it entertainment?

I don’t have to enjoy a movie for it to be a diversion. Which is really what entertainment is.

I’m not prescribing that we turn off the television, the news, the movie… I don’t know.

Some of it comes back to motive.

Is there any clear or reasonable reason at all to watch a violent or a less than perfectly moral movie? (And that doesn’t leave you with much choice). Art? Yay? Nay? What if you sift the wheat from chaff? Does it even count? Does it even matter?

You cannot isolate yourself away from things, nor should you really intentionally fill your mind with images that you’ll regret (strongly or even passively) later on.

What is it to be in the world but not of it?

Surely it’s a fascinating pattern. How often do we drag that verse out of it’s context? What is it’s context? Offering myself as a living sacrifice? Loving. What is our emphasis?

Why do some Christians respond with more passion to ‘one of us’ swearing more than they do thousands of us hurting?

We are disfunctionally desensitised.

Art. Life. Art a reflection of what is really going on. Is art simply a manipulation? We feel. We are made to feel.

There is nothing wrong with feeling.

If art is manipulation, how can we use it in a positive way? And is that okay anyway?

more reading:

*Appologies, comments have now been closed as this post is continuously spammed and I’m getting sick of moderating them.


  1. Laura said:

    Hey Bec this is a GREAT post, I’ve got lots to think about … but just wanted to let you know that the two links you gave for “more reading” both lead to the Underlying motivations post on Geoff’s blog…

    October 30, 2006
  2. said:


    October 30, 2006

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