Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Embarrassing Directness

Today in CHRISTIANITY: THE FIRST THREE THOUSAND YEARS... Jesus compared - favorably! - with Dr. Samuel Johnson. His "irony and humour" explored. One parable called "a gem of sarcasm." MacCulloch describes the "Sermon on the Mount" beautifully as "a chorus of love directed to the loveless or unlovable, of painful honesty expressing itself with embarrassing directness, of joyful rejection of any counsel suggesting careful self-regard or prudence." Now, I do not intend any blasphemy! My intentions are innocent and mellow. But look closely at that last long quotation - "the loveless or unlovable... embarrassing directness... joyful rejection of... prudence" - and see if it does not also exactly describe or echo the radical aesthetic of Jerry Lewis. I mean, divorce it from its context and just think about it as some scholarly words describing something. Okay!