All posts tagged: entertainment

The Catholic Imaginings of Jimmy Buffett

This little song sort of combines a hangover cure and fourteen years of Catholic education into a song; it’s a little bit weird, but it sort of works out.[1] Jimmy Buffett, the king of “drunk Caribbean rock and roll music,” may seem like an unlikely person to be an example of the Catholic imagination. In his music, merchandise, restaurants, and resorts, Buffett revels in escapism and pleasure, giving license to hedonsim and letting it run amok. He has accrued a tremendous amount of wealth through these endeavors and cultivated a devoted following, known as Parrotheads. Indeed, he would seem to be the Evangelist for just the kind of leisure recently criticized by Paul Griffiths. Buffett peddles the side of leisure (otium) decried by St. Augustine too in his City of God as delight in “lazy inactivity” (iners vacatio).[2] Buffett’s incredible success, however, bespeaks in his fans an instinctual dissatisfaction with the demands of modern work and a desire to get away, to escape and have a good time, to have fun. Jimmy Buffett has been …

Entertaining Ourselves to Death

On Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep interviewed Senator Marco Rubio about last night’s Republican debate. Like many political interviews, it included grandstanding in which Senator Rubio offered talking points rather than answering questions. But, the substance of the interview was never really about Rubio: it was about Trump. It was about Rubio’s insulting of Trump. It was about Rubio’s pledge to vote for the Republican nominee, even if that was Trump. It was about Trump’s vulgarity. Rubio was trumped by Trump. The present political climate in the United States reminds me of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The American people in the person of Donald Trump have found “The Entertainment” that we cannot pull our eyes away from. Our news organizations are participating in this act of entertainment, since after all, this is what we demand. Everything comes back to Donald, whose campaign is infinitely entertaining. We are entertaining ourselves to death. One wonders if there is any way out of this present political malaise. A way to rip ourselves away from “The Entertainment” of a campaign …