Thursday, October 01, 2009

When vulgarity masquerades as poetry

I've been in a quandry lately and I couldn't quite figure out how to express it in my blog without bringing discredit to others.

I was in a quandry at least until I read this blog today.

In her Conversion Diary blog, Jennifer Fulwiler reminds Christian bloggers to take heed the advice of St. Francis de Sales. In his book, Finding God's Will for You, St. Francis, tells us "...those who follow...hellish suggestions in the belief that they are heavenly inspirations can usually be recognized because they are unsettled, headstrong, haughty, and ready to undertake or meddle in affairs. Under the pretext of zeal, they subvert everything, criticize everyone, rebuke everyone, and find fault with everything. They are men without self-control and without consideration, who put up with nothing. In the name of zeal for God's honor, they indulge in the passions of self-love."

You see, my daughter attends a university named for St. Francis de Sales. She had an unfortunate experience recently, in that she attended a poetry reading on campus featuring a vulgar "poet" who goes by the moniker Oveous Maximus and whose rap lyrics were full of graphic sexual images. I wanted to scream out to the rooftops and tell the world just what I thought of Mr. Maximus and the University that brought him there to pollute the minds of their students. But St. Francis de Sales' words cautioned me to slow down, take a deep breath and think about the effect my words may have on others. As one who considers herself a Christian blogger, I need to consider every word I write so as not to take myself too seriously or assume all my words are "heavenly inspirations." Yet I am still a fiercely loyal mother and I can be pretty scary when I get my ire up. Consider yourselves forewarned.

In this digital information age I was able to view his poetry on youtube. Surprisingly, he has also has some good poems, like "Dulce de Leche," which exhalt the dignity of womanhood. In fact, he tells one audience the reason he chose the name Oveous Maximus was to do precisely that: Oveous coming from the Latin ovum, which celebrates the life-giving role of woman. Maximus elevates the role of woman to near god-hood, or so he says.

Yet one particular poem that upset my daughter was titled, "Letter to My Future Ex-Girlfriend," and it begins similarly to "Dulce de Leche," but then it veers dramatically to the vulgar and begins to take a more violent rhythym while describing unsavory acts which he would like his girlfriend to perform on him.

My daughter's complaints to the Multicultural Office that sponsored the event have thus far been met with a condescending pat on the head, and "...how nice it is that you feel secure enough to express your opinions because that's what college is all about and yet we must remember that he has the right to express himself as well..." So, we are continuing our attempts to relay our displeasure to the University and to get them to recognize that Mr. Maximus is not the ideal role model for Catholic youth striving to be holy.

It wasn't until I was discussing this for the upteenth time with my husband last night that I realized there was some good in Mr. Maximus and I should recognize that when I write about him. However, a bit of dog poo in a batch of brownies can destroy the entire pan even if it's only a bit. And some of his stuff is, well...dog poo.

If you'd like to see an excerpt of my daughter's letter to the Mulitculturalistas, here it is.

2 comments:

rob said...

Please, Debbie, tell the “Multicultural Office” that sponsored the event that if Oveous Maximus—everyone has the name he deserves—has “the right to express himself,” every university should have the right and the duty to provide students with something better than “poetries” describing unsavory acts which “the Poet” would like his girlfriend to perform on him.
Greetings from Italy!

Debbie said...

Well, I've done it. I've finally sent my missive off to the multiculturalistas explaining my concerns. We shall now wait and see what transpires.