Item description for Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons by David Dark...
Overview Using Radiohead, The Matrix, and other pop-culture icons, this engaging book reinterprets apocalypse as a more watchful way of being in the world.
Publishers Description The term "apocalypse" usually evokes images of mass destruction-burning buildings and nuclear fallout, or even rapture and tribulation. Often, our attempts to interpret the imagery of the book of Revelation seem to carry us far away from our day-to-day existence. David Dark challenges this narrow understanding in "Everyday Apocalypse," calling his readers back to the root of the word, which is "revelation." Through readings of Flannery O'Connor stories and savvy discussion of "The Matrix" themes, Dark calls us to imagine the apocalypse as a more watchful way of being in the world. He draws on the sometimes unlikely wisdom of popular culture-including "The Simpsons" and films like "The Truman Show-"to highlight how the imagination can expose our moral condition. Ultimately, Dark presents apocalypse as honest self-assessment and other-centeredness in the here and now. This engaging book holds enormous appeal for readers interested in the pursuit of everyday spirituality. It will delight lovers of literature, popular music, and movies, as well as anyone concerned with a Christian response to popular culture.
Citations And Professional Reviews Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons by David Dark has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 11/25/2002 page 61
Books & Culture - 01/01/2003 page 39
CBA Retailers - 05/01/2003 page 46
Christianity Today - 10/01/2003 page 114
Christian Century - 01/13/2004 page 34
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Studio: Brazos Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.18" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2002
Publisher Brazos Press
ISBN 158743055X ISBN13 9781587430558
Availability 0 units.
More About David Dark
David Dark has published articles and reviews in Prism magazine and Books & Culture. He teaches English at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville.
David Dark currently resides in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee. David Dark was born in 1969.
David Dark has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Everyday Apocalypse?
Apocalyptically Excellent Aug 9, 2006
In contrast to the pop-theology of our time, "Everyday Apocalypse" is overdue and a welcome addition to my library. The thinking is crisp, straight up and spiritually profound without being pompous or boring. I am telling everyone I know about David Dark and "E.A".
Dense, but rewarding Jul 16, 2004
Some reviewers tend to find Dark's prose directionless, but I found quite the opposite to be true. David is certainly a student of the intracacies of prose, and for me that opened up a whole new world of ideas. Reminds me very much of G.K. Chesterton's style. I wonder if Mr. Dark has ready any Chesterton. Given his stunning breadth of knowledge in the written word, I'm sure he has.
Didn't quite understand a sentence? Re-read it carefully to see how each sentence lends itself to the next. Despite its intracacies, this is a book whose message transcends the sum of its parts. Reccomended to anyone who is interested in making the radical assertion that Christ is Lord, and anyone willing to see a truer reflection of what Christ-following and Christian culture should entail, rather than what the mainstream media is willing to depict.
By the way, since when was Flannery O'Connor a pop-culture icon?!
Disapointing Mar 25, 2004
"The meat of the book, the inner six chapters, was a disappointment to me. Unsure what to expect I looked forward to seeing how Dark would integrate faith and pop culture, how the messages could be used to change lives, to see together how God's message shines through, intentional or not, in the products of our culture. Instead I felt that I was reading the personal journal of someone who was recording his thoughts on varying items, with no real point, reason or direction"
The above quote written by another reviewer sums it up for me.
The best lines from the book were the quotes he used from other people.
1/2 of an interesting conversation Mar 12, 2004
Everyday Apocalypse begins with a description of the author's view of the word apocalypse. It defines apocalypse as revelation, the type of revelation that forces a change in lifestyle, a re-evaluation of priorities, a type that "cracks the pavement of the status quo." Dark's view of the current state of Christianity is best summed up in this statement: "I'm personally convinced that such market-driven theology will be viewed, historically, with at least as much embarrassment as, say, the medieval sale of indulgences."
Dark's opening is indeed intriguing. I can resonate with his frustration at a Christianity that serves only to make us comfortable rather than to change us. Indeed Jesus the revolutionary is rarely present in the big-hair world of TV preachers or in the conform-to-the-culture sensibilities of many of the mainline denominations.
The meat of the book, the inner six chapters, was a disappointment to me. Unsure what to expect I looked forward to seeing how Dark would integrate faith and pop culture, how the messages could be used to change lives, to see together how God's message shines through, intentional or not, in the products of our culture. Instead I felt that I was reading the personal journal of someone who was recording his thoughts on varying items, with no real point, reason or direction.
First up was the chapter on Flannery O'Connor, an author I am not familiar with. Dark reveres Ms. O'Connor, viewing anyone who enjoys her work as "electrocuted by divine fire." He goes on to provide superficial summaries of many of her works, and extract the items that make those stories interesting to him. The problem I found was that I did not see a point, other than Mr. Dark adores Flannery O'Connor in this chapter. The themes discussed are not unique, indeed I wonder if Mr. Dark has ever read things such as Stephen King's Needful Things, or any number of popular writings that delve into these themes very deeply and effectively.
The Simpsons is a show that I am very familiar with, and have been espousing the virtues of to many skeptics for years. This chapter I found laborious, as if I was reading Simpsons for Dummies or something of that ilk. While Dark does manage to accurately portray many elements of the program, he fails to address many of the subtleties of the show, nor to direct the reader on what to look for. Instead a journal of sorts again recounts favorite episodes in a manner wholly unfulfilling.
I have never listened to Radiohead. Feeling that perhaps I should engage this book on a different level, I made a trip to Best Buy and purchased OK: Computer as it was highly regarded by Mr. Dark. I spent time listening to this CD very carefully. I looked over the packaging, read through the booklet and studied the artwork. I listened to the CD again. I played it in my car. I listened to it at home. I then re-read the chapter on Radiohead. In short, I made every effort to take Mr. Dark's view of this band as apocalyptic and make it my own.
As I reflect on this experience I am again disappointed. While the music is interesting and indeed complex, I do not feel that it deserves the accolades presented by Everyday Apocalypse. One clear reason is that this is very inaccessible music, very anti-pop culture in its pure essence. While not a bad thing, some of the things that make it so are problematic to me. Dark rarely references the music (other than adjectives of beautiful, complex etc.), only the lyrics. The lyrics, while clear, are eminently unsingable and are swallowed up by the complex music behind them. As such, the listener is likely to miss them entirely if not paying close attention, hearing them only as another element to the complex sound. While interesting and unique, this approach does not often leave the audience pondering the meanings buried within.
Contrast Radiohead's Subterranean Homesick Alien with Tourniquet by Evanescence. The Radiohead piece is one that quickly blends together into a mood, a feeling, in which the guitar is the primary point of interest. Tourniquet drives hard, but leaves the listener wondering what exactly it all means and drives them to the liner notes, to the Internet, to conversation with others to discuss its meanings. To me that is far more apocalyptic in its effect on culture as a whole than Radiohead can ever hope to be.
I focus on the first three chapters because each of them represents a different level of familiarity with the material being discussed for me. The remaining three chapters are more of the same, journaling by Dark of the reasons he likes the movies & music discussed. This book is a one sided discussion of the material with little point or conclusion to me. Each of the points made would be interesting in a conversation, but without the opportunity for interaction they are hollow and unexciting.
Everyday Apocalypse is not without merit. The true stories of "living apocalyptically" in the last chapter are a fascinating example of what can happen if we take to heart the idea of Jesus as a cultural revolutionary. The point of the book is best summed up to me in this phrase:
If "God" then is to be more than the word we use as shorthand to describe what we prefer to believe, there will be tension between what we're doing and settling for and the in-break of divine revelation, the good purposes of God.
In summary I found glimpses of glory, but on the whole an unfulfilling book that felt like one side of a potentially interesting conversation. I found it interesting on the back to see one of the reviewers gush "He has been doing this in my living room for years." And indeed, I think that is where this conversation belongs.
Hope in Unexpected Places Mar 6, 2003
David Dark's book is an encouraging one for Christians, reminding us that an accurate understanding of reality is our birthright---ironically, this 'accurate understanding' consists of apocalypse, or, the irreducibly mysterious hope toward which all reality points. Reading this book refreshes the hope we have in Jesus, even as Dark discusses chiefly non-Christians who, in his view, see apocalypse clearly, since a clear rendering of apocalypse is always commensurate with the mysterious redemptive hope-through-suffering of the cross. It does seem odd that he finds so few Christian artists worth a chapter in his book. Dark revels in the goodness and unexpectedness of reality, and the goodness and unexpectedness of the God it reveals.
Dark concerns himself with contemporary media. Through unusual juxtapositions (Bakhtin on medievalism, Swift, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky are quoted in a chapter on the Simpsons), he reminds us that contemporary genres treat truth best when they enter a conversation as old as humankind---a conversation describing the mysteries of redemption, hope, and joy in reality. This looting the wisdom of the ages eliminates a sense of background, brings all truth to the fore----a strategy which accurately depicts the universality of Dark's subject (and the subject of his subjects).
I have some concerns with his claim that authors should confine themselves to mere description of the way things are, avoiding mastery or domination of message and material. The semantic realms of description, interpretation, judgment, and mastery require blurred boundaries, or at least more clearly nuanced ones, to be of any practical use. Writing a book implies some "domination" of a subject, although humility can remove any offense from organisation's claim to authority.
Dark's prose is clear enough and profound, in some places dull, in others quite memorable.