Friday, April 22, 2016

A sad day in Benedict Option history

Goodnight, sweet Benedict Option Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson - "Prince" - has died, supposedly of complications from the flu, at his home in Minneapolis. He was 57.

As the creator of the Benedict Option tries to cope with the loss of this keystone of his Benedict Option life he had this to say, "He was 57 years old, but really, he was ageless", clearly one of the immortals in the cultural foundation upon which the Benedict Option is built (did I just mix architectural metaphors? I believe I did.)

The death of Prince follows upon the death earlier this year, also at age 57, of his spirited protege, Vanity, famous for the Benedict Option cultural staple, "Nasty Girl".

One of the Benedict Option creator's commenters, a Sam M. cautions its Prophet about the influence of his icon:

Once we’re done grieving, we will of course have to have an intervention with Rod to make sure he doesn’t bring his record collection to BenOp Acres. Little Red Corvette has to be at least as bad for kids as Grand Theft Auto.

But it was so damn good! Which has to count for something.

To which the Bishop of the BenOp tartly responds,

[NFR: Heard “Kiss” lately? It’s as smokin’ hot as the first time you heard it. Not many people can pull that off. — RD]

Not many indeed, no doubt.

But the tragedy doesn't just stop at its impact on the BenOp magisterium. What about the cultural thickening of the children in the ways of the Prince?

[NFR: That’s a question we deal with all the time. My kids don’t know any Prince, but I want to play some for them. Thing is, how can I expose them to the greatness of “Kiss” without making them sit through the awful “Darling Nikki”? One feels one’s way through this carefully. The only total solutions is play NONE of it for them, or let them listen to ALL of it. Neither of those solutions is acceptable to me. — RD]

And so it is abundantly clear that the Benedict Option will be anything but a simple retreat into the wilderness to quietly seek the wisdom and the Grace of God, made even more complicated with the falling of such a shining star from its cultural firmament.

(A disclaimer: because I've never actually heard Prince, I cannot possibly grasp the depth and profundity of loss the Benedict Option community is now suffering from. The best I can do is report what I read from the epistles of its founder.)

GRATUITOUSLY ADDED: The Benedict Option, because you can't offer an alternative that's not the same old, same old, can you.

I'm actually a fan of this type of argument. Take for example, Keith's World Famous Di-Hydrogen Oxide Pills, crucial to staving off Alzheimer's and death in one's later years. Sure, you can criticize, maybe even mock, maybe, if you're really reckless enough, not even buy them. But what's your alternative? So be forewarned: the consequences of non-acquiescence are on you, and God help you if you attempt to sway minors to your foolish ways.