Hello my friends and first time readers and welcome to our new venture! Having written reviews for films, books and cultural commentary online for the past seven years across over half a dozen websites, I’ve long considered the possibility of trying to start my own website where I could post all of my most eclectic and ill-advised essays that no publisher in their right mind would ever accept. It took till this recent cultural moment for me to actually pull the trigger on this idea.
In the past year, we’ve seen a cultural disintegration more serious than anything in recent cultural history. The cultural heat is being turned up far too high. There is a need for cooler heads, fostering mutual values among disparate groups of people building new institutions that can actually guide our deeply divided world through numerous crises from economic collapse, ecological problems, statist abuse of power and violent rioting by Marxist anarchists and white supremacists. There are simply too many people who want to give up right now and watch the world burn.
As a political moderate and a practicing Christian, I understand the value of building bridges, healing wounds, fostering values and offering forgiveness to people who we believe don’t deserve it. Right now, we need more people simply to refuse to add to the chaos if we want to create countries that are worth living in. We need creation in equal parts to the amount of destruction we’re witnessing. While our differences are massive, we share a great deal. We share culture, humanity and common dignity. I believe there is an end to the chaos and suffering we’re all enduring if only because anything that cannot continue forever will not. This will all end one way or the other.
It is with this cultural moment in mind that I’m starting the Cultural Revue. In some ways, the title reflects the farcical nature of our moment. A “revue” in the traditional sense is a topical and satirical play that entertains it’s audiences but also speaks to contemporary issues. I’m a serious person overall but I understand the need to entertain people. My goal with this new venue is to be both the comedian and the tragedian in this moment. Thus our website’s logo.
The dichotomy of comedy and tragedy is one of the oldest in literature since the time of the Ancient Greeks and does well to capture the breathe of human experience. Absurdity, hubris, consequence, meaning and joy are all themes these two concepts help bridge the complicated gap in our experiences and painful lives. With the Cultural Revue, I want to discuss issues of meaning and moral seriousness but also indulge in the fanciful and fun. I want to encourage people to partake in the serious elements of culture without condemning what’s popular and beloved. I also don’t wish to be joyless because Joy is life’s greatest gift and is possibly the most meaningful emotion we can experience.
My hope is that my writing and the writing of the individuals I commission offers some resilience in these times. Above all, I hope to be entertaining but thought provoking. My plan is to bring in a group of talented writers to contributed on a weekly basis for the immediate future. As of the launch of this site, we have numerous pieces from guests of various religious and political backgrounds. Christians and Atheists, radicals and moderates, conservatives, liberals and libertarians and individuals of all stripes will be welcome to submit their pieces to the Cultural Revue.
My views are already well available online for people to see but they aren’t the only ones I want to publish. I want other people to join in this discussion of culture and meaning as well. My hope is that every week we’ll be able to publish three or more new pieces covering everything from entertainment news to major political and religious controversies. We’ll host movie reviews and book reviews in the same place we host philosophical pieces about faith and philosophy.
It remains to be seen what the Cultural Revue will be capable of but I took a risk in this venture regardless. Creating things is always a risk because you risk backlash, hatred and personal failure. At the same time, nothing is gained if nothing is risked. My hope for this site is to be a voice above the fray of the malaise and ugliness of our times. I can only hope that by God’s grace I’m able to accomplish anything with this venture.
I thank you for reading this and I welcome you to the first bought of this adventure!
Tyler Hummel – Editor-in-Chief of the Cultural Revue
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace…Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, NIV