I’m taking “Religion & Culture” this semester, which is turning out to be the most informative and simultaneously humbling class I’ve ever had the privilege to take. We’re discussing the creation of culture (is it constructed or pervasive?), which is incredibly interesting.
Prof. Dixie starts class with “religion in the news,” an opportunity for anyone to bring up the expression of religion in everyday life. Today someone brought up something involving the Arab-Israeli tensions and Prof. Dixie asked “what does jihad mean?” Awakened from my reverie, I confidently responded “holy war.” “Wrong! It means the struggle, more precisely, a spiritual struggle; only through modern media have we identified it as a literal war!” And suddenly things take on an entirely different context.
On Tuesday we deconstructed the hip-hop song “The Experience” by Goodie MoB. I’ve always assumed that there’s more to hip-hop than I understand, but after Dixie began a discussion of the Nation of Islam and the so-called “5% movement,” the layers and textures of meaning were incredible. I respect “The Experience” as much for it’s social commentary as it’s musical expression.
And the net result of these two experiences drives home the realization that even when I think I’m hot shit, I’m really just cold diarrhea. I have so much to learn.