Third Party & Independents Archives

Harvard's Black Mass Reenactment "Culturally Significant"?

An uncomfortable topic, I know, but bear with me: the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club will reenact a Black Mass early next week. Before there’s a barrage of protest, let’s approach the issue calmly.

First, what do you know about Black Masses? Is there any historical significance to a Black Mass? Is there enough historical significance to a Black Mass to justify a reenactment?
In reality, there isn't. Most historical evidence of Black Mass comes from literature rather than record. Rumors do not create reality. In the case of the Black Mass, there is no single set of "instructions" in how to conduct one, nor is there real evidence showing these Masses had any real influence.

The sources for these ceremonies come from infamous witch-hunting manuals in the 15th century, the perverse writings of Marquis de Sade, wall murals painted by de Goya as he slowly went mad and William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. Not one reliable or credible source.

Does that suspicious combination of sources make a Black Mass so historically significant that a university should risk its reputation and revenue to reenact one? If I were on Harvard's board of trustees, I would undoubtedly say no.

Officially, the club's purpose is to "learn and experience the history of different cultural practices." No, it's not. The club's purpose here was to choose the most inflammatory act possible and then perform it, attracting attention and creating controversy. Maybe the club wants pageviews to bring in revenue. It doesn't matter. The anger such a disturbing and cultural insignificant act creates is not worth the educational prospects. In Boston, it has instigated a torrent of outrage, including an official denouncement from the Catholic Church. It has disturbed the community, church-goers, religious officials and academics. Harvard's official position is as bland as stale cereal: the school simply says it supports the rights of its students and faculty.

There's religious freedom in the US, and that means the right to perform religious rites deemed offensive to others. But, in this case, Harvard University needs to step in and prevent a thoughtless group of kids from frightening an entire community. I'm sure school officials can persuade them.

Posted by TimBean at May 12, 2014 7:11 PM
Comment #378327

Harvard would, most likely, step in if they were having a Catholic Mass. But yes, something that will incite anger and tweek sensibilities is promoted and advertised, picked up on in the media, talked about endlessly, the manufactured outrage will be portrayed over and over.

The best way to deal with this type of hype is to ignore it.

That’s hard to do when you’re told to be outraged and angry. It’s hard to ignore when it’s featured over and over every hour for weeks.

Have you ever noticed the #1 music list? Why are some of those songs #1? They say it’s because people want to listen to it. Yet, the majority of them wouldn’t even know it was there if it wasn’t promoted over and over again. How many #1 songs never get noticed because they weren’t promoted by the media? I’d say a heck of a lot more than what is allowed to be heard.

It’s the same way with news events. Most are ignored and the sensational, instigating, inciting events are spoonfed to the masses by the media.

There’s really no choice when it comes to what we are subjected to by the media. We have to pick what we like from what is put in front of us.

Thank God we have a new media that is becoming an alternative to the MSM and it’s propaganda. The ratings of MSNBC and CNN are demonstrating how well the new media is providing an alternative.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 13, 2014 1:12 AM
Comment #378334

Weary and Tim, I miss the days when newspapers and TV networks had actual investigative news reporting. Most of what masquerades as news today is simply hyped entertainment.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 13, 2014 5:07 PM
Comment #378337

Do you notice how much of the news centers around the government?

There are 2 people in my town who are very popular. One is a life long kindergarden teacher. She has been teaching kindergarden for my entire life. She was my kindergarden teacher. I still remember her and cherish her ability to be kind and understanding to a 5 year old. I don’t have a bad memory of Mrs. Green and my kindergarden year.

The other is a woman who was elected mayor of my city for three consecutive terms. For 12 years she was the mayor. For 12 years she spent other people’s money on beautification projects and government buildings. For 12 years she was the government’s darling. One of the buildings she had built was a controversial “Community Center”. It was touted to be a meeting place for weddings and social occasions. Never mind the other privatly owned buildings that generate revenue from weddings and social gatherings. This community center was to be paid for with funds received from the users of the building. There wasn’t much support for a new government expendature as large as this community center was, but it was built anyway. The Democratic Central Committee uses it for free. Many government sponsored seminars use it for free. The election board uses it for free. The government, city and county, uses it for free, but it’s paid for by the private citizens who use it for their weddings and social events, and a heafty property tax levy also.

When it came time to dedicate this building to a special person from our community, guess who was granted the honor of having their name placed on this “Community Center”. Was it the kind and caring, life-long caretaker of our youngest schoolchildren? No, it was the career politician that spent everyone elses money. Our mayor, more or less, used tax payer money to build a monument to herself.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 13, 2014 8:24 PM
Comment #378342

I know of a little southern town that was a pearl until a new highway came thru. Folks, mostly from Florida, moved in and voted in a new mayor. Growth has made parking tight and the new mayor wants to build a parking garage in this tiny little town and has the votes to do it. And, so it goes - - -

In today’s news that ‘earmarks’ are being reinvented by putting them in legislative bills that directs agency heads to sound the alarm about some ‘badly needed’ thing, carbon ladders for the military in this case. Reason behind this is that ‘the folks’ are demanding their rep’s ‘bring home the bacon’ and this is one way of doing it.

Some words on the state of affairs might be that we are a nation adrift, malaise has set in, rudderless, aimlessly floating around in space as a piece of mother earth.

Everything is in flux. Residential investment lowest in 60 years. Student debt, $1.1T. Federal debt going to $25T. A population driven by immigrants. Global warming to raise the oceans along densely populated coastal areas.

You would think we would all be in a tissy but, for the last week the MSM has 24/7 broadcast the ‘Sterling’ thing, a gay kiss heard round the world, and so on - - -

I don’t know what will happen, WW, but we will deserve it when it comes, IMO. I’m not sure repealing the 17th amendment can save us, WW.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at May 13, 2014 9:24 PM
Comment #378343

roy ellis, yes we will deserve it. As a nation we’re not paying attention. Most people don’t know what the 17th amendment is. Hell, most people think the entire U.S. Constitution consists of the first 2 amendments.

It’s a shame people raise hell when their congress person doesn’t “bring home the bacon”. If they want that money so bad why do they throw it into that sewer hole in the first place? People in general are just mind-numbed robots, I guess.

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Comment #378466

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Comment #380343

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Comment #380879

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