This is my favorite blog post in a long time. To introduce you to my new favorite website, regenerateCulture.com. My amazing husband, the talented, witty (and patient) Ryan Zempel, has been talking about doing this for at least 4 years. And he's finally done it!
For a little "why" behind the "what," I'm re-posting here:
As you may have guessed from the banner, I’m kind of keen on the many definitions of “regenerate.” Not to mention the whole yin/yang thing (minus the implied heresy) it has going on with “degenerate.”
For the past several decades (well, okay, probably all of recorded history, but work with me here…), many good-hearted people (and maybe some not-so-good-hearted) have spent far too much time decrying “degenerate” art and far too little time celebrating “regenerate” art. The word “regenerate” is a verb, an adjective, and a noun. As a verb, it means “to reform spiritually or morally.” As an adjective, it means “spiritually or morally revitalized,” as well as “restored; refreshed; renewed.” As a noun, it refers to “one who is spiritually reborn or reformed.”
With as much enthusiasm as I can muster (which can actually be quite a lot, when backed by copious amounts of sugar), I endorse all forms of the word “regenerate” (I endorse the liberal use of parenthetical comments, as well, but that isn’t as blogworthy).
The arts have tremendous power to shape the culture and simply criticizing “degenerate” art gets us nowhere. Instead, we need to pay heed to two quotes of debatable origin. “Criticize by creating” is good advice, regardless of whether or not Michelangelo was the one who first said it. Similarly, “Give me the songs of a nation, and it matters not who writes its laws” may or may not originate with Damon of Athens, but rings true regardless here in the nation’s capital. I firmly believe that by fostering redemptive art, regenerate artists can bring about a morally and spiritually revitalized culture.
So, whilst making my own feeble attempts to engage in artistic endeavors bringing renewal to my own little corner (“in my own little chair…”) of the world, this here website is where I more broadly engage in lofty attempts to reform the culture, celebrate signs of cultural revitalization, and praise and encourage the regenerates in our midst.