Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Glasgow's Lentfest

A friend in Scotland asks, "Should Lent be fun?" This question was prompted by a seasonal Glaswegian production. The Glasgow Archdiocese has been promoting Lentfest: a series of cultural events that coincidentally occur during the traditional time of Lent.

Attendees can enjoy a poetry and music cafe, further indulge their appetite for tunes with a brass ensemble, take a lighter turn at the folk session, and enjoy the Inner Light film festival. Those with a taste for more traditional Lenten fare can get comparatively closer to the real thing with a stage production of a pilgrimage to Lourdes that features elements of faith, hope, and karaoke.

Perhaps if we're to adopt such an ecclectic treatment, we could fold in elements from the world of sports -- something that applies the Hegelian dialectic to a mashup of Lenten penance and modern cultural idioms. Specifically, I see the potential for new Lenten-themed Olympic events.

Track and Field
* Performed barefoot on scorching desert sand
* Marathons run while carrying a life-sized wooden cross
* Pole vaults done with no landing cushion

* Swimming events with electric eels (salt water) or piranha (fresh water)
* Elevated diving into the shallow end of the pool

* Wrestling is brought back, and gouging is allowed
* Pugilism sans boxing gloves

New Event
* The inverse of a pie-eating contest: participants see how long they can go without food or drink

Just imagine the possibilities.

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