Making Weirdness Together
DeQn Sue and Process Theology
The basis of experience is emotional.
Alfred North Whitehead,
Adventures of Ideas
I must be magenta.
Let weirdness reign
What is she doing?
Relatable alternative musings twisted up with socially-conscious lyrics. "Single woman on a single mission" to raise the consciousness of a generation through little ditties.
The rainbow of emotions
The most conventional pop song on the record “Magenta,” works its way through the rainbow, trying on each color and rejecting them while the backing vocals chant insistently “I am a color,” demanding that she make a choice. What DeQn Sue seems to do better than just about anyone else right now is vocalize the contrast between our internal monologue and our outward facing selves. It's patently theatrical in the best way. Rather than being larger-than-life, she uses her outsized persona to tell small and incredibly honest stories.
Sorting through the rainbow
A playful western piano riff starts this color infused electronic pop song that is correctly titled “Magenta”. At first you don’t know if it is going to be a dance or rock song with an opening section that adds by subtracting and can best be described as the white canvas. Singer Deqn Sue seems to be a filled crayon box of emotions and this song is the sorting out of these disturbances. Sue’s voice is explaining why being one shade of a color is close to impossible: “it’s not envy or jealousy, so it can’t be green/i’m a little bit scared but I won’t run/so I can’t be yella..”, but the song itself seems to be sifting through the crayon box as well. Each section of this song incorporates a new style or ‘color’ that adds but doesn’t necessarily alter the song in a significant way. The bridge can not be talked about enough. It goes from this dance forward club pink sound to a R&B blue with a flawless outcome. The bass jumps out of the speakers on this one, so listen up! Sue’s voice is powerful and no doubt can fill up a room with any note she would want to hit.
Big haired peacemakers
Magenta is the color of the non-conformist, the free spirit. It pushes you to take responsibility for creating your own path in life and increases dream activity while assisting you in turning your ambitions and desires into reality.
Making weirdness together
"We kind of make the weirdness together," Huntsville-via-Los-Angeles vocalist DeQn Sue says of her producer, Athens-based, Grammy-nominated studio-wizard Kelvin Wooten.
Music in service to life
"Out of the night that covers me,
Creating a world in which we can make weirdness together
God wants us to choose life, but not just any kind of life. God wants us to become fat souls, with widened circles of empathy and understanding who become more unique, not less, through our care for one another. And we cannot do this alone. We can only do it through our relationships with others, negotiating our differences, appreciating our uniqueness, and taking care of each other. The aim of God for the world is for us to create just and sustainable communities that are creative, compassionate, participatory, multicultural, multireligious, ecologically wise, and spiritually satisfying, with no one left behind. Martin Luther King called them beloved communities. These communities can be socially responsible and fun. We can sort through the rainbow of emotions without fear, not hiding from life or hiding from our own uniqueness. We can make weirdness together.
A soul is a weaving
"I am a philosopher, let me tell you a great secret of life—a soul is not a thing, it is not something which stands untouched by the events of your life. Your soul is the river of your life; it is the cumulative flow of your experience. But what do we experience? The world. Each other. So your soul is the cumulative flow of all of your relationships with everything and everyone around you. In a different image, we weave ourselves out of the threads of our relationships with everyone around us."
Emotions are primary
"Whitehead opens the way to an affect-based account of human (and not just human) experience...For Whitehead, the questions of how we feel, and what we feel, are more fundamental than the epistemological and hermeneutical questions that are the focus of most philosophy and criticism (including Kant's critiques.) This emphasis on feeling leads, in turn, to a new account of affect-laden subjectivity. Most broadly, Whitehead's affect theory places aesthetics -- rather than ontology (Heidegger) or ethics (Levinas) -- as the center of philsophical theory. Aesthetics is the mark of what Whitehead calls our concern for the world, and for entities in the world."
Emotions are Relationships
People have different colors and we change colors all the time. I'm not talking about the colors of our skin but rather the colors of our souls and the emotions that clothe them.
Our souls are not things; they are ongoing activities of weaving the things of the world and our relationships with them into momentary gestalts in the immediacy of the moment. Always our ways of weaving the world are colored by emotions. Emotions are how we weave the world into our own lives.
Whitehead calls these emotions subjective forms. They are forms in the sense that hey have tonality and structure, but they are subjective, not in the sense that they are absolutely private or personal, but in the sense that they are feelings rather than objects. They are subjective forms.
Always our ways of weaving are guided by aims for satisfaction in the present and future. Whitehead calls them subjective aims. One way or another we are seeking some kind of happiness -- some kind of harmony or intensity -- in our experience.
It's all about becoming a Fat Soul
The satisfactions we seek need not be for ourselves alone. We can want others to be happy, too. Patricia Adams Farmer speaks of people who live in this way -- who live with empathy and creativity, with care for others and themselves, with individuality and relationality -- as fat souls. She puts it this way:
All you really have to remember about Fat Soul Philosophy is that a fat soul is a beautiful soul. In the process world view, God is the very Soul of the world, the ultimate instance of The Fat Soul, the One who lures us and all creation toward widening circles of Beauty. God yearns for beautiful relationships of earth and sky and people and turtles. God yearns for us to know that we are all of a piece, all deeply interwoven and wholly beautiful in our differences.
"I created affect theology to fill in the emotion gap in liberal theology. Affect theology studies the human emotions and affective states that guide, direct, and prioritize religious beliefs, creedal claims, liturgical structures, religious education programs, and pastoral practices by members and leaders of a religious community. As an affective analysis of religious experience, theological reflection, and leadership practices in a religious community, affect theology functions as a complement to a systematic study of religious belief systems and doctrines. It also rounds out the investigation of religion as cultural studies and social science disciplines by focused attention of the way emotions are altered by religious practices. Affect theology’s antecedent, as we have seen, is Schleiermacher’s Affekt Theology, which focused on the affective stimulations of the human nervous system and made these movements of the “human soul” the first reference for all discourse on religious experience (piety).
We are each other's business
We are each other's business; we are each other's harvest; we are each other's magnitude and bond.
Music can help us become fat souls