Craig Finn with Belly Up signCraig Finn, lead singer of The Hold Steady in an interview with Slate

For many of Finn’s fans, you’ll probably enjoy this interview, but the Friday Night Lights die-hards will like it even more. I just wish the interviewer would’ve probed a bit deeper on this religion question rather than using it as a toss-away paragraph that doesn’t draw Finn out on the depths of his experience or at least follow up on his answer. What are his “major problems” with the Catholic Church? Forgiveness and redemption are present in many denominations and various religions; what is it about the Roman Catholic Mass that draws him in despite his misgivings? What does he think about and take back to his work and relationships? When he cites David Foster Wallace’s idea about “reading fiction as a form of meditation,” how does Finn put that into practice in his own life and art and faith?

Photo by dsopfe/Flickr, cc by-nc-sa 2.0.


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Had Slate probed more deeply Craig would have eventually said, "There is [one thing] that [is] really scary and awful that I try [not to think about].", "the void". "The void" is the missing fact we find when we ask "Why am I?" and ever since 'Eve' first asked the question giving birth to humanity, life has increasingly been a reaction to the void. At the present time our existence has evolved to the point it is almost exclusively the sum of our individual reactions to the void but the consequences have so degraded our environment our existence seems to be increasingly reverting to a reaction to nature.

Currently the most dominant reaction to the void is trying to fill it with money and all the stuff it can buy which is obviously destroying humanity. Still popular but declining because it is beyond reason is our religious/philosophical reaction which includes programs like "On Being" that are trying to prevent the decline. A third out of eight ways we try to fill the void is our anesthetic reaction. It involves taking drugs, alcohol, sex, food, listening to non stop music, talk, even "reading fiction", generally doing anything to keep from thinking about "the void". The ultimate anesthetic reaction is suicide.

There is also the "ideal reaction to the void." http://www.thelastwhy.ca/poem/

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