Monday, January 25, 2010

"Did You Ever Wonder?...."

[If you hail from the Previous Century and at all recall a bristly browed, craggy faced Irishman named Andy Rooney on vintage editions of "60 Minutes", transmute the following into his inimitable voice...OK, it's not required.]


* When large-scale catastrophes are visited on mankind, many of the ubiquitous broadcast journalists who bring us wall-to-wall coverage seem to reset their 'worldview default' switch and assure their interviewees, and even the audience at large, that their "prayers" are with the victims?

I certainly don't condemn fact, I appreciate it...but it does seem a bit incongruous with the usual 'take' on anything remotely spiritual. Even if one grants that "spirituality" is very, very broadly defined in our world, it seems seldom to come up in media dialogue apart from something enormous and confounding...things like earthquakes, tsumanis, genocide, plummeting short anything that annoyingly reminds us that we aren't quite Big enough to 'call the tune'....

- Things we can't explain, control, fix, or prevent have an inconveniently consistent way of forcing us to acknowledge, or at least give lip service to, the possibility of something or someone greater than this transient plane we live and die in.

* The notion of "equal" doesn't seem to mean "equal" when diaster strikes? What do I mean? Well, it occurs to me that one of tenets of the well entrenched Received and Correct mass media mindset presumes that all ethical systems, religions, value systems,--what have you-- are equally valid and "true," since any notion of Absolute Truth was sent packing before the century turned.

- Hmmmm...Jesus said 'by their fruits you shall know them.' I may be out in left field here, and if so, I would welcome any factual correction, but I haven't noticed reports of any great influx of humanitarian aid, volunteer teams, etc. from the likes of say, oh, North Korea. Or Iran. Actually, I'm sure there are Muslim disaster responders on the ground in Haiti, but I'm betting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not their president.

- I recall Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez addressing the global community twice now at the UN at which times he drew attention to his own Apparently Supernatural Sense of Smell....something about "the devil" [known to others as former President George W. Bush] having been at the same podium previously and leaving behind a stench of "sulfur" in hellfire... This past year, after succeeding President Barack Obama to the same podium, he noted that the sulfuric stench had abated, at least somewhat. I'm just wondering if Mr. Chavez can also detect the stench of rotting corpses in Port-au-Prince...and if so, whether he's doing anything about it...

- I seem to persist in this little convention of capitazling the Occasional Modifying Phrase? I know. Easily crosses the line into Annoying. But, the truth is, I learned it from A.A. Milne back when I was first discovering The House at Pooh Corner, and I just like works for me.

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