Life after Epiphany

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bad behaviour – piers morgan shows complete disregard for civility

Honestly, I find it hard to believe this guy still gets airtime. His behaviour in the clip below is absolutely appalling. Piers Morgan and Suze Orman bullied and browbeat their way through a 15-minute segment managing to avoid any rational or civilized debate at all. They tag-team to pontificate to Ryan Anderson, a young man who showed great composure and courage under fire on national television.

Why ask questions to which you don’t want an answer? Just about every time Morgan asks Anderson a question, he cuts him off toward the end of Anderson’s first sentence of reply, not allowing him to finish answering but firing another question in his direction.

The tone of the discussion was deliberately kept emotive rather than rational.

It is a known fact in the marketing industry that it takes 7 seconds for a message or image to be processed emotionally before it starts to be processed intellectually. Advertising will rarely involve a single image or idea being maintained for more than that 7-second window. Advertisers want to keep viewers on an emotive level as an emotive decision rather than a rational decision is much more likely to lead to sales.

I believe Morgan was employing a similar tactic. Firstly, the quick changes were designed to throw Anderson off balance. Secondly, it kept the conversation in the domain of the emotive and did not allow anyone to truly engage critically with the subject matter.

Morgan isn’t interested in presenting both sides of an issue. He had already decided his view and was using marketing techniques to sell that view to public opinion.

I’m willing to bet that the composition of the audience was carefully designed for favourable studio audience responses to Morgan’s view.

Shame on you, Mr Morgan. Where is your integrity?


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black smoke, white smoke… holy smoke!

Vatican news is reporting that there will be two smoke signals on each day of the conclave until a new Pontiff is elected. These are scheduled for around noon and 7pm Rome time. That means That in my little corner of the Earth, TV sets or laptops should be checked at 10pm AEDT and 5am AEDT each day, if there is to be any chance of seeing the announcement live.

10pm? Easy.

5am? I haven’t risen at that hour since I left the Motherhouse! A little help may be required here… Enter: Aussie Pope Alarm! Some genius employed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has built a system that sends a text message straight to your mobile phone if the white smoke appears. Thank you, ACBC!

Of course, the times above assume that both ballots in each morning and each afternoon session are allowed to proceed owing to the first of the two in each session being unsuccessful. If a successful election occurs on a FIRST ballot, the signals will appear at either 8.30pm AEDT or 3.30am AEDT.

So for now? It’s time to watch and pray…

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“Take this Sabbath Day”

WestWingSeries1JacketThis is hands down one of the most engaging episodes of The West Wing ever made.
(See this page for more info on the episode.)

The substantive part of the episode appears to put capital punishment front and centre. This is an issue I feel strongly about and it is tempting to go off on a tirade using Gen 4:1-16 as a starting point, with particular focus on the ‘Mark of Cain’… look, there, I almost got started… will have to go into this later!

Back to the WW: what its really all about is personal responsibility.

Of particular interest is the discussion between President Bartlet and his boyhood Parish Priest in the Oval Office. Fr Tom asks the President if he would prefer to be addressed as Jed or as Mr President. Bartlet insists upon the title Mr President and then proceeds to explain why in an attempt to justify himself – he disassociates his personal decisions from those made in his capacity as the President in a transparent attempt to vindicate himself of responsibility for the execution that is occurring while this exchange is taking place… an execution that he could have stopped but for the political implications that he was unwilling to face.

From the finger-pointing between Adam and Eve over whose fault it was that they had disobeyed God, to Pilate’s hand-washing display prior to the execution of Jesus Christ all the way through to the modern home or board room… the unwillingness of each of us to take personal responsibility for our failings truly is a universal weakness that has endured from the beginnings of human history.

As I ponder this I’m reminded how beautiful and awesome is the mystery of the Incarnation. Christ was the first Man in human history to take responsibility, and it is only because God became one of us in this fashion that we can experience God’s Divine Mercy. It is now our privilege to be able to participate in Christ’s love by making reparation not just for our own sins, but those of others, for we are indeed our brothers’ keepers.