Monday, March 26, 2012

Political Theater as Propaganda


The idea of "political theater" is a concept I observed in action many years ago during the university campus anti-war protests of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Over the years it has become much more sophisticated and today is used by all sides of the political spectrum, right as well as left. I see it constantly in the news. I see it on Youtube. I see it in the blogosphere. I see it on Facebook.

It is both amusing and also scary to see how political theater is accepted at face value and without critical scrutiny. (And this observation has nothing at all to do with your agreeing with me about this or that or anything at all.) The unfortunate thing is that political theater has a habit of fogging truth and reality. It encourages a rush to judgement that condemns and executes without regard to waiting for all the facts so the full truth and genuine justice can prevail.

What drives political theater is the agenda of the group or parties directing and producing the carefully calculated acts of the play orchestrated as opportunity gives occasion, to move that agenda forward..

By the way, another way of spelling "political theater" is

"p-r-o-p-a-g-a-n-d-a".

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Images of War: The Fall of Troy

We rush to no uncertain death, and hold
Our way into the city's midst. Black night
Hovers around us with her hollow shade.
Who can describe the carnage of that night?
Down falls the ancient city, having ruled
So many years: and everywhere struck down
Lay many an unresisting corpse along
The streets and through the houses, and beside
The sacred thresholds of the deities.
Not only do the Trojans suffer death.
Courage returns even to our vanquished hearts,
And in their turn the conquering Greeks are slain.
And everywhere are the sounds of bitter grief,
And terror everywhere, and shapes of death.

~ The Aeneid, Book 2, Virgil
"This candle too gives little light,
And does not make the darkness bright.
But keep it lit and you will find:
Far better this than being blind.
One little flame when all is night,
Proves there is such a thing as light.
One answered prayer when all is gone,
Will give you hope to wait for dawn."

~ John Piper "Job"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mickey Mouse is seeking to become the Elephant Lodge’s Head Elephant Poobah. Depending on which poll you listen to, he is running 2nd behind Scooby Doo. Other sources have him running 3rd with Scooby Doo 1st and Bullwinkle in 2nd. And then there is Elmer Fudd lingering behind in a distant 4th place….

Meanwhile at the Fraternal Order of Odd-Donkeys, Daffy Duck is unopposed in his quest for another term as Royal Odd-Donkey Emperoral Potentate...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A New Colonialism


“I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. But if we on earth were to get right with God, of course, all would be changed. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.”

~ C.S. Lewis in Sherewood Wirt's interview of Lewis in May of 1963.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A STRANGER TO HIS OWN CHILD

There never was a war so prolific of personal incident in every shade of experience possible to human life. The devastated provinces of France offer perhaps more of these happenings than any other part of the steel-swept, shell- wrecked fronts of all Europe. An Associated Press correspondent tells one that is especially touching.

He was motoring toward Denaen, one of the cities the Germans had occupied through four hard years, when a French officer going in the same direction asked him for a lift, explaining that he had lived there but had neither seen nor heard from his wife during all that time.

Entering the city and turning into his street the officer saw the first house was in ruins. He gave a nervous start. A few doors farther on was his home. The officer climbed out with an effort, his eyes fixed on the place.

There was no sign of life. The windows were shuttered and on the door was a sign showing German officers had been living there. The officer pulled the bell with shaking hand. No one answered. He backed away like a man in a trance and leaned against the car, trembling.

Suddenly the door opened and an aged servant appeared, leading a beautiful baby girl with a wealth of golden curls. The officer took one step toward the child and halted. He was a stranger to his own flesh and blood. The child hid behind the nurse, peering out in fright.

The half blind eyes of the old nurse had recognized her master and she held out her hands, repeating, "Monsieur! Monsieur!" in ecstasy. He crossed the road and grasped her hands, but the baby drew back.

A door opened and a comely young matron came to see what was going on. She caught sight of her husband, then stopped. Her hands flew to her breast. She swayed for a second. "With a sob of joy she hurled herself into his arms.

The correspondent moved away. And thus they were left, the nurse beaming on the happy couple and the curly headed youngster looking with troubled eyes at this strong man who had appropriated her mother so completely without a word.

Taken from "The Great War", published by The Christian Herald, (1919).