Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Joy and TV across nine time zones

This afternoon, as I finished up a little book I cannot remember who recommended to me, I sort of wanted to remember so that I could protest at having been deceived. Deceived may be too strong a word. Let us just say that I was thoroughly disappointed by a book caught at the bottom of the depths it plumbed. It makes of TV a vehicle or the scepter of governance, giving the Tube a place in history and in time both unworthy of man's desserts and overrated in terms of its capabilities:

"But in Russia, working in television is about more than being a camera, an observer. In a country covering nine time zones, one-sixth of the world’s land mass, stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic, from the Arctic to the Central Asian deserts, from near-medieval villages where people still draw water from wooden wells by hand, through single-factory towns and back to the blue glass and steel skyscrapers of the new Moscow— TV is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country. It’s the central mechanism of a new type of authoritarianism, one far subtler than twentieth-century strains. And as a TV producer I would be directed right into the center of its workings." (Pomerantsev, Peter (2014-11-11). Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (p. 3). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.)

I will not deny that Russia has this seedy side to it as described in the book; Ukrainian oligarchy would seem to be of a piece with it. That much of Russia today is surreal, okay, but that "TV is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country."  - NO! Sorry, Peter, but not acceptable. If I had known you were a nihilist, I never would have bought the book.

Flight from the pits took me inexplicably to Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest: A Novel,  Kindle Edition and this lovely quote:

"I'd say: I can't help wearing an outfit fit like an undertaker's man. After all, the Pope rigs himself self up in white and the cardinals in red, so what's the odds? But I'd have the right to go around adorned like the Queen of Sheba because I'm bringing you joy. I'll give it you for nothing, you have only to ask. Joy is in the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share. Whatever you did against the Church, has been done against joy." (Kindle Locations 307-310).

 No, Peter, TV can't even come a close second to soothing what ails Russia. Russia like so much of our world needs to be prayed out of the tomb: Lazarus, come forth! Faithful to our Blessed Mother's plea, let us pray and sacrifice for the conversion of Russia. That better than TV, all nine time zones might be bound together by the saving grace of Christ's Passion and know joy in His and our Mother's arms!


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