Monday, February 23, 2009

The Movie Network Has Come True

Have any of you seen the classic 1970s movie Network? Paddy Chafesky's satirical prophecy has finally come true, albeit in Great Britain.

Disgraced British reality tv star Jade Goody has found a way to restore her good graces with the British media, after a scandal over her racially harassing actress Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother. She is literally going to die for good ratings. (Shades of Howard Beale!)

Goody, who has terminal cervical cancer, has agreed to become a "public curiosity" during the last few weeks of her life, in order to make more money for her children. She has become the subject of fawning press scrutiny in Great Britain, evidently having decided that if she lived on TV, she can die on TV. (Hmm...shades of The Truman Show as well.)

It should not really be a surprise that Network has come true in Great Britain, as the British have a tabloid culture that puts ours to shame. Reality TV is much more prominent in Britain, with Big Brother contestants becoming long lasting celebrities.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Burris's Troubles

I found a funny post on Sen. Roland Burris's ethics issues. It's on a local Pittsburgh blog, the Angry Drunk Bureaucrat, and can be seen here.

Another Example of Catholic Idiocy

If you want to see the embodiment of Catholic fanaticism and dogma, look no further than the YouTube channel RosaryFilms. This channel's videos, nearly 700 so far, are ranting endorsements of various Roman Catholic dogmas. Most prominent, and glaringly stupid, are the denunciations of abortion. For example, one video notes the percentage of prostitutes who are pro-choice:

That's right, folks. No actual argument, no attempt at reason, just a bald statistic. Wow, I'm won over.

What makes the efforts of RosaryFilms especially comic is that, in an effort to use items from the public domain, many of the films it releases are fifty year old public service announcements. This may in part stem from the dated viewpoints expounded by the channel. For instance, take a look at this video, which purports to show an accurate psychological view of homosexuality:

Am I the only one who noticed that this video is roughly forty to fifty years old? It might be me, but I prefer to get my data from a more up to date source. In response to a comment on this issue, RosaryFilms argues that it is compliant with not only up to date psychology, but also theology. Are we to go to priests for mental health analysis now?

Similarly dated is an old video about the effects of mothers going to work, posted below. What makes this video particularly ironic is that if you look on the sidelines, you see several videos about child abuse promoted. Perhaps, given the Church's recent history, Rosary Films should devote more attention to child abuse in the context of the clergy, rather than criticizing working mothers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Burma Backstep

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently dropped hints that the Obama Administration is considering weakening or dropping sanctions against the state of Myanmar. Her argument is that sanctions have not worked, and have only harmed the people of Burma.

Can we all say appeasement?

This is what I was afraid of when Secretary Clinton was first named to this post. Her record on human rights has been abysmal, as witnessed by her well-documented opposition to American intervention in Bosnia. She is transferring her weak position on fighting for human rights during her husband's term in office to her tenure as Secretary of State. We can only hope that President Obama has the wisdom and the strength to oppose this cowardly action and take a strong stance on human rights in Myanmar.