- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Electing a savior?

‘The following is a question posed by a University of New Hampshire undergraduate named Jenny Ballantine at a town hall meeting with John and Elizabeth Edwards:

” ‘I need to be able to look to my leader and see words of encouragement, words of hope. I need to be able to trust that person. I need to be able to know that I’m going to be [growing up] in a world that’s not going to be full of hate and prejudice and racism and to know that I matter, that I wasn’t just dumped in this world for no particular reason whatsoever.

” … So what can you do for the people that are in my situation … wanting to go to grad school, is going to be hit with the loans — and, uh, I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. I don’t know what I want to be when I’m an adult. … You know what? It’s about me. It’s about me voting for you or supporting somebody who’s going to be the next president. So it’s all about me right now. Just give me something.’

“Two thoughts: First, we’re a long way from John F. Kennedy’s ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.’ Second, this woman isn’t looking for a president; she’s looking for a savior. This is the natural result of the Nanny state, in which the people are infantilized and made to expect that they should turn to the government to satisfy every need, that they can’t do anything for themselves, and that their only duty is to pay taxes and submit willingly to the elites running everything.”

— Domenico Bettinelli, writing on “Presidential Savior,” Wednesday at Bettnet.com

TV bystanders

“How is it that [a recent] episode [of MTV’s ‘The Real World’] probably had more substance than any other ‘Real World’ episode this season, and I have absolutely nothing to say about it? … [M]aybe it’s time for me to admit that I actually get a kick out of the ridiculous drama (basically, the drinking, fighting and sex) that was largely absent tonight.

“Maybe that’s why MTV has been able to keep this show on the air for 18 seasons — people just love hookups, conflict and absurdity. I’ve noticed on the message boards that some of you TV Watchers will even say things like, ‘God, how can I still possibly be watching this show?’ But you just can’t stop. It’s like a car wreck on a highway: You cringe when you see it, yet you can’t help staring. Yes, that’s it: ‘The Real World’ is a car wreck, and we are the not-so-innocent bystanders.”

— Lindsay Soll, writing on “Peaks and Valleys” Thursday in Entertainment Weekly Online at www.ew.com

Monastic spirit

” ‘Into Great Silence’ makes no apology for the monks’ traditional Catholic and Christian milieu. … The film is punctuated by contemplative intertitles citing Old and New Testament scriptures as well as traditional Christian sources. Two frequently repeated texts suggest the two sides of the monastic experience. On the one hand, self-denial and severity: ‘Unless a man gives up all he has, he cannot be my disciple.’ On the other, the joy of self-abandonment to God: ‘O Lord, you have seduced me, and I was seduced.’ …

” ‘Into Great Silence’ offers an implicit challenge, not so much to the trappings of modernity … as to the spiritual disconnectedness and social fragmentation of a world in decay, to the postmodern incapacity for commitment and sacrifice, to the dissonance and haphazardness of life as we know it.”

— Steven Greydanus, writing on “The Possibility Of Finding God — on Film,” in the Feb. 18-24 issue of the National Catholic Register

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