How many of use Google regularly, I wonder?
And how many of us are being Googled?
By this I mean to call attention to the way Google subtly (or not so subtly) directs our attention … How it shapes and focuses us.
This is just a short, indignant burst of protest from my heart – so I will not write go in-depth now.
However, I am sure whole treatises could – and should – be written on this subject, even if I am hardly competent to do so.
Still, I note that today the Google home page directs our attention to the invention of the first steam locomotive.
Yesterday, it was the first manned space flight.
Not long ago, it commemorated the 119th anniversary of the first ice cream sundae.
There was also the anniversary of Pac-man … (!).
Google commemorates all these anniversaries of our technological and material achievements …
Subtly (or not) it tells untold millions of us what is important.
I am not saying that all of these things are unimportant.
Still, I ask you dear Reader – is there not a tremendous imbalance here?
How likely are you to see on Google the commemoration of the Revelation of His Sacred Heart …?
2014 will be the 160th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception – an event that should be of considerable importance for the something like sixty per cent of global Christianity that is Catholic or one sixth of humanity that is Catholic.
How likely is it that come 2014, Google will let us know?
These are rhetorical questions, I know.
Catholicism isn’t fashionable in the dominant Anglo-American culture.
And who is that creates fashion …?
Another rhetorical question.
Catholicism isn’t fashionable, because it’s not meant to be.
In the end, this is not really about Google. It’s about the way our whole capitalist, consumerist civilisation (I hesitate to say culture) regularly directs our attention again and again and again from the Sacred to the trivial and profane …
More accurately: it DIVERTS our attention.
What is it to be googled? It is to be re-directed from the Sacred to the Profane.
But there once was a culture that – however imperfectly – did seek to direct our attention from the Profane to the Sacred.
The window from Chartres Cathedral above still testifies to that culture …