The Predators – Why are They Lying to My Child?!

Recently at her weblog here, my beloved wrote about her reaction to The Guardian, a high-quality British daily newspaper:

“I feel bombarded. I feel ‘preached’ at. Preached at in a way that is relatively subtle. This is not tabloid journalism or the gutter press. Nonetheless the choice of headlines, photographs and text tries to direct, even manipulate my attention in certain ways, perhaps towards specific agendas.

As though this newspaper is telling me what is important – for example economic speculations or the death of a celebrity – and yet I find very little of that which it espouses is of real importance.

I am disturbed by many of the values it proclaims. And its means of communication, hurts my heart. For I experience it enticing me into a seductive world. Enticing me to fall into its words as though they are ‘truths’. Words that are crafted to carry a particular message. One that many take as gospel.

In fact I have often been told by people things from the newspapers, as though they were simply true. That “they say this” or “they say that”, as though “they” were somehow authoritative. And I wonder why …”

I wonder how many can identify with my wifeś feeling bombarded by what is considered high-quality journalism? I suspect that, relatively speaking, there are not so very many …

If so, I think Kim’s testimony speaks to the fact that for many reasons, our own personal lives have become ever more removed from mainstream media. In recent years especially, newspapers, films, television, so much that is normal to so many, has become for us something that hardly seems normal at all.

And thus to encounter it, is to look at it with eyes afresh

In particular, it has been long years indeed since we saw television on any regular basis. Now, at no point was there any ideological decision to throw out television. No, what happened is that life became so rich in other ways, that most of what was offered on television had less and less importance.

In saying this, I do not want to be censorious of folk who watch TV. Though television has few riches for myself, I can well imagine it has legitimate riches for others, if chosen consciously, selectively. Thus no criticism is intended here.

Yet it seems to me, that with new eras in human development, new religious and spiritual practices become necessary. And a spiritual practice of conscious and selective discipline with television must be one of them.

True leisure is important, but leisure can be used for that which enriches one’s religious and interior life. If one turns to television as a form of leisure, it seems an important discipline to be very, very aware as to what one selects …

In any case for myself, television long ago ceased to give any form of meaningful leisure. The interior life, the life of the Sacraments, the life of study and family was more rich than anything on television and so it fell away …

And as it fell to the wayside, a life of greater simplicity naturally evolved. And as our world warms and begins to burn, is it not clear that – now more than ever – we need to rediscover simplicity? Ideally this should not come through strict and brutal prohibitions I think, but rather more through the attraction of inner joys.

And here a Church explicitly and consistently devoted to rich and sacramental Mystery, rather than one apparently oriented to inane efforts at ‘entertainment’, seems so very, very desperately needed …

Now again, abstinence from media has led to certain personal reactions, that I suspect are not so common. For example, how clearly I recall years ago taking my young daughter to the cinema.

Where an experience of horror greeted me.

Horror which was put in relief and made visible, I think, precisely because I had so long abstained from television. Without this abstinence, I doubt I would have registered this horror. For it would have seemed all-too-commonplace.

What is the horror of which I speak?

I speak of watching cinema advertising. For before the film was screened, there came a barrage of advertising – incredibly sophisticated, powerful, deceitful – all aimed at the child’s soul.

My own soul screamed: ‘Why are they LYING to my child?! Why are they trying to manipulate my child?’

Of course, the answer to these questions is all too obvious: Greed and hunger for power and control.

What is going on here, is nothing less than predatory. Certain groups seek to gain control of children for their own ends.

What is less obvious are the answers to the following questions:

Why are they allowed to do this? Why are they allowed to prey on the young especially, with an incredibly blatant and manipulative agenda? Why do so few people seem to object?

And why, when people apparently object often and much about the ‘imposition’ of ‘offenses’ against political correctness (e.g. saying a ‘Christmas tree’ instead of a ‘holiday tree’) do they not seem to care much at all about such MASSIVE attempts to impose, as those undertaken by the global advertising industry?

Yes, the so-called imposition of religion i.e. usually of matters contrary to the underlying ideology of secularism, causes the greatest consternation in certain circles.

While the flagrant attempt to instill a voracious, consumerist, capitalist ethos raises hardly an eyebrow.

The ethos of consumerism, of course, not only does not contradict secularism, but actually DEPENDS on it.

For it thrives for example, on the idea that values are relative and not rooted in objective truth. And it draws vital nourishment from a scientific faith which has increasingly meant that legislation is limited to that which one can prove is harmful.

Prove with cold, hard data. Though as I have remarked before here, it took decades of such data-collection, before we could legislate against nicotine. And global warming? How long have we heard that the scientific data is still not sufficient yet?

And how could we ever hope to find sufficient cold, hard data to prove beyond a doubt that our childrens’ souls are being twisted and crippled?

No these things of which I speak cannot be proven by hard, empirical data. But for those with living faith and tradition, it is evident that they are worth serious attention …

Books from Roger Buck

Foreword for Monarchy by Roger Buck

Distributism and Social Justice

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