Are celebrities the new fall guys for our powerless society?

I am not an apologist for the words of Andy Gray and Richard Keys, but it seems that Gray’s dismissal was unusually swift. I wonder how much of this was down to the public “outcry” over what was said, or down to the Sky Empire’s desire to be seen to have a softer side as the proposed buyout from Murdoch gathers pace.

Recently we have seen a number of unpopular policy decisions suggested and then acted upon by our politicians:
-the bailout of the banks
– the cuts agenda
-the rise in tuition fees well as other actions which have been out of the hands of the public such as the award of sky-high bankers bonuses this month. All of these measures have seen massive public demonstrations and protests, but they’ve led to no changes in policy so far. It’s all been allowed to just happen.

Because of this failure by the public to influence and change Government policy…are we now switching our attention to everything said and done by public figures as a way of venting this frustration and anger? I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to make. Major names in the BBC, figures in the world of sport, Daily Mail columnists, women who put cats in bins, and politicians’ private lives have all been the subject of media campaigns of some sort…usually ending with a resignation or apology. And you could say this triviality then distracts our attention from more serious news.


Wonderland: The end of the world bus

I watched this documentary on BBC 2 tonight. It followed a Christian holy land tour across Israel/Palestine, focussing on the tourists on board. Documentaries on fundamentalist fruitbats are two a penny on TV these days but I still find myself making time to watch them.

Some of the individuals profiled had gone through terrible personal loss, and I could see how symbolic experiences like being baptised in the Galilee were a powerful source of release and healing for them. Yet I was (still) shocked at the willingness to oppress others who didn’t share their worldview (eg. refusing to spend money in the Arab areas of Jerusalem, considering all Palestinians evil).

The section where the tourists donned army fatigues to volunteer at an Israeli military barracks was possibly the most uncomfortable TV representation of Christianity that I have ever seen.

Maybe we believe in different gods. Maybe to an extent I’ve also constructed a comfortable interpretation of the Bible that suits me.

Ah well, thanks to Martyn Joseph for these lyrics:

“Thank God you’re not the jury, thank God I’m not the judge.
  Here’s to a bigger picture, here’s to a bigger love.”

Wee kid says “no” to the man

I was at church this morning. The speaker was doing a children’s talk and showed a range of logos on the projector screen – McDonald’s arches, traffic signs, etc.One of the logos was the Nike “swoosh.” When she asked the kids if they recognised this a young girl put up her hand and said – its what you get when you answer something right (or words to that effect).We are so bombarded with advertising so fair play to that wee girl and her family!