Saturday, August 20, 2005

Super cable

I'm currently betwixt Seminary and University housing plans, and in the meantime am house-sitting. One of the advantages is having almost triple digits worth of channels to choose from, leading me to the following reflection triad:

Travel Channel
Here I go again. All it took was one generation that didn't believe in anything supernatural, to produce a generation that believes in everything supernatural.

Now we have a host of very foolish people who are approaching the recently rediscoverd "spirit realm" like Steve approaches the animal kingdom. And what do you know? Someone got bit.

On this show a team of contemporary ghostbusters went to the most haunted house in England where a happy medium proceeded to taunt the resident spirits. Ouija was busted out, a little channelling was thrown in, and everyone felt a "dark and oppressive" atmosphere. "Show yourself" yelled the psychic, only to demand after one crew member was thrown to the floor, "Get off him." Get off him in the name of... entertainment? The dude was freaked... and he wouldn't be the first. Overnight thrillseekers in that house have kept local exorcists in business for quite some time.

Apparently this particular home was unsuccessfully exorcised twenty years ago by the local bishop. All it would take is one look from the master exorcist to clean out that place for good, but his servants are often not very adept at fascilitating his presence. Count exorcism as one of the things I (but not all) didn't learn how to do in Seminary (we'd probably have to believe in the devil first).

Allow me to refer you once again to Susan Howatch's novels for a psychiatrically sophisticated (that is, beyond Frank Peretti) treatment of these issues. But meanwhile on the Travel Channel, the sons of Sciva live.

When world Jewry gets mad at something, you usually hear about it. But what about when they really like something, like for example Benedict's recent address to the synagogue in Cologne broadcast on EWTN? Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Jews are listening to their own rabbis, like David Dalin who while exposing the myth of Pius XII's connection with Hitler to be just that - myth - is making the connections between Hitler and another faith uncomfortably factual.

CSPAN covered his packed house speaking engagements, and the Rabbi did quite well on his feet.

Movie Channels:
I loved the first installment and was excited to see if this pair would have grown up a bit. They didn't.

In Before Sunset the female character waxed eloquent about the spiritual rest she received when staying in Communist Warsaw (thanks to the lack of advertising). Forget the 140,000,000 dead people - Communism gives you more mental space to journal! And Ethan Hawke's character, after making the transition from Kierkegaard's aesthetic to the ethical life was painfully eager to slip back into the first (nevermind the wife and kids).

Is the third stage (which blends the best of the first two) still so unfashionable?