“In the case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea,” a statement issued by Putin’s office said, “Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.”
[ by Charles Cameron -- noting once again that spin is slant and slant is spin ]
Last night, Frontline hosted a documentary on Popes Francis and Benedict, and the troubled Church the former inherited from the latter. Not unexpectedly, the child abuse scandal featured prominently in the discussion:
I happen to be of the opinion that Benedict XVI’s reign was largely devoted to restoring beauty to the liturgy, and thus strength to the inner, contemplative aspect of Catholic life, while that of Francis seems largely devoted to restoring generosity to the world, and thus strength to the church’s outer, active side. In my view these two pontificates are therefore complementary, with contemplation rightly preceding action.
This, however, is not the view the mainstream press likes to take — for it is all a bit even-handed and non-partisan, which doesn’t grab as much attention as a lurid headline…
I cannot possibly comment on everything that was said in the documentary, much of which deals with known facts — abuses and coverups — but I did wonder, as I began to watch it, just how accurate it might be — and when I reached the point at 35′ 24″ where psychiatrist Martin Kafka MD of Harvard Medical School speaks [upper panel], I was surprised and a little dismayed:
You see, I was already acquainted with the views of Billy Graham‘s grandson, Boz Tchividjian [lower panel, above] on this precise question.
I am not in a position to evaluate the two claims: all that I can say is that Dr Kafka’s certainty seems to be in question, as does that of Boz Tchividjian, executive director of the Protestant investigative and reparative body, Godly Response to Abuse.
Why didn’t Frontline mention this no-less-expert and widely reported contrary opinion?
As I say, I am becoming increasingly leery of believing my own eyes — when what they are viewing is opinionated reporting of any stripe.
This post, the first of several at our temporary Zenpunditry.Wordpress backup site — make a note of the URL — while ZP itself was down for a week, also contained an announcement of that problem, now no longer required. .
I don’t have anything earth-shattering to report by way of an immanent apocalypse, but my interest in form got nicely tweaked yesterday when I finished watching the movie of Faulkner‘s As I lay Dying — which uses a lot of split screen work that reminded me of my collection of DoubleQuotes in the Wild…
But anyway, I was saying…
I finished the film, stunned and impressed, and went to look see if I could find a copy of the book (I thought it was a short story) online, and came across what to me is the most exquisite short paragraph devoted to form — the second para in As I Lay Dying –
The path runs straight as a plumb-line, worn smooth by feet and baked brick-hard by July, between the green rows of laidby cotton, to the cottonhouse in the center of the field, where it turns and circles the cottonhouse at four soft right angles and goes on across the field again, worn so by feet in fading precision.
Such awesome beauty there, squaring the circle, circling the square — and for me, the recollection too of John Donne doing a similar rounded squaring:
At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scatter’d bodies go…
Such exquisite geometries both great writers offer us.
I suggest it’s because they have an eye for form — they look or the shapes, the patterns in things — they’re constantly scanning, constantly practicing pattern-recognition.
Which as you know, is an desirable cognitive skill in analytic work — one of the way to connect the dots.
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.