Saturday, 5/7/16

  1. Don’t shout at me!
  2. Ambivalently correcting a crazy overestimate
  3. One picture > 1000 words
  4. Projecting our loathing
  5. Did the SCOTUS Chief Nominate The Donald?
  6. Less Popular than Bubonic Plague?
  7. Fire Judge Judy

1

I went to a fundraising banquet for a pro-life pregnancy resource center recently. Although there is nothing inherently sectarian about opposition to abortion, I’ve more or less resigned myself to it being a cause championed mostly by observant Christians, and the 500 or more in attendance were overwhelmingly Christian. The Roman Catholic Church, which was out front on this issue even before Roe v. Wade, was well-represented, but there were Orthodox and many Evangelicals, too.

But year after year, the speakers are one particular kind of Christian: Evangelical Protestants. And, frankly, their approach is not my cup of tea.

Thursday’s speaker was typical in one sense, but far better at it than most past speakers, because he is a professional speaker, debater, speech coach type.

But he left me thinking “Don’t shout at me to motivate me to do something or to open my wallet wider!” Shouting at me has the opposite effect. Shouting at me makes me shut down emotionally. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a highly-experienced and credentialed shouter (this guy was an outstanding Baptist-style shouter, with good material). I had to force myself to give what I’d sort of planned on giving instead of giving nothing at all in protest.

But I’m obviously the exception. They bring in the shouters and the cryers because it works for fundraising, even in a crowd with many who get homilies, not sermons, forceful at times but not barn-burners, at their own parishes.

I don’t get it.

Some other stuff was great, though. A young dad who fought for his fiancée not to abort their boy until her mind was changed by an ultrasound took the toddler to the microphone with him, where the boy won the audience’s heart through his antics including grabbing the gooseneck microphone and moving it away from daddy’s mouth. (Mom is graduating from nursing school Sunday — while fear of not graduating was one impetus toward abortion.)

2

I hesitate to mention this, since the validity of constitutional rights doesn’t depend on how numerous the rights-bearers are, but less than 3% of America is homosexual or bisexual.

I mention it because we on average wildly overestimate, and I can’t help but think that’s a big influence on attitudes — in what I consider the wrong direction.

3

worship-consumerism

(Illustration in a Stephen Turley opinion piece)

4

When Mr. Trump was on, ratings jumped, but it wasn’t only ratings, it was something else. It was the freak show at its zenith, it was great TV—you didn’t know what he was going to say next! He didn’t know! It was better than everyone else’s boring, prefabricated, airless, weightless, relentless word-saying—better than Ted Cruz,who seemed like someone who practiced sincere hand gestures in the mirror at night, better than Marco the moist robot, better than Hillary’s grim and horrifying attempts to chuckle like a person who chuckles.

And it was something else. TV producers were all sure he’d die on their show. They weren’t for Mr. Trump. By showing him they were revealing him: Look at this fatuous dope, see through him! They knew he’d quickly enough say something unforgivable, and if he said it on their air he died on their show! They took him down with the question! It was only after a solid six months of his not dying that they came to have qualms …

The producers had projected their own loathing. They found out they and America loathed different things.

(Peggy Noonan) For once, I was with the media and we were all wrong — not about his consummate vulgarity in every sense, but about how that would play in Peoria.

5

There is a notable debate going on over the apparent nomination of Donald Trump by the GOP.

Yawn! What else isn’t new or surprising or even just “notable”?

Well, the point being debated is whether Chief Justice John Roberts is responsible for the Trump nomination. Here, here and here (so far).

6

One of many ways I’m out of touch is about the depth of hatred toward Obamacare. I was going on Medicare about the time it arrived, and for whatever reason, I don’t hear the bitter laments (or they don’t register). I’ve read some of the stats about high costs and all, but is the insurrection really almost universal?

7

After the apparent nomination of Trump, I’m sicker than ever of “Reality TV.” Someone please pull that unjudicial Judge Judy, who’s engaged in bloodsport as much as judging, before someone gets the idea that she’s a paradigm of what a judge should be.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

I find the major party choices for President this year so appalling that I’ve mostly given up commentary — today being, I hope, an exception.