Archive for the ‘CNN’ Category

Buddhist monks strain credibility to prove relevance

December 15, 2007


Japanese monks and nuns held a fashion show – with rap music and a catwalk – at a major Tokyo temple Saturday to promote Buddhism.
[. . .]
“We wanted to show the young people that Buddhism is cool, and temples are not a place just for funerals,” said Koji Matsubara, a chief monk at Tsukiji.

I walk away from something like this thinking not that Buddhism is cool, but that it’s hokey, and that any religion that has to hitch its star to the popularity of hip-hop culture looks suspiciously bankrupt of native appeal.

This reminds me of something the Subcomandante Marcos wrote for our high school newspaper, though I don’t recall if it was ever printed. On some humanitarian-type student group, the name of which escapes me, he wrote a fictitious article describing the challenge it had to demonstrate its worth as a group. The group’s student leader replied, “We’re not worthless . . . we just aren’t!” I’m thinking the group was called “Interact” but can’t remember for sure.


Is “lesbian” out?

November 28, 2007

Another stupid CNN headline: “Gay retired general questions candidates.” I bet he really got in their faces about homophobia in the military. Here’s the CNN screencap:


Somehow, questions like this are supposed to appear legitimate when asked by gay men. Professional enough? Seems a diversion from the real question: whether the presence of openly homosexual forces helps or hurts unit cohesion and loyalty.

And is “lesbiana” a typo or is this the new self-appointed adjective for homosexual women? Is the final “A” meant to emphasize their feminine gender? Can I start calling gay men “lesbianos”? I mean, I’m not gonna lie to ya . . . lesbiana with each other here. This seems silly to me. I thought these people were into ultra-inclusiveness. You know, GLBTQ—where Q used to stand for Queer, but now apparently stands for Questioning. I guess the L now stands for lesbiana. Stay tuned until next week, when the homosexual intelligentsia decides that the remaining letters also stand for words too outmoded to express the full complexity of the “alternative lifestyle.”

(By the way, the article itself didn’t say a single word about homosexuals.)

CNN: New Orleans is blameless

August 30, 2007

From “Tale of two cities: Biloxi and New Orleans“, with my italics and boldface:

“People need to realize that we’re rewriting the chapters. We’re in unchartered territory because no city has ever gone through what we’ve encountered over the last two years,” said New Orleans Councilman-at-Large Arnie Fielkow. “When you look at the cause of our situation, the massive failure of a flood protection system caused by the negligence of our federal government, we’re trying to pick up the pieces in a way that we can rebuild New Orleans to a better place than it was pre-Katrina.”

Naturally Arnie Fielkow, being a New Orleans Councilman, is biased in favor of the city government. He’s going to point fingers at the federal government and say it was their fault the levees broke. But when CNN prints his comments without even mentioning the possibility that some blame may lie with the city government, that’s lame. It’s not as if they were unplagued by any corruption or other shortcomings.

I expect this kind of stuff from Kanye West, not “the most trusted name in news”.

Merv Griffin’s caption writer in critical condition

August 12, 2007


And this just in: Merv was 82.

Roland S. Martin, do your homework

July 19, 2007

I was blissfully unaware of this man’s existence until this morning, when I read on a couple of different blogs about his venemous and ludicrous attack on Benedict XVI, prompted by the statement on the Church released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last week.

For an excellent summary, see the Newsbusters piece. For the piece I’m talking about now, go here.

My point here is that anyone who has studied the Catechism, as Martin claims he did, or who has paid any attention to the CDF document, as Martin may be presumed to have done, since he’s belittling it, would not have made the obvious blunders that Roland Martin makes in his CNN piece.


“Vatican stresses Protestant inferiority”

July 18, 2007

I took CNN off my RSS feed some time ago, and I would be lying if I said my life didn’t get a little better as a result. Who needs 24-hour-a-day bombardment with superficial and sensationalist headlines? Every once in a while, it’s entertaining . . . but slogging through the RSS listings is bad for the soul.

On July 9 I visited the CNN site, taking a short break from an unusually productive day. I was rewarded immediately by the following headline, shown here just above “Pizza guy gets death”:

It’s not really what the article is about. And the Vatican document doesn’t really “stress the inferiority of Protestants”. (An English translation of the document can be read at Sandro Magister’s very good Chiesa website. The document is called “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.”)


Tony Blair exchanges protein strings with Iraqi leader

May 19, 2007


Reminds me of the “Treehouse of Horror VII” episode (27 October 1996) of the Simpsons, where the aliens Kang and Kodos take on the forms of Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and are seen walking down the street hand in hand. When questioned about this, Dole-Kang replies:

We are merely exchanging long protein strings. If you can think of a simpler way, I’d like to hear it.

I leave you with a bonus excellent quotation from “Treehouse of Horror IX,” which first aired on 25 October 1998:

Kodos: Commander Kang, receiving transmission from infant pod thirteen.
Kang: Holy flurking schnit! What’s the message?
Kodos: Larval stage completed, standing by for orders, experiencing terrible rash, over.
Kang: Ensign Kodos, set coordinates for the obscure T-shirt-producing planet known as Earth!

One million demonstrate in Rome; NY Times looks other way

May 14, 2007

My point here is simple and obvious: the news media are dominated by Leftists. Consider the following cases.

Saturday was “Family Day” in Rome—a demonstration in defense of traditional family values against the ever-increasing demands of homosexuals. Estimates for the number of pro-family demonstrators range from several hundred thousand, up to 1.7 million. A huge event by any standard.

And yesterday the World Congress of Families concluded in Warsaw, Poland. This was a three-day event which calls itself “the world’s largest conference of pro-family leaders and grass roots activists.” Thousands of pro-family leaders and governmental ministers from 60 countries participated.

Yet—amazingly? expectedly?—not a single word of this appears to have been reported by the New York Times. I could be wrong on this, but searching for key words such as “Family Day” and “Lateran” (the rally being convened at St. John Lateran Square) turned up ZERO hits at A search on “World Congress of Families” also turned up nothing, even though this is the fourth such Congress, with previous meetings held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), and Mexico City (2004). Apparently the Times has ignored them all.

The same goes for Unless I’m searching incorrectly, neither of these “news” outlets considers either of these events newsworthy. (The NY Times did run a full-length report on Leonard Nimoy’s photographs of obese nude women, however. And CNN is rightfully famous for its coverage of such “news” as its current Top Story: “Olympic bomber taunts victims from prison”.)

The LA Times and the BBC reported on Family Day (though neither noticed the World Congress of Families). However, this is not to say that they acknowledged the strength of the pro-family forces in Italy. The BBC ends its piece by lamenting that gay couples are still not getting equal rights, and claims that

Recent polls showed that most Catholics in Italy are in favour of changes to the legislation despite Church opposition.

Interesting, then, that a MILLION of them should turn out in person to demonstrate against the very legislation that “recent polls” claim they support! One really has to believe strongly in something to actually go and participate in person.

Read more about Family Day at the WDTPRS blog, written by an American priest living in Rome. Here is one of his pictures of the pro-family crowd (click for larger picture).
family day crowd

NASA rethinking (sex and) death for Mars mission

May 2, 2007

The link to this article reads, “NASA rethinking sex and death for Mars mission.” However, get to the article, and the headline mentions only death: “NASA rethinking death in mission to Mars.”

But just when you thought you’d been baited and switched, comes this section:

One topic that is evidently too hot to handle: How do you cope with sexual desire among healthy young men and women during a mission years long?

Sex is not mentioned in the document and has long been almost a taboo topic at NASA. Williams said the question of sex in space is not a matter of crew health but a behavioral issue that will have to be taken up by others at NASA.

Ha: “too hot to handle” . . . yeah, the NASA prudes don’t dare touch that one. Too busy with their pocket protectors and slide rules, I guess.

Walker Percy includes a lengthy section in Lost in the Cosmos dedicated to the problems of manning a long-term space mission. Do you choose the Burt Reynolds/Shirley MacLaine type crew? The inseparable, middle-aged homebody lesbians? The San Fran homos? Or the lapsed Catholic/militant feminist crew? Great fun.

I took a poll of undergraduates and they overwhelmingly favored the lesbian crew. Why? Because Percy said they were “excellent astronauts” and “highly cultivated.” However, being a good astronaut, a poet, and a historian may not help with the ultimate goal of the mission, which is to establish relations with ETIs (Extra Terrestrial Intelligences). The lesbians might not be the best choice if you want a crew able to accurately represent the majority of the human race. I say go with the lapsed Catholic . . . at least he’ll probably call a spade a spade when he’s dragged before the alien tribunal.

The Rosslyn Motet

May 1, 2007

CNN reports that a musical score has been decoded from carvings in the arches of Rosslyn Chapel. The chapel apparently shows up in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, though I wouldn’t know anything about that, having only been able to read to page 145 before I just couldn’t take any more. Don’t get me started.

But Rosslyn Chapel is awesome. And it doesn’t surprise me that it holds encoded mysteries: the Renaissance was a great age of numerology, arithmology, allegory, and all types of esoteric symbolism.

One quotation seems to criticize the music, and deserves some elucidation:

Simon Beattie of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust said he was delighted to have the mystery finally solved, and was intrigued by the music itself.

“It’s not something you would want to put on in the car and listen to, but it’s certainly an interesting piece of music,” he said. “It’s got a good mediaeval sound to it.”

What they don’t mention here is that in the Middle Ages, in order for music to be considered “beautiful,” it did not need to actually sound good to the ear. Now, they probably don’t mention this because it takes many books to fully describe the aesthetics of the Middle Ages, but in a nutshell, mathematics was considered one basis for beauty. The Rosslyn music is based on Pythagorean intervals and proportions—ideas which were transmitted from the ancient Greeks through Galen, Vitruvius, Augustine, and Boethius. Boethius saw music as essentially mathematical, and this was a very typical medieval approach (so says Umberto Eco in Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages, page 30).

In the case of the Rosslyn “composer,” all that mattered seems to have been that the numbers were “true”—they had to jive with “numerical beauty.” Strange notion to us today, but that’s how it was.

Over at the website of the tune’s discoverer, we get a good dose of Dan Brown-ness:

Why would anyone want to hide music? Could it be threatening or dangerous to someone or something? Unless it was very special piece that contained magical, harmonic and resonant properties that resonated in sympathy with spiritual beliefs. Was this music ‘outlawed’ by the Catholic church for some reason?

Yeah, it was probably the music-hating Catholic church that forced this piece to be carved in stone rather than written down on paper.

Come on. Just stop, please.

But do visit the site and watch the video—fascinating!