Politics and Television in a Personal Note About a Day and a Place on My Life’s Timeline
by Frank Wynerth Summers III on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 2:27pm ·
Aside from having a terribly long title for this Facebook Note which will in time also become a Blog Post on Word Press more or less recopied in the same form I have little distinct structure for this note.I have posted many things about the dramatic efforts of my younger relatives and some of my associates and I have quite a few people on my Facebook list who work either in Hollywood or New York’s media scene or in local or cable tlevision. This note is not about any of the people on my list. It is not about those who have left my list either. It is about how the media and the screens in my life interacted for one day with the life and situation in which I move and exist. The connections are not extremely logical and compelling. They are real connections and one more insight into the world of electrons in which so many of us spend some of our time. It is a crowded rambling note which is not the list centered type of note I sometimes do as a round-up. This is among many other things nearly the end of President Barack Hussein Obama’s first term as President of the United States of America. Today I listened to a fairly bad reception version of his proposed last press conference of this term. He addressed the debt ceiling, the hangover of the fiscal cliff, the deficit, gun control and other matters. He did not discuss deporting Piers Morgan nor building a Death Star like the one in the Star Wars series of films. Those were petions on his website which I mentioned in a recent post on the Lords of the Blog where I frequently comment. While quite a fan of Star Wars and of real space programs I support his administration in not building a Death Star. We are completely on the same page in that particular discussion.
Another week has begun. For me it is less significant than for most others that it is Monday. The start of the work week is not really a clear marker for me of a very different set of obligations than it is for others. The Christian season of Chrsitmas is absolutely and completely closed as of yesterday. For most Christians the last few days waver between barely noticed and not noticed at all as being Christmas and that has been the case for a long time. This house and my room were stripped of decorations on the day after Epiphany which in many places long ago was the absolute last day of Christmas. For many Americans it ends on New Year and for some the on the Twenty-Sixth. The Golden Globes were last night. I did not see them live and will return to that and to the significance of Jodie Foster’s speech and Bill Clinton’s appearance.
Jodie Foster’s speech had some bleeped out moments apparently. Did those moments include “cussing” or the words “I am Lesbian” I surely do not know. Amid many other things she acknowledged her longtime friend Cydney as the co parent of her children and went 99% of the way to saying she was at least her former lover and domestic companion. She also seemed to expose that she is feeling lonely and that her mother has dementia. Ms. Foster has been an interest of min over the years in different ways. Much less in the last ten years than in the previous thirty but I still have an interest in her and would have been happy to see the Golden Globes. The last few years have really been about letting go of more and more expectations. There was a time when I felt it likely I would meet Jodie Foster at length at some time in the future. Our lives have barely brushed in few small ways over the years. However, that belongs in an alternative future that does not flow out of this very real present.
I started this Note on January 13, 2013. I really hate the enduring pointlessness to which so much of my life has long been directed. Yesterday was the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the Roman Catholic Church and some other Christian Communions. There are three events which signal the start of Jesus’s public ministry. One was the Trial in the Desert, another was the Wedding at Cana and the third is the Baptism of by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan River. These events join to form the launching point of the public man Jesus the Christ. Jesus was a young man compared to Socrates, Confucius, the Gauyotoma Buddah, and leaders near his time in the spiritual world under his political society like Livy and Mamonides. To position him against the Hippy culture’s axiom he was probably one of those just over thirty whom they could not trust. To compare him to Confucius he was younger than the forty years old before which each man should devote himself to his family. Jesus was certainly a man not a boy. The historian Josephus is one source we have for the milieu of the Baptist and the Christ. One source but not the only source. I will not write here about my view of the hisorical Jesus whom I have described elsewhere. Yesterday when I began this note was Sunday and it was also the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church and yes I think such an event actually occurred. That commemoration is the official close of the Christmas Season.
Sunday was also a day when Jodie Foster who has played a nun, an atheist, freethinkers and bizarre near fundamentlist isolates was recognized for her work and received the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes. For years I have had access to DirecTV but not now. So I missed this and had to catch up online. From airwaves I was able to watch NFL Playoff games on the television channels available where I am and both were good games. Despite nearby stations with unreachable NBC and PBS channels I did miss out on seeing the Golden Globes and Downton Abbey because we do not get either NBC or PBS. So, it was in that context that I watched other things that followed seeing Matt Ryan lead the Falcons to victory and watched Tom Brady lead the Patriots to a victory which made him the person to win the most playoff games of any NFL quarterback. It was kind of an odd television day in which television was a principal concern and fixation. But while television took much of my time it did not occupy all of my thoughts. I am also aware that in my end of the year note I did not mention the London OLympics which were very good television this year and which I watched devotedly.
I did go to mass at St. James Chapel. Then there were times spent reading, doing chores and being online. But largely there were the blues. It was a bluesy and lousy kind of day more than it was anything else. A day to feel down and know why without fully enumerating all the reasons. The days come when one wonders exactly what ought to be hoped for in life and yet there are other days when one wonders if one ought to hope at all. In addition to the endless nonsense of my own struggle to avoid complete and total alienation there is far more at stake. I did watch Downton Abbey online today and that sense of alienation may be widespread enough to attract lots of people to the audience for that show. The people suffer there but they are engaged and they matter to one another. The sense of those relationships fitting into a society which values them is also important. There is a lot more I could say about the show but won’t. Julian Fellows who is a Baron and sits in the House of Lords has possibly heard of me through LOTB. Thus as is often the case my world keeps getting smaller. Popular culture and personal life blend in together.
My writing on my blog and my work on Facebook have both declined enormously over recent years. My following on my blog has declined with the blog’s functionality. Yet 72 countries read from the blog in 2012. The constant mess of organiztional and technical disorder has been the hellish caousel of my life as a writer and photographer but there is still a connection to some people outside my little room and few close associates. I am in a state of mind where I find myself looking at the culture and society around me a bit in the way that a child on a merry-go-round or carousel looks at the larger world. The context is important and even inescapably part of the spinning diversion but the spinning diversion is very comfortable as well. Smiling outside of photographs is not something I do very much any more. I think that this fact has more significance than I could admit for a long time. I am quite prepared to journey off into a bleak and dark future. It is simply tiring to do so without registering one’s objections.
There are certain areas of my life and certain associations where simply too much time has passed and too much has happened to consider repairing any of the real wrongs or deficits this side of the Eternal. The eternal is the aspect of things I do not choose to discuss in this format. Some people may think I discuss it all the time but they are not correct. There are other areas where there is simply too little time left for me to feel any hope for the various components to arrange themselves well. Those are two sides of life regions in which I do not much believe that life can be made less than horrific anymore. Jodie Foster’s speech seems to indicate that at fifty she really does not feel that her prospects in life need to have narrowed greatly. She resents the degree to which they have I think. That is a very modern American point of view and one that I really do not share. But I do think it is alright to try to make things better and hope it will end up so. Those tagged in this note and their friends if it is not deleted may not have read all or any of what I have written about sex and Christianity and such subjects. Surely they will be aware that religion and sex make for intersting conflict and counterpoints. Ms. Foster’s sexuality and her religion have often beendiscussed and she and I have stood in different places in the cross-section of social mores ormoted in society. She is of course much more famous than I am likely to be. But hundreds of thousands at least have heard and read me as well. My many freiends in media will know of the strange shapes and geographies of fame. Yet I am not filled with animus toward Ms. Foster in her life’s journey.
I am thinking today of the story of the wheat and the tares or crops and weeds which was one of Jesus’s parables. There is no organization of much significance that is free of those who for varied reasons have infiltrated it with objectives different than those at the core of its founding. Not all such people are enemies to their new homes. But in many groups there are many like this. This is a time of year when I think of all the Christians who like me often fail to really be very good Christians but also I think of all those who really wish to pervert, subvert and corrupt the enterprise.I am aware how few people in schools see any history in the infancy narratives and the early deeds of the Gospels. But there is a great deal of evidence not faced by these educated idiots and their relentless self-fondling prose. Not every de-myhtologizer is such a person but the theology of so many Christians is so adversely affected by Bultmann’s German school of Higher Criticism. I do not know the heart of Benedict XVI but I do honor his struggle to at least understand the Gospel for what it is and says. As a German scholar of his era he had to struggle more than most. The canonical Gospels are far more of a simplification than a projected elaboration of the magnificent life of Jesus. So much theology of so many types is really a river of crap. But serious scholarship is well suited to the Gospel. I wish I were more of a fan of Benedict XVI ofr all those reasons but I won’t ever be a big fan. Not that he needs me to be…
Likewise, the Inauguration Day and the Superbowl will interext me but leave me a bit cold as well. There is too much that I cannot tend to with a fan’s attention in each event.
Yes, this is a time for me to feel a bit down and enjoy the sad company of rain and clouds. But I look out at the wide world as I feel glum and it races by. I am aware of my own situation and the larger one behind the painted wooden pony heads and calliope music. Perhaps there are others feeling that way just about now. We all have find a way through the winter and into the spring. Television seems more compelling when it is cold and the weather is unfriendly. We all note the calendar changing and we wonder what to watch on screen and outside the screens of our lives.