Sunday, 10 May 2009

Frank Duff commenting on television?

This is a little section from a pamphlet Can we be Saints? that Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion of Mary, wrote in 1916.
The Question of the Newspaper
We are inclined to think it necessary to read the daily papers in order to keep in touch with what is going on in the world. Let us beware lest they place us in the world's grip. The modern newspaper is so well written, so attractive to the eye, that it tends to become an absorbing taste. It is a tendency of the day to wallow in the daily papers. Endless discussion, a prejudiced outlook, a little scrappy knowledge, a distaste for serious or good literature, loss of power of concentration, faulty memory -- such are the products of those wasted hours during which God's Kingdom could have been so powerfully advanced.

I do not often get to see television. In particular, I do not often get to see television advertising. I get the occasional glimpse of what it is like when I go to the cinema, usually being rather shocked by how "in your face" the advertising before the film is. The other week I got to see an episode of Britains got Talent, and was again surprised by how "episodic" it was - an editing together of short clips to show some of the worst and best, but not by any means a sustained, complete telling of a story. Ah, but that would need some concentration and proper thought on the part of the viewer ...

"... endless discussion, a prejudiced outlook, a little scrappy knowledge ..."? Isn't that television today?

"...loss of power of concentration, faulty memory ..." Aren't these the results of television for many of our young people in school today?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

zero says
As for faulty memory I think we all suffer a bit- whether we have tv or not....

Francis said...

So it's rather ironic that many adults would tell their children to stop ruining their concentration by watching so much TV and to read a newspaper instead!


(Frank; brother of Zero)

Anonymous said...

Fancy Francis making a contribution!
I forgot to give you a book review I saw at the weekend.The book is "Revelation" by CJSansom and if you buy the Times at Smiths this week it is only £2.99!Why not look up a review -I think it would appeal to you (you could then pass it on to me!)
Also, remember there is an important birthday on june 6th just to add to your busy weekend.

Francis said...

Me again. In a similar vein Susan Greenfield is quite concerned about the effects on the brain of the amount of time spent by youngsters in front of a computer screen.

You can read one account here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-565207/Modern-technology-changing-way-brains-work-says-neuroscientist.html


and a rebuttal here:

http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com/2009/02/susan-greenfield-science-and-snobbery.html

Joe said...

My own particular issue in front of a computer screen at the moment is rather simpler .... getting used to using varifocal lenses. I have to get the tilt of my head just right to get text in focus ....

Francis said...

Perhaps you could buy a tilting screen!

Joe said...

Going back to Frank Duff's original remarks.

Perhaps the thing to do is not to read the news in the newspaper - just things like the book reviews and the travel offers, and film reviews etc.

I think I know someone who does this ...

Francis said...

and obituaries

Anonymous said...

zero says
I would suggest your readers have a peep at the obituary columns if they don't do so already.
On Tuesday was the obit of Lord St Davids and it stated that his Requiem Mass at St David's cathedral was thought to be the first Roman catholic Mass to be celebrated there since the Reformation.
When you read of people from all walks of life who The Times feel warrant an obituary it is striking that their Christian faith is often mentioned.