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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: The BBC - Now Springer!
J. J. Ramsey
Shipmate
# 1174

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quote:
Originally posted by Leetle Masha:

People asked for profanity and obscenity when they opted both for a distorted sophistication and a concomitant concept of relative truth, relative morality and art as self-expression for its own sake. Over here, people call that sort of self-expression a Second Amendment Right.

Don't you mean First Amendment Right?

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I am a rationalist. Unfortunately, this doesn't actually make me rational.

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Please tell me where I used the word "same." Please tell me where I inferred that the opposite of divided (VERB USED) was "same" rather than it's true opposite which is "united" or perhaps "shared." No matter how quick you peddle you are falling back sreadily downhill. Still no trace of "Orthodox" explicit or implied.

Are you suggesting that the various branches of Christianity can be united without becoming the same (on significant matters)? This is a great step forward for ecumenicalism!

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Dear Alan

Disagreement there certainly is but I know now that it runs deeper than that. Many traditions represented on the Ship have such deeply antithetical and exclusive Christian infrastructures as to make any engagement only possible at the level of encounter and understanding

You make it sound as though the Ship is somewhere where "traditions" and "Christian infrastructures" engage. Is it not a place where individuals engage with each other? Some individuals may be more closely identified (by themselves or others) with specific traditions, but no one speaks for anyone other than themselves. This is a forum of individuals, not an Ecumenical Council.

--------------------
Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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"Same" means exact congruence (as in Leibniz) and in ecclesiology this is ruled out by every Christian tradition ... Orthodox or not, (indeed it is ruled out by creation itself obtologically). If you have two people you can never be "same" even if both share identical commitments to "Incarnation" "Trinity" whatever.

Anyway, this is a diversion from Erin's intervention Scot. She was trying to tar me with naivete about the Ship being an "orthodox-really" thing based on the word "same," (not used, not inferred). I think that one has been killed now although the crocodile may try (vainly) to breathe new life into it.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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It's good, then, that I'm not speaking for, to, or about her.

I'm surprised at your claim to have just realized that we are divided, regardless of whether you mean "not the same" or "not united". I'm astounded that you have suggested that we might possibly become united while still holding different (i.e., not the same) beliefs. I agree, of course.

--------------------
“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Alan

This is already indicative of a significant difference in approach ... but more mild in its reach and effects.

quote:
You make it sound as though the Ship is somewhere where "traditions" and "Christian infrastructures" engage. Is it not a place where individuals engage with each other? Some individuals may be more closely identified (by themselves or others) with specific traditions, but no one speaks for anyone other than themselves. This is a forum of individuals, not an Ecumenical Council.
"No one speaks for anyone else other than themselves." That's the crux of the issue, although I wouldn't want to separate and isolate that from your other derivative comments of course.

(This is getting a bit tangential .... so, I'll be brief before it gets shunted into the Styx or something).

It is impossile for anyone to speak extraneously to their social context both in meme formation relational identity. So, when anyone speaks here, there is always an infrastructure. When individuals debate here they bring with them these social and ideological contexts. Sometimes when the tips of the icebergs graze it is what's happening beneath the surface that is more important.

We should always examine and make explicit our assumptions, presuppositions, starting points and a priori beliefs.

The discordance I see is at this level. It is not merely a surface level of individually brokered disagreements. Philosophically this is the problematic nature socially of individualism in the west. It feels like an intractable thing sometimes.

Dear Scot

Ah but you and I are not agreed as you well know; for I do believe that it is both possible and desirable to grow into the kind of unity that admits of no incoherence or discordance at any level ... undivided that is but not the same. What you judge to be diversity capable of unity I often judge to be impossible division. The division here on the Ship I contend admits of no possible unity until the deeper infrastructure of which I have spoke with Alan is worked out and resolved.

[ 05. January 2005, 15:31: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
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Leprechaun

Ship's Poison Elf
# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:

Disagreement there certainly is but I know now that it runs deeper than that. Many traditions represented on the Ship have such deeply antithetical and exclusive Christian infrastructures as to make any engagement only possible at the level of encounter and understanding (fat chance I think more negatively some times).

I know. But you do so well at presenting a different face of Orthodoxy Father G. [Razz]
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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
I'll pop in on your question Scot but defer to Ingo. This is not (as I have explained yet again to Dyrig and all of you concerned) about whether or not you were offended, corrupted or influenced in anyway.

But that's exactly what IngoB was suggesting with his whole kiddie porn analogy: a public display of blasphemy will increase the rate of people harming themselves through blasphemy.
quote:
It's about the social memes, the shared values, the elasticity for dissent flipping over into new social constructs. I believe that we are now experiencing a new social revilution as secularish and religious iconoclasm become much more aggressive. I am just flagging this up in case eventually real and actual (physical) martyrdom will be the bitter fruit of a democracy gone sour and twisted.
If religious speech (even offensive, critical religous speech) is suppressed, how can you expect to remain free to practice your chosen religion? Your own freedom is grounded in the very same memes, values, and flexibility for dissent as this opera. If you find it offensive, speak against it. If you try to use the force of government to suppress it, you create the very thing you fear - religious persecution.

--------------------
“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
(This is getting a bit tangential .... so, I'll be brief before it gets shunted into the Styx or something).

Well, I've shunted it elsewhere in Purgatory

--------------------
Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Scot

quote:
If religious speech (even offensive, critical religous speech) is suppressed, how can you expect to remain free to practice your chosen religion? Your own freedom is grounded in the very same memes, values, and flexibility for dissent as this opera. If you find it offensive, speak against it. If you try to use the force of government to suppress it, you create the very thing you fear - religious persecution.
Forlornly and in the vain hope that I might be understood after umpteen reiterations, here goes.

Nowhere have I suggested that the musical be censored, suppressed or banned from showing. I have claimed that for the BBC to broadcast it (unlike EVERY other media outlet) is against their Charter and the legislation covering its operations. Here is the much despised letter from Media Watch that covers such things ...

Media Watch letter

Yes, I do want to see the existing legally enshrined ethical "ring fencing" of the BBC's output and operation continue. It is this that JS -TO compromises. I hope there's a legal challenge as well as public protest.

Why do I want to see this "ring-fencing" maintained?

As I have explained before because in Reithian and Charter terms the BBC is part of the nation's conscience. As such it participates in society's memes and shared values in a way not the case in any other private media channel.

If, therefore, the BBC crosses the line, it heralds not only a new era for the BBC but also yet one more important milestone in the ongoing cultural revolution delivered by an aggressive and anti-Christian secularism. In the UK context this means much more than it might to you.

[ 05. January 2005, 16:41: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
It is impossile for anyone to speak extraneously to their social context both in meme formation relational identity.

Uh??

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Ken

Yes, that was obscure and also missed out "and."

A clarification can be found on Alan's new thread on "Disunity and Disagreement."

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Let's look at it again shall we Erin?

quote:
(1) How utterly divided groups / traditions of Christians are on the Ship, (reflecting the wider situation of course).
(2) These divisions are systemic, deep rooted and comprehensive.
(3) They are not susceptible of human resolution.

I am afraid I no longer know what "in Christ" means ecumenically in practical terms.

I shall remain here not with any hope of convergence across the divides but in the (often) vain hope that there might develop some mutual understanding.

Please tell me where I used the word "same." Please tell me where I inferred that the opposite of divided (VERB USED) was "same" rather than it's true opposite which is "united" or perhaps "shared." No matter how quick you peddle you are falling back sreadily downhill. Still no trace of "Orthodox" explicit or implied.
So what exactly did you mean by "OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL DIVIDED AND BELIEVE DIFFERENT THINGS!!!!!!!"? I'm simply trying to understand what you could possibly have been thinking prior to this startling epiphany. What has been discussed at length on the Ship that could have ever given you the impression that there were anything BUT deep divisions between the traditions? If you thought we were all really united, what was the basis of the unity? Is it a faith tradition, practice, what? If you did not mean "I thought we were united on the underlying tenets of the Orthodox faith", what did you mean? Seriously, I want to know. What were you using as the basis for your clearly erroneous belief that we were all united? And what has come out on this thread, specifically, that opened your eyes?

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Erin

Now that we have established (not that it needed establishing from the plain meaning of the text) that this had nothing to do with Orthodoxy we can proceed to this pertinent question ...

quote:
What has been discussed at length on the Ship that could have ever given you the impression that there were anything BUT deep divisions between the traditions?
The deep divisions have always been apparent to me, (never united, come on now!). It's difficult indicating for each person what degree of division exists and intractability index applies to that division but for me, shall we say, it moved on the register from Hurricane 4 to Hurricane 5.

Whether or not someone else considers one naive for formerly having such a lower register is a relative and subjective judgement unless it is first made explicit and calibrated. I think though that the real awakening was not so much the depth of the division but the intractability involved.

I am quite happy for you to think me naive. It will make a nice change from devious or sickeningly propagandist. [Biased]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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Father Gregory,
The guidelines are guidelines - not unbreakable rules - if you want to do something exceptional or controversial like this you refer up It's all about being aware and taking advice - it's not a great list of 'Thou shalt nots'

Producer's guidelines - referral and consultation

The relevant section on blasphemy values standards and principles tells people to be aware of potential offence and again to take advice at a higher level before broadcasting anything which might be deemed blasphemous.


quote:
What constitutes blasphemy and how seriously it is viewed, varies within and between different religions and cultures. Blasphemy is a criminal offence in the UK and advice should be sought, through Heads of Department or Commissioning Executives, from Editorial Policy and lawyers in any instance where the possibility of blasphemy may arise.
In this case, I would imagine that someone will have taken advice and asked for permission to broadcast this production despite its controversial aspects because of its unusual nature and its merit - as it has won large numbers of awards. The guidelines provide for exceptional or controversial things to be referred up for advice or for a decision at a higher level. The same would have been done, I imagine, when 'Life of Brian' was screened. If you refer up and ask for advice and are given the go-ahead at a higher level then, to the best of my knowledge, you have complied with the guidelines by doing what they tell you to.

With regard to the charter - here's the link - please quote the relevant clause showing where this production has broken it.

You might also like to note this clause amongst the objectives

quote:
(n) To organise, present, produce, provide or subsidise concerts, shows, variety performances, revues, musical and other productions and performances and other
entertainments (whether live or recorded) in connection with the broadcasting and programme supply services of the Corporation or for any purpose incidental thereto.

Presenting an award-winning opera which has been inaccessible to many people does not conflict with the charter in any way that I can see.

As for the Communications act and 'generally accepted standards' - what generally accepted standards? You can see from this thread that your standards are not generally accepted. That phrase can mean anything - please give more detail.

If saying that the many licence payers who would be pleased to see imaginative new productions on the BBC mustn't be allowed to have them because of the sensitivities of some religious viewers isn't an attempt at censorship of the BBC's output then I don't know what is. It's certainly an attempt to control it.

As for this from the media watch letter suggesting a replacement for 'Jerry Springer', I hope nobody signs up to it in the name of Christianity

quote:
Why not, for example, screen a seasonal pantomime, with well-known and liked television and radio personalities, currently showing at provincial theatres across the country?
That sums it all up, doesn't it? Let's have some hackneyed old kiddie stuff instead and drag TV down to most infantile pap available - lest somebody get offended. I think Cosmo hit it right on the head

quote:
Over the weekend I must admit that I watched travesties of the Christian Faith being presented on the TV. They showed scenes of mockery, foolishness, crassness and imbecility. The music on them was often trite and banal. The intellectual content was close to zero. They showed Christians to be a absurd set of lamebrains and the faith they follow to fit for nothing else but foolish old women and credulous children.
Yes, let's get the BBC to chuck out award winning operas in favour of 'seasonal pantomimes' with well-liked television personalities in the name of not offending Christians! That'll show them how intellectually vital and challenging Christianity can be! We don't need to worry about 'Jerry Springer the Opera' possibly tarnishing our image, we're perfectly capable of making ourselves look like idiots by signing up to this sort of stuff.

L

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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We are not going to agree on the rest of the stuff Louise but the key phrase is:- "generally accepted standards." (Your link was more about process than definition).

Blasphemy is meaningless if it is based on "generally accepted standards." Any amount of profanity can, however, be justified on that criterion ... and has.

I doubt whether Christians (or any other religious group) are asked what blasphemy would entail any more. If you have evidence to the contrary I would be very interested to hear it.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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The Undiscovered Country
Shipmate
# 4811

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
When I get to the Radio Times site I get the following

Jerry Springer the opera

quote:

Multi award-winning hit musical in which trailer trash meets high culture, filmed live at the Cambridge Theatre, London. Jerry Springer, America's favourite talk show host, suffers the worst day of his career when faced with transsexuals, nappy wearers and a troupe of tap-dancing Ku Klux Klansmen.

So would you care to quote in context for us exactly what you read, UC?


Its on the actual programme listing for Saturday (rather than the article) in the print version of the magazine (the entry in the electronic version reads differently so perhaps the BBC have thoguht better of it themselves?)
quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
I think that this issue has done what no other issue has done in the 3 years 9 months I have been here. It has revealed for me:-

(1) How utterly divided groups / traditions of Christians are on the Ship, (reflecting the wider situation of course).
(2) These divisions are systemic, deep rooted and comprehensive.
(3) They are not susceptible of human resolution.

I am afraid I no longer know what "in Christ" means ecumenically in practical terms.

I shall remain here not with any hope of convergence across the divides but in the (often) vain hope that there might develop some mutual understanding.

Only (3) gives me cause for some hope. Maybe. With God all things are possible.

It is another interesting example though of an issue where orthodox and evangelicals are on more similar lines than they might perhaps expect

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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therefore all hope of progress rests with the unreasonable man.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear The Undiscovered Country

It has always encouraged me that "evangelical" and "protestant" do not necessarily mean the same thing. [Smile] For all the divisions to which I have alluded there are many traditions here that I feel very comfortable with on a case by case basis. I like the way of showing this as a Venn diagram of multiple overlapping circles. At the moment I am aware of the circle segments that don't come anywhere near each other and which in many ways disable the whole process of coming together because they are connected to other parts of the puzzle, (to mix metaphors / analogies).

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Leetle Masha

Cantankerous Anchoress
# 8209

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J.J. Ramsey pointed out:

quote:
Don't you mean First Amendment Right?
yes, I suppose I did, but so many are so militant about what they call Freedom of Speech/Religion/Press that perhaps that was what made me confuse it with the Second Amendment. Thank you for your correction.

I'll get me coat and me gun....

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Dear Erin

Now that we have established (not that it needed establishing from the plain meaning of the text) that this had nothing to do with Orthodoxy we can proceed to this pertinent question ...

quote:
What has been discussed at length on the Ship that could have ever given you the impression that there were anything BUT deep divisions between the traditions?
The deep divisions have always been apparent to me, (never united, come on now!). It's difficult indicating for each person what degree of division exists and intractability index applies to that division but for me, shall we say, it moved on the register from Hurricane 4 to Hurricane 5.

Whether or not someone else considers one naive for formerly having such a lower register is a relative and subjective judgement unless it is first made explicit and calibrated. I think though that the real awakening was not so much the depth of the division but the intractability involved.

I am quite happy for you to think me naive. It will make a nice change from devious or sickeningly propagandist. [Biased]

Thank you for being condescending, but you still haven't answered what I asked. In what way(s) did you previously consider us to be closer than we are now? What is the measuring stick that you are using?

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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Father Gregory,
I have checked out the context of the phrase 'generally accepted standards' and it is in a clause from the 2003 Communications act which has made its way into the Ofcom code.


quote:
Section 319 OFCOM’s standards code

(1) It shall be the duty of OFCOM to set, review and revise, standards for the content of programmes to ensure:

(a) that persons under the age of eighteen are protected;

(f) that generally accepted standards are applied to the contents of television services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of offensive and harmful material;

Further explanation here:
Public consultation on Ofcom's code

quote:
Section 2 – Harm and offence
This is a short section. Under the
Communications Act 2003, material
that may be harmful or offensive must
be judged against ‘generally accepted
standards’. It also demands that
‘adequate protection’ must be provided
against this kind of material being
included. However, the wording in the
Act is more flexible than, for example,
its requirements for people under 18,
so this section is less restrictive.
This section of the code explains that
the broadcaster must consider the
context of the programme when
judging whether its content is offensive.
This may include:
· what the programme is about;
· the time of day it is broadcast;
· who is likely to be watching or
listening to it; and
· what the audience is expecting from
the programme.

It means that the broadcaster has to take into account context, likely audience, warnings,watersheds etc - and I think the BBC has done all that deciding that a post-watershed comic opera on late at night on BBC 2 with heavy warnings on bad language is not very likely to be accidentally seen by someone likely to take offence unless they go out of their way looking for it.

You claimed earlier that the programme should not be screened because it breached producer's guidelines - I've pointed out to you how the producer would comply with the guidelines in this case.

You claimed the programme breached the charter - I'm still waiting for you to point out where.

I don't expect you to like the programme, I respect the fact that you think it is offensive and awful and should never be screened by the BBC, but if you want to claim that the BBC is breaking the law or breaking its charter then that's a different matter - I don't think the documents in question support your case.

cheers,
L.

[ 05. January 2005, 19:18: Message edited by: Louise ]

--------------------
Now you need never click a Daily Mail link again! Kittenblock replaces Mail links with calming pics of tea and kittens! http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/ Click under 'other stuff' to find it.

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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... not closer Erin ... I was just more optimistic about the possibility of getting closer.

Dear Louise

It's difficult tio appreciate what may or may not be broken given that the definitions of what generally accepted standards actually means practically, concretely, in real time, is so vague and unspecific. Perhaps we have some Muse sitting and judging ... "Uhmm ... that's probably alright," or more cynically, "Uhmmm, we'll probably get away with that."

I'll withdraw my claim about the Charter though, for now.

[ 05. January 2005, 19:22: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Ley Druid

Ship's chemist
# 3246

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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
The reason for my confusion is that the things that do encourage me to take the things of God too lightly, despairing at the rapacious and vicious power-games and violations of the human spirit that happen in the name of religion (you can consider these to be comments on your citation of the "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" as well, Ley Druid).

There are the things that cause me to despair and sympathise with those who consider God, if he is anything like his purported representatives, to be a cruel, fickle, cantankerous fool who deserves neither respect nor worship, to take the things associated with Him too lightly because if I didn't laugh, I'd cry.

It is not 8,000 uses of the word fuck or cunt, but rather things like the refusal to return Jewish children to their parents because they had been baptized during their fostering; or when monks and priests of the oldest Christian tradition on the planet harbour a indicted war criminal; when monks and priests of an ancient church burn theological books and seek civil legislation that persecute other Christians; when bishops move priests around parishes to avoid scandal rather than deal head on with their vile acts of abuse; when bishops and priests wring their hands over a fast-spreading disease, but will at the same time insist on a discipline which means that disease spreads even faster; when a sect uses violence and warfare to gain control of a state in the name of "God" and then proceeds to ban Christmas; when ministers of the church are happy to put the boot into any other minister at the drop of a hat; when groups develop theologies that, shock horror, make them the top of the pile in the social order; when churches stand there smugly blaming the rest of the world from having disengaged from Christianity when the churches had a good hand in making that disengagement possible and necessary.

These are "blasphemies", if we insist on defining blasphemy as something that encourages us to take the things of God too lightly.

Are they wrong? Should you complain about them?

Remember, God isn't damaged by them and we should all just rejoice and be glad.

Saint Thomas Aquinas says it's wrong to blaspheme because God doesn't deserve it. Hatless says even if God doesn't deserve it, it doesn't damage Him; it isn't even about Him, it's about the person complaining.

So what about your blasphemy Dyfrig?
Is it wrong because God doesn't deserve it?

Or is the problem with the people like you that complain about the blasphemy, the relgious types with that self-affirming feeling of righteous outrage? 'Goodness I'm so religious I'm getting angry on God's behalf, these days'?

Or is it personal preference: Fr. G. doesn't like angels raping Mary and Dyfrig doesn't like monks who burn books?

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Nowhere have I suggested that the musical be censored, suppressed or banned from showing.

Selective endorsement is discriminatory and, when practiced by a public agency, amounts to the same thing as suppression of that which is not endorsed. What you are demanding is for the State, as represented by the BBC, to take your side in a religious dispute. You are insisting that they should preferentially protect your sensibilities and beliefs. To the extent that you and others like you are successful, you will reduce religious freedom in your culture and lay the groundwork for the day when your own religious views become the target of govermental discrimination.

P.S. to Ley Druid: I doubt very much whether Dyfrig objects to fictional depictions of monks burning books.

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Ley Druid

Ship's chemist
# 3246

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I doubt that Dyfrig objects to fictional depictions of monks reading books. I doubt that this is any more or less relevant than what you said.

[ 05. January 2005, 21:13: Message edited by: Ley Druid ]

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Scott

I know that you will probably believe that the absolute separation of religion and State as in the US is the best thing since sliced bread but I don't. I don't see how we are going to do anything here except observe one another's positions. As you know the BBC is completely independent of the State but its constitution is governed by Statute.

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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The Undiscovered Country
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# 4811

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Perhaps we have some Muse sitting and judging ... "Uhmm ... that's probably alright," or more cynically, "Uhmmm, we'll probably get away with that."


Most of the decisions on such issues that I am aware of unfortunatly seem to be on the basis of the latter.

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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therefore all hope of progress rests with the unreasonable man.

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Mr. Spouse

Ship's Pedant
# 3353

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
As for this from the media watch letter suggesting a replacement for 'Jerry Springer', I hope nobody signs up to it in the name of Christianity
quote:
Why not, for example, screen a seasonal pantomime, with well-known and liked television and radio personalities, currently showing at provincial theatres across the country?
That sums it all up, doesn't it? Let's have some hackneyed old kiddie stuff instead and drag TV down to most infantile pap available - lest somebody get offended. I think Cosmo hit it right on the head

I found this article on morality and censorship in today's Guardian quite pertinent in the light of this discussion.

I have no problem with Fr Gregory et al expressing their personal opinons in the strongest terms. But cringe at some of the antics of organisations like Media Watch that claim to be voice of the 'True Christian'. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is a phrase that comes to mind.

Though now I know why I found JS The Opera funny - I was obviously corrupted by Doctor Who, Frank Spencer and Jackanory as a child and have no morals left! [Eek!]

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Try to have a thought of your own, thinking is so important. - Blackadder

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
So, logically, anyone who doesn't believe in both those things is free to watch. And anyone who does believe in them is free not to watch. Everybody's happy.

Clearly so. However, public TV is hardly a "private" matter. The theory "you can always turn it off" is just that - a theory. In practice, a lot of people won't and will in the long term have their opinions shaped by whatever happens to be shown. This is precisely why behaviour "offensive to society" - like racism - is not shown unless it is in a context which makes completely clear that it is evil.

The show we are discussing apparently shows blasphemy without such a context, perhaps it's even claiming to be "funny" or "sophisticated culture" and hence "good". Thus it will contribute to an attitude in the public mind that blasphemy of the Christian God is "OK" (perhaps "funny" or "sophisticated"). You can hardly blame Christians for being worried about that. Others have made the argument about public funding already, so I will leave that alone.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Unless you're advocating a Father-knows-best state where even non-Christians are held to a "Christian" way of life for the sake of the souls they don't even believe they have. Is that what you're advocating? What a nightmare it would be...

I ask for respect and courtesy, you claim it will lead to religious tyranny. Are we then to conclude that there are exactly two choices: either a completely disrespectful and uncourteous society in which nothing counts but total individual freedom, or complete mind control in a totalitarian state? I think not!

quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
You have said that you are concerned about the damage that people might cause to themselves, not to you or to God. Where then is the "religious damage"? There is no damage to God or, presumably, to your belief. The only possible damage is to the religion of people who believe differently than you.

If all Christians were like Mr Spock, you would have a point. Then they would simply compute the blasphemy, conclude that its entirely baseless, and go on computing something else. But Christians happen to be human beings with feelings. The situation is emotionally similar to a personal insult. Imagine I staged a play in which your parents are being ridiculed and in which one insult is heaped upon them after the next. Imagine I tried to get air time on the BBC for that play, so that everybody will see it. Assume your parents were dead, so they wouldn't care. Would you still feel offended? Would you still try to stop the play? Or would you compute "It doesn't matter, they are dead." and let it slide?

Further, while it is certainly true that God won't be damaged, it's not so clear that there is no additional (non-emotional) damage to the belief of people. There may be those whose faith is so weak that this show snuffs it out. But more probably, this show may prime people against (re-)gaining faith in the first place. Who would want to believe in a perverted laughing stock?

quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
You are still implying that people should not have freedom to make their own decisions about what is best for them.

Uh, yes, I'm most certainly saying that people should not have absolute freedom of choice. Would you support my feedom, if I choose that it is best for me to: not pay taxes, kill my neighbours and take over their house, scream abuse at everybody whose face I do not like, pee in a train cabin, marry ten different women, tell lies to receive state welfare, ...? Individual freedom in a society cannot be absolute. We are here simply discussing where one particular boundary should be set.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Demas*
Shipmate
# 7147

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
It has always encouraged me that "evangelical" and "protestant" do not necessarily mean the same thing. [Smile] For all the divisions to which I have alluded there are many traditions here that I feel very comfortable with on a case by case basis. I like the way of showing this as a Venn diagram of multiple overlapping circles. At the moment I am aware of the circle segments that don't come anywhere near each other and which in many ways disable the whole process of coming together because they are connected to other parts of the puzzle, (to mix metaphors / analogies).

I know! Lets get rid of those pesky circle segments that are disabling the whole process of coming together. We can call them heretics.

[Mad]

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Hamburger (note beetroot, pineapple, bacon and egg)

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
... not closer Erin ... I was just more optimistic about the possibility of getting closer.

On what particular tenets of faith? And who would be doing the moving?

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
It's difficult tio appreciate what may or may not be broken given that the definitions of what generally accepted standards actually means practically, concretely, in real time, is so vague and unspecific. Perhaps we have some Muse sitting and judging

How can the definition be anything other than vague and unspecific? The very phrase "generally accepted" means that it refers to the acceptabilities of society, a society made up of individuals with wildly varying standards of what they consider acceptable.

It's not as though one could quantify standards. Imagine a system of giving a show 10 points for each use of the word "cunt", 7 for "fuck" etc. and then specifying it's below "generally acceptable standards" if the show exceeds 100 points per hour of the show. It would be totally unworkable and pretty silly.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
So, logically, anyone who doesn't believe in both those things is free to watch. And anyone who does believe in them is free not to watch. Everybody's happy.

Clearly so. However, public TV is hardly a "private" matter. The theory "you can always turn it off" is just that - a theory. In practice, a lot of people won't and will in the long term have their opinions shaped by whatever happens to be shown. This is precisely why behaviour "offensive to society" - like racism - is not shown unless it is in a context which makes completely clear that it is evil.
But "blasphemy" isn't offensive to society - only to those members of it that are Christian. ETA: and not even to all of those, either!

quote:
The show we are discussing apparently shows blasphemy without such a context, perhaps it's even claiming to be "funny" or "sophisticated culture" and hence "good". Thus it will contribute to an attitude in the public mind that blasphemy of the Christian God is "OK" (perhaps "funny" or "sophisticated"). You can hardly blame Christians for being worried about that. Others have made the argument about public funding already, so I will leave that alone.
I sincerely doubt anyone would think Jerry Springer is "sophisticated culture" or "good". Have you ever seen the series? It's a freak show designed to make the audience feel better because they aren't like the people in it!

Thusly, if someone in this show blasphemes against God, it's more likely to make people think blasphemy is something to avoid!

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Unless you're advocating a Father-knows-best state where even non-Christians are held to a "Christian" way of life for the sake of the souls they don't even believe they have. Is that what you're advocating? What a nightmare it would be...

I ask for respect and courtesy, you claim it will lead to religious tyranny. Are we then to conclude that there are exactly two choices: either a completely disrespectful and uncourteous society in which nothing counts but total individual freedom, or complete mind control in a totalitarian state? I think not!
You weren't asking for respect and courtesy, you were asking for blasphemy to be censored even if it's said and viewed only by non-Christians.

Your comment that it might make others less likely to convert is crap as well. If the religion isn't strong enough to appeal even to people who have seen and heard a bit of blasphemy then it's got more problems than Jerry Springer's guests!

[ 06. January 2005, 09:40: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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No Demas.... remove the heresies, not the heretics. Stop the hysteria please.

Dear Erin

Any relevant tenet. Everybody would be doing the moving to a greater or lesser extent. There's no half way house for example between unitarianism and trinitarianism. On a case by case basis some would presumably have to move further than others ... but there is no group based bias on that.

Dear Alan

I agree with you ... it's a nonsensical way of going about things, but it's based on the idea that standards are determined by popular consent. Of course, that is in turn based on the idea that there can be no religious or moral input to public mores aside from the usual legal standards of no physical or property infringement. Psychological damage however is a much more contentious grey area. Needless to say that this is a moral discrimination (populism) that many Christians cannot accept.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Cosmo
Shipmate
# 117

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
It's not as though one could quantify standards. Imagine a system of giving a show 10 points for each use of the word "cunt", 7 for "fuck" etc. and then specifying it's below "generally acceptable standards" if the show exceeds 100 points per hour of the show. It would be totally unworkable and pretty silly.

Actually that's pretty much exactly ohow the system works at the moment. The recent TV programmes which featured Peter Cook were given limits as to the number of 'fucks' and, especially, 'cunts' that they could use. This went along the lines of the writers asking the director 'well, I'll trade you three fucks for one cunt'. Indeed, those programmes which broadcast bits of the 'Derek and Clive' conversations were far more obscene, scatalogical and blasphemous than Jerry Springer.

To be sure, television, now more than cinema, is the medium which is most capable of stretching boundaries in the most controversial way and, strange to relate, I don't believe in a free-for-all. I found the live autopsy broadcast on Channel 4 a couple of years ago to be ghastly and I believe that it should not have been broadcast. One would not show scenes of blatant incest, paedophilia or necrophilia in a drama (although documentaries on the subjects often come close to providing that titilation).

Ultimately though, the basis of whether or not something should be shown is not whether or not if offends the moral and religious framework of a particular group (if that were true we should not show the cooking or consumption of pork for fear of alienating Orthodox Jews or Muslims) although if it means defamation of a living person held in respect by a particular religious group one should be careful (eg one of the reasons 'Popetown' was scrapped was because of its perceived depiction of the present Pontiff rather than a purely fictional or dead character) but whether or not something is good.

Surely we don't want to return to the days when the Lord Chamberlain censored plays or TV shows were sanitised for fear of corrupting the mindless youth? Dennis Potter is a good case in point. His TV play 'Brimstone and Treacle' was banned by the BBC for nearly twenty years. When it was shown we could see why it should have stayed off the screens; not because of the subject matter but because it was terrible. The same was true of some of his later output.

I would say this to Fr Gregory and his MediaWatch allies. If you really think the BBC and the makers of Jerry Springer - The Opera are guilty of blasphemy then prosecute them just as Mary Whitehouse did in the 1970's. Otherwise, please shut up about it.

Cosmo

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
... Surely we don't want to return to the days when the Lord Chamberlain censored plays or TV shows were sanitised for fear of corrupting the mindless youth? Dennis Potter is a good case in point. His TV play 'Brimstone and Treacle' was banned by the BBC for nearly twenty years. When it was shown we could see why it should have stayed off the screens; not because of the subject matter but because it was terrible. The same was true of some of his later output.

I would say this to Fr Gregory and his MediaWatch allies. If you really think the BBC and the makers of Jerry Springer - The Opera are guilty of blasphemy then prosecute them just as Mary Whitehouse did in the 1970's. Otherwise, please shut up about it.

Cosmo

Interesting that Cosmo brings up Dennis Potter as this does illustrate how the “generally accepted standards” have changed.

The 1969 BBC production of “Son of Man” is described on the BBC’s website as "Potter's controversial story of Jesus; from his 39th day in the wilderness until his death on the Cross. The occupying Romans in Jerusalem put down religious fanatics and their followers with brutality. Jesus, a man capable of friendship and anger, of doubt and laughter, is haunted by the question - "Am I indeed the Messiah?" - and by the knowledge of his fate.". The 1969 BBC production was denounced in terms to the ones Father Gregory is using to denounce “Springer”. Oh yes, and it won some awards as well.

Potter’s play is being re-shown on BBC 4 as part of the Potter season this January and you can read more about it here

Moving on a few more years, and Potter’s play was included in the RSC’s 1995 season. And no one noticed. Ho hum …

I went to see it and thought it was excellent. (There are differences between the RSC and the TV production. The RSC version contained an implied reference to the Resurrection while the TV version stopped at the Crucifiction. Apart from that, nothing was changed)

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Heh, heh, I have just received one of the round robin e-mails Cosmo talks of (I am truly blessed! [Cool] ) But I won't pass it on, so if anyone hasn't had one yet, they'll have to wait.

The issue in the e-mail seems to be more about whether the programme should be broadcast on TV rather than whether the stage show should have been produced in the first place. A case of Not In My Front Room.

Having seen the stage show of 'Round the Horne Revisited' and then tried to watch the rather poorly adapted TV version last week, I don't hold out much hope of the BBC being able to make it anywhere near as good - or bad, depending on your view - as the stage show version. But the e-mail has interested me enough to want to watch the show, to make my own mind up, which probably wasn't their intention!

Quote: "IF YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE with the BBC's plans to broadcast this material (and I honestly believe you will disagree). Please register your feelings with the BBC"

(BTW my version of the e-mail came originally from very strongly evangelical sources, so in this case I don't think I will blame Fr Gregory. Anyway, he's been far too busy on this thread to have time to go making up and sending e-mails all around the country)

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Traveller
Shipmate
# 1943

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I had the misfortune to see the stage show last year. I was working in London at the time and a colleague had been given some tickets and suggested we fill an empty evening by going. We had been to see a couple of shows in this way, and I enjoy most things theatrical, so I went without reading any reviews in advance. I have to say at this point that I loathe talk shows and the whole interview concept of “Tell me how you feel”.

It was most gratuitously offensive show I have ever seen. The use of swear words was routine and totally lost effect after about 5 minutes - the huge numbers quoted arise because the whole cast of around 30 sing them, so any one use counts as 30. The premise was not funny or thought provoking - just weak: it shows the collosal size of the ego around the Jerry Springer personality. My colleague is a Roman Catholic and apologised afterwards for accepting the tickets. I would not waste an evening to see it again on stage; I will not waste any of my time to see in on TV.

Question: Should we press to get it removed from the schedules? NO! It only generates publicity for the show so the ratings will go up, not down. Mary Whitehouse set up the Viewers and Listeners Forum decades ago to try to stop shows which were mild by the standards of this one, and lost every time even then, so anyone who tries now won’t succeed. By all means protest to the BBC about their quality standards and choice to broadcast material that many will find offensive, but we live in a liberal, multi-cultural democracy, and have to learn what that means.

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I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:
I will praise my God while I have my being.
Psalm 104 v.33

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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I remember seeing 'Son of Man' as a teenager (must have been a repeat) and being moved to tears - I thought it was marvelous. Other of Potter's work I have found repulsive.

I think the changes in TV acceptability over time are complicated, and it is not a simple downward trend into debauchery. Watch The Sweeney, or even The Professionals, and the general level of violence, the sheer brutishness, and the casual contempt for (and violence towards) women from main ('good') characters stands out like a sore thumb. Watch late night cable repeats of '70s comedians to hear racism and sexual violence towards women not satirised, but casually treated as acceptably humourous.

I am happy that that we live in a society were these mores have changed - but then I would be, I was part of the generation during which they changed. It is better that our heroes are not racist, sexist brutes (even if we still enjoy the second-hand thrill of seeing them fight against racist, sexist brutes). This doesn't, though, mean we should expect a sanitised TV world where racism, sexism and violence are not acknowledged to exist.

I haven't seen Jerry Springer - the Opera, so I can't really comment on it's acceptability. I find it difficult to believe that the trailer trash morals of the talk show are being held up for adulation - it seems far more likely that they are being satirised along with the entertainment TV that exploits them - but I'll wait till I've seen it to make up my own mind.

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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Instead of getting pious and righteous about this kind of rubbish, neither of which cuts much ice with producers or broadcasters I suggest ridicule and parody as a far more potent weapon against stage and screen trash.

Every time I hear the warning "This program contains strong language" I think "This program contains a weak plot". I'm rarely misled.

The problem with "Jerry Springer - The Opera" is that it parodies the original and could well do so in such an over the top manner that further burlesque would be impossible. After all, how do you make a train smash look worse than a train smash?

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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I find the warnings practically useless (at least in the US). One particularly hilarious version I saw before something on HBO said "a nude scene and some language". I should hope so, given that this isn't a silent movie festival! (Before anyone rushes to tell me, I know what they meant)

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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The Undiscovered Country
Shipmate
# 4811

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My wife and i are both intrigued by warnings on several films that they 'contain moderate sex'. We speculated whether that meant that the couple weren't very good at it? [Biased]

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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therefore all hope of progress rests with the unreasonable man.

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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One of the stations here warns that

quote:
the following programme contains strong language from the beginning
With emphasis on 'from the beginning' or 'from the outset'.

Which I always find peculiar. Like otherwise people are going to say - "Ooh dear, I don't want to hear any strong language, so I'll just watch the first half-hour. Nobody ever swears in the first half-hour".

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
One of the stations here warns that

quote:
the following programme contains strong language from the beginning
With emphasis on 'from the beginning' or 'from the outset'.

Which I always find peculiar. Like otherwise people are going to say - "Ooh dear, I don't want to hear any strong language, so I'll just watch the first half-hour. Nobody ever swears in the first half-hour".

I think such warnings mean that there will be bad words literally straight away, so turn over (or get the kids out of the room) NOW if you don't want to be offended...

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
wesleyswig
Shipmate
# 5436

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It is said that 15,000 people have complained - wonder how many have actually seen the show?

Did anyone hear PM yeaterday (wednesday) it was hillarious - the Mediawatch guy sounded like a fool

I will answer all points atmy points next week when exams are over, still waiting for big G's response to my qustion on iconography though

Many Regards
John

--------------------
"I am still a Methodist, You can never get it's special glow out of your blood" Ellen Wilkinson
Read my ramblings

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wesleyswig
Shipmate
# 5436

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Just got this in the wonderful Snowmail dispatch from Ch4.....
quote:

Big row over the BBC's decision to screen Jerry Springer - The Opera.
It’s apparently got 3000 swear words in it, beautifully sung. The Bishop
of Manchester, who hasn't seen it, says it's wrong. Characteristically,
the dear old Church of England says that the image of Christ and The
Devil swearing at each other (Christ wearing a nappy and saying he's a
bit gay) is NOT blasphemous. We shall be talking to the Beeb man in
charge.

Makes both viewpoints look just as absurd - well done Jon Snow!

Many Regards
John

--------------------
"I am still a Methodist, You can never get it's special glow out of your blood" Ellen Wilkinson
Read my ramblings

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Cosmo

No I won't shut up because this isn't simply about suing for blasphemy .. this is primarily about the special position of the BBC and "generally accepted standards." What gives you the right to shut me up anyway? Who's oppressing whom? I'll damn well say what I want thank you very much! [Mad]

Dear Chorister

Rest assured I have plenty of time for spamming. Once you've got 100 emails on a template it's realy quite easy. Here's the text of a missive I have just sent to the BBC objecting to their quoted condescending riposte on the (at least) 15000 emails ...

quote:
Re Jerry Springer

Your comments quoted ...

"We have had 15,000 emails, calls and letters to date. There is evidence that most of these are from an organised lobby encouraged to contact us," she said.

"Of course we take comments and complaints seriously but many would appear to be misinformed on the content of the show."

(1) So the fact that some of the petitions to you have been orgainsed is evidence of the bogus nature of the complaints is it? Isn't that
rather condescending towards adults who have a choice or not whether to complain?

(2) "Misinformed about the content of the show." You seem to assume that the complainants have not seen the stage show. I wouldn't make that assumption if I were you. Many I have talked to HAVE seen the stage show or trust the fellow Christian witness of family members and friends who have. The quantity of the profanity is in any case well known and attested to even by yourself. Anyone others caring to read reviews and looking for objective factual content would also easily
identity grossly offensive material from Muslim / Christian / Jewish point of view; so ignorance on your part or naivete on ours is most certainly not the case.

The BBC is not constituted as any other media outlet and your operations have specific provision in statute. We are not seeking to have the play banned. This is not about freedom of expression. This is about the BBC violating its trust to the nation as enjoined upon it by on it by law. We are informing you about what "generally accepted
standards" actually means ... in other words, not simply what you can chance on getting away with.

Expect more of this after the broadcast. Much more.

I used to be ashamed of my country after Iraq and praised the BBC for its courage. Now I am ashamed of the BBC as well. One by one the marks of honour fall.

I am sorry if that has raised anybody's blood pressure again here. Just HOW are you going to "shut (me) up" Cosmo?

[ 06. January 2005, 17:00: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Dear Erin

Any relevant tenet. Everybody would be doing the moving to a greater or lesser extent. There's no half way house for example between unitarianism and trinitarianism. On a case by case basis some would presumably have to move further than others ... but there is no group based bias on that.

[brick wall]

Considering your well-documented intransigence on... well... everything, I do not believe this is at all an accurate or honest statement. But you won't actually answer the questions, so I'm done wasting my time on this tangent.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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So you get to call me a liar and storm off. OK.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

Posts: 15099 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisagion
Shipmate
# 5235

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quote:
Originally posted by wesleyswig:
The Bishop of Manchester, who hasn't seen it, says it's wrong.

That would be the Bishop of Manchester who asked the BBC for a preview tape in order that his comments could based on personal experience and whose request was, unusually refused.

I understand that the reason the Controller of BBC2 made no reference to the Producer Guidelines when interviewed on Radio 4 yesterday because there had been a breach of the procedures so helpfully outlined by Louise above. No reference up the chain of command had taken place until yesterday and the Governors are pretty cheesed off. This information came from "sources close to" those in the know at the BBC and was given on unattributable "lobby terms".

FrG, great letter. Unfortunately too stylised to be cut and pasted but I think the point is well made. The "organised group" remark by the Beeb is a cheap attempt at suggesting that they can ignore the largest body of pre-broadcast complaints they or OfCom have ever received on the grounds that it is some kind of sinister conspiracy.

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ceterum autem censeo tabula delenda esse

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