June 2004 Archives

Celibacy on HBO

Did anyone else catch the HBO America Undercover documentary by Antony Thomas, "Celibacy?" Wow!
The review on Beliefnet reports the outcry from the institutional Catholic Church. But the article in the Rocky Mountain News is more balanced, I think, and is an example of the benefits of discussing these things. I think that the Catholic institutional church would do well to heed good PR advice and face these points of view that are out in the marketplace, because they are being discussed seriously. Leadership from the institutional church, giving fuller and more nuanced versions to this topic, would be well received, I think.

Of course this documentary is one person's point of view. That's the whole point of making films. Institutional leadership works best when it engages rather than confronts. It is interesting that all of the negative squawking about the film comes from older men. This is the case at least with the limited references I found on the Internet.

The ending of the piece is great: dramatic and poignantly staged, and, of course interpretative.
Here's an excerpt from the Rocky Moutain News that deals also with the idea that due to the church's influence, this type of film would never be released on TV networks.
"The program ends with terse comments in Rome by Archbishop John Patrick Foley, a Vatican spokesman and president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
In offering unbending comments, Archbishop Foley fully backs the church's celibacy stance without providing much of a logical argument.
Conservative Catholics might ask how much of his interview was left on the cutting room floor.
Celibacy is the type of documentary that would never show up on ABC, NBC or CBS. Its content is too controversial and, probably in the minds of some, too one-sided.
The networks would have trouble with sponsors, something HBO doesn't have to worry about."


Just relaxing - with Violence

Saturday morning and it is still soaked here in Houston. Will spend the day just relaxing, for a change. Am eager to delve into a book I picked up some time ago, "City of Sacrifice" by David Carrasco. A fascinating, if very difficult, read because it confronts violence as central to religion and urban civilization. Although published in 2001, I think it is timely and relevant, giving an American-civiliation-rooted look at violence and its inter-connectivities to religion, ritual and urban life.


Media that Matters

Novela, Novela"is a 7- minute report won a women's rights project award from the Media That Matters Film Fest. Watching the streaming video, it tells the story of a telenovela airing in Nicaragua about violence against women in the home. The broadcast TV series looks exciting, penetrating. Called "Sexto Sentido"(Sixth Sense) it is produced by Virginia Lacayo and Amy Bank who are the directors of a not-for-profit center, "Puntos de Encuentro." doing exciting things with homophobia and other issues central but disturbing in Nicaraguan society. I like their motto: "We are Different, We Are The Same."



The USA page of the CRIS Campaign has clear bullets that concisely list the main issues of communications rights in the information society.
It is a Wiki site.

Thanks, Mary, for the link to this thought-provoking flash animation: Osama Lotto.


At last! faithfulamerica.org

When I visited the National Council of Churches communications officer in NYC, I saw the ad that will be aired in Arab countries and was blown away by it. The efforts of the NCC to bring religious leadership to bear on Iraq and torture is wonderful and renews faith. Go see it here and then sign up at the end of the clip, to endorse the ad.

let's collaborate in every we can.


I Am My Own Wife

Spent a glorious weekend in New York, enjoying off-off Broadway plays and one Broadway play, "I Am My Own Wife." The Sunday afternoon matinee was one of the most enjoyable and enriching experiences I have had in a long, long time. Charlotte V. Mahlsdorf survived a cruel, violent father, the Nazis and the Communists as a gay......in heels! For me the sobering line in this true story was when a pack of neo-Naz�s in contemporary Berlin attacks her home. She cries out defiantly: "I know you. I met you when I was 16."

Later that Sunday, evening, this play won best play at the Tony Awards, and best actor.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2004 is the previous archive.

July 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.