Comments: Lenten campaigning

Does Twitter, a hyper method of communication based on instant gratification and constant concern (anxiety?) over the world's perception of one's activity, really make sense as the vehicle for Lenten reflection?

It just feels too...twitchy.

Posted by Aaron at Tuesday, 24 February 2009 at 1:40pm GMT

Twittering away in Lent ... well, Haiku is twitter-sized and can be quite profoundly provocative.

Old fogey that I am, I regret the devaluing of something that Cicero wrote so eloquently about [and I so INelegantly translated long long ago]: amacitia - friendship. Facebook not only trivializes the word 'friend'; it also has turned it into a verb.

Oh well - they don't make buggy-whips like they used to, either!

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 24 February 2009 at 5:33pm GMT

We prayed for Zimbabwe at the early Mass this morning (Ash Wednesday), it seemed entirely appropriate to remember our sisters and brothers in that needy country today, of all days, when we lament our participation in the world-wide systemic forces of hatred and consumerism which the Mugabe regime is still perpetuating in his neck of the woods. May God help us all to look, this Lent, to ways in which we can lessen the tensions by sharing the load.

Jesu mercy, Mary pray - for Bishop Stephen Bakare, and all who minister in that fraught environment.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 24 February 2009 at 11:41pm GMT

"Facebook not only trivializes the word 'friend'; it also has turned it into a verb."

We had a sermon that said the first point a few weeks ago. It started with the story of the guy who had a Real honest to God party, invited his 500 Facebook "friends", but no-one showed up, so what was their friendship all about? I am not a Facecrack addict, and frankly, I don't get the attraction of letting people know that 'Ford is in the bathroom', or whatever it is people feel obliged to let people know about themselves on Facebook. But I'm not sure that this is necessarily a "devaluing" of friendship as it is a redefining of the idea. Whether or not that redefinition is good or bad will take time. Personally, if the "new" definition of friendship means we blog at each other but never see each others faces, it...doesn't...mean.... but, wait, that's what we do here. But I still fantasize about sitting around a table with people like Erika, Goran, Pluralist, C. Schell, davidwh and a few more, having a few jars, and arguing as passionately, and snottily, face to face as we do here. If it were ever to happen, I think I'd even try to contact NP!

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 25 February 2009 at 1:28pm GMT

And me, please, Ford.

Posted by john at Thursday, 26 February 2009 at 9:42pm GMT

"And me, please, Ford."

I'm an Anglo-Catholic who buys into it hook, line, and sinker. Of course you! Everyone's welcome at the banquet, why not at the pub where we argue too? And just to let you know my vintage, and the spirit behind it, do you remember those posters that used to hang in many church porches? It had an earthen goblet of wine (since we all have earthen goblets, now, don't we) and a round loaf of bread split in two (which looked decidedly odd to my eye, only used to three-bun white bread, properly sliced) and the words "Jesus of Nazareth invites you to a banquet to be given in His honour". Take all that late 60s, early 70s schamltzy sentimentality, mix it with a good dose of cynicism, a judgemental streak a mile wide, and catty, sarcastic, oh so gay and superior sounding Anglo-catholic humour, and you've pretty much got me. So, of course, you, and anyone else we can get into a glorious row with!

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 27 February 2009 at 1:34pm GMT

Love you, Ford Elms! Don't always agree with everything you articulate, but still love you! Best of all, I think, Ford, is your absolutely committed and devoted willingness to engage - on one side or the other, depending on the particular thread. Yet, despite the sometimes pugilistic thrust, I sense a real longing for resolution across the divide. Keep it up, Ford.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 27 February 2009 at 11:41pm GMT

Yes Ford, you are wonderful in your entertaining and sardonic whit, and I find myself agreeing with you on the issues that matter. Now, if you could leave your smoke at home, I'd love to entertain you in the land of High Solemn Morning Prayer!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Monday, 2 March 2009 at 12:34pm GMT

"if you could leave your smoke at home"

We only do smoke 9 or 10 times a year, just enough to give the closet Methodists something to grouse about. And I haven't been to a good sung Matins in years, I would leap at the chance to sing those Canticles again. I take it you are across the pond from me. I have friends moving to London for a year in April, and I may just make it back that way soon. We had a ball last year, though I don't understand how you people can live, when the numbers on your menus are the same as here, but they're in pounds. Over twenty bucks for a plate of fish and chips with the skin still on and the bones still in!?!?!?! But the mushy peas were nice!

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 3 March 2009 at 3:36pm GMT

Wrong pond. Up the St. Lawrence, up the ditch (Welland) and across the lake, Ford! And you'll have to get a taste for perogi's

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 4 March 2009 at 12:52pm GMT

choirboy, we're closer than I thought! I go to TO from time to time, I have friends there, and have been so often, I don't need a map to find my way. My familiarity is best for the downtown, which is why I call Bloor-Yonge "the top of Yonge Street". If you're near TO, next time I'm there, I'll allow myself to be dragged away from Solemn High at Smoky Tom's for a good sung Mattins.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 4 March 2009 at 7:51pm GMT

Ford, when we talk about 'Inclusive', we don't mean that inclusive! - However, I believe the Candaians grow a particular species of privet hedge, whose leaves, when rubbed together, give off a pungent odour - something like incense. Perhaps you should take some along to Welland.

Agape to you and choirboy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 5 March 2009 at 9:08am GMT

Little further up the lakes guys. Think 'Mistake' on the Lake (Erie). Flaming Rivers.

Toronto is on the Lake Ontario, on the lower (north) end of the Ditch.

I could always come via newfie-land on my evensong junkie fixes to England. A pint of Alexander Keith's would be mighty nice.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 5 March 2009 at 2:28pm GMT


Indescriminate use of the N word is not advised should you ever stop on the Rock. It is not a word many of us like to hear, being loaded with stereotypes that, you may not be aware, seem to inform some very high decision making processes. Here, that word is taking on the meaning of expats who go away from home and employ all the stereotypes they can come up with in their pining to return to a Newfoundland that really never existed anyway. We've moved on, had something very much like the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, and our stereotypical good humour tends less and less to extend to toleration of the N word. I'm not chiding here, no offence taken, but use of that word is not as accepted here as it used to be. Sorry, but I'm a bit of a nationalist, well, more than a bit, and I've had good reason in the past few weeks to have that confirmed, not here, I hasten to add, but IRL.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 5 March 2009 at 6:28pm GMT

Hasten to think about having a beer with anybody who doesn't have a sense of humor and cannot look lightly upon their homeland with self-deprecating affection to colloquial faults. We all have them (this is from somebody whose country elected an idiot to ruin his country for eight previous years and has forebearers from the wrong side of the Ohio River). I've learned to look in the mirror and laugh. You should too Ford.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 6 March 2009 at 3:16pm GMT

"I've learned to look in the mirror and laugh. You should too Ford."

You know, choirboy, I have been laughing all my life at ethnic jokes recycled to make fun of insulting stereotypes of us. But these insulting sterotypes even inform federal decision making towards Newfoundland. Don't forget, one of the government arguments against us having a say over the offshore was that it would cut our equalization payments. There's a Newfie joke, formally a Polack joke, that says the same thing about winning the lottery. The Canadian government, and in many instances our "fellow countrimen", have not defended us when we were, and still are, being lied about and slandered around the world, gave away our fish stocks to ensure good relations with European countries that were markets for provinces on the mainland, then called us greedy and lazy when we demanded compensation for federal mismanagement that destroyed the very reason for our existence, forced us to fight for rights to our resources, and whose Supreme Court even rewrote our history to deny us access to them. And don't get me started on Churchill Falls and the recent lies from Harper. I think it's iconic that your nation's birthday is my nation's day of mourning. Canada is a good country, despite the above. If Britain had to break the Newfoundland Act of 1933, she could have schemed to unload us on far worse. It's true that we have been our own worst enemies. We elected Joey Smallwood for twenty two years, after all. But the litany of the colonial treatment of Newfoundland by Ottawa is a bit of a broken record by now. The old insulting stereotypes are just that and I, along with a good many more, are sick and tired of laughing at them. We're not stupid peasants out here on the East coast, and we're sick and tired of being treated like we are. We can laugh at ourselves, better than most, and I would be the last to say that we aren't nasty, childish at times, parochial, xenophobic even. But ethnic slurs that are not acceptable when told about any other ethnic group are not not acceptable when made about us, either. Those stereotypes are embodied in the word Newfie, and that's why it is not acceptable. As I said, I wasn't chiding, just informing you that use of that word, and the stereotypes it embodies, is becoming less and less acceptable. If you don't think I'm so stupid I don't know that a bad case of diarrhea is not something good to drink at a party, then don't use a word that declares pretty clearly that that IS what you think. That's all.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 6 March 2009 at 6:15pm GMT
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