Skip to main content

"This Instrument"

As of late, the power and influence of the television and the internet has been on my mind.

One of the more recent movies that I have seen was Good Night and Good Luck, a film based on the "Red Scare" of the 50s and the influence that Edward R. Murrow, a CBS television personality, had on bringing it to light in America. The film was just another billboard along the highway that's made me think about the power of media, or access to global information more precisely.

Towards the end of the flick, Murrow had this to say about the power of the television (while he not so subtly derided the increasing lean towards the tv's entertainment appeal rather than its other capabilities) :

"This instrument can teach, it can illuminate, and yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights and a box."

I think he was on to something. Of course nowadays we have a million and one channels to choose from, a third of which are news channels. And that's just the telly. We have the internet now, with the influence of the television not even holding a candle to its power.

But what do we do with all of this? We have the world at our fingertips.

As one who is trying to look at this through the lens of experiencing God's presence in the world, I think that the television and the internet are amazing tools. I wouldn't have this creative outlet without the internet, for pete's sake. But having these tools that illuminate the realities of the world (with certain biases for each media vehicle of course) lead us to a greater responsibility than any previous generation, in my opinion. "To him who has been given much, much is expected." We are not to turn a blind eye to the orphaned and the poor and the exploited and the peoples of the world who we now know have not yet experienced redemption of their lives through Jesus Christ. The fact that we are aware of the atrocities in the Darfur region, or the hungry in east Africa, or the persecution of Christians in North Korea, Eritrea or Colombia, or the AIDS-ridden southern Africa or the countless needs of the Hurrican Katrina victims cannot be ignored.

The one thing we cannot do is lose hope. Because we are exposed to so much suffering in this world, I hope we do not stop and say, "Well the need is just too big, I will only worry about what's going on around me." Don't get me wrong, I want to see the needs of those around me and we need to be watching for the needs right around us. But, let's not forget about "the ends of the earth," which we now are so much more aware of than the writers of the Holy Scriptures ever could have imagined.


Popular posts from this blog

Pilgrims Looking for the Sun


Pilgrims Looking for the Sun
This weekend across America, our transportation and information highways will glut with millions of eclipse-chasers travelling from the far corners of the globe order to find an unobstructed view along the “total eclipse” zone spanning the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment for many. A total eclipse of this nature hasn’t spanned this country for a century, though, the upcoming century holds many such eclipses in store. I myself will be joining the ranks of eclipse-chasers, making a relatively brief journey south to my parent’s property in Sparta, IL, which is comfortably within the totality zone.
I’m a latecomer in educating myself about this rare event. Only after watching two videos (by Smarter Every Day and Vox) and discussing the astronomically phenomenal event with my friend, Kacey, did my eyes begin to open in wonder and amazement at the unique phenomena of a total eclipse. Previously, I thought, oh, I’ll be…

Leatherbound Books

If you're into reading or just like thinking that you are, you should check out LibraryThing. Pretty sweet site actually. I have many leather bound books in my online catalogue. You can see for yourself: The site allows you to see users who have similar reading tastes as you and then you can check out their book reviews and other reading selections. I didn't have time yet to upload the Bearenstein Bears books I read back in high scho...I mean kindergarten. Mostly--well entirely, actually--my catalogue is filled with some books I've had the chance to read since the start of college. The point when I began to take reading seriously. Useless site? Ah...I wouldn't say so. It may help me to broaden my reading intake a bit. Or, maybe I'm just a sucker for these novel sites that allow us to connect with others and share knowledge.

The Stop Sign

While driving a new Iraqi family home from the clinic yesterday, I slowed the car at a stop sign near their apartment. As I brought the car to a stop, the father looked over at me, smiled and said in broken English, "In Baghdad, no stop. Too dangerous."

Stop signs. Always taken for granted. Now a reminder of chaos and tragedy in our world.