Friday, June 19, 2009

Thought for the Day
BBC Radio Scotland
June 19th, 2009

It’s ‘up for grabs’ whether we are 'on the road to recovery' or not. The Chancellor thinks we’re on the right path but news of Scottish job losses makes us wonder whether this rising tide will lift all boats – or not.

Clearly there is some debate.

One of the questions asked by individuals who have suffered a loss - the loss of a job, or a relationship or even the loss through death of a friend or a spouse is 'when will I get better? And the only really truthful answer is 'quite possibly never' if you mean ‘when can I turn the clock back to where it was before’.

It's not so much that we limp ahead - though sometimes that's the best we can do - but that we build new things which incorporate the losses we have suffered. Loss and death free us - or force us -to build new things. And the new thing frequently contains the masonry of what existed on the site before.

The principles upon which we have measured our success are now being questioned – not only because they did not prevent dis-ease and instability – but on the deeper level of whether they were right – or fair – or godly – or honest. What sort of work was valued and what was not? Who had a place at the table? Who did not? Who were the ‘movers and shakers’? Who got moved and shaken?

The New Testament incorporates the fact of loss and death into the story of transformation and new life. The one is a part of t’other. Jesus said that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it will never become a new plant. The old life cannot be brought seamlessly into the new.

There’s a hope out there that we don’t recover completely – and a suspicion that if we aren’t honest enough about how sick we have been then we will perhaps not receive the sort of treatment we need.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Enough Bollywood on this Blog

And not enough for train lovers, either
Thanks to Doug Painter for the link.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good Audio Alert

Bishop Alan makes reference to a repeat broadcast of a Radio 4 programme called Hallelujah. It's available for the next six days HERE. I'm not sure BBC iPlayer is accessible outside of the UK and I can't immediately see a way of downloading it as a podcast (correct me if I'm wrong).

Even for a fan, I found it spent a little too long talking with and about Leonard Cohen but it ends with a marveous piece of music composed by Jocelyn Pook who is the programme's presenter as well.

The second bit - tho' not exactly seasonal (it's an Advent reflection) appears on the Clifton Diocese website (RC). It represents only one of the audio presentations which have won numerous awards - in this case the Sony Radio Award.

I was a participant in the Churches Media Conference down in Derbyshire just prior to our General Synod in Scotland and had occasion to attend one of the Fringe Workshops led by the podcasts creator, Mary Colwell. The audio is available HERE.

Francis Fukuyama won the 'Oops I wish I hadn't written that' Award for 1992. He wrote a book (based on a previous essay in a little known journal) called "The End of History and the Last Man" In it he'd declared that with the collapse of Communism the world had finished with politics derived from fundamental polarities and had settled on the inherent goodness of liberal democracy and liberal economic practice.

A good neo-conservative think-tank man, in other words.

One assumes he's had a little time on his hands over the last months.

He's done what men of a certain age do when their skills and abilities are judged to belong to another era which is to fall back on their hobbies - in his case building quite swish furniture with hand tools.

All of which has doubtless drawn him to a book called "Shop Class as Soulcraft" by Matthew Crawford, for which Fukuyama has written a quite laudable review in the New York Times' Sunday Book Review.

Sometimes the BBC composes headlines in rather a hurry:

Flu risk 'still low' after death