DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     June 4, 1998     vol. 9, no. 108

CATHOLIC PewPOINT

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

What's wrong with this picture?!? part one

          If anybody wants to know what is wrong with this generation, why this society has fallen so far from the values and moral ethics that our grandparents instilled, one needs only to peruse "Time" Magazine's list of most influential people that affected our culture in the 20th century. Scholars and historians would rank Winston Churchill and that calibre of men among such a distinguished list, but the magazine's poll, conducted to find those who most influenced life in this century, reveals an alarming trend. Rather than men and women who genuinely contributed to society over the last one hundred years, some of the most votes garnered were by Bart Simpson. If you are over forty and a member of the faithful remnant, there is a possibility you may not know who this flat headed kid with the jagged top, bulging eyes, foul mouth, and disrespectful attitude is. However, if you have children, most likely you know all too well who Simpson is. You may say he is merely a cartoon, but try telling that to the youth today. They hold this moron up as an icon of today's culture. God help us! This irresponsible scallion represents all that is wrong with our culture today, and yet kids are glued to their sets, inhaling every word as they don Bart Simpson T-shirts and emulate the irreverence and disrespect for authority and parents that the creators of this obstrosity have cleverly manufactured. And, though we strive to do all God asks, we're not immune either for our youngest son is "hooked" on the the Simpsons, much to our chagrin. But he's not alone in this addiction and we're not alone among parents who are caught in the middle of this mainstream of society that elevates the inane and ridicules the sacred. Neighbor kids repeat word for word the latest phrases learned on this weekly show on Fox which is now even in re-runs daily in the late afternoons. As if once a week weren't bad enough!

         Even more alarming of the votes tallied for this Time-Warner all-time list were the fact that most selected epitomized rebellion or irreverance, people like Picasso, Chekhov, Lenny Bruce, Aretha Franklin, T.S. Eliot, the Beatles, Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplain, and James Joyce. All led troubled lives and challenged God through their lifestyles and actions. Now it is true these were selected for the degree they influenced life as artists during this century, but they have not molded a solid legacy but rather a fleeting footnote in the annals of time. Missing from these lists were notables who contributed much to civilization and culture such as Walt Disney, who must be turning over in his grave at the dire direction his beloved company has taken since his death. Ol' Walt created many characters but never one with the anti-authority image exhibited by Bart Simpson whose parents are illustrated as a group of brainless morons who Bart has to rescue. That is the problem today in this permissive society where too many kids are dictating to parents and society what they "want" to do and what they don't want to do.

          And speaking of dictating, how many of us realize the media dictates to us day-in and day-out? And we buy it. Bart Simpson is a fabrication of the media, manipulated to influence and tempt the youth of our country into greed and avarice. We should be aware of the power the media - the false prophets - wield today, telling us what we should and shouldn't do. Excuse us, but isn't that God's responsibility? But the media have elevated themselves as gods and designated the gods they want to project on the public. And the public, like meek sheep, accept whatever is put before them. In a word, we are puddy in the hands of these master manipulators of the subliminal. In bed with the Madison Avenue mavens, they cleverly and sinisterly weave in enough truths with all the lies to con us into believing anything. Isn't that the way the father of lies works? So therefore it only makes sense that they would extoll the actions of an animated non-entity over the virtues promoted by the master of values and the one man in the world who God-fearing citizens respect and look to for guidance, whether they are Catholic or not - the Pope. But the media has an insidious method to their mayhem, and so they have launched a subliminal campaign to downgrade the Church and weaken the influence of the Holy Father. Thus we have an increase of Catholic bashing today, a steady influx of cleverly placed news stories that demean the Pope through association, through inference without a thread of proof. Such is the story carried in our News & Views today about a U.S. report that accuses the Vatican of being an accomplice in smuggling gold confiscated from the Nazis via Croatian ties. Again, there is no evidence, no iota of proof offered, but the implication makes the Holy See and Pope Pius XII guilty by association. Enough is enough! The constitution of the U.S. provides that all are considered innocent until proven guilty, but the media infers guilt on the innocent so cleverly that they are able to fabricate the truth and turn public opinion to their own mind-frame. This is the way Adolf Hitler was able to mesmerize a nation and it is being done even more cleverly today by the fuhrers of the media. It has been said the greatest victory for satan in this century was convincing the world he doesn't exist. His disciples have followed the devil's script well, convincing the mass that they only report the news. Don't believe it for a moment. These false prophets, who Jesus warned us about in Matthew 7: 15, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.", are truly wolves who will devour anyone who stands in their way. Make no mistake about that. They treat the public as chattel with no regard for values or consequences. The invention of Bart Simpson is a prime example. That brings us to a comparison. If the name Bart Simpson and Pope John Paul II were placed on a ballot, who do you think would come out as the most influential of this century? Chances are we all would vote unanimously for the Vicar of Christ, not just because of our loyalty to the Holy Father and our Church, but also because no man has had a greater influence on the world than this quiet Pole who has governed the Church for nearly two decades and who receives respect from leaders of every nation on the face of this globe. These world leaders may not all agree with him, but they are all in awe of him and hold a healthy respect and admiration for this man who played such a pivotal role in bringing down the Iron Curtain and keeping the agenda to curb world population at bay. Even Winston Churchill or any of the U.S. presidents did not have the clout and respect internationally that John Paul II commands. Now the vote from parents and those over 40, maybe even thirty, would be a runnaway for the Holy Father, but what about our kids and those born after 1960? We fear ol' Bart would garner the majority of votes because of the shallow perception of life today. Can you imagine Bart Simpson gaining greater recognition than the Pope? In the word of Homer Simpson, Bart's bumbling dad: "d'oh!" What's wrong with this picture?!?

Michael Cain, editor