Wired magazine has become one of my favorite magazines. I also read Time, Newsweek, Businessweek, and the New Yorker every week, so there’s not much room to add new magazines. But we were getting a free Wired subscription for a while–I still don’t know why–and I got hooked. Now we pay for the thing.
A recent article was on the TV channel Comedy Central, and about some of the innovative things they’re doing. The head of Comedy Central previously worked at the FOX network, which was old-school in how it did things. This guy said, “Being at Fox was like taking Latin. It was like learning the language on which all the other languages are based but no one uses anymore.”
I found that interesting. I could make applications to the church, all of them cynical, so I question the value of me drawing out the analogies. I could apply it to church structure, denominationalism, church music, MS-DOS (oops–nothing religious about that), and other things. Might need to stretch some of the analogies, but it could be done. And I would be making some kind of point and using an interesting quote on my blog.
A long time ago, I sat in a two-day advanced writing seminar in Chicago, and the instructor was talking about the topics we choose, in journalism, for feature articles. He said some topics are easy marks–too easy, so easy that it can make us lazy. He said, “You could go to just about any inner city public school and find enough fodder to do an absolutely devastating article about that school–but why would you want to?” Good point. Those school have teachers and adminstrators trying to do a good job under difficult situations. Why kick out the chair from under them?
I guess churchism and denominationalism are pretty easy marks, for those who want to wax cynical. The post-modern writers are certainly having a blast. But foundations, while sometimes outdated, are still valuable. I wouldn’t want to attend a church that went about things the way the churches of my childhood did–but I still find things of value to draw from those days, and I recognize the leaders of my youth as really good people.
I’ll bet Comedy Central can find some valuable things to learn from FOX, which, as a relative newcomer to the Major Networks League, no doubt learned much from the Big Three (CBS, NBC, ABC) while at the same time going in some novel directions.
It’s too easy to criticize those who came before us. But in the church, they usually deserve more respect than the young bucks are willing to give them. I don’t know Latin. But I do admit that if I knew Latin (as my Mom does), it would come in very handy in my work as a wordsmith.Leave a comment