Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic, and all you other Christians at sea. It’s time for another Newsreel, sponsored yet again this week by the fine folks at Acts of the Apostasy, home of the 3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday. Now off to press.
The Washington Post notes that, in Israel, glasses that blur your vision is “the latest prescription for extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who shun contact with the opposite sex… The ultra-Orthodox community’s unofficial ‘modesty patrols’ are selling glasses with special blur-inducing stickers on their lenses. The glasses provide clear vision for up to a few meters so as not to impede movement, but anything beyond that gets blurry …so they don’t have to see women they consider to be immodestly dressed.” Well, we Christians have always lived by the Gospel adage “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”, so we can certainly appreciate the sentiment being expressed by our Jewish friends here. But, you know, “if your eye causes you to sin, then slightly obfuscate your vision with silly eyewear” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Lest you think the Orthodox Jews are overreacting, CBS reports that “a recent study finds that our brain objectifies women as different body parts, while viewing men as a whole. The study, published in June’s European Journal of Social Psychology, was conducted by Sarah Gervais, a psychology professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She conducted experiments by presenting 227 participants of the study with images of men and women, finding that men were perceived as a ‘global’ - or whole – cognitive processing level, while women were seen on a “local” cognitive processing level… ‘We don’t break people down to their parts, except when it comes to women, which is really striking. Women were perceived in the same ways that objects are viewed… We always hear that women are reduced to their sexual body parts; you hear about examples in the media all the time,’ Gervais said in the study. ‘This research takes it a step further and finds that this perception spills over to everyday women, too.” Interestingly, while Gervais’ study demonstrates the truth of the objectification of women in our culture, it doesn’t appear to offer any explanations as to why such a thing is happening. Fortunately, Pope Paul VI already tackled that problem in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae (as noted in our definitely PG-13 review of Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls) and offered us a few solutions on how to combat the ill effects of the sexual revolution. Maybe in another few decades science will catch up to those as well.
Alas, it would appear that our eyes aren’t the only thing causing us trouble these days. Our ears are having problems also. Reuters passes along the information that “researchers in Spain used a huge archive known as the Million Song Dataset, which breaks down audio and lyrical content into data that can be crunched, to study pop songs from 1955 to 2010.” And what were the results? They "found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse… [and] obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations - roughly speaking chords plus melodies - has consistently diminished in the last 50 years… They also found the so-called timbre palette has become poorer. The same note played at the same volume on, say, a piano and a guitar is said to have a different timbre, so the researchers found modern pop has a more limited variety of sounds.” Basically, they have conclusive proof that today’s pop music is vapid, monotonous, and inconsequential. We here at the B-Movie Catechism will simply let the facts stand as they are with no editorial, but if any of you feel compelled to insert your own snarky comment regarding contemporary Christian music here… we’re not going to stop you.
And finally, speaking of ears, Live Science relates the tale of “a woman who checked into China's Changsha Central Hospital Wednesday (Aug. 8) with an itchy ear [and] learned she had a small spider dwelling in her ear canal, according to news reports. It had crawled inside five days earlier while she slept.” We’re not sure if there are any spiritual insights to be discerned in this story or not, but we just couldn’t resist passing along this bit of nightmare fuel.
AHHH! AHHH! AAAHHHHHH!!!!
And with that we sign off this week’s Newsreel, as is our custom, with the immortal words of the great Les Nessman. Good evening, and may the good news be yours.