Archive for December 3rd, 2006

Strictly Appalling

Strictly Come Dancing is awful stuff, the ‘strictly’ appended to confer a touch of Baz Luhrmann vulgar glamour, in order to indicate that this is not the same thing that your granny used to watch after the war.

I hate the way adaptations of pop songs easily recognised by the audience are used instead of classics of the particular genre of music being danced to. It is not that I would like to see Baby Spice dance to ‘authentic’ samba music: I could not care less. Rather, I object to the fact that the audience is supposed to delight in the sheer mutability of a crap song by Anastacia.

Now the British government is trying to glom onto the spectacle of rich people dressed as flamingoes for the edification of the masses. See this Independent story.

Yes, the programme is despicable. And yet, I am still glad Carol Smilie got voted out.

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‘Muscular’ Catholicism

This morning, ante ientaculum, I am reading the Sunday Independent. Since the analysis page provides the title and intro to each piece, but doesn’t say who has written what (you have to click on the link) I keep myself amused for microseconds by trying to guess the culprit of each salvo of indignation.

I called this one right – In a slice of Fallaci-lite, Ruth Dudley Edwards the atheist praises Pope Benedict XVI the Catholic. She says:

They underestimate this Pope. He is courteous and gentle but intellectually and morally he is the embodiment of muscular Catholicism.

Leaving aside whatever we might understand muscular Catholicism to be, and my own impression of it would be something like this:


The observation she is making is that he is the intellectual and moral embodiment of it. Yet unless the rather decrepit Pope Benedict XVI has been spending an inordinate amount of time pumping iron over the last few weeks, I would suggest that this can only mean that ‘muscular Catholicism’ is in a rather atrophied state.

(I suspect that her conception of ‘muscular Catholicism’ is but a transposition of the tiresome ‘muscular liberalism’ (i.e. bomb the evil Muslims and give the nice ones a very stern talking-to) , but with more incense and crucifixes.)


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