GOP Morphing into Catholic Church Index of Forbidden Books and Films?
WHen we were kids in Catholic school, there was [and still is] The Index. Sounds like a thriller/suspense novel. But really it was a long list penned by old celibate bachelors in Rome who said these books, these films, were ‘occasions of sin’ and ‘a threat to The Faith.’
[I read the list on The Index many times and was always intrigued by the name of a film called I am A Camera, Yellow, such a poetic title but I never saw the film, for our town of 600 had only a drive in movie theatre, featuring The Red Shoes and Man in the Iron Mask, but no art films, no ‘art house.’]
Now, the Republican Party threatened Monday to pull its 2016 Republican primary debates from CNN and NBC if those two networks don’t immediately drop plans for broadcasting a miniseries and another documentary [rumored] on Hillary Clinton. There has been no declaration by Miss Clinton that she intends to run for the Presidency of the USA. But, you know, um, just ‘seeing’ things, you know, and ‘hearing things’ could be an occasion of sin and a potential threat to The Faith.
All is in an uproar of skirts and smurfs flying about threatening this and that. Again.
Once it used to be that conformity was confirmed by wearing little American flag lapel pins, regimental neckties, and other dress-alike costumes. [My grandmother used to say a lot of people’s tailors were unimaginative].
But, if the GOP is going to inaugurate censorship du jour, maybe there are some used Mitres [headdress worn by Bishops, that have long ‘lappets’ that hang down, ‘forgive her Father for she has sinned’… my grandmother said the ‘lappets’ looked like Goofy the cartoon dog’s long ears] …
and Birettas, little purple hats [my grandmother said they were alright except those who wore them ruined their dignity by putting big fuzzy floppy pom poms atop that trembled when the one wearing them, simply walked across the parking lot]…
and a few cast off Cassocks and some Fascias, big purple fringed sashes long enough to gird any belly,[which my grandmother called the Bishops’ trusses,] and of course the Zucchettos, little skull caps in colors, red, purple, white, according to the ranks the prelate men assigned one another [my grandmother ever said those little caps were really beanies from which the propellers had been removed. As mentioned, Father forgive her for she knows not what she says. Mostly, sort of, perhaps.]
All satire aside, I think those who would like to see networks air whatever they like, will likely target all the more the advertisers of certain right wing pundits to push back against this latest GOP ‘do as we say, or else’ very old fashioned Roman -esque ultimatum.
I was on a panel with Nat Hentoff [and Judge Bork at the other end of the spectrum] long ago. I loved the name of Nat’s book just published back then regarding BIG interests and powers, corporate and political attempting to put one another out of business by falsehoods vs truths: Free Speech for Thee but Not for Me.
There’s more to say, but what Mr. Hentoff entitled his book, given political whack-a-mole issuing at present from GOP re Hillary Clinton films on CNN and network television, is I think, a good start on how to understand this recent kerfluffle.
It’s hard not to notice that the Church’s men who attempted for eons to silence books and films, to keep them from Catholic eyes and ears, those ‘deciders’ called themselves ‘princes’ and affected the clothing style of kings… as though they themselves were kings… and assumed that whatever they condemned or commanded by fiat, would be bowed to, followed by all.
Not true then. Not likely true now.