Saturday, 4 November 2017

Sneering



The Radio Times's feature-length interview with all of the present Today presenters hit the news because of what the presenters said about Thought For The Day.

John Humphrys said that he "usually" finds the feature "deeply, deeply boring" and wondered why Christians get the bulk of the invites (as they do).

Justin Webb said it annoys him because "they're all roughly the same" with the same nicey-nicey message, "If everyone was nicer to everyone else, it would be fine".

Nick Robinson agreed that there are not enough "profound" ones.

Only Mishal Husain defended the spot as "a bit of punctuation" in the "helter-skelter" of the programme .

And Sarah Montague expressed no view on the subject.

The Archbishop of Canterbury condemned John and Justin's "sneering". TFTD regular Giles Fraser also accused them of "sneering". Tim Stanley in the Telegraph also took it personally and complained that they are only "jealous".

I have to say that I agree with Justin Webb that the main problem with Thought For The Day is that it doesn't feature many 'red-in-tooth-and-claw' religious types and that the world view on offer is far too limited. They are (with rare exceptions) always the nicest, more liberal-minded representatives of their faiths.

I wouldn't wish to see it go though. It keeps parodists in business and provides a daily puzzle for the listener: 'How on earth is the speaker going to make the switch from talking about, say, Trump's tweets to talking about Jesus?'

Here are some of the latest tweets from TFTD Abridged, still performing the vital task of summarising individual TFTDs into 140 characters or less:

  • How to deal with ISIS?  Killing them all won't work, so we'll have to try something else. 
  • There's a new really fast car. People like things to be fast. Jesus did things slowly, so slow things are good.
  • Nice things are better than scary things. Happy Diwali! 
  • There's a lot of kids considering suicide. This is because of social media. Jewish mysticism has the answer: going home.
  • That couple who staged a sex act in Lindos remind me of the time I went to Greece and people wore shorts and I took photos.
  • Everything is just terrible in Las Vegas right now. Also, Jesus.
  • Sleep is important. The Bible says so. People regularly sleep through morning prayers. 
  • I had a heart attack.  Also, God. 
  • American football players kneeling during the National Anthem is totally like Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.
  • Donald Trump's speech reminded me of Manicheism because he said some people are good and some are bad. That's bad.
  • The high rate of traffic accidents in Kenya reminds me of Rosh Hashanah. 
  • The foster parents of the people accused of the Parsons Green attack are probably upset. This reminds me of the Prodigal Son.
  • A joke on the News Quiz has lead me to conclude...nothing much really. But the Bible's pretty good, isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. I object to the Today toadies dissing TFTD because of the simple, oft-observed fact they would NEVER diss Islam and Muslims in the way they do Christianity and Christians. That means they are loathsome, low creatures with not an ounce of courage in them.

    I think one can make a case for TFTD but clearly it needs to be reformed. It should includes secular non-religious philosophers - AC Grayling would be a good choice - and the religious people should be more religious...so we should have Islamic scholars giving us the full on Sharia treatment, not Mrs Taqiyya from BS College, Oxford...likewise let's have some Evangelical Christians, the occasional Scientologist and some uncompromising atheists.

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