Daily Riches: Threatened by Toxic Media (Jayson Bradley, Mike Wallace, Eugene Peterson)

“I found an incredible interview from the late 50’s with Mike Wallace. It came from a series called The Mike Wallace Interview that ran from 1957–1960. I was blown away that

  1. A show could exist in such a simple format
  2. There was a time when people used television as a vehicle to think about metaphysical questions
  3. People cared about thoughtful dialogue enough to keep this show on the air for three years
  4. It was publically acceptable for people to smoke that much

I fell into an entranced spiral watching video after video of Mr. Wallace interviewing interesting personalities like The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, Brave New World author Aldous Huxley, artist Salvador Dali, and German social psychologist Erich Fromm. …What does an interview program look like now? We barely have the attention span to sit through a 15 minute interview with Barbara Walters, and her celebrity interviews have neither the depth or substance of these powerful discussions. Can you imagine a program like this running on prime-time today? Nope, we’re creating lowest-common-denominator television now. We have the world at our fingers, and we’re perfectly content with Honey Boo Boo, Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, and Dancing with the Stars. After watching these videos for hours, I walked away sad that we’ve slipped into an intellectual entropy. Who’s going to save us from this cultural ghetto!?”  Jayson Bradley

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. …
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,
God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:2 (Eugene Peterson, the Message)

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Do you abstain from from media often enough to be able to see through its ubiquitous nonsense? to recognize its dangers? to escape the grip of its propaganda?
  • Is your media consumption intentional, so that you protect your mind and heart?
  • Do you “fix your attention on God” in times of solitude and silence to center, ground and protect yourself?
  • Are you becoming insensitive to the sexual images? the ads? the profaneness? the inanity? oblivious to the time spent?

Abba, help me whether with media or otherwise, to recognize nonsense and illusion, and protect my heart, the source of all I am.

For More:  Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Soul-wrenching Work of Letting Jesus Deal with Our Stuff (Jayson Bradley, Neil Postman, Matt Groening, Louise C.K)

“One way of looking at the history of the human group is that it has been a continuing struggle against the veneration of ‘crap.’” Neil Postman

“For most of recorded history, you couldn’t get away from it. The farmer, monk, chef, and seamstress all worked in relative silence within the rhythms of the day, month, and year. Gradually, technology intruded upon those rhythms and upset that silence. Electric light extended the evening and absconded with our rest. Radio introduced constant chatter, and television doubled down on that chatter requesting our total attention. …When I was a teen, I was excited for the ability to listen to a portable cassette; now I carry thousands of albums around with me. …Do you know those people who seem to carry with them an inner stillness? …Most people I know (myself included) are overstimulated and overwhelmed…. We scroll through a vast network of news stories, updates, and information responding in ways that seem more conditioned than reflective, our minds abuzz with constant distracted activity. …Louis C.K. nails the problem here.

…In the most profound way, Louise C.K. is totally right. [We think] ‘…It’s that God-shaped vacuum. He just needs Jesus to fill it up.’ But Christianity alone doesn’t just fill up that emptiness. Christians are as guilty as anyone else of looking for a shortcut to fill that hole …and, despite what we say, we fill it with the same exact things as everyone else. We may be able to curb that hollowness for a while, but eventually it catches up to us…. We run headlong into that void without the discipline to navigate it, and it consumes us. …It’s like the whole of our psyche has followed Marge Simpson’s advice to Lisa, ‘Take all your bad feelings and push them down, all the way down past your knees, until you’re almost walking on them. And then you’ll fit in, and you’ll be invited to parties, and boys will like you. And happiness will follow.’ Silence is the tool that brings to the surface all that stuff we’ve buried or lies hidden from us. The silence we need is more than an absence of sound; it’s a break from constant stimulus and activity. It’s about allowing the tangled cords in our spirit and mind to unravel and be stilled. It’s about stopping the constant need to control our surroundings with our actions and words in a never-ending quest to drown out the unrest in our hearts. It’s about facing the dragon of emptiness, loneliness, frustration, anger, hurt, and need head on . . . and doing the soul-wrenching work of letting Jesus deal with it.” Jayson Bradley

  • Do you still yourself to let difficult emotions surface?
  • Are you willing to do “soul-wrenching work?”

Abba, still my soul.