Monday, December 14, 2009

Quotes and Other things

Check this heartwarming story here and then read the rest of this post. I will talk about it, after I ramble about some other stuff but check the story before continuing.

I haven't referred people to a specific blog post in a while. Long time readers will remember many a link to Jason Miller's blog. Here is one more. The thought as hit a few blogs of late but Jason nailed it right on the head. So, read this one when you have a moment. His post goes without comment.

I had a great morning thanks to understanding the Aces of Cups and Disks today. Work life is really good. I can't tell you how nice it is to say that.

Okay, now back to the first paragraph. What was wrong? Did you notice the word magical had to be in quotes? They reported on something magickal that happened. They had no other word for it. Yet, it had to be in quotes. Any news story about witches, magicians, and even one I saw a year or so back on druids had to have quotes around words I italicized here. How many times have you seen a group of "Christians" (who believe someone was impregnated spiritually and gave birth physically, how much more magickal can you get?), "Muslims" (who walk around a meteorite at least once in their lifetime), "Buddhists" (who believe in more magickal things that I've ever heard of) or "Catholics" (who perform god-eating every Sunday). Never.

Never because they'd never insult those religious/spiritual beliefs by playing quotes around them. Wink wink nod nod, none of this is real.

While they mean nothing by it (most likely), these subtle things can result in a loss of confidence in many new and aspiring occultists. Beware of these little things. Overcome them before they overcome you.

10 comments:

Jack Faust said...

"Never because they'd never insult those religious/spiritual beliefs by playing quotes around them. Wink wink nod nod, none of this is real."

/Grin.

There are definitely good reasons for viewing how culture view's oneself with skepticism... Good stuff, mang.

Another said...

Thank you, that's very interesting. The tone of the article was given in a way that hinted at it being a publicity stunt, or something similarly false, when in fact it was real.

I don't know if this is what you were driving at, but this is what was suggested by the quotations. I didn't even notice that at first, but just felt a little put off by the way it was presented.

Frater POS said...

@another, it could have been that too. In general, I was driving at the subtle things society does that can make the new occultist doubt his or her sanity or efficacy in occult work.

In societal attitudes like this we can our self-confidence can be harmed when we need it most. Conversely, it can be an opportunity.

Monsignor Scott Rassbach said...

One thing to consider:

Journalists are cynics. They've 'seen it all' and become an expert on a topic with 1/2 hour of research.

Frater POS said...

@Scott, not really my point.

Patrick said...

The word "magical" was in quotes because it was not the judgment of the reporter, but a statement by a witness. The quotation marks indicate -- a quotation. Not cynicism. When it appears in the headline, it still must occur in quotes. The journalist isn't being cynical; the journalist is being ethical.

Suecae Sounds said...

Very interesting post and points you bring forth.

Monsignor Scott Rassbach:

I know you are probably speaking in general terms, but I have been working as a journalist and have a degree and so forth... And I don't really agree with that sentiment. Some journalists are cynics. Some are not. Some start out as idealists and turn into cynics from writing about things they feel that they cannot do justice in the short time at their disposal. Basically, they are just people with a job in the media. Good and bad.

Samuel said...

I thought it was because they were quoting a customer, who described the event, saying "It was magical". They do this all the time (at least in Australian papers), quoting a word or two from someone in the headline.

Another said...

I thought Frater POS was pointing out the effect of the word in quotations on our idea of what magic represents in our lives and to us on a personal-level, not the intent or ethics of the journalist.

Using the quoted magic in the headline or title seemed to sensationalize it all, for me at least. It was proper format, or writing style, on the part of the author, and as Fr. POS mentioned, he probably didn't mean anything by it.

BRAN said...

"It’s a true holiday story that proves how a small gesture of kindness can create some magic."

If it was cynicism, then the last word would also have been in quotation marks no? I've got to agree with those who are suggesting they're simply quotation marks, because it was a quote.

I am catching steadily up with your posts though; two weeks in Ireland without internet haven't helped, but I'm getting there.