Turn Off TV News, Turn On Classics To Halt Brain Atrophy

todayFebruary 6, 2015

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How Do We Stop The Degradation Of Our Society?

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Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript The last caller and I were talking about the degrading nature of the news, or what is framed as news, and of the TV entertainment industry.  It’s the media-industrial complex is what it is.  He was complaining about how he can’t watch Fox anymore, can’t stand CNN or MSNBC, feels like he’s losing his mind when he watches.  That’s because your instincts are telling you to run.”  Check out today’s transcript for the rest….

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Caller Mark:  These people are just elitists.  They want to control us.  They want to tell us what to do.  I’m tired of it, Mike, I really am.  I really don’t know what to do because there’s nobody that seems to be representing the people of this country anymore.  It’s all special interests.  This is all about money for Big Pharma.  That’s all this really is.  They have their little speeches on the TV.  They have that cute little Megyn Kelly saying, [mocking] “You’ve got to take your vaccine, even if Big Brother has to force you to do it.”  Those aren’t her exact words, but basically that’s what she meant.

Mike:  Mark, Mark, Mark, do what I did.  Stop watching them.  Turn it off.  Rip the knob off and turn it off.  You are under no compulsion to have your mind systematically atrophied by the bubble-headed, bleached blondes that come on at five, from Don Henley’s song “Dirty Laundry.”  I need that song — I don’t have it as bumper music.  I asked AG to play it one time because this very subject here came up.  Don Henley of the Eagles writes and records this song during his prolific solo career, I’m going to guess sometime around 1990, 1992, somewhere around in there.  It’s a bit of a prophetic track because he sees what’s coming.  He sees this cable news garbage that so many people consume.  I don’t like the word force-fed because you’re not forced to watch it.  You can remain informed and you can keep your brain active by reading things like G.K. Chesterton and Orthodoxy and not reading news headlines and obsessing over them and posting them on Facebook like so many people do.  Mark, my friend, you’re not under any compulsion to watch these people.  The first thing to do is to turn it off.  Don’t watch it.  Then listen to Don Henley sing about [singing] “…the bubble-headed bleached blonde comes on at five.”

Paul:  I’ve got the track if you want to hear it.

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Mike:  Play “Dirty Laundry” for us, Paul.  It’s got quite a lengthy introduction here.  [lyrics] “We got the bubble-headed bleached blonde comes on at five, she can tell you ‘bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye, it’s interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry.”

Caller Mark:  Mike, you know where I get most of my news from anyway, at least TV news?  It’s actually from RT.  It’s so sad that you get more truthful news out of Russian Television than you do out of our own media.  I don’t get most of my news from — every once in a while I do like to know what the enemy is thinking, so I’ll turn on Fox or even CNN or something like that.  Unfortunately, a lot of people are influenced by Fox —

Mike:  Mark, I have no such masochistic desire.  I have purged it from my mind.  I hear what you’re saying.  You’re right about the devotees and those that still believe that it’s their network [mocking] “It’s our conservative answer to this.”  It’s not conservative.  It’s certainly not supportive and promotive of any kind of Christian value, as Michael Voris has proven from The Vortex and the other TV show that he hosts.  Again, we’re under no compulsion to watch this garbage.  Turn it off.

I have a great story in the Pile of Prep here today about the confluence and just the — we have a supply and demand problem.  There’s too much competition for your Liberty the God that Failed smallattention and for your reading time, which is why I revert back to the classics.  I’ll read 18th century stuff.  I think those guys were a lot smarter than most people are.  It’s a shame because I’m probably missing out on some pretty good stuff in the modern era, but there’s just so much of it.  Publishers won’t distinguish between what is excellent G.K. Chesterton and what is not, and what is the latest headline that helps you sell a subscription to a website.  We’re victims of our own laziness in these regards.  You don’t have to be.  Again, you’re under no compulsion to atrophy your brain.  You’re under no compulsion to make yourself stupid by listening to and viewing imbecility.

The last caller and I were talking about the degrading nature of the news, or what is framed as news, and of the TV entertainment industry.  It’s the media-industrial complex is what it is.  He was complaining about how he can’t watch Fox anymore, can’t stand CNN or MSNBC, feels like he’s losing his mind when he watches.  That’s because your instincts are telling you to run.  Like if the Bravo Channel is playing in the background somewhere and you walk into a room.  My Spidey-sense goes up and I go: Wait a minute, I sense stupidity.  I sense imbecility.  You don’t need it.  You’re not becoming any smarter.  It really does not matter that you are fully and completely informed of every little minutiae of the news cycle.  It will drive you mad.  I’m telling you, you’re better of spending your time educating yourself and praying, making the lives of those you love around you better by your attention and your humility.

Johnson is writing this in 1759 about a compilation of books, which is why I find this so fascinating.  We’ll continue.  It’s only another paragraph or so.


He that collects those under proper heads is very laudably employed, [Mike: He’s talking about great works and putting them together in compilation, or lifting from them and making your own book out of them.] for, though he exerts no great abilities in the work, he facilitates the progress of others, and, by making that easy of attainment which is already written, may give some mind, more vigorous or more adventurous than his own, leisure for new thoughts and original designs. But the collections poured lately from the press have been seldom made at any great expense of time or inquiry, and therefore only serve to distract choice without supplying any real want. It is observed that “a corrupt society has many laws,” and I know not whether it is not equally true that an ignorant age has many books. [Mike: Trust cicerome, Dr. Johnson, if you were alive today, I can confirm that an ignorant age has many books.] When the treasures of ancient knowledge lie unexamined, and original authors are neglected and forgotten, compilers and plagiaries are encouraged, who give us again what we had before, and grow great by setting before us what our own sloth had hidden from our view.

But, however the writers of the day may despair of future fame, they ought at least to forbear any present mischief. Though they cannot arrive at eminent heights of excellence, they might keep themselves harmless. They might take care to inform themselves before they attempt to inform others, and exert the little influence which they have for honest purposes. But such is the present state of our literature, [Mike: Remember, he’s writing this in 1759.] that the ancient sage who thought “a great book a great evil” would now think the multitude of books a multitude of evils. He would consider a bulky writer who engrossed a year, and a swarm of pamphleteers who stole each an hour, as equal wasters of human life, and would make no other difference between them than between a beast of prey and a flight of locusts.

[end reading]

Mike:  I love reading 18th century prose simply because of just the flourishes of literary eloquence that you find therein that are so rare today.  This is because, number one — look, I think we’re all guilty to this at some level, myself included, which is why I’m trying to un-guiltify or guiltinate myself.  Yes, I made those words up.  We have lost sense and track of the grammatical that is required, the grammatical skills that are required, and I don’t just mean grammatical rules.  Many of you people like to nitpick on grammatical rules.  Rules are all fine and dandy.  A wise man once said you can read the work of any brilliant author or thinker and can always find corrections, ergo, everyone needs an editor, but an editor does not an author make.

What I mean by the grammatical rules, we talked about this a couple times in the last six months or so.  One of the things that a classical writer back in the day, all the way up until Vatican II — thanks, Pope Paul VI — he would have been instructed, if he were really smart in Latin, and double smart in Greek.  As was once said on this show by Bradley Birzer when he made an appearance, he the author of American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll, that Charles had written a pamphlet that he wished to have printed in a Maryland newspaper about the nascent American Revolution and why some of the points of it were a good idea.


Because he wanted to make sure everyone could read it that could read, he translated it himself into Greek and Latin, which is no small task.  Anyone that can form their own sentences on the fly and do Latin to do so has some significant composition skills and has a brain that is operating at double the level of the rest of ours.  The way that Latin works, you don’t have to put your sentences in the order that we are forced to put them in in English today.  The Romans would, to surprise a listener sometimes, would save the verb for the last word so that those that were listening were hanging, figuratively speaking, on every word waiting for the verb so they could complete the sentence.  Imagine being able to talk like that.

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The point is that Latin, the study of it, has significant grammatical rules that you have to learn.  Trust me, I’m about a quarter of the way through Wheelock’s Latin.  I’ve had it for a year and a half.  It’s difficult.  The point is, and the point that Johnson is making there, is that to eschew the classics in favor of the modern compilation, this is akin — I’ll give you a modern example.  I’ll just say something to you that you have had said to you many times.  This is akin to saying: Why should I read the book when I can watch the movie?

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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