Monday, December 31, 2007
Best Humorous Posts
Bishops use "Cinderlla" method on the Motu Proprio
Is reincarnation real?
Post That Got the Most Comments
Medjugorje Messages (56 comments, mostly from two people arguing)
Most Widely-Read Posts
I'm back from Columbus (part 1)
I'm back from Columbus (part 2)
These two articles on NCYC, because they were picked up by Fr. Z, got us about 12,000 hits in one week and a bunch of attention for this blogpostolate.
Post(s) For Which I Received the Most Compliments
Where is the Ark of the Covenant? (whole series of 4 posts available on sidebar)
Biggest Dufus Profiled on this Blog
Professor Never Heard of Unam Sanctam
Best Post on Music
Protestant and Catholic Lyrics
Best Historical Posts
The Battle of Belgrade
Historicity of the Flood
Stupidest Story Covered in 2007
The Pope-Fire of Poland
Most Important Liturgical Posts
Well, was it abrogated or not?
Well, is there one rite or two?
Conversion to Traditionalism
Is Liturgy Really that Big a Deal?
Nature & Social Implications of the Liturgical Act
The Term "Extraordinary"
Some of My Personal Favorites
Saint Louis IX on Interreligious Dialogue
Is Sin Inevitable?
Hindus Terrorized and Killed by Their False Monkey-Gods
Blame it on the Ignorant Laity (an excellent post that goes through the Efficient, Formal, Final and Material Causes for the church crisis and debunks the myth of the pre-Vatican II "ignorant laity" and places the blame on the hierarchy instead)
Update: Anselm's Personal Favorite
Why Do So Many Catholics Believe in Penal Substitution? (also a series of related posts on soteriology available on the sidebar)
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Well, this is long enough for one post, but I've only highlighted the first two chapters out of seventeen. Look for further installments soon; this is an important series of books, and this one in particular is mandatory reading for any traditional Catholic who wants to know what really happened at Vatican II to open the windows to the smoke of Satan.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Before July 7, 2007, the Coalition shipped 1,000 Latin-English Missals each month. Since July 7 we have shipped 1,000 booklets every week. In May, we had reprinted 20,000 booklet missals, and ordered another 20,000 in October. Latin-Spanish books have been reprinted, as have the books for Requiem Mass. The Nuptial booklets are next, their report said.
By the way, in case anybody is buying in to the notion that you have to be an arch-conservative academic egghead with a mastery of Latin in order to get anything out of the old Mass, the Coalition also reports a call from a father who ordered booklet missals for his family because his 12-year old son prefers the Old Latin Mass to the new English Mass. This is so simple, even kids get it! What was that Jesus said about "out of the mouths of babes and suckings..."?
The Coalition also reports that orders for the Know Your Mass book for the training of altar boys are also up, and that 800 training DVD's ("The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven") have been ordered by priests wanting to learn the TLM.
These are most encouraging facts! If anybody else out there has any stories about the spread of the TLM, please keep us updated!
Friday, December 28, 2007
In the meantime, if you want to give Anselm and I a good Christmas present, how about letting somebody else know about this blog or forwarding a link to one of your favorite articles to somebody who has not yet visited here. We like to think that the work we do at this blog is at least somewhat important to the life of the Church, and the more people we can get connected the better we can work and pray to restore the Traditions of the Church. Therefore, please take a moment and let a friend know about this humble little corner of Cyberspace.
Now, as a Christmas present to all of you loyal bloggers, I'm going to put up pics of Anselm and myself so you can see who we are:
Here's a nice pic of Anselm. When I first met him, his flesh colored eyes were difficult to get used to, but I finally accepted him for who he is.
But, whereas with Latin we have lost the usage of the language in its entirety, in English we have a stranger phenomenon. While English is obviously used liturgically, since it is the vernacular and that's what everybody uses now, we have experienced a great dumming down of the way in which English is used, both in the prayers we pray liturgically and in the hymns that are sung. I've said it before, that if we are bound and determined to use vernacular in our worship, let's at least use good vernacular.
I don't think this was originally a Catholic song, but check out the words to this old English hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Robert Robertson and John Wyeth (c. 1759). Notice the mastery of the language and compare it to the banal English songs we use today [you can listen to the tune here]:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing,Call for songs of loudest praise.Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit, Till released from flesh and sin, Yet from what I do inherit, Here Thy praises I’ll begin; Here I raise my Ebenezer [meaning a sign of victory, a reference to 1 Sam. 7:12]; Here by Thy great help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood; How His kindness yet pursues me, Mortal tongue can never tell, Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose meI cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; Clothed then in blood washed linen How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace; Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,Take my ransomed soul away; Send thine angels now to carry Me to realms of endless day.
Now, look at some of these beautiful lines: "Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love" (v.1). What song-writer for GIA would use the phrase "melodious sonnet" in their composition? That would seem to high-falutin' for their liking.
In verse 3 it says, "Jesus sought me when a stranger,Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood." What a beautiful image! When was the last time you heard somebody use the word "interposed"?
Verse 4 has my favorite line, where is says, "O to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee." How wonderful to conceive of God's love as a fetter that binds the heart to the Divine Goodness!
What is my point here? My point is this: not only have we lost the use of the Church's traditional language of Latin, which in itself is a big enough battle to fight, but even the use of our own language has been dummed down, simplified and idiotized (is that a real word?) until it is incapable of expressing adequately the divine realities that we are trying to write, sing or pray about. Besides the obvious danger in discarding our liturgical language, there is a subtle danger in dumming down our own laguage, because the less intricate it becomes, the less precise, and the less able we are to say what we mean, and all sorts of ambiguities and problems become manifest. Compare these two prayers. The first is from the Gradual for today (Feast of the Holy Innocents) from the 1962 Missal:
Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowler. The snare is broken, and we are delivered. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Very nice. Now, look at the Psalm-prayer for today's daytime prayer, from the modern Liturgy of the Hours:
Lord, we are citizens of this earth and ask to be made citizens of heaven by your free gift. Help us to run in the way of your commandments and to set our hearts on you alone.
Maybe it is just me; maybe I am being a bit too picky, but do you see a difference in the way things are worded, in what is emphasized in each example? And what's the idea calling us "citizens of this earth"? Sounds like European Union propaganda to me. Last I checked, Hebrews 13:14 said, "Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come."
One more example. In the 1962 Missal, for today we have this English translation of the hymn Salvete, flores Martyrum (All hail, Flowers of Martyrdom!):
Flowers of martyrdom, all hail! Smitten by the tyrant foe on life's threshold, as the gale strews the roses ere they blow. First to bleed for Christ, sweet lambs! What a simple death ye died! Sporting with your wreaths and palms at the very altar side. Honor, glory, virtue, merit be to Thee, O Virgin's Son! With the Father, and the Spirit while eternal ages run. Amen.
Now, compare it to the hymn that would be sung for today's morning prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours, a text by James Quinn, SJ:
Father, Lord of earth and heaven, King to whom all gifts belong, give Your greatest Gift, your Spirit, God the holy, God the strong. Stay among us, God the Father, stay among us, God the Son, stay among us, Holy Spirit: dwell within us, make us one.
Whatever the intention is, can you perceive the loss of vibrancy and expressiveness in the English language in these two examples? It is all intentional (though I'm sure much has to do with simple lack of talent). Let's make sure that while we are defending Latin from the front door, we don't let them sneak in and ruin English from the back door. There are liturgists and theologians out there who would have us all praying and talking like this if they could: "We Church. God good. Tolerance double-plus good. Intolerance double-plus ungood." Linsguistic sophistication is the tangible measure of which we are able to express ideas verbally, and thus what we are able to say about our ideas. It must be preserved at all costs.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The next day [Alexander] called [the priests] to him and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him: whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired ...
I know it is a long quote, but this wonderful story verifies what I have been saying. Here, Alexander wants to destroy Jerusalem and punish the high priest, but through God's intervention, he ends up acknowledging the true God and supporting His people by his royal decrees.
We have seen this scenario played out with three of the four kingdoms witnessed by Daniel. But it is to the fourth, which was "different" from the other three kingdoms, that God promised to smash with a rock and replace with a mountain that would fill the whole earth.
Rome: With this story, we are all familiar. How in the reign of this fourth beast the Son of God was born, how the Romans persecuted the Church worse than any of the other three beasts, for this beast persecuted not the followers of the Old Covenant but the faithful of the New, which was even worse, inasmuch as the glory they were spurning was greater. But through the perseverance of the martyrs and the miracles wrought by God, this beast slowly became converted, as the Rock of Peter smashed its toes and began to grow. Soon, the old kingdom was displaced, and the same imperial authority that once issued edicts against the Christians now declared:
It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our Clemency and Moderation, should continue in the profession of that religion which was once delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it hath been preserved by faithful tradition...but as for others, since, in our judgment, they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation, and in the second the punishment which our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict (Decree of Theodosius I, 380).
This is a repeat of what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Ahasuerus, Cyrus and Alexander, only now it was different, because now the converted kingdom was promulgating not just the shadows of the Old Testament but the glorious light of the New, which will never pass away. Babylon, Persia, Greece and Old Rome passed away, but the Church of Rome, founded by God on the Apostle Peter, has become that stone that became a great mountain that filled the whole earth which was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet: "In the latter days the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and all nations shall flow to it. Many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the LORD'S mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the word of the Lord" (Isaiah 2:1-3). It is this kingdom which shall never pass away.
In case you are wondering, I did not make this explanantion up. In my research on kingship in the Middle Ages, I found this view of the Roman Church as the inheritor of the fourth kingdom in the writings of many of the medieval political theorists and theologians, although many saw this kingdom to be not the Roman Church, but the Holy Roman Empire. But by it we can see that it was not by any accident that the head of the Church wound up in Rome. It was part of a long and divinely ordained pattern that went back to Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. It was all part of God's great plan for making use of the nations of the earth to spread His message and proclaim His glory.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions.
What does this mean, that the Roman Church became the head of all churches from "ordinance of Divine Providence" and not through political conditions? Well, I think it is sufficiently obvious that to be founded through the ordinance of Divine Providence means that the headship of the Roman Church was directly and positively willed by God; i.e., that it was His perfect will, not simply His permissive will. Rome's headship over the churches was part of God's eternal plan, just as much as Jesus' Incarnation or the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost.
Yet, how often when we read historical accounts of the ascendancy of the Roman Church do we hear only arguments from political developments that lack any reference to its divine founding? For example, how many times have you heard some kind of explanation that says that as the civil power failed in the Western Roman Empire due to the barbarian invasions (and as the imperial court moved east), more and more civil responsibilities fell to the Papacy, thus making the institution far more important and powerful than it had been in the earlier centuries. Or maybe something about Rome being the "natural" place for the Church to be centered since it was the political capital of the Empire?
Now, these arguments may be true in explaining the secondary causes for why Rome happened to become the head of the churches, but they are deficient because they fail to mention the primary cause: because God willed it to be so. Without reference to God as the primary agent in the establishment of the Popes at Rome, we are left with only historical/political arguments, arguments which Pius X says are defective.
The Fathers of the Church, in so far as they mention the founding of the Church at Rome, usually make recourse to its double-apostolic origin, the fact that it had both Sts Peter and Paul as its founders. For example, Tertullian makes this statement around the year 200: "But if you are near Italy, you have Rome, where authority is at hand for us too. What a happy church that is, on which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood; where Peter had a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John [the Baptist, by being beheaded]" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 36 [A.D. 200]). This statement is standard among the Fathers: Rome's authority is guaranteed by her double-apostolic origin of the two most illustrious apostles.
This is a notably better argument than the historical ones cited above, and the Fathers usually use it with reference to this establishment being of God's will. But again, if we rely solely on this one and cut out any reference to the Divine mandate of the Father (as often happens), then this too falls short. Why? Because this argument is very closely linked with the fact of Peter's residency in Rome, and there is no necessary theological reason why Peter should have wound up in Rome. A man I know once met the Patriarch of Antioch. The Patriarch told him that he would be pope right now if Peter had stayed in Antioch instead of going to Rome. So in a sense, he viewed Peter's settlement in Rome as a kind of accident of history, in that if Peter had decided to stay in Antioch, the bishops of Antioch would be popes; or if Peter went to England, then the Archbishops of Canterbury would wield Petrine authority. But the residency of the popes at Rome is no such historical accident, neither of political conditions in the late Roman Empire nor of the of the individual missionary journeys of the Apostles.
We know for a fact that the primacy was attached to Peter as a person and passed on to those who inherited his office. The office remained at Rome, but was there any theological reason why Rome should have been the seat of the Church, or can we only come up with accidental, historical reasons to account for it? Pope St. Pius X says we must believe that it was of Divine Providence, and not due to an accident of history. Therefore, there must be a theological reason. Can we know what this reason is?
There are good theological and scriptural reasons for the physical locating of the Church in Rome, which I will go into next time.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Inside the cover are three imprimaturs, two nihil obstats, and an apostolic blessing from Pope Paul VI. Quite impressive. And then you read the introduction, called How to Read Your Bible. Ben Douglass and Jacob Michael aptly refer to this section as How Not to Read Your Bible in their article: The New American Bible: Is It Good for Catholics? (This used to be available online at Catholic Apologetics International but I have been unable to locate it again after first reading it). Here are some samples of the poisonous commentary contained therein:
God Himself guided (inspired) the Hebrew genius in its searching out of the mysteries of the human condition... When this restless searching for truth and meaning culminates in unfolding one of God's mysteries, we speak of divine revelation... Sometimes inspired searching for meaning leads to conclusions which cannot be qualified as revelation from God. Think of the "holy wars" of total destruction, fought by the Hebrews when they invaded Palestine. The search for meaning in those wars centuries later was inspired, but the conclusions which attributed all those atrocities to the command of God were imperfect and provisional. See Judges 1:1-8. [The Saint Joseph Edition of the New American Bible. (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1992) p. 18]
The Allegory: A figure story with a veiled meaning. Read Genesis 2, 3, 4:1-16, 6-8, 11, 19. For centuries these chapters have been misunderstood as inspired lessons in science. The Bible does not teach science; it teaches religious values. It uses these folktales to teach a lesson. Again, the point of the allegory (not the details) is God's message to you. [p. 19]
[B]iblical poems in particular can easily be misunderstood. Read them as poems and not as scientific or historical reports, in which one tries to explain every detail as a revelation from God. See [the commentary on inspiration and revelation quoted above] and read Psalm 137: "Ballad of the Exiles," paying special attention to verses 8 and 9. The feeling, the thought, the total poem is inspired (guided) by God, though it is not necessarily revealed truth! Read some Psalms! [p. 20]
Like all peoples, the Hebrews had their sages or philosophers. In the Bible we find their thoughts mainly in the Wisdom Books. The ancient wisdom is a remarkable mixture of philosophy and poetry. Read it as an inspired search for meaning in life. Do not expect too many ready-made answers. See this literature more as a challenge to a faithful searching for meaning in your own human condition! [p. 21]
A remarkable fact is that for a long time Christians misunderstood the literary genre of the four Gospels. Until recently they thought that the Gospel writers wanted to present us with a biography of Jesus. After much research, Bible scholars agree that the Gospel writers wanted to write catechisms or digests of Christian teaching concerning the risen Lord Jesus... The writers took [oral traditions] and frequently even remolded and refashioned them to bring out the lesson they wanted to teach... In the conflict stories of the Gospels it is usually Jesus who is in conflict with His opponents... Was Jesus involved in these conversations? Did He answer exactly as related in the Bible? It is not certain... Bible scholars tell us that a horoscope of the expected Messiah circulated during the time of Jesus' birth. Astrologers (wise men from the East) were watching the sky for the appearance of the Messiah's star. King Herod, superstitious and upset by these people, killing children of two years and under, is extremely probable... People leaving Bethlehem to escape the massacre, is equally probable. This would be the historical background to this tradition. The rest is interpretation... Since we do not possess a biography of Jesus, it is difficult to know whether the words or sayings attributed to him are written exactly as He spoke them. True, the Gospels are based on sound historical facts as related by eyewitnesses, but both deeds and words of Jesus are offered to us in the framework of theological interpretation... Can we discover at least some words of Jesus that have escaped such elaboration? Bible scholars point to the very short sayings of Jesus... Remember the golden rule: keep historical facts distinct from their theological interpretation. [pp. 21-24]
How does one know whether one deals with history or some form of figurative speech? To begin with, we should always be disposed to follow the teaching authority of the Church. We should also consult renowned Bible scholars who are experts in Hebrew literature. Sometimes, it is secular science which gives Christians the lead to reconsider their Bible understanding... Most scientists hold that the human species has developed somehow from lower kinds of life. This knowledge helped Christians to understand that Genesis 2 and 3 is not a lesson in Anthropology, but an allegory, teaching us that sin is the root of all evil... You may hear interpreters of the Bible who are literalists or fundamentalists. They explain the Bible according to the letter: Eve really ate from the apple and Jonah was miraculously kept alive in the belly of the whale. Then there are ultra-liberal scholars who qualify the whole Bible as another book of fairly tales. Catholic Bible scholars follow the sound middle of the road... The signature of a bishop in your Bible assures you that opinions, expressed in footnotes and introductions, reflect what is generally accepted as sound doctrine in the Catholic tradition. [pp. 24-25]
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In the second part of this paper we will then consider the reconciliation between God and mankind effected by Christ’s suffering, looking first at Christ's interior pain of sorrow in light of Ratzinger's words on the nature of forgiveness, and then also at the complete pain of Christ's passion as the expression of a love so pleasing to God that it satisfies God's justice, pacifies his wrath, discharges man's debt of punishment, and merits glory for Christ and salvation for mankind.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
by Father Chad Ripperger, F.S.S.P.
The Latin Mass: A Journal of Catholic Culture 12.3 (Summer 2003)
Among the traditional faithful there appears to be a kind of intuitive sense that the old rite of Mass is more efficacious than the new rite. Many believe that they derive more spiritual gain from the old rite of Mass than from the new. However, to give a more precise expression to the intuitive sense of which is more efficacious, the new or the old rite, it is necessary to make several distinctions. Since the purpose of this article is very specific, i.e. to ascertain which ritual is more meritorious or efficacious, certain issues regarding the value or efficacy of the Mass will be avoided.
Yet, to answer the question of whether the old rite of Mass is more efficacious than the new is of paramount importance. It is the point of departure between priests of the respective rites, since each holds that he is saying the Mass that is best for the faithful. Nevertheless, the question is a key one since, in the end, which ever ritual is more meritorious ought to be the one that the Roman authorities encourage. Since one of the primary obligations of those in authority in the Church is the glory of God through the salvation of souls, they have the obligation to encourage and, in some cases, require the ritual of the Mass which is most efficacious...
As regards intrinsic merit of course any valid Mass is infinitely meritorious. But we finite creatures are unable to receive infinite grace. Therefore, the fruits of the Mass actually communicated to us are finite and they will be greater or less based on a number of factors. The holiness of the Church who offers the sacrifice affects the merit of the Mass - there is no distinction here between old and new rites, the Church is always spotless. The priest merits graces for us in offering the Mass inasmuch as he is a priest - here again there is no difference between old and new. The priest also merits as a private person - here we have fruits of the Mass ex opere operantis.
The faithful can similarly increase the merit of a Mass by their holiness - this means that being present at Mass in a state of mortal sin (even if you do not receive Communion) actually decreases the grace communicated to everyone else. Of course, this doesn't mean you should not go to Mass. It means you should go to confession. Fitting decora also serve to increase the merit of a Mass, whereas unsuitable decora decreases it. To quote Fr. Ripperger: "Ugly things please God less and thus merit less." What refreshing bluntness!
And finally, the merit of the ritual itself - which I must leave to another post! Please offer a prayer for me this week as I wade through exams. Deus miserere me!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Before I go into Sartori'a argument, let me say that many have always spoke out against too much television. That is nothing new. There are two main arguments traditionally put forth against an excess of television:
The "It's a Beautiful Day" argument: "Why do you spend so much time in front of the TV? It's a beautiful day outside! Go ride your bike, play with your friends, get out and do something active for a change!"
The "Tool of Satan" argument: "My kids don't watch TV because the programming is so immoral these days that I can't in good conscience let them watch it."
Both of these arguments are valid, but weak, because they refer to things extrinsic to the television itself. In argument 1, one is encouraged to go outside and do something active. But suppose one has already done something active that day? Or suppose it's not a beautiful day, but rather it is a dreary, miserable Michigan January? In those cases, the argument seems to fall apart because it is based not on the disvalue of the television but on the existence of a better good outside of it. But if there is no better good outside at that time, it would seem that vegging out in front of the tube would be acceptable.
In argument 2, a similar mode of reasoning is taken up. TV is bad because too much immoral things come through it. But suppose that there exists a lot of programming that was good and moral, then would you not object to kids watching it four hours a day? Again, the argument against television in this case refers to something besides the act of TV watching itself (i.e., the shows that happen to be coming through the TV).
Now, there has been a third, vague and undefined argument against too much TV, and it is precisely this argument that Sartori takes up: the old "TV rots your brain" argument. I don't think most of us have given any thought to what this means, but we may have repeated it to our kids and had it repeated to us. Does TV "rot your brain?" If so, this would pertain to the act of TV watching itself, regardless of what was on or how the weather was outside.
Sartori points out that man has always been characterized as a rational animal, a homo sapien ("thinking man"). This means that his mental life is characterized by symbolization, the uttering of meaningful sounds and words that stand for abstract ideas. Sensory input gives information to the brain which then interprets the input in the form of ideas, and thus we come to grasp reality primarily through the intellect.
Now, since the advent of the television and the Internet, Sartori warns that most of our experience of the world and of abstract ideas (things like justice, love, etc.) are coming to us primarily through visual input alone. An excess of TV watching has turned men from beings who think about the world to beings who simply see it. This is what he calls the "involution" of man from homo sapiens ("thinking man") into homo videns ("seeing man"). This is even worse with the advent of the Internet: in television, man sees real images, but online he sees a lot more synthetic images that do not even reflect reality at all.
When man apprehended the world through reading, discussion, contemplation, etc., the reasoning faculty of man was fully engaged and he was more easily able to make logical connections and grasp meanings beyond the bare external. But what characterizes homo videns? Here is Sartori's definition: "tires of reading, prefers the abbreviated flash of a synthetic image. It fascinates and seduces him. He renounces logical links, reasoned sequences and reflection. By contrast, he yields to the immediate, heated, emotionally involving impulse." Reading, on the other hand, requires solitude, concentration, discriminating ability, appreciation for conceptualization and reasoning.
Essentially, Sartori says that TV has made the brain "softer" with the consequence of turning mankind into a being that primarily relates to the world through the visual medium only. For Sartori (an evolutionist), he puts this phenomenon in terms of actually reversing human evolution; hence the phrase "involution." We have become an age that values seeing over being. This criticism of television is more fundamental and important than the other two mentioned above, because this criticism actually concerns itself with the act of watching TV itself. I think Sartori puts into words what a lot of us suspected about TV for a long time but were unable to put into words: that it does indeed "rot your brain."
Click here for an article on Sartori
I tried to find this book, but it is currently only available in Spanish and Italian.