Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reading Image In Times Of Crisis

katie couric
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
Ahh, you think that PeaceBang's insistence that clergypeople try to project an image consciously rather than unconsciously is silly, do you?

You think that PeaceBang banging the drum of being camera-ready in a highly visual world is frivolous, do ye?

You wonder why PeaceBang is trying so hard to get religious leaders to pay closer attention to the details of their voice, posture, presence and comportment, dost thou?

Today's New York Times, a periodical not exactly known for its frivolity, analyzes the television coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings by several major network anchors, including NBC's Katie Couric and ABC's Charles Gibson:

Charles Gibson is praised for his authenticity and for "keeping an even keel," while Brian Williams of the "NBC Nightly News" turns "long-winded and cloying" in personal interviews.

Miss Couric, "who anchored Monday's broadcast in white slacks and very little make-up to signal to viewers that she was hard at work in the field," is criticized for emoting on camera with "gauzy, sorrowful looks." Mr. Gibson is described as "rumpled, pleasant and serious" onscreen.

PeaceBang brings this article to your attention nout not to say that it is fair, or that it is even good journalism, or to start a kind of American Idol competition between news anchors, but simply to point out that contemporary Americans are becoming more and more expert readers of image, and more and more conscious of how those who seek their trust gain it through a combination of personal relationship, public trustworthiness, and that ineffable thing called "presence."

We must know all that we can about our own pastoral and leadership presence. We are responsible for it. We have been trained well, most of us, to be deeply in touch with our insides. Being in touch with our outsides is different work, and challenging work, but it matters. Oh, it matters, my friends.

Personal to Miss Couric: Yes, I agree with you that it was snide and sexist for the NY Times to comment on your make-up or lack thereof, but you're powerful enough to let that roll off your back, I hope. As for white slacks, why not a nice navy? At least 'til after Memorial Day? White seems a little beachy for such a tragic story.

Professor Lucinda Roy

Professor Lucinda Roy
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
Darlings, PeaceBang hasn't felt much like being your cheeky correspondent this week, but she feels that she should say aloud what we're all thinking,

"Professor Lucinda Roy, you are one class act."

Seriously. Amidst the horrors of the Virginia Tech massacre, Dr. Roy has spoken to the media several times about her experience with the profoundly troubled Cheo Seung-Hui. On every occasion that I've seen, she has been composed, articulate, compassionate, and dressed in a manner that communicates total respect for her profession and her school.

Let us watch, and learn, and hope to God that we are never put in a similar situation.

Lord have mercy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
Maureen McCormick, honey, you don't NEED to go on "Celebrity Fit Club." You're fine; you don't need to go on a special television show to lose weight and humiliate yourself. Just cut back on the Twizzlers and the tuna melts. PeaceBang only wishes she was that "overweight!"

You may, however, choose to enroll in "Celebrity Eyeshadow Rehab," where they'll teach you that it's really not necessary to match your eye shadow to your dress. There can even be a big televised finale where you fling your hideous blue eyeshadow into the garbage, fully reformed.

Also, Maureen? White go-go boots? And... no, I'm not even going to talk about the dress. You're Marcia Brady and that gives you special immunity.

[Thanks to the Fug Girls for the photo]