IS THIS A “GOOD” BUSINESS MODEL? — PART 2

The Good Samaritan by Aimé Morot (1880) shows the Good Samaritan taking the injured man to the inn. (from here)

In IS THIS A “GOOD” BUSINESS MODEL? — PART 1, we considered that much of what the mass media broadcasts is trashy, vile, and misleading. Since I only introduced the subject in the post, the best content is in the comments. Please read them.

So what is this post about? To express our disgust with the mass media, the usual thing is to tear it down and discourage people from making use of it. That does not seem profitable. What we stand for matters more than what we are against. When someone complained about his position on an issue, consider how President Grover Cleveland retorted.

In December 1887 he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs. Told that he had given Republicans an effective issue for the campaign of 1888, he retorted, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?” But Cleveland was defeated in 1888; although he won a larger popular majority than the Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison, he received fewer electoral votes. (from here)

Cleveland lost in 1888, but he won later in 1892. Then, as his predecessor was leaving office, he found himself confronting the Panic of 1893, perhaps the worst financial crisis in the country’s history. Curiously, even though it started while his predecessor was still in office, it seems the public blamed Cleveland for the mess.

We are a fickle bunch, but we don’t have to be that way. How do we avoid being fickle? We can form our opinions based upon careful study. That includes making better use of the mass media.

  • Our viewing choices affect what the people who run the mass media produce. Because they want an audience, they produce more of what we watch. If we insist upon listening only to those programs that require careful research and a balance presentation of differing views, that is what those folks will try to produce.
  • We become what we let our minds dwell upon. If watch and listen to pornography, then we become obsessed with sex and begin to see people as objects for our pleasure. If we enjoy violence on the screen, then we begin to see the exercise of force as the solution for problems. Therefore, we should strive to watch programs that are truly beautiful and lovely, not just stinking appeals to our worst animal instincts.
  • When we just need to relax and to be entertained, we can choose programs that are uplifting, not something that belongs in garbage can. Sometime the best thing to do is to resort to “big screen TV”. We can set out on the back porch, enjoy our family’s company, listen to the birds, and watch the squirrels play in the trees.

On his death-bed, these were Cleveland’s last words.

I have tried so hard to do right. (from here)

Would anyone call those words flashy or original? Yet imagine what Cleveland must have desired to hear from our Master.

Matthew 25:21 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Even the President of the United States, whose power and authority we make much of, can be faithful over only a few things. Just as He will do for us, God measured out Cleveland’s reward in heaven based upon his faithfulness over a few things.

You and I are not presidents. Most of us are masters and mistresses only of ourselves and our children, but just as Cleveland did, we too have the duty to manage our time and money well. We have obligations to our spouses, friends and neighbors. We don’t have presidential powers and responsibilities, but our Lord has given us important things to do.

  • Are we investing our time and talents in activities which bring glory to God?
  • Are we spreading the message of the Gospel?
  • Does how we choose to spend our time show our love for our family, friends and neighbors?
  • Do we strive to set a good example for others, especially our children?

Who is the best example of a good and faithful servant? Jesus, of course, but even though He is our example, the degree of perfection we should seek, we all have trouble imagining being Jesus. Jesus is God. Perhaps that is why he gave us another example, a simple man who was faithful over a few things, The Good Samaritan.

The Good Samaritan had some time, a beast of burden, and a little money. What God had given him, he used to be a good and faithful servant.

We can use the mass media to help us learn to love each other, or we can use the mass media to help us learn to use each other. That is our choice.

Will I love my neighbor or use him?

That is the question each of us must ask our self.

The Good Samaritan by Rembrandt (1630) shows the Good Samaritan making arrangements with the innkeeper. A later (1633) print by Rembrandt has a reversed and somewhat expanded version of the scene. (from here)

14 thoughts on “IS THIS A “GOOD” BUSINESS MODEL? — PART 2

Add yours

      1. Oh I so totally agree—when I was in the classroom—fighting a losing battle of the notion of art purely for art’s sake—the whole notion of does it move you emotionally—making you better than rather than less then are entertained or angry—now that’s the gift.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I… have a bit of a reluctance in conversing or commenting on someone’s belief system. You seem to try very hard to meld your religious convictions into some definition of politics and if that works for you then so be it. I am certainly as much as a “sinner” as the next human so I cannot judge. But the line you mentioned in the “porn paragraph”…

    “Therefore, we should strive to watch programs that are truly beautiful and lovely, not just stinking appeals to our worst animal instincts.”
    Isn’t watching TV a measure of escapism from reality? That being said, escapism can include allowing ourselves to surrender into the moment of imagining we are something we are not, maybe an alter-good. Would not that that constitute a safe way to engage our human instincts, good or bad, without interfering with others?
    More to the point here, if God created us in his image then how can humans have “worse instincts”?

    Like

    1. There are couple of issues here.
      1.

      You seem to try very hard to meld your religious convictions into some definition of politics and if that works for you then so be it.

      When the framers decided to create a secular government, their purpose was to protect freedom of religion, not to keep politics and religion separate. It is not possible. Our political beliefs depend upon our religious beliefs. The first five books of the Bible is the Mosaic Law. Islam is a political system. Hinduism involves a caste system which put the Brahman at the top. Modern secularism effectively teaches that all religions are wrong except secularism (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_morality). Ironically, without the benefit our Christian heritage, secularists would have a terrible time distinguishing right and wrong. Unfortunately, secularists have been so effective in throwing off that heritage they are starting to use the ends to justify the means. Hence we have crazy ideas like the government paying for abortions and contraceptives. Even the notion of redistributing the wealth stems from a failure to recognize the degree to which we are subject to temptation. Most Bible-believing Christians see the danger, but most secularists think such wisdom foolishness.
      2.

      Isn’t watching TV a measure of escapism from reality?

      People get drunk to escape from reality. People take narcotics to escape from reality. Since it is possible, people also use TV to escape from reality,

      When we watch TV we may momentarily escape our anxieties, but like alcohol and drugs the means we use to escape has consequences.

      Our brains operate based upon the information we feed them. If we feed our brains garbage, our thoughts consist of garbage.

      Like

        1. Why do we need to go through life pouring garbage into our brains? Do we have to do that?

          I have a taste for sweets. I could eat chocolate ice cream until it killed me. I suppose I could also apologize for doing it, but I decided ice cream is best enjoyed in moderation.

          Arsenic? Well, that something that would destroy me quicker than chocolate ice cream, and in my gloomiest moments such appetites have held some appeal. Still, just because self-destructive activity holds some appeal doesn’t mean I have to give in.

          Like

  2. That was an interesting take on Grover Cleveland, I did not know that.
    Kind of reminds me of a Reagan quote:
    “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

    I certainly agree we (I in particular, I’ll admit) should watch more edifying material.
    There hasn’t been a show like the Waltons or Little House on the Prairie in a long, long while.

    Part of it, I also agree, is the profit model…media shows what sells.
    But if that’s entirely true why did Trump win?
    Aside from Fox news they were all rooting for Hillary.
    Maybe they are responding to the public’s desires or maybe they’re actually promoting a social agenda.
    I think it’s a bit of both.
    Also something to keep in mind (something I’ve noticed) a show can start out very different from what it becomes.
    Kind of like having some sugar in the arsenic….it might (usually does) start out light before it goes very dark. By that point, the viewers are often so engrossed in the story line they keep watching though they wouldn’t have if it started that way.
    Just my .01

    Like

    1. Thank you.

      Thanks for the Reagan quote too!

      Interesting observations.

      Why did Trump win? That’s complicated. I think that the news media, even FOX, promoted Trump during the primaries because they thought Hillary would beat him. Turned out it did not work that way. She was not a very good candidate. I also think their polls fooled them. They actually thought they would win, but it is getting more difficult to poll people accurately. Because they are so many people trying to bother us, we just don’t want to be bothered by anybody anymore.

      Does the news media have an agenda? Yes, but we don’t have to listen to the ones with an agenda that is contrary to our nation’s interests. Will some people listen to the folks with an agenda that is contrary to our nation’s interests? I think it is obvious that we have been doing exactly that.

      Can we be sucked into the abyss? If we are not careful, yes. Prayer is probably the best defense.

      Like

  3. Frankly, I believe we should be charitable and sharing of what we can afford to a stranger in desperate need we encounter.

    Charity in ancient times meant to be mindful of kind and benevolent. Today it seems to mean we should give to everyone in the world.

    Problem in my opinion is the USA is borrowing money we do not have to help every cause and burden in the world.

    In other words, we are giving something that is not ours to share and placing the burden of debt on our posterity.

    That may be kind and benevolent, but it is also foolish in my opinion.

    What makes it more foolish is almost every problem in the world is the cause of foolish decisions by someone somewhere. Somehow, someway, everyone needs to end folly to prevent the reasons for the having the needs to be dependent on charity from kind and benevolent good Samaritans.

    Notice the Samaritan gave what he had that was his and not someone else.

    Sorry to say frankly, the prospects are dim, in my opinion, of that every happening based on the news I read and hear every day.

    Another problem is the people Samaritans who have something, even a penny as in the Bible, should be giving, not the government.

    Regards and goodwill blogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Notice the Samaritan gave what he had that was his and not someone else.

      When government takes what belongs to one person and gives it to another person, that is stealing. Politicians participate in this theft by buying the votes of some people with other people’s money.

      Look at the Declaration of Independence. Consider how the founders described the function of government. Isn’t redistributing the wealth is contrary to the protection of individual rights? How can we trust the same officials who are responsible for protecting our property rights to redistribute the wealth. Who can we trust to manage such a huge conflict of interest?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Really nice images to go along with your interesting post Tom. There is so much junk out there. I don’t watch much TV any more, usually the news just to get the headlines or see how the liberal talking heads are spinning the latest out rage du jour. I probably spend too much time on line though but at least I’m reading good blogs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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