Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Missionary Golden Arches

Been a bit quiet of late. Suffering from a fair whack of the old financial imperative. And as a certain Damian Christie pointed out, blogs are little idea factories and when your thoughts are elsewhere, like on finding dinner, they atrophy.
To this end I'm on the job hunt.
As a result I've had an interesting visit to a recruitment agency and have whored the old CV around. The bites are coming, most humorously in a new gig as kareoke MC at Shadows on a Wednesday night. Humorous for my occasional singing, and my not knowing a single song a punter chooses. Hero? Linkin Park? Who are these people and why could 6 separate Indian men sing it so well? Disturbing to say the least. As a weather vane for how the world is going the console has only one song by David Bowie (China Girl) and six (!) by Jessica Simpson (who cares what they are).

Had a brilliant visit to the District Court, which deserves it's own post, in the fullness of time. It is highly recommended as a pick me up.

Anywho I submitted this as my weekly Fuse flagellation. After the whole affair is over I might explain my motives for submitting to the much reviled mag. In the meantime it would look unproffesional. I told Matt Nippert, maybe he'll out me........

Apparently the Pope has criticised New Zealand for becoming too secular. Symptoms of our degeneration, according to his Holiness, include The Civil Unions Bill, the Decriminalisation of Prostitution, the domination of Sundays by entertainment and sport and, most seriously, the decline in numbers attending mass.
Although fire and brimstone are traditionally attached to those first, rather commonplace, laments it is really the attendance they are worrying about. These words, or warnings, can perhaps be seen as little more than an advertising ploy, and what better spokesperson than God’s voice on earth?
Thing is, without bums on pews the church loses its most important strengths: numerical legitimacy and financial power.
Those masses are the time when people come together before god, and the collection plate is passed around before the people. Lose that customer base and lose those cathedrals.
Financially the Catholic Church is still sitting pretty in NZ as a result of some impressive property speculation while the Country was in its infancy, so there is not too much to worry about yet. Except, perhaps, the legal troubles that have a nasty habit of following on from when infant beings are placed in the Church’s care.
No, it is less the loss of money they are worried about, more the loss of market share.
With little things like liberalism, science and freedom of expression having taken the sting out of the Church’s traditional hold on consumers they are flailing around trying to turn a famously closed-minded, written-in-stone kinda entity into a responsive, relevant creature.
Interestingly, the concerns of this aged and tarnished brand are not dissimilar to the position held by that other great cultural institution, McDonalds.
McDonalds and the Catholic Church are two of the worlds leading property owners and cultural Trojan horses, and while serving burgers and salvation may seem far removed, that isn’t quite so. Both are petrified about losing market share. Both once benefited from near monopoly positions. Both aggressively target and grow new markets. Both offer a standardised product. And both face increasing difficulties from lawsuits and changing consumer attitudes and awareness toward nourishment.
The problem that both these venerable institutions are facing, and have never had to face so before, is that the ‘rocks’ in our lives can not change too readily or their flocks are left confused.
Then, if all this follows, it is maybe through this comparison that we can best try to understand the new Healthy Choice menu. It is simple really. McCafe and the Healthy Options menu are McDonalds’ Vatican Two.

I was just warming to it as I ran out of words. 400 doesn't give you much.

The starting point came from this article. Which contains some of the funniest lines I've seen in print:

"Prime Minister Helen Clark today told reporters the Pope had strong religious views and he was entitled to express them."
phew - enlightening stuff that.

"She was sure the pope had people on the ground in New Zealand and they made their views known to him."
yes - the people on the ground are known as Catholics - must be the SIS earning their wages making sure our PM knows what is going down - 'on the ground'........


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