Sunday 24th June 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Where Is Hopalong Cassidy Now That We Need Him?

August 29, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

I see few counterparts of Hopalong Cassidy, Flash Gordon, and Nancy Drew these days. They have been replaced by pot-smoking “dudes,” sleep-around women, and homosexual super heroes. The world of rock music is worse. It seems as if modern rock stars go out of their way to project an image that is the antithesis of the clean-cut matinee idols of the past.
What else can be the purpose of the bizarre hairstyles, tattoos, body-piercings, and open allusions to their dissolute lifestyles than an assault on traditional values? Most of them make Elvis look like a choir boy.
The heroes of old were All-American boys, wholesome women, brave and courteous, self-effacing, devoted to God and country. They lived chaste lives in their on-screen personas. That is why some modern audiences find them “corny.” Young people who grew up with the role models of the past found it necessary to face the fact that the “real world” was not populated by people like their movie heroes; that even good men and women — cops, soldiers, nurses, and crusading attorneys — were not quite as virtuous as their childhood heroes. The experience was part of growing up.
It strikes me that young people in our time must experience the above phenomenon, too, but in reverse; that they learn not everyone they meet has a stash of drugs and is as sexually active as the characters played by Katy Perry and Brad Pitt. The people who make movies these days have created a new breed of hero for us, people who are part of the world of drugs, sex, and rock and roll. “Good kids” are depicted as prudes and phonies, toadies seeking to ingratiate themselves with the grown-ups.
That is a big change. Hollywood in the past would cater to a Christian audience that lived by moral standards more strait-laced than that which prevailed in show business circles. Nowadays Hollywood challenges those standards. The show business folks have become “missionaries,” and we the backward masses in need of conversion, in the new relationship between the creators of pop culture and their audience.
As far back as the late 1930s, George Orwell understood what was at stake in the relationship between society and popular entertainment. St. Ignatius Loyola is reported to have said, “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man.” Orwell agreed (though he and Ignatius Loyola would disagree about many other things).
Orwell did not fear the power of Hollywood hedonists. His concern was that nationalists and corporate interests were shaping the values of society through the books and magazines marketed to the young. His essay “Boys’ Weeklies,” written in 1939 for the British magazine Horizon, threw the spotlight onto the power of juvenile entertainment to mold young minds. (The essay can be found in the anthology Orwell: An Age Like This.) Orwell deplored the influence of conservative forces exerted by these boys’ weeklies, but he knew it was effective.
The boys’ weeklies he focused on were what people in England at the time called “penny dreadfuls”: pulp magazines such as Gem, Modern Boy, Magnet, Champion, Wizard, and Hotspur. The impression I get from reading Orwell’s essay is that these publications were British counterparts of the comic books popular in the United States at about the same time, but with more text and fewer illustrations, perhaps British versions of what were called “Big Little Books” in this country.
Orwell attacked this pulp fiction for giving impressionable British youth a world where the heroes are soldiers, explorers, detectives, and historical figures such as Robin Hood, where the “‘good’ boys are ‘good’ in the clean-living Englishman tradition,” who “wash behind their ears, never hit below the belt, etc. etc.”
Beyond this, it was a world, Orwell continues, where “foreigners are funny,” where “Frenchmen are still Froggies and Italians are still Dagoes,” Indians are “comic babus,” Chinese are “sinister, treacherous” men in pigtails, and Negroes “comic and faithful.” The assumption “is not only that foreigners are comics who are put there for us to laugh at, but that they can be classified in much the same way as insects.”
Even worse, Orwell continues, the boys’ weeklies provided young people with an inaccurate understanding of working-class life: “Nearly all the time the boy who reads these papers — in nine cases out of ten a boy who is going to spend his life working in a shop, in a factory, or in some subordinate job in an office — is led to identify with people in positions of command, above all by people who are never troubled by a shortage of money.”
Orwell deplored the manner in which stories that appeal to young men “about Martians, death-rays, grizzly bears, and gangsters” were “wrapped up in the illusions which their future employers think suitable for them,” leading boys to “the conviction that the major problems of our time do not exist, that there is nothing wrong with laissez-faire capitalism, that foreigners are unimportant comics and that the British Empire is a sort of charity-concern which will last forever. Considering who owns these papers, it is difficult to believe that this is unintentional.” Every “adventure story gets mixed up with snobbishness and gutter patriotism.”
Orwell, as usual, has a point. Though I would take exception to his claim that the inculcation of these values was a con job carried out by capitalists and their media lackeys. My hunch is that the adults who published this juvenile fiction in Great Britain genuinely believed that bravery, honesty, and patriotism were admirable character traits, irrespective of whether Britain’s employers wanted their future employees to be people who believed in these things.
In fact, I would go so far as to contend that even the British corporate bosses held to this vision of what made a good man or woman, even if they may have honored it more in the breach.
The point just now, however, is that Orwell correctly understood the extent to which juvenile entertainment is a powerful force in shaping what Hegel called the “Zeitgeist,” the spirit of the age, the widely held ideals and beliefs that motivate the actions of the members of a society.
It makes a difference when young people grow up with people like Miley Cyrus and Kanye West as their role models, rather than Nancy Drew and Jack Armstrong. Look around the mall or at the crowds at a rock concert to see the effect. It is hard to overestimate what it says about us as a society that we have permitted such a devolution to take place.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops are quick to attack Trump but slow to advise their voters

(RNS) — President Trump had no sooner returned home from his historic photo op with Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore when he faced condemnation from a host of religious leaders, from Southern Baptists to African Methodists to Catholics,…Continue Reading

Bishop: Deny Communion to Border Agents. It’s a ‘Life Issue.’

Is enforcing U.S. immigration law a moral evil that demands excommunication? Or would a new proposal politicize the Eucharist, strengthen organized crime, and hurt even more migrant children? Roman Catholics must face these questions after Bishop Edward Weisburger of Tucson suggested “canonical…Continue Reading

Argentina steps closer to legalising abortion

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while…Continue Reading

Pope Francis rejects German proposal for inter-communion

Vatican City, Jun 4, 2018 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month after Vatican and German delegates met in Rome to discuss a proposal put forward by German bishops to allow Protestant spouses in inter-denominational marriages to receive the Eucharist…Continue Reading

St. Paul archdiocese settlement is largest-ever in Catholic bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, making it the second-largest U.S. payout…Continue Reading

Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood is ‘infallible’: Vatican doctrine chief

ROME, May 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican office overseeing Church doctrine has insisted that the Church’s teaching on the male-only priesthood is “infallible,” and has offered a veiled rebuke of a prominent Cardinal who recently claimed the…Continue Reading

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today

ROME, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As in 2017, 2018 is also a year that is rich with important and significant anniversaries which we need to remember, because the roots of the present are found in the past. The best known…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Communion cannot be shared with non-Catholics like beer or cake

BUCKFASTLEIGH, England, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Protestants who want to receive Holy Communion should become Catholics, Cardinal Francis Arinze said this week, and added that “it is rather serious” to presume marriage can be dissolved for the purpose of…Continue Reading

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Fr. James Martin praises Catholic parish booklet affirming active gays

NEW YORK CITY, June 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Fr. James Martin, SJ, cheered his own parish’s publication of a booklet that seeks to further normalize gay sexual activity within the Catholic Church. The “LGBT Catholics and Friends Ministry” at New York City’s St. Ignatius Loyola Church issued “Being LGBT And Catholic,” a slick 32-page collection of brief testimonials about how sexually active g

Cardinal Burke responds to Francis: We hand-delivered dubia letter to Pope’s residence

ROME, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking with Reuters in an interview which appeared yesterday, Pope Francis criticized Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals who joined him in begging the Pope for clarification on key issues of faith. The cardinals used the long-standing ecclesial practice of issuing dubia, or questions to the Pope. There were five such questions altogether. But, according to Reuters the Pope said that “he had heard about the cardinals’ letter criticizing him…Continue Reading

GOOD NEWS . . .Fr. Phillips Exonerated

We have confirmation that after several weeks the Congregation of the Resurrection has indeed concluded its hearings and investigation of the accusations directed against Father Phillips. An independent Review Board of three public-spirited leaders from the Chicago area, who are not members of St. John Cantius Church, was constituted. Thereafter, the Review Board interviewed the detractors and several witnesses, persons who personally know the accusers, and other individuals who

Cardinal Brandmüller Questions Francis’ Claim Not to Have Received the Dubia Before Publication

Today, on 20 June, Reuters published a new interview with Pope Francis. Although the interview is making headlines because of the Pope’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, it also contains another controversial assertion: the pope surprisingly now claims that he only heard about the Dubia (concerning his document Amoris Laetitia) “from the newspapers” — a claim that Dubia cardinal Walter Brandmüller has now questioned in comments to OnePeterFive. From the text of the interview: The pope also commented on internal criticism of his…Continue Reading

US Cardinal removed after ‘credible’ allegation he abused a minor

NEW YORK, June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A high-profile liberal U.S. cardinal has been removed from public ministry for credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former priest of the Archdiocese of New York and cardinal emeritus of Washington D.C., “is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,” says a news release from New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated,” Dolan’s statement said. “The Vatican…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Memory Lapses At The FBI

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + The report on the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal that the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice released the past week makes one thing clear:…Continue Reading

But What Happened To The News Coverage? . . . Pope Says Homosexual Couples Are Not A Family

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue on June 18 commented on remarks by Pope Francis that have been censored by the media.) + + + Pope Francis says gay couples cannot be considered a family. The media know he said this but, with few exceptions, they refused to run this story.…Continue Reading

Holy Bashfulness Vs. Shame By ALICE von HILDEBRAND

My dear young friend, Years ago, Cardinal O’Boyle was discussing some sexual matters with a group of men; all of a sudden the cardinal noticed that a young girl had joined the group, and interrupting his talk, he said to her: “Please excuse me.” But he was immediately rudely rebuked by one of the men…Continue Reading

On The Role Of Beauty In The Spiritual Life

By JAMES MONTI In recent years, thanks largely to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the role of beauty in the sacred liturgy — and the appalling chasm created by its absence — has been a topic of frequent discussion among those concerned with a restoration of the sacred in divine worship — the beauty of the…Continue Reading

Civil Court… Rules Fulton Sheen’s Remains Can Go To Peoria

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — The Superior Court of New York ruled June 8 in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham, who had petitioned to move the body of her uncle, Venerable Fulton Sheen, to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria. The body of the late archbishop is currently in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… More On Confession

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 34 I do not know who said that “Repetition is the Mother of Learning” or “Repetition is the Father of Learning,” or even that “Repetition is the Key of Learning.” The fact is that repetition is most important to anyone who wants to learn something in such a way that will become part and…Continue Reading

Freedom And Truth

By DON FIER A preeminent truth that no man can deny is the universal desire for happiness — it is a goal that is common to all. This innate desire was identified and written of more than three centuries before Christ by the Greek philosopher Aristotle in his classic work entitled Nicomachean Ethics. At the same time, the pagan philosopher…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Following up on a recent question about a divorced and remarried non-Catholic adult who converts to the Catholic Church, you said that the conversion would not change the status of the person, that he would still be married to his previous spouse and could not marry again without a decree of nullity or the death of the first spouse.…Continue Reading

None Dare Call It Treason

By DEACON JAMES TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese of…Continue Reading

The Glorious St. John The Baptist

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Nativity Of St. John The Baptist (YR B) Readings Isaiah 49:1-6 Acts 13:22-26 Luke 1:57-66, 80 Today we celebrate the birth of a man who is important to us in a variety of ways. St. John the Baptist is, according to our Lord’s own words, the greatest man born of woman. For this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Cafasso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Truman Capote wrote: “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” More important, grace is a chain of grace with one grace leading to another. And holiness a chain of holiness as God pours His love through one person to another, as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces, pours…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth…Continue Reading