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The Church going backwards

When someone mentions the city of Modena in Italy I immediately think of that great of great tenors – Luciano Pavarotti. He was talent for his native city to be proud of.

But now Modena has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Apparently the archbishop wants its young folks to abstain from text messaging, social networking websites and computer games for Lent!!  Why, oh why would any one want to do that? Cut yourself off from your friends, deprive yourself of a source of fun, cause confusion in your social life because you cant text your mate that your group is going to club x instead of club y. What if you have e.g. missed the last bus home and are now stranded. How do you let your friends and family know what’s up. The list goes on. But apparently, the archbishop of Modena doesn’t see things like this.

So, why the call for abstinence then? Apparently the young people have to cleanse themselves from the virtual world and get back into touch with themselves.  Oh dear! From my studies of psychology I’ve learned that much of our self-knowledge and who we believe ourselves to be comes from our interaction with others. A tool that lets us do that should be encouraged.

Yes, we know that computer addiction is a very real problem with some people. But think about it for a moment. How many people do you know who spend (or would genuinely like to spend) every waking moment online, who suffer physical and / or mental withdrawal problems if their computer breaks down. I honestly can’t think of any. I know of people who consider themselves highly engaged in their web life but are all reasonable normal well-adjusted people who can engage perfectly well in the real world.

Excuse me now, while I go catch-up with my Facebook friends.



My main themes in this blog are technology and / or education. Today, I’m going to veer away from those a little.

There are 2 things that strike me when I come back to dear old Ireland after being abroad. The first is the road signs and posters etc in Irish – a nice ah! feeling. The other is the abundance of litter everywhere – a horrible agh! feeling.

I feel particularly strongly about the litter problem in this country. I used to tell people off if I saw them littering. An incident while strolling by the canal put the “used” in the last sentence. A group of male teens deliberately smashed a glass bottle on the footpath and nonchalantly walked off. I did my “hey….”. I was told to do some rather rude things with myself. There were several of them and only one of me. For the sake of my safety I scarpered.

Today, while enjoying a coffee in a street-side coffee shop in Dublin, is a whole other story.

A city council worker passes by with his broom and cart sweeping the debris on the footpath. As he passes the window and door I wonder if he’s being paid properly for his efforts. My attention is caught by a young man git stopping outside the door. Young git eyed street sweeper, then proceeded to take cig butt from his lips and throw it on the ground right where it has just been swept!  He came into the coffee shop whereupon I did my “hey…”. As soon as he realises what I’m saying to him I get a filthy look and was told to eff off.


The fact that there was a litter bin within lobbing distance is a whole other post.

Strange that he was happy to put his cigarette out before he came indoors yet was despicable enough to dispose of it so disgracefully – double standards indeed!