Taiwan Church News
July 11 – 17, 2016
Melancholy And Maneuver On The Ministry Of The Word
This is our melancholy.
From the excitement of receiving the first e-mail to the boredom of spams clogging our mailbox, it takes only a short period of 20 years’ time. And two decades of time, one decade to raise and another decade to educate, should be enough to turn a child into a just and good person. But such an effective and convenient internet technology is always abused to download those vulgar gossips. Once an impressed TV slogan says, “Technology always comes from the human nature anyhow!”, but who can tell whether this inspired quote is a sale trick or just a pseudo-statement? God knows!
” [As] heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression, this generation starting from its own negations has had to re-establish, both within and without, a little of that which constitutes the dignity of life and death.”, these words were prophetically delivered by Albert Camus at his Nobel prize banquet speech on 10 December 1957 and accurately quoted by The Big Issue magazine at the forward of its opening issue to describe the melancholy of the “nonprofit” ministry of the word.
Correctly speaking, the wording of “nonprofit” before the ministry of the word is redundant. Our melancholy is a worry about the consequences of a low intelligence age: a collective mindset refusing to think deep, learn more and respond dutiful! Perhaps Camus words of “corrupt history” and “fallen revolutions” are no more suitable to our contemporary society, but his critiques toward technology, dead gods and worn-out ideologies are real foods worthy for our second thoughts!
A collective mindset, refusing to think deep, learn more and respond dutiful, is a fair warning raised by the Japanese management guru Ohmae Kenichi to contemporary Japanese society. Kenichi’s remarks reveals a true insider’s observation of the modern Japan, once a great country voracious at learning knowledge and building up her own culture, as nothing but a group of low-intelligence animals: easily affected in a collective action by the media, evidenced in the peer conformity phenomenon like shopping, blogging or tweeting online in a fish streaming. Ohmae Kenichi criticizes the public discourse in Japan become shallow, loquacious yet without resolve, running away from a problem instead of facing it.
A sharp critique, though, but the Japanese people are blessed to have Ohmae Kenichi’s urgent calling to think deep and study more. Just like the sincere advise from Fukuzawa Yukichi, a renown educator in Meiji period, suggesting the Japan society to study hard and educate themselves with real knowledge if they decided to be free from the ruler’s control.
Taiwan is no better than that low-intelligence society like Japan. Our diligent media and journalism, controlled by ratings or click through rate(CTR), always covet an hot-issued but superficial story than an in-depth truth. This situation is just like a unfortunate patient, lying beside hemodialysis machine and giving thumb up to the concerned families, while his blood does get contaminated as a matter of fact! For the internet’s true believers, who have a positive faith about the benefits of internet as being real, convenient, timeless and free from space, it is totally beyond their imagination that the pilgrimage of true knowledge could not be accommodated and a just and independent media have no place to stand firm in this new technique! Germans always say: “A family without books is like a house without windows”. But, our youth generation retorts that there are many more windows could be opened in the world of the internet!
So, how life finds a way out? Here is a possible maneuver.
While the ministry of the word, a mission of Taiwan Church News, becomes wary about her financial support and her brain-drained editorial jobs in an internet age, please understand and care the urgent problem: how much energy and resources could we focus and invest in the media content?