I like James MacMilan , I like his music, I like his radical orthodoxy, I like his support of the Holy Father, I like him because he is a gentle, self deprecating kind hearted Scot, I like him because of this letter he has sent to The Tablet, which should appear in tomorrows edition.
In his Spectator column this week Rod Liddle explains that the internet is an anarchic expression of democracy that has provoked "self-important, narcissistic, blank-headed liberals" into an apoplexy of fury and whining. "The democratic nature of the internet, championed by all the metro-liberal hags and slags of Fleet Street for 'giving ordinary people a voice,' is suddenly a hideous infraction of human rights when the guns of the public are turned upon them. Get a grip, will you."
This analysis came jumping to mind on reading your ludicrous editorial "Voices from the lower depths". Your overheated and spiteful caricature of Catholic bloggers as 'right-wing, polemical and vituperative' does not reflect well on you. I have just agreed to write some music for the ordination of one of these young bloggers - a level-headed, intelligent and generous Dominican novice. No Catholic blog is the same - a wide range of political opinions are palpable, but they are generally bored and fed up with the Tablet's constant whinging and bitching about the Holy Father and the great orthodox teachings of our Church. The bloggers that appal you so much are united in an obvious love and pride for the counter-cultural challenge of being Catholic in the modern age. No wonder they feel shame that the nominally Catholic Tablet shows no evidence of a similar love or pride. The Tablet seems out of touch, not just with the new enthusiasm for faithfulness and tradition blossoming in the Catholic world, but also out of step with the new participative media technologies.
I read a description of your recent Tablet annual lecture (probably on one of these 'anarchic and unruly' blogs you've been spluttering about) which said that "most people there looked like they only knew what a mobile phone was because they'd been given one by their middle-aged children in case they had a fall." In other words, you are becoming a laughing stock. As Rod Liddle says, "Get a grip, will you."